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

05.01.10

Links 1/5/2010: Fedora Kiosk Spin, Many New Sugar-based XOs

Posted in News Roundup at 1:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Look What Happens When There is Competition!

    # smartphones – Android growing fast, that other OS shrinking
    # web servers – Apache with GNU/Linux riding high
    # high performance computing – GNU/Linux wins easily – only 1% use that other OS
    # LAN servers – who knows? Too closely tied to that other OS on clients

  • Rate your inner Linux geek as easy as ABC …

    How geeky are you? How well do you know Linux? Give yourself a point for each command in the list over page that you know and two points if you’ve used it.

  • Linux File Security Training at the ACLU

    A couple of weeks ago you learned some user and group management basics with “User and Group Management 101.” This week you’re entering the Access Control List University (ACLU) for an overview of advanced user and group management through the use of access control lists (ACLs).

    ACLs don’t negate standard user and group management; they enhance it by expanding and simplifying complex permissions needs. User and group management, including ACLs, can fill an entire book so this introduction attempts to whet your appetite for a more in-depth investigation and isn’t meant to provide a treatise on the topic.

  • Desktop

    • GNU/Linux on Fire

      Then there’s LinuxQuestions.org that gets thousands of new members per month. Their logs show a high proportion of GNU/Linux users visiting the site:

      http://jeremy.linuxquestions.org/2010/01/06/happy-new-year-browser-and-os-stats-for-2009/

      Operating Systems
      Windows 52.73%
      Linux 40.94%
      Macintosh 5.43%

    • Stupid Television Executives

      See what I’m getting at? What a stupid message! What a stupid policy to block Linux users! And how rude to not even tell us up front that we are being blocked! There are xx million Linux users in the United States. Nobody knows what xx is, but we’re pretty sure that the number of Linux users in the US is in the tens of millions. If you believe the hit counters that some web sites use to collect stats on visitors, perhaps 5-7% of us who cruise the web are running some flavor of Linux. The population of the United States is approximately 350 million people. Five percent of 350 million is around 17.5 million.

    • 1=30

      A typical PC running GNU/Linux uses 1% CPU load per client while pointing, clicking and gawking so 30 clients working hard might reach 30% CPU load. Shared memory in a UNIX OS means only one copy of each application need be in RAM at once.

    • Killing Bug #1

      We must be proactive and show people how their lives will be better using GNU/Linux. Today I showed a man and his niece with a non-booting PC what could be done with GNU/Linux. They are all for it if it saves them the cost of shipping their box by air yet again to the fix-it shop. The machine has been handled roughly too many times that way by its appearance. They have a nice machine but that other OS refuses to run. Chalk up another small victory for GNU/Linux.

  • Audiocasts

    • CAOS Theory Podcast 2010.04.30

      *Latest in enterprise Linux releases and developments
      *Squiz combining open source WCM roots with enterprise search
      *Open source attitudes, approaches differ by region
      *NoSQL, White House.gov demonstrate open source contribution

    • Podcast 75 David’s Biased Distro Review

      The Picture to the right is my Test Box that I recorded this Podcast on because my main box was busy working on updating itself. You will notice some popping from the microphone I was using in the picture.

  • Ballnux

    • Is the LG Ally a Smart Phone, or Something Better? [VIDEO]

      An LG Ally promo video has hit the internet and it definitely has us thinking a release is merely weeks away. Check out the clip below and you’ll hear all sorts of wonderful references to Android apps including Latitutude, OpenTable, and eBay.

  • Kernel Space

    • AMD Athlon II X3 425 On Linux

      Earlier this week AMD announced the Phenom II X6 processors that are designed to offer “unbeatable” performance thanks to its six physical processing cores while not being priced too high. However, should you not be interested in the latest high-end CPUs, there still is a plethora of lower-end AMD parts on the market. One of AMD’s low-priced offerings is the Athlon II X3 425, which is a triple-core AM3 processor that can easily overclock past 3GHz and is priced to sell at around $70 USD.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The Loser In Our Windows vs. Linux Tests: Intel Graphics

        As mentioned yesterday, seven different systems are being used for this testing to get a good idea for the true performance of the different platforms rather than being bound to one or two different sets of CPUs and GPUs. On the system we used to represent Intel graphics was an Intel Core i3 530 quad-core processor that sports Intel’s newest integrated graphics processor, which is embedded onto the CPU.

      • Some Linux Hardware Statistics From Phoronix Global

        On Phoronix Global we have more than 25,000 benchmark result submissions from independent users around the world since launching the public version of the Phoronix Test Suite back in early 2008. As I have been hinting at for several months, with the launch of Phoronix Test Suite 3.0 by the end of this year, Phoronix Global will be getting its long overdue overhaul and there are some revolutionary features being worked on as it concerns benchmarking and collaborative testing. This evening, however, there are some hardware statistics to share for the more than 25,000 existing result uploads.

        [...]

        GPUs On Phoronix Global
        NVIDIA: 46.642%
        ATI: 30.023%
        Intel: 10.972%
        Matrox: 1.403%
        VIA / SiS: 0.721%
        VMware: 2.02%
        XGI: 0.539%
        Cirrus: 6.633%
        VirtualBox: 0.734%
        ASPEED: 0.282%
        Silicon Motion: 0.03%

      • Mesa Slowly Gets Better OpenGL 3 Coverage
      • More Radeon Power Management Improvements
  • Applications

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • Hello Kate, goodbye vi

      In my last article I introduced you to Gedit (see “Gedit: No more text-based editor for you!“) and, as promised, this time around we will examine the KDE equivalent…Kate. Kate is an interesting beast in that it is comprised of two parts: KatePart (which is the underlying editor that is also used in other KDE components that require an editor) and Kate (the actual text editor). Kate is a complete rewrite of the older kwrite. And, like Gedit, Kate offers a number of outstanding features. In this article I will introduce you to Kate.

    • system tray progress

      We’ve been slowly working away at getting the system tray in order. The goal is deceptively simple: allow us to host the entries there in a way that meshes with the rest of the user interface. It’s actually been fairly complex due not only to the large number of existing applications that use (or, in many cases, abuse) the system tray, but because “meshes with” mean that the presentation and the interaction choices need to be done by the system tray. In the past it’s been the application that has been in control of this, leading to utter chaos. With the new D-Bus based system, which has been picked up by some distributors for GNOME as well (in particular Canonical), we are now free to show the system tray entries they way we want to. It’s been a long road, and we’re finally coming to the last few steps in it.

    • Ubuntu: Install Amarok 1.4 in 10.04 (Lucid Lynx)

      Many people still like Amarok 1.4, in spite of the improvements in Amarok since 2.0 was released. Lucid has Amarok 2.3 in the repos, and it’s really nice, but there are still fans of Amarok 1.4 who may want to run that in Lucid.

      We’ll be using Bogdan Butnaru’s Jaunty PPA. (Thanks, Bogdan!) Yes, I said the Jaunty PPA. Bogdan didn’t put one up specifically for Karmic, because there was no change to the packages. The Jaunty packages worked just fine in Karmic, and they work just fine in Lucid, too.

  • Distributions

    • Tinycore Linux and “On Demand” Computing

      Tniycore is … tiny: it’s 10MB, which puts it right at the bottom of the “small Linux” distros. It’s also very core. There are no apps. It boots to a minimal desktop (WM, built for Tinycore) with a small dock (Wbar), and nothing else. Oh, there’s a terminal, a control panel, and an app installer (using FLTK). It feels very much more “then” than “now.” Believe me, though, it boots fast. From my SD card, the desktop is fully functional in 3 seconds — my SD card is slow.

    • New Releases

      • Grml 2010.04 Live Linux adds VNC mode and detects host RAID devices

        Version 2010.04 of Grml Live Linux distribution, codename “Grmlmonster”, has been released. Grml is aimed primarily at administrators and users of text tools, such as awk, sed, grep, zsh, mutt[ng], slrn, vim and many others. The most important new features in the Debian-based distribution are automatic boot parameter-based configuration of host RAID devices and a VNC mode which can also be selected via the boot options, thereby facilitating remote maintenance.

      • NimbleX 2010 Beta Makes the Switch to KDE4

        After a couple of years of silence, a new version of NimbleX, a light-weight, Slackware-based Linux distribution is now available. Still in testing, the NimbleX 2010 Beta has been released to all eager users. You can take it for a spin to see how it handles or to see what’s changed. The long wait may have been worth it, as NimbleX 2010 comes with a lot of changes and updates, completely overhauling the previous version.

    • Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Linux 2010 Spring Beta2 is available for tests

        We are now very near from final release. Here comes the second beta release for 2010 Spring version of Mandriva Linux. As usual you will be able to test it as it’s available on your favorite public mirror:

        * 32 and 64 bits DVD isos and mini dual iso (both 32 and 64 bits) for Free release (100% Open Source software)
        * live CDs One isos for KDE and GNOME environments (One isos will be available on monday)

    • Red Hat Family

      • The future of Linux in the data center: More than just Red Hat?

        For years, Red Hat has been the leader in the enterprise Linux market. And as of today, it still is — but the market has changed. Up to about three years ago, Red Hat was the only Linux player on the enterprise market; currently there are at least three other companies you can consider for getting enterprise Linux:

        * SUSE Linux Enterprise, currently owned by Novell
        * Ubuntu LTS, supported by Canonical
        * Oracle Unbreakable Linux, offered by Oracle

      • NTT Communications Powers Cloud Service with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced another endorsement of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization as a foundational technology for clouds. NTT Communications (NTT Com) in Japan has built its new cloud computing and hosting service offering, BizHosting Basic, on Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and has become a Red Hat Premier Certified Cloud Provider. In addition, Red Hat Enterprise Linux will be offered as a guest operating system for the new NTT Com service.

      • Red Hat and Jaspersoft Extend the Reach of Open Source for Fat Spaniel Technologies

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that its Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss Enterprise Middleware technologies, combined with the Jaspersoft Business Intelligence Suite, are working with Fat Spaniel Technologies in an effort to quickly introduce new functionality to market, scale with business growth and enable the measurement and reporting of the return on investment (ROI) of renewable energy.

      • Fedora

        • Introducing the Fedora Kiosk Spin

          I have just published a Fedora Kiosk Live Image.

          https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Fedora_Kiosk

          This image is still under development (as is F13).

    • Ubuntu

      • [ubuntu] Lucid Lynx 10.04 LTS
      • Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx review
      • Ubuntu 10.04: Upgrade or Clean Install?
      • The Best Improvements in Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

        Ubuntu 10.04 is out today, and there are quite a few improvements in “Lucid Lynx,” a long-term support release. What’s worth checking out, beyond the geeky guts? A pretty nifty social manager, a great music store, faster boot-ups, and more.

      • Lucid Lynx on Prowl for Users of a Different Stripe

        Perhaps most notably, this Ubuntu release targets the demographic that software partners most want to reach — those monetizing the Web through use of social media. Among the many third-party software makers that already have developed tools or support for the release are Web-based video content aggregator Boxee and, of course, Mozilla’s Firefox. Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) already has a toolbar ready for the platform, according to Canonical.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 Upgrade Results in Upside Down Fonts
      • Ubuntu Lucid Lynx great as ever, no game changer
      • Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx
      • Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx: Final Review
      • System76 Ships Ubuntu 10.04 Systems May 3

        Richell also shared some grander revenue trends and business moves at System76. I’m still sorting through the information and plan to post a follow-up blog.

        No doubt, some of Richell’s perspectives mirror those of ZaReason, another Ubuntu-centric PC provider that has launched Ubuntu 10.04 systems in recent days.

        Separately, I need to check in with Dell to see if/when the PC giant plans to preload Ubuntu on netbooks. The fastest way to track Dell’s Ubuntu PC efforts in the U.S. is to visit http://www.dell.com/ubuntu — though in recent months Dell seems to have dramatically cut back on the number of Ubuntu-centric systems it offers.

      • Ubuntu Tweak 0.5.4 is released ! Now support LinuxMint9

        Ubuntu Tweak 0.5.4 is released, the new release comes with some nice features and many other improvements, the big news is that Ubuntu Tweak now added support to the Ubuntu based system : LinuxMint 9, for the other new features of this release we find : Singleton support for Ubuntu Tweak, you will never launch two Ubuntu Tweak instances, the Ubuntu Tweak Stable source will be enabled by default, so that you won’t miss the major release version.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia

        • The new kid on the Mobile OS block – MeeGo

          The mobile market is growing tremendously and everyone wants to get a share of the pie of this growing market. Everyone pertains to the mobile players, and this includes the mobile handset manufacturers, telecommunication companies, mobile application developers, and the software industry in general – particularly the mobile operating system (OS) developers.

      • Android

        • Google’s TV App Platform May Be Announced Next Month

          Little is known about the platform so far; a report last month said Google had the ultimate goal of making it as “easy for TV users to navigate web applications … as it is to change the channel,” while an earlier report said that Google wanted to make it easy for people to search both TV content and web videos.

    • Sub-notebooks/ARM

      • Transflective screens finally shipping, Pixel Qi claims

        Pixel Qi (pronounced “Pixel Chee”), which describes itself as a “fabless developer of a new class of screens,” is a spinoff from OLPC (One Laptop Per Child), where the former’s founder Mary Lou Jepsen is said to have invented the XO-1 laptop’s sunlight-readable display technology. Pictured below, the technology allows a portable computer’s screen to be switched from a standard, backlit color mode to a reflective monochrome mode, saving power and allowing the device to be used even in direct, strong sunlight.

      • UN to buy 500,000 OLPC laptops for Palestinian children

        The computers run the open-source Sugar software suite, marking a return to OLPC’s roots after a flirtation with running Windows XP on its emblematic green-and-white XO laptops.

        Sugar is now developed by a separate organization, Sugar Labs, which also offers versions of its Activities software for Windows, or on a bootable USB stick running on top of a Linux kernel.

      • “Sources believe”

        I always wonder about unnamed sources. It is very easy for Wintel or Wintel’s partners to put out false news. Alarm bells go off in my head when the sources suggest the good old days will return soon. You cannot put the genie of the netbook back in the bottle. Acer has the inside track distributing such gadgets to ISPs, banks, etc. The developing markets can absorb billions of these things running ARM and GNU/Linux, just not x86 and that other OS…

        In physics, this is described as a “population inversion”. A higher energy level of atoms tends to drop to a lower energy level as conditions permit. That is the principle used by many lasers. One atom decaying triggers the others.

      • ARM takes on the server big boys

        DESIGNER OF CHIPS ARM claims that servers using its multi-core chips will go up against Intel within the next 12 months.

        Talking to EE Times, Warren East, ARM Holdings’ CEO, said that while its chips have traditionally been used in “relatively low performance” roles the firm’s architecture can “support server application as it is”. East said that the company is cranking out multi-core chip designs running at “up to 2GHz”.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Count on me

    A vendor provides the support that can’t be found in the open source community.

  • Strategy’s Golden Rule

    Incumbents tried for decades to lock down content in walled gardens — but none tried to open it, unlock it, and free it.

  • Open vs. Closed: Jimmy Wales on Being Open

    Wales: One of the key pieces there for me is that there are some business models around Linux, but those business models — like Red Hat — have tended to focus on the server market, where certainly in the web-surfing world, the LAMP stack [Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP] is dominant. And it is dominant in that area in part because there emerged business models that made it possible for people to do things in a sustainable way, whereas Linux on the desktop so far hasn’t really generated a business model. If you think about Android, it can be open source, or very nearly open source, and that doesn’t hurt its chances of succeeding simply because Google has a business model around it that has nothing to do with selling the software. They can fund it, they can support it, and it makes business sense for them to do so, in a way that it has never made a lot of business sense for anybody to really spend the money to get Linux on the desktop to that kind of polished state.

  • A Refresher Course on Alfresco

    The update was mainly confirming the continuing progress of Alfresco. According to the company, there have been more than 2 million downloads of the code, and Alfresco now has more than 1,100 customers, 150,000 community members, 74,000 live sites and over a million active users. It’s also been adding more big name companies to its portfolio.

  • What Happened To Obama’s Open Source Adviser?

    “Back in January of 2009, various news articles announced that former Sun CEO Scott McNealy was to become the Obama administration’s Open Source Technology adviser. Currently, however, a search for Scott on the whitehouse.gov website yields zero results. Searching a bit more, I found that Scott is currently working on CurriWiki, a kind of Wikipedia for school curriculum. So my question is, what happened? Did some lobbyist block the appointment? Did Scott decide his other activities were more important? Scott, if you are out there — please tell us what happened. There are many people working in government IT, such as myself, who were really excited about the possibilities of an expanded role for open source software in government, and are now wondering what went wrong.”

  • Picking the right open source projects

    That’s not as easy as it sounds: Open source support provider OpenLogic reports more than 330,000 open source software packages for enterprises to choose from.

  • Measuring your Company’s Open Source Maturity: A Quiz

    The “Embrace” Stage

    In this phase companies begin to fully understand the benefits that open source brings and start to proactively consider open source technology and its benefits.

    * Our company understands what open source we use and where it is deployed.
    * Management has realized that open source can save us money on software costs, enabling us to get more done with the same budget.

  • Join your jeesh for zero-g battles in Leges Motus

    Isaac Newton, in his Principia, outlined his famous laws of motion, or in Latin “leges motus.” As you know, Newton was an avid computer gamer, so it’s fitting that a SourceForge project has adopted Leges Motus as the name for its 2-D multiplayer shooter. In this game, players attempt to travel across a zero-gravity arena while freezing the opposing team’s members in order to bring down the opponents’ gate. Game play combines fast-paced action with team tactics, yet the basics are simple enough that beginners can jump into it immediately. Its developers says it’s the only open source game that combines 2-D graphics, top-down shooter gameplay, and a zero-gravity environment.

    [...]

    With a small development team, Partlan says it’s easy to coordinate work on the code by talking on IRC or in person, “but we would like to expand our team to speed up the process of development. We’re looking to make some really cool features happen in the future. We want to create more interesting weapons, such as a burst-fire machine gun that takes some time to charge up, and a melee weapon that fires a pulse of energy in a small radius around you. We also would like to create an AI client, so more players can try the game out without needing to wait for opponents. We’ll also be adding a keyboard mapping menu, among other things.

  • Firefox gets a sexy new add-ons manager

    Mozilla continues to plug away at Firefox.next, and one area they’ve been working at is the add-on system. Jetpack and Personas have already seen improvements, browser shutdown time has been reduced to almost nothing, and now there’s been a major update to the Firefox Add-on Manager.

  • Rename Maria

    To prevent confusion, it seemed like a wise choice to get the storage engine, Maria, renamed. MariaDB is already making a name for itself, and the trademarks are owned in numerous regions. Monty has no more children (he suggests Lucy, the name of his dog!), so we decided that the next best thing is to rely on the community for renaming the Maria Storage Engine.

    [...]

    Monty initially only planned to work on a next generation MyISAM called Maria, that would be crash safe, and eventually support transactions. Little did he know that in due time, he would not only be working on just another storage engine, but a complete branch of the MySQL database. Not coming up with a name almost immediately, he decided to call it MariaDB, named after his daughter, Maria.

  • How transparent is the White House?

    Cole concluded his keynote with a simple challenge: What changes do you want to see in government? In other words, I think it’s awesome that the Obama administration has an open source mentality that is driving change in Washington. But what good is making government more open and transparent if the citizens choose not to participate and hold governments accountable for their actions?

  • GNOBSD – A beginning

    I first heard about GNOBSD, a new fledgling, little known operating system, while reading a rather tragic story aptly named GNOBSD – killed by GUI-is-for-wimps hacker culture over at DistroWatch.com. Hacker culture, that sounds almost like haute couture. To cut the long story short, it turns out GNOBSD was about to bring a big change into the murky waters of UNIX and then, it hit the spiky wall of resistance and resentment of hardcore BSD fans. The developer was so dismayed that he removed the ISO file from his website, but then, after much popular demand, put it back. It’s alive and kicking now.

    [...]

    GNOBSD is not a complete system yet. But it’s a beginning, a great beginning. Alongside its already graphical brethren from the UNIX world, PC-BSD and Open Solaris, GNOBSD could bring a breath of change into computing market. It will sure not shatter the foundations of Redmond and Cupertino just yet or dislodge the highly popular Linux distributions from their throne, but it does not have to be about total annihilation. This could be a benevolent, smart effort to allow UNIX fans a real competitive edge in the fluid, modern, gadget-oriented market. It’s never been about technology, but integration into the human society.

    I love the concept and I hope it will flourish into a fully usable system that desktop users can enjoy as a viable alternative to other available operating system, with the comfort of security and stability of BSD.

  • Compilers

    • GCC 4.4.4 Is Being Uploaded For Release

      This month marked the release of GCC 4.5.0 and LLVM 2.7 with updates to the Clang compiler too, but the month is not over in the free software compiler world. Jakub Jelinek of Red Hat is uploading the GCC 4.4.4 packages right now for its release.

    • LLVMpipe’s Geometry Processing Pipeline Kicks
    • LLVM 2.7 Makes Its Debut With Many Features

      Last week we compared LLVM and Clang against GCC following the release of GCC 4.5 and found the newer compiler infrastructure that’s sponsored by Apple to not perform as well as the GNU Compiler Collection in a number of areas at this time, but today LLVM 2.7 is out. Version 2.7 of the Low-Level Virtual Machine brings forward many improvements to both core LLVM itself and the Clang compiler front-end.

  • Licensing

    • Managing Open Source Risk and Keeping It Legal

      From potential issues with licenses to evaluating the future development of a particular project, there are risks to consider before adopting open source software. As open source grows, so do the legal wrangles surrounding projects, licenses, and more.

  • Openness

    • What would it take to map an entire country?

      “What would it take to map an entire country?”

      With the growing visibility of Map Kibera, that question is coming more frequently, especially in Africa, where both OpenStreetMap and traditional mapping are widely absent. This is a massive question, which is going to depend very much on circumstances of that country, and on who is asking that question; and in the end may be better answered by a different question. In response to a couple queries, from Liberia and Malawi, I decided to write up a few blog posts to start off those conversations, and serve as reference for any of the other 200+ countries on this planet. To start, going look at a few examples to serve as models for answering the question.

    • BusinessWeek turns an eye to open source beyond technology

      So a few weeks back, I was excited to see that BusinessWeek (now Bloomberg BusinessWeek) ran a special report called Eye on: Open Source that also embraced the wider usage of open source principles in technology and beyond.

  • Open Access/Content

    • Mendeley Throws Open the Doors to Academic Data

      London-based Mendeley is offering an open API and making a vast catalog of academic publications searchable, which, well, might make the cut.

    • Open Government Data in Austria

      Open government data initiatives around the world are a big chance to make a change and present success stories and incentives to the public and policy makers. Of course, it will be a question of which data sets to open and what the consequences are. In a workshop with Rufus Pollock we could see that there are big differences between Austrian and Anglo-American and Scandinavian mentality: before we do something, we think out all possible (bad) consequences. Which is good, but firstly, this might take a while, secondly, we might think of more problems than there will actually turn out, and thirdly, sometimes the overall social benefit will just exceed costs.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • The Naming of Standards

      Some wanted it to be called “OfficeDocument”, emphasizing its primary scope of use. Others wanted to call it “OpenDocument”, making its openness (a new thing in the office-document world at that time) more central, and acknowledging that its applicability was for more than just office editors.

    • Getting to know Ars Aperta’s business

      I usually don’t write about this topic often, but I thought it would be interesting -and perhaps enlightening- to explain a bit more what my company, Ars Aperta provides as a business. I think it’s the right time today, as we have almost finished our upgrade to Ikaaro’s new release. Ikaaro is developed by a french company called Itaapy, and you should watch these guys: Ikaaro is now able to produce content from and to ODF while using ODF document templates at the same time. You can try their demo online and see for yourself. But I digress, back to Ars Aperta.

      We took the opportunity of this upgrade to clarify and revise the content on our website, and I think that what we offer as a team of consultants is now much clearer. Basically, we have three lines of business. The first, and the most generic one, is our consulting services. Ars Aperta provides client assistance and strategic consulting services (sometimes dubbed as “management consulting”) in the fields of information technologies, with a focus on Free & Open Source Software and Open Standards. Our existing customers have also worked with us on non specific Free and Open Source Software consulting project, so I guess one could say we tend to have a broader scope than our original focus.

Leftovers

  • Before The Paywall, Murdoch Stops Disclosing UK News Site Traffic

    With nearly a month to go before News International raises its first paywall in June, both Times Online and Sun Online have stopped publishing their user numbers through the ABC in the UK.

  • Science

    • Designing greenhouses for the Red Planet

      The creation of a human outpost on Mars is still some way off, but that hasn’t stopped us planning the garden. At Kennedy Space Center on April 15, President Barack Obama announced the intention to send humans to Mars by the mid-2030s. If all goes to plan, NASA will kick off an era of space exploration not seen since the Apollo moon programme in the 1960s.

    • Japanese Researchers Invent Elastic Water

      The material shown in the picture above is just ice, right? Look again. Elastic water, a new substance invented by researchers at Tokyo University, is a jelly-like substance made up of 95% water along with two grams of clay and a small amount of organic materials. As is, the all-natural substance is perfect for medical procedures, because it’s made of water, poses no harm to people and is perfect for mending tissue. And, if the research team can increase the density of this exciting new substance, it could be used in place of our current oil based plastics for a host of other things.

    • What can you learn from a whole genome sequence?

      The paper is based on the genome of Stephen Quake (right), which was sequenced using the single-molecule platform developed by Helicos (I wrote about Quake’s genome publication at the time). This is a rather curious choice: of all of the genome sequences currently available for analysis, Quake’s is one of the least complete and accurate due to the very short reads and high error rates of the Heliscope. It’s also interesting to note that at least one of the other authors on the paper – George Church – has a substantially better-quality sequence of his own genome (generated by Complete Genomics) in the public domain.

    • Zoologger: The most bizarre life story on Earth?

      There’s no question that discovering a new species is very cool. But how about discovering a new phylum?

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

    • Can the Sahara Light Up Europe with Solar Power?: Recent Developments in CSP

      Dubbed the Desertec Industrial Initiative, it will create vast fields of concentrated solar power (CSP) plants – arrays of mirrors which focus the sun’s energy to turn water into steam, and so drive electrical turbines. From there, the power will flow through a network of low loss transmission cables to pipe electricity into the existing European grid, via Spain.

  • Finance

    • Greece activates €45bn EU/IMF loans

      Prime minister George Papandreou says it is a ‘national and pressing necessity’ to call for financial rescue after Greece’s austerity measures failed to convince the markets

    • Break Goldman Sachs’ Republican filibuster

      Goldman Sachs and Wall Street banks are demanding Republicans filibuster Wall Street reform. As a result, every single Republican senator opposes pending legislation to rein in a U.S. financial sector run amok. Every single one. It’s shameful but true.

    • Legislating a Conscience on Wall Street

      Is there any way to change this now, so that the banks that remain the lifeblood of the U.S. economy are forced to think outside their walls? Yes, but only Washington can do it (as risky a proposition as that is too). It’s clear none of these big banks is going to able to grow a conscience on its own, not with the way the Street is structured today. That is why, along with new rules on capital and leverage and systemic risk, the forthcoming financial reform legislation—currently being held up by a Republican filibuster—should also include tough new rules on disclosure, transparency, and corporate responsibility.

    • The Feds vs. Goldman

      The Goldman case emerges as a symbol of all this brokenness, of a climate in which all financial actors are now supposed to expect to be burned and cheated, even by their own bankers, as a matter of course. (As part of its defense, Goldman pointed out that IKB is a “sophisticated CDO market participant” – translation: too fucking bad for them if they trusted us.) It would be nice to think that the SEC suit is aimed at this twisted worldview as much as at the actual offense. Some observers believe the case against Goldman was timed to pressure Wall Street into acquiescing to Sen. Chris Dodd’s loophole-ridden financial-reform bill, which probably won’t do much to prevent cases like the Abacus fiasco. Or maybe it’s just pure politics – Democrats dropping the proverbial horse’s head in Goldman’s bed to get their fig-leaf financial-reform effort passed in time for the midterm elections.

    • Workers march on Wall Street, protest big banks

      Thousands of workers and union leaders marched on Wall Street on Thursday to express their anger over lost jobs, the taxpayer-funded bailout of financial institutions and questionable lending practices by big banks.

      The rally was organized by the AFL-CIO and an association of community groups. It included a diverse mixture of union workers, activists, the unemployed, and homeowners threatened by foreclosure.

    • Where All That Money Went

      “We’ve lost almost $11 trillion of household wealth in the last 17 or 18 months,” lamented Senator Christopher J. Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat, on last Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” as he urged Congress to proceed with speedy deliberations on a finance reform bill.

    • Let’s keep banks from growing too big to regulate

      The Wall Street reform bill that is before the Senate, now that Republicans have ended their filibuster, will make important changes to our laws to provide for the orderly liquidation of these trillion-dollar banks if necessary. Those changes are important but not sufficient.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Swiftboating Financial Reform

      Republicans are blocking a Senate vote on the Dodd bill, seeking to build public support by misleading the public. They’re claiming to want a stronger bill when in fact they’re doing the Street’s bidding by seeking a weaker one.

      Evidence of their tactics comes in the form of a shady anti-financial reform group called “Stop Too Big To Fail” which today announced a new TV advertising push in three key states. The ad features an out-of-context quote from me to bolster its case to kill financial reform.

    • Washington Post Teams with Coal Industry Front Group

      The Washington Post introduced a new web page about politics called PostPolitics.com, and the site’s exclusive sponsor is the coal industry’s shady front group, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE). ACCCE is the group whose lobbying firm, Bonner and Associates, was caught forging letters to Representative Tom Periello (D-Virginia) in July, 2009, which urged Rep. Periello to oppose the Waxman-Markey Climate bill. The letters were supposedly from groups like the NAACP or Creciendo Juntas — on what appeared to be their stationery. ACCCE admitted that Bonner had been working on its behalf as a contractor to another PR firm, The Hawthorn Group.

    • A Firing Squad Execution, and Utah Worries About Tourism?

      Maybe the Salt Lake Tribune and the people of Utah are missing the point. Currently, 49 states ban execution via firing squad, including Utah. However, Utah passed the ban against firing squads in 2004, and Gardner is one of about 10 individuals who were sentenced to death prior to the ban, so he has the option of selecting the firing squad method. Oklahoma is the only state in the U.S. that still allows execution by firing squad. While the death penalty thrives in many U.S .states, especially Texas, all western European countries and Canada are death penalty-free.

    • Send out the Clown

      Corporate Accountability International (CAI), a group that works to end irresponsible corporate behavior, is pressuring the McDonalds fast food chain to retire their promotional clown, Ronald McDonald, saying the clown is a threat to public health.

    • Statement by the President on the DISCLOSE Act

      “I welcome the introduction of this strong bi-partisan legislation to control the flood of special interest money into America’s elections. Powerful special interests and their lobbyists should not be able to drown out the voices of the American people. Yet they work ceaselessly toward that goal: they claim the protection of the Constitution in extending this power, and they exploit every loophole in the law to escape limits on their activities. The legislation introduced today would establish the toughest-ever disclosure requirements for election-related spending by big oil corporations, Wall Street and other special interests, so the American people can follow the money and see clearly which special interests are funding political campaign activity and trying to buy representation in our government. I have long believed that sunlight is the best disinfectant, and this legislation will shine an unprecedented light on corporate spending in political campaigns. This bill will also prohibit foreign entities from manipulating the outcomes of American elections and help close other special interest loopholes. I hope that Congress will give this legislation the swift consideration it deserves, which is especially urgent now in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Passing the legislation is a critical step in restoring our government to its rightful owners: the American people.”

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Rudd retreats on web filter legislation

      KEVIN Rudd has put another election promise on the backburner with his controversial internet filtering legislation set to be shelved until after the next election.

      A spokeswoman for Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said yesterday the legislation would not be introduced next month’s or the June sittings of parliament.

    • Govt ‘committed to internet filter’

      The federal government has rejected claims it has abandoned plans to introduce mandatory internet filtering before the next election.

    • Palin e-mail snoop found guilty on two charges

      A federal jury in Knoxville today has convicted David Kernell, 22, of two charges in connection with the 2008 episode where he accessed the personal Yahoo e-mail account of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and then initiated a worldwide rummaging of its contents.

    • Sometimes, we win.

      Judge James Adair, who presided over the case and who would be granting the sentence, is sort of like your favourite teacher. He hated school, fell in love with the girl across the street, tried to be a prosecutor but didn’t much care for it, and now drives a little red Corvette around his tiny town, dodging questions at lunch counters from the very people whose lives he holds in his hands. He told us these things before he pronounced sentence, claiming that he couldn’t do his job without looking Peter in the eye one more time. He spoke very frankly, saying that he found Peter “puzzling,” and that he constantly had to ask himself, “Who is Peter Watts?”

      At this point, I had to stifle a very Hermione Granger-ish urge to raise my hand and say, “I know! I know! Pick me! I know who Peter Watts is!” As I wrote at my own blog, Peter is “the person who dropped everything when I fainted at a blood donation clinic. The person who rescues cats. The person who fixed the strap of my dress with a safety pin and his teeth. The person who stands up for me in critiques even when he thinks I’ve fucked up the ending (because I always do), who talked me through the ideas of my novel. The person who gives the best hugs.”

      [...]

      Peter stumbled down the aisle toward us, blinking. “He did say no jail time, right?”

      We all said it at once: “Yes.”

    • Petitioners conned voters into switching to the GOP

      Petitioners prowling parking lots and community college campuses tricked dozens of young Orange County voters into registering to vote as Republicans, an Orange County Register investigation has found.

    • My Defamation 2.0 Experience

      My name is Erik Moeller. I’ve been a Wikipedia volunteer editor and software developer since 2001. In 2006, I was elected by its volunteer community to the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization which operates it; in 2007, I was reelected, and in 2008, I relocated from Berlin, Germany to San Francisco to join the Wikimedia Foundation staff as Deputy Director.

      In May 2008, an anonymous defamer circulated a smear letter about me to various blogs, which resulted in a series of posts written by Owen Thomas for Gawker Media that defamed me as a “defender of pedophilia”. These posts did not attract much attention until April 2010, when Larry Sanger re-circulated reference to them as part of a false accusation that Wikimedia knowingly distributed illegal child pornography. This in turn resulted in a Fox News story, “Wikipedia Distributing Child Porn, Co-Founder Tells FBI”, which is prompting me to write this response. I am also now represented by a lawyer, and intend to take legal action.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • RLSLOG Pulled Offline After Universal Music Complaint

      RLSLOG, one of the world’s most popular release news sites, has been pulled offline by its German hosting company following a takedown request from Universal Music. The site, which has never hosted any copyrighted material on its servers, is currently looking for a new home outside Germany.

    • Copyrights

      • USTR’s Bully Report Unfairly Blames Canada Again

        The U.S. government has released its annual Special 301 report in which it purports to identify those countries with inadequate intellectual property laws. Given the recent history and the way in which the list is developed, it will come as no surprise that the U.S. is again implausibly claiming that Canada is among the worst of the worst. As a starting point, it should be noted that the Canadian government does not take this exercise particularly seriously. As an official with the Department of Foreign Affairs once told a House of Commons committee:

        In regard to the watch list, Canada does not recognize the 301 watch list process. It basically lacks reliable and objective analysis. It’s driven entirely by U.S. industry. We have repeatedly raised this issue of the lack of objective analysis in the 301 watch list process with our U.S. counterparts.

        This year’s report is particularly embarrassing for the U.S. since it not only lacks in credible data, but ignores the submission from CCIA (which represents some of the world’s largest technology and Internet companies including Microsoft, Google, T-Mobile, Fujitsu, AMD, eBay, Intuit, Oracle, and Yahoo) that argued that it is completely inappropriate to place Canada on the list. The technology giants reminded the USTR that “Canada’s current copyright law and practice clearly satisfy the statutory ‘adequate and effective’ standard. Indeed, in a number respects, Canada’s laws are more protective of creators than those of the United States.”

      • US Says 4.3 Billion People Live With Bad IP Laws
      • Pirate Bay Rallies Against UK Anti-Piracy Act

        The Pirate Bay is encouraging its users to oppose the Digital Economy Act that was recently forced through by the UK Government. The legislation “threatens the privacy and human rights of all web users,” they argue, but it’s not too late to turn things around for the better.

      • CMAP #8: Lifestyle or Job?

        Misconceptions abound, and not only about the publishing industry. In this posting, I’m going to talk a little bit about what it is to be a commercial fiction author.

        Most people have a very romanticized view of what it is that authors do. Firstly, there’s a widespread perception that the workload involved is relatively easy — in modern western nations, the level of functional literacy is high enough that a majority of the population can read a book, and write (at least to the extent of thumbing a 160-character text message on their phone). Because there is no obvious barrier to entry as with music (where proficiency with musical instruments clearly takes practice), most people assume that writing a novel is like writing a text message — you put one word in front of another until you’re done. The skills of fiction composition are largely invisible, until you try to actually do it. Secondly, many people harbour peculiar ideas about how much money there is in commercial publishing — and when disabused of the idea that selling a first novel is a road to riches, they assume it’s because the evil publishers are conspiring to keep all the money to themselves (rather than the unpalatable truth — publishing commercial fiction is hard work for little reward). Finally, there’s the Lifestyle chimera.

      • How Hollywood Hides The Horrors Of War

        For all its mystifications, Avatar clearly sides with those who oppose the global Military-Industrial Complex, portraying the superpower army as a force of brutal destruction serving big corporate interests. The Hurt Locker, on the other hand, presents the U.S. Army in a way that is much more finely attuned to its own public image in our time of humanitarian interventions and militaristic pacifism.

        The film largely ignores the big debate about the U.S. military intervention in Iraq, and instead focuses on the daily ordeals of ordinary soldiers who are forced to deal with danger and destruction. In pseudo-documentary style, it tells the story—or rather, presents a series of vignettes—of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) squad and their potentially deadly work of disarming planted bombs.

    • Digital Economy Bill

      • Musicians coining it in Sunday Times Rich List

        88 individuals from the music and entertainment industries appear in the 2010 Sunday Times Rich List. An elite half dozen or so are richer than the Queen. Is this who the Digital Economy bill is designed to protect?

      • A Third of London UK Households Open to Wi-Fi Attacks

        If a cybercriminal gains access to someone’s home WiFi, either due to the network being unsecure or a network password being cracked, then email accounts, social networking sites and even online banking can be broken in to.

        Also with access to someone’s home WiFi, a cybercriminal can use the internet connection however they choose. The home owner may be completely unaware as the hacker browses obscene websites or illegally downloads copyrighted music, films or TV shows from their home network.

      • When We Can Copy *Analogue* Artefacts…

        The recent battle over the Digital Economy Bill has focussed renewed attention on the area of copying digital artefacts – music and films, for example. It’s a subject I’ve started writing and speaking about more and more; for example, here are some thoughts on why free software’s success is crucially important in this area.

        But I have confession to make: that article is a bit of a cop-out. I didn’t address the even bigger issue of what happens when we can copy *analogue* artefacts. Yup, you read that aright: the time is fast approaching when we will be able to download a chair or a bicycle and just print it out. Clearly, this will make the idea of *analogue* scarcity rather more complex (although energy concerns will always place a lower bound on the cost of making such copies).

Clip of the Day

What’s under the hat? A sneak peek at Fedora 13 by Jesse Keating


04.30.10

Links 30/4/2010: *Ubuntu 10.04 Release

Posted in News Roundup at 1:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • Open Source Conferences Are Big Businesses

      Granted, Buytaert does cite nearly $700,000 in expenses related to the conference, but he also estimates $1,004,470 in revenues. DrupalCon makes clear why open source conferences continue to flourish. There are organic reasons why they do well, of course. Among those, open source projects are by nature community driven, and members of communities like to mingle and share ideas.

    • About the LFNW Videos

      The videos were recorded at 720×480 resolution and where transcoded with a combination of Handbrake and ffmpeg2theora… with the final results being in Ogg Theora (.ogv) format.

      The videos were uploaded to archive.org and are streaming (and downloadable) from there.

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox powers research

      Mozilla’s Firefox is a pretty good browser. But, thanks to a number of add-ons, it can also be an essential research tool for anyone working online. We look at some of the best add-ons available for improving Firefox’s research capabilities.

    • Account Manager coming to Firefox

      The Account Manager makes it incredibly easy for users to create new accounts with optional randomly generated passwords, and log into and out of them with just a click. As a web developer, adding support for this feature could take as little as fifteen minutes of hacking (in fact, we’ll mention the first 5 people to add support – read below to learn more.).

  • Databases

    • A Few Words About ‘NoSQL’ and Other Unstructured Databases

      No one likes this term. Attempting to describe something by what it isn’t typically doesn’t work — and, to make matters worse, this is about data-store relationships and not about SQL at all. Yet NoSQL databases have significant advantages, including:

      * Seemingly infinite scalability (Facebook is using Cassandra to store and query 50TB of user inbox data).
      * Extraordinary fault tolerance.
      * High availability.
      * A design-friendly lack of schema.
      * Integration of both RESTful and cloud computing technologies.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • The German Medal of Honour for founder of FSFE

      Georg Greve has been awarded the German Medal of Honour for his contributions to open standards and free software. Born in 1973, the physicist founded Free Software Foundation Europe in 2001 and served as its president up to last year.

  • Programming

    • The Quality of Code is not strained…

      A proprietary vendor supplied us with their code and details of performance for one of our teams to integrate with our existing systems. No news there, happens every day across the enterprise. However, as the implementation scaled it exposed fatal flaws in the proprietary code when under load – bringing everything to a grinding halt.

    • KXStitch delivers cross-stitch wizardry for Linux

      As KXStitch grew, so did Allewell’s skill as a developer. “I originally started the development process with KDevelop using KDE2/Qt, as I was new to developing graphics applications and new to developing on Linux. I found KDevelop was easy to use and provided a wealth of tools to aid the development process. Since then I have moved away from KDevelop and just maintain my own build files as I have gained more knowledge of Linux and the development process.”

Leftovers

  • Comcast ‘wins’ Consumerist worst-company tournament

    The votes are in, and Comcast has won Consumerist’s uncoveted “Worst Company in America” award.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Goldman Sachs Knows How to Get ‘Er Done!

      This has to be the best detail from the emails published as exhibits for the Senate Subcommittee on Investigations hearing on Goldman Sachs. (The “Timberwolf C.D.O. squared” refers to a hybrid cash/synthetic collateralized debt obligation Goldman Sachs derived from other mortgage-backed securities, naturally.)

    • Huge drop in crimes solved by costly CCTV

      The number of crimes solved by the Metropolitan Police using CCTV has fallen by more than a half in five years.

    • TfL signs £22.6m CCTV contract with Easynet

      Transport for London has awarded a 10-year, £22.6 million contract to Easynet Global Services to provide digital telecommunications network services for its CCTV system upgrade.

    • NHS data revelations bode badly for NPfIT

      Today that fear has been confirmed as – for at the least the second year running – the NHS has topped the list of UK organisations subject to the highest number of data breaches. As reported by the Health Service Journal:

      More serious data breaches have taken place within the NHS than any other UK organisation, according to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

      A total of 2897 breaches were reported, accounting for more than 30% of the total number, deputy commissioner David Smith told the Infosec security conference.

      The NHS, which is currently introducing digital patient records, said that 113 incidents occurred due to stolen data or hardware, with a further 82 cases of lost data or hardware.

    • Is there a quota system for New Mexico’s state police?

      Eyewitness News 4 has uncovered documentation that indicates some police officers have been mandated to write a certain number tickets per month or face possible punishment.

  • Finance

    • Republicans Allow Debate on Financial Overhaul

      With political pressure mounting, Senate Republicans relented on Wednesday and agreed to let Democrats open debate on legislation that would impose the most far-reaching overhaul of the nation’s financial regulatory system since the aftermath of the Depression.

    • Obama plans to nominate 3 Fed governors

      If all three were confirmed, the Fed would have its first full slate of seven governors in four years. There are currently two vacant Fed positions, for which Raskin and Diamond are to be nominated, and Fed Vice Chairman Donald L. Kohn plans to retire in June, to be replaced by Yellen.

    • Obama nominates two for key administration posts

      Prior to joining CIGNA Insurance, he held various positions in the areas of IT, engineering, marketing and general business management at Monsanto, Quaker Oats, General Dynamics, and Shell Oil Company.

    • Major source of money for big banks may get exemption from regs

      A major source of revenue for big banks may ultimately be exempt from new regulations under financial reform legislation in Congress.

      Lawmakers are looking to crack down on the multitrillion-dollar derivatives market that some blame for worsening the financial crisis.

    • Greek’s debt troubles raise contagion worries

      The Greek debt crisis sent a shudder through global financial markets and served as a dramatic reminder of how vulnerable the world economy remains to the threat of a fast-spreading financial panic.

    • To Save The Eurozone: $1 trillion, European Central Bank Reform, And A New Head for the IMF

      When Mr. Trichet (head of the European Central Bank, ECB) and Mr. Strauss-Kahn (head of the International Monetary Fund, IMF) rushed to Berlin this week to meet Prime Minister Angela Merkel and the German parliament, the moment was eerily reminiscent of September 2008 – when Hank Paulson stormed up to the US Congress, demanding for $700bn in relief for the largest US banks. Remember the aftermath of that debacle: despite the Treasury argument that this would be enough, much more money was eventually needed, and Mr. Paulson left office a few months later under a cloud.

    • Frank Luntz Hasn’t Read 13 Bankers (And That’s A Good Thing)

      This is about the “arc of the fraud”. The financial system committed fraud during the boom (liar loans and misrepresentation to customers of all kinds); fraud during the bailout (“if you ruffle our feathers, we will collapse”); and now fraud during the serious attempts at reform (e.g., the astroturf/fake grassroots nonsense.)

    • Goldman Sachs adds to its ranks of lobbyists

      But now, faced with fraud charges, investigations, a firestorm of criticism and a regulatory overhaul bill that could seriously damage its profitability, the venerable Wall Street firm is assembling a team of veteran lobbyists, well-connected former Hill staffers and top public relations strategists to confront what is arguably the most traumatic moment in its 140-year history.

    • Organized Labor Puts a Bull’s-Eye on Wall Street

      Activists are expecting 10,000 people to vent their rage Thursday against the giants of the financial system from within the belly of the beast — on Wall Street itself — while another 8,000 will participate virtually.

    • Ex-Goldman Trader Bought Major Stake in ACA, Shorted Subprime CDOs

      The Goldman-Paulson fraud suit threatens to throw a spotlight on a realm of Wall Street that has escaped most scrutiny throughout the financial crisis: the hedge fund industry. Top hedge fund managers profit from Wall Street’s business model of fraud and collusion more than any CEO at the big banks, but tend to evade accountability because of the opacity of their industry and their extraordinary power.

    • Goldman Not Talking Settlement, Yet

      Will Goldman Sachs (GS) settle the now-famous civil fraud case over its disclosures (or lack thereof) to a German bank that bought from the firm a batch of toxic investments?

      Yes, of course. There’s not a person on Wall Street, including at the senior levels of Goldman, who isn’t predicting a settlement.

    • In Goldman’s Defiance, a Hint of Truce

      That destination is likely to be a negotiated truce. In the hearing before the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Chairman Carl Levin punishingly interrogated Goldman traders and top executives over the morality of their actions. Senate Republicans, possibly seeing political peril in siding with Wall Street, the next day stopped blocking floor debate on the financial regulatory overhaul bill.

    • How the SEC and Congress Can Bring Down Goldman Sachs and Expose the Financial Coup

      Not only did Goldman Sachs profit on betting against CDOs they designed to fail; more importantly, they insured them through AIG which led to a $182 billion taxpayer bailout.

    • Goldman Sachs Crossed Ethical Lines in Selling CDOs, Levin Says
    • Goldman Sachs deal in fraud case involved unsophisticated investors

      The doomed deal at the heart of the government’s civil fraud suit against Goldman, Sachs & Co. was designed for sophisticated investors.

    • Goldman Trader ‘Hedging’ Means ‘Conflict’ to Senator

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. trader Josh Birnbaum had recommended betting against the stock of Bear Stearns Cos. in July 2007, just four months after his colleagues sold a $300 million piece of “one shitty deal” to hedge funds controlled by Bear Stearns, according to e-mails obtained by the Senate through a subpoena.

    • Goldman Sachs, Goldfish Eat Their Young

      In one sense, Goldman Sachs is no different from other investment banks. Junior employees are expendable. Like goldfish, investment banks eat their young when brand-protection and self-interest make cannibalism seem rationale.

    • The Death of Goldman Sachs

      This was a very painful event to watch, not just because death is tragic and not because this death was intentional rather than accidental.

    • Comparing Goldman Sachs to a Casino Is an Insult to Casinos

      Running a gambling casino is actually a pretty simple, straightforward and honest business. You’re closely regulated by the state gambling commission who would throw you in prison if you were caught loading the dice, stacking the deck or making side bets for your own account against your customers. All your customers know that you skew the odds slightly in favor of the house, so that cumulatively the house always wins and you make healthy profits on the margin by which the odds are slightly skewed in your favor.

    • Wall Street Comparison Offends Las Vegas, Ensign Says

      Most people in Las Vegas would “take offense” at being compared with Wall Street, according to the Nevada senator who represents the gambling capital.

    • Political Wisdom: Arizona, Goldman Sachs Stir the Pot

      Political theatrics are plentiful on two quite different fronts today: Arizona’s new immigration law and Goldman Sachs’ performance leading up to the economic meltdown of 2008.

    • Arizona’s new ‘papers, please’ law may hurt H-1B workers

      H-1B workers in Arizona that can’t immediately prove they’re working in the U.S. legally may find themselves detained by police or even jailed under the state’s new immigration law.

    • Self-Evaluations Pose New Concern After Goldman Sachs Hearing

      At a 10-hour congressional hearing this week, senators pointed to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. employees’ self-evaluations, which included boasts about making “extraordinary profits” by betting against the subprime market, as proof the company misled investors into a mortgage-linked investment.

    • Fabulous Fab Shows Managers Oblivious to E-Mail Peril (Update1)

      His messages left lawyers asking: What was he thinking?

      “It is shocking how people are oblivious to the fact that e-mails are a treasure trove for lawyers,” said Jacob Frenkel, a partner at Shulman Rogers Gandal Pordy & Eckerin in Potomac, Maryland. “It’s a combination of not thinking, ignorance and arrogance.”

    • Goldman Sachs banker facing fraud charges bags share of mega £3.2bn payout
    • ‘Fabulous Fab’ Goldman Sachs exec Fabrice Tourre, Wall Street sext king, is a nervous weenie

      Fabrice Tourre, who calls himself Fabulous Fab, is not so much.

      Actually, the 31-year-old Frenchman of the racy e-mails came across like a weenie when he appeared before a Senate subcommittee to be grilled about Goldman Sachs’ role in a deal the SEC says wasn’t kosher.

      There he was in his Stanford school tie along with his Goldman Sachs colleagues, ducking, dodging and looking none too comfortable as politician after politician teed off on the giant investment bank.

    • Accused Goldman Sachs Exec Crowed Of Pending ‘Collapse’ -SEC

      Fabrice Tourre, the Goldman Sachs (GS) executive accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of making misleading statements about toxic investments, had a grandiose view of his own position in the financial system, according to emails the SEC said he wrote.

    • Goldman’s Viniar, Sen. Levin Agree: Don’t Say Securities ‘Crap’

      Senator Carl Levin and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Financial Officer David Viniar agreed on at least one thing during his testimony today before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations: Investment bankers shouldn’t call the securities they sell “crap.”

      Levin asked what Viniar felt when he read e-mails in which Goldman Sachs employees described mortgage-linked securities as “crap” or “shitty.”

    • Goldman Case Is Just ‘the Beginning’ for Banks, Malmgren Says

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Senate grilling may be the start of a series of inquiries into banks in the wake of the global crisis, said Pippa Malmgren, George W. Bush’s former chief financial-markets adviser.

    • Goldman Armed Salespeople to Dump Bonds, E-mails Show

      The e-mails, including communications from Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein, show that employees discussed how to “arm” salespeople to shed bonds the firm found too risky to hold. The e-mails were released yesterday by Senator Carl Levin in connection with a hearing where current and former managers testified about the firm’s role in the financial crisis.

      Levin, the Michigan Democrat who heads the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, grilled the executives about the firm’s bets against the housing market and its disclosure to clients.

    • Whitman Flips on Goldman Sachs

      Former eBay CEO and current candidate for governor of California Meg Whitman now regrets participating in a now-banned transaction several years ago when she served on the board of disgraced Goldman Sachs.

    • Goldman Sachs’ Long Day In Washington
    • Congress berates Goldman Sachs
    • Enron law firm sues Goldman Sachs

      The law firm that won Enron investors $7.2 billion in what was one of the largest class action suits in the history of securities law filed charges against Goldman Sachs on Monday.

    • Goldman Sachs Suffers The Perils Of PR Spin
    • What’s Next for Goldman Sachs?
    • Probe: Goldman Eyed Profits from Housing Bust

      Top Goldman executives misled investors in complex mortgage securities that became toxic, investigators for a Senate panel allege. They point to e-mails and other Goldman documents obtained in an 18-month investigation. Excerpts from the documents were released Monday, a day before a hearing that will bring CEO Lloyd Blankfein and other top Goldman executives before Congress.

    • Viniar Says Firm Didn’t Negotiate With Treasury on AIG Payments

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. received a 100 percent payout on its collateral from American International Group Inc. because “it was what they owed us,” Chief Financial Officer David Viniar said.

    • Will their bite match their bark? Obama advisor rails against Goldman Sachs, but bill’s in limbo

      Democrats blasted Goldman Sachs Sunday for conflicts of interest after internal emails showed company officials cheering the crash of the housing market that devastated the lives of millions of Americans.

    • Bloomberg Scoop Has Implications for Geithner, Ex-Goldman Chair

      Bloomberg Markets breaks some major news today in a magazine profile of TARP Special Inspector General Neil Barofsky, who says his investigation of New York Federal Reserve, then headed by Tim Geithner, “could result in criminal or civil charges”…

    • Wall Street Compensation Is Much More Complex Than It Needs To Be. Let’s Take Goldman For Example…
    • Letter from Rep. Kaptur to the DOJ demanding a requesting investigation of Goldman
    • Kendall Law Group Plans Class Action on Behalf of Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Shareholders

      A class action complaint has been filed on behalf of investors for failure to fully disclose the facts relating to ABACUS 2007-AC1 transaction, even after receiving notice from the SEC about the deal. If you wish to serve as a lead plaintiff in this case you must move the court by June 25, 2010. A lead plaintiff is a class member who acts on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. Your ability to share in any recovery is not affected by the decision to serve as a lead plaintiff.

    • Gordon Duff: The Gop And Goldman Sachs, Economic Terrorism

      Nearly every pension fund and 401k, every college fund in America dropped dramatically because of these fraudulent and unethical acts. Millions of Americans will have to work into their 70s and 80s because of Goldman Sachs, work if they can still find jobs. Goldman Sachs helped take those away too. Not just major employers but governments, cities and states, all can no longer pay the pensions they have guaranteed their workers. The money is gone. It was taken, and not without alot of help.

    • The devil in Goldman Sachs
    • Goldman Sachs Said to Meet U.K. FSA Today Over Probe
    • Dead money lives: Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein gets $2.8M richer – by testifying
    • Goldman Death Fight May Explain Lloyd’s Words: Jonathan Weil

      If we are to take Lloyd Blankfein’s word for it, and that’s always a big if, then there must be a lot worse behavior by Goldman Sachs that has yet to be discovered, beyond what was publicly unearthed at this week’s Senate hearing.

    • Did Goldman’s Ex-Mortgage Guru Lie Under Oath?

      As it was making those deals, Goldman was taking a far more negative view of the mortgage markets. So the issue is, what did Sparks know and when did he know it? More precisely, did he—could he—really expect these deals to do well when Goldman was peddling them to customers?

    • Criminal Probe into Goldman Sachs

      For some bizarre reason, the WSJ has this filed under “Politics.” (I guess this means the Foxification of the WSJ is continuing apace).

    • Goldman in Talks Over Fund Settlement: Report

      Goldman Sachs Group is in talks over a possible settlement with an Australian fund that said it became defunct after it bought into a $1 billion subprime mortgaged-linked security, the FT reported on Thursday.

    • Legislators suggest fraud, request Goldman inquiry

      A group of 62 House lawmakers is asking the Justice Department to conduct a criminal investigation of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Senators complain about Facebook privacy changes

      Facebook’s latest privacy policy update has once again gotten the company in hot water, this time with four US senators. Senators Al Franken, Charles Schumer, Michael Bennet, and Mark Begich wrote an open letter to Facebook on Tuesday, urging the company to take “swift and productive steps” to make user information more private and warning that the Federal Trade Commission may get involved if certain concerns aren’t addressed soon.

    • Timeline of Facebook privacy policy: from reasonable (2005) to apocalyptic (2010)

      Electronic Frontier Foundation attorney Kurt Opsahl has gone spelunking in the history of Facebook’s privacy policies over the past five years, presenting a timeline that starts with something fairly moderate and reasonable in 2005 and moves to the current 2010 version which basically says, “By using Facebook, you agree to let us film your life 24/7, sell it to advertisers, ridicule it, or make a reality show from it.”

    • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

      • Why Is Michael Geist In Favour Of Digital Rights Management/Technical Protection Measures?

        I’d like to remind Michael that there was more agreement than disagreement that blacks were an inferior species in North America late into the 1900s, and that there is still a strong belief that Native Canadians are inferior in parts of Canada even today. Just because there is some agreement on something doesn’t mean that it’s right.

      • Canadian Politics, Copyright Law, Lawyers, WIPO, Etc.

        Why am I doing this? Easy. It’s called documentation. I’ve dealt with government departments a lot in the past. Before my body gave out, and I was no longer capable of working, I was fairly well known in Washington DC, and also in Sacramento. Part of my work involved dealing with the large American law firms, firms far larger than McCarthy Tetrault or Stikeman Elliot. I’ve given testimony to government agencies in the United States in the past, and probably will again, once my surgery is complete.

    • Intellectual Monopolies

      • U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Releases Latest Bogus Study Pushing For More Draconian IP Enforcement

        The report is a joke, based on a series of faulty assumptions. Tragically, the US Chamber of Commerce still gets attention, despite the fact that its claims pushing for stronger IP laws would do a lot more harm than good for most US business and innovation.

      • Feds celebrate Intellectual Property Day with more IP cops

        Yesterday was World Intellectual Property Day. Though not usually thought of as a gift-giving holiday, the US did take the opportunity to give something to IP rightsholders: 35 new federal officials focused on domestic and international IP crimes.

      • Copyrights

        • “Fair use” generates trillions in the US alone

          When pressing Congress to ratchet up the legal screws on infringers, copyright holders are fond of touting apocalyptic reports about how piracy is destroying their industries—and the US economy.

        • Copyright Defenders Don’t Realize That New ‘Fair Use’ Report Mocks Their Own Study

          Last year, we had written about how the CCIA had taken the same methodology used by entertainment industry lobbyists to claim how “big” the “copyright industry” was and applied it to the “fair use” industry, to show that it was actually much bigger than the copyright industry. Both numbers are clearly bogus — which is effectively the point that CCIA was making. The point that is clear, however, is that if you accept the methodology that claims that “copyright” brings $1.52 trillion into the economy, then weaker copyright/exceptions to copyright (such as fair use) bring in $2.2 trillion. Lots of folks have been submitting the news that the CCIA just recently updated the report to show that we’re now talking about $4.7 trillion contributed by the “fair use industries.” Again, this number is bogus — but it’s main point is to show just how silly the copyright lobbyist’s argument that copyright contributes $1.52 trillion to the economy is, because it uses the same methodology — a point recently confirmed by the GAO.

          [...]

          And guess who one of the biggest abusers of this bogus $1.52 trillion number is? You guessed it! It’s Patrick Ross! He tosses the number around like it’s going out of style and is regularly quoted in the press using that number as well.

        • Random House Cedes Some Digital Rights to Styron Heirs

          After publicly staking a claim to the right to publish electronic versions of books that already have a long history in print, Random House appears to be letting go of digital rights to several works by one prominent author without a fight, potentially opening the way for other authors to take their e-books away from traditional publishers.

        • AFP Sues Photographer Whose Photographs It Used Without Permission

          Where to start on the mess here? First, let’s start with AFP. This is the same organization that once sued Google for merely linking to AFP stories with the AFP’s headline in Google News. So for the AFP to pretend it’s on the moral high road here for blatantly using a photo without licensing it is pretty damn hypocritical, even if you believe it had the right to do so. Given its own actions on copyright issues, the AFP seems to think that any use is infringing.

        • Anti-Piracy Group Says: ‘Child Porn Is Great’ Since It Gets Politicians To Block File Sharing Sites

          Of course, those filters don’t actually work, and using them to force entire sites to be blocked, despite them having a relatively tiny proportion of such content isn’t just dishonest and underhanded, but dangerous. We’re all in favor of trying to stop child porn, but you do that by focusing on the source, not by putting up filters willy-nilly in a misguided attempt to get politicians to also protect your business model.

          Either way, it’s incredibly disgusting to have anyone claim that child porn is “great,” just because it can be improperly exploited for the sake of protecting another industry’s business model. That he’s basically admitting that he doesn’t remotely care about stopping child pornography, but prefers to use it to his advantage is downright sickening.

        • RIAA Missing The Point About Record Store Day
        • IFPI’s Latest Report On Music Sales Shows Growth In Some Markets

          Of course, what the IFPI totally ignores (not surprisingly, since they only represent record labels) is that while the sales of music directly may have declined in some markets, the overall market for music grew tremendously. In other words, the decline in sales of recorded music has not done harm to the music industry, but just to a few record labels.

        • In Shanghai, Hiding Bootlegs Before the World Visits

          The latest mystery in Shanghai, complete with sliding bookshelves, secret passageways and contraband goods, is this: Why are all the popular DVDs and CDs missing from this city’s shops?

        • The ethics of piracy

          On the other hand: I already paid for these books legitimately. They’re my books. The shoplifting analogy is specious, because in that case, I’m depriving the rightful owner — the owner of the bookstore — of their copy of the book. If I download a copy of the e-book, nobody else is deprived of their copy.

        • Canadian Copyright Consultation Opposed By A Little Known Canadian Lawyer Richard Owens

          Richard is using the term ‘modchip distributors’ in a perjorative manner. He’s deliberately trying to inflame the discussion, to try and prevent the members of the CCER and those who used the CCER’s form letter from being heard. Now this might be allowed in a court of law, but it is frowned on in the court of public opinion.

      • ACTA

        • Guest Post – ACTA Text Released: Impact On India and Other Developing Countries

          The metaphorical ‘season-finale’ of the ACTA negotiations, after relentless calls for transparency and public consultation, revealed the much awaited official draft text of the agreement, generating significant issues for not only participating nations but also developing countries that have been curiously overlooked during the discussions. In this post, I intend to bring out the political and diplomatic factors for such exclusion, and the impact of the substantive provisions contained in the draft text on developing countries, including India.

        • The tail wagging the dog

          The “copyright” industry consisting of a technologically obsolete Hollywood studios; music recording companies; and publishers of books is minuscule . To protect this pipsqueak industry, the Obama administration proposes both through the Department of Justice and the ACTA to impose draconian steps that will threaten many other not so pipsqueak industries, including the IT industry. Michele and I have pointed out the problem before.

Clip of the Day

Don’t Custom build that site! The many uses for Drupal by Jakob Perry


04.29.10

Links 29/4/2010: Sony Sued for Removing GNU/Linux Support

Posted in News Roundup at 10:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • ‘Taashee Linux Academy’ Inaugurated in Hyderabad

    The well equipped training centre provides perfect environment to build new Linux systems and simulate troubleshooting.

    Hyderabad based, Taashee Linux Services, a 100% Linux and Open Source Software company, today announced the opening of its Red Hat Training facility in Adarsh Nagar, Hyderabad. Taashee will also begin its training for Red Hat’s, Red Hat Certified Engineer and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization programs in this facility.

  • Hacker says he’s got Linux on the PS3 again
  • How to build your own PVR for free

    Installing MythTV can be as easy or as difficult as you want to make it. You could install a plain vanilla Linux distro and then install and configure MythTV with a lot of nasty terminal and command-line work, but if you fancy going down the easy route, it’s simple to install a Linux distro with MythTV built in to the installer.

    Some of them will be based on distros we’re all familiar with (MythDora is based on Fedora/Red Hat, for example) and some will be a little more obscure. Ubuntu is one of the most widely used Linux distros, thanks in no small part to the user-friendly Windows/Mac feel of its front-end, and a Ubuntu installation with MythTV built-in is just too good an opportunity to pass up for this system.

  • LinuxFest fosters ingenuity, software, robotics

    It was during LinuxFest Northwest 2010, and it took place April 24 and 25.

    Bill Wright, director of LinuxFest Northwest, said this was the 11th festival. The Bellingham Linux Users Group started the festival after the dot-com crash of the ’90s, when the software community was disjointed.

    The goal was to create an event that would allow the Linux community to meet in person, he said.

    Another goal was to show people what Linux is, Wright said.

  • Sony

    • Sony sued for dropping Linux support on PlayStation 3

      A PlayStation owner has taken legal action against Sony following the company’s decision to drop the ‘Other OS’ option from the PlayStation 3, via a recent firmware update to the console.

      The ‘Other OS’ update was released earlier in April, causing one aggrieved California man to sue Sony for essentially dropping Linux support for PS3.

    • Sony Sued For Removal Of Linux Support From PS3

      A class action lawsuit has been filed against Sony Computer Entertainment America for the removal of the ‘Other OS’ feature from the PlayStation 3.

      In March, Sony released firmware v3.21 that disabled the feature, disallowing users from installing the Linux operating system. The update was not mandatory; however those who chose not to download it were cut off from a number of other features, one of which included signing in to PlayStation Network.

  • Desktop

    • How to Turn your Linux PC Into 2 For Free

      Ever wished you had two monitor setup for desktop so that you can improve your work efficiency.Or do you have a spare monitor at home which you are planning to sell? Wait, if you are running Linux and wish to have a multi-monitor setup(dual station) here is something interesting.Yes, i am talking about dual-station PC.

      The Free version of software called Userful Multiplier can easily transform your dual-monitor linux PC into a dual-station PC.Meaning , if you already have a dual-monitor setup, you can now transform it into two different working stations with Useful Multiplier.

      The software basically incorporates set of Linux software packages that can extend the X Window System to support upto 10 fully independent workstations using your single PC.

    • Linux Doesn’t Exist; Hacking Is Crime

      Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant of Sophos, has warned users that ‘hackers’ are exploiting a problem with McAfee’s anti-virus product that has caused hundreds of thousands of computers around the world to repeatedly reboot themselves.

      I use ‘computers’ and they are not at risk because of McAfee’s whatever mistake. The reason is simple. I use GnuLinux on my ‘computers’. It is surprising that an expert like Graham could make such a huge mistake and overgeneralization by calling Windows running computers as computers. What about those computers which run on Gnu/Linux, BSD, Solaris and other such operating systems? These computers are not affected by this attack.

      The second mistake is the usage of word hacker. Anyone who looks inside or makes changes to a systems is a hacker. If you tune the engine or your car, you are hacking your car. If you are tweaking the code of your computer to enhance performance you are a hacker. Calling all hackers criminals is, I think, shameful and outrageous.

  • Server

    • Platform kicks out HPC Enterprise Edition

      HPC Enterprise Edition is supported on x64-based clusters and currently supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, the CentOS clone of Red Hat, and another clone of Red Hat called Scientific Linux, which was created by CERN and FermiLab. No word on when Microsoft’s Windows 2008 HPC Server will be tossed into the mix.

    • IBM Power 560 Express

      As a consolidation server, the Power 560 Express provides the flexibility to use leading-edge AIX®, IBM i, Linux for Power and x86 Linux applications all on the same system. The Power 560 Express is designed with capabilities to deliver near-continuous application availability and allow more work to be processed with less operational disruption. PowerVM™ Editions offers comprehensive virtualization technologies designed to aggregate and manage resources while helping to simplify and optimize your IT infrastructure and reduce server sprawl.

  • Ballnux

    • Push Your System to the Limit with StressLinux 0.5.111

      StressLinux is a minimalistic Linux distribution aimed at stress-testing PCs under the best conditions. The latest release, StressLinux 0.5.111, has been launched bringing a number of improvements and updates over the previous versions. StressLinux is now based on openSUSE 11.2 and most core packages have been updated in 0.5.111.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • New Linux Mini Distribution for Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking Fits Onto a Mini CD

      Following the success of the Live Hacking CD a Linux distribution packed with tools for ethical hacking and penetration testing, Dr. Ali Jahangiri decided to turn his attention to a smaller, leaner variant which fits on a Mini CD. This new version of the Live Hacking CD, dubbed the Live Hacking Mini CD, is small, faster and yet packed full of important ethical hacking tools.

    • A Future Opening

      Arch’s uptake has been surprising. The first time I installed Arch, I was rather unimpressed. The installation procedure seemed like a somewhat menu driven LFS installation, though faster because it used binaries. Since that first use, the installation has become better. It’s now somewhat similar to a Slackware installation, though the system-after-install is much more similar to a Debian installation or Ubuntu Minimal installation.

    • Get Slack!

      The oldest Linux distribution in existence is Slackware. It’s about time that I actually posted something about my favorite Linux distribution on this blog.

      [...]

      I’m running Firefox in Slackware right now to write this article. I’ve been a Slacker for nearly four years now. I have other Linux distributions on my systems, but Slackware is my Linux now. Ubuntu was that cute girl at the bowling alley that I had the fling with way back when. Debian is an X who I keep in touch with. Arch is a sweetheart from the office. Sidux, CentOS, and those others are occasional flings, but Slackware is the girl I always come home to.

      Have FUN with it!

    • New Releases

      • Macpup Opera 2.0 Is Based on Puppy Linux 4.3.1

        Macpup Opera 2.0 has been released and is now available for download. The frugal Linux distribution is based on the latest version of the popular Puppy Linux 4.3.1. It features the Enlightenment e17 window manager and the Opera web browser. Macpup aims to take Puppy Linux’s best features while bringing the look and feel of a Mac on Linux.

      • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 94

        · Announced Distro: PCLinuxOS 2010
        · Announced Distro: Sabayon Linux CoreCD 5.2
        · Announced Distro: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Beta
        · Announced Distro: Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Release Candidate
        · Announced Distro: StressLinux 0.5.111
        · Announced Distro: Macpup Opera 2.0

    • Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva 2010 Spring backgrounds contribution

        Mandriva will provide 10 more backgrounds to complete official design of your favorite distribution.

      • PCLinuxOS 2010

        I have loaded PCLinuxOS 2010 onto my laptop and am testing it out. I used to use PCLinuxOS 2007 and due to a moribund development cycle had tried Ubuntu and Linux Mint. I like both of those distributions, but when the new version of PCLinuxOS came out I decided to give it a go and am not disappointed.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • ThinkIO-Solo fanless embedded PC

        ThinkIO-Solo is a fanless embedded PC with an Intel Celeron M processor clocked at 1.06GHz, 1Gbyte RAM, up to 4Gbyte of soldered internal flash, and 512kbyte non-volatile memory. And the firm has released a companion Debian Linux desktop distribution.

        ThinkIO-Solo and ThinkIO-Duo include an aluminium housing, Compact Flash socket for adding mass storage, standard PC interfaces, and field bus options including industrial Ethernet and a modular I/O interface option.

      • Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Recover Files From a NAS

      Most NAS systems use Linux, and don’t use the Windows-friendly file systems FAT or NTFS. You stand a better chance of success attaching one to a Linux machine and running Linux file recovery software, but that may not work, either. Not all NAS systems use the standard Linux File System.

    • Primary Storage Data Reduction Heats Up

      Nexenta is sticking to software putting a BASH/Linux CLI and of course management GUI on OpenSolaris to create NexentaStor which they then sell direct to users that want to roll their own unified storage systems and to OEMs like OnStor and PogoLinux who’ll sell fully packaged NAS appliances.

    • Kakai to launch new E-Reader for Students

      Kakai is a unknown company myriad in secrecy in Silicon Valley. It has about 50 employees and a venture capital of roughly 10 million.

    • Mentor Graphics Selected as a Key Freescale Commercial Linux Strategic Partner for QorIQ and PowerQUICC Processors
    • Freescale and MIPS seek to oust processor incumbents

      Also at ESC, Freescale will announce partnerships with embedded software houses to give its customers an alternative to Wind River’s technology, which is now owned by Intel. Although Wind River’s real time OS and Linux software is still being offered to all its clients, its new embedded software packages, to debut at ESC, are targeted initially at x86. Freescale is broadening its own ecosystem by working with Enea Systems, Green Hills Software and Mentor Graphics. It says it has chosen to create a strong group of independent software houses rather than acquiring its own technology, as Intel has, as well as Cavium, which purchased embedded Linux firm MontaVista.

    • MontaVista Software Announces New Rapid Deployment Program for Android
    • Enea Forges Strategic Collaboration with NetLogic Microsystems

      Multicore Leaders Collaborate to Deliver Comprehensive RTOS and Linux Platforms Targeting Communications Equipment

    • MIPS Sees Once-In-A-Generation Opportunity

      “Stanford took the power of Linux and put it in a middleware OS and the biggest barrier to entry for MIPS has been removed”, said Vij.

      The three USPs for Android, said Vij, is that: “It harnesses the power of Linux; it is backed by Google, and it’s free.”

    • Synapse Wireless(R) Introduces SNAP-to-Internet Appliance

      The E10 uses a powerful 32-bit RISC processor running an open, embedded version of Linux. [...] Full Linux services are also available to administrators and natively hosted applications.

    • LynuxWorks Announces LynxSecure 4.0 — the Most Feature-Rich Secure Separation Kernel and Embedded Hypervisor
    • Canal Digital preparing to launch hybrid VOD

      Canal Digital is close to introducing a new Linux-based application that will bring in a new video-on-demand service for its satellite and cable customers. The initial plans were first revealed to Broadband TV News last November by Telenor Broadcast Holding CEO Christian Albech in an exclusive interview.

    • Phones

    • Palm

      • HP buys Palm
      • HP Buying Palm, Might Make a webOS Tablet

        HP is going to acquire smartphone maker Palm. In a conference call after the announcement, a high-level HP executive raised the possibility that his company might produce tablet computers running Palm’s webOS.

      • Does HP + Palm = Facepalm?

        Of course, the good news for open source is that it doesn’t really matter whether HP’s move proves deeply wise or totally witless. Both Android and webOS have Linux at their heart, and both use additional free software (that found in the latest webOS includes ALSA and webkit elements.) In that sense, the lifeline that HP has thrown to Palm and hence webOS is good news: more resources will be expended on making key parts of open source better.

      • A brief history of Palm

        The PalmPilot is credited with popularizing the personal digital assistant, or PDA. And it was the device that established the basic form factor that later smartphones would use. After earlier attempts by Apple and others, Palm proved there was a market for a third category of portable computing device, something more than a cell phone but less than a laptop.

    • Nokia

      • MeeGo: open development and upstream involvement

        Ari Jaaksi, Nokia’s VP for Maemo devices and MeeGo operations, spoke first, which he saw as an advantage because Intel’s Imad Sousou would be sure to correct anything he said “wrong”. The goal of the MeeGo project is to “provide industry with an open platform” for various kinds of devices. Both companies have been working on mobile distributions, which means that they “integrate the same components multiple times”, and that is “stupid”, Jaaksi said. That is one of the main ideas behind the merger.

    • Android

      • Two Dell’s Android-based Netbooks in Making

        Apart from Android, these netbooks may also come with Moblin (Mobile Linux) OS on them. Dell will also introduce Looking Glass and Looking Glass Pro tablets based on Android OS with Bender. All these Android based products are projected to be launched by the third quarter of fiscal year 2011.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Quad-Core ARM Aquila CPU Coming to Netbooks

        Now that Windows is no longer the only operating system featured in netbooks, with Android and Linux steadily gaining ground, the time may have finally come for the ARM architecture to seriously consider making a foray into this market segment. ARM has been meaning to do so for quite a while now, but there has been little word on what effort, if any, is being put into this endeavor. The time of silence may have finally come to a close, however, now that a certain roadmap document from Samsung has been exposed.

    • Tablets

      • Ipad antithesis spotted in the wild

        The system currently runs Debian Linux but the user claims that loading Ubuntu results in a slightly better battery life. Either way, the whole shebang with the extended battery, weighs around 800 grams. Unlike the Ipad, however, it has peripheral ports, including a working VGA output, which given the lack of screen is pretty important.

Free Software/Open Source

  • More open than thou: Blogger battle rages over new Facebook tools

    The word “open” — like “green” or “eco-conscious” — is one of the more amorphous concepts floating about the tech industry. Google touts openness while keeping its advertising and search algorithms secret. On the opposing side, Apple regularly faces heated criticism about the barriers it has erected to the app store.

  • Inside Contactless to make Open NFC source code and API available on Sourceforge.net

    Inside Contactless has taken a further step towards making its Open NFC technology available to all by making its source code and API documentation available to download from the Sourceforge.net open source website.

  • Open Source TioLive Innovates with Distributed Cloud Computing Model

    Jacques Honoré, TioLive Community Manager adds: “TioLive Grid is one more step towards Complete Freedom and Total Control by users over their private data. All customers’ data is kept on his own server. All server software is open source. There is no lock-in at all for TioLive users.”

  • Australian National Library uses open source for treasure Trove

    The National Library of Australia has opted for an open source platform to drive its newly unveiled search engine.

    Called, Trove, the search engine provides access to more than 90 million items about Australians and Australia, sourced from more than 1000 libraries and cultural institutions across the country.

  • Multiple entry points for open source

    He explained that the need for interoperability to support open source projects helped raise the demand for standard-based architectures and drive down cost.

    The recession also raised the profile of cloud computing, which in turn has had a positive spillover effect on open source, he said. With companies looking to offload services to the cloud, companies are now adopting standards to ensure smooth data traffic between clouds, he said.

    These developments have helped recast open source software as a means for enterprises to lower cost, he said.

  • Philippine open source developers thriving

    Growing acceptance of open source software (OSS) is ushering in new interest from small and large developers in the Philippines, according to industry voices.

    Although some early players have fallen by the wayside, there appears to be a steady upsurge of new companies capitalizing on the increasing OSS opportunity in the country and a boom in demand from foreign players.

  • Workers Lured By Open Source

    Patrick Chan, Chief Technology Advisor for IDC Asia-Pacific’s emerging technologies practice group, posted that a more dedicated effort needs to be introduced on the part of institutions in order to move universities in the same direction.

  • Growth Through Imitation

    We work in a very different environment now. Teams and networking are the heart of how we live. Sharing ideas and concepts which get developed through collaboration is a way of life. Open Source software is one of the most obvious examples; development through imitation and refinement for the good of all.

  • Challenging the Limits of Open Society

    In that essay, Eric S. Raymond, a software programmer, heralded the rise of the Linux operating system and the bottom-up, open-source, we-the-people world that it reflected. He wrote that old-style software was “built like cathedrals, carefully crafted by individual wizards or small bands of mages working in splendid isolation.” Open-source pointed to a new way: “a great babbling bazaar of differing agendas and approaches,” as he put it, “out of which a coherent and stable system could seemingly emerge only by a succession of miracles.”

    Mr. Raymond’s immediate subject was software, but his essay spoke for the age. It was a moment when democracy seemed on the march worldwide, when “the end of history” had been declared by Francis Fukuyama, when new tools called Web logs, or blogs, promised to empower the little guy. In that moment, as went the open-source technology, so went the world.

  • CIGNEX Announces an Alliance with Softway
  • Android

  • Events

    • On bootstrapping a community-run FOSS event

      On Saturday, April 10th, I was in Austin Texas for the inaugural Texas Linux Fest (TXLF), a community-run FLOSS conference. The idea to stage the show arose last August during OSCON, picked up steam in the fall, and in the end a little under 400 people turned out — including speakers and volunteers — which most considered a successful number for a first year event.

    • Open Source Search Developers and Industry Experts to gather in Prague for Inaugural Apache Lucene EMEA Conference

      Lucid Imagination, the commercial company for Apache Lucene and Solr open source search technologies, today announced details of the first conference in Europe dedicated to Lucene and Solr. The event will be held in Prague, Czech Republic, May 18th-21st.

    • LinuxFest 2010 Wrap Up From The Fedora Project Booth

      Over the two day event we handed out a little over 360 pieces of media, there was 700+ people on Saturday and 350+ on Sunday.

    • Bogota to host festival on open souce software

      Colombian capital Bogota on Saturday is hosting Latin America’s largest festival on freeware and open source software.

    • Cuba Will Host Latin American Free Software Installation Festival

      The national coordinator of the festival, Eduardo Estevez, told Prensa Latina news agency that all national communities of users of open source platforms will participate in the event.

      FLISOL is the largest advocacy event of free software in Latin America. It’s held since 2005 and since 2008 it adopted the fourth Saturday of April each year. Its main objective is to promote the use of free software, showing to the general public its philosophy, scope, progress and development.

  • Databases

    • Popular phpMyAdmin is on a roll

      If any open source application needs no introduction, it’s probably phpMyAdmin, the popular web interface to MySQL databases. MySQL is itself the most popular database system for web applications, and phpMyAdmin makes it easy to administer. phpMyAdmin lets database designers connect to MySQL servers, see all databases and tables they have permission to see, and perform actions on them, including creating and modifying table structure, inserting and updating data, import and export, and synchronizing data between servers.

  • Business

  • Open Access/Content

    • Judges rap Wiki-evidence in immigration cases

      Federal officials have quoted a questionable source in bids to kick foreigners out of Canada – Wikipedia. And judges are not amused.

      “Wikipedia is an internet Encyclopedia which anyone with Internet access can edit,” wrote one exasperated Federal Court judge, criticizing Ottawa’s filings in a case to remove a family of Turkish asylum seekers.

      “It is an open-source reference with no editorial control,” scoffed another judge, as he took federal agents to task for consulting Wikipedia before sending an immigrant back to Iran.

    • Open Source: Free the Data!

      O’Reilly’s goal now is to free the data. Something that will be easier said than done.

    • Opening up Ottawa

      The new open government is one which offers information in easy-to-organize formats. That is, making schedules or meeting minutes that used to be buried at the bottom of a .PDF into accessible, searchable data.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – WYGTYA – GPS (1/12/1998)


04.28.10

Links 28/4/2010: HP Eats Palm

Posted in News Roundup at 7:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux.com T-shirt Design Contest Finalists Announced

      The 100+ designs we received proved that the best ideas come from the community. We also know that the community knows best, so we’re asking you to vote for the very best design. We have six finalists, not five as we originally said we would have. Like I said: it was hard to choose!

      The community favorite will win a trip to Boston to attend LinuxCon as well as the fame and fortune garnered by having their design displayed on Linux.com Store merchandise worn around the globe.

    • The case of the overly anonymous anon_vma

      During the stabilization phase of the kernel development cycle, the -rc releases typically happen about once every week. 2.6.34-rc4 is a clear exception to that rule, coming nearly two weeks after the preceding -rc3 release. The holdup in this case was a nasty regression which occupied a number of kernel developers nearly full time for days. The hunt for this bug is a classic story of what can happen when the code gets too complex.

    • Linux audio explained

      We dig into the centre of the Linux kernel to uncover why sound can be so… unsound

    • Graphics Stack

      • X.Org Project Has Five New Summer Projects

        Back in March we talked about the possible X.Org projects this year during Google’s Summer of Code, for which X.Org is a veteran participant (in the past items like the ATI R300 Gallium3D driver and generic GPU video decoding have been tackled), but the list of accepted projects for this summer have now been announced. Gallium3D H.264 video decoding, an OpenGL 3.2 state tracker, and porting of the DRM code to GNU/Hurd were among the talked about possibilities, but none of those will be addressed as part of GSoC 2010.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Openbox Freedom Day

      South Africa celebrated Freedom Day, Tuesday 27th April– a national holiday to commemorate the first democratic election. So I spent the day attempting to squeeze freedom out of my aging 1.8ghz PC with 1Gb Ram.

      The solution to achieving the kind of brute-force computing and speed I need in order to have a faster Web experience was to use a different window manager. Creating an Openbox session which free’s up RAM allows my heaveyweight Firefox browser to access more computer resources and hence greater freedom. Less caching means the browser can live totally in RAM, which is what the programme was designed to do.

  • Distributions

    • MacPup Opera 2.0 Review

      Today I want to talk about a distro that is not among the most popular ones, but may be of interest for some with certain specific needs: MacPup Opera, which just released its 2.0 version.

      [...]

      If you have been using Linux for some time and have a clear understanding of how you will benefit from what MacPup Opera has to offer, then you will likely get a kick out of it. If you simply want to find out more about it or the Enlightenment window manager, by all means give it a go, you only have one CD-R to lose.

      I personally believe there are many areas in which MacPup Opera 2.0 can be an extremely handy distro, just understand this is probably not best suited for main desktop use.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Cloud Access makes RHEL contract transferable to EC2

        Red Hat is strengthening its position in the cloud computing market by augmenting its support for Amazon EC2 users. Red Hat Cloud Access will make it possible for the company’s customers to transfer their Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) subscriptions between their own self-hosted infrastructure and Amazon’s elastic cloud.

      • Red Hat Extends Linux Subscriptions to Cloud Computing

        Moving enterprise IT software to the cloud isn’t just a technology issue, it’s software support entitlement issue as well.

        Linux vendor Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) today is unveiling a new program dubbed Red Hat Cloud Access through which current Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscribers can leverage their existing support subscriptions for cloud deployments.

    • Debian Family

      • Bugs in Debian GNU/Linux
      • Ubuntu

        • Software makers fall in behind Lucid Lynx

          Thursday is D-Day – meaning Download Day – for the new Ubuntu 10.04 Long Term Support release from commercial Linux distributor Canonical. And this release is shaping up to be a watershed event for the upstart distro.

          That’s true not only on the desktop and on the server, but among the software development community that wants to code applications and make money.

        • A short cow dialog
        • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS adds business and ease-of-use tools

          Canonical has high hopes for its latest release: Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Long Term Support). Also known as Lucid Lynx, this new version is the one that, from many indications, the company hopes will take Ubuntu from being a fan favorite to a commercial success. Based on my first look at the release candidate, Canonical’s hopes may be realized.

        • Shuttleworth Clears Ubuntu 10.04 for Liftoff

          It’s official: Ubuntu 10.04 Long Term Support arrives April 29, and this particular blogger was privy to the press conference about it. Canonical Chairman Mark Shuttleworth and CEO Jane Silber discussed the plans and progress of new operating system, and then fielded some Q and A. The key news: More than 80 ISVs are supporting Ubuntu. But here’s what it means for the desktop users and Canonical as a whole…

          Ubuntu 10.04 is now certified on over 50 servers and laptops, and OEM support is taking off worldwide. Dell has embraced Ubuntu Enterprise Clouds, and Lenovo has just launched Ubuntu machines into China.

        • Did Ubuntu 10.04 Achieve Its Ten Second Boot Goal?

          Canonical expressed their plans to achieve a ten-second boot time in June of last year for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, with their reference system being a Dell Mini 9 netbook. In February, we last checked on Ubuntu’s boot performance and found it close, but not quite there yet, but did they end up hitting this goal for the final release of the Lucid Lynx? Well, from our tests, not quite. We tested out a near-final version of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on three netbooks — including a Dell Mini 9 — and the boot speed is not quite in the single digits.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • HP buys Palm

        HP has just announced that it’s acquiring Palm to the tune of $1.2 billion, which works out to $5.70 per share of Palm common stock.

      • Nokia

        • My Top 5 N900 Applications

          #1 Firefox – Easily my favorite way to surf the web, on the N900 or otherwise. If you want more of my thoughts on this one check out my Firefox Mobile Review.

          #2 fMMS – This application steps up to fill one of the biggest mess-ups Nokia made when they released the N900: lack of MMS support. fMMS currently supports sending pictures and receiving all types of media messages. Since I discovered this wonderful application I no longer have to hear my friends say “your phone does all that, but can’t get a picture message?”

      • Android

        • Google: Numbers favor Android over iPhone

          And according to Google VP Andy Rubin, the more the search giant blankets the industry with competing Android-droid based mobile handsets, the more likely Google is to hit its expected value of market dominance over Apple’s iPhone.

          “It’s a numbers game,” Rubin said. And the numbers look increasingly rosy for Android.

    • Tablets

      • Seven-inch tablet runs Android

        Shenzhen-based Eken announced a seven-inch tablet computer that runs either Android or Windows CE 6.0. The M001 has a 600MHz ARM-based processor, 128MB of RAM and 2GB of flash storage, an SD slot, stereo speakers, and 802.11b/g wireless networking, the company says.

      • Linux tablet arrives in the UK

        TABLET UPSTART Fusion Garage has announced the availability of its Joojoo tablet in the UK, beating the cappuccino firm’s delayed Ipad launch outside the US.

        The firm claims that the 12.1-inch tablet is the world’s largest capacitive touchscreen device. Beneath the screen is an Intel 1.6GHz Atom processor and an Nvidia ION chipset, making the Joojoo fairly spritely. Like Apple’s Ipad, there is no keyboard and the battery is not removable, however the similarities end there.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Announcing the first free software Blu-ray encoder

    You may notice that the Blu-ray image is only just over 2GB. This is intentional; we have encoded all the content on the disk at appropriate bitrates to be playable from an ordinary 4.7GB DVD. This should make it far easier to burn a copy of the Blu-ray, since Blu-ray burners and writable media are still relatively rare. Most Blu-ray players will treat a DVD containing Blu-ray data as a normal Blu-ray disc. A few, such as the Playstation 3, will not, but you can still play it as a data disc.

  • Events

    • Counting down to Pengicon

      It’s only a few more days until Penguicon, North America’s finest science fiction and open source software convention. I’m not only psyched to be attending, but I’m flattered beyond words to be one of this year’s Guests of Honor. Penguicon runs from April 30 to May 2 at the Marriott in Troy, MI.

  • Mozilla

    • My ISP is by-passing Firefox’s Location bar search

      I just got back from 10 days abroad and noticed my Firefox at home was acting oddly. My preferred way to go to many websites is simply to type their name into the location bar, and then let Google’s “I’m feeling lucky” feature take me to the actual site. I realize this might not be the most conventional way to do it (sure, I could have bookmarks etc.), but it’s they way I like to do it.. I also use KDE’s Alt-F2 launcher to start programs.

    • Fennec on Android

      Over the last few months, we’ve made some great progress on bringing Firefox to Android. Michael Wu, Brad Lassey, Alex Pakhotin and I have been focusing on getting a build ready that’s usable by a broader set of people, and we’re now ready to get that build out there.

    • The Next Big Fight: Facebook vs. Firefox?

      Facebook wants to be the entry-point to the Web, but it’s important to remember that Facebook itself is on the Web, and accessed through a Web browser. This means that in some sense the browser exists at a lower level than Facebook, and therefore has the opportunity to pre-empt some of its functions – notably, in terms of handling the key issue of identity.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle Makes Lustre Users Buy Hardware for Support

      Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) will soon make it tougher to get paid support for its open source Lustre clustered file system.

      According to a recent presentation by Peter Bojanic, director of Oracle’s Lustre Group, Lustre 1.8 and 2.0, which was just released as a beta, will remain open source and licensed under GPL 2.0. But beginning with the full release of Lustre 2.0, paid support will be limited to those purchasing Lustre bundled with Oracle hardware, and the company won’t provide an upgrade path for 1.8 users who desire support. That means that Lustre 2.0 users who want paid support will need to replace their hardware.

  • Health

    • #drupalcon Florida Hospital Takes Charge of Their Destiny with Drupal

      In August 2007, Florida hospital hired a “rock star” physician. With this hire, a series of events was triggered that would end up with Drupal (news, site) hosting over 125 department and team intranet sites, over 40 externally-facing marketing sites and a growing number of other applications. Want to know more? Read on.

    • The Complexities to Creating Real Electronic Health Records

      Is any of this insurmountable? Certainly not, and there are a number of areas where the Open Source community can play a valuable roll. But on reviewing the challenges, I also see why there is not more involvement. Many of the issues require specialized knowledge of a number of aspects of what is today a black box to many. There are few defined requirements and even fewer good directions. But then, is that not what is the best about the Open Source community? We see a problem and try to solve it. Perhaps the right problem has not been presented. Or maybe it is such a niche that I have not seen the strides we have made. But as the big guns of the consulting world are looking at solving this, I hope they will leverage the Open Source model, as well as solutions used elsewhere. And perhaps, just perhaps, a year-five year-from now, we will be talking about Open Source eHealth software the same way we talk about network management software or VoIP software.

  • Open Access/Content

    • Vancouver City Hall’s Open Data Experiment

      When Arthur Dent, of The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, searched for the notice that his house was to be demolished to make way for a new bypass, he eventually found it on the bottom of a locked filing cabinet in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying, ‘Beware of the Leopard.’

      Governments, large and small, generate vast amounts of information. Finding the relevant piece of information in a timely fashion is a challenge, and that’s assuming that the government has decided to share it with the public at all.

      Over the past year, Vancouver’s city government has launched a program to make large amounts of information to the public. These data sets, posted online at data.vancouver.ca, include garbage pickup schedules, drinking fountains and motorcycle parking, in a wide variety of formats

Leftovers

  • U.S. students suffering from Internet addiction: study

    American college students are hooked on cellphones, social media and the Internet and showing symptoms similar to drug and alcohol addictions, according to a new study.

    Researchers at the University of Maryland who asked 200 students to give up all media for one full day found that after 24 hours many showed signs of withdrawal, craving and anxiety along with an inability to function well without their media and social links.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Finance

    • Rent-A-Front: New Group Wages Stealth Battle Against Wall Street Reform

      In the last few weeks, a new player entered the financial reform fray with a $1.6 million ad buy, a respected economist on board, a blitz of opinion columns on left-leaning websites, and a message, cooked right into the group’s name — Stop Too Big To Fail — that liberals could love.

      But as TPMmuckraker has looked into the group, every indication is that Stop Too Big To Fail is an astroturf operation funded by corporate interests to give the appearance of grassroots opposition to reform.

    • Anti-Reform Front Group Wears a Populist Mask

      A corporate front group with the populist-sounding name “Stop Too Big To Fail” (STBTF) is running a $1.6 million TV advertising campaign designed to appeal to liberal/progressives and get them to advocate against financial reform legislation currently under consideration in Congress. The ads target Senate Democrats in three states and ask viewers to tell their senators to “vote against this ‘phony financial reform’ ” and “support real reform, stop ‘too big to fail.’ ” STBTF has also put out a blitz of opinion columns on left-leaning Web sites.

    • The Best Solution to Vampire Squid? Calamari

      The great test for the financial services reform bill, if and when it ever gets debated in the Senate, will be what it does to rein in Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street institution famously described by Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi as “a vampire squid jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

    • Will the Fabulous Fab Push the Bank Reform Bill Over the Top?

      “More and more leverage in the system. The whole building is about to collapse anytime now! Only potential survivor, the fabulous Fab[rice Tourre] standing in the middle of all these complex, highly leveraged, exotic trades he created without necessarily understanding all of the implications of those monstrosities!!!”

      Tourre will be testifying with Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who recently shoved the Fab off a cliff by releasing embarrassing personal emails from his Goldman account. Let’s hope the Fab gets a chance to return the favor at tomorrow’s hearing.

    • Showtime for Bank Reform in the Senate
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Frontline Edits Out Single-Payer

      Silencing supporters of single-payer, or Medicare for All, is a media staple, but PBS’s Frontline found a new way to do that on the April 13 special Obama’s Deal–by selectively editing an interview with a single-payer advocate and footage of single-payer protesters to make them appear to be activists for a public option instead.

    • Assessing the Health Implications of the Supreme Court Decision on Corporate Campaign Contributions

      The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission struck down laws that banned corporations from using their own money to support or oppose candidates for public office. In overturning previously established precedents, the Supreme Court’s decision means that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections.

    • “Cloaked” Web Sites Disguise Hidden Propaganda

      Jessie Daniels, an Associate Professor in the Urban Public Health program at Hunter College, New York, has identified a phenomenon she calls “cloaked Web sites,” or sites published by individuals or groups who deliberately conceal their authorship to disguise a hidden political agenda.

    • Why Facts No Longer Matter

      A recent PRWatch blog discussed how corporations are increasingly turning to cause marketing to get around people’s ability to tune out their daily deluge of advertising. Cause marketing, or “affinity marketing,” is a sophisticated PR strategy in which a corporation allies itself with a cause that evokes strong emotions in targeted consumers, like curing cancer, alleviating poverty, feeding the hungry, helping the environment or saving helpless animals.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Protecting Internet freedom and privacy

      A: One of the biggest threats to online freedom is an overuse of surveillance, both by governments and businesses. Governments are using technology to monitor phone calls, e-mails, Internet activity, text messaging and other communications of their citizens. In the United States, the government has been doing a tremendous amount of this without following the basic safeguards designed to protect us that have been built into our laws, such as getting warrants. If the government skips that step – if there is no judicial oversight – then it is easy for the government to abuse its power.

    • Net neutrality numbers don’t add up

      A new study suggests regulating the Net will cost millions of jobs. A closer look reveals the study’s main ingredient is manure, Cringely concludes

    • Senators to Facebook: Quit sharing users’ info

      Three Democratic senators today asked the Federal Trade Commission to take a look at Facebook’s controversial new information sharing policies, arguing that the massively popular social network overstepped its bounds when it began sharing user data with other websites.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Music industry spokesman loves child porn

      A music-industry speaker at an American Chamber of Commerce event in Stockholm waxed enthusiastic about child porn, because it serves as the perfect excuse for network censorship, and once you’ve got a child-porn filter, you can censor anything:

      “Child pornography is great,” the speaker at the podium declared enthusiastically. “It is great because politicians understand child pornography. By playing that card, we can get them to act, and start blocking sites. And once they have done that, we can get them to start blocking file sharing sites”.

    • Parody and Satire Videos, Which Is Fair Use?
    • Dissent in the Council over ACTA transparency
    • Don’t secure your wifi!!!

      Firstly let me stress that there a lot of really good reasons to secure your network, not least of which are privacy of your machines and data, viruses spreading, and even costs (you may pay for usage of your internet!). If you have fire-walling facilities allowing you to run a DMZ (de-militarized zone) for public wifi that is safer.

      However, the Digital Economy Act has just turned things on their head slightly. It actually encourages you to run an open wifi.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – Shapes of Flight (1/11/1998)


Links 28/4/2010: Fedora 13 Previews, Android Beyond 50,000 Apps

Posted in News Roundup at 11:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Preferred Nomenclature
  • The Linux-Vendor Factors- Part of the FOSS adoption problems in Africa

    Unlike Windows, Linux is a heavily networked OS where one needs internet connection to do things like application installation. This very factor is one of the greatest deterrents to the use of Linux here. How do you get people to use it when they have no reliable and affordable internet connection?

  • Desktop

    • The Hobbyists OS

      Microsoft’s army of apologists like to spread the word that Linux is a “hobbyists OS”, so this post is a look at what that means and why it’s a label more suited to Windows. The attack is meant to draw attention to the fact that anyone can write code which appears in Linux, inferring the quality of the code is dubious. Basically, it can’t be good quality if people outside the corporation write it.

      They try to paint the picture that while Windows just works, Linux needs a lot of tinkering to get anything done. It’s pitched at both home users and businesses. For the home user it’s about “you have to learn all this stuff, and spend hours fixing it” while the businesses get the “you have your staff PC’s down for X hours so they can’t be productive, while also spending extra wages on skilled IT people to fix and configure things.” The implication is that “Windows is a better investment in man hours, productivity and cost, Linux costs you money.”

      How many man hours do you have to spend on Windows doing virus scans, spyware scans etc? How many man hours do you have to spend Googling to find how to remove infection because your chosen protection tools can detect it but can’t remove it? How can you assure your customers that their data is not compromised by some spyware your tools can’t detect? How can you be assured that the site supposedly giving a solution to a particular virus is not itself a phishing scam waiting to sell you some software if you put your credit card details in or a script laden site ready to dump a whole new payload of malware on your plate?

    • Microsoft welcomes the pirates and then sinks them? + Linux usage may be wrong?

      I’ll let you decide, however next time you hear that Linux is “unproven” or a “hobbyist” OS with a 1% market share, remind the person that this unproven hobbyist OS was not only responsible for the rather profitable Avatar film, but also seems to be responsible for considerably more activity than a 1% market share would imply. Of course on top of that you have government bodies (which we have covered here) switching to Linux, but then as the Microsoft faithful would say, it’s merely a 1% share… ;)

      Surprising then that on the majority of tech forums this 1% is always visible, they must be a very busy 1%.

    • 15 Stunning Linux Desktop Customizations – Must Watch!

      If you think Linux desktops are ugly, think again. Here is an awesome collection of 15 jaw dropping Linux desktop customizations made by users. I wouldn’t mind calling them works of art instead of just customizations. They are that good. A good number of them include clever conky modifications. I haven’t yet tried to emulate them in my desktop, but surely will, at least some of them. For now, just the screenshots and the source. Watch and enjoy!

    • Question: Why switch to Linux or a Mac?

      I’m no friend to Windows. I know the operating system too well to trust it. But, I did think that even though Windows is defective by design, you could keep it relatively safe by installing patches quickly and using anti-virus software religiously. I was wrong.

      [...]

      The greater problem though is that, even if Microsoft and the anti-virus companies spent ten-times the money and time on securing Windows they still couldn’t do it. When your foundation is built on sand instead of rock, there’s only so much any amount of patching can do to keep a house solid.

      No, if you really want a secure desktop you need either Linux or Mac OS X. Is either of these perfectly secure? No, no they’re not. But, they are much more secure than Windows can ever be.

    • A Digital Forensics Student’s Linux Workspace

      Our next entry for the “The $100.00 (USD) Coolest Linux Workspace Contest” was sent all the way from the Netherlands by a digital forensics student named Huseyin. He is also working as an intern at an IT-audit company and described Linux as the best OS to do research on. If ever chosen as the grand winner, he says he will use the $100 to buy another 1TB hard disk drive since the 3TB of HDDs that he already have are not enough –probably because of lots of legal evidences to store :-)

  • Graphics Stack

    • What Do You Want From NVIDIA’s Next Driver?

      One of the common complaints that’s also come up as of late with NVIDIA’s latest Linux drivers have been issues surrounding PowerMizer not working correctly, which is hopefully one of the fixes that will work its way into NVIDIA’s Release 256 for Linux / OpenSolaris / FreeBSD.

      In 2006 and 2007 there were security problems with the binary NVIDIA Linux driver and now there is apparently a new zero-day vulnerability within NVIDIA’s Linux stack, which we hope will be fixed by the NVIDIA 256.xx release.

    • Nvidia Will Unify Desktop, Laptop Drivers
    • X.Org Server 1.8.1 Gets Ready For May Release

      X.Org Server 1.9 is the key interest now among X developers working on the graphics and input stacks with its release coming as soon as August, but Peter Hutterer once again is taking over the role of maintaining the stable X.Org Server branch. With X.Org Server 1.7.7 being nearly out of the way, the first point release for X.Org Server 1.8 is being prepared for release.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Why Should I use Unity Linux ?
    • CDlinux 0.9.6.1

      Full-featured desktop Linux distributions like PCLinuxOS and Linux Mint are quite useful, but there are times when a smaller and lighter distro can also be desirable. CDlinux is petite mini-distro that can be installed on a USB device or on a Windows C: partition.

      [...]

      Summary: A useful distro that provides a viable option for those in need of a portable version of Linux. The standard edition also works well as a rescue distro.

    • Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS 2010 Gnome Screenshots

        The PCLinuxOS 2010 Gnome theme is dark with black and grey colors throughout the boot menu, login, and desktop screens. I preferred the PCLinuxOS 2010 Gnome release over the KDE and other PCLinuxOS 2010 releases because of it’s difference in color. Although all quite different, the other editions did all stuck with the darker blue look. I like blue but ‘loved’ the darker colors on the Gnome edition.

    • Fedora

    • Ubuntu

      • Let’s Make Ubuntu a Trending Topic
      • Ubuntu’s Linux OS — Mac OS X’s Doppelganger?

        The desktop editions of Ubuntu will also be released on Thursday, sporting a new look (but not Gnome 3 — that will probably arrive with the Maverick Meerkat release six months down the line), new graphics card drivers and a number of consumer-oriented innovations. These include the MeMenu panel for easy access to messaging and social networking services, the new Gwibber microblogging client, and an online music store.

      • A global menu for Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition

        In the netbook edition for 10.10, we’re going to have a single menu bar for all applications, in the panel.

        Our focus on netbooks has driven much of the desktop design work at Canonical. There are a number of constraints and challenges that are particular to netbooks, and often constraints can be a source of insight and inspiration. In this case, wanting to make the most of vertical space has driven the decision to embrace the single menu approach.

      • Ubuntu 10.04: Where Ubuntu goes from here

        Canonical also announced that it has advanced several new hardware and software partnerships. The biggest news on the hardware side is that Dell will support the Ubuntu server and Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud as an option on its cloud-server PowerEdge-C line.

      • Canonical’s Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Desktop Edition Features Three Years of Support, Online Music Store, New Look and Social Network Integration
      • Discover the new features in Ubuntu 10.04, the Lucid Lynx

        Appearance

        Shiny! That’s how we define Ubuntu’s long hoped-for departure from the dusky brown, and it’s a good look too. In the past few years, all manners of people, those who use Ubuntu and even those who don’t, have expressed their views on the sometime dusty-sometime-dusky-always-brownish ‘Human’ theme. According to Mark Shuttleworth, we’re now in store for five more years of releases with this new theme, which has been christened ‘Light’.

      • Canonical focuses on apps support in Linux upgrade

        Canonical officials are emphasizing software vendor support in the release this week of upgrades to the company’s Ubuntu open source Linux platform.

        The company will make available on Thursday desktop and server versions of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Long-Term Support), which offers capabilities for cloud computing as well as consumer-oriented features. Version 10.04 will ship with hundreds of open source applications available at install.

      • Ubuntu – Leading Contender In Linux World?

        There are many Linux distributions out there in the world; some are free (as in beer), some are free (as in speech), some are commercial products (you pay $$$ for them), some are hybrids or combinations thereof. The point here being that there is no ONE Linux to rule them all. The Linux that rules them all is the one chosen by you to use as your primary operating system on your computer.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 Attracts New Software Partners

        First, the good news for Canonical: As a Long Term Support (LTS) release, Ubuntu 10.04 seems to be generating confidence among potential software partners. From Adobe to VMware, Canonical says a lengthy list of software companies and application providers plan to support Ubuntu 10.04.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android

      • Android Market (Unofficially) Eclipses 50,000 Apps

        android market suggestions1 220×216 Android Market (Unofficially) Eclipses 50,000 AppsAccording to reports, the Android Market has surpassed the 50,000 app mark, demonstrating the rapid growth of the Android operating system.

        The updated total was highlighted by AndroLib, a third party app tracking website that reports there are a total of 50,031 approved binaries at the time of writing.

      • HDigit Dials In And Brings Us An Android-powered DAB Radio

        When Android was being built, many only visualized it as a phone operating system: for a long time, phones were the only things you could find Android running on. Since then, we’ve seen kitchen appliances, cars, netbooks, tablets, robots – you name it, and Android has probably already seen it.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Financial Physics of Free Software

    In the Internet age, does software have value? Of course software is valuable in the sense that it provides service and is useful, but does software have monetary value?

  • Nokia launches first open source Symbian phone

    The first handset to use the Symbian operating system since it became open source has been announced by Nokia.

  • Mozilla

  • Oracle

    • Understanding Oracle’s ODF Plug-in Pricing: What it Means for OpenOffice.org

      What’s still troubling is that very little is coming out of Oracle in terms of what its plans are for OpenOffice.org itself. Updegrove’s primary concern is ODF, but I’m more interested in its primary working implementation. Dealing with Sun as the primary mover behind OO.org had its pros and cons, but at least you could get some kind of answers out of the company. Oracle is, so far, doling out very little information. I’ve tried to get comments out of a few former Sun folks at Oracle and very little is forthcoming. That doesn’t seem to bode particularly well for OpenOffice.org.

  • BSD

    • OpenSSH 5.5 brings minor improvements

      Version 5.5/5.5p1 of open source SSH (Secure Shell) implementation OpenSSH is primarily a bug fix version and improves logging of authentication using client certificates. The source code should now compile on platforms which do not support the dlopen function for loading dynamic libraries.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Episode 0×26: How Evil is Evil?

      Bradley and Karen discuss whether or not proprietary software is “evil”, mention the new documentary film about patents, and discuss briefly new non-profit filing requirements.

    • All boys dream of being knights, don’t they?

      According to the rationale, the Cross of Merit was awarded for my work for Free Software and Open Standards, starting from my being speaker of the GNU Project, including my very first speech, my work on the Brave GNU World, over driving the creation of Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE), to the work done around the Open Document Format (ODF) and the work for Open Standards in general with a variety of hats. The initial proposal originated in the Foreign Ministry from what I heard, which has been a champion for Free Software and Open Standards, especially the Open Document Format (ODF) for years, resulting in one of the most efficient and strategically sound IT environments of all German ministries.

      So this is the most important message: By awarding this Cross of Merit, the Federal Republic of Germany recognises the importance of both Free Software and Open Standards. After Matthias Ettrich was already awarded the Medal of Merit in November 2009 for his work on KDE, this sends another strong message of support for Free Software and Open Standards and for the importance of the work carried forward by associations such as the Free Software Foundation Europe. This work, by the way, is an ongoing process, and it needs your support. So if you can, please join the Fellowship right now.

  • Licensing

  • Open Access/Content

    • Share Exchange: A Community Center for

      The goal of the Share Exchange is to aggregate sharing tools in a central, persistent place in the community to catalyze a green local economy. If the successes of coworking and The Hub social enterprise community centers are any guide, the Share Exchange may be onto to something. The lesson of The Hub is that grounding a movement in a shared physical place adds tremendous value.

    • Open Access to Development Data: The World Bank’s New Open Data Initiative

      The World Bank announced this week a new open data initiative, which provides free and open access to the Bank’s health and development data, including 2,000 social, economic, financial, institutional, and environmental indicators. The World Development Indicators, the Bank’s most popular statistical resource, consist of over 900 indicators for 200 countries alone, including many that go back to 1960. The Bank has also opened up access to the Global Development Finance, Africa Development Indicators, Global Economic Monitor, and indicators from the Doing Business Report.

    • Web Site Is Building a Searchable Index of Open Courseware

      About 1,800 courses, all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are indexed on OCW Search for starters, says the operator, Pierre Far. Polling on the Web site, which went online this week, will determine what courses to add next; those at Stanford University are in the lead, and Mr. Far plans to add them in the next few days.

    • The “fair use economy” is enormous, growing, and endangered by the relatively tiny entertainment industry

      The IT industry’s US lobby group has released a report calculating the size of the “fair use economy” in the US — all the businesses that rely on fair use, including web hosting companies, private schools, search engines and many others. The total for 2007 (the last year for which stats are available) is a whopping $4.7 trillion — one sixth of US GDP — with over 17 million people employed.

    • Conservatives promise to extend FOI Act

      The Conservatives have promised to extend the scope of the Freedom of Information Act within weeks of the general election.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • In Defense of Ogg’s Good Name

      I’d not originally intended to respond to open trolling. The continued urging of many individuals has convinced me it’s important to rebut in some public form. Earnest falsehoods left unchallenged risk being accepted as fact.

    • Why We Need an Open “Like” Standard

      Messina added that he’s “looking forward to what efforts like OpenLike might do to tip back the scales, and bring the potential and value of such simple and meaningful interactions to other social identity providers across the web.” Indeed, that’s something we should all have an interest in.

Leftovers

  • Transatlantic Parliament
  • Science

    • One Billion Euros to Unleash the Power of Information

      Now a diverse group of leading scientists has unveiled an extraordinary plan to meet these challenges through a project inspired by historic enterprises such as the Apollo Project. Their ambitious proposal aims to stimulate an urgent scientific effort of unprecedented scope focused on building a more powerful and accurate science of human systems and their interaction with the global environment. Their efforts will exploit the revolutionary scientific potential of modern computational, communication, and information technologies, backed up by theoretical analysis.

      [...]

      Global System Dynamics and Policy: Another aspect of the project will necessarily focus on the difficult issue of how information coming out of the crisis observatories or other data-intensive centres for social science can be made most helpful to decision makers.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Terrorism is no excuse

      The war on terror has been used by the UK Government as a battering ram to the rights of the citizens of this country. New laws have been passed, including two new terrorism acts (2000 and 2006), which have restricted free speech and the rights of demonstrators to protest, given the police new powers of stop and search, and let’s not forget the 28 days detention and control orders.

    • The “CSI effect”

      Television dramas that rely on forensic science to solve crimes are affecting the administration of justice

    • Why Alan Johnson is wrong about CCTV

      Alan Johnson has just sung out a press conference in praise of CCTV – even wheeling out a poor women who was attacked and whose attacker was caught on camera.

  • Finance

    • Euro keeps Greek rates stable, EU animation claims (DG ECFIN animation)
    • Stocks rebound at opening following sell-off

      Stocks have bounced back in early trading this morning, recovering some of the losses incurred in yesterday’s sell-off, as trader expect good news from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke this afternoon and pressure builds on Germany to back a Greek bailout.

    • Goldman Sachs’ German Problem

      The man on the hot seat is Fabrice Tourre, the 31-year-old Goldman vice president who is the only individual civilly charged in the case, and his silence about IKB, a German bank that lost $150 million in the collateralized debt obligation Tourre structured, is deafening. It indicates the main vulnerability for Goldman from the SEC’s suit.

    • Goldman Sachs Abacus E-mails Show Hunt for ‘Easiest’ Asset Firm

      Newly disclosed Goldman Sachs Group Inc. internal e-mails cast light on how the investment bank devised collateralized debt obligations called Abacus, including one at the center of a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission fraud lawsuit.

      The e-mails show employees discussed which outside firms would be “easiest” to work with while creating Abacus CDOs to bet against the housing market.

    • Goldman Sachs Investors Sue Over Abacus Disclosures
    • Goldman Sachs Bet Against Its Own Deals, Senate’s Levin Says
    • Goldman Sachs Executives Grilled in Senate Hearing
    • A Few Questions for Goldman Sachs
    • Goldman Sachs faces fraud charges

      Goldman Sachs (GS.N) executives on Tuesday faced the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations to answer questions on the business practices of the investment bank, which is also battling a fraud suit brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    • The Consensus on Big Banks Starts To Move

      When Jackson first challenged the Second Bank, many people thought his concerns about the bank’s powers were excessive. But then Biddle started to fight back, spending money freely to buy congressional affection (and even leading orators) and attempting to contract credit in order to demonstrate that Jackson was hurting America.

      At that point, people understood that Jackson was essentially right. The Second Bank had become so powerful that it could challenge elected executive authority and, if Biddle won, the consequences for democracy would be dire.

    • Goldman Sachs CDO Labeled ‘Shi**y Deal’ by Montag in E-Mail

      Thomas Montag, the former head of sales and trading in the Americas at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., called a set of mortgage-linked investments sold by his firm “one shi**y deal,” according to an excerpt from internal e-mails released by Senate lawmakers.

      The transaction was Timberwolf Ltd., a $1 billion collateralized debt obligation holding pieces of other CDOs, according to a statement from the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The CDO also included optimistic side-bets on the performance of CDOs, derivatives in which the firm took the opposite pessimistic side in “many” cases, the panel said.

    • Here’s How Spitzer Might Handle Fabulous Goldman: Susan Antilla
    • Goldman Turns to New Lobbying Playbook for Washington Battle

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which for years saw no need to play a traditional Washington lobbying game, is deploying former lawmakers and crisis specialists as it tries to tamp down the political firestorm threatening its well- honed brand.

    • Goldman Sachs Lawyer Advises Long Pauses, Rambling Answers

      A lawyer reportedly helping Goldman Sachs executives prepare for a Senate hearing today revealed his usual strategy for congressional hearings in an interview last year.

    • Full Report: The Economic Elite Vs. The People of the United States of America

      The government unemployment rate is deceptive on several levels. It doesn’t count people who are “involuntary part-time workers,” meaning workers who are working part-time but want to find full-time work. It also doesn’t count “discouraged workers,” meaning long-term unemployed people who lost hope and don’t consistently look for work. As time goes by, more and more people stop consistently looking for work and are discounted from the unemployment figure. For instance, in January, 1.1 million workers were eliminated from the unemployment total because they were “officially” labeled “discouraged workers.” So instead of the number rising, we will hear deceptive reports about unemployment leveling off.

    • Real House Prices and the Unemployment Rate

      The unemployment rate peak in 2009 is likely, but not certain.

      In the early ’80s, real house prices declined until the unemployment rate peaked, and then increased sluggishly for a few years. Following the late 1980s housing bubble, real house prices declined for several years after the unemployment rate peaked.

    • Democrats taking a third run at banking rules

      Fresh off a confrontation with Goldman Sachs executives, Democrats are mounting another effort to police the freewheeling Wall Street ways that they say helped bring on the worst recession since the Great Depression.

    • Obama takes heartland economic tour to Mo., Ill.
    • Palin on Goldman

      Leave it to Sarah Palin to come up with the solution. This is from a post on her Facebook page. I advise everyone to read it, since it’s a highly amusing piece of propaganda…

    • Analysis: Deficit fix painful, inaction’s worse

      The costs of solving the federal deficit problem are more than many people want to pay – higher taxes on a wide swath of Americans and cuts in benefit programs that reach into millions of homes.

    • Larry Summers: “Mistakes Were Made,” But Not By Me

      President Obama’s chief economic adviser, Larry Summers, was interviewed on PBS late last week about the state of play on financial reform. In an odd, shifty-eyed discussion, Summers admits “mistakes were made,” but none by him.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • ‘Scrapping ID cards will cost jobs in Durham City’

      LIB Dem plans to scrap ID cards would cost jobs in Durham, the Home Secretary claimed yesterday.

    • The Zhuanghe Kneeling Protest Incident

      Liu Xiaoyuan’s blog recently described two instances of citizens kneeling before officials, asking for change. The first was “a woman who kneeled before the Municipal Party Committee Secretary of Nanping, Fujian, to communicate a grievance.” The result was that she was “taken into administrative detention.”

    • Data collected by Google cars

      Why is Google collecting this data?
      The data which we collect is used to improve Google’s location based services, as well as services provided by the Google Geo Location API. For example, users of Google Maps for Mobile can turn on “My Location” to identify their approximate location based on cell towers and WiFi access points which are visible to their device. Similarly, users of sites like Twitter can use location based services to add a geo location to give greater context to their messages.

      Can this data be used by third parties?
      Yes–but the only data which Google discloses to third parties through our Geo Location API is a triangulated geo code, which is an approximate location of the user’s device derived from all location data known about that point. At no point does Google publicly disclose MAC addresses from its database (in contrast with some other providers in Germany and elsewhere).

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Imitation Isn’t Just The Sincerest Form Of Flattery; It Can Be An Important Business Strategy

      We’ve pointed out this kind of “cargo cult copying” in the past as well. Copying is not nearly as “easy” as some make it out to be, because those doing the “copying” often are only copying the superficial aspects, without recognizing the underlying reasons why something works. It’s why IBM failed at copying Microsoft years ago. It’s why Microsoft failed at copying Google. They tried to directly imitate on the surface, rather than understanding the underlying aspects of what’s happening.

    • Saving Clay Shirky

      Unstructured P2P systems are not only capable of delivering this kind of volume, they have been doing so for over a decade, often under the radar of the established companies, which only sit up and notice when some of their stuff starts being shared across them.

      In a way, the fact that this could be overlooked is a neat summary of what’s going on here: the changes Shirky describes have already happened, but not everyone has noticed.

    • Copyrights

      • Council seeks backdoor deal on copyright extention

        Why the clandestine approach on the Council side? Why don’t they reference the correct dossier name and procedure? I assume you may find the answer in the delicate substance of the proposal. I remember I met an economist in Parliament who tried to get the results of his research to the attention of MEPs, and basically saw the dossier as a great scam.

        The dossier became widely known informally as the “Cliff Richard pension fund” because it was promoted by aging UK rock musicians, a kind of special gift to the music industry by the outgoing Commissioner. I haven’t monitored the dossier any further. In any case, outrageous policy making.

      • “Copyright on the Web: Looking for a Snap Answer to a Fundamental Conflict.”
      • The first mails HADOPI would leave without security software (updated)
      • Empty your library

        If you’ve read one of my books, thanks. I write them to be read, so without you, it would be a pointless exercise.

        I’m asking a favor: Would you give your copy (or lend, I’m fine either way) of Linchpin away?

        Go find someone you care about, hand them the book and insist they read it. I’d consider that a gift of the first order, and I hope they will too.

    • WIPO

      • New WIPO Development Agenda Group Seeks Transformation Of UN Agency

        It is traditional within WIPO to form negotiating groups, usually along geographic lines but also on basis of a common position. There has also long been a cross-regional group of developed nations – the so-called “Group B” – in which developed countries holding most of the world’s IP rights negotiates as a bloc.

      • Creative Commons statement at WIPO CDIP

        As mentioned already, Creative Commons strongly supports the work of this Committee. We are encouraged in particular by the work in Technology Transfer and in studying the public domain, and also welcome the work of the SCCR in “Limitations and Exceptions for Educational Activities”. We would like to point out that CC is creating a prototype tool for marking and tagging public domain works, which we expect to have that out by mid Summer 2010. Any work on tools to facilitate the ID of and access to PD content must interoperate and have buy-in from all stakeholders who possess information about and can facilitate the marking of such content.

      • RLSLOG Pulled Offline After Universal Music Complaint

        RLSLOG, one of the world’s most popular release news sites, has been pulled offline by its German hosting company following a takedown request from Universal Music. The site, which has never hosted any copyrighted material on its servers, is currently looking for a new home outside Germany.

    • ACTA

    • Digital Economy Bill

      • Wi-Fi broadband ‘loophole’ in Digital Economy

        Last week, it was reported that Nick Clegg had suggested that if the Liberal Democrats win the election they will repeal the digital economy bill.

      • UK election: ask your candidates if they’ll repeal the Digital Economy Act
      • BPI issue sunny news release, make themselves cry to stop us thinking it’s alright now

        Great news from the BPI: Despite the UK economy having been in recession last year, the UK music industry saw an increase in sales. In money terms:

        A strong fourth quarter and increased digital income streams offset the reduced sales of physical formats as the UK recorded music market reported a modest 1.4% annual increase in total trade income for 2009 of £928.8m, BPI’s annual survey of industry income revealed today.

        Brilliant news, eh? Champagne all round, barkeep and…

        Oh, hang on: if digital sales are growing so strongly, then that kind-of makes the arguments that without supertight new copyright laws, the music industry will vanish look like a bit of a fib. Quick, everyone, turn those grins upside-down…

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – PW – Meteorology (1/10/1998)


04.27.10

Links 27/4/2010: NVIDIA 195.36.24 Linux Driver, KDE Desktops Made Avatar

Posted in News Roundup at 5:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Chris Dixon: Tradeoff Between Open and Closed

    The paper makes a very interesting point when talking about the open-ness of Linux:

    For Linux and other platforms, openness at the sponsor level entails greater openness at the user level, as it implies not only nondiscrimination in platform access, but also in the process of defining platform standards.

    Allow me to expand on this point:

    * Open-ness at any “higher” level entails greater open-ness at any “lower” level, and
    * Closed-ness at any “higher” level entails greater closed-ness at any “lower” level

    The retention of acceptable accessibility is why more often than not, companies based on closed and proprietary practices are unable or unwilling to produce truly open products, protocols or platforms.

  • Open vs. Closed: What Does Open Really Mean?

    So, in other words, Windows is open for “demand-side” users and “supply-side” users (developers) but closed when it comes to design and intellectual property, meaning the look and the underlying code can’t be changed or used by anyone other than Microsoft. An open-source platform like Linux, of course, is open in every sense of the word. And while the iPhone is open for users, it’s closed to developers and anyone who wants to change the platform. Even these definitions are open to debate, however: Dixon says that some see the iPhone as only partly closed to developers — a truly closed platform wouldn’t allow third-party apps at all, as most phones didn’t before the iPhone.

  • The adoption and use of Linux in Africa- A detailed African perspective

    My last article about spreading Linux here in Africa and other developing places seemed to have sparked off some interesting debate about what really hinders the spreading of FOSS in general and Linux in particular on this continent. FOSS blogging giants like Mr Glyn Moody are among those that added their voices to the debate.

    For the sake of clarity, I would like us to take a detailed look (from the perspective of an African living in Africa) at what I strongly and sincerely believe are obstacles to the adoption and use of Free and Open Source Software. For ease of reading, I would be dividing this article into 2 parts – the environmental factors and the software/vendor factors. For the sake of simplicity, I would also be using my country Ghana as a microcosm for the African continent.

  • We expose Steve Ballmer’s great big bloomers

    Here is our Steve Ballmer Hall of Shame:

    2000 – Ballmer: “Linux is communism”

    2001 – Ballmer “Linux is a cancer”

    2004 – Ballmer: “Windows is more secure and cheaper than its open source rival”

    CassiaNote: This must be why almost all of the major e-book readers run on Linux and Google’s own Chrome OS is based on it, while the Windows Mobile market share is shrinking rapidly – see “Windows Mobile market share drops like a rock” here.

    2004 – “Ballmer doesn’t get patents”

    2004 – Ballmer: “OpenOffice infringes 45 of our patents”

    2007 – Ballmer: “Linux violates 235 of our patents”

    2007 – Ubuntu, Red Hat rejects Microsoft patent deal

    2007 – Ballmer: “Vista is great for consumers”

    2007 – Ballmer: “Vista is selling well”

    2007 – Ballmer blames piracy for poor Vista sales

    2008 – Ballmer thinks consumers don’t want Windows XP

  • Enterprise Linux

    CentOS has been referred to often as Red Hat without the expensive support price tag. This is accurate, as CentOS is indeed based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Unlike its Red Hat counterpart however, CentOS is completely free of charge, enterprise friendly and is designed to meet the needs of enterprise servers, workstations and desktop environments.

  • Maintaining Linux in the home.

    Sure there is still a lot of focus on Linux for home use and there are many distributions who’s target audience is for home users. I have recently written an article about such a distribution. I do feel that there is something missing in all the hype about Linux that is being spread around so I guess that that duty falls on me to say something about it.

    [...]

    It does not matter where in the world this person may be. As an example, I live in Turkey and can just as easily service my Linux using relatives in Australia as I can my daughters laptop in the next room. The speed of internet connection is not important as anything from a text only mode to a full graphical environment can be used. I cannot imagine easily doing that with any other proprietary home targeted operating system.

  • Server

    • Report: Linux adoption highest among APAC SMBs

      Released Monday, the report revealed that Linux servers in Asia-Pacific represented 5.1 percent of the total server market over the last 12 months, with Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) chalking up 4.7 percent, South America at 4.6 percent, and North America at 4.2 percent.

    • Legalizing Linux DVD Playback: Why Bother?

      CSS is licensed by the DVD Copy Control Association, which works in lock-step with the Motion Picture Association of America to prevent copyright violations. The upshot of the CSS license is this: if you have a DVD playback device, then you need to license the CSS encryption code. No license, then no DVD.

  • Audiocasts

    • Episode 139: Flight Cancelled!

      00:20 Greetings and looking for a flat in Berlin
      03:30 Content aware Fill in Photoshop – http://photwalkthrough.com
      04:20 HTML5 graphics program
      05:30 Train Station image and motion blurr
      08:10 Baggage claimage area shot
      08:50 Intentions of the image
      09:40 Straighten the image
      11:30 Finding a crop
      14:30 First try: enhance contrast and colours
      16:00 Using curves for reducing contrast
      21:40 Selective sharpening
      24:00 Function of a layer mask
      25:00 Denoise the layer mask
      26:30 Sharpen the top layer
      31:00 Saving as XCF for further work

  • Kernel Space

    • Android and Linux are growing back together

      Google’s Android, the increasingly important embedded Linux, had one major problem: it had been moving slowly away from the Linux mainstream. Now, after the recent Linux Foundation Collaboration Conference, Android and Linux are coming back together.

      Not only is Google going to be hiring two new Android developers to work more closely with the Linux kernel development team, they’re also working on re-merging its driver code with Linux. Indeed, the first series of driver patches that will bring Android and Linux back into alignment have already arrived.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Free NVIDIA Fermi Cards To Open-Source Developers

        Prior to launching their next-generation graphics processors, NVIDIA dropped their obfuscated open-source driver and have said they will not provide any open-source support at all for their GeForce GTX 400 “Fermi” series as they just recommended their customers use the X.Org VESA driver until they can install the official binary Linux driver. However, the community developers working on the Nouveau driver project still plan to support the GeForce GTX 470/480 graphics cards via clean-room reverse engineering. Today their efforts might be helped thanks to a hardware sponsorship.

      • NVIDIA 195.36.24 Linux Driver Released

        The NVIDIA 195.36.24 release brings forward official GeForce GTX 470/480 (a.k.a. Fermi) hardware support plus Tesla C2050 compatibility. This release also carries official X.Org Server 1.8 support, even though there has been unofficial support for this newest X Server release for a fair while when passing the X.Org Server the -ignoreABI argument to ignore the ABI differences.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • LXDE

      • An Eye-Opening Experience

        Most of us who are familiar with Linux are familiar with the advantages of running Linux as a desktop OS. We frequently bemoan the fact that others don’t know what we do about the reality of Linux on the desktop, and we seem to be hampered by difficulties in spreading the word outside our own circles. Recently, I was able to get outside the circle of Linux users and perform a live demonstration of Linux (and LXDE) to a group of professionals in a conference setting. Here’s my story.

        [...]

        One thing about Mint 8 LXDE: it boots fast. And a room full of tech people saw it boot fast. That same room saw the desktop come up in a hurry (full disclosure: I had set SLiM on this laptop to auto-login.) They saw me login to the VPN with no issues. They saw me fire up the client.

      • Good and Bads of LXDE

        LXDE panel also has limitations and it takes some time to learn how to adjust to LXDE according to one`s needs.

        LXDE also lacks a well defined control center as is offered by KDE and GNOME and this is a real big short coming. Many distributions supply custom made tools for LXDE management because of lack of a native LXDE control center. Openbox is used along with LXDE and it helps to overcome many shortcomings of LXDE.

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Cool Kubuntu Users

        One rather cool user which is missing is Weta Digital. Whenever I’ve been out the flat this week I’ve seen adverts for the Avatar DVDs, those blue 3D faces are all made on Kubuntu desktops and a whopping 35,000 cluster of rendering machines. That must be a large proportion of computers in New Zealand running Kubuntu.

  • Distributions

    • Sabayon – Nightly Builds, Installer & Recruitment

      Next up is nightly builds of sabayon, yes you read that correctly. The idea is that you will have one ISO on your hard disk which you will keep updated using rsync’s binary diff capabilities and the Sabayon rsync servers to only update the parts of the ISO that have changed, this is how we have been distributing ISOs to testers for a while now and is much quicker and easier than the old version using Xdelta. What has been done is that we have a scripted molecule install which creates a new ISO at 0200 UTC every night using the latest packages from the mainline repository, from these images the rysnc is updated and you can download the changes, simple but clever if you ask me.

    • Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • HP and Red Hat: Ganging Up On Sun?

        There’s plenty of traditional channel partner news here at the HP Americas Partner Conference in Las Vegas. But sometimes, the juiciest news occurs over dinner. A case in point: Sources say HP VP Frank Rauch and Red Hat North America Channel Chief Roger Egan will likely meet for a meal tonight. Their mutual interest, besides fine dining: Finding new ways to target and engage Sun Microsystems’ customer base. Here’s the scoop.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Keeping 1000 devs focused: new Debian leader speaks

        Ten days back, the new leader of the Debian GNU/Linux project, Stefano Zacchiroli, began his term as the only elected leader of a free software project. But that’s not the only thing that makes Debian unique in the FOSS space.

        The project has well over 1000 developers from all corners of the globe and, despite the arguments and debates that figure on its many mailing lists, still puts together a distribution that is top quality and caters to more architectures than any other.

      • gNewSense: Libre GNU/Linux OS

        In the open source world, there are two kinds of freedom. There is software that is free as in beer, a mysterious phrase that relates to something which costs no money. By definition, any software released under the GPL or many related licenses which can be freely redistributed fits this definition. This is pretty much the state of most open source software. Less common, though, is software that fits the second type of freedom, “free as in speech”. This sense means that it has no restrictions, or is “libre” — something that in practice is much harder to achieve than simply being gratis.

        [...]

        Except for the wireless issue, I was very pleasantly surprised by how easy gNS was to use. Specific package and application choices are different than a less restrictive distro might have, but basic functionality was on a par with what I’d expect for a baseline distro. (I’ll give gNS a pass on freezing up when I asked it to play my DVD — in retrospect, it was trying to save that hour and a half of my life.) It may be subliminal brainwashing by proprietary forces, but I think that I had assumed that the “libre” would have to work out to some kind of added difficulty.

      • Ubuntu

        • Canonical announces an Ubuntu certification scheme

          Canonical has announced that it will offer its own certification programme for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and that graduates will be entitled to claim an ‘Ubuntu Certified Professional’ certification. Previously Canonical had worked with the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) to offer the Ubuntu Certified Professional exam which combined the general Linux LPI 101 and 102 modules with the Ubuntu 199 module to provide an Ubuntu tailored qualification.

        • Canonical to Offer Junior Admin Certification for Ubuntu 10.04

          Canonical, the firm around Ubuntu sponsor Mark Shuttleworth, is planning its own certification for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS that is to appear still in April.

        • 21 gorgeous CD labels for Lucid

          In all 21 CD labels are included in the package, a few more of which are sampled below, all of which can help make a fantastic visual impression – particularly if you’re going to be burning CD’s to pass out to people you know. (Which you are going to be doing right?!)

        • Preview the slick new (new) Ubuntu 10.04 Firefox Start page
        • Wubi Installer and the Ubiquitous Ubuntu

          Wubi, the famous Windows Ubuntu installer, is probably one of the reasons why Ubuntu is the most popular Linux desktop distro, at least among Windows users. Agostino Russo – original author and ‘inventor’ of Wubi – told me more about how everything was started from a blueprint.

        • My Ubuntu 10.04 strategy

          Tonight at least, when I’m blogging as opposed to doing full “Web production,” and using Chromium instead of Firefox, I’m quite enjoying Ubuntu 10.04.

        • Linux Monday: Lucid Lynx Week

          It’s a big week in Linux Land as Lucid Lynx, the latest Ubuntu upgrade (number 10.04; the convention is year.month), is released on Thursday (4/29). I’ve been doing this long enough, and things went well enough on the test machine,

        • Ubuntu’s Lucid Lynx: screenshots
        • All Done With Ubuntu (Part 2)

          It all boils down to democracy. No, everything does not have to be a democracy, but people will give you their opinions when they offer you their services, whether warranted or not. When a large number of people hate the latest change or decision, then why implement it? Sure, people that like it don’t band together to offer praise, and people that hate it band together to fight it. But when there are enough people that hate it, it’s worth second guessing and taking their disdain seriously. Canonical doesn’t, until they cave to media frenzy.

        • Variants

          • Linux Mint 9: Desktop backgrounds

            I’m posting about the artwork again to follow-up on the contest and the desktop backgrounds for Linux Mint 9.

          • Mythbuntu 10.04 ‘Lucid Lynx’ [Ubuntu with MythTV]

            Mythbuntu 10.04 like the other members of the Ubuntu family is quickly approaching its final release. Mythbuntu also known as Ubuntu with MythTV Media center is a community supported operating system that focuses on setting up a standalone MythTV based PVR (personal video recorder) system. The development cycle of Mythbuntu closely follows that of Ubuntu, releasing every six months along side Ubuntu releases.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Freescale tips embedded partnerships for multi-core SoCs

      The agreement with Mentor Graphics calls for the company to work with Freescale on developing a common Linux build and distribution methodology for PowerQUICC and QorIQ system-on-chips (SoCs).

    • 1GHz SoC touted for single-Watt consumption

      Marvell is shipping a new member of its Linux-ready Armada line of system-on-chips touted for delivering up to 1GHz performance while consuming less than a single Watt. A slower but more power-efficient version of the Armada 300, the Armada 310 offers 256KB L2 cache, plus PCI-express, gigabit Ethernet, and USB 2.0 connectivity, says the company.

    • Phones

      • Japanese Consortium Looking To New Mobile Platform For Symbian And Linux Smartphones

        It seems that at least six Japanese companies, which include NTT DoCoMo, Renesas Electronics, Fujitsu, NEC, Panasonic Mobile and Sharp, have teamed up to come up with a new mobile application platform which will target Symbian and Linux mobile operating systems.

      • Android

        • Alex e-reader rooted

          The Android-powered Alex e-reader has just gotten rooted, where all you need to do is download the .ZIP file here, copy it to the root folder of your Alex’s SD memory card and you’re good to go. Once done, just power down your device, press and hold both “Back” and “Next” page buttons, and the power button as well until the Alex logo appears on the display. You will then enter recovery mode, whereby you release all buttons. Hit both “Back” and “Power” buttons to apply the ZIP file. Anyone given it a go?

        • Mysterious Motorola MT820 poses for a long, leisurely spy shoot

          Two in one week — Two leaked Chinese Motorola phones with Android and transparent MOTOMING-like flip covers, that is.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • EasyPeasy and the Challenges of Linux Netbook Design

        Netbook desktops in free and open source software (FOSS) are in a state of rapid development.

        [...]

        EasyPeasy’s software has few surprises for anyone familiar with Ubuntu’s. Generally, it consists of GNOME components such as Evolution, or Ubuntu parts such as Computer Janitor or Software Sources. In fact, you do not have to look far to see uncustomized pieces such as an icon for Ubuntu Software Centre or Ubuntu One.

        Nor does EasyPeasy avoid proprietary software such as Skype or Flash — no doubt in the name of user convenience. Like Ubuntu, it also includes a number of Mono applications, such as Tomboy and Banshee. Since EasyPeasy openly declares its willingness to make such choices, you cannot be very surprised that it walks the walk as well as talks the talk.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Router To Replace WRT54GL?
  • Just because it’s free doesn’t make it open source

    To the open source veterans out there, that sounds moronic. Of course open source doesn’t mean free. And why would free mean open source? Heck, until recently anyone could download Internet Explorer (Mac users can’t anymore, but they weren’t using it anyhow), and no one would mistake that for open source software.

  • Mozilla

    • Five Essential Firefox Add-ons for Internet Ninjas

      When it comes to browsers, I have no loyalty. I am constantly hopping back and forth between Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. Why? They’re both great browsers that have real advantages over competitors like Microsoft Internet Explorer and the Apple Safari browser. Google Chrome is a really clean and uncluttered browser that is stable and performs well. For its part, Firefox has a slew of great add-ons available to make your browsing experience a little better. Chrome is beginning to amass a pretty good collection of its own browser extensions, but, for now at least, Firefox still has them beat.

  • Databases

  • CMS

  • BSD

  • Solaris

    • OpenSolaris back on track.

      It would appear that the OpenSolaris project is back on track. This is a bit long overdue. The acquisition of Sun by Oracle left a few projects in questionable states. It was unknown as to whether Oracle would continue supporting these open source projects. OpenSolaris was included in that list.

    • [osol-discuss] OpenSolaris build 134a has closed

      Those of us feeling left in the dark might be pleased to know that build 134a, the first candidate for the next stable release of OpenSolaris, has been tagged in Oracle’s release branch (in project jargon: “snv_134a, the first respin of 134, closed earlier this week”). A packaged build should be available for internal QA soon, but even if it passes, it will be while some time before the release can be published to the external repo.

  • Government

    • EU Open Source Procurement Guidelines

      Public sector procurement is becoming a real battleground for open source in Europe. There have been few successes, but lots of groundwork has been laid in the form of interoperability frameworks and suchlike – despite fierce rearguard actions by old-school software companies naturally alarmed about losing their cosy monopolies.

  • Programming

    • From Novice to Adept: Perldoc

      Some people say that Perl (at least versiosn 1 Perl 5) is a cleaned up dialect of the language called Unix. Certainly that’s how I develop. Unix is my IDE, and I use Unix tools as much as possible.

      You can see the schism between Unix developers and everyone else in the Perl world. Cygwin doesn’t get as much attention and testing and bugfixing as it deserves. Dealing with shared libraries and installation on Windows and Mac OS X often requires special skills and knowledge and dedication that isn’t always available or obvious or interesting to those of us for whom Unix and the free Unix-alikes just work.

Leftovers

  • Big Brother doctors say patients don’t need to see their imaging test results

    If you are an American, you probably assume that this is a free country. So if you agree to undergo imaging tests — which cost you or your insurance company hundreds and even thousands of dollars and may subject you to radiation — you have every right to see the results.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Big Brother doctors say patients don’t need to see their imaging test results

      Blippy pledges to invest in security in response to the discovery that user credit card numbers had been exposed in Google search results. According to Blippy, the credit card information had been available since February.

    • Spokane company helps uncover cyberspace bandits

      Three Spokane businesses that saw tens of thousands of dollars stolen from their online bank accounts have taken the lesson to heart. All three say they no longer bank online and won’t until they’re sure they won’t get stung again.

    • Users’ passwords exposed by Splunk
    • Superspy in the sky could soon be patrolling over British cities to search for hidden terror cells
    • Gran’s bin to hell over dumped box

      A GRANDMOTHER was dragged to court – after carefully leaving a cardboard box next to a council recycling bin.

    • MSPs reject six-year DNA retention change

      A move to allow Scottish police forces to hold the DNA of innocent people for up to six years has been thrown out by a committee of MSPs.

      Labour’s amendment to the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Bill would have brought Scots law in line with the rest of the UK.

    • The American Anti-Revolution

      Why are we left worrying about that? Not because any such violence has occurred or has been convincingly threatened by modern “anti-government extremists,” but because people like Maddow keep telling us we should be worried. Howard Kurtz in The Washington Post sums up the current state of the fear, while taking an on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand approach to this week’s nostalgic debate between Clinton and his old nemesis Rush Limbaugh over whether right-wing rhetoric or government murders are more to blame for McVeigh’s crimes.

      “The 42nd president is out there saying that the current climate reminds him of the period before the Oklahoma bombing,” Kurtz writes. “Limbaugh is accusing him (and Barack Obama) of libeling radio talk-show hosts. And the debate has broadened to include Sarah Palin and her ‘reload’ rhetoric, as well as the Tea Party.”

    • TSA applesauce “assault” case thrown out

      A 58-year-old woman who was arrested, strip-searched, and handcuffed last year for grabbing her cooler (filled with applesauce and yogurt for her 93-year-old mother) from a Burbank airport TSA employee finally had her case thrown out.

    • Peter Watts won’t go to jail

      The absurd and awful saga of sf writer Dr Peter Watts’s adventures with the US border are finally at a close, and the news is moderately good. For those of you who missed it the first time around: Peter is a Canadian marine biologist and sf writer. He helped a friend relocate to the US, and, while driving back, found that US customs officers had opened his trunk and begun to search his car while he was in it, without saying anything. Peter had never encountered a US search on his way out of America, let alone a completely unannounced one. So he got out of his car and said something like, “Hey, what’s going on?” The customs officers ordered him to get back into his car and he said something like, “But what’s going on?”

    • The cloud and the future of the Fourth Amendment

      In mid-April, a coalition of privacy groups filed a brief in federal district court in Colorado, defending Yahoo against attempts by the federal government to obtain the contents of Yahoo Mail messages without first obtaining a warrant. One month earlier, the Justice Department filed a 17-page brief arguing that Yahoo Mail messages do not fall under current statutory protection because, once opened, those messages are not considered to be in “electronic storage.”

  • Finance

    • Too Big to Fail and the Real World

      This implies two things. First, because creditors know that the government will stand behind the debt of a TBTF in a crisis, they view its debt as less risky than the debt of other institutions. This means that the TBTF banks will be able to borrow at lower cost than other institutions. CEPR did a short paper last fall that suggested that the size of this TBTF subsidy to large banks could be as much as $34 billion a year.

    • Do You Have Any Reforms in Size XL?

      It is disappointing that none of the current proposals call for breaking up institutions that are now too big or on their way there. Such is the view of Richard W. Fisher, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

    • Financial Overhaul Bill Faces Showdown in Senate Vote Today

      The Senate is set to hold a test vote today on a Democratic plan to overhaul regulation of Wall Street, a showdown with political risks for both sides.

    • Decision near for financial reform in U.S. Senate
    • Goldman Sachs E-mails Spur Democrats to Push Wall Street Rules

      White House officials and Democratic lawmakers seized on internal e-mails from Goldman Sachs Group inc. to push for curbs including a ban on proprietary trading as they brace for a Senate showdown on Wall Street oversight.

    • Goldman Sachs Emails: Firm Had ‘The Big Short’ As Economy Fell

      The firm had “the big short,” declared chief financial officer David Viniar — Goldman Sachs was making money off the souring of the very securities it had peddled to the market.

    • Goldman Sachs E-mails Show Need for Volcker Rule, Brown Says

      “These emails signify that there are all kinds of conflicts of interest on Wall Street, that Wall Street is working for its clients and working against its clients in the same sort of bundled toxic securities,” Brown, a Democrat from Ohio and member of the Senate Banking Committee, said today on ABC News’s “This Week.” “That’s why we need the Volcker rule. That’s why we need really strong reform that will separate the proprietary trading from banking functions.”

    • Goldman Sachs Investors Sue Over Abacus Disclosures

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was sued by shareholders over a collateralized debt obligation known as Abacus 2007-AC1 that prompted a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit earlier this month, a law firm said.

    • Ready to Rumble – The Goldman Sachs Congressional Hearing Preview Game
    • S.Africa’s ex-cbank head Mboweni joins Goldman Sachs
    • Rich: Fight On, Goldman Sachs!
    • Goldman Sachs Exec Declares I Did Not Mislead [Video]
    • Goldman Money for Obama Wins at Monopoly

      The financial overhaul billcreeping toward law is more than a thousand pages, but it has a simple story line. President Barack Obama and the Democrats have decided to turn Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and a few other financial giants into organizations that resemble ATT Corp. in the 1950s.

    • The Goldman Sachs Fraud Explained

      With any major financial transaction there needs to be a middle man. In many cases, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) is that middle man. Goldman Sachs Group is a powerhouse in the financial industry, providing investment banking and investment management services to corporations and high-net-worth individuals. Basically it does exactly what any bank does, only it caters to very wealthy people. Recently Goldman has been dominating front-page news for its role in a rather complex case of alleged financial fraud. What’s happening here isn’t as hard to understand as media reports make it seem, and it’s an important story everyone, regardless of net worth.

    • William Black: Key Component in Financial Crisis – Fraud – Is Not Being Addressed
    • SEC gathered range of experts for Goldman case

      Led by a former federal prosecutor and a pair of veteran SEC investigators, the team was preparing to take legal action against America’s most storied financial firm. On the line was the promise made by SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro, appointed by President Obama last year, that the agency would restore its traditional role as an aggressive check on Wall Street abuses.

    • Goldman Sachs executives in hotseat [Video]
    • Frenkel Says SEC Case Against Goldman `Very Defensible’: Video
    • SEC Inspector General to Investigate Timing of Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) Fraud Charges
    • Goolsbee: Goldman Sachs CEO “not going to win any popularity contests”

      White House Economic Adviser Austan Goolsbee told me that Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein is “not going to win any popularity contests” after the release of e-mails which show company officials including Blankfein discussing how the company was profiting from the crash of the housing market. During my “This Week” interview Goolsbee added that “over a period that ordinary Americans’ pensions, houses et cetera were collapsing in value, they were actually making significant money off of it. If that’s true… we’ve got to end the conflicts of interest and that the Volcker rule is really on point on that I think is also highly relevant.”

    • Former Goldman Sachs CEO Says Company’s Actions Hard to Justify

      In an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Bianna Golodryga, Jon Corzine addresses the allegations against Goldman and also urges for financial regulatory reform. While skirting around the issue of whether Goldman acted improperly, he said that the business practices and transactions are hard to justify.

    • Goldman Sachs e-mails suggest firm profited from mortgage mess, Senate panel says

      Goldman Sachs executives bragged in internal e-mails in 2007 that they were making “some serious money” as the real estate bubble burst, according to documents released Saturday by a Senate subcommittee.

    • Scarlet Letter for the Greed Generation

      There is a plethora of Goldman alums sprinkled throughout the Obama administration.

      Until recently, there was no better credential for government service than a Goldman Sachs background; now the “G” is more like the scandalous “A” in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter.”

      If there were an opening today for a Federal Reserve governor or deputy Treasury secretary or prominent White House economic role, a Goldman Sachs background, Obama administration officials privately admit, would be lethal.

      “Clearly, they’ve become a toxic asset,” says Simon Johnson, a former International Monetary Fund economist who is now a finance professor at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    • Goldman’s “Fabulous” Fab’s conflicted love letters

      Little did they know that three years later these very personal emails written through Tourre’s Goldman Sachs e-mail account would become part of one of the biggest investigations into the subsequent financial crisis.

    • Summers: Goldman emails show need for transparency

      Emails sent by Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s (GS.N) executives on money the firm made by betting against risky mortgage securities highlight the need for transparency in financial markets, senior White House adviser Lawrence Summers said on Sunday.

    • Goldman executives cheered housing market’s decline, newly released e-mails show

      “Sounds like we will make some serious money,” Mullen wrote.

      Lawmakers said the internal e-mails, released Saturday by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, contradict what they said are Goldman’s assertions that the bank was not trying to profit from the decline of the housing market in 2007 and was merely seeking to protect itself if prices collapsed.

    • The Goldman Sachs case isn’t all it seems

      He has also put his money where his mouth is and put up $1,000 dollars against any and all comers that GS does not win this case.

    • Will Goldman Sachs prove greed is God?
    • Will Goldman Sachs Prove Greed is God?

      So Goldman Sachs, the world’s greatest and smuggest investment bank, has been sued for fraud by the American Securities and Exchange Commission. Legally, the case hangs on a technicality.

      Morally, however, the Goldman Sachs case may turn into a final referendum on the greed-is-good ethos that conquered America sometime in the 80s – and in the years since has aped other horrifying American trends such as boybands and reality shows in spreading across the western world like a venereal disease.

    • Insiders Sold Shares As SEC Probed Firm

      Five senior executives of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., including the firm’s co-general counsel, sold $65.4 million worth of stock after the firm received notice of possible fraud charges, which later drove its stock down 13%.

    • Goldman Sachs fraud accusations jolt California political races

      The SEC’s charges against the investment firm may provide an unwelcome distraction for the campaigns of former business executives Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman.

    • Chuck Schumer fund-raiser John Paulson is key figure in Goldman Sachs fraud case, records reveal

      John Paulson, leader of the $33 billion hedge-fund firm Paulson & Co., helped Democrat Schumer collect nearly $100,000 in the first three months of this year. Schumer is running for a third term in November.

    • Somali Pirates Say They Are Subsidiary of Goldman Sachs

      There was an audible gasp in court when the leader of the pirates announced, “We are doing God’s work. We work for Lloyd Blankfein.”

    • Goldman Sachs Still Ripping Us Off [Video]
    • How Goldman Sachs Screwed Ghana

      In 1998, Ashanti Gold was the 3rd largest Gold Mining company in the world. The first “black” company on the London Stock Exchange, Ashanti had just purchased the Geita mine in Tanzania, positioning Ashanti to become even larger. But in May 1999, the Treasury of the United Kingdom decided to sell off 415 tons of its gold reserves. With all that gold flooding the world market, the price of gold began to decline. By August 1999, the price of gold had fallen to $252/ounce, the lowest it had been in 20 years.

      [...]

      The destruction of Ashanti Gold by Goldman Sachs was saturated with fraud and conflicts of interest: Goldman Sachs served as Ashanti’s Financial Advisors; profitted form the contracts they designed and marketed for Ashanti; was involved in the manipulation of the gold prices on which the contracts depended; represented Ashanti’s creditors when the contracts went bad; and profitted as the Financial Advisors to the company that picked up the Ashanti corpse for pennies on the dollar.

    • What financial regulation? What neutrality on the net?

      Few people I know watch Bill Moyer’s Journal. His broadcast last week was really thought provoking. He first interviewed Professor William K. Black, a one time bank regulator link here and then FCC commissioner Michael J Copps link here, each with videos followed by transcripts.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Total Number Of Personal Data Records Leaked Since 2005: At Least 358.4 Million

      The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse has put up a pretty interesting chronology of data breaches (via Guardianista) detailing leaks in the US since 2005 that resulted in the loss of people’s personal info. They’ve totaled up the figure over the past five and a bit years, and it’s a staggering 358.4 million records lost.

    • Would-Be News Blogger Must Disclose Sources, Court Rules

      An aspiring blogger who says she was investigating a company for possible fraud must reveal the sources behind statements she posted online, a New Jersey appellate court ruled last week, in a rare case examining who has the right to legal protections extended to journalists.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • McCotter’s Plan to Expand DMCA-Style Take-Downs

      Michigan Representative Thaddeus McCotter (R) has introduced a bill to create a take-down regime for personal information akin to the widely abused DMCA process. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act established a system where copyright holders could as a practical matter force content off the Internet simply by requesting it.

    • Twitter Is Now Giving Out DMCA Take Down Notices
    • Three Strikes Bill Passes NZ Parliament
    • Kiwi 3 Strikes Anti-Piracy Bill Receives Unanimous Support

      As the music and movie industries tour the world lobbying for changes in the law in an attempt to slow down online piracy, New Zealand’s legislation moves a step closer to becoming law. The Copyright (Infringement File Sharing) Amendment Bill, which allows for large fines and six month Internet suspensions, has just received its first reading in Parliament, to unanimous support.

    • The $7,865.84 Verizon Bill

      The charges stemmed from a recent trip to Tel Aviv where he used 350,000 kb of data on his Mifi connection. As we’ve extensively documented, Verizon charges 2 cents per kilobyte. Before leaving the states, a Verizon rep told him how much it would cost. Not used to thinking in kilobytes, David asked what his normal data usage was. His response was that David was on the unlimited plan so he was not charged by kilobyte. While a truthful statement, it didn’t exactly answer David’s question.

    • DRM-Ravaged Avatar DVDs May Not Work On Blu-ray Players

      Amazon customers are complaining that Fox has gummed up the Avatar DVDs with DRM, rendering them unplayable on many Blu-ray players in an effort to prevent piracy. That is, if you consider making a copy of a DVD you own as piracy.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Justice Appoints New FBI Agents, Attorneys To Focus On IP

      To mark the 10th anniversary of World Intellectual Property Day, the Justice Department said Monday that it has appointed 15 new assistant U.S. attorneys and 20 FBI special agents who will focus on combating domestic and international intellectual property crimes.

    • Trademarks

      • Targo Bank and the OLPC XO Logo

        Here Targo Bank’s registration at the DPMA. I wonder if they cleared any overlapping trade mark rights.

      • F5 Sues A10

        Data center fight: F5 Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FFIV) claims A10 Networks Inc. is infringing its patents.

        We think they should settle their differences more peacefully. Maybe meet at the G-20 summit and get the B-52s to play.

    • Copyrights

      • What Did The Three Amigos Tender To The Canadian Copyright Consultation?

        So out of the Three Amigos, the only one who filed a submission was Barry. Barry calls his an essay, and at 13,324 words, I’d agree. I’m still reading it, however it appears to have Barry’s usual level of accuracy, I’ve spotted a couple of errors in the first few paragraphs. I’ll be dissecting it in detail later – I’ll say one thing for Barry – he is verbose.

      • The National Agenda

        People seemed to fall for us after listening to our records many, many times. The corporate model has collapsed, but small-label bands playing to 200 people a night can pay the bills and raise a family on it. That’s why we’ll have better and more interesting innovations

      • Historical Association Claims Copyright To Scans Of 100 Year Old Photos

        The Clinton County Historical Glass Negatives Portrait Project has been “diligently identifying, sorting, re-sleeving and generally rediscovering a collection of over 15,000 glass negatives dating back to 1897.”

      • Why doesn’t the Labour Party respect copyright?

        During the debate on the Digital Economy Act, Ben Bradshaw, the Culture Secretary, told MPs:

        “Hundreds of millions of pounds a year is haemorrhaging from our creative industries because of unlawful file sharing, and that is not a harmless or victimless activity. It deprives our musicians, writers, film makers, actors and other artists of their livelihood, and if we do not do something about such activity it will pose a serious threat to our creative sectors and Britain’s leadership in them.”

      • Labour withdraws ‘sick’ David Cameron poster

        Mandrake understands that party officials removed the image from the website after they received complaints about its tastelessness.

      • Is That Two Strikes For Mandelson? Labour Caught With Another Potentially Infringing Poster

        So it’s a bit bizarre to hear that Labour and Mandelson have put out a second, quite similar, poster that appears to be just as questionable on the copyright front. Misterfricative writes in to alert us to a new controversy over yet another campaign poster involving the Conservative candidate photoshopped into an image from a BBC television program. Once again, the poster has been “withdrawn” over other aspects of the controversy, but it certainly looks like this should be Mandelson’s second strike, right? After all, these posters are supposedly his responsibility. If he wants to set a good example, perhaps he should cut off his own internet access. But I guess he shouldn’t worry. After all, as Mandelson himself pointed out, once kicked off, he can pay up in order to file an appeal.

      • Why Is UNESCO Supporting Locking Up Information?

        Today may be World Intellectual Property Day, but this past Friday was also apparently World Book and Copyright Day (quite a bookended weekend for government monopolies on knowledge!). Bas Grasmayer points out that UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which is supposed to be focused on “promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture” oddly chose Friday’s “World Book and Copyright Day” to launch an “anti-piracy observatory.”

        This is bizarre for all sorts of reasons. An organization focused on encouraging education and international collaboration seems like the last place that would be supporting locking up information through government-granted monopolies.

    • ACTA

      • Medicrime: Another Anti-Counterfeiting Convention Emerges In Europe

        “Medicrime is not overlapping with ACTA,” said Kristian Bartholin, expert at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France, talking to Intellectual Property Watch after a meeting in Basel last week that started talks on the implementation of Medicrime.

        “ACTA is regulating the market by protecting the regular supply chains against counterfeiting. Medicrime on the other hand does not try to regulate the market. It is about criminalisation of certain acts and related crimes,” explained Bartholin with regard to the scope. “You can apply ACTA and Medicrime together; together you will get protection the whole way around.”

      • Criminal provisions ACTA

        Criminal law tends to be conservative. Most lawyers share an elitist conception that the legislator shouldn’t unbalance the inner beauty of the inherited statutory law and that popular opinion has to be shielded from criminal law. Otherwise the welfare council leviathan would invent and punish all sorts of crimes to satisfy tabloid media.

      • ACTA official draft release unveils criminal enforcement revolution

        However, criminal provisions are negotiated by the member states:

        ARTICLE 2.14: CRIMINAL OFFENSES
        1.35 Each Party shall provide for criminal procedures and penalties to be applied at least in cases of willful trademark counterfeiting or copyright or related rights piracy on a commercial scale.
        Willful copyright or related rights piracy on a commercial scale includes:
        [(a) significant willful copyright or related rights infringements that have no direct or indirect motivation of financial gain; and
        (b) willful copyright or related rights infringements for purposes of commercial advantage or financial gain.]

      • Release of ACTA draft can only be the first step

        After two years of negotiations behind closed doors we have finally seen a draft of ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. It’s about time. This is the first official release of a document since negotiations on the treaty started in June 2008.

        The mere fact that the draft was released is a great victory for campaigners who have long fought for more transparency of the negotiations. However, it can only be the first step.

      • Notes on ACTA for a consumer perspective 2.0

        It is imperative for consumer protection that ACTA clearly defines what “counterfeiting” means as expressed by international law in TRIPS. ACTA should refer to trademark protection 1 as defined by international law. Consumers are in favour of measures that confront commercial fraud, especially when it affects public safety and health, the quality of consumer products or the false representation of a trademark. Counterfeiting, that can really be dangerous for consumers, should not be in the same agreement as other complex issues such as patent infringement.
        2. Consumers request that patents be excluded from ACTA to avoid higher prices and fewer innovative products.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – Plane Weather (1/10/1998)


04.26.10

Links 26/4/2010: Scientific Linux Reviewed; More Linux Tablets

Posted in News Roundup at 2:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • What SHOULD Linux be?

      Focus on Linux, not a Windows or OS X clone.

      I can certainly understand, in some instances, why the Linux community would want to borrow an idea from either Windows or OS X. Some of their ideas are quite good. Just like both Windows and OS X would borrow from Linux.

    • Windows Malware: The final straw that broke the penguin’s back

      So this weekend, I popped in a brand-new 500GB hard drive, and installed the Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04 release candidate, and never looked back. I copied in all of my personal data from my Windows 7 drive and installed a fresh copy of Windows 7 in VirtualBox. My love affair with Windows as my primary operating system is over.

  • Ballnux

  • Audiocasts

  • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Notifications in Kubuntu 10.04

        Kubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala has a nice notification system called Ayatana. The notification system of KDE is ugly in my opinion, so I like Ayatana very. It is very beautiful, and it is more beautiful if the desktop effects are enabled. Ayatana is a Canonical-community joint effort to discuss and promote improvements to the Ubuntu user interface. See this link for more information.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • More cool gnome-shell tips and tricks

        If you have been reading Ghacks within the last month, you know that I have become a big fan of what will eventually become GNOME 3. That replacement is currently under the title GNOME Shell and it is already quite a stunning piece of work. I have covered GNOME Shell in a few pieces here (Check out all the GNOME Shell content on Ghacks) and, after further usage, I thought it was a good time for a few more tips and tricks.

      • A Dozen GNOME Themes

        Now there are plenty of sites that have posted their top 10, top 16, top 25, even their top 50 themes for GNOME, but some how their lists always include the same designs over and over. The goal here is to look at some newer and/or forgotten themes, some interesting combinations fom preexisting themes, and some inclusions of original work to provide a reason to look at these themes.

  • Distributions

    • Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Gazing at Scientific Linux

        While the distribution isn’t eye-catching, it has a lot of good things going for it. In fact, I occasionally found myself thinking, I wish Fedora did this in this way. For example, I always wondered why Fedora didn’t adopt the Yumex package manager front-end. I like that Scientific comes with some multimedia support and Flash rather than making their users hunt down third-party repositories. Scientific’s approach to security, offering a custom live CD password and disabling network services out of the box, is commendable. Further, I like that my touchpad works the way I expect it to without editing a configuration file. The Scientific team offers a stable desktop with long-term support and does a good job of it. The only drawback, so far as I can see, is that some of their key components are getting out of date. Usually this isn’t a problem, except perhaps, when using software like OpenOffice.org and Firefox. Those projects which put out major releases once a year or more will appear dated. In conclusion, Scientific is a good desktop for people who prefer stability over riding the cutting edge.

      • Fedora

        • A peek into Fedora 13beta

          In previous releases, I’d used GIMP to edit all my digital photos (remove red-eye, etc.) Now, I’m switching to Shotwell. It’s that good.

        • Keeping up with everyone.

          Whenever these events happen, Ambassadors and Fedora community members can help promote our incredible community by posting about the events. Your blog, plus the Fedora Planet aggregator, are a fantastic way to spread the word about the event. Your interactions with attendees and free and open source software communities are one of the best ways to build interest and energy around free software.

    • Ubuntu

      • 10 Applications You Must Install On Ubuntu Lucid Lynx [Linux]

        Ubuntu no longer installs GIMP out of the box. They say the GIMP is aimed at intermediate to advanced users, and not everyone’s cup of tea. While that makes sense, I think it is too useful a software to not have on your computer.

      • Thoughts on Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.04

        Since about Christmas my primary machine for day-to-day computing has been an Acer Aspire One D250. Netbooks are not really designed to be full laptop replacements, but I decided to go netbook-only for a few reasons. So of course the first thing I wanted to do is replace the stock Windows 7 (I can’t believe they put that on netbooks) with Ubuntu Netbook Edition. Being a (mostly former) Ubuntu developer I decided to go with Lucid and see how the netbook was shaping up for the upcoming LTS release.

        I really like the UNE interface with netbook-launcher providing an easy to use launcher and maximus/window-picker-applet providing a great way to make the most of the limited screen real estate (1024×600). However, not everybody prefers this UI so one of the interesting new things in the 10.04 release is that you can choose between a normal GNOME UI and the UNE-customized UI at login.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 Review

        As many of you already know, Ubuntu 10.04 is slated to be released April 29th. So I figured I’d grab the release candidate, throw it onto my workstation, and give it a try. I know that there may be a few bugs and such, but usually by this point, anything major has been fixed.

      • Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04 on Sony Vaio UX

        A female geek from Liliputer installed the latest Ubuntu 10.04 on her amazing Vaio UX180 UMPC. However, it is even more exiting to see most of the components working straight out-of-the-box.

      • Lucid Lynx paves way for Ubuntu shake-up

        Canonical has published the release candidate for Ubuntu 10.04 — codenamed Lucid Lynx — which adds consumer-friendly features, better integration with cloud infrastructure, and a new look.

        The release of the finalised version on Thursday came two weeks after the beta version was made available for public testing. The operating system update is now more or less complete, Canonical said.

      • Pleasant Surprises with Ubuntu Lucid Lynx Release Candidate

        No sooner did I get that one finished, than my friend who has an original Asus Eee PC 701 came by and said she didn’t need it any more. I was so pleased with my success on the 2133 that I decided to give the latest UNR a shot on that as well. It couldn’t have been easier – boot the Live USB thumb driver, run through the load procedure, and it’s working like a charm. I know there are Eee-oriented distributions available, but for simplicity and compatibility with Ubuntu/UNR on other systems, this is just great. Once again, everything works – wireless networking, audio, camera, all no problems.

      • Ubuntu 10.04: A Final Look At What to Expect

        Last but certainly not least, Lucid introduces a brand new theme to Ubuntu, which has retired the storied earthtones of its past. In addition to the new color scheme, many icons have been updated, and the selection of wallpapers available in Appearances utility has been expanded (you can still, of course, set any image as wallpaper).

      • Ubuntu: Does Freedom Matter?

        While I’d like to say I switched to Linux because I cared deeply about software freedom, the truth is that I had no idea what open-source meant–or what exactly source code was, for that matter–when I booted my first live CD. Instead, I installed Linux (first Mandriva, then Fedora, now Ubuntu) because I was a college student with a very negative income, and I was tired of paying for software. So I admit it: I gave Linux a try only because I’m a cheapskate.

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 190
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Nook Software Update: The Good, The Subpar

      Browser, With a Catch: The Nook now has a basic Web browser, in beta, which should at least allow people to read some daily news and blogs. But as one commenter on Engadget noted, it’s Wi-Fi only. Also, I’d like to see either the Kindle or the Nook treat Web browsing with respect and offer something robust, as we’ve seen in Spring Design’s Alex.

    • Android

      • Nexus One May Launch In UK Next Week

        More than 15 weeks after the Nexus One launched in the US, it looks like our friends in the UK may finally get an opportunity to buy the Android smartphone. Late yesterday, a “coming soon” page set up by Vodafone briefly changed to describe the release window as April.

      • Android-based nav phone’s U.S.-bound

        T-Mobile and Garmin-Asus announced a navigation-oriented smartphone that will run Android and include multi-touch capabilities. The “Garminfone” includes a 600MHz Qualcomm processor, 4GB of flash storage, a three megapixel camera, and GPS capabilities that work with or without cellular connectivity, according to the companies.

      • Payment terminal accepts NFC mobile-phone payments

        Vivotech announced a Linux-based mobile payments device that incorporates Near Field Communication (NFC) wireless technology. The ARM9-based, PCI 2.1-certified “Vivopay 8100″ offers a traditional pinpad and mag-stripe reader, but also supports contactless payments via NFC-enabled mobile phones, with features such as coupon redemption and discount vouchers.

      • Five reasons iPhone vs Android isn’t Mac vs Windows

        Last week I presented at Stanford Graduate School of Business in a session on Mobile Computing called, “Creating Mobile Experiences: It’s the Platform, Stupid.”

      • Monitoring sensors in the background
      • Android 2.2 (Froyo) features

        It sounds like a beta version of Android 2.2 (Froyo) is out in the wild for testing — and it has some interesting features that I’m sure Android users will find interesting. The new version of the operating system will be available on the Nexus One, and quite possibly Verizon phones in late May — my guess will be on the same day as Google I/O (May 19).

    • Sub-notebooks

    • Tablets

      • Can this tri-boot US$264 slate tablet kill the iPad?

        But wait, what’s this? A 7-inch slate tablet which boots all three operating systems with a ridiculously low US$264 price tag? That is precisely what the SmartQ V7 offers. Granted its plastic body is a far cry from being seductive, this machine comes with USB connectivity and, get this, 1080p video support and HDMI output. It’s even lighter than Apple’s device. A poor man’s iPad, or a virgin device for the tech nerd to mod and defile? At this price, it can be both.

      • ASUS

        • Asus announces Eee Pad tablet

          The firm that popularised netbooks will be peddling the Eee Pad, a tablet that will run Google’s Android operating system. The device reportedly will have cutting edge features missing on Apple’s Ipad, such as USB ports, an integrated webcam and even support for Adobe’s Flash.

        • ASUS is working on an Eee Pad

          According to DigiTimes, the Eee Pad will be available in the shops from late June and will be priced at around $500. ASUS says it will produce 300,000 of these devices in 2010. In contrast to Apple’s iPad, the Eee Pad will include USB ports, a camera and Adobe’s Flash Player. The latter is currently in a restricted beta phase.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Databases

    • O’Reilly MySQL Conference Awards 2010

      The O’Reilly MySQL Conference & Expo 2010 is over. I hope all of you had a good time. I have plenty of blog posts and thoughts lined up about this, but first, I’d like to point out something that has become a tradition, that was continued in 2010: the O’Reilly MySQL Conference Community Award Winners.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Why Making Money from Free Software Matters

      Free software began as a political movement: its central aim was – and remains – the propagation of freedom. Later, it became a development methodology too, largely at the hands of Linus, whose geographical isolation in Finland forced him to develop ways of using the Internet to coordinate a new kind of massive, but decentralised, global collaboration. Later still, free software also became a way of making serious money – something that Stallman has repeatedly said he is quite happy with, contrary to much FUD claiming otherwise.

  • Licensing

    • Either it’s free or it’s not

      Even small clauses, like those famous no-military-use restrictions, grate me like sand in my mouth. Extending your restriction downstream through other users and developers is an attempt to control the people who might otherwise find it useful.

  • Openness

    • Mr. Fixit Goes Open Source With DIY Repair Site

      Previously, iFixit was a repair site that posted step-by-step disassembly instructions for gadgets posted by iFixit staff. The company makes money by selling parts (like replacement iPhone screens) that intrepid fixers can use in their repair projects. Later, iFixit implemented a gallery tool for anybody to post an illustrative teardown manual for their gadgets (which Gadget Lab helped introduce with a Sony teardown contest).

      Now, the site has repurposed itself into a full-blown wiki for repair manuals, where contributors can collaborate on repair instructions in real time. For each product, iFixit contributors can create individual manuals with instructions for specific repairs (e.g., a manual for fixing the Wi-Fi module in a MacBook, or a manual for replacing a battery in a Samsung cellphone). All the manuals on iFixit will be free and noncopyrighted.

  • Programming

    • Andy Wingo: recent developments in Guile

      I watched a talk by Andy Wingo recently: recent developments in Guile. GNU Guile is a Scheme implementation, and a library providing an extension language for applications. Guile is actively developed, and promises some exciting stuff in upcoming releases, which is why I took these notes and publish them here–read on.

      Andy starts by noting that Guile is different things to different people:

      * A GNU language, with bindings for many components of the GNU system and under LGPL 3.

    • State and the Syntax of Encapsulation

      More and more I realize that good software design minimizes the amount of things you have to care about at any one time. Well-designed programs take advantage of abstraction possibilities of languages and libraries to model the problem and its solution in the most effective way. Well-designed languages minimize the syntactic concerns necessary to produce those abstractions.

    • Cross Compiling Options

Leftovers

  • Lib Dems soar in UK polls after debate

    Many U.S. voters were outraged in the 2000 presidential election when Bush Jr. won despite losing the popular vote. But Britain’s electoral map is even weirder. After a spectacular TV debate performance by the leader of the Liberal Democrats–traditional also-rans in UK general elections–the three main parties are nearly tied in polling.

  • Super-rich become wealthier again, Sunday Times says

    The UK’s super-rich have seen a resurgence in their fortunes, the Sunday Times Rich List suggests.

  • Remembering Fascism: Learning From the Past

    The article opened with the words: “Austria falls, Czechoslovakia falls, and now Barcelona falls” – and Spain with it, a few months later. The words have always stayed in my mind, along with the dread, the sense of the dark clouds of fascism gathering over Germany and then Europe and perhaps beyond, a growing force of unimaginable horror.

  • Science

    • Quantum broadband becomes reality

      The first high-speed network link that is so secure it is theoretically unbreakable has been created, thanks to quantum physics.

      A team at Toshiba Research Europe in Cambridge, UK, has sent encrypted data at over 1 megabit per second along 50 kilometres of optical fibre. That’s fast enough to stream video.

    • Hawking thinks space aliens might be trouble

      British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking lectured in the United States on April 21, 2010, and commented on the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life. He thinks such aliens are fairly rare but probably out there. But, they might be a threat to Earthlings.

    • Astroboffin says ‘black holes murder galaxies’

      About 25,000 light years from earth, nestled in the center of our galaxy, lurks a supermassive black hole. Luckily for us, our galaxy’s matter-sucking hub is far less active than those at the core of many other galaxies.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

    • The Business of Adaptation

      Just as a for instance, check out these two pieces on designing waterfront areas in response to foreseeable sea-level rise: “Environmental Restoration in the Age of Climate Change” and “How to Prepare Ports and Waterfronts for Climate Change.” While uncertainties about sea level and climate impacts abound, we do know enough to start practicing precaution. The same is true for everything from forestry to energy to transportation: we have the capacity to start thinking through, and preparing to adapt to, the realities of a climate-changed world.

    • Save whales, not whaling

      A proposal to keep the dying whaling industries on life support has just been unveiled by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) — instead of a concrete plan to safeguard whales.

  • Finance

    • Bush Still Gets More Blame for Economy Than Obama

      Of the three party groups, only Republicans say Obama bears more blame than Bush

    • IG’s Report: SEC Staff Accessed Porn on Government PCs

      A Securities and Exchange Commission Inspector General’s report released Thursday reveals several “senior staffers” have used government computers to access and download pornography in the past three years. Compiled at the request of Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the report summarizes investigations into the activity of 33 different employees.

    • SEC staffers watched porn as economy crashed
    • In revealed e-mails, Goldman chief says we ‘made more than we lost’ by betting against market

      Goldman Sachs’ top executives were aware that the company made money by playing against the US housing market, according to internal e-mails released Saturday.

      The bank’s chief executive Lloyd Blankfein wrote in November 2007 that the firm “didn’t dodge the mortgage mess,” but “made more than we lost” by betting against the housing market, the Associated Press reported.

    • Housing Crisis Getting Uglier in 2010

      The housing report card is ugly. In the past two years, the housing market has lost an estimated $4.9 trillion dollars, as 59 million homes have declined in value.

      Nearly 1 in 4 homeowners — 10.7 million households nationwide — are underwater on their mortgages. They owe more than their home is now worth.

    • Major Banks Still Grappling With Foreclosures

      A year ago this week, the financial crisis sent the stock market off a cliff. At the heart of troubles was a plague of bad home loans. Millions of people couldn’t pay their mortgages, and banks were losing billions of dollars.

      The foreclosure mess hasn’t improved. The numbers keep getting worse, with foreclosures at record highs and rising, despite a major effort by the Obama administration to prevent them.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • DOJ abandons warrantless attempt to read Yahoo e-mail

      The U.S. Justice Department has abruptly abandoned what had become a high-profile court fight to read Yahoo users’ e-mail messages without obtaining a search warrant first.

      In a two-page brief filed Friday, the Obama administration withdrew its request for warrantless access to the complete contents of the Yahoo Mail accounts under investigation. CNET was the first to report on the Denver case in an article on Tuesday.

    • Peeking Into Users’ Web History

      Personalization is a key part of Internet search, providing more relevant results and gaining loyal customers in the process. But new research highlights the privacy risks that this kind of personalization can bring. A team of European researchers, working with a researcher from the University of California, Irvine, found that they were able to hijack Google’s personalized search suggestions to reconstruct users’ Web search histories.

    • LoL, BTW … My Boss Is Monitoring Every Text That I Send, ;)

      The Supreme Court on Monday leaps into the high-tech world of text messaging in a challenge with potentially huge implications for the privacy rights of senders and receivers and for workplace communications.

    • Supreme Court overturns anti-animal cruelty law in First Amendment case

      The Supreme Court on Tuesday forcefully struck down a federal law aimed at banning depictions of dog fighting and other violence against animals, saying it violated constitutional guarantees of free speech and created a “criminal prohibition of alarming breadth.”

      The 8 to 1 ruling, written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., was a ringing endorsement of the First Amendment’s protection of even distasteful expression. Roberts called “startling and dangerous” the government’s argument that the value of certain categories of speech should be weighed against their societal costs when protecting free speech.

    • Legislative Branch Responds After Supremes’ Animal Ruling

      Clinton, observing First Amendment concerns that it swept too broadly, directed the Justice Department to limit prosecution to videos depicting “wanton cruelty to animals designed to appeal to a prurient interest in sex.” But in 2004 federal prosecutors went after dog-fighting movies instead.

    • First Amendment left intact

      Refusing to remove another form of expression from the protection of the First Amendment, the Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled 8-1 that the government lacks the power to outlaw expressions of animal cruelty, when that is done in videotapes and other commercial media. The Court noted that it had previously withdrawn “a few historic categories” of speech from the First Amendment’s shield, but concluded that “depictions of animal cruelty should not be added to the list.” The decision nullified a 1999 federal law passed by Congress in an attempt to curb animal cruelty by forbidding its depiction. That law, the Court said, sweeps too broadly.

    • Rogue admin waits for verdict

      San Francisco’s rogue sysadmin Terry Childs, who refused to reveal passwords when he was sacked, could learn his fate later today.

    • Google Tool Reveals Government Hunger For Data

      In a move toward greater transparency, Google on Tuesday introduced a new tool that shows the number of requests for data and for data removal that Google has received from governments around the world.

      Google’s Government Requests tool does not provide detail about the nature of the requests and it is updated only every six months. Nonetheless, it represents an unprecedented degree of disclosure.

    • Google Street View logs WiFi networks, Mac addresses

      Google’s roving Street View spycam may blur your face, but it’s got your number. The Street View service is under fire in Germany for scanning private WLAN networks, and recording users’ unique Mac (Media Access Control) addresses, as the car trundles along.

    • Hitler parody videos latest copyright fight
    • Russia bans texts by Scientology founder

      Russian prosecutors said Wednesday that dozens of texts and recordings by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard had been ruled “extremist” and would be banned in Russia.

    • Why I, Like, Really Dislike Facebook’s ‘Like’ Button

      In case you missed it: Facebook has just introduced a button that lets you tell the world the things you like, even when you’re not on Facebook. Visit CNN or Mashable or Technologizer, click the “Like” button, and that information is posted to your Facebook page. (Though CNN’s button is still labeled “Recommend” — maybe they didn’t get the memo.) Meanwhile, if your Facebook friends also like what you like, you can find that out too, again without ever visiting Facebook.

    • Facebook Accounts Hacked, Sold
    • Google highlights fair use defense to YouTube takedowns

      Click the button, and your video goes straight back up (and the people who sent the original takedown have to go to court to get it taken offline again).

    • How many governments are blocking Google?

      Search giant admits that 25 governments are now censoring Google content

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Google’s Insane Number of Servers Visualized
    • Major labels go bragh? Irish judge allows 3 strikes

      The Irish High Court ruled on April 16 that cutting off the Internet access of suspected P2P pirates was fine, that no data privacy rules would be breached by doing so, and that such schemes are needed because “the mischievous side of the human personality, containing a repulsive aspect as well as an attractive and humorous one, has also come to the fore over the Internet.”

    • Can You Survive a Benevolent Dictatorship?

      But DRM isn’t just a system for restricting copies. DRM enjoys an extraordinary legal privilege previously unseen in copyright law: the simple act of breaking DRM is illegal, even if you’re not violating anyone’s copyright. In other words, if you jailbreak your iPad for the purpose of running a perfectly legal app from someone other than Apple, you’re still breaking the law. Even if you’ve never pirated a single app, nor violated a single copyright, if you’re found guilty of removing an “effective means of access control,” Apple can sue you into a smoking hole. That means that no one can truly compete with Apple to offer better iStores, or apps, with better terms that are more publisher- and reader-friendly. Needless to say, it is also against the law to distribute tools for the purpose of breaking DRM.

    • Ubisoft DRM – Busted! – Has an Amiga group saved gamers?

      For those that still play games on the Windows platform, there were many who voiced criticism about the DRM which Ubisoft employed. It required a persistent net connection in order for the game to perform checks at certain intervals to ensure that the copy was genuine.

      The DRM in question is from the game Assassins Creed 2 which in a recent interview, Ubisoft were asked what would happen if the servers facilitating the copy protection were taken down. The answer was that a patch could be released to enable the game to play without net access.

  • Copyrights

    • When Copyright Goes Bad – documentary

      Ben Cato Clough and Luke Upchurch’s “When Copyright Goes Bad” (from Consumers International) is a great, 15-minute mini-documentary on what copyright can do, what it is doing, and what it needs to stop doing. Appearances by Fred Von Lohmann – Electronic Frontier Foundation; Michael Geist – University of Ottawa Law School; Jim Killock – Open Rights Group; and Hank Shocklee – Co-founder of Public Enemy.

    • Shaping IP Laws by Not-So-Gentle Persuasion: The Special 301 Report

      At the end of this month the United States Trade Representative’s Office will release its annual Special 301 report, a review of global intellectual property protection and enforcement standards conducted by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). Since 1989, the USTR has used the Special 301 Report to intimidate other countries into adopting more stringent copyright and patent laws by singling out particular countries for their “bad” intellectual property policies, naming them on a tiered set of “watch lists,” resulting in heightened political pressure and in some cases, the potential for trade sanctions, to encourage changes to their laws.

    • Foreign Submissions To The Canadian Copyright Consultation – Richard Owens Is Right, We Should Weed Them Out

      Then he claimed that many of the submissions were not even made by Canadians. This is a serious issue. Extremely serious. I decided to go back to the database, and look at some of the submissions, to see if they were filed by persons or organizations with close foreign connections.

      The first one I checked for was SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada), and yes, they filed a submission. Unfortunately SOCAN has members who are not Canadian, one example being Sony Music.

      Then of course there’s the Canadian Publishers Council, which also filed a submission, and which has a lot of foreign members.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – PW – Icy Research (1/10/1998)


04.24.10

Links 24/4/2010: Dell and ASUS Go With Android

Posted in News Roundup at 8:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • A Linux Client at Work

    He had been listening to Clark Howard, and Clark had mentioned Linux on his show. This peaked the man’s interest. His thought was “if I can run my computer without Microsoft’s products, that’s what I want to do.” I then had the pleasure of telling him that I am both the Linux and Macintosh departments of the business. I proceeded to tell the man what the differences are and he became even more thrilled. No viruses? Really? No cost, really? Over 10,000 programs free for download? Oh boy! So, I pulled out the Mandriva 2010 disc, and went to town. In one hour, he was ready to go. He has told many people about the system, and the phone doesn’t seem to stop ringing. Awesome for me, and for my boss. Their revenues saw a slight rise, and I now have some reasonable job security. How cool is that?

  • Linux Consulting: Seeing the Bigger Picture

    Recently we had a Linux consulting opportunity to install and configure a Postfix mail server for a small company. The company wanted “secure” email for their users. One aspect of the request was to create an encrypted login and communication from the client to the mail server for IMAP using Squirrelmail and providing secure connections to the local client Thunderbird or Outlook. This process is straightforward however there is an issue with the word “secure”.

  • Freedom movement

    With over 1,200 students participating, the conference exhibited the language of free software while not losing sight of the purely technical aspects of GNU/Linux. Coding sessions, handled by experts in GNU/Linux-based programming, exposed students to the free software culture that thrives in the Linux User Groups – popularly called Lugs, these form the basic units of the free software movement – in academic institutions and among software professionals across the country.

  • Audiocasts

    • Linux Outlaws 147 – Where’s the ‘kin Phone?

      This week on Linux Outlaws: Ash clouds, new DPL elected, Google doing good things for Linux and open source, Apache attacked, Microsoft’s new phone and Fab is annyoing everyone with hockey talk again…

  • Kernel Space

    • Software SSD Cache Implementation For Linux?

      With the bottom dropping out of the magnetic disk market and SSD prices still over $3/GB, I want to know if there is a way to to get the best of both worlds. Ideally, a caching algorithm would store frequently used sectors, or sectors used during boot or application launches (hot sectors), to the SSD.

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.34 (Part 2) – File Systems

      Version 2.6.34 of the Linux kernel will be the first to support the Ceph and LogFS file systems. A number of changes to the Btrfs and XFS code promise improved performance. The kernel should now be better at working with drives with 4 KB logical sectors.

      On Tuesday morning, Linus Torvalds released the fifth pre-release version of Linux 2.6.34. One feature highlighted in Torvalds’ release e-mail was a fix for a problem in the ACPI subsystem which had afflicted several testers.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Kaudiocreator Returns in KDE4

        Thanks to Apachelogger, the KaudioCreator package is now available at https://edge.launchpad.net/~kubuntu-ppa/+archive/beta. This is the BEST cd-ripper I’ve ever used, and I hope the wonderfulness came across to KDE4.

      • Finally! The first Gluon alpha released! :D

        For those who don’t want to worry about the reasonings behind Gluon and such, you can go straight to the download page and grab yourself a copy, and start playing around :-)

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Linux Distro Review: PCLinuxOS 2010

        Overall, the PCLinuxOS 2010 KDE and Gnome versions are a very good choice, but I would not call them ‘radically simple’. It’s bloated with too many programs I will never use. New users should definitely avoid the KDE version and opt first for Gnome.

        My thanks go to PCLinuxOS for allowing us all the opportunity to make our own decision about their software. I am thankful to the Linux community at large for supplying such a wealth of distributions.

    • Red Hat Family

      • The future of open source is in the middle

        Open-source software is likely to remain in certain niches, former Red Hat VP Erik Troan says, but open source is increasingly becoming a necessary foundation.

        [...]

        What people are really paying for in open source is editing, said Troan, channeling his grandfather, who was a newspaper editor for decades. They’re relying on other people to pick out the bits of code and pieces of software that do what they need to get done once they’re put together.

      • Red Hat (and KVM) are still RHEL-evant

        I started to read with a bipartisan mindset about “Xen and Theory of RHEL-evance” posted in the Citrix community blog by Simon Crosby. What appears to be a great title at first seems to be mostly FUD on why KVM is doomed for failure especially in the enterprise marketplace and Red Hat will drown with it. It did not have enough facts, just FUD most of the time. I would to counter his so called “facts” here as its been a long time anyway since I last updated my blog.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora elections coming up

          Per Paul’s announcement on Elections, Fedora will be holding Elections for FESCo and the Fedora Board starting with nominations opening tomorrow.

          I am going to throw my hat back in the ring for FESCo again. I hope folks will consider voting for me.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Squeeze Bug Count

        Wow! the 900 developers and friends of Debian GNU/Linux are really eating up the bugs. They are down below 700 bugs now and they are not yet at package-freeze. If they keep this up, they will release this year.

      • Ubuntu

        • Frugal Tech Show: Matt Zimmerman, CTO of Canonical (Ubuntu Linux)
        • Ubuntu Shipit Opens Again: Get Free Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx CD
        • Ubuntu Lucid in final stretch

          Ubuntu’s Lucid Lynx release is one step away from final release.

          Lucid Lynx, otherwise known as Ubuntu 10.04, is now in the final stretch.

          Yesterday the Ubuntu Developers announced the Release Candidate, the penultimate release before its final April 29 release.

          The desktop version of the release includes cloud computing updates, Music Store improvements and tighter social networking integration. Changes to the server version of the release are mostly focused on improving its cloud computing capabilities.

        • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx Release Candidate Is Out [See What's New]
        • Ubuntu wants Adobe, even if Apple doesn’t

          I recently suggested that, given Apple and Adobe’s growing war over iPad and iPhone applications, it would make sense for Adobe to move not only its end-user applications, but its Creative Suite development stack, to Linux. While I don’t know if Adobe is considering it, Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, would welcome Adobe.

          Canonical marketing manager Gerry Carr told me that “in a recent survey we did of the Ubuntu User base where we got 32,000 plus responses, Adobe Photoshop as a potential application for Ubuntu got a 3.52 rating out of 5 being the second most popular potential app after Skype.”

        • Open Source Communities: Canonical, Ubuntu and Jono Bacon

          Recently I read that Ubuntu devs are were debating about desktop color scheme, and someone was arguing that in the meantime Fedora devs are debating about update policy. I’d like to get your opinion about what is important at Ubuntu, and why.

          Jono, what are key issues at Ubuntu nowadays?

          Ubuntu as project invests it’s time and effort in a wide and diverse range of area including documentation, translations, development, testing, advocacy and more. In each of these areas we have sought to build a strong a vibrant community to help volunteers be productive and have fun at the same time.

          One particular focus we have been growing has been in the area of design. We are keen to apply the same ethos to the design community as the rest of the community: rewarding good work with great reputation, and looking to our top contributors to help guide and contribute to Ubuntu.

        • Ubuntu Discards System Tray

          Ubuntu, the open source operating system, is ditching the system tray, the bar at the bottom of most browsers that is supposed to act as a notification area. The rationale for the change, according to Matthew Paul Thomas, an Ubuntu contributor, was “its ineffectiveness at notifying people of things, and its inconsistent behavior.”

        • Ubuntu 10.04 Overview

          For those running XP, not impressed with either buying a new OS for a couple of hundred or buying a new PC, Ubuntu is an option. But you will want to make sure you buy a book like Ubuntu for non-Geeks before taking the plunge. This will save you a lot of confusion as this is NOT Windows.

        • 5 Recommended things to do before upgrading to Ubuntu 10.04 LTS
        • Ubuntu Power Users Community

          The benefit of this kind of community is that it would provide a home for those people who desire more configurability of Ubuntu beyond it’s default installation, and provide a fantastic way of supporting this community of users.

        • Canonical open sources Launchpad and Ubuntu Single Sign On code

          More details about the Canonical Identity Provider can be found on the project’s Launchpad page (login required). Canonical Identity Provider code is released under version 3 of the GNU Affero General Public License (AGPLv3).

        • Server

        • Variants

          • Xubuntu Lucid

            So just for giggles I got the newest version of Seamonkey and installed it. Hey! The mail client is almost exactly like Thunderbird 2.0, and the browser, omygoodness – it’s faster than Firefox! Heheh. I got a bonus! I’m a happy boy again, and my inner geek can just find something else to go do with himself. I dunno, go watch Star Trek or something. I got a life to live, and an operating system that fits the bill.

          • Upcoming Artwork for Linux Mint 9

            Clement Lefebvre proudly announced two days ago (April 21st) the plans for the artwork of the upcoming Linux Mint 9 operating system. Dubbed Isadora, Linux Mint 9 will be based on the unreleased Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx) operating system and will include some new and beautiful artwork. The most important thing to mention is the fact that the window buttons in the title bar will remain on the right side!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android

      • browse the web with your android powered e-reader

        This is what I was looking for, an E-reader with a E-ink screen so it’s easy on the eyes, but also a full color 3.5” touchscreen LCD screen ideal for web browsing. The 6” EPD screen displays like a printed page and text is adjustable for easy extended reading.

      • Dell Android Mobile Device Trio: Thunder, Flash, Smoke Smartphones

        Dell’s first attempt at an Android smartphone never made it out of the gate, according to one analyst, after the phones failed to impress the wireless carriers. But the second time may prove the charm as Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) has some stylish new Android phones in the works.

      • Dell preps bevy of Android devices

        Dell is planning to release a bevy of ARM-based mobile devices, according to what Engadget says are leaked company documents.

      • Automatic App Updating Coming in Android 2.2

        One Android feature that our readers have been asking for is the ability to update all applications and games to the latest release. It’s not uncommon for the average user to see 15 or more notifications a day indicating new versions of downloaded apps.

      • Flash and Air Developers Finding it Easy to Port to Android.

        Androidpolice.com is reporting that with the recent huge push from Adobe, application and game developers are having a breeze of a time porting over their Air and Flash apps to Android. Most of the feedback of the process has been positive from devs, some even saying that their apps are porting over in 10 minutes!

      • Will Google Go After Flash Developers Next?

        For all I know Google has been going around secretly working to bring some Adobe applications to Android. Whether that involves giving away free phones or not is hard to say. I’d like to think that some of these developers would love nothing more than a chance to stand on stage at Google I/O and demonstrate their apps and games to the thousands in attendance.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • OLPC in Paraguay educates both little kids and teenagers

        Stop: How do the hackfest meetings work?

        Bernie: The participants have different software programming skills and the teaching method is very informal. Right now I have about ten students from 12 to 50 years old, and only two of them speak english. As you can imagine we have some problem to communicate with each other, but everybody’s enthusiasm overcomes the limits of my uncertain spanish. The best students right now are Benedicto one of the Scratcheros, who’s only 12 years old, and two older guys, Kenny Meyer and Gabriel. Kenny already knows well Python and Linux and also fixed a bug in one of our programs. Gabriel is very serious and motivated, wants to learn about everything and could help us with reporting bugs from the field.

        Stop: It looks like the OLPC in Paraguay isn’t helping just the younger children. The project can also offer an excellent opportunity to older boys and girls to use ICT to do something useful for their peers (sometimes it also happens in Italy, as Stop! readers know from our JumPC and ITIS Linux stories). Congratulations to Bernie and we wish to him and all his teen hackers success!

    • Tablets

      • Asustek Eee Pad to hit channel in July

        To compete against Apple’s iPad, Asustek has strengthened the Eee Pad’s industrial design and has cooperated with Google to adopt its Android platform. Asustek will also add features that iPad currently does not support such as USB, integrated webcam, and Adobe Flash, Shih noted.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Become a lord of the diamond with NetStats Baseball

    You may never get to manage in the major leagues, but with NetStats Baseball, you can get an idea of what it’s like. NetStats is a simulation of Major League Baseball that uses statistics from players and games from 1901 through 2009 as input to gameplay. You can play a game between any two MLB teams from those years, create your own teams from real-life players across various years, play a whole season game by game, or watch AI managers play an entire season in seconds.

  • Datacenter Barometer: Cfengine Revs Up Configuration Management

    What I found interesting about Cfengine is that Burgess originally started Cfengine as a scientific research project, and even though he founded a commercial company in 2008 to develop and support commercial extensions for Cfengine, that same level of academic rigor still pervades through the project. Burgess still does research on systems management, and has developed the Promise Theory, “model of voluntary cooperation between individual, autonomous actors or agents who publish their intentions to one another in the form of promises,” from his work on Cfengine.

  • Neufbox4 and OpenWrt [French ISP SFR releases source code of its OpenWrt based DSL router]

    The Neufbox4 is a BRCM63xx based DSL router the french ISP SFR (www.sfr.fr) provides to its customers, and more than 3 million units are currently in use. The device is developed by Efixo (www.efixo.net) and the OpenWrt based sources are available through a subversion repository and documentation is placed in a Trac wiki (http://dev.efixo.net).

  • Metasploit Goes Commercial in New Express Edition

    The Metasploit Framework is an open source vulnerability testing framework and is currently at version 3.3. Rapid7, the lead vendor supporting Metasploit, is now aiming to make Metasploit easier to use and manage — and that’s where Metasploit Express, set for release in May, fits in.

  • Mozilla

    • High performance Theora codec for Firefox on OMAP3 previewed

      On his blog, Matthew Gregan reports that there has been some success in shifting the major part of the processing load caused by decoding Theora videos into the DSP (Digital Signal Processor) core of Texas Instruments’ OMAP 3 processor. This family of processors is used in the Motorola Droid, Nokia N900 and Palm Pre smartphones as well as the Beagle Board. Gregan is employed by Mozilla and is currently working on improving video and audio support in Firefox. It is not currently known when the development work previewed will be incorporated into a future release of Mozilla’s mobile browser.

  • Databases

  • CMS

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD Status Report January-March, 2010
    • FreeBSD/CLANG compiler ready for testing

      Currently FreeBSD uses GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) as its system compiler. Since the GCC project has moved to the GPLv3 license, the FreeBSD Project is forced to use version 4.2.1 or earlier.

    • Clang, Chromium, ZFS Improve On FreeBSD

      Daniel Gerzo with the FreeBSD project has issued a status report concerning work going on within FreeBSD and related projects for the first quarter of this year. Catching our interest in particular were the updates surrounding LLVM/Clang as the compiler for FreeBSD’s base, the Chromium web browser porting efforts to FreeBSD, and ZFS file-system enhancements.

    • BSDTalk interview with Dru Lavigne

      Dru and Will talk about her new book, The Definitive Guide to PC-BSD, and also about the new BSD Professional Certification exam.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Reasons Why You Don’t Contribute To Open-Source Software

      GCC on the other hand tends to have a higher standard with regard to code quality and documentation with requiring patches comply with the GNU style.

    • Freedom, the Marathon, Open Source Software and Beer

      So too do both facets of the word “free” apply to the open source world. GNU.org maintains a definition of free software that begins by taking the distinction on directly as follows: Free software is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of free as in free speech, not as in free beer.

    • Free vs open: What’s the difference?

      The phrase ‘Free Software’ is used by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) in its older meaning: it’s software that comes with no restrictions for you to modify it and distribute it.

      The FSF defines these freedoms as: the freedom to run the program for any purpose, commercial or otherwise; the freedom to study how the program works, and change it to make it do something else the freedom to redistribute copies; the freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements.

      That much makes sense: we share our software and everyone benefits. But it does confuse many people because you are quite within your rights to sell that software if you want it – Free Software can have a non-free price tag.

  • Releases

    • VLC media player version 1.0.6 release – vulnerabilities removed, stability improved

      Version 1.0.6 (part of the ‘Goldeneye’ branch) of the free media player and streamer – VLC media player – eliminates nine security vulnerabilities and offers increased stability. The vulnerabilities were discovered by the developers while working on the code for the upcoming version 1.1.0 and include heap overflows in the audio decoders for DTS, MPEG and A/52, and memory access errors in the AVI, ASF and Matroska demultiplexers.

  • Europe

    • How the UK government can follow Obama’s open source revolution

      The Obama White House is releasing custom open source code that it developed itself back to the Drupal community.

      The White House said that by releasing some of its code it will get the benefit of more people reviewing and improving it.

    • EU: open standards and interoperable systems for e-government

      EU governments should use open standards and interoperable systems to deliver electronic government services, EU ministers and the European Commission agreed earlier this week. They also stated they would promote the reuse of public sector information.

      The ministers declared to “embed innovation and cost effectiveness into eGovernment through the systematic promotion of open standards and interoperable systems, development of EU wide e-authentication schemes and proactive development of e-invoicing, e-procurement and pre-commercial procurement.”

    • Cenatic: ‘Using open source is key for e-government’

      Using open source is a key element for delivering electronic government services, argues Cenatic, Spain’s national competence centre on open source. In a paper published on 5 April, the centre lists nine other reasons why public administrations should be using open source.

      According to Cenatic, open source software conforms to European rules and recommendations in interoperability. “The European Union and the Spanish Government have decided that the use of open source software is a key element for the development of e-government and open government.”

    • Final version of Procurement and Open Source Software Guideline published

      The final version of the Procurement and Open Source Software Guideline has been published on OSOR.eu. The study, commissioned by the European Commission as part of the “Dissemination of good practice in Open Source Software (GPOSS)” measure under the IDABC programme, gives guidelines for public administration on how and why publicly acquire open source software.

  • Licensing

    • Cherry-Picking Open Source Licenses

      The widespread creation and reuse of open source software by commercial companies has introduced a whole new level of complexity to the legal challenges related to software licenses. Companies distributing open source software must draft or choose an appropriate license for their original code and they must understand and comply with the license obligations imposed on them with the use of third-party code, including open source. Deciding what open source license to distribute software is a key element in building an ecosystem of users, partners, supporters, and advocates.

      [...]

      Whether an author or business model demands restrictive or permissive licensing terms, there is likely to be an OSI-approved license that supports the goals of the individual or organization. So you may not need to create your own license or pay an attorney to create one for you. Authors need to weigh their objectives against the various types and popularity of licenses. Users need to understand the license obligations of open source software they are considering, evaluate them for their particular use case, and be sure they can abide by them. There is an abundance of open source available. It’s a valuable and powerful resource that many companies employ to improve the efficiency and speed of their development process.

  • Open Access/Content

    • Urban Forest Map: Wikipedia + Google maps, but for Trees

      Since everything’s open source, if someone else has a good idea of something to do with all this tree-info, they’re free to go ahead and build their project. “The data, the software source code, and the website html/css code are licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL)”

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Best of HTML5

      Until recently web-based video relied on Flash, Adobe’s rich media language. But HTML could put an end to that with its own native video tag. In HTML 5 it is not only as easy to embed a video in a website as it has been to embed an image – using just one tag – but it also opens the way for a host of additional features. Using the HTML5 video tag developers can embed videos without third-party codes and manipulate the videos in real-time. A demonstration of HTML5′s video capabilities can be found here.

    • Invasion of the .docs

      The biggest worry in the transition was my wife’s school-work. She’s working on some degrees right now, and she has to write an awful lot of papers. She also has to read a lot of .doc files. As a former Ubuntu user, she also had some old ODF files lying around.

Leftovers

  • Poison pen reviews were mine, confesses historian Orlando Figes

    After Amazon notices rubbishing peers’ work were spotted, esteemed Russianist initially denied all connection, then said his wife had written them. He has now conceded the ‘foolish errors’ were his own

  • Is Google Appifying Email a Good Thing?

    It’s Google’s Internet, we just use it. Well, maybe not, but some days it seems that way. Google’s gone from searching the Internet to being a big chunk of it. The latest moves from Mountain View include adding OAuth and contextual gadgets to email. Good on the surface for Google users, but what do they mean for everybody else?

  • Security/Aggression

    • Local computer security expert investigates police practices

      Eric Rachner sits in the back of a police car the night he was arrested for obstructing an officer. This image is taken from video footage recorded by a camera inside the vehicle — footage that Seattle police long maintained had been erased.

    • NSA’s boot camp for cyberdefense

      If you’re the kind of person who worries about the security of computer networks, you should know that the National Security Agency is worrying about it too.

      Since Tuesday, the NSA has been conducting its 10th annual Cyber Defense Exercise, a competition that pits students from a series of military academies against each other–and against the competition’s leaders at NSA–in a bid to see who has the best cyberdefense skills. The idea? To “build and defend computer networks against simulated intrusions by the National Security Agency/Central Security Services Red Team.”

  • Environment

  • Finance

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Cox Discontinues Usenet, Starting In June

      Existential Wombat was one of several readers to note that Cox Communcations customers have been put on notice that their Usenet access will soon dry up, unless they want to pay a monthly surcharge for it.

    • Facebook: Privacy Enemy Number One?

      Facebook’s notable announcements this week range from a holistic vision of a seamless, semantically-enabled Web of human relationships, to a simple “Like” button, which will soon be omnipresent on the Internet. The moves are ambitious, giving even fast-moving rivals like Twitter reason to worry. Still, the simple fact that gets lost in the rush towards ubiquitous social connectivity is that Facebook users still don’t know what they are sharing, with whom, or why it matters. In short: Facebook remains a privacy minefield.

    • Burma’s hip-hop resistance spreads message of freedom

      Thxa Soe’s music gives country’s youth a focus for dissatisfaction with the junta despite strict censorship

    • Chinese artist’s work removed from Paris gallery in censorship row

      A British curator has accused France’s most prestigious art school of “unambiguous censorship” after a work satirising one of Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign slogans was taken down hours after going on display.

      Clare Carolin, a senior tutor at the Royal College of Art in London, who was working on the ill-fated project at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, condemned the decision to remove the work, which was deemed “too explosive”.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Nina Paley: My Decision To Turn Down Netflix Due To DRM

      Sita Sings the Blues has a few Endorsed DVD distributors. In addition to QuestionCopyright.org and myself, there’s FilmKaravan, a distribution collective that handles “downstream” deals with VistaIndia and IndiePix. Their distributions are on amazon.com (I get a much smaller percentage from those than from my DVDs, but they reach a much wider market) and Netflix.

      [...]

      In the last few years DRM has grown increasingly pervasive, with little-to-no press coverage. Consumers passively accept it, as proven by Apple’s new “everything-DRM” device, the iPad.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • India’s copyright proposals are un-American (and that’s bad)

        India’s copyright office website is “best viewed in 1024 x 768 true colors, Internet Explorer version 6.0 or above.”

        That might sound a bit dated, but it has nothing on the country’s copyright law, which was last overhauled completely in 1957. Although it was updated five times in the 1980s and 1990s, the law does not comply with numerous international treaties such as the WIPO Internet Treaties of 1996.

        On April 19, another major set of Copyright Act amendments (PDF) was introduced with the explicit goal of bringing India into compliance “with the provisions of the two WIPO Internet Treaties, to the extent considered necessary and desirable.” (Note that final clause; we’ll return to it in a bit.)

        [...]

        The US has these laws in place already, and these provisions are also being pushed as part of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which hopes to bring the wonder of $1.92 million statutory judgments against individual file-sharers to the rest of the world.

    • ACTA and Digital Economy Bill

      • ✍ Explaining Freedom

        I looked through all the major party manifestos and found almost no mention of:

        * the Digital Economy Act and its consequences for WiFi availability and internet filtering,
        * the consequences of widespread data triangulation precipitated by surveillance,
        * the need for open data formats and not just “open data”,
        * the reasons why the publication of the ACTA draft doesn’t clear up many concerns despite the people behind it claiming there are no problems.

Clip of the Day

Glaciers Spur Alaskan Earthquakes (8/3/2004)


« Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts