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04.18.11

Links 18/4/2011: X.Org Server 1.10.1, Wind River Backing Android, Trinity KDE Reviewed, Lucas Rocha Moves on

Posted in News Roundup at 4:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Alas, Groklaw, We Hardly Knew Ye

    Here in the world of technology, it’s an everyday occurrence to see new companies and organizations spring up out of nowhere and begin to play an active role.

    What’s far less common, however, is to see one disappear — particularly one that has been an extremely productive and well-respected part of the community for years upon years.

    That, however, is essentially what happened a week ago, if a blog post over at Groklaw is anything to go by.

  • Server

    • 1 billion computing core-hours for researchers to tackle huge scientific challenges

      Computing is an invaluable resource for advancement of scientific breakthroughs. Today we’re announcing an academic research grant program called Google Exacycle for Visiting Faculty, which provides 1 billion hours of computational core capacity to researchers. That’s orders of magnitude larger than the computational resources most scientists normally have access to.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • In the beginning: Linux circa 1991

      It was also to Linux’s advantage that its license, the Gnu General Public License version 2 (GPLv2) made it possible both to share the efforts of many programmers without letting their work disappear into proprietary projects. That, as I see it, was one of the problems with the BSD Unix family–FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, etc.–and its BSD License.

    • Graphics Stack

      • X.Org Server 1.10.1 Released

        Jeremy Huddleston has tagged the first point release in the X.Org Server 1.10 series.

        X.Org Server 1.10 was released in late February after RandR 1.4 was pulled from the release. X Server point releases don’t add in any new features, however, but just correct outstanding bugs.

        The xorg-server 1.10.1 release has bug-fixes for XQuartz, X Input, XKB, and various other areas, but no single change jumps out as being too prominent.

      • Apple Mac OS X 10.7 Lion DP2 Battles Ubuntu 10.10

        When running the Warsow game at 1920 x 1080, its frame-rate is slightly up from the first Lion developer preview and Mac OS X 10.6.6, while the NVIDIA blob on Ubuntu 10.10 was the slowest of the bunch. Of course, if using the open-source Nouveau driver on Gallium3D its performance would even be worse for Linux.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Trinity KDE – An alternative to KDE4, Gnome 3?

        Trinity KDE is mostly nostalgia. While KDE3 had its merits, with the latest version of KDE4, it’s really hard to argue against the technological and ergonomic advancement introduced into the desktop environment.

      • KDE Commit Digest for 10 April 2011
      • Plasma Active: A Box of Crayons

        One of the results of the UX sprint in Berlin which I’m really happy with is that it helped me frame some of the bigger ideas behind in my mind behind Plasma Active, and make it digestable for someone who hasn’t spent a lot of time yet thinking about it, and digesting these ideas.

      • Marble 1.1 released

        The Marble Team has just released Marble 1.1. This release is special! With many new features being developed during Google Code-in, the Marble Team decided to get it out between the usual KDE application releases. The new version provides several new features and improvements…

    • GNOME Desktop

      • [Lucas Rocha] Leaving GNOME Release Team

        This is the team that set the general plan for the GNOME 3 release and I feel very proud of having been part of it. I especially remember a couple of very long conversations with my evil twin about GNOME 3 and the team discussions during our meetings at GUADEC and FOSDEM…

        Leaving the release team means that I now have no official roles in GNOME anymore. I’ve left a few other positions recently—among others that I haven’t really announced. This is actually an explicit decision of mine to gradually free some of my (rare) spare time for other personal projects. You probably know one of them. But there’s probably more coming, stay tuned!

      • Privacy settings are coming to Zeitgeist

        Writing on his blog, Zeitgeist developer Stefano Candori has shown off the beginnings of a feature addition to the semantic-tracking engine which allows users to specify what Zeitgeist can log – and what it shouldn’t.

  • Distributions

    • Visit My GNU/Linux (& BSD) Logo Zoo and See How Many Distros You can Name!

      Some people think that GNU/Linux is only one Operating System. Others think that “Linux” is the only UNIX Operating System derivative but BSD must not be forgotten. Both GNU/Linux and BSD include a lot of different OSs in their respective families. While Linux has Tux (a penguin) as its mascot, BSD has Daemon (a little devil). Interestingly, many of the OSs in both families are identified by logos representing animals. Thus, I made this little zoo with the logos of as many distros as I could find to illustrate the great variety of Operating Systems available to choose.

    • Reviews: Puppy Linux 5.2.5 – taking a bite out of bloat

      After a full week of usage, I can’t say that Puppy Linux 5.2.5 Lucid is quite ready to compete with industrial-strength distros such as Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora or openSUSE. It does come very close and I was able to get most of my work done, but the collection of PET packages is still insufficient to meet my heavy demands. The addition of the Ubuntu repository is potentially a solution, but the package collection is far from complete, and the issue of “dependency hell” is a source of frustration.

      Furthermore, the wisdom of running as root continues to haunt Puppy. In this era of online shopping and online banking, users expect ironclad security, and it should not require command-line hacks to get it. Discussion of this issue often gets heated, even rabid, turning into an all-consuming flamefest at times. I wish people wouldn’t get so emotional about it, but it is what it is. I don’t expect the raging debate to end any time soon.

      On the other hand, perhaps I’m barking up the wrong tree. Is Puppy meant to be blockbuster OS, built to withstand attacks like a server farm? Or is it just a lightweight fun OS that we can use to revive old hardware, or run from a USB stick when we need portability? A lot of people like Puppy – it’s in the top 10 of the DistroWatch page-hit ranking. I enjoy Puppy too, and it’s what I run exclusively on my netbook. Maybe the only thing wrong with Puppy is that users’ expectations tend to exceed the developer’s intentions.

    • Red Hat Family

      • The state sees Red and likes it

        I confess that when I read some weeks back about the state’s giving Raleigh-based Red Hat almost $17 million in incentives not to move, I was predictably agitated. After all, for over 15 years as a judge, candidate and lawyer, I have criticized and opposed this type of corporate welfare. My change of heart when it comes to Red Hat has nothing to do with our governor’s donning a red fedora set at a jaunty angle to announce the giveaway. Nor do I own any Red Hat stock. It’s really all about the fact that local businesses have finally figured out how the game is played.

      • Fedora

        • Top Five Fedora Derivatives

          One of the other “big names” in the Linux world is Red Hat’s community driven Fedora. Beyond Fedora itself, there are also a small number of derivatives out there based off of this Yum+RPM powered distribution. The following is a round up of some of the better ones.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project Leader Election 2011 Results

        The winner of the election is Stefano Zacchiroli.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Sorry Mate, But I Can’t Use Ubuntu Anymore: Goodbye Meerkat

          I liked Meerkat, in fact I loved it. But, its existence in my life has reduced to a couple of DVDs which are laying in some dark corners of the drawers of my office desk. They will never be put in CD drives again, they will never be used to install anything again. They might remain there as memories or be thrown in trash to be taken care by Brussels waste management department.

        • Unity vs GNOME 3 – Ubuntu 11.04

          This blog posting is strictly my opinion of the two interfaces in Ubuntu 11.04.

          I tried both of these interfaces when that I upgraded to Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 2. Unity did not stay installed very long. This interface has matured to a stable state however the interface did not appeal to me. Unity is plagued with overly large icons and lots of blandly bright colors. It’s like the screen was designed by Crayola and not Canonical.

        • The Bizarre Cathedral – 97
        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Wind River opens Android development center

          In yet another sign Intel is moving quickly into Android, its embedded Linux software subsidiary Wind River launched a new mobile technology development center in Stockholm focused on Android. Meanwhile, the Intel-backed MeeGo project appears to be gaining some new life for its handset development, with LG Electronics, ZTE, and China Mobile filling the gap left by Nokia, says an industry report.

          Wind River’s addition of an engineering team in Stockholm, Sweden, represents its “concentrated effort to grow its Android expertise for a wider range of Android-based devices including tablets, media phones and other device classes,” says the

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open-Source Web-Sites, Memories Of The Past

    The forum discussion surrounding TransGaming’s GameTree Linux and Cedega Technology continues, with some Linux gamers regretting that they ever even supported TransGaming. One user also brings up the past from when — back in 2000~2001 — TransGaming had pledged to open up their code-base once they reached 20,000 subscribers. They believed in an open-source philosophy at that time, but they never ended up opening up their code once hitting that milestone. Even though Cedega as we know it is now dead, this former fork of the X11-licensed Wine is still closed.

  • The Folly of Business Use of Non-Free Software

    With FLOSS, the licence usually costs $0 so business running on FLOSS could save all of that $12billion and it would only take a small effort to migrate to FLOSS. Business has made mistakes along the way by not migrating sooner and buying licences instead of making their own software but it is never too late and $12billion annually saved forever will pay the total cost of migration in a few months or years, leaving all of eternity to spend the money on other things that bring value.

  • Open source programming tools on the rise

    The reason is clear: Open source licenses are designed to allow users to revise, fix, and extend their code. The barber or cop may not be familiar enough with code to contribute, but programmers sure know how to fiddle with their tools.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • AES encryption for OpenOffice.org

      The ODF 1.2 specification allows for stronger encryption algorithms, and Blowfish is declared as the legacy encryption algorithm.

      The new version of the standard allows the encryption algorithms listed in §5.2 of xmlenc-core.

    • LibreOffice 3.4 Beta 1 Available, Oracle Unchains OpenOffice

      April 15 brought some interesting developments in the office suite front. Oracle’s press release announcing its intention of halting commercial interest in OpenOffice.org came hours before The Document Foundation announced the release of LibreOffice 3.4 Beta 1.

      [...]

      LibreOffice 3.4 Beta 1 received lots of bug fixes and a few new additions. Some include:

      + added navigation buttons to writer
      + Replaced unhide text button by icon buttons
      + Mouse wheel scrolls whole slides
      + Updated slide sorter icons
      + allow ‘select as you type’ aka ‘quick selection’
      + new ‘animated images’ for Throbber controls
      + enable human icon theme

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • C-SPAN Radio’s Historic Supreme Court Oral Argument: Lotus Development Corporation v. Borland International, Inc. (1996)

    The Supreme Court took up a case involving ownership of computer technology in this 1996 case.

    Lotus Development Corporation copyrighted a computer spreadsheet program called “Lotus 1-2-3.” Borland International, a competing software company, released a similar program called “Quattro,” that contained a program called “key reader.”

  • Youth engagement will make the Digital Agenda a reality

    On Tuesday I held an exciting meeting with a dozen high-flying young Europeans involved in science, start ups, government and civil society, whose insights are can really help us with the Digital Agenda.

    I was very impressed with their clear views and with what they’ve achieved using technology in their careers.

  • Science

    • Scientists teleport Schrodinger’s cat

      Researchers from Australia and Japan have successfully teleported wave packets of light, potentially revolutionising quantum communications and computing.

  • Security

    • Former Internet Vigilante Gets Two Years For DDoS Attack

      A computer programmer who once volunteered for Perverted Justice, the producers of “To Catch a Predator,” was sentenced Friday to two years in prison for launching a botnet that attacked the organization’s web site.

  • Censorship

    • YouTube: Fair Use is Why Conan Can Make Fun of Rebecca Black

      Yesterday, YouTube redesigned its copyright help center to help educate its users about the ins and outs of copyright law. Copyright law can be complicated and, in light of that, the site now sends offenders to the YouTube Copyright School where they can watch explanatory cartoons in an experience that our own Audrey Watters isn’t too sure arrives at education.

      If you agree, then you might want to get in on YouTube’s next effort – a Q&A with legal experts it will be holding on the video site at the beginning of May.

      Fair use, YouTube explains, “is a legal term that grants creators an exception to the strict copyright that the original content owner controls — in layman’s terms, it’s the idea that as long as the use is ‘fair,’ someone can reference part of someone else’s work for parody, scholarly reasons, or more.”

  • Privacy

    • Facebook looks to cash in on user data

      Julee Morrison has been obsessed with Bon Jovi since she was a teenager.

      So when paid ads for fan sites started popping up on the 41-year-old Salt Lake City blogger’s Facebook page, she was thrilled. She described herself as a “clicking fool,” perusing videos and photos of the New Jersey rockers.

      Then it dawned on Morrison why all those Bon Jovi ads appeared every time she logged on to the social networking site.

      “Facebook is reading my profile, my interests, the people and pages I am ‘friends’ with, and targeting me,” Morrison said. “It’s brilliant social media but it’s absolutely creepy.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • Terence Corcoran: CanCon, the Opera

      The professional shakedown artists otherwise known as Canada’s cultural industries — telecoms, broadcasters, TV networks, filmmakers — are gearing up for another operatic hit on Canadians. They want the Internet controlled through new rules and new charges that would expand their existing protection racket that now funnels billions into their hands and limits the freedom of Canadians.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The iPod tax is an expensive gamble

        In theory, those engaged online would be the most concerned by an iPod tax. It’s an unproven theory since I can’t say for sure the folks contributing to election chatter on Twitter are also the most likely to have iPods or be affected by the controversial (and possibly non-existent) iPod tax. However, since it’ll make this post more interesting, I’m going to make the assumption Tweeters are also most likely to be worked up into a frenzy (cue ass-u-me jokes now). Let’s call this campaign a safe bet with an expectation of a good ROI.

Clip of the Day

HTC Sensation Promo Video


Credit: TinyOgg

04.17.11

Links 17/4/2011: MIPS and Android

Posted in News Roundup at 12:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Zorin Unveils New Linux-Based PC

      According to Zorin, its PC has a rotatable touch screen display that is optimized for electronic note taking and drawing. Zorin tailored the hardware and software to work 100 percent with Linux and is available in three editions: Home, Educational, and Business.

    • MultiSystem: Live USB MultiBoot

      I was directed to this great program from a random stranger on identi.ca. I had posted a dent asking thoughts on a good Linux OS to run on a live USB. One of the replies asked, “Why run just one? Check out MultiSystem.” A quick search revealed the MultiSystem web page. The page http://liveusb.info happens to be in French, but fortunately for me there is a Google translator gadget.

    • Is Linux Antivirus Worth It? Part 2

      A few weeks ago I mentioned friends-in-the-biz who don’t put anti-virus software on their PCs.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux’s Twenty years of Achievement and Success

      If you think about it, most of us have grown up using Linux. Linux was not how software was done, 20 years ago. There was only paid software, as Stallman so famously said in 1983 and went on to lay the foundation of the Free Software Foundation with the GNU Project that was compatible with all available software. However, the GNU took its time to evolve and had basic structures-compilers, text, Unix shell etc. but elements daemons, device drivers including the kernel were stuttering to completion.

    • Linux 2.6.38.3
    • Graphics Stack

      • Where The Open-Source AMD Driver Is At For Modern GPUs

        Earlier this week Sapphire launched the Radeon HD 5830 Extreme using the well-supported “Cypress LE” graphics processor at a very competitive price relative to the NVIDIA competition and the Radeon HD 5830 graphics cards from other AMD partners. With it being part of the HD 5000 series and not one of the newer HD 6000 series graphics processors, the Linux support is already spot-on for both the official Catalyst Linux driver and within the open-source stack. In this article are the open-source Gallium3D benchmarks for the Radeon HD 5830 along with other recent ATI/AMD GPUs to show where the latest Mesa/Gallium3D code is at today.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • First Calligra Sprint

        Over the April 1st – 3rd weekend, the first Calligra sprint took place at the KDAB office in Berlin. With a total of 31 people from 14 nations, the room was crowded to the bursting point! It was a very successful sprint, and the first KDE sprint for many of the attendees.

        While hacking continued unabated at all times, a sprint is primarily an opportunity to meet face to face, create new bonds, and discuss current and future issues. As usual, Friday was free-form, with hacking and chatting until it was time to go out to dinner. After dinner we crashed the breakfast room of the hotel because the lobby was too small, and continued hacking.

      • New KDE project aims at tablets, mixed UIs

        The new Plasma Active and Contour projects were developed for a new user experience for tablets, smartphones and set top boxes.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Clonezilla’s Multi-casts, Overcasts Norton Ghost

      Would you believe that at NCHC 41 computers cloned 5.6 GB simultaneously in 10 minutes? Multicasting or what? Clonezilla is a new age multicasting and unicasting solution from OpenSource Clone system for massive and large-scale cloning.
      Cloning content is an essential process of computing where contents from one computer hard disk need to be transferred/imaged/cloned to another or multiple computer hard disks. Rebooting, restoring, new computer provisioning, hard disk upgrades, full system backup , system recovery and transfer to other users are some of the main areas/reasons where cloning is used.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • CentOS 5.6 Screenshots
      • Red Hat Submits New Data Caching Spec to Java EE 7

        Red Hat thinks so, and today submitted a new request to the Java Community Process (JCP) to push their data caching ideas forward into Java EE 7. The JCP approved JSR 342 last month, getting the ball rolling for the full creation of the Java EE 7 specifications.

        “The themes of Java EE 7 are all about continuing to ease development and making Java cloud ready,” Craig Muzilla, vice president of Red Hat’s Middleware Business Unit told InternetNews.com.

        Muzilla noted that the new data caching specification is being submitted in the same spirit of cloud enablement that is at the core of Java EE 7. He exp

      • The rationale for Ceylon, Red Hat’s new programming language

        Red Hat engineer Gavin King, the creator of Hibernate, is developing a new programming language for enterprise software development. His team at Red Hat has apparently been working on the grammar in secrecy for two years and is finally opening it up for scrutiny.

        The new language, which is called Ceylon, is intended to remedy what King views as fundamental shortcomings of the Java programming language. It’s more succinct and expressive but is designed to be easy to read and learn. It will run on existing Java virtual machines and draws on many of Java strengths while addressing some key limitations.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • MontaVista registered for Carrier Grade Linux 5.0 spec

      MontaVista Software announced that MontaVista Linux Carrier Grade Edition (CGE) 6.0 has been registered as compliant to the Linux Foundation’s Carrier Grade Linux (CGL) 5.0 specification. MontaVista appears to be the first Linux distro to have registered for CGL 5.0, which was announced at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit last week, offering advancements in everything from streaming media to security.

    • Texas Instruments Announces OpenLink Project

      Texas Instruments (TI) announces the OpenLink project which focuses on providing a wide range of wireless connectivity solutions for Linux.

    • EPIC module powers robotic shadow plays

      Habey announced an EPIC-format SBC (single board computer) that features a 1.1GHz Intel Atom Z510P processor, 512MB of onboard memory, plus PC/104, PCI, and Mini PCI expansion. The EMB-4650 also includes CompactFlash and SD slots, dual video outputs, and eight USB 2.0 ports, according to the company.

    • Electric vehicle offers Android tablet as dashboard IVI system

      T3 Motion announced a two-passenger electric vehicle that comes complete with a detachable Android-based Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet in its dashboard. The Galaxy Tab will act as the in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) computer for the three-wheeled R3 series plug-ins, offering navigation, entertainment, and vehicle diagnostic monitoring, says the company.

    • MIPS launches developer site for Android and Linux

      MIPS Technologies has launched a developer community website designed for Android and Linux developers working on MIPS-based hardware, including handsets and tablets. Developer.mips.com features open access to MIPS-tailored Android and Linux source code, an Android native development kit, debug and development tools including MIPS Navigator, plus resources including tutorials and support forums, says the company.

    • MIPS creates community for Android developers

      MIPS Technologies has launched a developer community for software developers working with the Android platform.

      The online community will also be relevant for anyone developing Linux operating system based applications on MIPS-based hardware.

      “This new community demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the vibrant open source effort around the MIPS cores and architecture,” said Art Swift, v-p of marketing and business development at MIPS Technologies.

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

      • Android

        • Google holds back Android Honeycomb; Asus releases the source code

          As if to back up the contention by Google’s Android boss that the tablet version of Android isn’t being penned in so Google can keep control, PC-maker Asus released part of the source code yesterday.

          Asus posted a link on the product page for its Eee Pad Transformer tablet that lets readers download a 97MB file with the source code for v8.2.2.6 of the Android kernel.

          Google released the software developers kit for Android v3 in February, but only to a few OEMs and selected other partners.

        • 50 Android Apps to Manage Your Phone (and Your Life)
        • CyanogenMod 7 brings Gingerbread to 28 phones, two tablets

          Doing its part to fight Android fragmentation, Cyanogen and his band of mobile hackers have released a modified version of Android 2.3.3 optimized for some 30 devices still awaiting carrier updates. CyanogenMod 7 (CM7) adds to Gingerbread with power-user features found in the previous Froyo version (CM6), and supports its first two tablets: the ViewSonic G-Tablet and Barnes & Noble Nook Color.

        • Android tablets tipped from Motorola, Archos

          Motorola is reportedly preparing a ruggedized, seven-inch Android tablet, while an Archos division in China has tipped the Archos 7c Home Tablet and an updated capacitive version of the Archos Arnova 10 — both running Android on the ARM Cortex-A8 Rockhip RK2918 processor. Meanwhile, Amazon is offering a 10-inch, $500 Viewsonic gTablet in a “deal of the day.”

        • Intel paying bounty to favor Android on Oak Trail tablets?
          B

          Intel is planning to pay a $10-per-device subsidy to encourage the creation of Android tablets using its “Oak Trail” Atom processor, a DigiTimes report has claimed. And a relevant port of Android 3.0 (“Honeycomb”) will be available later this year, a company executive has been quoted as saying.

          The Apr. 14 DigiTimes report by Monica Chen and Joseph Tsai says Intel wil “pay a subsidy of $10 for each Intel CPU-based tablet PC to attract first-tier notebook vendors.” It will promote the Android 3.0 platform “to save costs from Windows licensing fees for downstream vendors,” the story further adds.

        • [Release] Android Gingerbread 2.3.3 — N11 “Vostok” For the N900

          You can download the latest build from here and follow these installation instructions to get it running on your phone.

Free Software/Open Source

  • VMware Launches Open Source Cloud Foundry

    VMware is accelerating its cloud efforts today with the announcement of its new Cloud Foundry project. Cloud Foundry is an open source application platform for the cloud.

    “Cloud Foundry is about expanding a PaaS engine across multiple clouds, frameworks and application services,” Jerry Chen and his title is Senior Director of Cloud and Application Services at VMware told InternetNews.com.

    Chen noted that with Cloud Foundry, VMware (NYSE: VMW) is aiming to lower the barriers to adoption for the cloud.

  • Is Cloud Foundry something we need?
  • MIPS launches developer site for Android and Linux

    The new Turnkey Linux Hub 1.0 web service provides flexible Amazon cloud hosting and backup capabilities for web application software appliances, says this eWEEK review. The Ubuntu-based software is said to offer an “excellent” backup and restore utility that makes it easy to migrate appliance instances.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Flock ‘Social Media’ Browser is No More

        Flock Web Browser was once a darling of the web. It was among my favorite web browsers out there until a few years ago. But then Google Chrome happened which raised the bar much higher eventually changing the whole internet space once and for all. Mozilla Firefox suddenly became *old* and had to re invent itself to survive[read Firefox 4.0]. Unfortunately, that was not the case with Flock ‘Social Media’ Browser.

  • SaaS

    • Open Cubed: Meet the New Cloud Stack

      The recent announcements of Facebook’s Open Compute and VMware’s Cloud Foundry address the hardware architecture and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) layers, respectively.

  • Databases

    • SkySQL Builds MySQL Reference Architecture

      Deploying a MySQL database today to meet modern infrastructure demands isn’t as easy as it used to be.

      In an effort to help enterprises deploy the open source database, MySQL services vendor SkySQL is launching a new MySQL reference architecture that includes services and components. A decade ago, MySQL was typically deployed as part of the LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) stack, but that’s not enough anymore.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • Instructure Canvas LMS: Go open source, get serious investment capital

      Back in February, I wrote about Instructure’s risky move open-sourcing their Canvas LMS. The product was great, an easy-to-use, robust LMS with solid social features and a spectacular user interface. It was highly scalable and suddenly anybody (or at least anyone with a bit of Ruby on Rails experience) could fire it up on their own server. The question was, would anybody pay for Instructure’s hosting and support when they could host the LMS themselves?

      The answer turned out to be an overwhelming yes. As Devin Knighton, Instructure PR Director told me, “Instead of the hundreds of leads their sales team was expecting from the announcement, we received thousands.” See, Oracle? You can make money from open source!

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Farewell, Groklaw, and thanks!

      You can read the announcement on Groklaw. I personally read the site regularly to help keep abreast of legal news related to free software. PJ’s especially good about posting articles that may not directly discuss the latest issue, but provide useful context for the more focused material. And the site’s collaborative research has been so helpful to free software developers that Groklaw won the FSF’s Award for Projects of Social Benefit in 2007.

  • Project Releases

    • First stable Blender 2.5 series arrives

      After several years of redesign and development work, the Blender Foundation and its associated online developer community have announced the arrival of version 2.57 of their open source 3D content creation suite, the first stable release in the 2.5 series. According to the developers, this major milestone is not only stable because it’s “mostly feature complete, but especially thanks to the 1,000s of fixes and feature updates we did since the 2.5 beta versions were published.”

    • GIMP 2.7.2 Arrives, But Still Far From Belated GIMP 2.8
    • [Audacity 1.3.13 released]
  • Programming

    • Optimizing Your Development Process

      In my last blog entry, How Effective Is Your Software Development, I discussed the three pillars of development effectiveness: Process Optimization, Quality Optimization and Technology Optimization, including architecture, leveraging the cloud, social media, smart devices, etc. This post will focus on Process Optimization.

Leftovers

  • Mainstream Failure

    The media’s telling of the Japan story has been inexcusably bad. I can’t count the number of pieces about confinement breaches and radiation surges; where they are not information-free they are wrong, and where they are not wrong, they bypass what matters. Here are a few specifics.

    * The real story in Japan, by any objective measure, is the sustained post-tsunami desperation among those whose lives were swept away, and the narrative about the rescue and cleanup workers all over the Northeast. Read much of that? Me neither.
    * Bloggers and other flavors of lone wolf are publishing heart-wrenching photo-essays from the front line of the recovery effort. Newspapers and TV networks? They’re writing about the temperature of the water in some part (they don’t specify which) of some damaged reactor, illustrating it with video screen grabs of machinery they don’t understand enough to explain.
    * People across oceans from Japan should fear radiation? Um, what was the half-life of 131I again?

  • Finance

    • BRICS credit: Local currencies to replace dollar

      Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – the BRICS group of fastest growing economies – Thursday signed an agreement to use their own currencies instead of the predominant US dollar in issuing credit or grants to each other.

      The agreement, the first-of-its-kind, was signed at the 3rd BRICS summit here attended by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, China’s Hu Jintao, Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff, Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev and South Africa’s Jacob Zuma.

    • Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. goes on an anti-tech rant, blames the iPad for U.S. job losses

      Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. appears to think technology gadgets — including tablet computers like the iPad — are the reason this country is shedding jobs. Really? The Illinois Congressman went on one of the more outrageous anti-technology rants on Friday on the floor of Congress. We transcribed the remarks below, since we couldn’t really believe what we were hearing.

  • DRM

    • The biggest PR clanger in history of the WWF

      With a list of controversies like that you start to wonder how they survived. Well, very easy: by having a very good PR department. Whenever a controversy pops up WWF acts like a turtle. It minimizes communication as much as possible and hopes the whole thing blows over. It tries to silence, marginalize or intimidate its critics, but in such a clever way that it doesn’t make too many waves. Disputes between its chapters are kept indoors as much as possible. Bluntly lying – if required – is an accepted practice.

      Being one of the opponents in their latest controversy – the infamous WWF format – I experienced these tactics first hand. This is my story.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Monopoly Lawyers Shouldn’t Write Monopoly Laws

        A problem with monopoly laws, such as the copyright monopoly and patent monopoly, is that their text is usually written by the lawyers that maintain them. This creates a vicious circle with circular proof that the laws work as intended.

      • Why Google Should Buy the Music Industry

        On a rational basis, the music industry’s concerns would be dwarfed by those of the computer world, which is not just far larger, but vastly more important in strategic terms. But instead, the former gets to make all kinds of hyperbolic claims about the alleged “damage” inflicted by piracy on its income, even though these simply don’t stand up to analysis.

        But that throwaway comment also raises another interesting idea: how about if Google *did* buy the music industry? That would solve its licensing problems at a stroke. Of course, the anti-trust authorities around the world would definitely have something to say about this, so it might be necessary to tweak the idea a little.

        How about if a consortium of leading Internet companies – Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Baidu, Amazon etc. – jointly bought the entire music industry, and promised to license its content to anyone on a non-discriminatory basis?

      • Righthaven’s Secret Contract Revealed: Will Its Strategy Collapse?

        Angered at Righthaven’s behavior, a Las Vegas federal judge unsealed the company’s heretofore confidential agreement with the Las Vegas Review-Journal late on Friday. The contract reveals that the controversial copyright-enforcement company and LV R-J parent company Stephens Media are splitting their net earnings from suing hundreds of bloggers on a 50-50 basis. It also shows that the LV R-J is still largely in control of Righthaven’s litigation strategy—a fact that could end up being ruinous for Righthaven’s campaign of copyright lawsuits.

Clip of the Day

Penguin being tickled


Credit: TinyOgg

04.16.11

Links 16/4/2011: Humble Bundle, Kubuntu 11.04 Raves

Posted in News Roundup at 6:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Growth of Linux Visiting Wikipedia

    Linux

    * February 2011 – 2.47%
    * February 2010 – 1.65%

    Change = +.82% Rate of growth = +50%

  • Google

    • How to make Google good again

      One of the key aspects of the latter has been its support for open source, which has been at the heart of Google’s infrastructure from the earliest days. Its adoption of free software played an important part in allowing the company to offer a range of free services – search, email, video content etc. – that could scale globally, Something that would have been much harder for a startup to achieve with traditional licensed software, where costs would have risen far more steeply.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Plasma Active: Vendor Interaction

        This is the final entry in a series of five posts covering the various tracks in the Plasma Active initiative. In this closing article, we look at the track that aims to help bring out work to actual hardware.

        On Monday, I will be writing a quick overview of some of the “big picture” goals and aspirations represented in Plasma Active, and on Friday of next week I will be sharing a preview of a new interaction feature that I’ve only referred to cryptically as “SLC” so far. Today, however, I hope you enjoy the outline of the fifth track in Plasma Active: Vendor Interaction.

      • Contour brings a context-sensitive interface to KDE Plasma Active

        As KDE developers continue to build the device-independent Plasma Active Linux environment, other pieces of the UI puzzle are falling into place as well. Pieces like Contour, which the team bills as a “context-sensitive user interface that adapts to…current activities and behavioral patterns of the user.”

        As you can see in the screenshot, part of what Contour does is recommend additional actions based upon what it thinks you’re doing at any given time. By taking a look at a number of different sources of data — like GPS coordinates, accelerometer data, time and date, ambient sound and light, recently accessed files, and recent user actions, Contour will attempt to adjust the device’s UI to automatically meet a user’s needs.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • SimplyMepis Shaping Up – 11.0 RC 2 Released

        SimplyMepis 11.0 RC 2 was released last week and the annoying thing about that project is that their release announcements say nothing about the release. So, if one wants to keep up they have to download each developmental release and test it. So, I did.

        The basic look and feel hasn’t changed since my last test. It’s possible it could receive an update before final. What I did notice soon after boot was that the graphic driver setup assistant is gone. It was inoperative my last test, but it’s completely gone now. Instructions in the Mepis Manual have the user going back to the old-fashioned manual procedure. This isn’t a big deal for most of us old goats, but for a distribution known for being “user-friendly,” this isn’t a plus. Will it be back before final?

        Fortunately, I didn’t have to play around with any settings or boot flags to get a graphical desktop. The boot to blank locked-up screen was somewhat fixed last test, but I did have to talk it into a graphical interface.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu: The Gateway Linux

          Yesterday I upgraded my personal laptop (well, one of them) from Ubuntu 10.10 to Ubuntu 11.4 beta 2. I have a knack for finding bugs, but this time the upgrade was smooth sailing. I was reminded of what my friend said when I first installed Ubuntu for her: This feels like a really expensive system.

        • An Ubuntu Adventure: The DELL Latitude 2120
        • The New Look of the Ubuntu 11.04 Server Installer!

          With Natty Beta2, the Ubuntu 11.04 Server Installer received a little bit of the same aubergine love that the Ubuntu Desktop has enjoyed now for the last few releases. Moving away from that 1980s MSDOS/PCDOS VGA blue look, the our Server installer now sports a distinctively Ubuntu color scheme!

        • An Ubuntu Adventure: The DELL Latitude 2120

          In a previous post I described the certification release of Ubuntu pre-install for the Dell Latitude 2120. This post seems to have drawn some interest on the process from both internally in Canonical and externally. I decided that I needed to experience myself what a user buying a Certified “Pre-Installed only” system would go through from buying the system to getting the bespoke image from the manufacturer and ultimately upgrading to the latest “stock” Ubuntu release. The Dell Latitude 2120 seemed like a good companion for this adventure.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • An Arch User Trying Out Kubuntu 11.04

            Hopefully the final release of Kubuntu 11.04 is as good as it is in its current beta. Since I used to be a huge fan of Kubuntu before its downward spiral that caused it to become bland, I’m actually quite happy to say that this release is shaping up to be the best in over two and a half years. Considering that all of my hardware is detected and works great, the developers must have tweaked something to make this happen. I would really like to know what it was they did, though my guess is they probably included the next generation of Intel drivers into the current kernel. Good job!

          • My Kubuntu Natty Opinions

            Like I said, overall I am really impressed with what I am seeing here.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

    • Tablets

      • Tablets are changing the way consumers engage with content

        In order to better understand how people are using tablets we ran a survey of over 1,400 tablet users and found that:

        * 68% of tablet users spend at least 1 hour a day on their tablet
        * 77% of respondents report that their desktop/laptop usage decreased after they started using a tablet
        * 82% of respondents said they primarily use their tablet at home

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Improved CSV file compatibility in OOo 3.4 Beta

      CSV (plain text) files are a popular way of exchanging data with a broad range different programs. But whereever different programs are involved, there’s some disagreement about the details. One such detail is the presence of quotes (text delimiter character) around fields. The usual consensus (spelled out, for example, in RFC 4180) is that fields “may or may not” be enclosed in quotes.

      As long as the field delimiter doesn’t occur in numbers (for example as decimal separator), it can be useful to quote all text content, so the distinction between text and numbers is preserved. See issue 37856 for an example. This is what Calc CSV export has always done, and with the new import options in 3.3, we can optionally make use of that distinction when importing.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • 56% of Peoples’ 1st Wikipedia Edits Are Good

    If you thought Wikipedia had seen its heyday, you’d have thought wrong. A small study performed by Wikipedia staff and published today found that new Editors are signing up and making edits to the site at a far greater rate than they were years ago. A slight majority of their first edits are acceptable or better.

  • Finance

  • Privacy

    • Well-Meaning “Privacy Bill of Rights” Wouldn’t Stop Online Tracking

      On Tuesday, Senators John McCain and John Kerry introduced the long-awaited Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights, a sweeping bill that covers online and offline data collection, retention, use, and dissemination practices. Unfortunately, the bill may fall short of what’s needed to protect our privacy.

      This bill fails to address many of the issues surrounding pervasive online tracking that have been raised by privacy advocates, explored in the Wall Street Journal’s What They Know series, and highlighted by the FTC’s recent Privacy Report. The bill’s most glaring defect is its emphasis on regulation of information use and sharing, rather than on the collection of data in the first place. For example, the bill would allow a user to opt out of third-party ad targeting based on tracking – but not third-party tracking. The consumer choice provisions in Section 202 apply only to data use—not collection—unless that data is both “sensitive” and “personally identifiable.” Moreover, Part III of the bill, which imposes lax limits on collection, cannot be enforced by state Attorneys General. This is backwards: the privacy risk is not in consumers seeing targeted advertisements, but in the unchecked accumulation and storage of data about consumers’ online activities. Collecting and retaining data on consumers can create a rich repository of information – which leaves consumer data vulnerable to a data breach as well as creating an unnecessary enticement for government investigators, civil litigants and even malicious hackers.

  • Civil Rights

    • When fund-raising is a crime

      IN THE odd way these things work in China, word has trickled out that on April 7th an appeal court in Zhejiang, a famously entrepreneurial coastal province, conducted a five-hour hearing on a death sentence handed down to Wu Ying, a prominent 29-year-old businesswoman, on fraud charges. Before her arrest Ms Wu had seemed to personify the miraculous business success that could be achieved by people from even the most humble background in modern China.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • Osama bin Laden Getting Faster Internet Than You Have: Pakistan’s 50Mbps Future

      While America’s heartland is being wired for 3Mbps DSL service, residents in Pakistan are getting ready for speeds up to 50Mbps thanks to a major broadband expansion in the country.

      Pakistan’s PTCL, the country’s state-controlled phone company, is working on a major upgrade to bonded VDSL2, the next generation of DSL, which can deliver more than five times the top speed of the country’s highest level of service, at a construction cost of just $200-300 per home passed.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Facebook Sues FriendFinder, Peeved Over FacebookOfSex.com Website

      Facebook has filed a few different trademark lawsuits against sites it doesn’t approve of, like Teachbook and humor site Lamebook. Some of those cases might be considered close calls legally, and both of those sites are still up. But now a much bigger company is messing with Facebook’s name: adult social networking company FriendFinder Networks, which has launched a (very NSFW) website called FacebookOfSex.com.

    • Copyrights

      • EU copyright extention

        Remember the Cliff Richard directive proposal for a copyright extention of sound recordings also known as 2008/0157(COD)? The extention was fiercely debated in the European Parliament and by consumer groups. Our MEPs adopted a plenary report and then… Then our EU-Council with all the member states at the table went into wait-and-see mode. They noticed that the Commission proposition was quite a bit over the top. Meanwhile we have a new parliament, the Lisbon Treaty regime, a new Council. Now it’s back on the agenda, just before the children born when the Commission started to draft its proposal enter school, rumours say Hungary suddenly changed its mind in the Council, we learn from an alarmist Boingboing call to action, that we, the people are asked by science fiction writer Cory Doctorow to

        1. Phone our MEP

        2. MEP does for us ???

        3. Win!

      • YouTube to require ‘tutorials’ for copyright offenders

        Google Inc.’s online video behemoth YouTube toughened its enforcement of copyright laws, requiring violators to attend “copyright school” and pass a test before they can resume uploading videos to the site.

        The changes come amid calls — both in Hollywood and in Congress — that YouTube do more to combat piracy. Google General Counsel Kent Walker recently defended the search giant’s commitment to content protection in testimony this month before the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on intellectual property.

      • Spotify: Not so free as it was

        It seems that the original licensing deals which enabled Spotify to get off the ground a couple of years ago are coming to an end – and some of the labels in some European countries are getting restless about how much of their content is being given away for free, with minimal fees in return. Yes, 15% of Spotify’s users are now paying customers, but as the service grows, millions of tracks are being played for nothing.

      • Scottish election: Pirate Party UK profile

        With no known founder, the Pirate Party UK is rather more unconventional than traditional electoral offerings.

        The UK group is part of an international movement of Pirate Parties, which lobbies against copyright and software patent laws.

        The very first party was founded in Sweden in 2006.

Clip of the Day

Doctor Who: 47 Years in 6 Minutes


Credit: TinyOgg

04.15.11

Links 15/4/2011: Mageia Screenshots, GIMP Progress, OpenOffice.org Independence

Posted in News Roundup at 7:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • YouView mandates Linux, HD content encryption

    YouView has posted the technical specifications set-top box and TV makers will need to follow in order to support the would-be standard IPTV platform.

    The specs will please punters who favour the Linux operating system – it’s the mandated OS for YouView-compatible devices – but will annoy anyone who hopes to shift recorded HD content onto their computers or Nas boxes.

    For hardware companies, the key product ‘must haves’ include 10/100Mb/s Ethernet – 802.11n Wi-Fi is optional; WPA and/or WPA 2 must be used – at least 320GB of hard drive capacity, 30GB of which will be reseved for material pushed to the device by content providers; 512MB of memory; two USB 2.0 ports; DVB-T and DVB-T2 tuners; HDMI 1.3 output; and an RGB Scart connector.

  • Desktop

    • The inevitable…My return to Windows

      Last time I tried to use Windows, there was a blackout, so I, logically, got a black screen asking me if I wanted to boot Windows normally, or with the last configuration that had worked, etc. I selected “normal” and saw with hope the XP logo…but the computer rebooted unexpectedly and threw me again to the same black screen. “OK, let’s go ‘last good config’ this time,” I mumbled and chose. And XP, for its part, chose to do something wonderful: it got me into a cute loop and refused to start. Isn’t that wonderful? I have been using my PC all this time without even knowing that Windows XP had fried! Thus, my return to Windows was colored by the inevitable reminder of its many weaknesses.

    • Mageia Beta1 in pictures

      I would venture to say that not only is Mageia promising as a distro, but that it will also fulfill the dream of keeping the Mandrake/Mandriva legacy alive. I, for one, will save a partition for Mageia.

    • System76 Serval Professional Sandy Bridge

      The past few months on Phoronix and OpenBenchmarking.org you may have noticed several Intel Core i7 “Sandy Bridge” mobile benchmarks. This Linux mobile SNB testing was being done from a System76 Serval Professional notebook. Here is a look at this Linux-friendly notebook that ships with Ubuntu 10.10.

    • Joli OS 1.2 review – the best gets even better…

      Jolicloud, the leading cloud-based netbook and ‘recycling’ OS, has undergone another point release to address problems and add features. Russell Barnes reveals all…

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Podcast Season 3 Episode 7

      In this episode: Gnome 3.0 has been released while Nokia takes back its Symbian operating system. Red Hat is approaching $1b in revenue and Groklaw is calling it a day. Share in our discoveries, hear our responses to your emails and letters and join us in welcoming a new member to the team.

    • # The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 398
  • Kernel Space

    • Linux – Is It Still Standing Strong?

      Windows has been predominantly the OS of choice for most of us. Linux too has been around and it has struggled on the desktop space. Things haven’t turned out as well as Linux hoped. I have been on both sides for long periods of time. There is no denying Linux’s success on the server side of things. Many expected Linux to be an easy replacement for Windows, but for a number of reasons, it hasn’t been so.

      [...]

      If all of the popular mobile and tablet OS’ are offshoots of the Linux framework, and if we go by figures, Linux could very well be much bigger than Windows.

    • Torvalds Honored by Gaggle of Lawyers

      Linus Torvalds, the father of Linux and hero to many Open Source users, might not be the first person one might think would be honored by an organization of lawyers, but that’s exactly what’s happening. The International Technology Law Association will award Torvalds its ITechLaw Achievement Award at their upcoming 40th anniversary celebration.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Plasma Active: Operating Systems

        This is the fourth in a series of five daily blog entries covering the various tracks in the Plasma Active initiative. Today we’ll be looking at how we plan to distribute the fruits of our labor for use on devices. As we will discover, this is rather new ground for a KDE initiative. It will bring many challenges, but also open new opportunities.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • V. 3 – You Can’t Go GNOME Again

        Now that Canonical has adopted Unity for its next Ubuntu release, it seems likely that no desktop environment in history has ever launched to as much scrutiny as the new GNOME 3.

        Indeed, the GNOME project’s latest contender made its long-awaited debut last week, and the reviews have been coming fast and furious ever since.

      • Unity environment in good shape, on track for Ubuntu 11.04

        In an ongoing mailing list thread, the Ubuntu Technical Board is discussing whether the new Unity environment is a suitable default for the upcoming Ubuntu 11.04 release, codenamed Natty Narwhal. The prevailing view seems to be that Unity is still on track, but there are a number of technical issues that are still being addressed.

        Unity is a new user interface shell and window management system that is designed to improve Ubuntu’s ease of use and visual sophistication. A previous version of Unity served as the netbook user experience in Ubuntu 10.10. The plan for 11.04, codenamed Natty Narwhal, is to ship the much-improved new version of Unity as the standard user experience across desktop and netbook form factors.

      • GNOME 3 Double Fail

        So GNOME 3 was released. I don’t know why, but my excitement levels were quite low, until today when I pushed myself into trying it out. Rather than installing the new version on top of some other distro running GNOME 2, I decided to get the intended experience by downloading one of the “official” systems on the GNOME 3 webpage. There were two options: openSUSE and Fedora. As I haven’t checked on openSUSE for quite a while now, I chose it.

      • My First Impression of Gnome 3 and Unity for Linux

        There’s been a lot of hype and angst and discussion in the world of Linux lately. Actually, for several months; since Mark Shuttleworth announced that when Ubuntu 11.04 is released at the end of April it would use Unity as the default desktop manager, instead of Gnome 3. And we’ve also been gearing up for the release this week of Gnome 3, and Gnome Shell, which is the new GUI for Gnome.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Cache Move Sparks Standards Spat

        By introducing a Java specification for its own Infinispan data grid technology, open-source software provider Red Hat has generated a lively debate within the ranks of the JCP (Java Community Process) over the best way to add distributed caching to enterprise Java.

      • CentOS 5.6 Finally Arrives: Is It Suitable for Business Use?

        CentOS has been a valuable part of the Linux ecosystem for some time. It’s even been beneficial to Red Hat by helping it maintain its status as the de facto enterprise Linux, without competing too fiercely for support dollars. But the extreme delays in the release of updates for 5.x and the total absence of 6.0 after almost six months gives me little confidence in the CentOS project as it’s run today. It’s neither a community project in any real sense, nor suitable for enterprise or even small business use. It doesn’t have to remain that way, but as it stands now it’s not good business sense to rely on the project even if it costs nothing in support fees.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 15: Back in the game!

          Gnome 3 feels very sleek, unobtrusive, extremely solid, and intuitive. There may be (deliberate) functional omisions through its design mandate, but give it time – a few things feel more natural after a few hours of using the environment. Such as the lack of a maximize button… For a start, I’ve been a KDE user for the last 3 years, and I’ve always used the ‘drag-to-edge’ function for doing this. And this behavior just feels `right’.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 11.04 ‘Natty Narwhal’ Beta 2 Released

          Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 2 has been released today that brings many new updates and fixes. This is the last beta before the final Ubuntu11.04 release on April 28. There will be no release candidate.

        • 5 Out Of 11 Participants Crashed Unity In Canonical’s Study

          Today the results of the Default Desktop User Testing for Ubuntu 11.04 was published by Canonical’s Rick Spencer. The test was done using 11 participants from different backgrounds to test the new Unity interface that that Ubuntu 11.04 will have.

        • What Are Mac & Windows Users Saying About Unity?
        • Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 2 Released: Test and Report!
        • Ubuntu ‘Unity’ Desktop Environment Second Impressions

          A couple of days after the first beta was released of Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal), I posted my “First Impressions” on what I thought of Canonical’s ‘Unity’ desktop environment after some light usage. At that time, all of my experience was limited to a notebook that I only use for the lightest of duties, so with 11.04 beta 2 just released, I decided to install the OS on my home machine and take it, and Unity in general, for a real spin.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Bodhi 1.0

            Since this is a 1.0 release, there’s no “what’s new” to include. However, here are a few more details about what Bodhi Linux is based on and what it includes.

            Based on Ubuntu 10.04
            Enlightenment .16
            Kernel 2.6.35

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tablets

      • Kogan goes Linux crazy with Android devices, Ubuntu netbook

        Kogan’s new netbook with Ubuntu 11.04 and Unity pre-loaded

        Kogan’s new netbook with Ubuntu 11.04 and Unity pre-loaded

        * Kogan’s new netbook with Ubuntu 11.04 and Unity pre-loaded
        * Kogan’s leap of faith with Unity
        * Android on TV with Kogan’s new PVR
        * The new Kogan budget tablet PC also runs Android 2.2

        View all images

        After becoming famous more than two years ago for promising to bring an Android smartphone to the Australian market, Kogan Technologies has released and Android tablet, PVR and new notebooks running Ubuntu Linux.

        Unfortunately the original Agora handset was a flop, but the new range of Agora devices are tangible and for sale on Kogan’s website from today.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Synchronization sucks!

    One of my biggest pet-peeves in the free software world hit me again. Whenever I asked my friends what are their biggest blockers against switching to Linux, I get two questions. The first one is “Will my Word documents work? Will I get something equivalent to MS Office?” And I am happy to say that I can point to Libre/OpenOffice and with a kind help from our friends in Redmont, I usually can persuade them that we have a good alternative here.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Ride the Firefox development wave with Aurora pre-release builds

        Mozilla has announced the launch of Aurora, a new Firefox release channel that is intended to open up experimental Firefox features to a broader audience of testers. The Aurora channel will serve up a stream of Firefox builds that are less fragile than the nightly builds but not as stable as official pre-releases.

        Mozilla is transitioning to shorter release cycles and a more incremental development model. The organization aims to deliver three more major Firefox releases this year, bringing the open source Web browser’s version number up to 7. As we explained in our previous coverage of Mozilla’s 2011 roadmap, the transition will require much more intensive testing throughout the development cycle.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • OpenOffice.org 3.4 Beta available for download

      we are happy to announce that OpenOffice.org 3.4 Beta is now ready for download.

      This Beta Release is available in English and 69 additional languages which can be installed as language packs (localizations are still ongoing).

    • Oracle orphans OpenOffice offering

      Oracle will no longer be offering the paid-for version of Oracle OpenOffice and the development of the open-source version at OpenOffice.org will be a purely community-driven project, the company has said.

      Oracle announced the plans to hand development of the software to a community-based process on Friday.

    • Oracle: OpenOffice.org to become “a Community-based Project”

      Oracle has announced that it intends OpenOffice.org to become a “purely community-based open source project” and that it plans to no longer offer a commercial version of OpenOffice. Edward Screven, Oracle’s Chief Corporate Architect, said the company intends “working immediately with community members to further the continued success of Open Office.”

    • Oracle licensing: just say no
    • Real or imagined? Open source contributions from Oracle

      Oracle likes to demonstrate. More specifically, Oracle tries hard to demonstrate commitment to open source in its various manifestations since its acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Let’s Play With GNU Screen

      Many GNU/Linux users spend time working at the command line. The GNU Screen utility can be of great use if you work with multiple shells at a time. We could also call Screen the “virtual terminal manager”. It allows you to handle multiple shell sessions within a single window/console, and view multiple sessions at the same time too. If this sounds interesting, read on!

      The Screen utility is provided by the GNU Foundation; take a look at www.gnu.org/software/screen/ for more details. It comes pre-installed in most Linux distros—if not, you can use sudo apt-get install screen (or your distro’s package manager) to install it from the distro’s package repositories. I‘m using Ubuntu 10.04 32-bit, which has Screen pre-installed—version 4.00.03jw4.

  • Project Releases

    • Blender 2.57

      The Blender Foundation and online developer community is proud to present Blender 2.57. This is the first stable release of the Blender 2.5 series, representing the culmination of many years of redesign and development work.

      We name this version “Stable” not only because it’s mostly feature complete, but especially thanks to the 1000s of fixes and feature updates we did since the 2.5 beta versions were published.

  • Licensing

    • Open Source Licenses: Greater Rights, Different Responsibilities

      The goal isn’t to eradicate open source software from the organization — it’s to use it properly in the pursuit of the company’s goals. The legal department should be part of the group that is applying the policy, and assessing and monitoring its effectiveness, but there should be equal stakeholders in engineering/development and IT, so the policy is not viewed as merely an onerous legal requirement.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • File Transfers Over 1Gbit/s Ethernet: SSD vs. HDD

        As mentioned a couple times recently in our news and content, we’re in the process of completely overhauling our suite for motherboard testing, to help assure that we’re delivering the more relevant data possible. Taking into account the fact that not all NICs are built equal, one introduction we’ll be making is Ethernet testing, to see which integrated card will deliver you the best networking experience.

Leftovers

  • Could 7-year-old emails halve Zuckerberg’s Facebook stake?
  • Zuckerberg’s Goodfellas

    Anybody who got sucked into the glamour/darkness of the Facebook story that culminated in Aaron Sorkin’s The Social Network movie will probably be familiar with the name Paul Ceglia.

    Ceglia is the guy who filed a lawsuit last August claiming that he owns 50 percent of Facebook and, therefore, is entitled to 50 percent of the revenue. There were, however, reasons to seriously doubt Ceglia’s claims. Facebook has understandably been keen to hammer the point that Ceglia is a convicted felon who allegedly defrauded customers of his wood pellet company of $200,000. Being a convicted fraudster doesn’t look good when attempting to convince a court that you are owed billions of dollars. Then there is the fact that Ceglia waited a full seven years before filing his suit, by which time, of course, his potential winnings had sky-rocketed. On first glance, Ceglia appears to be a small-time con man gambling on one big payout.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Biofuels transport targets are unethical, inquiry finds

      The legal requirement to put biofuels in petrol and diesel sold in the UK and Europe is unethical because their production violates human rights and damages the environment, a major new inquiry has concluded.

      “Biofuels are one of the only renewable alternatives we have for transport fuels, but current policies and targets that encourage their uptake have backfired badly,” said Prof Joyce Tait, at Edinburgh University, who chaired the 18-month inquiry by the independent Nuffield Council on Bioethics (NCB). “The rapid expansion of biofuels production in the developing world has led to problems such as deforestation and the displacement of indigenous people.”

  • Finance

    • Banks to Pay Victims of Botched Foreclosures in Settlement With Regulators

      The 14 largest U.S. mortgage servicers must pay back homeowners for losses from foreclosures or loans that were mishandled in the wake of the housing collapse, the first of a set of sanctions regulators are seeking against the companies.

      The settlement announced today between servicers and banking regulators could help the U.S. Justice Department determine the size and scope of fines for the flawed practices, regulators said.

      Officials from the Justice department, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and 10 state attorneys general met with banks today, the second such meeting to negotiate a global settlement, Associate U.S. Attorney General Tom Perrelli said. The group is discussing potential fines and whether servicers should be required to reduce the principal on some home loans.

    • VOICES: Right-to-work law brings falling wages, 80-hour weeks

      Right to work came to Louisiana in 1976 and drastically changed my family’s work for the worse. I am a third-generation member of the Operating Engineers, Local 406 in Lake Charles. My grandfather, great-uncle, father, brother, cousins, and I have all worked in the heavy equipment industry. While previous generations ran a wide range of equipment (dozers, draglines, and cranes), my father, brother, and I have only worked with large, heavy-lift cranes.

  • Privacy

    • The Two Johns Strike a Note for Data Privacy

      Data privacy is one of the hot legal issues of the day. Companies can not gather enough information about consumers’ interests and spending habits.

      But one-time political foes John Kerry and John McCain are trying to put some limits on secretive data gathering.

      The Johns yesterday filed the august-sounding Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011.

  • Civil Rights

    • ICE Redefines Detainment For Wikileaks Helper: You’re Not Being Detained, You Just Can’t Leave

      Earlier this year, we wrote about computer security expert, Tor developer and Wikileaks volunteer Jacob Appelbaum, who was regularly being detained and intimidated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials each time he (a US citizen) traveled into the country. If you follow Jacob’s Twitter feed, you get detailed descriptions each time he flies back into the country of the hassles he has to go through. Every time he’s detained and never once given an explanation for why or what is being searched for. He’s often lied to and frequently told that it’s a “random” search. He certainly knows enough that he wipes all of his electronic equipment before traveling across the border.

      In the latest case, upon returning from a conference in Europe by flying into Houston, Appelbaum again asked his detainers why he was being detained, and was once again not given a straight answer. He knows that there’s something on the screen that they pull up on their computers, but they refuse to provide him with any info. This time, they even went so far as to redefine detainment, telling him that he wasn’t being detained, but that he just couldn’t go until they were done with him. Perhaps he should send Homeland Security a copy of a dictionary with the definition of “detained” highlighted.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • T-Mobile’s ‘new’ unlimited plan, now with more throttling

      Despite being in the midst of a $39 billion merger with AT&T, T-Mobile is still moving forward with business as usual. The carrier announced Thursday a new cheaper unlimited plan, however with some important caveats, including throttling for heavy data users.

      The plan will cost $79.99 per month, and included unlimited voice, data, and text and picture messaging. On average, the carrier says subscribers will save up to $350 yearly when compared to competitors’ plans. Customers will only have a limited time to to sign up for the new plan, although an end date was not provided. Both new and existing customers will be eligible.

    • Net Neutrality: An Encouraging Report From the French Parliament

      The trans-partisan parliamentary mission led by Laure de la Raudière and Corinne Erhel just released its report on Net neutrality. This encouraging report calls for preserving the Internet’s universality and protecting end-users’ fundamental freedoms, and should be considered a template for other European public authorities. That said, while this document offers an important reflection on the evolution of our legal framework to protect fundamental rights and foster the digital economy, it must be followed by actions. La Quadrature du Net publishes an unofficial translation of the report’s introduction.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • European Court of Justice To Outlaw Internet Filtering; Esp. For Copyright Enforcement

        Today, the European Court of Justice gave a preliminary opinion that will have far-reaching implications in the fight against overaggressive copyright monopoly abusers. It is not a final verdict, but the Advocate General’s position; the Court generally follows this. The Advocate General says that no ISP can be required to filter the Internet, and particularly not to enforce the copyright monopoly.

      • Filtering the Net for Copyright Runs Counter to Fundamental Rights

        Today, the advocate general of the European Court of Justice rendered his conclusions in the Scarlet/SABAM case, in which a Belgian judge ordered an Internet access provider to filter its subscribers’ communications to block unauthorized transmissions of copyrighted works. He concludes that such filtering measures are way too restrictive of freedom of expression and privacy, thereby reasserting the importance of fundamental rights online and stressing the disproportionate character of filtering measures to enforce copyright on the Internet. This should compel the EU Commission to revise its copyright enforcement strategy, as it undertakes the revision of the anti-sharing IPRED directive.

Clip of the Day

GP2X Shop – Small tour through the dragon’s lair


Credit: TinyOgg

04.14.11

Links 14/4/2011: Parted Magic 6.0, Firefox 5 and 6

Posted in News Roundup at 6:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Understanding Linux Market Share for March

    63% use Debian, 18% are found to use an assortment of other Linux Desktop, closely followed by 15%using Fedora / Red Hat

  • Desktop

    • Zorin OS Finds a Home on Rotatable Notebook

      An email arrived earlier today announcing the new Zorin PC. Just as it sounds, it’s a computer shipping with Zorin OS. Kyrill Zorin said, “Zorin OS is our Linux distro that aims to be the gateway to Linux for Windows users to grow the popularity of Linux. We have recently launched the Zorin PC’s website and are now taking pre-orders.”

    • Linux – How I Got Here… and Where I’m Headed

      I started my Linux Adventure a bit late in life. I’ve always had an interest in all things technical. My career for the majority of my working life was as an electronics technician (component level repair). I had aspirations at one time of gaining an engineering degree in electronics; other paths were taken, though.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Free as in Freedom: Episode 0x0D: NDAs

      This episode is a recording of Karen’s talk, Sign on the Dotted Line: NDAs, Employment Agreements and Free and Open Source Software from the 2011 Linux Collaboration Summit.

    • FLOSS Weekly 161: Selenium

      Hosts: Randal Schwartz and Randi Harper

      Selenium is a suite of tools used to automate web app testing across many platforms.

  • Kernel Space

    • Ubuntu 11.04 gets automatic Epson printer driver download
    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.39 (Part 1) – Network drivers and infrastructure

      The addition of ipset support makes it easier to run a firewall, as it means that only one table needs to be modified in order to block a specific IP address. The situation with regard to drivers for WLAN chips continues to improve, with Ralink and Realtek now actively involved in developing the Linux kernel drivers.

    • Twenty Years of Linux according to Linus Torvalds

      SJVN: “What’s Linux real birthday?” You’re the proud papa, when do you think it was? When you sent out the newsgroup post to the Minix newsgroup? When you sent out the 0.01 release to a few friends?

      LT: I think both of them are valid birthdays.

    • Hibernate Problem Fixed
    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Pre-Releases A New Linux Driver

        The NVIDIA crew working on their proprietary Linux driver have just pre-released a new build, NVIDIA 270.41.03. This Linux driver update mainly adds support for a number of new GeForce / Quadro GPUs.

        The list of newly supported hardware is huge: GeForce GT 520, GeForce GT 525M, GeForce GT 520M, GeForce GT 445M, GeForce GT 530, GeForce 405, GeForce GTX 590, GeForce GTX 550 Ti, GeForce GT 420, GeForce GT 440, GeForce GTX 470M, GeForce GTX 485M, GeForce GT 550M, GeForce GT 555M, NVS 4200M, Quadro 1000M, and Quadro 2000M.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • How do we make a stand? Revolution

      This post is not intended to represent complete ideas or possible solutions. It is rather a post relating to the thoughts that I have had concerning the upcoming changes in Gnome 3, Ubuntu Unity and KDE 4.6.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • A taste of things to come

        Finally, for the first time I’ll meet in person with Nuno in a couple of days, and we’ll take this opportunity to revisit (and hopefully improve) the last few UI elements with which he is not so happy today. In the process of doing so, we will notably incorporate some quite useful input from Dolphin dev, Peter Penz.

      • Bluetile Keeps My App Windows Nice and Neat

        Sometimes the number of choices the Linux operating system provides can be overwhelming. I am starting to look at other options for my preferred desktop environment as GNOME 3 and KDE 4 go in directions that might be unsettling to my computing routine. One obscure yet interesting replacement candidate is Bluetile.

      • Plasma Active: Active Apps

        This is the third in a series of five daily blog entries covering the various tracks in the Plasma Active initiative. Today we’ll be looking at a concept we call “Active Apps”. Where Plasma Quick is mostly (though not entirely) about infrastructure and Contour is a project with a Plan(tm), Active Apps is where we are really looking to the broader community of developers, designers and dreamers to help Plasma Active achieve its full potential.

        [...]

        If you are unsure if your app is “ready” for Plasma Active, it won’t hurt to ask for feedback and start a discussion. We have many months, several sprints and conferences and a major KDE release day in the summer between now and the first Plasma Active release.

      • Re-live the Camp KDE experience!

        Well, Camp KDE 2011 has come and gone. Some of you attended in person. Others may have listened to the live audio stream in Amarok. Maybe you missed it completely, but fear not! Because while time travel is not yet feasible, all of the talks were recorded and are posted for your viewing and listening pleasure. In addition, we have a bunch of interviews with the organizers, speakers, and attendees.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 3 – Best Ever Ubuntu Linux Desktop Environment for Easy Computing

        Wow, I’m dazed with geek-pleasure right now. I just saw the latest screenshots of GNOME 3 Linux Desktop emailed by my brother-in-law in Europe. He is a certified linuxhead and he was the first one to inform me that GNOME 3 is now finally available for download. He raved and showed me his new GNOME 3-draped Ubuntu 10.4 laptop and I can only say – Wow, this new Gnome 3 update looks like an iPad 2 iOS screen! I might as well post my Gnome 3 review after testing this new Linux desktop environment, I said to myself so here it is (plus new features).

      • gnome-panel is dead, long live gnome-panel!
  • Distributions

    • PackageKit Progress on Foresight

      For a while Foresight Linux users had no graphical interface for managing their systems packages and/or updates, mainly because the development for the conary backend fell out of scope and our radar (this is a nicer way to say that we didn’t have someone to maintain it). But thanks to the work of zodman, jesse and others PackageKit is making its way back to our desktop.

    • Reviews

      • Zenwalk 7 review

        Zenwalk is a desktop-oriented Linux distribution originally based on Slackware. The latest stable release is Zenwalk 7. It was made available for download on March 25, 2011, roughly ten months from the last prior stable release – Zenwalk 6.4. The Zenwalk project makes four editions available – The Standard Edition, Core Edition, GNOME Edition, and the Openbox Edition. This article presents a detailed review of the Standard Edition.

    • New Releases

      • Lançamento do Epidemic 3.2
      • 4/12/2011: Parted Magic 6.0
      • Parted Magic 6.0 Gets a New Booting System

        Parted Magic 6.0 has been released. The latest update gets a new major version number, due to some underlying, structural changes, and comes with a number of updated, as well as downgraded, packages.

        Several changes have been implemented which should make booting significantly more reliable. Many booting issues should be fixed now, though, since this is a new system, others may have creeped in.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Long time no post..

        However, to resurrect this blog with something fancy, why not posting a screenshot of how my Mandriva 2011 desktop currently looks like?

    • Red Hat Family

      • Project Ceylon – Red Hat builds Java replacement

        Red Hat is developing a new Java Virtual Machine-based programming language intended to overcome the limitations of Java itself. Unveiled earlier this week by lead developer Gavin King at a conference in China, the effort is known as Project Ceylon.

      • Is CentOS 5.6 Better Than 5.5?

        Because of its nature, it is very clear that CentOS is mostly oriented to server market. But CentOS can also be used on desktop computers and laptops.

      • Fedora

        • Sitting in stunned silence

          Fedora Core 5′s Bordeaux — a wine region in France, but also a comic book character — begat Fedora Core 6′s Zod, another comic book character. One of my favorites is Fedora 11′s Leonidas — which comes from Fedora 10′s Cambridge (Cambridge is a ship in the Navy, and so is Leonidas) — because it allowed some fun with the name with “300″ memes. Ubuntu? THIS! IS! FEDORA!

          As an aside, it’s unfortunate that Barona was not chosen as the Fedora 16 name, which would lend itself to rewriting the lyrics to The Knack’s “My Sharona.” Such are the things that go into consideration in Fedora circles regarding what name to choose in the ranked voting.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian on a ThinkPad Edge 15

        All my notebooks till today have been ThinkPads from the T series, sadly Lenovo decided (or, maybe, were persuaded) to go with nVidia GPUs for their current designs (T5xx). That’s sad, because nVidia doesn’t cooperate with the FLOSS world. I still wanted a ThinkPad with up-to-date parts. That left me with the Edge series, which is designed to be the bridge between consumer and business models. After some searching I settled on the NVLJ6GE model (the last two letters just indicate, that this is the “German” variant). The key specs are Intel Core i5-480M, 4096 MB RAM, AMD Mobility Radeon HD 5145, Intel WLAN module and a non-glare display.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu Certification: Programme Guide

          We have recently created a few bits of public documentation that I wanted to share with you. The first is a general guide to the certification programme. It explains what we are aiming to achieve and what our processes are. This can be found at:

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Turnkey Linux Uses Ubuntu as a Foundation

            Turnkey Linux Hub 1.0 provides cloud hosting and backup capabilities for the Web application software appliances offered by the Turnkey Linux project.

            [...]

            Turnkey Linux is an excellent option for individuals or organizations looking to test drive and deploy open-source Web applications covered by the project. It would serve well as a platform for building Web applications atop popular open-source stacks: There are appliances available for generic LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP/Python/Perl), Ruby on Rails and Django stacks, among others.

          • Elementary ‘Jupiter’ – A Slick, Easy-To-Use Operating System [Linux]

            Looking for a beautiful, functional operating system? Check out the first Elementary Jupiter OS. This Linux-based operating system is designed from the ground up to stay out of your way so you can simply use your computer. Whether you’re a long-time Linux user or a complete beginner to open source operating systems, Elementary’s elegance is impressive and more than worth checking out.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • My Linux Phones (from 2005 – present)

        It is common knowledge amongst my friends that I am a Linux gadget freak, especially in regards to mobile phones. I have been using Linux-based mobile phones for nearly 6 years now. I was an early fan of the Motorola Linux phones owning 4 of them along the way. I have owned 2 iPhones in the past before selling them and one Windows Mobile-based phone as well. None of them equalled to my love affair with Linux phones.

        For me, a mobile phone must be able to take good pictures, and recently, make some good video shots including night scenes. My mobile phones have helped me come up with the content for many of my postings at SaigonNezumi.com.

      • WebOS 2.1 – Give It a Spin with Emulation Through the WebOS SDK!

        It seems like only yesterday that Palm announced its brand new Linux-based WebOS and Palm Pre, ready to shake up the world with awesomeness and Linux in a little package. They matched that announcement up with a nifty little SDK that emulated the entire OS in VirtualBox, and was released as a .deb package for Ubuntu. Someone even posted a HOWTO on the Linux Journal web site about it!

      • Android

        • Sony Ericsson stirs debate with own Android Market channel

          Sony Ericsson created a minor controversy on Wednesday with the launch of its own brand-specific channel in Android Market. The category both includes official apps but also recommended titles and occasional exclusives. It will also be used as a sales pitch area and will be a “highlighted market space” for chosen developers’ apps.

Free Software/Open Source

  • How To Successfully Earn a Living with FOSS

    Here’s the most typical scenario. You fight a fierce battle, and migrate your entire organisation to FOSS. After a few initial hiccups, you’ve got all systems and people humming along just fine. One fine day, you decide it’s time to move on in your career. Once you’re out of the organisation, it takes just a few seconds for everyone to gleefully reformat everything and go back to their slavery under proprietary software. You just shrug your shoulders and try not to think about it.

  • Events

    • Open Source Think Tank 2011: Understanding the Present and Predicting the Future

      We had a great time and the discussion was vigorous! The last year has continued the expansion of open source use, confirmed recently by Laurie Wurster’s March 2011 article in the Harvard Business Review http://lawandlifesiliconvalley.com/blog/?p=619. In particular, Android has been spectacularly successful and was a significant factor in Nokia’s recent failures in the handset market. The new Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop, described Nokia as being on a “burning platform” and identified Android as one of the major sources of their problems.

    • Tech conference coming to Boston

      Leaders of the technology industry will come together in Boston next month for the 2011 Red Hat Summit and JBoss World.

      Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), a leading provider of open source solutions, says customers, partners, visionary thinkers, technologists and open source enthusiasts will take part in a series of discussions to learn, network and explore open source. The full agenda is available here.

    • An open-source geek-out, Latin American style

      A few years back, Argentina’s government looked at mandating the use of all open-source software in its offices, largely to save on software costs.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • News and Notes from the Mozilla Creative Team

        The Creative team here at Mozilla has been growing rapidly lately, so it feels like a good time to share a quick update on who we are and what we’re doing.

        [...]

        The group includes two veteran Mozillians…

      • Firefox 5 And 6 On Track: First Aurora Release Posted

        Mozilla has taken the first major step in its new browser release schedule and transitioned Firefox 5 from its initial mozilla-central to the new aurora channel where the browser will be brought up to beta status.

      • About:me Firefox addon – View a visual pattern of your Internet activities

        Since, its an experimental prototype of an upcoming firefox feature(Yep! this is what it says under the developer comments :D), I shouldn’t expect much. But this comment seems to be a few months old. I wonder why it wasn’t included in Firefox 4 but it indeed deservers to be an integral feature.

      • The Firefox Home Tab

        Many of the mockups of Firefox’s new interface, dating all the way back to August 2009, have featured a small home tab. But up until now, I haven’t had a chance to explain the various ideas surrounding Home, elaborate how it fits into our broader cross platform and cross device strategy, and answer some really basic questions, like what will happen if the user has already customized their home page.

      • Firefox 5, 6 Available For Download

        Firefox 5 has been moved into the aurora release channel, the second of a total of four release stages. Firefox 6 alpha 1 has been moved to mozilla-central and is available for download.

        Mozilla currently labels the Aurora releases in fact as “Aurora” browsers with a new logo and the mozilla-central versions as “Nightlies”, also with a new logo. The transitions appear to be mainly testing the new rapid release cycle procedure and there isn’t much to see for Firefox users yet. Firefox 4 will get the 4.0.1 (Macaw) security update in May before we will see any changes in the preview releases of Firefox 5. Among the key changes will apparently be the integration of the Home button, which will be built into Firefox as an app tab that will hide the Home desktop application for Firefox.

      • Mozilla Will Let You Try Out The Latest Firefox 5 Features Today — Here’s How To Get It
  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Gnash and Epiphany

      Long story short, the proprietary Adobe Flash was blacklisted in the GNOME 3.x releases of Epiphany because it uses Gtk+ 2.x (or 1.x) while Epiphany uses Gtk+ 3.x. An unwanted side effect of this is that it also disables Gnash, depriving me of my daily dosage of Youtube, Rebecca Black and crappy, obscure Bollywood songs.

  • Government

    • Open source and the sluggish UK public sector

      Another suggestion is to spend more time explaining the benefits of open source. “A desktop refresh doesn’t have to mean a Windows upgrade,” Silber says. Ovum analyst Laurent Lachal agrees that education is key. “There is still a perception that Linux isn’t ready for frontline use. This is nonsense. Linux is ready. It’s the project managers who are not,” he says.

  • Licensing

    • Official Linux(R) Licence

      The Sabayon Foundation has just had an official sub-license granted for our use of Linux(R) as part of “Sabayon Linux” & “SabayonLinux”, covering goods and services on every corner of the planet (including Antarctica!).

  • Programming

Leftovers

Clip of the Day

Arch Linux Installation Tutorial Part 1: Initial Installation


Arch Linux Installation Tutorial Part 2: Setting up Xorg, Gnome and Pulseaudio


Arch Linux Installation Tutorial Part 3: The Arch User Repository


Credit: TinyOgg

04.13.11

Links 13/4/2011: Nginx 1.0.0 is Out, Catchup With Some Older Non-Linux News

Posted in News Roundup at 9:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Ballnux

    • HTC Sensation smartphone runs on latest dual-core Snapdragon

      HTC announced a 4.3-inch, dual-core 1.2GHz Android phone — initially heading for T-Mobile and Vodafone before going global. The HTC Sensation features a unique, contoured display, 768MB RAM, a full range of wireless features, a new HTC Watch video service, and an updated version of the HTC Sense featuring a “active lockscreen.”

  • Applications

    • Viewnior Image Viewer
    • 10 of the Best Free Linux Earth Science Software

      Earth science (also known as geoscience) is the focus of understanding the sciences related to the planet Earth. It includes a wide range of fields such as geology, geography, geophysics, meteorology, oceanography, and glaciology. Some people are surprised to learn that astronomy is also regarded to be an earth science. Geology is generally considered to be the primary earth science.

      Earth scientists plays an important role in helping nations minimise risks that are posed by climate change and natural disasters (such as floods, tornados, hurricanes, and earthquakes).

    • Music Production in Linux 2
    • Proprietary

      • Professional Quality CAD on Linux with DraftSight

        DraftSight builds are available in both Debian and RPM packages on the product’s home page. The beta weighs in at a beefy 68.8 MB, with a prodigious list of dependencies, but it is a real, native Linux application and not a WINE port. The dependencies are standard GUI fare — Freetype, Cairo, GTK+, D-Bus, and so forth, so any up-to-date system should have no trouble installing it. Still, it might have been nice to have the dependencies listed on the web site, although that is par for the course — Dassault’s DraftSight site has an annoying habit of providing the majority of its content (including the FAQ and Getting Started Guide) as downloadable PDFs rather than simple HTML.

    • Instructionals/Technical

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Have Some Cheese with that Webcam

        Since the launch of Linux Magazine TV (LMTV) in February of this year, my interest in video has increased beyond any reasonable limits. I’m obsessed with video and our efforts in this new area for us. For weeks I’ve tried to find a way to use my new Panasonic HM-TA1 pocket video camera for new LMTV entries and my own projects. Last week I discovered Cheese Webcam Booth (Cheese), which is the topic of this week’s article. Using Cheese is intuitive and closely resembles the Apple iPad2 Photo Booth app. The difference in price between Cheese (free) and Photo Booth ($499+ for the iPad2) is significant, which definitely gives you something to smile about.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • A 300ms BeagleBoard boot?

      Make Linux Software posted a video showing the “fastest ever embedded Linux boot.” The video shows a BeagleBoard equipped with a 720MHz TI OMAP3530 processor booting Linux 2.6.32 in an impressive 300 milliseconds from boot loader to shell — although the jury is out on just how useful the stripped-down 1.5MB image might be.

    • TI launches open source project supporting its wireless chips

      Texas Instruments (TI) announced an “OpenLink” project, which has released a battery-optimized, open source Linux wireless driver stack for mobile devices. The initial release will support Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and FM communications on TI’s WiLink WL1271/3 and WL1281/3 chips, running on the ARM Cortex-based BeagleBoard and PandaBoard boards under Ubuntu, MeeGo, and Android, says the company.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Best Alternative Web Browsers for Android

          The web browser portion of the Android market is one of the most fiercely competitive markets since all users at one point or another need to browse the Internet on their devices. Although Android ships with a default web browser, the increasing demands users place on surfing the Internet has lead to the launch of more advanced browsers that offer added features and usability.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Newspapers and Social Media: Still Not Really Getting It

    Many traditional media entities have embraced social-media services like Twitter and Facebook and blogs — at least to some extent — as tools for reporting and journalism, using them to publish and curate news reports. But newspapers in particular seem to have a hard time accepting the “social” part of these tools, at least when it comes to letting their journalists engage with readers as human beings. A case in point is the new social-media policy introduced at a major newspaper in Canada, which tells its staff not to express personal opinions — even on their personal accounts or pages — and not to engage with readers in the comments.

  • What is legitimate “newsgathering” and what is “piracy”?

    Zunguzungu’s got an excellent, nuanced piece on the creation and attribution of value in newsgathering and reporting. Zz reminds us that the current arrangement is perfect arbitrary and contingent: no underlying universal principle reifies certain news-related activities (writing the story), ascribes no ownership stake to other activities (sources quoted and unquoted, tipoffs, references); and damns yet another set of activities (curating, aggregating and commenting upon the news).

  • Why Paying Bribes Should Be Legal

    You head down to the local government office to pick up your check. But when you get there, the clerk says you can’t have the refund — unless you pay him a bribe. So you pay the bribe, and the clerk gives you your refund.

    Both you and the clerk have just committed a crime, according to Indian law.

    Kaushik Basu, chief economic adviser to India’s Ministry of Finance, wants to change that.

  • Trust Obama?

    Last week, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tried to get the Senate to adopt candidate Barack Obama’s core principle of presidential warmaking powers.

    Paul added an amendment to a bill that would adopt as the “sense of the Senate” the following quote from candidate Obama: “The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

  • AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile Hit With Dumbest Antitrust Lawsuit Ever

    We just wrote about how Max Davis, who’s trying to create a silly and totally pointless compulsory licensing system for MMS content was more or less laughed out of court in the lawsuit he filed against the mobile operators, claiming that they were running illegal P2P file sharing programs in the form of their MMS capabilities. It apparently took him all of a few days to come up with a new, perhaps even more ridiculous strategy: he’s suing AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and TracFone for supposed antitrust violations over the same basic issues. Once again, it seems clear that this is an incredibly weak (and almost certainly unproductive) attempt at getting these companies to agree to his pointless licensing scheme.

  • Science

    • Space Junk Threat Will Grow for Astronauts and Satellites

      Fast-moving chunks of space debris zipped uncomfortably close to the International Space Station twice in the past week — cosmic close calls that will likely become more common over the next several years, experts predict.

      For one thing, after 50 years of spaceflight there is just more junk up there than there used to be, sharing space with vehicles and their human crews. And this debris can snowball — as when satellites collide, spawning thousands of new pieces of orbiting junk.

    • SpaceX Unveils Plan for World’s Most Powerful Private Rocket

      Private spaceship maker SpaceX announced plans Tuesday (April 5) for a new heavy-lift rocket, a vehicle that would be the most powerful commercial rocket ever built and haul much heavier loads than the company’s previous boosters.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • What’s Worse Than ‘Ruinous’?

      In 2003 Paul Ryan was one of 207 Republicans in the House of Representatives who voted for the Medicare prescription drug benefit championed by President George W. Bush—a reckless expansion of a huge program that was already heading for bankruptcy. Yesterday Ryan, who now chairs the House Budget Committee, did partial penance for that budget-busting blunder with a plan that includes ambitious Medicare reforms as well as $5.8 trillion in spending cuts during the next decade.

      At a time when Democrats and Republicans are squabbling over whether to cut $33 billion or $61 billion in spending this year—neither of which would make much of a dent in a deficit that is expected to hit $1.6 trillion—Ryan’s plan may seem breathtakingly bold. But while it is admirably forthright in some respects, it dodges several important questions. It’s too bad there is no opposing party to keep the Republicans fiscally honest.

    • CTIA cites First Amendment protection of radiation levels

      The CTIA is arguing that a San Francisco ordinance demanding radiation levels be displayed on phone packaging breaches the First Amendment of the US constitution, and is thus illegal.

      Speaking to CNET, the wireless telecommunications organisation claimed that forcing shops to reveal the specific absorption rate (SAR) of phone handsets infringes on the retailers right to free speech by compelling them to mention it. The ordinance requires all San Francisco retailers to provide the information at the point of sale, though it hasn’t yet come in to force.

    • CTIA argues SF cell phone law violates First Amendment

      San Francisco’s board of supervisors has agreed to put its Right-to-Know Ordinance under further review after the wireless industry’s lobbying arm claimed the legislation infringes on the First Amendment rights of cell phone retailers.

      In an interview with CNET, CTIA spokesman John Walls said the city cannot force retailers to distribute materials that warn consumers about the possible negative effects of cell phone radiation. “You can’t compel speech,” he said. “Telling retailers to give out that information violates the First Amendment.”

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • TSA chief defends body scanners

      Transportation Security Administration administrator John Pistole defended controversial full-body scanning techniques that have endured withering criticism from Republican leaders in Congress.

      Speaking at a Department of Homeland Security conference in Washington Friday, Pistole said the body scanners that have attracted attention in recent months were TSA’s best option for preventing non-metallic explosive devices.

    • Appeals Court Strengthens Warrantless Searches at Border

      The authorities may seize laptops, cameras and other digital devices at the U.S. border without a warrant, and scour through them for days hundreds of miles away, a federal appeals court ruled.

      The 2-1 decision (.pdf) Wednesday by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals comes as the government is increasingly invoking its broad, warrantless search-and-seizure powers at the U.S. border to probe the digital lives of travelers.

      Under the “border search exception” of United States law, international travelers, including U.S. citizens, can be searched without a warrant as they enter the country. Under the Obama administration, law enforcement agents have aggressively used this power to search travelers’ laptops, sometimes copying the hard drive before returning the computer to its owner.

  • Cablegate

    • In The End, Secret Hold On Whistleblower Protection Narrowed Down To Two Senators

      Back in January, we noted the somewhat ironic fact that a US Senator had put a “secret hold” on a bill to protect government whistleblowers. We wondered if someone would blow the whistle and out that Senator. Thankfully, the folks from On the Media stepped up, and set up a project to find out who put that secret hold on the bill. Last we had checked in, they had narrowed it down to three possible Senators: Jon Kyl, Jeff Sessions and James Risch.

  • Finance

    • Man who made coins found guilty

      In September 2008, Bernard von NotHaus donned prison stripes at the Silver Summit at the Best Western Coeur d’Alene Inn.

      Von NotHaus, 67, was at the summit pitching his own “Liberty Dollar” coins, but dressed the part of a convict to stick a symbolic finger in the eye of the federal authorities. They had seized records, dies for casting coins, and Liberty Dollars from three Coeur d’Alene businesses linked to his currency. Sunshine Minting Inc. in Coeur d’Alene made coins for von NotHaus.

    • Oh What a Lovely Budget Item

      When Bill Kristol endorsed America’s intervention in Libya, the Weekly Standard editor was being completely consistent with everything else he has said about American foreign policy. He just wasn’t being consistent with his pose as a proponent of fiscal restraint. It’s bracing to watch Kristol twirl so easily from denouncing “the Democrats’ orgy of spending” and complaining about Republicans who “don’t have a credible plan to deal with the debt or the deficit” to jubilating that the president “didn’t shrink from defending the use of force.” But the pundit’s gyrations can’t obscure a basic reality: You can pay your bills or you can be a global policeman, but you can’t do both. Not in 2011.

      According to ABC, the cost of Obama’s kinetic spending reached $600 million in its first week. The Pentagon estimates that the total could reach $800 million by the end of September, and the Pentagon just might be lowballing. Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, has told The National Journal that the price tag could “easily pass the $1 billion mark on this operation, regardless of how well things go.” And if things don’t go well…

  • Censorship

    • Google Found Liable For Autocomplete Suggestions In Italy

      Here’s yet another ridiculously bad ruling for search engines in Italy. Glyn Moody points us to the news of a blog post by a lawyer involved in the case (against Google) who is happy that his side prevailed and that Google is liable for search autocomplete suggestions. The case involved someone who was upset that doing a Google search on his name popped up “con man” (“truffatore”) and “fraud” (“truffa”) as autocomplete Google search suggestions. We’ve seen similar cases elsewhere, and France has (most of the time) also ruled against Google.

      Of course, this is ridiculous for a variety of reasons. Google is not “creating” this content. It’s accurately suggesting results based on what users are searching. Clearly, people are searching on this particular individual along with the two terms. That’s not Google’s fault. Yet Google is liable for it?

  • Civil Rights

    • Is The FBI Lying To Congress About Its Abuses Of The Patriot Act?

      As we go through this brief extension in three of the more controversial provisions of the Patriot Act, which give law enforcement tremendous leeway in spying on people with very little oversight, there have been some hearings about those provisions. At a recent Senate Judiciary Hearing about this, FBI director Robert Mueller was asked if any of the three provisions had been found to be abused. Mueller responded, “I’m not aware of any.” However, as the EFF notes, it has clear evidence of the roving wiretap being abused, which it found via some FOIA documents. Tellingly, when it requested info about Patriot Act violations, it received heavily redacted info. However, via a different FOIA request, it received other information that, when combined with the first FOIA request, reveals a clear abuse by the FBI.

      [...]

      This raises some pretty serious questions.

  • DRM

    • The Terror of Customer Expectations

      That particular war has already been lost, pretty much. Conventional wisdom among the tech savvy is that DRM is bad, and few of the indies use it. Nontechnical ebook buyers will figure it out when they decide to move to another reader system and can’t take their purchases with them. (The ebook business is so new that most people are still on their first reader and their first forty or fifty ebooks.) The day will come in the next few years when Big Print will be a lot less big, and competing against a lot more ebook publishers who have long understood that DRM does no one any good.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • “Big Content” Is Strangling American Innovation

      Innovation has emerged as a key means by which the US can pull itself out of this lackluster economy. In the State of the Union, President Obama referred to China and India as new threats to America’s position as the world’s leading innovator. But the threats are not just external. One of the greatest threats to the US’s ability to innovate lies within: specifically, with the music and movie business. These Big Content businesses are attempting to protect themselves from change so aggressively that they risk damaging America’s position as a world leader in innovation.

    • Lawmakers tell Google to do more on antipiracy

      WASHINGTON–The tone of a congressional hearing held today on antipiracy was set early when Rep. Bob Goodlatte suggested that Google was falling short in its antipiracy efforts.

    • Senator Leahy Ignores Serious First Amendment Concerns With COICA

      Seeing as he’s a Senator, it would help if he were familiar with the law. As such, he would know that (1) copyright infringement is not “theft,” and (2) yes, the First Amendment protects all kinds of speech, even speech made by criminals and (3) the Free Speech issues that many of us are concerned with are the takedowns of legitimate non-infringing content, which we’ve seen happen repeatedly by Homeland Security — which is the type of program Leahy is looking to expand with COICA.

    • Geist: Canadian-backed report says music, movie, and software piracy is a market failure, not a legal one

      Trademark and copyright holders frequently characterize piracy as a legal failure, arguing that tougher laws and increased enforcement are needed to stem infringing activity. But a new global study on piracy, backed by Canada’s International Development Research Centre, comes to a different conclusion. Following several years of independent investigation in six emerging economies, the report concludes that piracy is chiefly a product of a market failure, not a legal one.

      The Social Science Research Council launched the study in 2006, identifying partner institutions in South Africa, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia, and India to better understand the market for media piracy such as music, movies, and software. The result is the most comprehensive analysis of piracy to date.

    • FDA, KV Pharma Bend A Bit To Public Pressure; Lower Makena Costs, Allow Competing Drugs To Remain… For Now

      We’ve been discussing how the FDA has been systematically banning drugs that have been on the market for years, and retroactively granting monopolies to particular pharmaceutical firms. The case that’s drawn the most attention is that of Makena, a drug to prevent early childbirth which is provided on the market by a bunch of different firms, and was competitively priced around $10/dose. Yet, after the FDA stepped in and gave a monopoly to KV Pharmaceutical under the economically-clueless belief that this would help make the drug “more available,” there was a massive public backlash when people discovered KV would increase the price of the drug from $10 to $1,500.

    • Copyrights

      • Why Chris Dodd Is Doing Everything Wrong With The MPAA

        We’ve certainly suggested that Chris Dodd was making a big mistake by focusing on the MPAA’s old talking points in his new role as chief of that lobbying organization. Rather than leading Hollywood to a future of new business models and smarter embrace of what consumers want, he’s kicked things off by being anti-consumer, anti-technology and a supporter of previous policies that have failed massively. It’s not exactly a recipe for success.

      • Parade Of Strawmen Dominate House Hearing About Online Infringement

        We’ve already mentioned how the House’s Hearing on: “Promoting Investment and Protecting Commerce Online: Legitimate Sites v. Parasites” turned into something of a bitchfest at Google for not waving a magic wand and stopping infringement. However, I also wanted to look at the prepared statements of the four participants, which seemed to overflow with ridiculous strawmen.

        First up, we have esteemed and respected First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams, who (it is always said) defended the NY Times in the Pentagon Papers case many years ago. While Abrams is widely respected, it feels like lately he’s been getting quite sloppy in his thinking. Late last year, he published a piece trying to differentiate Wikileaks from the NY Times/Pentagon Papers situation, and was widely criticized for getting many of his facts wrong — undermining his entire argument.

      • Tenenbaum Appeal Heard: Is It Okay To Make Someone Pay $675,000 For Downloading 30 Songs?

        The latest in the ongoing trial of Joel Tenenbaum, the student who was found guilty of sharing 30 songs online, and told to pay $675,000 for it, until the judge unilaterraly reduced the amount to $67,500. As we noted at the time, it really seemed like Tenenbaum had horrifically bad legal counsel, in the form of Harvard law professor Charlie Nesson, who still seems more focused on making the case a circus, rather than focusing in on the key issues. That does not, however, mean there aren’t key issues here, with the big one being the appropriate standards for determining how much one should have to pay if found guilty of file sharing.

        The appeal was just heard on Monday, and you can listen to the oral arguments (mp3) from the court’s website. It’s definitely an interesting hearing and worth listening to. As with most appeals court situations, the bulk of the work is done in the briefs that were filed prior to the hearing, and which everyone is familiar with. The oral hearings get right to the point and drill down on where the panel of judges has questions.

      • Rick James Estate Files Class Action Lawsuit Against Universal Music Over Digital Revenue

        The estate of Rick James, best known for his song “Super Freak,” filed a proposed class action lawsuit on Friday against Universal Music Group over money owed from digital downloads and ringtones.

        The new class action lawsuit comes in wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to review a case initiated by Eminem’s former Detroit-based producing partners, F.B.T. Productions, which won a lower 9th Circuit ruling last September deeming digital music to be more akin to a license than a physical sale of music. The distinction is important: Copyright owners get a 50% share on royalties from licenses but only about a 12-20% royalty rate from sales.

      • Groups slam online piracy efforts

        A coalition of progressive activists and conservative bloggers slammed the bipartisan push to crack down on online piracy backed by organized labor and the entertainment industry on Monday, calling it an encroachment on freedom of speech.

        Lawmakers from both parties are scheduled to hold a press conference at the Capitol Monday, where they are expected to renew their push for new online piracy laws that give feds greater authority to shut down sites that host or link to pirated content.

        The effort will likely resemble the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), which was introduced by Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and passed the committee last year. The White House has backed the effort and recommended stiffer penalties for online piracy convictions.

      • TV Site Sued For Linking To Completely Legal Videos

        There are thousands of sites that link to video on the Internet and it’s becoming increasingly common for them to be threatened by rightsholders when they link to unauthorized content. However, things have gone a stage further as a site is now being sued by a copyright group for linking to completely legal content provided by official sources.

      • Forwarding a Sentence-Long Message from a Listserv = Copyright Infringement?

        So argued Kenneth M. Stern, a California lawyer; no dice, said the district court in Stern v. Does (C.D. Cal., decided Feb. 10, 2011 but just now made available on Westlaw). No dice, said the court, concluding that the message lacked the modicum of creativity required for copyright protection — because it was so short and dictated by functional considerations — and that the copying was a fair use. Both conclusions seem right to me, though the fair use conclusion is especially clear, given the utter lack of any likely effect on the value of plaintiff’s work.

      • CRIA Watches Massive Music Piracy Crisis Devastate Unknown Band

        During the last couple of weeks a heated debate has sprung up around the claimed massive music piracy of a relatively unknown band. One Soul Thrust currently have just 176 followers on Twitter yet according to their manager the group is being destroyed by the pirating masses who have, to date, downloaded their debut album 100,000 times. With the CRIA apparently supporting the band’s position, it’s time to investigate.

      • As Expected, MPAA Sues Movie Streaming Site That Uses Connected DVD Players

        When Zediva launched, we already knew it was going to face a legal fight from the MPAA and the movie studios. The company lets people stream movies they want to see, but tries to get around the legal licensing issues by only streaming directly from internet connected DVD players, playing legitimately acquired DVDs. Their argument is that it’s really no different than renting a movie and bringing it to your own DVD player. And, perhaps, the Cablevision ruling in the US on remote DVRs gives them some support for their position. But, there was no way the industry was going to just let this go by without any sort of fight. And, so, the MPAA has now sued the company claiming that it’s a “sham,” and that Zediva is running an illegal video-on-demand service without the proper licenses. In some ways, this case could also impact the attempts by cloud music players to stream legitimate content without a license as well.

      • Movie studios sue DVD streaming site Zediva

        The movie studios have seen the online movie rental service Zediva and filed their thumbs-down review of the site in federal court Monday, asking for monetary damages and an immediate shutdown.

        Zediva.com, which officially launched in mid-March, rents new release movies without permission from the studios by letting its customers rent a DVD player and disc from afar. Only one person can rent a given disc at a time. That, the company argues, puts it in the same legal bucket as a traditional video rental store.

      • Exploit Turns Anti-Piracy Agency Site Into The Pirate Bay

        Hadopi, the French agency charged with handling file-sharers’ copyright digressions, has once again been shamed by a copyright-related blunder. The agency which mandates that all citizens secure their networks to keep out freeloading pirates, has a surprisingly unsecure site itself. Ironically enough, the vulnerability allowed outsiders to change the search engine of the Hadopi site into that of The Pirate Bay.

      • The IP Maximalist’s Guide To Making It Big
      • Techdirt talks a lot about how to make money in the music biz without actually selling music. Consider this an improvement. With these instructions, you’ll hardly have to produce any music at all, and if you do, you won’t have to go through all that time-intensive and “extremely expensive” production/promotion stuff.

      • Google Books, Fair Uses, and “Copyright” as Misnomer
      • US Government’s ‘Pirate’ Domain Seizures Failed Miserably

        Over the past several months a series of domain name seizures by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made headlines across the Internet.

        Under the flag of “Operation In Our Sites” the authorities shut down a dozen file-sharing and streaming sites, as well as close to 80 sites selling counterfeit goods. After two months of silence on the domain seizure front, the MPAA has now applauded the US authorities for their “successful” enforcement efforts.

      • Music Industry Will Force Licenses on Amazon Cloud Player — or Else

        Amazon’s decision to launch its new Cloud Player without securing additional music licenses has been described as a “bold move” by many observers. It takes serious guts for Amazon to simply declare that it doesn’t need licenses — especially when even casual observers know the music industry thinks otherwise.

      • Porn Company Says You Owe $25k If Content In Your Account Ends Up Pirated… Even If You Prove You Were Hacked [Updated]

        Liberty Media/Corbin Fisher continues its somewhat aggressive attempts to blame everyone but itself for failing to put in place a better business model. Remember, we just noted the bizarre claim that it made in the mass infringement lawsuit it filed that anyone who did not secure their internet routers to block all infringing material was negligent. In the comments to that post, someone pointed out that the company also had recently changed its terms of service to say that if anyone with an account had content from that account end up pirated, the user owed $25,000 even if they could prove that the account was hacked…

      • Filmmakers’ unfair argument against ‘fair use’
      • ACTA

Clip of the Day

Code is Law: Does Anyone Get This Yet?


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 13/4/2011: Linux 2.6.39 RC3, Fedora 16 is Verne

Posted in News Roundup at 2:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Space

    • ITechLaw to Hold 40th Anniversary Celebration in San Francisco

      Accepting the award on Torvalds’ behalf will be conference keynote speaker Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation. Zemlin works with the world’s largest technology companies, including Google, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Nokia and others, to help define the future of computing on the server, in the cloud and on a variety of new mobile computing devices. His work at the vendor-neutral Linux Foundation gives him a unique and aggregate perspective on the global technology industry.

    • Linux 2.6.39-rc3
    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

    • Linphone- An Open source SIP phone for desktop & mobile
    • Seven Free Security Tools for Linux

      One of the big advantages of using Linux is that its security tends to be so much better than that of the competing alternatives. That’s due in large part to the way Linux assigns permissions, but it’s also certainly true that the open source operating system is targeted by malware writers far less frequently than Windows is, in particular, simply because it’s less widely used and so much more diverse.

      [...]

      There are, of course, countless other security tools for Linux out there, many of them excellent as well.

    • Proprietary

      • Make your Speed Dial look great with Opera Barracuda

        Opera 11.10 aka Barracuda has been released today. With the new, more flexible Speed Dial your favorite sites are better looking than ever. Speed Dial automatically uses website logos and lets Web developers make content tailored for speed dial. And in Opera 11.10 you can add as many sites to Speed Dial as you like.

      • Opera 11.10 Goes Gold, Now Ready for Download

        Opera Software today announced the final release of Opera 11.10, an incremental update with a barrel full of subtle changes. Perhaps the biggest one is a revamped and faster Turbo that’s up to four times as fast as before, the Norwegian browser maker claims. Part of the secret sauce in the recipe for faster Turbo is the added support for Google’s WebP image format, which provides lossy compression for photographic images.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • An Open-Source MMORPG Using The Unigine Engine

        Project Bossanova has high hopes to develop “the first 3D game built especially with Linux as the first priority. It will set the standard in gameplay, graphics, compatibility, community integration and more.” In addition, they plan to have the game, now announced as RunServer’s MMT, to be open-source. This is an MMOPRG game and it’s being built using the Unigine Engine.

      • Humble Frozenbyte Bundle: Don’t be left out in the cold

        For the next 14 days, you can get Wolfire Games’ freshly-released Humble Frozenbyte Bundle! Like the first two bundles, you pay what you want to download five independent, DRM-free, cross-platform computer games, and choose to divide your money between the game developers, Child’s Play, and EFF. The Frozenbyte Bundle includes Trine, Shadowgrounds Survivor, the unpublished game Splot, and gaming prototype Jackclaw, in which you get to rampage through a city, throw cars, and generally cause mayhem.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Spain announces Akademy-es 2011

        KDE Spain is organizing Akademy-es 2011, the annual meeting of KDE users and contributors in Barcelona, Spain from May 20th through May 22nd. Akademy-es is an important event in the KDE calendar. Attendance and the technical quality of papers have increased significantly during each of the previous events.

        New this year, Akademy-es will take place in two different locations. The events of each day are designed to fit ideally with the surroundings. On Friday, Akademy-es will be held at the North Campus of the Polytechnic University of Catalunya, and weekend activities will be at The School of Sant Marc de Sarrià.

      • Testing Plasma Active

        The default desktop opens with a shaded cover that is actually a desktop lock. You can drag that away to unlock and reveal these “plasma strips” that are for KDE widgets. One is an RSS feeds list and another is a weather widget. Clicking on a feed title opens the article or post in Firefox – one might expect Konqueror. You can drag the strips with your mouse cursor as a whole to reveal any additional strips that didn’t fit on the display. You can add more widget strips by clicking the “plus sign” at the end of widget strips. On each strip is a configuration icon that can be clicked on to reveal another configuration icon and a quit icons. If you drag the original configuration icon to the newly spawned configuration icon that opens the configuration dialog for that particular widget. Using the handle at the bottom of the screen will drag the whole strip containment out of sight to reveal an almost normal appearing desktop.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Ubuntu Unity vs. GNOME 3: Which is Better?

        GNOME 3 and Ubuntu’s soon-to-be released Unity are the first GNOME desktops designed from the start with usability principles in mind. Not that releases in the GNOME 2 series ignored usability, but in GNOME 2, usability was an addition to the desktop, comparable to adding the foundation after the house was built.

        Whether you use GNOME 3 or Unity will probably depend on your distribution’s choice. But assuming you have a choice, which should you use? Suggesting an answer is hard, because in many ways the two are distinctly similar in design, with the differences largely in the details.

      • GNOME3 on Ubuntu Natty: the first impressions
      • Gnome3 from a XFCE user’s perspective.
  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • NYSE and Deutsche Borse merger chiefs size up single Red Hat Linux trading platform

        The New York Stock Exchange and Deutsche Borse are planning a move to a single cash equities trading platform, understood to be based on Red Hat Linux, in a crucial step towards saving €79 million (£64 million) in annual IT costs and delivering robust, fast messaging.

        If the merger goes ahead, the exchanges will also integrate “complementary” derivatives businesses, and combine their US options platforms. The savings represent 26 percent of the €300 million total planned cost cuts, which also include more efficient clearing and market operations.

      • Fedora

        • Results of Fedora 16 Release Name Voting

          Votes :: Name
          ——————————-
          2204 :: Verne
          1662 :: Beefy Miracle
          1522 :: Omoto
          1241 :: Nepia
          1207 :: Bonnet
          1157 :: Barona
          908 :: Llullaillaco
          845 :: Legation
          607 :: Mt. Orne

        • Fedora 16 will not be a Beefy Miracle

          The Fedora community has voted on the name for the next major release of this Linux distribution.

          There were some 2,204 votes cast for the winner…

          Verne

          Yes, Verne.

    • Debian Family

      • Knoppix 2011 6.4 Review

        Generally because Knoppix is meant to be used as a live CD too much customization will not always be necessary.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Goodbye Ubuntu 8.04 LTS
        • So long 8.04 Hardy Heron – You have a special place in my computing history.
        • Ubuntu 11.04 ‘Natty Narwhal’ Awesome New Plymouth Theme!
        • Ubuntu Becomes First OS To Get Automatic Epson Printer Drivers
        • Canonical To Drop Support For Ubuntu 9.10

          With an announcement on the security mailing list, Canonical has confirmed that support for Ubuntu 9.10 will cease on April 29 2011. This came as no surprise as it adheres to the expected support cycle of a .10 Ubuntu release, and 9.10 is now 18 months old.

          The recommended upgrade path from 9.10 is to Ubuntu 10.4. 10.04 is a long term support (LTS) release, and support will end on April 2013. Note that, according to official Ubuntu documentation, it’s not possible to skip a release version when upgrading. So, it’s not possible to go straight from 9.10 to 10.10. It is possible to upgrade from 9.10 to 10.04 and then to 10.10. That’s quite a lot to go through, and personally, I’d be tempted to make a fresh install and migrate the user data.

        • Look what we built together, a retrospective on Unity bitesize bugs.

          This cycle we started off determined to make it easy for anyone who wanted to contribute to Ubuntu Unity to have no roadblocks in their way. We concentrated on making our work processes as smooth and easy as possible. We had Q+A sessions in IRC, Ask Me Anythings on Reddit, and regular status reports so that anyone who wanted to dive in this cycle could grab Unity and fix a bug.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Moonstruck with…
            MoonOS

            Should Linux users try Moon? Since it is more of a creative spin-off of Ubuntu, and not a completely self-made distro, it really is more a matter of taste, computing style, and personal preference than functionality or utility. Former and current Mac users looking for an easy to use, friendly distro with a familiar interface can find refuge in MoonOS to ease any transition pains they might experience in swapping to Linux. Of course, like Ubuntu, MoonOS is an excellent beginner’s distro, and it will provide most of the tools a former Windows user may be looking for in Linux. Even those who are tired with Ubuntu and wish to try a different approach will discover Moon to be just as easy as – if not easier than – Ubuntu with its Docky alternative. MoonOS’ default theme is arguably more attractive, although whether Moon’s green is more likable than Ubuntu’s brown is a purely subjective matter. Also, all Ubuntu users have to do is change their default appearance, and the argument ceases to exist.
            Finally, more experienced users could decide that Moon does not meet their advanced needs, and Ubuntu fans and Linux veterans may be annoyed by Docky and unimpressed with the original artwork. Nevertheless, with its alternative take on Ubuntu and its colorful, customizable Docky, MoonOS remains easy enough for anyone to use and interesting enough for even a dedicated Linux user to try.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Renesas Electronics Joins Linux Foundation

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that Renesas Electronics Corporation is its newest member.

      Renesas is a premier supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, including microcontrollers (MCUs), systems-on-chip (SoC) solutions and a broad range of analog and power devices. The Japan-based company is aggressively investing in the areas of next-generation automotives, mobile phones, set-top boxes and other increasingly sophisticated electronics that are running Linux. For example, Renesas recently announced new SoCs for next-generation mobile phones and for dashboard-mounted car navigation systems, respectively, that support advanced human machine interfaces (HMI).

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Flock browser fails to fly at Zynga

      I’ve never been a fan of Flock, the ‘social’ web browser. Personally, I’ve long argued that Flock is little more than an overlay.

      At first Flock was an overlay of social add-ons to Firefox, then it moved to Chrome.

    • Mozilla

      • Even As Firefox 4 Performance Problems Loom, Firefox 5 is Coming

        Mozilla is doing an admirable job of helping users get the most out of Firefox 4, including posting lists of add-ons that can lead to performance problems. But its rapid release cycle is new, and it remains to be seen–especially since previous Firefox development proceeded much more slowly–if Mozilla is ready to follow the cycle that it has announced.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Desktop Publishing Software With OpenOffice

      Recently I was asked by a family member to set them up with a copy of Publisher. Apparently, they weren’t aware of the cost involved in purchasing this software, so I suggested we look into some free alternatives that might better meet their needs. After some thought, I remembered that Microsoft Publisher is just Word with a few additional bells and whistles at the user’s disposal. And remembering that most desktop publishing software is a bit overwhelming for most folks, I instead chose to make due with OpenOffice Writer. Why not simply choose Serif PagePlus Starter Edition? Honestly, as great as the software is, there is just too much going on. At this point, I might as well have suggested Scribus. No, keeping things limited to drawing tables and inserting images was where it’s at. But this leaves us with the need to get some decent clip art inserted into Writer so that it’s ready to go.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • The H Half Hour: Talend, Open Core and Community

        Ross Turk is the new director of community at Talend , a company that’s not afraid to say they use an open core model. In this H Half Hour, The H asks Turk about how the open core model works at Talend and how the company is building a community around its data transformation and management tools.

  • Funding

    • VC funding for OSS-related vendors in Q1

      Venture capital funding for open source software-related vendors declined 14% in the first quarter. According to our preliminary figures, OSS-related vendors raised $79.8m in Q1, compared to $92.5m a year ago.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Stallman weighs pros and cons of digital inclusion

      Richard Stallman, founder of the free software movement and the GNU Project, spoke Monday on the benefits and threats of digital inclusion in society.

      Stallman defines digital inclusion as the creation of an inclusive information society in which all people have access to information and communication technology.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Sage Bionetworks is the Latest Open Biotechnology Effort

      Slowly but surely, biology and biotechnology efforts that follow open source principles are improving, and as they mature, they could have a profound effect on healthcare, longevity, disease control, and much more. Biotechnology reporter Luke Zimmerman’s latest dispatch on the work of Sage Bionetworks founder Stephen Friend offers a case in point. With gene sequencing efforts going on all around the world–but mostly going on in silos, where information is not shared in optimal ways–Friend is convinced that shared data could bring on huge advances in biotechnology. His is only one of several promising efforts in this area.

    • Open Data

      • Got Data?

        What platform versions are being downloaded? What geographies is your service popular in? Which APIs are being consumed? What progamming languages are most popular? From web analytics of your documentation to user activation data, you can answer these questions. But this isn’t happening at present.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Press Releases: Open Standards law approved in Portugal

      The Portuguese Parliament approved on the 6th of April 2011 a Law for the adoption of Open Standards on public IT systems. This law represents the consensus reached by the represented parties following two proposals submitted by PCP and BE, that were discussed and merged on the Working Group that produced the final text.

    • Standardization Roadmap for Electric Drive Vehicles Called for at ANSI Workshop

      Nearly 120 stakeholders and another 34 webinar attendees gathered for the April 5-6 ANSI Workshop: Standards and Codes for Electric Drive Vehicles in Bethesda, MD, to examine the standards and conformance activities needed to drive the safe, effective, and large-scale deployment of electric drive vehicles (EDV).

    • Europarl in Strassbourg pushes for interoperability

      Here I extracted a few quotes from the European Parliament resolution of 6 April 2011 on a Single Market for Enterprises and Growth which show its special emphasis on improving interoperability conditions for the single market. Strassbourg sents a clear message.

    • Has the Battle for the Digital Car Been Won?

      This week a new consortium was launched that may signal who will finally own the last great, unclaimed consumer computing platform – the automobile. The new organization is the Car Connectivity Consortium, and the winner is . . . well, we’ll come back to that a little later. Suffice it to say for now that the fifteen year battle to control the digital future of the automobile could be at an end, and that its resolution may tell us something about the future of the digital desktop as well.

Leftovers

  • Dumbest Lawsuit Ever? HuffPo Sued By Bloggers Who Agreed To Work For Free… But Now Claim They Were Slaves

    We may have set a new low for idiotic lawsuits. Jonathan Tasini, a freelance reporter who was famously involved in a lawsuit with the NY Times, concerning copyrights on a database of freelancer articles, is now suing the Huffington Post for not paying him while he wrote for it by choice. The basis of the lawsuit is the already discussed fact that a bunch of folks who blogged for the Huffington Post are stupidly upset that Arianna Huffington sold her site to AOL for $315 million, and that they didn’t get any of the money. Of course, they didn’t invest their money in the site. They held no equity and, most importantly, they wrote for the site for free by choice. If they didn’t like the “deal”, they shouldn’t have done it.

  • AOL, Arianna Huffington Hit with Class Action Suit

    Huffington Post bloggers who think they ought to get paid for their volunteer writing have been litigating their case in the court of public opinion. Now they’re taking it to a real one.

    Today, a group of bloggers led by union organizer and journalist Jonathan Tasini filed a class-action suit against the Huffington Post, founder Arianna Huffington, and AOL, which acquired the news-and-blogs site in February.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Debate Over Privatizing Medicare: Can Anyone Say $20.5 Trillion?

      The NYT has a front page story on the debate over Representative Ryan’s plan to privatize Medicare. The article is an entirely in the form of he said/she said, providing readers with absolutely no information that would allow them to assess the arguments over the plan. This is especially important since the article reports that changes like those in the Ryan plan are necessary to control costs.

    • Pay Attention to the Insurers Behind Paul Ryan’s Curtain

      Democrats who think Paul Ryan and his Republican colleagues have foolishly wrapped their arms around the third rail of American politics by proposing to hand the Medicare program to private insurers will themselves look foolish if they take for granted that the public will always be on their side.

    • “Revere America”: Another Conduit for a Super-Wealthy Family to Influence Elections

      Miles C. CollierOn March 23, 2011 a group called Revere America issued a dire-sounding PRNewswire press release titled, “Americans Fear Loss of Freedom on Anniversary of Health Care Reform Law.” It warned that “a majority” of Americans view health care reform as “a threat to their freedom” and cited a poll by Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies to prove it. The release came well after Revere America had spent $2.5 million on attack ads in the 2010 mid-term elections to defeat Democratic candidates in two states — New York and New Hampshire — who had voted in favor of health care reform. Just prior to the mid-term elections, in the autumn of 2010, Revere America ran a a slew of false and misleading attack ads against the health care reform bill that erroneously called health reform “government-run healthcare” (a Republican and insurance industry buzz-phrase). The ads said that the new law will result in higher costs and longer waits in doctors’ offices. In another false claim aimed at inducing fear, the ads told viewers that “your right to keep your own doctor may be taken away.”

    • The Front Group Hall of Shame Gets a New Inductee

      Today will go down in the public relations history books as the day health insurers and their allies began a coordinated campaign to ensure that the health care reform law is implemented in ways that will benefit them way more than the rest of us. Today is the day they plan to launch their brand new front group — drum roll, please — the Choice and Competition Coalition (CCC). But first, a bit of context.

  • Cablegate

    • WikiLeaks is the method we use towards our goal of a more just society: Assange

      In India, after the initial stunned reaction, the tone of the official response to our publication of the India Cables was set by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh questioning or disputing in Parliament the authenticity of the cables and what the U.S. Embassy and consulates were reporting back to the State Department. Here’s what he actually said in the Lok Sabha, our House of Commons, on March 18. He said the government “cannot confirm the veracity, contents or even the existence of such communication.” This seems to have set the Indian government apart from the rest of the governments, the rest of the world, at the receiving end, doesn’t it?

      Yes, it does.

      Have you come across this reaction anywhere else?

      We have not come across this reaction and that reaction disturbed me. Because Hillary Clinton had been involved in informing the Indian government, in December [2010], as well as many other governments, that this was coming. There has been no question as to the credibility of any document we have ever published in the last four years, let alone the [U.S. Embassy] cables — which have been authenticated by the very aggressive action of the State Department towards us and by hundreds of journalists from the most reputable institutions across the world.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Calif. sets nation’s highest renewable power goals

      Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed legislation requiring California utilities to get one-third of their power from renewable sources, giving the state the most aggressive alternative energy mandate in the U.S.

    • Studies Say Natural Gas Has Its Own Environmental Problems

      Natural gas, with its reputation as a linchpin in the effort to wean the nation off dirtier fossil fuels and reduce global warming, may not be as clean over all as its proponents say.

    • Gas Prices Rise, and Economists Seek Tipping Point

      Gas prices are approaching record highs, but so far most Americans do not appear to be drastically cutting back their driving or even their spending as they did in 2008.

    • Fracking Insiders Score Big in New Gas Bill, But Americans Not Told the True Costs of Massive Drilling Plan

      Corporate insiders peddling the claim that drilling for methane gas will solve America’s energy needs just scored big in Washington — and for these insiders fracking for gas is very lucrative business. House Resolution 1380, given the feel-good moniker of the “New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act ” or “NAT GAS Act,” was announced on Wednesday, April 6, in the U. S. House of Representatives. The bill is 24-pages long and rewards the fracking industry with tax credits and products to help “drive” consumption. The bigger the vehicle, the more tax credits given.

  • Finance

    • Soros Says Moral Hazard Looms; Volcker Says Banks Can Fail

      Moral hazard in the financial system “looms larger than ever before,” even after the Dodd- Frank law gave U.S. federal agencies tools to regulate institutions that may be deemed too big to fail, said billionaire investor George Soros.

      “The evidence is overwhelming that the first priority of the authorities is to prevent a market collapse, and everything else has to take second place,” Soros, chairman of Soros Fund Management LLC, said yesterday at a conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire.

    • David Harvey’s Crisis of Capitalism, Animated
    • Who Wants a Voucher?

      In yesterday’s post, I compared two ways of solving the long-term Medicare deficit: (a) increasing payroll taxes and keeping Medicare’s current structure or (b) keeping payroll taxes where they are and converting Medicare into a voucher program. As a person who will need health insurance in retirement, I prefer (a), but others could differ.

    • Oil price tumbles on supplies and Goldman pullback

      Oil dropped to the lowest level this month on Tuesday as energy experts said the world will remain flush with surplus oil this year despite the loss of Libya’s exports and increased demand from Japan.

      Oil was also pushed down after Goldman Sachs warned investors that the price had already topped its second-quarter forecast and is due for a “substantial pullback” in the near term. Traders took special notice of Goldman’s warning because the investment bank is considered a big player in oil markets, and it’s known for bullish price forecasts.

    • Paul Ryan’s slasher novel

      The fiscal savior of this country will be the person who persuades us to bite the bullet: Accept some pain now to remain prosperous later. That person will not be Rep. Paul Ryan.

      The reviewers agree: The Path to Prosperity, aka the Republican budget proposal for 2012 that was released a week ago by the House Budget Committee — which Ryan chairs — is one helluva read. To liberals, it’s the nightmare of a madman with an ax chasing you down a long hallway. To conservatives, it’s a sweet dream of wonderland, where angels dine on Heritage Foundation press releases. Right or wrong, it is said, Ryan has at last set the stage for an honest debate about government spending and the federal deficit.

    • Obama first to put tax increases on budget table

      Higher taxes have been missing from the fierce budget battle that nearly shut down the federal government. But President Barack Obama is about to put them on the table – at least a modest version that he had pushed before and then rested on the shelf.

    • Wonkbook: Obama to back Simpson-Bowles

      It’s been a little unclear what, exactly, President Obama could say on Wednesday that would count as a new plan for long-term deficit reduction. His pledge to avoid raising taxes on people making less than $250,000 means most taxes are off the table. The Affordable Care Act means most of his health-care reform ideas have already passed into law. The five-year non-security discretionary spending freeze got announced in his 2012 budget proposal, and though you could imagine defense cuts entering the picture, the White House hasn’t seemed eager to go down that road. That leaves tax reform and Social Security, neither of which the administration would be interested in attempting alone.

    • California Dings MERS

      California bankruptcy court Denies US Bank as trustee relief from stay; Court says recording is required BEFORE foreclosure, not after.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Fake “Handwriting” Boosts Junk Mail Open Rate

      Fool junk mail recipients once, and then Fake penkeep fooling them over and over again. That’s the hope of a Virginia-based direct mail marketing company that has developed a specialized machine that makes junk mail envelopes look like they have been hand-written.

    • FOX “News” Bids Glenn Beck Adieu

      On April 6, 2011, FOX News announced it would help Beck “transition” into other ventures, which include for-air projects and FOX News’ websites. What the press release did not mention was the successful campaign against Beck initiated by Color of Change, an organization rooted in equal political access for people of color.

    • Railroad CEO Charged With Giving $50,000 in Illegal Contributions to Scott Walker

      The Wisconsin state elections board and Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office have revealed a money laundering scheme involving illegal contributions to Scott Walker’s campaign committee by the head of Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Company.

      The months-long investigation found that William Gardner, the CEO and president of Wisconsin & Southern Railroad (WSOR), instructed employees to make political campaign contributions for the 2010 elections and then reimbursed those donations from WSOR’s corporate account. Through this money-laundering scheme WSOR spent a total of $53,800 on political contributions in the 2010 election cycle, vastly exceeding the $10,000 per person (or per corporation) limit required by Wisconsin law; Gardner used corporate funds to reimburse 11 contributions from himself, his girlfriend, his daughter, and several employees. The majority of that spending, nearly $50,000, went towards the Friends of Scott Walker campaign committee.

  • Censorship

    • Silence from the website blocking Working Group

      Yesterday Ed Vaizey’s website blocking ‘Working Group’ met to discuss a plans for a voluntary scheme to block access to websites accused of infringing copyright. It’s an idea that has caused quite a stir; 2,000 people have so far written to their MPs and the terms ‘The Great Firewall of Britain’ and ‘Hadrian’s Firewall’ were coined on Twitter

    • Nominet talks about domain suspensions

      Nominet’s discussions about domain suspensions started yesterday. Over 3,000 sites have so far been ‘suspended’ at the request of the Police. This has been taking place without any formal procedure, although an appeals mechanism has handled 12 complaints, of which 9 were upheld.

    • On Google and censorship

      Hugo Roy asked my thoughts about the recent case of Google’s employees being convicted in Italy for a video that has been online a few months on Google Video (now YouTube).

      I have already said so by and large, microblogged extensively on that. My opinion is that the decision is a shame for my Country.

      [...]

      Google, as soon as it was informed of the problem, took the content down and possibly thought it was over.

      Not quite, as the Prosecutor in Milan, where Google is based in Italy and where the content was allegedly put online, decided to indict four Google executives. Recently the Court of Milan decided that the executives have violated Italian Data Protection Law and convicted them.

      This is what I have learned from public sources, I hope I have not reported them inaccurately. I have no direct knowledge of the facts.

      [...]

      Filtering == censorship

      It is impossible to put enough people in line to watch, inspect, report of each and any video that is uploaded. Too much information is put online per second, period.

      So the solution for the Prosecutor seems to be “you are doing this in China, you can do this here”. What Google is doing there is censorship. So we want censorship here too.

  • Privacy

    • Why internet privacy matters

      Over the last couple of days, I’ve blogged a bit about the proposed legislation that came to be known as Bill C-52 in the last session of Parliament. (See: Canadian police state legislation needs closer examination, and Conservative majority would pass lawful access within 100 days. Also check out Michael Geist’s excellent post: The Conservatives Commitment to Internet Surveillance.) Bill C-52 fell off the order paper when the 40th Parliament was dissolved for the current election, but I think it really needs to be extensively discussed in the current election. (I should note that this is not necessarily a partisan issue, since it was originally proposed by the Liberals many elections ago.)

    • Is Facebook More Dangerous Than Microsoft Windows?

      The company which has Microsoft, the creator of the world most insecure software products, as a partial owner [Microsoft has $250 million invested in Facebook and holds stakes in the company] can’t stay safer. Facebook, the social brokering site, continues to put users data and critical information at risk.

      The company which harvested Gmail users data but refused to give them access to their own Facebook data to sync it with their Google account continues to put that sensitive data at risk.

  • Civil Rights

    • China accuses US of human rights double standards

      Beijing has a doctrine of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs, but the State Council Information Office releases an annual report on the US human rights record as a riposte to Washington’s criticisms. The document says it underlines the hypocrisy of the US and “its malicious design to pursue hegemony under the pretext of human rights”.

      Last week the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, criticised China’s “worsening” record – citing the detention of artist Ai Weiwei and others – as she released the annual state department survey of the human rights situation around the world. An introduction to the Chinese document, by the state news agency Xinhua, said the report was “full of distortions” and the US “turned a blind eye to its own terrible human rights situation”.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • Voting For a Free and Open Wireless Internet

      Next Tuesday, April 12th, the EU Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) will hold a major vote for the future of wireless communications in the European Union. By amending the radio spectrum policy programme proposed by the European Commission, Members of the Parliament have an opportunity to boost wireless Internet access. By encouraging shared and unlicensed uses of the spectrum, they can create the next generation of WiFi networks that will improve access to the Internet in urban as well as rural communities, and launch the next wave of innovation in mobile communications. But the risk is for Europe to give in to media or telecoms corporations who would like to control the airwaves – a public resource. La Quadrature calls on EU citizens and NGOs to step into this important debate on the future of our communications system, which forms the structure of our democratic societies.

    • Voting For a Free and Open Wireless Internet

      The Industry Committee of the European Parliament has adopted amendments to the EU Spectrum Policy Programme allowing for a free use of airwaves for citizens, which will lead to the development of the next generations of free wireless Internet communications (“next generation WiFi”). This vote is encouraging and must be confirmed in plenary, despite the pressure that broadcasters and telecoms industries will inevitably put on the European Parliament to keep airwaves under control.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • A Challenge To Chris Castle – Chris – Who Do You Really Serve?

        Chris Castle is a Lawyer who specializes in the Music Industry. Of the many lawyers who weigh in on copyright issues, Chris is the one I have the most respect for. Chris admits up front that he has a strong economic interest in the issue, unlike Barry Sookman, James Gannon, or Richard Owens, who pretend that they do all of their writing out of the goodness of their hearts.

      • A Comment Addressed to Chris Castle

        Chris Castle is a Music Industry Lawyer. I classify Chris as an honest lawyer, he has his opinions, and he’s quite willing to admit that his opinions are biased by his employment.

      • iPod Tax Fight Conceals Another Consumer Copyright Fee Hike

        The Conservatives have launched another campaign over the iPod Tax today complete with website, video and Twitter account. I posted a lengthy account of the claims last December (short version – the Liberals on record now as opposing, the earlier record is open to debate), but the issue keeps returning. Given the attention to the issue, it is worth noting that Bill C-32, the Conservatives own copyright bill, would likely have led to a doubling of the fees that Canadians pay on blank CDs. Alternatively, it would have led to a dramatic reduction in revenues for Canadian artists. The reason stems from the government’s commitment to ratify the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Internet treaties and the legal requirements found in those treaties.

      • European Copyright Law: Collusion for the Control of the Net

        In the coming days, a college meeting of the European Commissioners will take place to decide the future of European copyright policy. This revision takes place in conditions that raise severe concerns from a democratic perspective and put fundamental rights at risk, especially when it comes to the Internet.

      • Colorado Judge Is Seething At Righthaven—And He’s Handling All Their Cases

        Controversial copyright-enforcement company Righthaven was already catching a lot of flak for its lawsuit against Brian Hill. Denver alt-weekly Westword was eagerly reporting that its biggest competitor, The Denver Post, was trying to make extra cash off its photos and articles—by working with Righthaven to sue a 20-year-old, chronically ill, mildly autistic hobby blogger. Now Righthaven has dropped that case. But the same Colorado judge who showed little patience for Righthaven’s tactics in the Hill case is overseeing dozens of other Righthaven cases.

Clip of the Day

The Internet World Wide Web 1994 – 1998


Credit: TinyOgg

04.12.11

Links 12/4/2011: KDE Targets Mobile Devices, OLPC Growth in Peru

Posted in News Roundup at 12:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The War With Microsoft Is Over and Linux Won?

    When laptop sales overtook desktops, “Microsoft didn’t care,” Hudson pointed out. “Either one meant the sale of a Windows OS, and often other software.”

    The switch to “mobile-everything,” on the other hand, “is already having a huge impact, because in most cases it marks the loss of another customer to Apple or Linux.

    “Maybe it’s not the year of linux on the desktop, but it’s also not the year of Windows on mobile devices, and it never will be,” Hudson concluded. “Mobile is where the growth is, for both business and the consumer, and that market is being divvied up between Apple and Linux, with Linux dominating.”

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Carrier Grade Linux 5 Finalized

      The Linux Foundation this week officially released the Carrier Grade Linux 5.0 specification (CGL).

      CGL provides a set of specifications which helps to define the requirements of carrier and network equipment vendors. The CGL 5 specification is the first major revision since CGL 4.0 was released in February of 2007.

      The new CGL 5.0 specifications have been available in draft form for months, and vendors including MontaVisa and Wind River have already released products that will support the new specification.

    • The Major Open-Source ATI Improvements Over Two Years
    • systemd for Administrators, Part VII
  • Applications

    • 25 things you can do with VLC!

      VLC is beyond doubts the most popular open source, cross-platform media player and multi-media framework written by VideoLAN projects. VLC player is small in size,vlc-logo
      just about 17 Mb and immensely powerful! In this post we will explore the player and list 20+ things you can do with VLC player.

    • Best Browsers for Linux

      With each passing day, I find myself more amazed at the level of innovation shown from within the browser community. Both open source and closed source browsers on the Linux desktop manage to extend browser functionality far beyond the usual. This has proven both exciting and problematic. Exciting in the sense that we can now do more than ever thought previously with our browsers, yet problematic in that we have more moving parts that malfunction us.

      In this article, I’ll highlight the best browsers for the Linux platform and offer some additional thoughts on how they have made an impact on our lives.

    • The Top 5 Portable Apps For Linux

      Most of us know about portable apps for Windows, and how useful they can be sometimes. It’s great to simply have your favorite programs and add-ons with you, especially in the case of browsers. However, portable Linux apps have been nonexistent, at least until now. Lately a decent collection of Linux portable apps have showed up, and are now worth mentioning for those who want to try them out.

      [...]

      Whenever you’re on the go, it’s very important that you can take notes and keep track of them. Gnote is a great choice because it’s lightweight and doesn’t have Mono as a dependency. It’s easy to use, has lots of formatting and organizational features, and doesn’t take up much space. It’s your best bet to jot down those sudden ideas.

    • Introducing Mixbus And The Ardour3 Alpha

      Mixbus (Figure 1) is a version of Ardour2 for Linux and OSX that replaces Ardour’s native mixer with one designed by the Harrison company, a manufacturer of professional audio mixing boards. Harrison consoles have been used to mix the soundtracks for many popular movies – see the advertisements on the site – and their products can be found in major broadcast, film, and audio post-production studios, as well as in live performance venues. Mixbus has been designed to emulate the best features of an analog mixer with the added value of Ardour’s audio capabilities and Harrison’s unique DSP core. Indeed, current Ardour users will find familiar territory in the Mixbus recorder/editor and a whole new world in the mixer section.

    • UMPlayer – Another Feature Packed Cross-Platform Media Player

      There’s no shortage of quality free media players to entertain your eyes and ears, regardless of your computer or operating system. With cracking cost-free solutions like VLC (often considered the king of media players) and iTunes alternative JetAudio, you really shouldn’t be paying for this sort of software.

      Universal Media Player, or UMPlayer for short, is yet another addition to the media player category which uses the MPlayer backend to chew through any media you give it. The app promises to play everything and integrates various web services into one desktop solution.

    • Proprietary

      • Opera 11.10 Near Release Final As RCs Come At A Furious Pace

        The bugs are dying at an incredible pace in Norway today, as the Opera Desktop Team has put forth another release candidate, these last few coming with point numbers! The latest, and 2nd for this very long spring day, is RC 4.1, which brings lots of presentation bugs to an end.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • plasma active quick

        The Plasma Quick initiative aims to take libplasma, which is the underlying infrastructure for Plasma based applications, and make it an even better solution for devices that it already is.

      • KDE’s New Project for Portable Devices

        Key KDE developers have been blogging about new projects aimed towards portable devices. As Aaron Seigo says, “In a nutshell, Plasma Active is about getting the KDE Platform with Plasma providing a compelling user interface ready for and available on hardware devices outside the usual laptop and desktop form factors.” For us mortals, that means an interface for smartphones, tablets, and handhelds.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Pidgin and GNOME3
      • Journey of a new GNOME 3 Debian packager

        With all the buzz around GNOME 3, I really wanted to try it out for real on my main laptop. It usually runs Debian Unstable but that’s not enough in this case, GNOME 3 is not fully packaged yet and it’s only in experimental for now.

      • GNOME 3: Shocking changes for Linux lovers

        For those that prefer a “dock” approach to launching apps, the GNOME Shell has that option covered as well, just add your favorites to the dock and click to launch. The dock is also an easy way to switch between open apps.

      • Review: GNOME 3

        GNOME 3 Shell seems a lot more mature and usable than it did two months ago, while GNOME 3 fallback mode presents a compelling traditional alternative to GNOME 3 Shell.

  • Distributions

    • CTKArch – The Other Arch-based Distribution Using Openbox

      CTKArch is a distribution, or perhaps more a spin, based on Arch Linux that is using Openbox as default window manager. It’s minimal in size, if you believe that anything under CD size is minimal these days, and seems to be designed first and foremost to run from CD or USB as a live system, so it has a lot in common with ArchBang. Only a few days ago, 7th April, v. 0.7 was released into the wilderness of the Linux distribution jungle. I had toyed with 0.6 on and off for a few weeks and thus am in the position to make a few observations.

    • Reviews

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat’s Future Linux Desktop

        That will be changing in 2012 with the reintroduction of a Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environments (SPICE)-based virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

      • CentOS 5.6: A Free Powerhouse for Web Servers

        Last summer, in fact, it was named the most popular Linux distribution in that area, with almost 30 percent of the Linux server market.

      • CentOS 5.6 brings the Ext4 filesystem mainstream

        LINUX DISTRIBUTION CentOS has released a major update following in the footsteps of Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux, which has been updated to version 5.6.

        CentOS is a community version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and follows the same versioning scheme as RHEL, with both distributions now on version 5.6. CentOS is essentially a free version of RHEL built with the same packages as Red Hat’s commercially supported version but without the Red Hat branding.

        While Red Hat released RHEL 5.6 in January, it has taken a few months for the CentOS lads to get around to removing all the necessary branding to avoid infringing Red Hat’s licences. However the delay has been made worse by having to split effort between CentOS 5.6 and CentOS 6.

    • Debian Family

      • Reviews: First look at CrunchBang Linux 10

        . My conclusion is CrunchBang appears to be a good tool, I just haven’t found any task for it.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 11.04: Small issues, big win

          For the last few months, on nearly every site I blog for, I have been saying that Ubuntu 11.04 was going to be a big setback for Ubuntu. This “setback” was mostly due to Canonical’s decision to use Unity as the default desktop. This decision sidestepped GNOME and GNOME 3 all together. Well, after using Ubuntu 11.04 beta 1 for a few weeks now, I have to say I was wrong. Although there are a few weak spots in the release, this beta release has gone a long way to showing me that Ubuntu hasn’t fallen off the tracks, jumped the shark, or is about to lose it’s way. In fact, Ubuntu 11.04 will remain king of Linux for new users as far as I can see.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 beta testers divided over Unity

          In the short time since the release of Ubuntu 11.04 beta, the OS has received mixed reviews. Some testers say it is the worst Ubuntu beta release ever, while others say they are impressed by its new features.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 beta review – Natty Narwhal’s naughty but nice…

          The new Unity interface is surprisingly usable. Of course, it does have some rough edges and power users may find it limiting in many ways. Still, we think that the new interface has great potential and is already good enough for day-to-day computing. Naturally, Ubuntu 11.04 is more than just a fresh interface, and the new version brings a slew of other updates and improvements that make it a solid release indeed.

        • Natty Not-quite

          Not to say i hate everything about it. I like the speed, and it looks great. The new app launcher is excellent so far despite one or two crashes. The idea of a dock isn’t horrible, but i’d like more control over it, not some hidden options in the Compiz settings.
          And a final note for anyone who’s going to troll… get used to articles like this as Linux becomes more popular… it’s called constructive criticism, and i noticed the Linux community often doesn’t take it very well. This is just an opinion, you’re free to po

        • Ubuntu 8.04 reaches end-of-life on May 12 2011

          Ubuntu announced its 8.04 Desktop release almost 36 months ago, on April 24, 2008. For the LTS Desktop releases, Ubuntu committed to ongoing security and critical fixes for a period of 36 months. The support period is now nearing its end and Ubuntu 8.04 Desktop will reach end of life on Thursday, May 12, 2011. At that time, Ubuntu Security Notices will no longer include information or updated packages for Ubuntu 8.04 Desktop.

        • Demystifying Unity’s Graphics Hardware Requirements

          As I read the reviews of Unity that have started to appear around the web, I see there is a concern regarding the graphics hardware support for Unity. Some users are concerned that Unity will not run on their hardware, and so they will have to use Unity 2D instead. Let me tell you about the choices we made.

          As time goes, hardware becomes old and obsolete. This is very much true for GPUs. The rate of graphics advance over the last 10 years has been impressive. What was great 5 years ago isn’t enough to run all types of real-time 3D graphics programs anymore. For Unity we looked at the visual effects we wanted to do and the level of performance we wanted to achieve. To minimize the number of draw calls per frame in Unity, we needed GPUs to have support for frame buffer objects. With frame buffer objects support, we render only the parts of the interface that need to be updated and leave the rest untouched. For rendering, we wanted to have flexibility and the best visual results possible. So we decided to require ARB vertex and fragment support.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 Changes – New Unity Update Brings Options for Adjusting Launcher Behavior
        • Natty Narwhal T Shirts now available in Canonical store
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Yocto 1.0 integrates OpenEmbedded and Linaro code

      The Linux Foundation announced the availability of the Yocto Project Release 1.0, which includes a version of OpenEmbedded’s bitbake build system, major improvements to its developer interface, and Linaro technology for improved ARM support. The Linux Foundation also announced new Yocto Steering Group members Dell and Mentor Graphics to help oversee the embedded Linux standardization project.

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

        • Nokia: What’s Missing from this Picture?

          But what strikes me is that these do not address what is, for me, the central question: why does Nokia need Qt in the long term – that is, beyond the short-term requirement to “harvest additional value” from the platform, as Nokia put it so charmingly? Until that question is answered, I remain pessimistic about the long-term effects of Nokia’s moves on Qt and open source in general – however many refutations the company issues on other points.

        • Nokia’s Not-so-cute Qt Move

          And if Qt has no future, why on earth would Nokia continue to invest money and people in producing the open source version that would be commercialised by someone else? Surely it is bound to pass the open source side across to Digia at some point, or maybe to some other party, although it’s hard to see who would want to pick up the non-commercial part of Qt when the money-making aspect resides elsewhere.

        • HTC Climbs Past Nokia in Market Cap
      • Android

        • Google confirms Chrome OS tablet code

          Google is baking specifications for a tablet based on its Chrome OS into its open source Linux code, the company confirmed. Meanwhile Google flattened its executive structure, promoting Android creator Andy Rubin and others to senior vice president roles, and has also acquired Pushlife, makers of an iTunes-like music app for Android.

        • Google confirms Chrome OS tablet code
        • LinkedIn for Android ships as Google updates Apps for security

          LinkedIn released the final LinkedIn for Android 1.0 app to help professionals view and manage LinkedIn connections. In other enterprise-related Android news, Google upgraded its security and device management programs for Android with three Google Apps updates, including a Device Policy update, a Google Apps Lookup app, and a Honeycomb tablet encryption feature.

        • Entry level Android numbers to increase tenfold in 2011

          A report today from Taiwanese Digitimes shows some explosive estimates for $150 and cheaper, contract free Android phones. Specifically, the paper says it expects to see 20-25 million entry level Android devices ship in 2011, up from 2.5-3 million in 2010.

    • OLPC

      • Peru to Open OLPC Factories, Will Distribute 1 Millionth XO Laptop by End of 2011

        Alan Garcia, the President of Peru, just announced that the country will be handing out their one millionth XO laptop by the end of this year and will soon be building manufacturing facilities to build the laptops locally. The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program created the XO laptop as an inexpensive tool for children around the world to learn with. The OLPC program in Peru has a goal to have laptops in 100% of the country’s public primary schools by the end of 2011.

    • Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Bitcoin gains an open source client

    A Google engineer has released an open source Java client for Bitcoin, the peer-to-peer currency that may eventually revolutionize online transactions.

  • Open Source Biology Deserves a Shot

    Gene sequencing has gotten incredibly fast and cheap, and researchers around the world are pouring huge volumes of genomic data onto their private servers, in the hope they will sift through it all to make groundbreaking discoveries. Should so much genomic data be so closely guarded, or should it be poured into a free and open database that all scientists share?

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Why Firefox Rapid Release Schedule Is a Bad Idea

        Mozilla has committed to a more aggressive release schedule for the Firefox Web browser. There were nearly three years between the launch of Firefox 3 and Firefox 4, but Firefox 5 is expected to be introduced in a matter of months at the end of June. There are some benefits to the rapid release schedule, but also some potential pitfalls.

      • First Firefox 4 update coming on April 26

        Mozilla has announced that it will release the first update for Firefox 4 on April 26, about a month after the original release, back in March 22.

        New with this release is that Mozilla will start using code names (somehow related to the main branch codename, in this case Tumucumaque) for udpates as well, as a way to help developers that follow Firefox development closely, more clearly understand what is coming when.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Healthcare

    • VA Electronic Health Record Open Source Custodial Agent

      The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is seeking to establish a Custodial Agent (CA) that will facilitate the establishment and operations of an Electronic Health Records (EHR) Open Source software development ecosystem and define the relationship between and interactions among developers, users, vendors and service providers.

    • Open Source in Good Health and Vice Versa
      Good

      Last week I wrote about the UK government’s “new” IT strategy, which is designed in part to avoid some of the costly mistakes of the past. And as far as the latter go, there aren’t many bigger or costlier than the NHS National Programme for Information Technology (NpfIT).

      Now, some of us might say that one of the reasons this was such a disaster was that it did just about everything wrong: it was imposed unilaterally from the top, and built around huge slabs of proprietary code – but you’d expect me to say that. So here’s someone else opining much the same, slightly more politely:

  • Business

    • Tasting the Delights of OrangeHRM

      Since free software was originally created by hackers for hackers, it’s no wonder that the first programs they created were tools – things like Emacs – and something to run them on – GNU/Linux. The second generation applications were key infrastructural elements – Web servers, databases etc., while more recently, we’ve seen the rise of applications like enterprise content management and CRM, as open source moves closer to the end users.

      But one class of software that seemed totally absent was that for managing human resources – HRM apps. I thought this was something of a lack, but that would be filled in due course. It turns out that it was filled quite some time ago – 2006, to be precise – and that I somehow overlooked the open source OrangeHRM product completely since then. To remedy this, I met up with Sujee Saparamadu, the CEO and cofounder of the company, to catch up on the subject.

  • Programming

    • OSS is about access to the code

      I have a kind of a fetish – the idea that source code, even old or extremely specific for a single use, may be useful for a long time. Not only for porting to some other, strange platform, but for issues like prior art in software patents, for getting inspiration for techniques or simply because you don’t know when it may be of use. For this reason, I try to create public access archives of source code I manage to get my hands on, especially when such codes may require a written license to acquire, but may then later be redistributed.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • An alert to governments about Open Standards

      There are two undeniable facts in the information technology industry today, which often end up being forgotten in our day by day activities:

      Corporations are monopolistic by nature and technological dependence is at the base of the information technology industry economic model.

Leftovers

  • Google speeds up the Web with SPDY

    Network engineers and hard-core Web architects know that HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol), the data transfer method used by the Web, isn’t the most efficient data transfer protocol around. So, back in November 2009, Google started working on a faster replacement: SPDY, pronounced “speedy.” And, now, if you’re using the Chrome Web browser, and visiting Google Web sites, you can see SPDY in action according to Conceivably Tech.

  • Autocompletion brings liability

    I would be falsely modest if I said that I am not proud that our pleadings have been entirely endorsed by a panel of three highly authoritative judges. The facts are simple and very well described in the order. Basically, typing in the Google search field “Name Surname” of my client, the autocompletion and the “suggested searches” (now “related searches”) offered to complete it with “con man” (“truffatore”) and “fraud” (“truffa”), which caused a lot of trouble to the client, who has a pulic image both as an entrepeneur and provider of educational services in the field of personal finance. Google argued that it could not be held liable because it is a hosting provider, but we showed that this is content produced by them (and by the way, they do filter out certain content, including terms that are know to be used to distribute copyright infringing material), although through automated means. Therefore in this case the search engine cannot avail itself of the safe harbour provision of the Ecommerce Directive.

  • Google loses autocomplete defamation case in Italy
  • Cablegate

    • Julian Assange extended interview

      JULIAN ASSANGE: We have increased our publishing since late last year when my present difficulties began to include over 63 media organisations from around the world. We have now published over 7,000 US Embassy cables relating to Cablegate, so, yes, we’re continuing on. Even when I was in prison for 10 days we continued publishing.

  • Finance

    • DC. lawyer charged in multimillion-dollar insider trading scheme

      By mid-March, as the government tells it, Matthew H. Kluger knew the FBI was closing in.

      As a lawyer for three of the nation’s premier corporate law firms, most recently in the Washington office of Wilson Sonsini, he had allegedly stolen secrets that yielded tens of millions of dollars of insider trading profits. Now he was trying to eliminate the evidence.

  • Privacy

    • Pandora, other app makers subpoenaed over user data collection

      A federal grand jury has opened an investigation into mobile apps and what kind of personal data they might transmit about users, Pandora has revealed. The streaming music company recently amended its S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to note that it had been subpoenaed to produce documents about its user data collection on Android and iOS devices, which the company believes is related to an industry-wide probe into how mobile apps capitalize on user information.

    • Net giants challenge French data law

      Google and Facebook are among a group of net heavyweights taking the French government to court this week.

      The legal challenge has been brought by The French Association of Internet Community Services (ASIC) and relates to government plans to keep web users’ personal data for a year.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • Court rejects suit over Net-neutrality rules

      A federal appeals court on Monday rejected as “premature” a lawsuit by Verizon and MetroPCS challenging the Federal Communications Commission’s pending rules aimed at keeping Internet service providers from blocking access to certain websites or applications. The decision, by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit, is a first-round victory for the FCC and its chairman, Julius Genachowski. But the real battle over the agency’s attempt to regulate broadband providers has barely begun. Several broadband companies, and some consumer advocacy and public interest groups, are likely to return to court this year to challenge aspects of the rules. Edward McFadden, a Verizon spokesman, said Monday that the company intended to refile its lawsuit this year. The House will take up a joint resolution condemning the new Internet access rules this week.

  • DRM

    • SCEA and George Hotz Reach Settlement!

      Here’s the joint statement. There is a permanent injunction, but no admission of wrongdoing by Hotz, who, as he said from day one, was never trying to enable piracy. I commend SCEA for taking this step, and I mean that sincerely.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Ethics of Intellectual Monopolies: the Video
    • Legality of Human Gene Patents Questioned

      WASHINGTON—A U.S. federal appeals panel, hearing a case over Myriad Genetics Inc. patents for identifying breast- and ovarian-cancer risk, Monday probed whether it makes sense to continue allowing the patenting of human gene sequencing.

    • Under the U.S. Supreme Court: Can you patent the building blocks of life?

      A relatively quiet but intense struggle in the federal courts will decide under what conditions a company can patent the building blocks of life — or in some cases the building blocks of death — for profit.

      The struggle almost certainly will reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

      For now, those fighting the case are waiting for a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, which decides intellectual property issues.

    • ORGANIC FARMERS AND SEED SELLERS SUE MONSANTO TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM PATENTS ON GENETICALLY MODIFIED SEED: Preemptive Action Seeks Ruling That Would Prohibit Monsanto From Suing Organic Farmers and Seed Growers If Contaminated By Roundup Ready Seed

      On behalf of 60 family farmers, seed businesses and organic agricultural organizations, the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) filed suit today against Monsanto Company to challenge the chemical giant’s patents on genetically modified seed. The organic plaintiffs were forced to sue preemptively to protect themselves from being accused of patent infringement should they ever become contaminated by Monsanto’s genetically modified seed, something Monsanto has done to others in the past.

    • OSS is about access to the code

      And Sheen is also getting into the intellectual-property game. According to a variety of news reports, Sheen has filed trademark applications on 22 of his catchphrases, including the expressions “Duh, Winning,” “Vatican Assassin,” and “Tiger Blood.” Click here for the NY Post story.

    • Newspapers

      • Finally Calling Time on Piracy FUD

        Last week I got in a bit of an argument with Adam Thierer, Randy Picker, and others about the New York Times paywall. I think a paywall is a bad business strategy, but my opposition to paywalls is mostly a matter of (as I tweeted to Adam) “personal principle rather than business advice.” Adam seemed confused by that statement, so let me see if I can elaborate.

      • UK Newspapers Confirm Digital Death-Wish

        I thought I had plumbed the depths of the UK newspaper industry’s stupidity when it came to digital. The idea that putting up paywalls in any way strengthens the readership, reputation and brand of a publication was so far off the mark that I thought it was not possible to go beyond it in sheer wrong-headedness.

    • Copyrights

      • How Rigorous Will the RAND Report Be?

        So, how can we little people – the ones that are actually paying for all this work, but that are never allowed to provide any input – head off this danger of a biased, misleading report emerging from RAND Corporation?

        I think the only way is to starting making noises about the fact that it *might* be biased and misleading, so that those preparing it at RAND Corporation know that we are watching them like proverbial hawks, and that we will assuredly tear their methodology to pieces when it comes out, and will thus be certain to find – and brandish – the slightest lack of rigour or bias therein.

        Got that, RAND Corporation people? Excellent.

      • Piracy is not Counterfeiting: Updating IPRED

        As the Report from the European Commission to the European Parliament rightly says: “this initial evaluation of the effectiveness of the Directive comes at the right time.” The world of digital content is evolving so quickly that the current form of IPRED is sadly out of date, and urgently needs to be re-thought in the light of new evidence in this field.

        The Report goes on to make the following comment: “Several studies carried out by international organisations and industry have shown that infringements of intellectual property rights have reached a significant level, with certain of these goods posing a danger to consumers’ health and safety.” This statement requires closer analysis.

      • Finally Calling Time on Piracy FUD

        One of the striking features of reports purporting to estimate the “damage” caused by piracy – both of software and content – is that without exception, as far as I can tell, their numbers and methodology simply do not withstand close scrutiny.

        The trouble is, when it’s a question of lone voices like mine or even that of Techdirt’s Mike Masnick, probably the most dogged debunker of piracy FUD, the content industries can ignore such posts, presumably in the belief that our quick analyses somehow don’t count.

      • Judge to copyright troll: your “business model” isn’t my problem

        Ars Technica freelancer Eriq Gardner was recently sued over a photo that appeared in a piece he wrote for us last year. The flimsy lawsuit was quickly dismissed, but the company behind it lives on—and has sued 50+ people in Colorado for their use of the same photo. Now, the federal judge overseeing all these cases has made it clear that he sees through the company’s “lawsuit as revenue generation” strategy, and that he’s not interested in enabling it. Righthaven is already backing down.

      • Viacom Appeal: YouTube Hits Back, Says It’s A Good Net Citizen

        Last year, Viacom (NYSE: VIA) appealed its loss in its copyright lawsuit against YouTube (NSDQ: GOOG), and the video-sharing site has now filed a reply (embedded below) to Viacom’s arguments. Many of the arguments in the 107-page brief repeat what was argued in the courts below, but it’s interesting to observe the tone set in the opening pages of the brief. YouTube takes its time before getting to the legal points, showing that it’s really a good corporate citizen of the internet.

      • Lawsuit Against YouTube Threatens Global Growth of Political Speech

        San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and a coalition of advocacy groups have asked a federal appeals court to reject attempts to thwart federal copyright law and saddle online communities with new litigation fears in the appeal of Viacom v. YouTube.

Clip of the Day

Sintel Lite – Tour 1


Credit: TinyOgg

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