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Links 19/11/2010: GNOME 2.32.1 Released, Debian GNU/Linux Recruits Women

Posted in News Roundup at 3:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Could the Windows Comparison Game Hurt Linux?

      Competition is good, blogger Robert Pogson told Linux Girl.

      “If we cannot out-perform that sad imitation of an OS that M$ produces, GNU/Linux should be shut down,” Pogson asserted. “In my experience, GNU/Linux has out-performed M$ since 2000 because GNU/Linux did not crash and was much easier to manage and cost less.”

      Of course, “we should check our rear-view mirrors occasionally to see what the competition is doing,” he added. “I don’t see MacOS as much competition since it does not run on the same hardware by decree, so there is no proper way to compare.”

    • French Gendarmerie switch 85,000 PC’s to Ubuntu and save €€€

      The police force has been able to tailor Ubuntu Desktop to meet its exact requirements. Gendarmerie Commandant Jean-Pascal Chateau says: “We have a lot of personnel who work in the field. The fact that Ubuntu Desktop is so easy to use is a huge benefit. Agents can personalize their desktops to fit their needs. That means that they can access the same desktop environment no matter which workstation they log in from.” He adds: “Now staff are more motivated and we’ve reduced costs and introduced solutions that better match our needs.”

  • Server

  • Ballnux

    • Samsung Galaxy Tab source code released

      Samsung has released the open source portions of the Galaxy Tab operating system and made them available for download. Of course, much of their software isn’t open source, so don’t expect to see everything in the code. It is very refreshing to see manufacturers quick to comply with the license agreements, and my hat’s off to Samsung for this.

    • Video Face-Off: Android Galaxy Tab vs. the iPad
    • Everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Tab

      Next to the Apple iPad, it may be the most anticipated tech product of 2010. You could even claim that a big part of its anticipation is actually due to the iPad. Of course, I’m talking about the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the first major Android slate to give the iPad a run for its money in the touchscreen tablet market.

    • Samsung Galaxy Tab review

      Although the Tab’s diagonal screen size is only 2.7 inches smaller than that of the iPad’s, the device itself is nearly half the size and weight – in short, it’s a much tidier little package. Though not as slim as perhaps we’d have liked, the ability to operate the Tab single-handed and drop it in our back pocket is a massive advantage in terms of overall usability.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KMyMoney 4.5.1 stable version is out

        The KMyMoney Team is pleased to announce the release of KMyMoney version 4.5.1.

        This version contains several fixes for bugs found in 4.5.0 since it was released almost three months ago as the stable release for the KDE Platform 4.

      • Polishing
    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Shell – Then And Now (Or How Unity Has Influenced It)

        I the past I have commented on how GNOME Shell’s redesign is heading towards what Canonical’s Unity looks like currently. Well, today a reader, Frederico Araújo, left a very interesting side-by-side comparison of GNOME Shell during its initial stage and now. He also added comparison with Unity. It is a very interesting comparison and we thought we’d share it. Do leave your thoughts in the comments.

      • 7 Brilliant GNOME GTK Themes

        GNOME Shell is the future of GNOME desktop and its already evolving quite beautifully. You might want to check out our collection of breathtaking GNOME Shell themes too.

      • GNOME 2.32.1 released

        The first update to GNOME 2.32 (and my own first release) is now available. It provides bug fixes, translation updates and the usual care and kindness that our brave GNOME developers and contributors deserves to details.

      • GNOME 2.32.1 released

        The GNOME Release Team have issued version 2.32.1 of the GNOME desktop for GNU / Linux and Unix, the first maintenance update to the GNOME 2.32 series. According to GNOME developer Luca Ferretti, the latest stable release includes a variety of bug fixes, translation improvements and minor updates to the included GNOME packages, such as the Empathy instant messaging app and the Evolution mail client.

      • OpenRespect: It’s About Time

        I will admit that, despite Bacon’s arguments to the contrary, OpenRespect is coming across as a defensive move on behalf of Bacon’s employer, Canonical. Canonical has been the target for a lot of frustration from the broader community lately, some of it perhaps deserved, and some perhaps not, so it’s a reasonable assumption that the Ubuntu Community Manager might want to deflect.

      • Make the GNOME panel font bold, italic, bigger, smaller etc
      • 10 Incredible Icon Sets for Ubuntu/GNOME

        Elementary project is one of the most talked about and actively developed open source project meant to provide much needed finesse to Linux desktop. Download Elementary Icon Theme. Also, check out beautiful Elementary theme for Ubuntu as well.

      • Beautify Ubuntu Desktop Window Border with Emerald Themes

        If you want to decorate your window border, you can try following installation and setup.

  • Distributions

    • Pardus

      I think I will stick with Pardus on this laptop, for a while, and see how it goes. If I ever get around to my long term plan of upgrading my parents’ computer from Windows XP then Pardus could be a strong candidate for that too. It’s impressive.

    • Announcing Bodhi Linux

      You may have noticed the blog has been rather quiet the last couple of weeks, this is because I have been working on a project. Last month I posted details about an E17 LiveDVD I was working on that was modeled after PinguyOS. It weighed in at a 1.4 gig download that was jam packed with every application you might ever use. It was also slightly crude in some aspects (such as the Enlightenment desktop it contained was compiled and installed from source).


      The Bodhi is built from an Ubuntu 10.04 minimal disc, but you will notice it does contain some Ubuntu 10.10 features. Backported via the Bodhi Repository, are the 2.6.35 kernel and the newer Ubiquity installer. Also enabled by default are the Ubuntu partner repository, Medibuntu, and GetDeb.

    • Reviews

      • A Linux server OS that’s had 11 years to improve

        Review: SME Server is pretty much the original ready-rolled server distribution. Although it has changed hands – and names – a few times, it’s been around since 1999, when it was known as e-Smith, a name you’ll still see in a few places.

    • Red Hat Family

      • RHN Satellite 5.4, the second analysis

        My first analysis and the first experiances of RHN Satellite 5.4 have been very good, I was quite excited.

        I also was very happy to be able to sync the rhel-x86_64-server-6 channel on the newly upgraded master satellite. First tests on test systems registered to the master (=staging) Satellite have all been successful.

      • Linux, Open Source & Ubuntu: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Is Ready for Heavy-Duty Computing
      • Red Hat Educates Professors About Open Source

        Provider of open source solutions, Red Hat, expanded its outreach to introduce open source into the computer science curriculum at leading colleges and universities. The company is a member of Teaching OpenSource ( News – Alert) community and acts as its catalyst. It sponsors Professors’ Open Source Summer Experience (POSSE) workshops.

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux and the Trickle-Up Effect

        The announcement of a royal wedding is a cause for excitement among loyal subjects, but it’s also an opportunity for assorted tea-towel vendors, commemorative plate makers and many other people to make a great deal of money off the back of it.

        And so it is with enterprise server operating systems. Last week’s release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.0 generated much excitement from its loyal customers. Many of Red Hat’s partners are hoping the release will provide them with an opportunity to make a great deal of money off the back of it, too. Although the RHEL 6.0 server OS includes numerous significant new features — a new hybrid 2.6.32 kernel; support for more cores and memory; better reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) capabilities; the ext4 file system by default; and so more — it was hard to discern that from the clamor of Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) hardware partners preparing to make money by selling more of their lovely server boxes and associated services.

      • Red Hat sizes up NZ for 2011 growth

        Channel growth is encouraging open source vendor Red Hat to consider establishing a local office next year. Sydney-based Max McLaren, Red Hat’s ANZ general manager, says growth in its business here would justify the investment but it’s too early to treat it as definite. “We’ve always had aspirations to open an office in New Zealand. It’s just a question of when.”

        In September Red Hat posted global revenue and operating income increases of more than 20 percent over the previous year, and McLaren says local growth echoes that of the company overall.

      • FLOSS Weekly 142: CentOS

        Hosts: Randal Schwartz and Dan Lynch

        CentOS is an enterprise-class Linux distro derived from sources freely provided to the public.

        Guest: Karanbir Singh for CentOS

      • Fedora

        • Quality journalism

          At the end of the last week the FOSS news exploded with titles about Fedora and Wayland, in many cases going as aggressive as “Fedora to ditch X.org for Wayland” and “May bring Wayland Fedora 15″, all of them based on an insightful post made by ajax, the X.org maintainer in Fedora, but most of the time letting out relevant details as “eventually”, “not usable default”, “something you can play with” or “don’t have a timeframe”.

          The result was a flood of posts, comments, dents, twitts and so, many of them based only on partial titles and raving about how awesome Wayland is going to be, now that Red Hat will put resources behind it (that’s really jumping to a conclusion!). Net effect: the community moved focus from singling out Canonical for they anti-community perceived Wayland announcement from a couple of weeks ago. That’s good relations with the press! And that’s spinning!

        • Quick update on my upgrade to Fedora 14

          This is why, folks, everyone always recommends just going for a fresh install. Upgrades always require a bit more work.

        • Spotlight on Linux: Fedora 14

          So, if you’re in the market for a new or additional Linux distribution, Fedora can most assuredly fill the bill. Many think of Fedora as a distribution for more advanced users, but it can fit into just about any routine.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian GNU/Linux 5 “lenny” [Review]

        Debian GNU/Linux 5 is highly recommended to people who want a robust system which simply works. If you are running a server, or otherwise need a platform which doesn’t keep changing, Debian 5 is a brilliant choice. If however you want a more up-to-date system, it is preferable to use one of the many Debian-based distros such as Ubuntu, or use Debian testing.

      • Debian Trying to Recruit More Women

        The Debian Women project is beginning training sessions to encourage more women to participate in the nuts and bolts of Debian development. Alexander Reichle-Schmehl (Debian spokesman, event organizer, and developer) said in a recent press release that “the main goal of this initiative is to encourage more people, and specifically women, to contribute to Debian while introducing them to different aspects of the Debian Project.”

      • Benchmarks Of Debian Etch, Lenny & Squeeze

        With Debian 6.0 “Squeeze” set to be released in the coming months, we have decided to run a set of benchmarks looking at the performance of Debian 6.0 across different sub-systems relative to the performance of Debian 5.0 “Lenny” and Debian 4.0 “Etch” to see how this new release may stack up.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Respect Freedom, Not Pragmatism

          Having just discovered this “openrespect” thing, I have to say I find the whole idea rather sinister. It seems to me that Jono Bacon is endorsing a sort of moderation, or more bluntly, censorship of criticism, in order to silence those who oppose pragmatic concessions that undermine our ideals.

          Here’s one thing he can start doing right away: spend a little less time respecting corporate thugs like Microsoft, and a little more time respecting our Freedom.

        • Ubuntu’s Feature Friction
        • Ubuntu: Innovative or reckless?

          Ubuntu chief Mark Shuttleworth is making some bold and potentially risky decisions about the future of Ubuntu Linux.

          It’s been almost a year since Mark Shuttleworth relinquished the reins at Canonical, stepping down as CEO to take a more hands-on approach in the company that is the backer of the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Judging by the various sharp turns Ubuntu has taken in the past year his steerage is starting to have an effect.

        • The monospace is coming

          In contrast to a proportionally spaced font a the characters in a monospace occupy all exactly the same width. In the past monospace type was used on typewriters, and more recently in some specialised printing environments such as Credit Card embossing, or ticketing. Today, monospace fonts are primarily used within a programming environment working on terminal windows. The monospace font answers the need for clear code structuring and predictable line lengths. Using monospace fonts allows the programmer to immediately spot a mis-typed character or double space, any of which would prevent the code from compiling as expected.

        • Living with Linux: installing and using Ubuntu Netbook Edition

          There’s no way I’d revert to XP now, because Ubuntu does everything I need my netbook to do in roughly half the time.

        • No Maverick PPA For Unity

          There was consensus in the porting team around this. Of course, if anyone in the community wants to take the time to make a Maverick PPA, run with it, but it is felt that the resources are better spent focusing on Natty right now. I agree with this too.

        • Slew of New Business Tools Coming to Ubuntu

          If you use Ubuntu in your company, you’re already familiar with its many advantages for businesses. But guess what? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet, as they say.

          Particularly in the wake of the release last month of Canonical’s user-friendly Ubuntu 10.10, or Maverick Meerkat, partners have been virtually lining up outside the company’s door to help deliver business tools with high-level commercial support.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • The Perfect Desktop – Linux Mint 10 (Julia)

            This tutorial shows how you can set up a Linux Mint 10 (Julia) desktop that is a full-fledged replacement for a Windows desktop, i.e. that has all the software that people need to do the things they do on their Windows desktops. The advantages are clear: you get a secure system without DRM restrictions that works even on old hardware, and the best thing is: all software comes free of charge. Linux Mint 10 is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu 10.10 that has lots of packages in its repositories (like multimedia codecs, Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Skype, Google Earth, etc.) that are relatively hard to install on other distributions; it therefore provides a user-friendly desktop experience even for Linux newbies.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Multi-touch in Ubuntu using Kinect

      I’m not quite sure how this incredibly slick proof-of concept (i.e. hacky first version) video showing off multi-touch in Ubuntu using Microsoft’s recently launched Kinect hardware passed us by, so props to yo2boy for sending it in.

    • Linux distros advance on the networking front

      Wind River announced that Arkoon Network Security will use Wind River Linux to develop its FAST 360 family of network security devices. Meanwhile, Wind River rival MontaVista Software announced it has joined the OpenSAF Foundation, which promotes the high availability middleware integrated into recent releases of MontaVista Linux Carrier Grade Edition.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • AniWeather, Display Weather Conditions In Firefox

        What’s the weather like today? If you want to answer that question you will have to either find it out by yourself, for instance by stepping outside, by asking other people or with the help of weather reports. AniWeather displays weather conditions in the Firefox web browser, unobtrusively. I did not see the weather conditions directly in the browser after installation. That’s usually caused if the add-on places them in a toolbar that is hidden by default. In this case the icons were displayed in the Navigation Toolbar which is hidden in my Firefox installation.

      • Mozilla millions still 86% Google cash

        Google still provides 86 per cent of Mozilla’s revenue, according to the open source outfit’s latest financial statement.

        On Thursday, Mozilla released its audited financial statement for 2009, and as in previous years, an unnamed search company is listed under “concentrations of risk.” In 2008, Google accounted for 91 per cent of Mozilla’s revenues, so the risk has dropped. But 86 is still a very large number.

      • The State of Mozilla

        Mozilla has filed its audited financial statements for 2009. This is the perfect time to look at the state of the Mozilla mission, our successes, our opportunities and our challenges.

  • Oracle

  • CMS

    • LCDTV.net – New Online Magazine Using Drupal 6

      LCDTV.net is an online magazine dedicated to LCD TV information and LCD TV Reviews. It employs several journalists to stay up to date with the latest technology news related to LCD televisions, has a large database of the latest TV specifications, and offers enthusiasts the opportunity to write in-depth TV reviews receiving full byline credit getting paid for their efforts.


    • GNU Robbo 0.66

      GNU Robbo is a free open source reimplementation of Janusz Pelc’s Robbo for the Atari XE/XL which was distributed by LK Avalon in 1989.

    • Cateia Games Are Coming To GNU/Linux !

      But since then Cateia Games developed a new engine which games can be easily ported to GNU/Linux.

  • Programming


Clip of the Day

Partnering with Red Hat: Performance, Reliability and Scalability

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 18/11/2010: Debian 6.0 Squeeze Release Update, Java 7 and 8

Posted in News Roundup at 12:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Server

    • Amdocs Benchmark sets new record for Large-Volume Processing of Prepaid Voice, Data and Messaging

      Amdocs (NYSE: DOX), the leading provider of customer experience systems, today announced the results of a benchmark that tested the Amdocs jNetX NextGen SCP (service control point) product, using the Linux operating system on HP ProLiant BL460c servers in BladeSystem c7000 enclosures and Intel® Xeon® processors. The benchmark demonstrated real-time service control for more than 510 million sessions and events during peak calling hours, also known as busy hour call attempts (BHCA). No other industry benchmark publicly reported processing of such a high volume of prepaid voice, data and messaging sessions and events.

  • Kernel Space

    • What’s Going On With Iveland & OpenBenchmarking.org
    • Benchmarking ARM Tablets, Smart-Phones

      When writing this morning about what’s going on with Iveland and OpenBenchmarking.org, one of the recent items being worked on in this area completely escaped my mind: the mobile benchmarking improvements. Time and money (new hardware) has been spent in providing greater automated testing and performance benchmarking of the Phoronix Test Suite on ARM-based mobile devices.

    • trace: Add user-space event tracing/injection
    • Graphics Stack

      • Genode OS Now Has A LiveCD Demo With Gallium3D

        Back in July we reported that Gallium3D and Intel’s GEM were ported to Genode OS. Unless you read that article, chances are you never heard of Genode OS. Genode is a unique, niche operating system that is designed for dynamic workloads while being robust and secure. Genode takes a unique approach with frameworks to offer greater security and be a less complex operating system. It’s primarily designed for high-security computing, automotive systems, and other devices requiring high security and/or dependability. Now though a LiveCD of this free operating system is available, which includes support for demonstrating its Gallium3D framework implementation.

        Besides being able to show off Gallium3D on Genode OS (if using Intel graphics!) there are demos included for also showing off the Qt4/WebKit support, improved software integration, and then how even as a browser-plugin to virtualize the Linux kernel booting.

      • AMD Already Has Open-Source Fusion Drivers

        There’s good news for those of you wanting to quickly go out and pickup an AMD Fusion system as soon as it’s available: there’s already open-source drivers for Fusion.

        AMD’s Alex Deucher has now confirmed that there are open-source graphics drivers for Fusion on Linux already in existence, but they’re just waiting for them to be approved for release. Alex (a.k.a. agd5f) mentioned this in our forums. “Open drivers are already written, just waiting for final approval to release.”

        While it’s a bit of a surprise that the open-source drivers are already written and just behind held up by approval (perhaps more legal reviews), it should not come as a complete surprise that AMD has been working on open-source drivers for this CPU+GPU combo architecture.

      • AMD Fusion has ‘open-source drivers ready’

        Hardware hounds early awaiting the release of AMD’s Fusion chip – a combo of CPU and GPU functions on a single die which AMD have dubbed an ‘APU’ (Accelerated Processing Unit) – will surely be excited to hear that open-source drivers are ready and waiting.

      • AMD Catalyst 10.11 Linux Driver Released

        As was pointed out in our forums, the AMD Catalyst 10.11 Linux driver has tipped up today. This driver, with its installer package approaching 120MB in size, is now available for download at AMD’s web-site.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDAB and Partners Build KDE-based Mobile App Suite Using Qt 4.7

        Just a few hundred kilometres from our Oslo office in the Swedish city of Hagfors sits one of the foremost independent sources of Qt consulting and mentoring, training and add-on products – KDAB. KDAB is a Qt Certified Partner and they’re a nice bunch of guys and girls too.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Gnome Shell Overview-Relayout Branch Gets Polished

        Some recent updates in the overview-relayout Gnome Shell branch brought a few very interesting changes:

        * the large black boxes around the currently selected view are gone
        * the controls to add/remove workspaces have been moved to the screen edge
        * and slide out on hover and during drags
        * animation when entering or leaving the overview has been modified to only zoom the window previews
        * it is now possible to add / reorder / remove favorites from the dash using (see the 2 screenshots below)

      • Context Toolbars in The Board

        When I blogged about the new toolbar in The Board, I mentioned that it was part of wider interaction model I would be implementing soon. So, here’s the very initial implementation of what I call context toolbars in The Board. When I started thinking about how I would offer ways to customize the things you add to The Board, I had a few simple goals in mind in terms of UI.

      • How do I feel about Unity and Wayland in Ubuntu?

        There’s been a lot of garment-rending of late about Ubuntu’s decision to steer away from GNOME 3 and GNOME-shell and instead pursue it’s own desktop environment (or is it a window manager?) in the form of Unity, as well as its intent to drop or marginalize Xorg in favor of Wayland for its graphical display.

        In my view, community considerations aside, the moves are risky and bold, and they could either set Ubuntu apart as a technological leader, or they could scuttle the distribution entirely as an inefficient platform that nobody wants to use.

        Yep. Risky.

        I’m not sure how I’ll like an interface meant for mobile clients, and while I do like GNOME 2 and am unsure about the performance penalty of GNOME 3/GNOME-shell and/or Unity, I’ll certainly take a look at what Ubuntu’s doing with its next couple of releases.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Aims For Government-Ready Security

        During Red Hat’s official launch event for their new Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (RHEL 6) release, executives from the company focused heavily on new performance gains. While performance and scalability are key elements of RHEL 6, so too is security.

        With RHEL 6, Red Hat is debuting a number of new features into its enterprise Linux, including new virtual security services as well as the System Security Services Daemon. Security services aren’t the only area of RHEL 6 built for security, as all RHEL 6 packages now benefit from a new 4096-bit RSA hardware signing key as well.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 6.0 Squeeze Release Update

        The Debian Release Team has made a status update on Debian 6.0, “Squeeze”. They are proud to report that Debian is moving towards the release like a glacier: “inevitably and unstoppingly”.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Make it really easy to fix bugs on Ubuntu

          One of the best things that anyone ever said was, “not enough gets said about the importance of abandoning crap”. Mr Glass was probably talking about writing, but his words could well have been aimed squarely at any well-established software development process.

          Right now, it’s too hard to fix a bug in Ubuntu. There are a lot of things that we can do to make it easier, let me tell you about mine.

        • Ask Ubuntu

          Beyond asking and answering questions, you can also vote (up or down) questions and answers others have provided. Votes go towards a person’s reputation on the site. For example, if you answer a question and someone votes your answer up, you’ll gain +10. If someone votes up your question, you’ll gain +5. That’s right, good questions go towards building your reputation. For more info on reputation and Ask Ubuntu in general, check out the Ask Ubuntu FAQ.

        • Ubuntu Global Jam: Let’s Make This Rock

          So, I just wanted to give everyone a heads up that the date of the Ubuntu Global Jam is 1st – 3rd April 2011. I know it is a way off yet, but I am really keen that everyone has as much notice as possible to get your events ready! Laura has added the Ubuntu Global Jam in the LoCo Directory so feel free to go and add your events there! We will also be having some tutorial sessions about how to organize events soon! When you add an event, but sure to Tweet/Dent/Facebook it and use the #ugj, #ubuntu, and #locoteams tags so others can see them!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Do you know where you’re going?
      • Palm Chief: By Birthright, Palm Should Have Owned the Smartphone Market

        What Palm chief Jon Rubinstein’s appearance at Web 2.0 Summit today lacked in news, it made up for somewhat in perspective–on the mobile space, Palm’s smartphone birthright, its acquisition by Hewlett-Packard and its future under HP.

      • Should HP/Palm Take Legal Action?

        When we first saw video of the PlayBook we were slightly miffed about how closely RIM’s new OS for the tablet copied webOS. Now seeing it in action in today’s hands on with Engadget it just blows our mind how RIM has pretty much made a carbon copy of webOS multitasking. This thing has a launch bar, the same type of gestures, and of course multitasking with webOS style cards.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • MeeGo conference: momentum intact despite lack of hardware

          The MeeGo Conference in Dublin has attracted over a thousand attendees from all over the world. The diverse audience includes Linux hackers, engineers from prominent hardware manufacturing companies, mobile technology enthusiasts, third-party application developers, and software consultants. The conference-goers exhibit a powerful sense of optimism about MeeGo–despite the fact that the emerging platform doesn’t ship on practically any mainstream devices, yet.

          Nokia discussed its product strategy during the opening keynotes, but did not disclose the roadmap. The company initially planned to announce its first MeeGo-based device this year, but has pushed it back to 2011. Its handset lineup is still dominated by the struggling Symbian platform, which lacks a competitive user experience and falls short of key rivals. Nokia has been slow to execute its MeeGo strategy, but has recently started to refocus and pick up the pace. Intel has also been slow to fulfill its mobile ambitions, too. The chipmaker has not yet delivered an Atom processor that is suitable for smartphones, though the tablet-friendly Oak Trail chip is expected to arrive next year. The next MeeGo Conference is scheduled for May, and could possibly bring some of the hoped-for announcements.

      • Android

        • 12 Open Source Android Applications Worth Checking Out

          There are Android users who don’t have the vaguest idea of what open source is or what it stands for. Then there are those open source evangelists who bought Android phone primarily because of the reason that it is open source and based on Linux. This post is especially meant for those who are included in the second category.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • 100 Million Adblock Plus Downloads

        Today we’re very happy to celebrate a huge milestone: Adblock Plus became the first browser add-on to be downloaded 100 million times!

      • Awesome test day for the new SUMO KB
      • Agent 008 Ball – Creating an HTML5 Game

        I’ve been meaning to write something about this for a long time! Over the summer we created Agent 008 Ball, a spy-themed HTML5 pool game. Creating it was a blast! We put a little video together to talk about the design process. You can check it out below. Also, here’s the case study for the project.

      • Mozilla Labs Night “Gaming Special” comes to London

        Mozilla Labs Gaming is hosting a Labs Night Open Web Gaming Special – in London this time, together with Six to Start!

        This Labs Night will be all about games being developed and played on the Open Web – expect lots of cool demos, talks and interesting people to hang out with. You can register for the event on our Eventbrite page.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle submits specs for Java 7 and 8

      An Oracle official detailed on Tuesday the submissions of upcoming Java releases to the formal specification process, including versions 7 and 8 of Java’s standard edition.

      The technologies under consideration have been formulated as JSR (Java Specification Requests) for consideration by the Java Community Process, Mark Reinhold, chief architect of Oracle’s Java platform group, said in a blog post: “These JSRs have been a long time coming. They’re now — finally — on the JCP ballot for approval; results should be available in two weeks.”

  • Education


  • Licensing

    • The Internet blacklist (COICA) is back: Take action before Thursday

      Now that the elections are over, the bill is back — and could pass out of committee this Thursday.

      S. 3804, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), would create a blacklist of domain names that the government thinks are involved in copyright infringement, which the Attorney General can then add to with a court order.

    • The Case Against COICA

      To recap, COICA gives the government dramatic new copyright enforcement powers, in particular the ability to make entire websites disappear from the Internet if infringement, or even links to infringement, are deemed to be “central” to the purpose of the site. Rather than just targeting files that actually infringe copyright law, COICA’s “nuclear-option” design has the government blacklisting entire sites out of the domain name system — a reckless scheme that will undermine global Internet infrastructure and censor legitimate online speech.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Background on the Icelandic Constitutional Assembly

      The electorate is the roughly 228000 voters in Iceland, and there are 523 individual candidates running in the election, all as individuals although some have known connections with special interest groups, political parties, and such. These relationships have been mapped by various websites. Various other websites provide filtering mechanisms of various sorts in order to help people weed out the best 25 candidates to vote for.

      After the elections the assembly will convene in February 2011 and operate for 2-4 months during that year to draft a new constitution and propose it to parliament, along with suggested adoption mechanisms and protocols. If parliament accepts the new constitution it will be put to a referendum.

      There has been an alarming amount of P2P activity in relation to this election. Campaigns are primarily being operated through social networking sites, with a lot of pressure on candidates not to advertise in traditional media. A lot of individuals and organizations have been in direct contact with the various candidates in order to provide their own arbitrary filters, and in general there is a lot of buzz, but also a lot of uncertainty, as the number of candidates and the equidistribution of the attention is the source of great confusion.

    • Open Data

      • new york times: the next big idea in humanities is data

        The next big idea in language, history and the arts? Data.

        Members of a new generation of digitally savvy humanists argue it is time to stop looking for inspiration in the next political or philosophical “ism” and start exploring how technology is changing our understanding of the liberal arts. This latest frontier is about method, they say, using powerful technologies and vast stores of digitized materials that previous humanities scholars did not have.”

    • Open Access/Content

      • Reclaim our Scientific Scholarship (Beyond the PDF)

        We do not own our scholarship. The Antaran Stellar Society runs the communication of scholarship for the personal gain of it and its officers. The Sirius Cybernetics Library Corporation has copyrighted the Library of the Galaxy cataloguing system. It also runs it for itself and officers. The motto of these organizations is:

        * Embrace
        * Control
        * Exterminate

        The only way forward for scientific publishing is to reclaim it. That’s not easy when scientific societies have sold their journals to Whitehole publishing. Major societies have abandoned their role as stewards of scholarship and turned it to maximising income.

  • Programming

    • Google Code to stop checking SourceForge names

      Google open source and public sector programs manager Chris DiBona has announced that, from the 22nd of November, names for new projects created on the company’s Project Hosting service will no longer be checked against SourceForge to see if the project name is already in use. Up until now, new projects created on the Google Code project hosting site were automatically checked against SourceForge to see if the name already existed and, if it was already in use, the Google Code developers would email that project’s administrator to see if the name could be used again.

    • The version control timeline


  • Crunch time for upgrade of internet addresses that are running out

    With cyberspace almost full, Samantha Amjadali finds out it’s going to take half a trillion dollars to avoid a global squeeze.

    IPV6. It is the ultimate case of procrastination; a problem so big, so complex and so expensive, the world has ignored it for two decades.

    The problem: the internet is full. Well, almost.

  • Welcome to My World, Mr. Zuckerberg: Facebook Forays into Email with Fmail

    Welcome, Facebook, to my home of the last thirty years — the wild, wonderful, wacky, wheels-within-wheels world of modern email!

    It sounds like you plan to be here for the long haul, so I hope you brought everything you need: good programmers and deep pockets shouldn’t be a problem for you, but you also need people who understand the many important email standards (including the new and emerging ones for domain-based email signatures and non-western character sets for email addresses and domains), the complex interplay between spammers and spam-fighters, and the remarkable variety of ways that email composed on your system will appear on the hundreds of other platforms in the world that might receive it.

    From the outside, email seems pretty simple — there’s a To, a From, and a few other relevant fields, right? But almost every aspect of email harbors a “gotcha” — some fundamental, some a legacy of email’s evolution, but all critical if you want to “play nice” and have your email interoperate well with everyone else’s.

  • Ancient road uncovered in Luxor
  • Science

    • Bill Nye of ‘The Science Guy’ fame collapses during speech at USC [Updated]

      Popular TV personality Bill Nye collapsed onstage Tuesday night in front of hundreds of audience members during a presentation at USC, campus officials said.

      Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics and USC’s department of public safety responded to the scene about 8:40 p.m., but it was unclear if Nye was treated or required transport. There was no information available on his condition late Tuesday.

    • Intel pares 45nm Cores to prep for Sandy Bridge

      Intel is reportedly phasing out 21 different 45nm processors, paving the way for the release of its second-generation, 32nm Core CPUs code-named “Sandy Bridge.” Due in early 2011, the new CPUs will feature a revised microarchitecture, “next-generation” Turbo Boost technology, and visual performance rivaling discrete GPUs (graphics processing units), the chipmaker says.

    • US Scientists Significantly More Likely to Publish Fake Research, Study Finds

      US scientists are significantly more likely to publish fake research than scientists from elsewhere, finds a trawl of officially withdrawn (retracted) studies, published online in the Journal of Medical Ethics.


      The fakes were more likely to appear in leading publications with a high “impact factor.”

    • Antimatter atoms produced and trapped at CERN

      Antimatter – or the lack of it – remains one of the biggest mysteries of science. Matter and its counterpart are identical except for opposite charge, and they annihilate when they meet. At the Big Bang, matter and antimatter should have been produced in equal amounts. However, we know that our world is made up of matter: antimatter seems to have disappeared. To find out what has happened to it, scientists employ a range of methods to investigate whether a tiny difference in the properties of matter and antimatter could point towards an explanation.

    • Nvidia chief scientist: CPUs slowed by legacy design

      When it comes to power-efficient computing, CPUs are weighed down by too many legacy features to outperform GPUs (graphics processing units) in executing common tasks in parallel, said the chief scientist for the GPU vendor Nvidia.

      CPUs “burn a lot of power” executing tasks that may be unnecessary in today’s computing environment, noted Bill Dally, chief scientist and senior vice president of research for Nvidia, during his keynote Wednesday at the Supercomputer 2010 conference in New Orleans.

    • Designer bacteria can heal cracks in concrete buildings

      Researchers have designed bacteria that can produce a special glue to knit together cracks in concrete structures.

      The genetically modified microbe has been programmed to swim down fine cracks in concrete and once at the bottom it produces a mixture of calcium carbonate and a bacterial glue. This glue combines with the filamentous bacterial cells, ultimately hardening to the same strength as the surrounding concrete and essentially “knitting” the building back together.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Top chefs back curb on soy imports to protect rainforest

      Chefs at some of Britain’s top restaurants are backing a parliamentary bill to reduce the UK meat and dairy industries’ dependence on imported soy, which they say is contributing to the destruction of the South American rainforest.

      Michelin-starred Raymond Blanc of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Oxfordshire, and Michael Wignall of Latymer, Surrey, are among leading chefs to support the Sustainable Livestock bill, to be debated tomorrow.

    • BMJ Lobby Watch – The Stockholm Network

      Earlier this month, UK health secretary Andrew Lansley announced that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) would be stripped of its power to halt the purchase of drugs not considered cost effective for the NHS. He argued that the new system would be one where the “price of a drug will be determined by its assessed value”.

      The Stockholm Network, a pan-European think tank network, agreed with the proposed change to NICE’s remit. In a press release its chief executive, Helen Disney, argued that the move showed that, “even at a time of austerity, the British public does not want or accept rationed healthcare”.

      The network, which produces research for “market-oriented policy ideas in Europe”, has long had NICE within its sights.


      In 2006, the same year that Pfizer made £8bn (€9bn, $13bn) in annual sales for its cholesterol drug Lipitor (atorvastatin), the bestselling drug in the world, the Stockholm Network published its report Cholesterol: The Public Policy Implications of Not Doing Enough. The report concluded there is “evidence of wide-scale under-prescribing and suboptimal dosing of effective lipid-lowering agents in Europe” and promoted “greater use of strong statins or the addition of cholesterol absorption inhibitors to statins” to avoid a health and welfare crisis in Europe.

      Last year two members, the Liberalni Institute and the Centre for European Reform left the network after the publication of a 2009 Stockholm Network report entitled The UK Pharmaceutical Industry: Current Challenges and Future Solutions. The report argued that “[a] lack of government investment is another factor adversely affecting the UK pharmaceutical industry.” Writing in the Telegraph blog Alex Singleton accused the network of “calling for government funding of the pharmaceutical industry”, although Helen Disney contended that the report had been misrepresented in the article.

    • Drug companies ‘exploiting rules to make exorbitant profits from NHS’

      Drug companies are today accused of making exorbitant profits from the NHS by exploiting arrangements designed to encourage them to develop new drugs for rare diseases.

      Twenty consultants and a patients’ group are publishing an open letter to the prime minister, calling for an inquiry. They tell David Cameron that, far from inventing new drugs, companies are in effect repackaging them to get a licence, enabling them to hike the price hugely.

      Legislation was brought in by the EU to encourage companies to devise and seek licenced for new drugs for what are called “orphan” diseases – those for which there is not a huge market because they are relatively rare.

      But the letter’s signatories say the change in the rules has had unintended consequences. They cite a drug which has been used for the last 20 years to treat two rare muscle diseases. Although it did not have a licence for that use, doctors could prescribe it – and did – on their own authority. It used to cost around £800 to £1,000 per patient per year.

    • Cholera reported in Florida as Haiti death toll climbs

      Haiti reported more cholera deaths Wednesday as chaos reigned in this country’s second-largest city, and cases among people who had traveled from Haiti were reported in Florida and the Dominican Republic.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Obama’s missed opportunity in Jakarta

      Unlike British Prime Minister David Cameron in his determination to challenge China’s human rights record (albeit in carefully crafted diplomatic language), President Obama’s failure to raise human rights issues with Indonesian’s President Yudhoyono was disappointing. Just a day before Cameron’s speech to students in Beijing, the US president made a comparable keynote speech at the University of Indonesia. But instead of focusing on bilateral relations between the US and Indonesia, Obama used this stage in the world’s most populous Muslim nation to set out his vision of rebuilding ties with the Muslim world.

    • Marketing War to Children, Paid for by American Taxpayers

      In the gap between a boy’s passionate fantasies and the smell of dead bodies in a mass grave marches . . . America’s Army.

      “He wonders if God is punishing him because before he joined the Army he thought of war as something fun and exciting.”

      We couldn’t wage our current wars without the all-volunteer military whose recruitment goals get fed every year by idealistic young people, who continue, despite all counter-evidence bursting off the front pages, to buy into the romance and excitement of war and armed do-goodism that the recruiters, with the help of a vast “militainment” industry, peddle like so many Joe Camels.

    • NJ, ID legislators ready to ban airport pornoscanners – your help needed!

      Aaron Swartz sez, “Bold legislators in New Jersey and Idaho have introduced bills stopping the new porno-scanners, but that’s not enough — we need to pass these bills in every state! So I set up a thing to make it super-easy to contact your state legislator about it. Just add your name and zip code to our petition and we’ll automatically email your state rep.”

    • Opting-out of Advanced Imaging Technology and the Pat-down Doesn’t Fly

      And finally, the $10,000.00 question of the day… Will you receive a $10,000.00 fine if you opt out of screening all together and leave the checkpoint? While TSA has the legal authority to levy a civil penalty of up to $11,000.00 for cases such as this, each case is determined on the individual circumstances of the situation.

    • Has Airport Security Gone Too Far?

      In May, Transportation Security Administration screener Rolando Negrin pummeled a co-worker with his government-issued baton. The feud began, according to a Miami-Dade Police Department report, after Mr. Negrin’s training session with one of the agency’s whole-body imagers. The scan “revealed [Mr. Negrin] had a small penis,” the disgruntled co-worker told police. After a few months, he “could not take the jokes any more and lost his mind.”

      Now the TSA is rolling out these ultra-revealing imagers across the country in an attempt to uncover hidden threats like the so-called underwear bomb found on a Detroit-bound flight last Christmas. The agency and the scanners’ manufacturers insist they’ve installed features and instituted procedures that will make passenger embarrassments impossible.

    • Your Guide to Navigating Airport Security With Ease
    • Amid airport anger, GOP takes aim at screening

      Did you know that the nation’s airports are not required to have Transportation Security Administration screeners checking passengers at security checkpoints? The 2001 law creating the TSA gave airports the right to opt out of the TSA program in favor of private screeners after a two-year period. Now, with the TSA engulfed in controversy and hated by millions of weary and sometimes humiliated travelers, Rep. John Mica, the Republican who will soon be chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, is reminding airports that they have a choice.

    • TSA pats down a screaming toddler

      You might think a 3-year-old would whiz through security. A child is non-threatening, wears slip-on shoes, and carries little luggage.

    • Websites publish advice to student protesters on how to avoid arrest

      More than 70 websites today published guidance to student protesters about avoiding arrest, in defiance of a police ruling that doing so was unlawful.

      The anti-police blog Fitwatch was suspended yesterday after detectives from C011, the Metropolitan police’s public order branch, told the company hosting its website that it was “being used to undertake criminal activities”.

    • Blogger faces terror charges for ‘naming MPs’

      A West Midlands blogger has been charged with terrorism offences for allegedly using a blog to list members of parliament who voted in favour of the Iraq war.

      Bilal Zaheer Ahmad, a 23-year-old man from Wolverhampton, was arrested a week ago by West Midlands Police.

    • Is the American public about to toss Israel?

      Some opinion analysts, like the 2009 Zogby International poll of American attitudes toward Israelis and Palestinians, express surprise with what they are learning from the American public and detect significant changes in American public attitudes favoring US disengagement from Israel.

      Such changes in attitudes are not yet evident in Congress or in the Office of the Vice President. But then, as one of Biden’s Democratic Congressional colleagues from Cleveland Ohio just recently reelected and now planning to force a Congressional vote on withdrawing from Afghanistan, noted this week, “Joe’s a nice fella but a God awful slow learner! Cracks and fissures are shooting around and inside Joe’s great American pro Israel public opinion vase etched in gold with the words: ‘US Support for Israel Must Continue Forever!’

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Biofuel plan will cause rise in carbon emissions

      Britain’s promise to more than double its use of biofuels by 2020 is “significantly” adding to worldwide carbon emissions, the Government admitted yesterday. Britain is signed up to a European guarantee to source 10 per cent of its transport fuel from renewable sources, such as biofuels, within the next 10 years.

    • Extreme weather forecasts: web users unite to power climate change project

      From today, anyone with a computer and internet access can be part of a huge, pioneering climate change experiment, probing the controversial question of whether extreme weather events will become more or less common as the world warms.

    • A stunning year in climate science reveals that human civilization is on the precipice

      This week marks the one-year anniversary of what the anti-science crowd successfully labeled ‘Climategate’. The media will be doing countless retrospectives, most of which will be wasted ink, like the Guardian’s piece — focusing on climate scientists at the expense of climate science, which is precisely the kind of miscoverage that has been going on for the whole year!

      I’ll save that my media critiques for Part 2, since I think that Climategate’s biggest impact was probably on the media, continuing their downward trend of focusing on style over substance, of missing the story of the century, if not the millennia.

    • Tory senators kill climate bill passed by House

      The Conservatives have used their clout in the Senate stacked by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to kill an NDP climate change bill that was passed by a majority of the House of Commons.

      Without any debate in the Red Chamber, Conservative senators caught their Liberal and unelected counterparts off-guard on Tuesday by calling a snap vote on Bill C-311, the Climate Change Accountability Act introduced by Bruce Hyer, a New Democrat who represents Thunder Bay-Superior North in the House.

  • Finance

    • Do 3D Printers Bypass Customs?

      There could be several interesting effects on business and society when 3D printers become widespread, and we’ve discussed a few of them in the past, including possible crime, for example. But here’s another one to think about: Customs Control.

      Most countries have some level of customs controls, in which imported goods are inspected for legality and sometimes taxed as well. This approach has worked fine for centuries, but things might get a little different in the near future when citizens have access to 3D printers that can reproduce many types of objects.

    • Ireland: the good stuff

      Amid all the talk of bailouts, it’s easy to forget there are parts of Irish life that economics can’t reach. We asked Twitter users to name the things they love about Ireland. Here are 50 of them, in all their unpunctuated glory

    • Debt collectors utilize Facebook to embarrass those who owe

      Debt collectors can be relentless and downright rude on the phone, but now a St. Petersburg woman is filing suit alleging the company that financed her car loan began harassing family members over the social networking website Facebook.

      Melanie Beacham says she fell behind on her car payment after getting sick and taking a medical leave from work. She contacted MarkOne Financial to explain the situation but says the harassing phone calls, as many as 20 per day, kept coming. Then one day she got a call from her sister saying the company contacted her in Georgia.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Europe Reimagines Orwell’s Memory Hole

      Inspired by thoughtful pieces by Mike Masnick on Techdirt and L. Gordon Crovitz’s column yesterday in The Wall Street Journal, I wrote a perspective piece this morning for CNET regarding the European Commission’s recently proposed “right to be forgotten.”

      A Nov. 4th report promises new legislation next year “clarifying” this right under EU law, suggesting not only that the Commission thinks it’s a good idea but, even more surprising, that it already exists under the landmark 1995 Privacy Directive.

    • 3 More Reasons Not to Use Facebook Messages

      Many good reasons to be wary of Facebook’s newly announced “Messages” service have already been pointed out on numerous occasions throughout the media. Even besides the obvious privacy concerns, other features of the new service also could prove problematic for those who choose to adopt it, as many observers have suggested.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • U.K. Government to Snub BBC, Google Over Web Access, FT Reports

      U.K. Communications Minister Ed Vaizey will say today that Internet service providers should be free to favor traffic from one content provider over another, provided customers are informed, the Financial Times reported.

      In a speech at a London telecommunications conference organized by the newspaper, the minister will say the market should decide the extent to which service providers can charge for preferential content delivery and slow down other traffic.

    • UK.gov ignores ‘net neutrality’ campaigners

      ISPs will be allowed to charge content providers to prioritise their traffic, the government indicated today.

      A speech by the communications minister Ed Vaizey confirmed that the concept of “net neutrality” remains irrelevant in the UK under the coalition.

      As long as providers are open about their policies, he said, the competitive market means consumers can take their business elsewhere.

      A potentially lucrative new revenue stream will be opened up for ISPs, with services that depend on speed or other network quality factors, such as video and online games, likely to be first to be asked to pay for delivery guarantees.

    • The Open Internet enhances our freedom of speech

      Ed Vaizey’s speech on “net neutrality” misses a vital point: being “open” about “closing” the Internet won’t deliver competition and innovation on the Internet.

      Money and commercial interest can easily over-ride public interest if we do not assert it. In this case, unlike the USA, there is a degree of collusion going on which may lead our governments down a dangerous path.

    • UK government proposal to dump Net Neutrality will not create a free market

      You can’t leave government alone for a minute can you? One minute they are heaping garlands on the tech industry with TechCity proposals and the like. The next minute they are proposing to dump Net Neutrality – the entire reason we had a flowering of innovation in the first place.

      UK Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said in a speech at an Financial Times conference today that Internet service providers should be allowed to favour traffic from one content provider over another, so long as the user was aware this was happening. Oh sure, that’s going to happen. Vaizey’s view is that market should decide whether ISPs can charge for preferential content delivery, thus creating a slow lane for those who can’t or won’t pay for the fast one.

    • Minister Ed Vaizey backs ‘two-speed’ internet

      Culture minister Ed Vaizey has backed a “two-speed” internet, letting service providers charge content makers and customers for “fast lane” access.

      It paves the way for an end to “net neutrality” – with heavy bandwidth users like Google and the BBC likely to face a bill for the pipes they use.

    • ENDitorial: Net neutrality – wait and see the end of the open Internet

      At the joint European Parliament and European Commission net neutrality summit in Brussels on 11 November there was a clear political message – that interference with Internet traffic is permissible as long as companies tell their consumers that it is happening.

      The Commission will “wait and see” if such interferences cause problems for the market and will consider taking action if this is the case. In a whole day of discussions, the fundamental rights aspects of the interference by private companies with citizens’ communications were only questioned by Jeremie Zimmermann from La Quadrature du Net and Jan Albrecht MEP (Greens/EFA, Germany).

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Righthaven’s Retreat On ‘Partial Copying’ Cases Shows Firm’s Vulnerability

        In a sign that Righthaven is on the defensive, the controversial copyright enforcement company has offered to permanently drop one of its lawsuits—provided it doesn’t have to pay legal fees to the attorneys defending the website it sued, Democratic Underground. The move shows the startup company’s concerns about the potential for mounting legal bills.

      • AFP Still Not Giving Up On Its Bizarre Claim That Twitpic Images Are Freely Licensed To Anyone

        Earlier this year, we wrote about an absolutely bizarre lawsuit, where the newswire AFP — a company who has claimed that merely linking to its stories is infringement — had sued a photographer whose photograph AFP had used without permission (and with a false credit). The story was so convoluted and filled with confusion that it was really quite amazing that anyone involved is still pushing forward with the case. The “short” version is that a photographer in Haiti when the earthquake happened earlier this year opened a Twitter and a Twitpic account soon after the earthquake, in order to show off some of the photographs he had taken. Another person copied those photos and pretended they were his (also on Twitpic) and offered to license them. The AFP saw the photos from the second person (who didn’t actually have the rights to them) and then posted them on its own stories, crediting the second guy.

      • The artists who still aren’t on iTunes
      • The Pirate Bay, One Year After The Tracker Shut Down

        Exactly a year ago The Pirate Bay team surprised friends and foes when it announced that the world’s largest BitTorrent tracker was shutting down for good. The site’s torrent index would remain online, but millions of users had to find alternative trackers or rely on trackerless technologies to share their torrents from then on. In addition, The Pirate Bay suggested a move away from .torrent files entirely in the future.

      • Google strikes deal to scan French books

        Internet giant Google struck an agreement with France’s biggest publisher Hachette Livre to scan thousands of out-of-print French books for Google’s online library, the companies said on Wednesday.

      • CC’s Contribution to Welfare, Field-by-Field: The Separate Contribution to Collaboration & Sharing

        You have probably already noticed that through this series of posts we are proceeding along a trend from general high-level questions to the more practical ones of measurement and evaluation. So, it shouldn’t surprise you that our next nuts-and-bolts step is to start touring the different fields in which CC is active and analyzing its separate contribution to each.

      • Warner Bros. vows to prosecute Deathly Hallows leaker

        Torrent searchers hit pay dirt Monday with the discovery of the Deathly Hallows fragment on BitTorrent sites. The watermarked footage appears to come from a DVD screener sent out by the studio, although Warner Bros. would not confirm this.

Clip of the Day

Cisco on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 17/11/2010: Chrome OS and Android Explained, Linux 2.6.37-rc2

Posted in News Roundup at 3:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • ‘Megafon Siberia implements Linux-based video call-centre’

    The service is based entirely on open source software: OS Ubuntu Linux and Asterisk, and in the workplace the operator uses the client software Linphone.

  • Desktop

    • The Linux desktop may soon be a lot faster

      The patch by Linux kernel developer Mike Galbraith adds a mere 233 lines of code to the kernel’s scheduler, but it cuts desktop latency down by a factor of ten. That’s impressive — it’s almost like getting a new computer.

    • The ~200 Line Linux Kernel Patch That Does Wonders

      In recent weeks and months there has been quite a bit of work towards improving the responsiveness of the Linux desktop with some very significant milestones building up recently and new patches continuing to come. This work is greatly improving the experience of the Linux desktop when the computer is withstanding a great deal of CPU load and memory strain. Fortunately, the exciting improvements are far from over. There is a new patch that has not yet been merged but has undergone a few revisions over the past several weeks and it is quite small — just over 200 lines of code — but it does wonders for the Linux desktop.

    • System76 and the World

      System76 has been selling GNU/Linux on PCs for several years now. There are posts on various sites about expansion to the UK. I asked about that and how business was going.
      “We will be shipping to the U.K. very soon. We are getting the final details hammered out.

      We are a privately held U.S. company, and so we do not release financial statements. However, business is growing nicely.” replied Tom Aaron, System 76 Sales and Support.

    • Ubuntu-ready netbook moves to dual-core Atom

      System76 is shipping a new version of its Ubuntu Linux-ready Starling Netbook equipped with a dual-core Intel Atom N550 processor, starting at $384. Meanwhile the company has begun shipping to the U.K, and is contemplating developing a tablet PC.

    • ARGH!!!

      At a staff meeting today, a staff member who was new but on the job two months and a bit suddenly demanded that her teacher’s PC be put back to that other OS. The fact that this matter was of no concern to the entire staff was a bit annoying but I outlined why we had gone to GNU/Linux and how I had made many offers to help anyone with difficulty. She insisted. I asked whether she had any files to back up. She said none.

      Here’s the log of restoring “7″ which had never been on the PC.


      So there we go. After 4 hours of work she has that other OS and less capability with lower speed than before.

  • Server

    • GNU/Linux Terminal Servers Under Heavy Load

      Since the first day I saw a lab full of students happy with the performance of a single-core GNU/Linux terminal server six years ago, I have been quite happy. Of course, I could tell the difference between a heavy and a light load but the end-users generally found performance even then was better than XP on their usual hardware.

  • Google

    • Schmidt: Google Chrome OS ‘a few months away’

      Google boss Eric Schmidt has said that Chrome OS will be available “in the next few months” — which may be an indication that the company’s browser-based operating system has been delayed.

      Since unveiling the Chrome OS project last year, Google has said that systems using the operating system would be available by the end of this year. But the end of the year is a mere six weeks away. As he dropped the “a few months away” line at this week’s Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Schmidt said that Gingerbread, the new version of Android, was “a few weeks away.”

    • Google’s Schmidt: Chrome OS is for keyboards, Android is for touch.

      Talking at the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco, Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt has attempted to settle the confusion between Google’s two operating systems by reaffirming that the upcoming Chrome OS is being developed for devices with physical keyboards where the incumbent Android OS is for touch devices.

    • Eric Schmidt: Chrome OS aimed at keyboard based solutions, Android optimized for touch

      Schmidt confirmed that Chrome OS will officially be out in the next few months in Intel and ARM-powered netbooks while also adding that the OS was primarily “designed around something with a keyboard.”

    • Chrome OS launch won’t happen this year
  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KNotify Plugins (Or, “What I’ve been working on, now with details”)

        Aaron Seigo pointed out that the behaviour I wanted could be done nicely with KNotify, but that it currently required notification actions to be compiled in.

      • KDE 4.4 on Slackware 13.1

        I recently installed Slackware 13.1 and ditched openSuse (though its still there on another partition) as I was looking for more stability and wanted something more geeky. And yes, slackware does not disappoint when it comes to the geekiness part, whether its package installation or configuration. There is no package manager as such which checks for dependencies etc. So, Slackware comes as a full DVD package by default. The full installation mode installs almost all the required things for the base+enhanced system. There is always an option of downloading the tarball and compiling the sources optimised for your machine (which gives it gentoo like feel which is what I wanted) and then there are many repositories which are specifically built for slackware. The package slapt-get is a package manager like the apt-get for debian based distros. You can download the pre-compiled binaries and install them using it, search for particular packages and you can also download the sources, compile them and the make it install them. So this geeky part I am quite satisfied with.:D

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Foundation is hiring!

        The GNOME project is an effort to create and provide a complete, free and easy-to-use desktop and mobile environment accessible to all users, as well as a powerful application development framework for software developers. GNOME technologies are used in millions of desktops, phones and devices around the world.

        The GNOME Foundation supports the GNOME project by acting as an official voice for the GNOME project, providing a means of communication with the press and with commercial and noncommercial organizations interested in GNOME software, providing business development opportunities for GNOME and its partners, hosting GNOME events and marketing GNOME.

      • GNOME Terminal with Google search support

        Recently I did a hack on GNOME Terminal, added the Google search support for it.

        I think you may like it, so here comes the article.

      • Gnome-Shell Update Nov 16 2010
  • Distributions

    • Sabayon

      • Sabayon Linux Review

        In my quest to replace Ubuntu before Canonical can force me over to Unity, I came across Gentoo. Gentoo is unique operating system. It utilizes a unique bsd like port system called portage. This allows you to compile software around your hardware. Although this adds a layer of complexity during software building and installation, it adds an insane amount of speed and stability.

        Sabayon Linux is a step back from this. It provides Gentoo without the need to compile packages. As a matter of face Sabayon goes out of its way to recommend that you do not compile custom packages under its distribution as it can cause instability. My knee jerk reaction is, “Gentoo is about speed and stability… if you remove compiling from Sabayon, then what’s the point?”

      • Sabayon – Woes and Whoas of Upgrades

        So anyway, if you have problems, please check the forum and see if someone else is having the same problem, maybe a solution already exists. You can also search our bugzilla to see if something has been already reported. If you are submitting a new bug or forum post, please provide as much information as possible.

    • Slackware

      • Attn: Slackware 13.0 | Thunderbird Users

        This posting here on Nocturnal Slacker is just an alert, in case you don’t actually read the release notes before updating.

      • A few big changes

        Slamd64 is an exception here: given that Slackware itself now has a 64-bit version, there is no purpose in Slamd64. I’ll be making a post on slamd64.com in the next few days – sorry for not stating this sooner.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva 2010.2 announced!

        These cold winds have brought some good news for Mandriva users: Mandriva will release version 2010.2 of the distribution as a Christmas present.

      • Two Versions Of Mandriva Coming Soon

        Mandriva was recently forked into a new distribution called Mageia Linux where several Mandriva developers parted ways with this distribution once known as Mandrake due to the uncertainty of the future direction of Mandriva Linux with its corporate backer having underwent some financial hardship. While there isn’t yet a release of Mageia, the Mandriva Cooker Manager has finally been permitted to release details concerning the next two releases of Mandriva Linux.

      • PCLinuxOS LXDE Review and Screenshots

        Some days ago PC Linux OS has destroyed my everything, when I install it on a hard disk. None of any Linux distribution behave bad like this way with me before. Though, I wanted to test the flavour of this so called famous Linux distribution. I download several variant like

        * pclinuxos-lxde-2010.iso
        * pclinuxos-lxde-mini-2010.iso
        * pclinuxos-openbox-2010-07.iso and
        * pclinuxos-ZEN-mini-2010.iso

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Inc. (RHT) Corporate Event Announcement Notice
      • Approaching Resistance – Red Hat

        Shares of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) are trading very close to calculated resistance at $43.59 with the current price action closing at just $41.96 placing the stock near levels that make it difficult to buy.

      • Roaring Penguin Software Announces Support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
      • sVirt: Integrating SELinux and Linux-based virtualization
      • Red Hat Network Satellite 5.4 Offers Support for Managing Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the availability of Red Hat Network Satellite 5.4, the latest version of Red Hat’s on-premises systems management solution that provides software updates, configuration management, provisioning and monitoring across both physical and virtual Red Hat Enterprise Linux servers. Red Hat Network Satellite 5.4 delivers compliance improvements, greater flexibility in content management and improved subscription management. It also provides support for managing the newly released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 operating platform.

      • Red Hat Expands Program to Integrate Open Source Software Courses Into Collegiate and University Coursework

        As the use of open source continues to expand globally, the need for graduates with open source software experience is also expected to increase.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Board likely to reconsider SQLNinja, but should they?

          According to a comment today from Tom “spot” Callaway on the SQL Ninja request, it looks like the Fedora Board will reconsider allowing the takeover tool into Fedora. The initial decision drew quite a lot of criticism, but that doesn’t mean the board was wrong.

          I’ve been watching the news and discussions on various Fedora lists responding to the board’s decision not to include SQLNinja in Fedora. It’s typical, but disappointing. The slightest hint of moderation in an open community — whether it’s being picky about the packages included in the distribution or setting policies about civil behavior on communication channels — draws rapid criticism. Predictably, many people have reacted to the decision as if it’s a huge restriction that keeps the freedom-loving masses of Fedora users apart from the full treasure trove of free and open source software.

        • Upgrading to Fedora 14 with yum

          Fedora 14 was released two weeks ago. I normally wait a day or two to install to let the mirrors cool down, but that put the target date right before I left for the LISA conference. Like any good sysadmin, I’m sufficiently paranoid to not upgrade systems right before I leave, even if said system is only my own desktop. So now that I’m back, I decided today was a good day to upgrade my home desktop.

        • Fedora Welcomes in New Management

          Jared Smith, Fedora Project Leader, has announced some personnel changes within the Fedora project that show, as Smith says, “every person in the Fedora community is a potential leader.” According to Smith, Fedora’s “policies of rotating leadership help ensure that everyone who is so inclined has a chance to lead and serve.”

        • How do I set up Fedora 14 for audio production?
        • Musicians’ Guide

          The text of and illustrations in this document are licensed by Red Hat under a Creative Commons Attribution–Share Alike 3.0 Unported license (“CC-BY-SA”). An explanation of CC-BY-SA is available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/. The original authors of this document, and Red Hat, designate the Fedora Project as the “Attribution Party” for purposes of CC-BY-SA. In accordance with CC-BY-SA, if you distribute this document or an adaptation of it, you must provide the URL for the original version.

        • Red Hat Close to the 50 Day

          Shares of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) closed the trading day at $41.31 close to its 50 day moving average currently set at $40.28. Red Hat’s price action is just above this important support level translating into a trading opportunity.

        • Red Hat (Rht) Breaks Through Support At $40.87
        • Fedora Board Meetings, 12 & 15 Nov 2010

          The Fedora Board meeting schedule works as follows:

          * Every Monday, the Board will meet via phone at 2 PM Eastern time (1900 UTC atm).
          * Every other Friday (the next one is this Friday, 12 Nov), the Board will hold a public ‘office hours’ style questions & answers session in #fedora-board-meeting at 2 PM Eastern time.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Women IRC Training Sessions begins
      • Debian Women IRC Training Sessions
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Cleansweep Update and Laptop Back

          I’m very glad that I can now review patches again after while.

        • Reflections On Respect

          The last week has been pretty intense. Many of you will have seen the discussion surrounding OpenRespect and the different write-ups, comments, and views expressed about it. While I expected OpenRespect to get some attention, I never expected the sheer level of attention it has received, and today I have been reflecting on it all and wanted to share some conclusions.

          While I feel OpenRespect has raised some important points and people have shared some constructive feedback, I have made some mistakes, and I have always believed that mistakes deserve sincere apologies. I started OpenRespect with the best intentions and out of a love for our community and maintaining pleasant and healthy discourse, but honesty goes both ways, both in intent, and in putting your hands up when you screw the pooch and get something wrong. Let me re-cap the story so far.

        • In Defense of Bacon

          Jono Bacon is currently being criticized for the manner in which he launched an initiative called OpenRespect.Org. Much of this criticism is unfair, and I decided to write briefly here in support of Jono, because he’s a victim of a type of mistreatment that I’ve experienced myself, so I have particularly strong empathy for his situation.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Draws More Partners Towards Canonical

          Canonical, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu, has signed several significant partnerships following the release last month of Ubuntu 10.10.

        • Convirture and Canonical to Team Up to Provide Virtual Machine and Private Cloud Management

          Convirture, maker of the ConVirt enterprise-grade software for managing Xen and KVM-based virtual and private cloud environments, is partnering with Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu open source operating system, to help organizations effectively manage virtual machines built using Ubuntu. ConVirt 2.0 Open Source is now available in the Ubuntu Partner Repository. It provides a sophisticated set of tools which can also be used to manage virtual machines in a private cloud infrastructure.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Introducing the Hall’s – Developers of Qimo 2.0

            Michelle and Mike Hall, developers of Qimo 2.0, are two of the most friendly, out-going, give you something to smile about personalities I have meet throughout the past year in the FOSS community. They are both active Ubuntu members and I was excited for them when I saw the release announcement this weekend and I hoped I could catch up with one or both of them to ask a few questions about this release and the future of the project.

          • Lubuntu Screencast: Extreme Memory Tuning

            So if you have gone through all this tuning tips you hopefully have saved some memory and have less memory consuming system up and running.

          • Linux Mint 10 review

            Linux Mint has always been a good desktop distribution. It is especially well suited for those new to Linux, and those not needing some of the features that Fedora, Mandriva, and Debian offers. I think more users will be attracted to it if features, like LVM and full disk encryption, are supported by the installer. There is a small, but significant group of users who will not use a distribution if they are unable to encrypt the whole system, and I think more users will choose to encrypt if they know what it is and understand the benefits.

            Since it is doubtful that those features will find their way into Ubiquity any time soon, Clement Lefebvre and his team could just adopt another, better installation program. Fedora Project’s Anaconda, and YALI, the installation program on Pardus, are two good candidates.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Sprint’s Palm Pre marked for End of Life?

        We don’t quite know how to break it to you, but if PreCentral sources are correct, Palm’s hit a very interesting landmark: its comeback device, the Pre for Sprint, has reportedly reached End of Life (EOL).

      • Android

        • Android 2.2 now available for Samsung Galaxy S users on Vodafone

          We have yet more Android 2.2 update news courtesy of Vodafone today, with the Samsung Galaxy S now receiving the full Android 2.2 upgrade via the network. If you have a branded Galaxy S bought through Vodafone, you might be about to have a very exciting few minutes.

        • Nexus S confirmed by Google – Android 2.3 due within “weeks”

          Schmidt didn’t give much away about the phone itself, either, save for announcing it will arrive including support for the NFC protocol – the short-range chip-reading tool used to make micro-transactions. He also said Android 2.3 will arrive within the “next few weeks”, presumably on the Nexus S first.

        • Introducing Replicant

          Replicant is a mobile operating system based upon Android that aims to be 100% free software.

    • Tablets

      • Folio Follies

        The version of Android Toshiba was using is optimized for smartphones and others are waiting for the next release of Android which is reported to be more suitable for tables.

      • Kmart debuts $180 Android tablet
      • Price Leadership

        Just this month several tablets with quite useful performance with Android 2.1 have been put on the market for less than $200. HP and Dell do not need to give price leadership. Others (e.g. Kmart) will do that. By Christmas time there will be lots of price competition and Apple will decline in share of this market.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source and the Federal Budget Squeeze, Part 1

    Local, state, and federal government agencies across the U.S. share the common goal of serving the public. They also share another contemporary fact of life: They are running out of money. As a result, efficiency is becoming a major goal in government at all levels, and information technology appears to be a key target for getting more bang for the buck.

  • Daniel Pink’s Drive: open source model is key to future development

    What continues to surprise me most about open source software (OSS) development is how the particular mindset OSS embodies has seeped into an incredibly diverse range of discussion that transcends software itself. Daniel Pink’s latest book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us is the latest example of how OSS has served to concretely demonstrate truths about human behavior.

  • Fear of Forking

    Bacteria – viruses too – evolve more quickly than do humans. If you’re reading this, that should not be a surprise. The precise mechanisms may be less than clear, but the implications should be obvious. Part of their advantage, from an evolutionary standpoint, is scale. There are a lot more of them than us, and each act of bacterial reproduction represents an opportunity for change, for improvement. Just as important, however, is the direct interchange of genetic material. As Johnson says, it sounds preposterous – absurd, even – because we are used to linear inheritance, not peer to peer.

    We see a similar philosophical divide in between those who abhor the forking of code, and those who advocate it.

  • LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice Rethinks the Office Suite

      Asked to explain this declaration, Vignoli writes, “So far software has been focused more on features than on contents, and a good user is considered [one] who is able to use features and not [one] who is able to develop good content.” As a result, modern office suites include many features that users either do not need or do not use. “Of course, this does not mean that software should have less features,” he adds.

      According to Vignoli, one thing that needs to be taken into consideration is the proliferation of hardware platforms. “Editing and reading on a large screen is not like reading on a small screen,” he notes. “In addition, being mobile adds another layer of complexity, because the relationship with contents is different when you are on the road: your attention is lower and your time pressure is higher.”

      To judge from these comments, TDF is apparently using the break with OpenOffice.org to reconsider priorities. My speculation is that something like OOO4Kids, with its different interfaces for different levels of users might be an answer to unwanted features, while the mention of multiple hardware platforms suggests that TDF may be considering the frequent requests for a version of the code suitable for mobile devices. The general nature of the responses suggests that TDF is still developing the details, but would prefer to pay greater attention to usability than OpenOffice.org did in the past.

    • LibreOffice: “It is wrong to blame Oracle”

      And then there was this great hope that when Oracle acquired Sun – because Oracle historically engaged well in lot’s of open source communities like with Apache or the Linux kernel – that this expertise would be brought to Star Division and that we’d get a better product. But sadly that expectation – as yet – has not been fulfilled. They more or less left it alone and in this case it would have been better if they’d shown a more hands-on approach.

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

    • Facebook’s New Real-time Messaging System: HBase to Store 135+ Billion Messages a Month

      I wouldn’t sleep on the idea that Facebook already having a lot of experience with HDFS/Hadoop/Hive as being a big adoption driver for HBase. It’s the dream of any product to partner with another very popular product in the hope of being pulled in as part of the ecosystem. That’s what HBase has achieved. Given how HBase covers a nice spot in the persistence spectrum–real-time, distributed, linearly scalable, robust, BigData, open-source, key-value, column-oriented–we should see it become even more popular, especially with its anointment by Facebook.

  • CMS


  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Initializing an I-Team for the improvement of the ODF-icons

      Since the release of OpenOffice.org 3.2 we received a lot of very qualified feedback for the new ODF icons. We think the icons are a step in the right direction, but we acknowledge that there is room for improvement, specially relating to the usability. So following the recommendation of the community council we would like to make the icons better. That’s why we are creating an i-team that will be responsible for the changes on the ODF icons. Anyone who is interested can take part in the process of improving the icons, we welcome the input of users and experts. So, please join us!


  • 420M People In China Have Internet Access, 99% Use Baidu For Search

    So why Google was not as successful in China? “China is a very different market and Google was not close enough to feel the market.” Li also blames Silicon Valley. The proliferation of VC money poured into the local search market was one of the reasons Google failed to reach market share. Before it redirected its Chinese site to Google Hong Kong, that is.

  • From China to Amazon, NVIDIA’s Tesla is on a roll

    This week brings two major pieces of news for NVIDIA, both of which are evidence that the GPU maker is killin’ it in the high-performance computing (HPC) space. First is the latest Top 500 Supercomputer List, which sees China’s NVIDIA-powered Tianhe-1A vault past the US Department of Energy’s Jaguar machine to the top of the list.

  • Survey of women, men in IT shows differing views

    Do men and women who work in IT see their jobs and career opportunities differently? A new survey from IT staffing firm Technisource finds some disparities but also areas of agreement.

  • Science

    • Astronomers may have found youngest black hole

      Astronomers using the Chandra X-Ray Observatory may have found evidence for a young black hole: it was born in a titanic explosion just 31 years ago.

      Black holes form when massive stars explode. The core of the star collapses, and if it’s massive enough (more than about 3 times the mass of the Sun), the gravity of the core can crush it down into a black hole.

    • NASA’s Chandra Finds Youngest Nearby Black Hole
    • Scientists propose one-way trips to Mars

      It’s usually cheaper to fly one way, even to Mars.

      Two scientists are suggesting that colonization of the red planet could happen faster and more economically if astronauts behaved like the first settlers to come to North America – not expecting to go home.

      “The main point is to get Mars exploration moving,” said Dirk Schulze-Makuch, a Washington State University professor who co-authored an article that seriously proposes what sounds like a preposterous idea.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • One Hundred Naked Citizens: One Hundred Leaked Body Scans

      At the heart of the controversy over “body scanners” is a promise: The images of our naked bodies will never be public. U.S. Marshals in a Florida Federal courthouse saved 35,000 images on their scanner. These are those images.

      A Gizmodo investigation has revealed 100 of the photographs saved by the Gen 2 millimeter wave scanner from Brijot Imaging Systems, Inc., obtained by a FOIA request after it was recently revealed that U.S. Marshals operating the machine in the Orlando, Florida courthouse had improperly-perhaps illegally-saved images of the scans of public servants and private citizens.

  • Finance

    • Fraud-closure biz fizzles out

      Bank lawyers prosecuting the 80,000 foreclosure cases in New York are all but admitting that the cases they have filed over the past number of years have been riddled with fraud.

      In the three weeks-plus since New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman put the foreclosure lawyers on notice that any fraud in foreclosure paperwork would be met with severe penalties — he is making lawyers sign affirmations promising they took “reasonable” steps to make sure the legal papers are true — practically no new foreclosure cases have been filed, The Post has learned.

    • GOP’s new target – Bernanke

      Republican leaders who have lambasted the Obama administration for what they say were misguided bailouts and a wasteful economic stimulus plan have been fairly muted in their criticism of Bernanke, who was appointed by President George W. Bush and served as his chief economic adviser. On Monday, however, they lined up behind a new advertising campaign attacking Bernanke for his plan to pump $600 billion into the sluggish U.S. economy, claiming that it risks causing inflation.

    • Weaker Dollar Seen as Unlikely to Cure Joblessness

      A weakening currency traditionally helps a country raise its exports and create more jobs for its workers. But the declining value of the dollar may not help the United States increase economic growth as much as it might have in the past.

    • Bond Sell-Off in Spite of Intervention by Fed Puzzles Traders and Analysts

      Again on Monday, bond markets sold off aggressively, pushing the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield back up to 2.96 percent. That is close to where the yield was three months ago when the new policy of so-called quantitative easing was first suggested by the Fed.

      The yield has jumped from about 2.55 percent since Nov. 8.

      It is an aggressive sell-off that has left traders and policy makers mystified, and spawned a number of theories.

    • An Edge on Dividends for Goldman

      Goldman Sachs’s shareholders have little to grumble about. Sure, the bank’s plan to buy back $5 billion in expensive preferred stock held by Warren E. Buffett appears to have been delayed because of an industrywide debate with the Federal Reserve over how to manage capital. That includes deciding when dividends can go up. But investors in Goldman’s common stock already have an advantage over the competition.

    • Four possible deals on the Bush tax cuts

      The Bush tax cuts will not be permanently extended. But they — or at least some of them — will be temporarily extended. That we don’t know which ones, or for how long, should embarrass Congress and the White House. The expiration date for the tax cuts was set into law 10 years ago. Congress shouldn’t still be scrambling to figure this out with less than 50 days to go.

      But it is. And it’s the Democrats — as they still control both houses of Congress and the presidency — who deserve the blame. They still have not settled on a policy or strategy for extending the Bush tax cuts. They waited until after the election, which weakened their hand. And they’ve been unable to get their members on the same page, which has kept them from messaging the issue to the country or forcing Republicans to the negotiating table.

    • Imaginary exchange goes poof

      The Chicago Climate Exchange is shutting down at the end of the year.

      Nobody’s buying carbon credits.

      Right now, days go by when not a single trade is done. When trades are done, carbon dioxide sells for just five cents a ton.

      It’s over.

    • CDOs: How Self-Dealing Banks Destroyed the Economy
    • A Defense of the Electronic Mortgage System

      The American Securitization Forum, a trade group that lobbies for the industry that managed to convert subprime mortgages into a financial crisis, released a report on Tuesday defending how those home loans were made into bonds and more explosive financial instruments.

      The forum says that laws governing the transfer and assignment of mortgages from one owner to another are centuries old, and that they do not need “to be recorded in real property records in order for it to be a valid and binding transfer.”

    • Under Attack, Fed Officials Defend Buying of Bonds

      With the Federal Reserve under attack at home and abroad, it is making an unusual public bid to keep itself away from the political crossfire.

    • Spending Worries Put Jobless Benefits at Risk

      Congress is unlikely to agree to extend jobless benefits for two million unemployed workers by the time the program begins to lapse in two weeks, as lawmakers struggle with a packed lame-duck session and voter antipathy toward government spending.

    • ‘Robo-Signer’ Foreclosure Scandal May Threaten Fundamental Financial Stability, Government Watchdog Warns

      The ongoing “turmoil” roiling megabanks and their faulty home foreclosure practices may represent deeper, more systemic problems regarding the origination, transfer and ownership of millions of mortgages, potentially putting Wall Street on the hook for billions of dollars in unexpected losses and threatening to undermine “the very financial stability that the Troubled Asset Relief Program was designed to protect,” a government watchdog warns in a new report.

      Recent revelations regarding mortgage companies’ use of “robo-signers” when processing foreclosure documents “may have concealed much deeper problems in the mortgage market,” according to the Tuesday report by the Congressional Oversight Panel, an office formed to keep tabs on the bailout.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Serfing the web

      Both Google and Facebook are run like absolute monarchies in which hundreds of millions of users (digital serfs, some might say) have created identities. Rather like mercantilist countries in the offline realm, both companies operate policies to protect this asset.

    • Rally to protect satire, hyperbole, exaggeration, humour and flippancy on the Internet

      Ever told a joke that didn’t go down as well as you’d hoped? Paul Chambers did, but instead of just being told to get his coat, he’s been slapped with a criminal record and a £1000 fine (plus costs). We don’t think that’s funny at all.

      Jokes are a matter of taste, of course, but what’s no laughing matter is the chilling effect Paul’s conviction could have on freedom of expression online.

    • Searching Your Laptop

      Federal courts have long agreed that federal agents guarding the borders do not need a warrant or probable cause to search a traveler’s belongings. That exception to the Fourth Amendment needs updating and tightening to reflect the realities of the digital age.

    • In Data Portability Deathmatch, Users Lose Out

      In the last few weeks, Facebook and Google have been engaging in a public tussle over an issue that is near and dear to EFF’s heart: data portability. The crux of the issue is that when you sign up for Facebook, you can find your Gmail contacts or invite them to join the social networking service with a few quick clicks. But when you sign up for Google, Facebook prevents you from easily inviting all of your Facebook friends to Google, despite the fact that Facebook makes it easy for users to export their contacts to other services like Yahoo!.

      Earlier this month, Google altered its terms of use for API users in an attempt to push Facebook into making contacts more portable. Basically, if services (such as Facebook) aren’t willing to make contact data portable to Google, then Google will stop making Gmail contacts exportable to their sites. Somewhat ironically, Google is promoting data portability by restricting data portability.

    • Peruvian Blogger Sentenced To Jail & Fined For Linking To Articles About Politician’s Past

      The Groove Tiger alerts us to the news coming out of Peru, of a blogger, Jose Alejandro Godoy, who has been sentenced to three years in jail and fined over $100,000 (Google translation of the original Spanish) for writing a blog post about a Peruvian politician, Jorge Mufarech. The post linked to various news reports of criminal charges made against Mufarech in the past, and Mufarech claimed that such links were defamatory.

    • Humiliated Met police is an enemy of free speech

      It shouldn’t come as a great surprise that a powerful institution like the Metropolitan Police, wrong footed and deeply embarrassed by the student protest at Millbank on 10 November, would throw its resources into a major operation to hunt down the protesters who had humiliated them. Buoyed by the ‘shop-a-student’ campaign organised by the Daily Telegraph and the right wing blogger Guido Fawkes, there have already been more than fifty arrests.

    • Location-Based Services: Time For A Privacy Check-In

      Need to get directions when you are lost? Want to know if your friends are in the neighborhood? Location-based services—applications and websites that provide services based on your current location—can put this information and more in the palm of your hand. But navigating the complex web of privacy policies and settings for these services can be far more difficult.

      That’s why the ACLU of Northern California (ACLU-NC) has released Location Based Services: Time for a Privacy Check-In, a guide [pdf] outlining privacy considerations for mobile location-based services, and a side-by-side comparison of six popular social location-based services (Foursquare, Facebook Places, Yelp, Gowalla, Twitter and Loopt).

    • Stop the Internet Blacklist!

      Just the other day, President Obama urged other countries to stop censoring the Internet. But now the United States Congress is trying to censor the Internet here at home. A new bill being debated this week would have the Attorney General create an Internet blacklist of sites that US Internet providers would be required to block. (The first vote is scheduled Thursday, November 18!)

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Reverse Engineering the Kinect: The Street Starts to Find Uses for Microsoft’s New Gaming Device

      Microsoft’s initial response was to rattle its sword. A Microsoft spokesperson told CNET, “With Kinect, Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering. Microsoft will continue to make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant.”

      Microsoft should keep its sword in its scabbard. The Kinect technology is getting rave reviews and generating a real buzz. Microsoft could blow all of this goodwill if it tries to shut down independent innovation around the Kinect, as Sony learned when it tried to shut down innovation around the Aibo. Fans were so outraged that Sony was ultimately spurred to release a programmers kit for it. Microsoft should learn from Sony’s experience and embrace its role as the creator of a new platform for innovation by supporting efforts like those of AdaFruit and hacker Hector Martin—after all, every hacker and every user of a hacked Kinect will have to buy the technology first.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Monster Cable Gets Classifieds Search Engine Taken Down With Bogus DMCA Notice

        Of course, even more disturbing is the fact that GoDaddy, the registrar for Jaxed, immediately pulled down the entire Jaxed site, over what seems like a clearly bogus DMCA notice. You would hope that a company like GoDaddy wouldn’t be quite so quick to pull the trigger. It’s also pretty weak that Monster Cable apparently went straight to GoDaddy, rather than complaining to Jaxed first (at which point, Jaxed could explain that they were just a search engine). Unfortunately, we’ve been seeing more and more examples of companies going straight to domain registrars with their takedown notices.

      • Hollywood’s Strategy For The Future: Pretending The Government Can Save Them

        A few weeks back, I went to Hollywood to appear on a panel for the Filmmaker Forum event, all about “piracy.” You can see a short clip of the panel here. One of the panelists was Kevin Suh, who has the title “VP of Content Protection” at the MPAA. Of course, just the fact that the MPAA has a position that involves “content protection” suggests that there’s a pretty big problem with how the MPAA views where the market is heading (hint: protectionism is not going to get you very far). Kevin was extremely nice — and we had quite a pleasant conversation prior to the panel. But, at one point, he made some assertions (not in the video) that seemed odd to me. First, he went on and on about how much money these new “digital locker” sites make, and then in the very next sentence said that Hollywood couldn’t offer a competing service because it would make no money.

        At one point, I challenged him on the idea that taking down these sites was effective, and he insisted that the sites that were taken down had stayed down, and no others had stepped up to take their place. While I don’t follow these sites all that closely, I’d already seen that this wasn’t true, as lots of our users like to send in tips about new sites popping up (or where those “downed” sites reappeared). And, in fact, the press is noting that at least one of the sites taken down went right back up days later.

      • The Sound of Silence

        As a supporter of the Royal British Legion (and an ex-serviceman myself) I’m pleased to see the RBL finding new and innovative ways of raising money. This year they have taken the novel step of releasing a single of the Two Minutes’ Silence. You can see a short excerpt from the video here.

      • Letter from featured superhero Gautam John of Pratham Books

        We now use Creative Commons licenses everywhere! We license entire books under CC-BY and CC-BY-SA licenses, we license our illustrations similarly and even photographs and other publicity material too. Over the last year we have been building the foundations for a social publishing model – where we curate communities that are passionate about reading and help us create content. Such a model rests on the idea of a participatory culture and an essential ingredient is a permissive licensing strategy – Creative Commons licenses offers us this, a large community with shared values and an ecosystem to tap in to.

      • True Or False? The Latest Stat: Less Than 30,000 Artists Are Actually Earning a Living

        Digital Music News published and article titled The Latest Stat: Less Than 30,000 Artists Are Actually Earning a Living… which has been causing a lot of excitement. The problem is, that the people discussing the article don’t appear to have actually read it, or if they did read it, they did so while asleep, because they’ve managed to get everything wrong. Let’s take a look at what was actually written, and what it really means.


        OK, so the original article got you all excited. As I’ve demonstrated above, without further numbers, the original is effectively useless. Things might be worse, but they might be better too, and we just don’t know.

      • Lawful Access Bills Would Reshape Internet in Canada

        The push for new Internet surveillance capabilities goes back to 1999, when government officials began crafting proposals to institute new surveillance technologies within Canadian networks along with additional legal powers to access surveillance and subscriber information. The so-called lawful access initiatives stalled in recent years, but my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that earlier this month the government tabled its latest proposal with three bills (C-50, C-51, C-52) that received only limited attention despite their potential to fundamentally reshape the Internet in Canada.

      • New Big Brother Laws Would Reshape Canada’s Internet

        The push for new Internet surveillance capabilities goes back to 1999, when government officials began crafting proposals to institute new surveillance technologies within Canadian networks along with additional legal powers to access surveillance and subscriber information. The so-called lawful access initiatives stalled in recent years, but earlier this month the government tabled its latest proposal with three bills that received only limited attention despite their potential to fundamentally reshape the Internet in Canada.

        The bills contain a three-pronged approach focused on information disclosure, mandated surveillance technologies, and new police powers.

      • Bill would nuke Visa cards, Adwords, DNS records for pirates

        Watch out Google, Visa, and the domain name system—Congress has all of you in its sights.

        Now that the midterm elections in the US are over, the Senate this week will again take up S. 3804, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA). The bill allows the US Attorney General to target “Internet sites dedicated to infringing activities” both inside and outside the country, obtaining a court-ordered injunction against them if they have “no demonstrable, commercially significant purpose or use other than” sharing copyrighted files without authorization.

      • ACTA

        • ACTA to bypass unfinished EU copyright row

          European negotiators of an international anti-piracy treaty are rewriting EU laws on copyright infringement, bypassing an unfinished row in the EU over Internet providers’ role in piracy cases, according to industry lobbyists in Brussels.

      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • Conor Lenihan, Irish Politician Admits That He Is Bought And Paid For


          My friends and suppliers of campaign fund donations asked me to help them. After Mr. Justice Charleton’s made his unfortunate decision, I tried to use my position to force the Internet Service Providers and the Telecommunications Companies to help my friends. They refused to accept the path my friends had suggested.

          We are not French, and we are definitely not those damnable British. So I’m going to do the Irish thing and threaten the Internet Service Providers. If they cannot come up with a plan that my friends like, I will use my power as Minister to introduce legislation that will force them to do so. I have tried my best to help my friends, and anyone who get’s in my friend’s way shall pay the price.

Clip of the Day

CA Technologies on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 16/11/2010: Debian 6.0 is Coming, OpenRespect.org Criticised

Posted in News Roundup at 6:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Windows Legacy Apps vs. Linux Desktop Adopters?

      In a previous article on Linux-Window desktop competition, I shared my thoughts on why desktop Linux shouldn’t focus on competing with Windows. Not because Linux can’t compete, but because Linux can stand its ground on its own merits without being held against Windows for comparison. I believe most groups within the Linux community can agree on, despite their differences on other issues.

      Now let’s ask a bigger question. Is it not possible that the real culprit that prevents people from trying new platforms like Linux is actually due to legacy software and familiarity with the Windows desktop? Seems plausible that the above hurdles could be a common challenge faced by prospective Linux adopters, does it not?

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Attention class! Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA)

        Red Hat is urging system administrators to up their skill sets with a new base-level certification aligned to the key tasks required of Red Hat Enterprise Linux system administrators.

      • Fedora

        • Upgraded to Fedora 14

          I just did a preupgrade upgrade from Fedora 13 to Fedora 14. The only hitch is that it didn’t find enough space to download the installer ahead of time so that had to be downloaded after the the reboot. Everything went off without a hitch. My absolute cleanest upgrade ever. Dual screen worked, nothing had to be uninstalled. None of the repos had to be disabled. All my usual programs work. I haven’t tried Blender yet, that’s tomorrow. The first thing I noticed was that the OpenOffice.org icons have changed again. This is the third time, I think,since I’ve been using Linux.

        • Fedora 14: Strong follow-up to 13 still suffers from same niche appeal

          As far as Linux is concerned, there are distributions that are ready for the masses (Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS, Linux Minut) and there are distributions whose appeal doesn’t go much further than a niche of users. Fedora Linux, however, is a distribution that seems to want to vacillate between target audiences. At one point Fedora wants to reach out to a massive scope of users. At the next point Fedora seems to focus on a far, far smaller audience. And it seems this vacillation happens just about every release.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 6.0 Homestretch Just Around Corner

        Neil McGovern, Debian release team member, wrote to the Debian Development Announce mailing list, “It’s time for another release update as we move, like a glacier, inevitably and unstoppingly towards the release.”

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Make it really easy to fix bugs on Ubuntu

          One of the best things that anyone ever said was, “not enough gets said about the importance of abandoning crap”. Mr Glass was probably talking about writing, but his words could well have been aimed squarely at any well-established software development process.

        • New Introduction To Ubuntu 10.10

          I’ve recorded a new screencast introducing Ubuntu 10.10. This video gives beginner Ubuntu users a brief tour of the operating system, and covers installing updates, proprietary drivers, customizing appearance, and installing software via the Ubuntu Software Center as well as with downloaded *.deb files, all in less than 10 minutes. Enjoy!

        • OpenRespect.org: a bid to deflect criticism of Ubuntu?

          In today’s climate, when spinmeisters are trying to gain ascendancy in the FOSS world and are succeeding to a large extent, Torvalds’ comments would not go down well. The man was clearly not showing respect – which, as Stephen Colbert would say, is today’s word.

          But the topic of respect is raised only when it suits people to do so. Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution has been under siege recently, for its decisions to adopt a new interface and also a new X server. Some of the criticism has been rather, shall we say, pointed and direct.

          Now suddenly, Jono Bacon, the Ubuntu community manager – the spinmeister-in-chief – has come up with an initiative to try and create respect within the FOSS community. Why? Well, Bacon feels that all the aggressiveness in the community is not of much help in what the community is trying to do.

        • Natty Community Team Plans

          With every cycle, part of my responsibility is to understand the needs of the Ubuntu community, understand the needs of some of the key stakeholders to my team, and to plan what the team will work on throughout the next cycle. Recently I have been asking the team (Jorge Castro, Daniel Holbach, David Planella, and Ahmed Kamal) to reach out to the community to get a feel of needs, and flesh out their goals in a set of blueprints. I then reviewed and accepted a set of blueprints ready for the cycle. I think this is a good, solid chunk of work and will make some inroads into some key areas.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Linux Mint 10

            Summary: Linux Mint 10 adds some helpful tweaks and improvements to an already great distro.

            Rating: 5/5

Free Software/Open Source

  • 55 Open Source Replacements for Popular Multimedia Software

    Open source multimedia software clearly has remarkable growth potential. Statistics reveal that multimedia grabs a huge percentage of the time most users spend with their PCs and smartphones. Hulu has 30 million viewers a month. Netflix now accounts for 20 percent of U.S. Internet traffic in the evening. According to NPD Group, 30 percent of U.S. music consumers listened to streamed music in August. As of June, consumers had downloaded more than 5 billion songs from iTunes, and they watch 50,000 movies through the service every day.

  • An Open Source Toolkit for Your Small Business

    Whether your small business has been around for years or you’re just starting out, it simply makes good sense to use open source software for everything from managing your office network to putting together slide decks for your next client presentation. Open source software is inexpensive (and often free!), secure, and easy to customize to the unique needs of your company. Unlike many commercial applications on the market today, you can even find in-depth, no-cost tech support from within the user community.

  • Should Companies That Use Open Source Software Pay a Tithe?

    Just about every startup on the planet benefits from the use of open source software–everything from database software PostgreSQL to the Apache web server–which is free to use.

    Weinberg’s idea is simple: reckons companies that make a profit with the help of Free and Open Source Software should return a tenth of their profit to the open source community, to help solve problems with some open source projects.

  • Web Browsers

    • Try the uzbl browser if you’re tired of feature bloat

      Give it a shot. Talk to its community in the #uzbl channel on the freenode IRC network if you need some help getting started. See if you like it. If not, go back to a big, sophisticated browser, if that is what you prefer. To tell you the truth, I am actually using Chromium, Firefox, and uzbl about equally right now, switching between them; I have not entirely given up on those big and sophisticated browsers myself, at least so far. I think you owe it to yourself to see if you like your browser small and simple, though.

  • Oracle


  • ‘Super-secret’ debugger discovered in AMD CPUs

    A hardware hacker has discovered a secret debugging feature hidden in all AMD chips made in the past decade.

    The password-protected debugger came as a shock to reverse-engineers who have hungered for an on-chip mechanism for performing conditional and direct-hardware breakpoint operations. Although AMD has built the firmware-controlled feature into all chips since the Athlon XP, the company kept it a closely guarded secret that was only disclosed late last week by a hacker who goes by the name Czernobyl.

  • Is AMD Having Second Thoughts About Killing Off ATI Brand?
  • Nvidia CEO: We’re Done with Chipsets


    One thing we appreciate about Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang is that he typically doesn’t pull any punches. Rather than dance around marketing speak and typical PR rhetoric, the outspoken CEO gets straight to the point, oftentimes in a very candid manner. More recently, Huang got on the topic of chipsets, seemingly putting an official end to that part of Nvidia’s business, Xbit Labs reports.

  • Security

Clip of the Day

Intel on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

Credit: TinyOgg

Links 16/11/2010: GNU/Linux Dominates Top 500, VLC 1.1.5 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 11:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • The case for National Linux Distributions

    There’s a lot of news flying around at the moment about the latest Russian attempt to create a national, Linux-based operating system. Let’s take a look at some of the issues that surround the creation of national Linux distributions.

    The first point to make is that this isn’t the first Russian attempt adopt open source software. In 2007, the Armada group won the government tender to supply Russian schools with a Linux based operating system, making use of ALT Linux, a Russian fork of Mandrake Linux. Red Flag (China), Pardus (Turkey) and Bayahnian (Philippines ) were all created to meet the requirements of state institutions.

    A national standard Linux distribution solves two of the biggest problems that face Linux adoption in education, business and government institutions:

    First, Linux suffers from the problem of offering simply too much choice in terms of desktop environments and applications. If every school in the UK (for example) switched over Linux and open source tomorrow, they could, conceivably, all be using considerably different set ups. A national standard distribution offers the advantage of a standard platform that workers and students can be trained to use and maintain.

  • Server

    • Microsoft breaks petaflop barrier, loses Top 500 spot to Linux

      Microsoft says a Windows-based supercomputer has broken the petaflop speed barrier, but the achievement is not being recognized by the group that tracks the world’s fastest supercomputers, because the same machine was able to achieve higher speeds using Linux.

    • Microsoft: Super – But Not Quite Super Enough

      Once upon a time, the Netcraft Web server market share was reported upon eagerly every month for the fact that it showed open source soundly trouncing its proprietary rivals. We don’t hear much about that survey these days – not because things have changed, but for that very reason: it’s now just become a boring fact of life that Apache has always been the top Web server, still is, and probably will be for the foreseeable future. I think we’re fast approaching that situation with the top500 supercomputing table.

      I wrote about this six months ago, noting that Linux did rather well, with 91% of the top 500 machines in the world running some form of it. It’s time for an update, and I’m afraid it is indeed rather boring: Linux now holds 91.8% of that sector.

      Happily, there are still a couple of other points of note. First and foremost, as the world and their canine has been commenting, is the fact that the list is now headed by a Chinese supercomputer (still running Linux, of course): if this surprises you, then you really haven’t been paying attention.

    • SGI gets its HPC mojo back with CPU-GPU hybrids
    • Top 500 supers: China rides GPUs to world domination

      If the June edition of the bi-annual ranking of the Top 500 supercomputers in the world represented the dawning of the GPU co-processor as a key component in high performance computing, then the November list is breakfast time. The super centers of the world are smacking their lips for some flop-jacks with OpenCL syrup and some x64 bacon on the side.

      China has the most voracious appetite for GPU co-processors, and as expected two weeks ago when the Tianhe-1A super was booted up for the first time, this hybrid CPU-GPU machine installed at the National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin has taken the top spot on the Top 500 list with a comfortable margin. Tianhe-1A’s final rating on the Linpack Fortran matrix math benchmark test is 4.7 petaflops of peak theoretical performance spread across its CPUs and GPUs (with about about 70 per cent of that coming from the GPUs) and 2.56 petaflops of sustained performance on the Linpack test.

    • New EC2 Instance Type – The Cluster GPU Instance
    • Sandia Labs Proposes New Standard for Supercomputing

      The rating system, Graph500, tests supercomputers for their skill in analyzing large, graph-based structures that link the huge numbers of data points present in biological, social and security problems, among other areas.

      “By creating this test, we hope to influence computer makers to build computers with the architecture to deal with these increasingly complex problems,” Sandia researcher Richard Murphy said.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Applications

    • VLC 1.1.5 adds live WebM streaming support, Game Music Emu, Channels.com shows

      Popular do-it-all media player VLC has updated to version 1.1.5, and there are a handful of noteworthy changes nestled amongst the bugfixes and security patches. For starters, VLC can now play live streaming video wrapped in Google’s WebM video container.

      The second big addition can be found on VLC’s playlist window. Click the arrow next to Internet in the Media Browser box, and you’ll notice Channels.com has been added to the mix. While you won’t be able to access the entire vast expanse of shows Channels.com offers, VLC does include more than 1,000 popular offerings.

    • VLC 1.1.5 Has Been Released [Ubuntu PPA]

      VLC 1.1.5 has been released yesterday, introducing some small features and bug fixes.

    • Granola Improves Your Netbook/Laptop Battery Life And Makes Your PC Environmentally Friendly

      Granola is an application to improve your netbook / laptop battery life but can be used on your PC too and “make your PC environmentally friendly”.

      Granola runs in the background but if you install the GUI, you’ll be able to see some statistics such as how much energy, money and CO2 you’ll be saving by running Granola on your computer as well as the overall savings by all Granola users.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Bombermania – A nice 3D bomberman in an old castle

        In the distant future humans have created friendly aide robots. But due to computer error robots rebelled against their creators. As a special agent you will have to eliminate all robots. To help you, scientists developed a unique bomber-o-mobil equipped with highly destructive bombs. During your mission you will find various power-ups and upgrade your vehicle, turning it into an efficient weapon of destruction. Blow all robots up and free your city!

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KOLABoration in action

        If you ask the guys from “IT Crowd”, this may be .. the Internet, but in fact is an ugly black box – yes, the same like Microsoft exchange.

        What if you can rely on a better solution for your company? Why not be able to look what’s inside the box and to fix something to make your groupware experience better?

        Come and see me, presenting the blue open box, called Kolab.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Shell: Getting prettier by the day

        Gnome-Shell’s UI revamp continues apace and the ‘relayout’ version of GNOME-Shell, first shown off at GUADEC earlier this year, is getting ready to land.

        With it containing so many visual changes MrMars dropped off screenshots of the ‘relayout’ GIT branch in the OMG! Inbox! and a link to his Italian Ubuntu forum post touching on them.

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia supports LibreOffice

        After the announcement of LibreOffice, Mageia decided to give full official support to this new project.

        There are obvious similarities between the histories of Mageia and LibreOffice. Because both projects futures were unclear, teams decided – in both projects respectively – to create a fork that respects the FOSS (Free Open Source Software) principles and sets a more predictable governance model that relies on its community.


        We look forward to packaging, and contributing to the LibreOffice project and we will provide it in the upcoming Mageia releases.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6: It’s All About Virtualization

        No doubt, Red Hat is in catch-up mode when it comes to virtualization market share. But the company hopes RHEL6 and KVM can help to close the competitive gap. Here’s what it boils down to:

        Red Hat claims RHEL 6 is designed to provide a focus on rock-solid physical computing, along with true virtual and cloud activity support. To that end, RHEL 6 includes kernel improvements for resource management, “RAS” (reliability, availability, serviceability), and more power-saving features. The KVM hypervisor can support guest operating systems with up to 64 virtual CPUs, along with 256GB of virtual RAM and 64-bit guest operating system.

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

        In the new version 6 of its flagship product, Red Hat has incorporated many technological developments of the past few years. Compared to its predecessor, this release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux therefore contains a large number of changes.

      • Fedora

        • Fuduntu Is A Fedora 14 Remix For Netbooks And Laptops

          Fuduntu is a Fedora 14 remix (remaster) designed especially for Asus Eee (but you can of course use it on other netbooks and any laptop/desktop computer) and comes with some interesting performance tweaks by default. It was created by Fewt, the Jupiter (an hardware and power management applet for netbooks and Laptops) developer.

        • Going on Record Against the Fedora Board’s SQLninja Decision.

          I think this is a stupid decision[1]. By the boards reasoning we shouldn’t package apache either, what if someone uses a server with fedora on it to serve child porn? What’s next are we gonna remove wireshark and etherape? What about Firefox, you can hack into things with a webbrowser?!?

        • SQLninja denial

          The minutes suggest that board members seem to think that SQLninja has no beneficial use. The minutes also suggest confusion about penetration testing tools in general. I saw in the minutes the objection that SQLninja is advertised as ‘get root on remote systems’. Are the board members aware that many penetration testing tools can be used to get root on remote systems, and it is precisely for this reason that they are useful for (legal, lawful, authorized) penetration testing? Are the board members aware that legal penetration testing can, and sometimes does, include getting root on remote systems?

    • Debian Family

      • Bits from the Debian Multimedia Maintainers

        Consumer Multimedia is about playing and, well, consuming multimedia.

        Squeeze will feature:

        * FFmpeg 0.5.2, finally uncrippled thanks to zack! No mp3/h264 encoder, though. (still in NEW).
        * mplayer 1.0rc3, finally with mencoder enabled.
        * VLC 1.1.3
        * VDPAU hardware acceleration in ffmpeg/mplayer (but feedback is welcome!)
        * Guayadeque 0.2.5
        * gmusicbrowser 1.0.2

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu: Project, Platform, Products

          When most people talk about Ubuntu, they usually mean our flagship product, Ubuntu Desktop Edition. Sometimes, they might mean the Ubuntu project, or the community of people who work on it, or various other things.

          Similarly, Debian might mean the Debian operating system, or the package repositories, or the project, and so on.

        • Asturian Install Party

          Softastur, AsturLiNUX, Software Libre EII and Asturian LoCo Team organized the last friday an Install Party in Oviedo/Uviéu (Asturies). The distros used were: Ubuntu, Debian & Fedora. Thank you to all of you for the success of the party!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Intel Medfield Linux Support Gets Going

      Intel’s next-generation MID (Mobile Internet Device) platform to succeed Moorestown is codenamed Medfield and is slated to be released next year. However, in usual Intel fashion, open-source patches for supporting this next-generation platform under Linux are beginning to make their way out there months in advance of the hardware’s public availability.

      Over the past few weeks there’s been an uptick in the number of patches surfacing for Medfield enablement within the Linux kernel. Many of these Medfield Linux patches are being published by Alan Cox, now an Intel employee. The most recent patch comes from Alan and Durgadoss R (another Intel engineer) for creating a Medfield thermal driver (patch).

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Promise Of Open Source

    Linux and open source technologies have started gaining acceptance and momentum with a host of technologies associated with FOSS having reached levels of maturity that are comparable with the best the proprietary software world has to offer. A perceived lower cost of ownership has been pushing enterprises and SMBs to switch to open source-based solutions.

    According to Springboard Research, Linux on the server platform has grown its way to a prominent position in the Indian server OS market with its adoption rate increasing from 7 percent to 8.1 percent (and rising) over a 13-month period since April 2009.

  • And it’s out of the cage

    We’re delighted to finally take the wraps off the first issue of Libre Graphics Magazine.

  • Open Source Filmmaking – Will It Blend?

    Some of you may be unfamiliar with the concept of open filmmaking. Well rest assured I was until I discovered this amazing way of producing top-notch animated productions with the power of open-source filmmaking, and a little program called Blender.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Learn Intellectual Property By Doing It

        One thing that happens next is that we’re all going to do some reading and viewing of both theoretical and practical appllications of creative commons licensing, intellectual property applications, and so forth in order to think along with others who are expert in this field and, by the end of next class, decide, collectively, how to proceed with Mozilla’s generous offer of taking our app through to implementation. We might not be ready to be developers and to be developed yet. That’s fine. That’s a perfectly sane outcome. We know that most businesses fail and entrepreneurs learn that failing is how you learn. Similarly, many ventures are not capitalized and that is a learning opportunity too. The only bad outcome of this process is if we squander it by thinking someone has to give up something that will be damaging to themselves in order for the product to go into development. With this group, with their generosity towards one another and their profound respect, I have no worries that this will happen.

      • Design Jam London #1: A collaborative UX design event supported by Mozilla Labs & City University London

        Design Jams are one-day design sessions, during which people team up to solve engaging User Experience (UX) challenges. Similar to developer ‘hackdays’ they aim to get designers together to learn and collaborate with each other while working on actual problems. The sessions champion open-source thinking & sharing and are non-profit, run by local volunteers.

      • 2 Months ’til Game On Submissions Deadline
  • Databases

    • MariaDB 5.2 is released as stable

      I am happy to announce that MariaDB 5.2.3 is now released as a stable release.

      During the gamma period we did not receive any serious reports for issues in 5.2, so we are relatively confident that the new code is of decent quality.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle either hidden or deleted code in Android lawsuit: Google

      Google has filed a response to Oracle’s claims that the internet search giant’s Android mobile OS deliberately breached patents owned by Oracle since it acquired Sun.

      In the filing, Google claimed that Oracle might have hidden or deleted copyright headers and expressive material to make it look like as if Android’s Dalvik virtual machine was essentially a copy.

    • Interview: How LibreOffice Broke Free from Oracle

      Breaking up is never easy to do, but the split between Oracle and the new LibreOffice (news, site) team has been one of the more traumatic recent events in IT. CMSWire asked the new team’s Italo Vignoli what went on behind the scenes and what can we expect to see now from Libre/OpenOffice.

    • Moving Java Forward: Open Response from Oracle to Apache
    • Oracle responds to Apache Java defiance

      Seemingly anxious to get the next version of the Java programming language ratified, Oracle has asked the Apache Software Foundation to reconsider its stance on the proposed Java Standard Edition 7.

      “We would encourage Apache to reconsider their position and work together with Oracle and the community at large to collectively move Java forward,” wrote Don Deutsch, Oracle vice president of standards and architecture, in a statement posted Monday on an Oracle blog site.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Avoid the tool trap when building communities

      People create community.

      Which is why when I hear the conversation move too quickly into tools, I try to steer it back to the tried-and-true foundations of solid communities, the things that bring people together and make them want to accomplish great things.

      I never hear folks say they want to be part of a community because it has a cool website or because it uses some whiz bang technology. People join communities to contribute to something that holds meaning for them.

    • Open government and “next generation democracy”

      The use of technology to connect government with the governed is not a new idea. The printing press was the Internet of the 17th and 18th centuries; news and opinion was circulated by a myriad homegrown newspapers eagerly read and discussed in coffeehouses and cafes. Benjamin Franklin pioneered the idea of “publick printer” in Pennsylvania and other colonies before the American Revolution (though the US Government Printing Office was not established as a federal function until 1860.)

      Governments quickly adopted radio and television as well. In the UK, the BBC was established in the 1920s to harness the new power of radio to advance the mission of government. In the US, government funding of radio and TV came later, with Voice of America established in 1944, PBS in 1970, and C-SPAN in 1979. Starting with the activism of Carl Malamud to put the SEC online in 1993, the first Federal government websites appeared only a few years after the introduction of the World Wide Web.

    • Open Access/Content

  • Programming


  • Gamer makes a cool half-million by selling virtual property

    Think the rent is, in fact, too damn high? Then stay as far away from online world Entropia Universe as possible, because its real estate prices will drive you insane.

    Take, for instance, what just went down on Planet Calypso, where one of Entropia’s wealthier players has sold off his interests in a “resort asteroid” for an eye-popping $635,000.

  • The curse of giftedness

    The trajectory for gifted children is not simply onward and upward; they are as likely to be plagued by crises of confidence as anyone. Perhaps more so: Their intellectual gifts mean they are even more aware of the flaws in their clay, of how short they fall from self-imposed goals.

    “People are forever telling me the achievements of my life,” Dr. Sassoon says, “and yet I feel I’ve accomplished nothing – nothing compared to what I might achieve.” He has put his finger on a thorny issue: Is a gifted child destined to become an exceptional adult?

  • War Horse stagehand claims racist bullying behind the scenes

    “I didn’t want an actor or member of staff to be injured or killed because we have drunks on the stage crew,” said Donnelly, who was offered a £25,000 payoff in return for his silence, an offer which he turned down.

    Donnelly is not the only person to have voiced concern over the backstage culture at War Horse, the first world war drama impressing audiences with its depiction of the horrors of war for both men and animals.

  • La dolce vita, Berlusconi style, may finally be just too much

    Her stage name is Ruby, she is 17, and she may bring down Italy’s government.

    The Moroccan-born belly dancer is the last of a long series of young women who have in the past two years embarrassed Silvio Berlusconi and the Italians. This time, the Italian Prime Minister has admitted intervening to get Ruby released when she got arrested for theft last May.

  • An Open Letter to Wired Magazine

    This isn’t the first time. We’ve been through this before. Your covers aren’t all that friendly to women on a regular basis, and that makes me sad. There was naked Pam from The Office in 2008 (you thought you were so clever with that acetate overlay – I mean, how else would you depict transparency?). In 2003, you had the nice lady covered in synthetic diamonds. There were the sexy manga ladies and LonelyGirl15 and Julia Allison with their come-hither looks. And Uma Thurman, she’s a lady, and she was on the cover… But wait, that was for a character she was playing in a film based on a Philip K. Dick novel.

    Come to think of it, the last time that a woman was featured on your cover, because she was being featured in the magazine for an actual accomplishment, was way back in 1996 when it was Sherry Turkle, the academic and author. And, the only other time was in 1994, when musician/author Laurie Anderson was featured. Because since then, I guess no women have done anything notable in technology unless it had to do with their bodies? Really?

  • The antisocial movie

    The movie quickly admits that money doesn’t matter to Zuckerberg. So why did he build Facebook? The Social Network offers no answer, except perhaps that an outsider wanted in, but that doesn’t begin to explain what he has accomplished and why; that’s nothing but simplistic prime-time plotting. The script says nothing about him wanting to connect the world or bring communities elegant organization. It doesn’t care. For this is a movie about tactics, not strategy, about people doing hard things to each other. Elsewhere, that’s just called business.

  • The REAL connection speeds for Internet users across the world (charts)

    How fast are Internet connections across the world? How fast are they in your country?

    This article examines the real-world connection speeds for people in the top 50 countries on the Internet, i.e. the countries with the most Internet users.

    This list of countries ranges from China at number 1 with 420 million Internet users, and Denmark at number 50 with 4.75 million Internet users. We’ve included this ranking within parenthesis next to each country in the charts below for those who want to know.

    These 50 countries together have more than 1.8 billion Internet users.

  • Here comes the 100GigE Internet

    This summer, the IEEE ratified IEEE 802.3ba, which sets down the technical guidelines for 40 Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) and 100GigE Ethernet. Now, companies and organizations are beginning to deploy these faster than fast optical Internet backbones.

  • Between the Bars

    Almost a year ago, I blogged about Between the Bars — a project that offers a blogging platform to the 1% of the United States population that is currently incarcerated. The way it works is pretty simple: prisoners send letters through the postal mail. We scan them and put them up on the web. Visitors can transcribe letters or leave comments which are mailed back to the authors.

  • Science

    • Climbing Mount Publishable

      TWENTY years ago North America, Europe and Japan produced almost all of the world’s science. They were the aristocrats of technical knowledge, presiding over a centuries-old regime. They spent the most, published the most and patented the most. And what they produced fed back into their industrial, military and medical complexes to push forward innovation, productivity, power, health and prosperity.

      All good things, though, come to an end, and the reign of these scientific aristos is starting to look shaky. In 1990 they carried out more than 95% of the world’s research and development (R&D). By 2007 that figure was 76%.

      Such, at least, is the conclusion of the latest report* from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO. The picture the report paints is of a waning West and a rising East and South, mirroring the economic shifts going on in the wider world. The sans culottes of science are on the march.

    • Tale of two hosts

      A pensive Barack Obama walking alone on the Great Wall of China in November 2009. Barack and Michelle dancing with school children in Mumbai in November 2010.

      The front-page snapshots of Obama in India and China capture the difference in the political cultures of the two nations, flavours as contrast as spicy kebabs compared to chicken soup. The India photographs show a relaxed US President being spontaneous, hugging his host, grinning a lot and speaking freely. Obama in Beijing struck the pose of a lonely figure outside his comfort zone, his words censored in the Chinese media. The first lady did not accompany Obama to Beijing.

    • IBM says the future of supercomputing is the size of a sugar cube

      A report at the BBC tells us that scientists at the firm’s Zurich research labs are working on the boxes, which they say will be driven by the need to be green more than their power.

      Dr Bruno Michel told the BBC that future computer costs will hinge on green credentials rather than speed. “In the past, computers were dominated by hardware costs – 50 years ago you could hold one transistor and it cost a dollar, or a franc,” he said adding that now transistor costs were “1/100th of the price of printing a single letter on a page”.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Backfires from broken-down van draw bullets from KC police

      Phillip Ransom thought he had trouble Thursday night when his old van broke down on the side of the road, booming out backfires.

      But that was when his troubles really began.

      Two Kansas City police officers, mistaking the van’s backfires for gunshots, began firing at it.

    • Man at San Diego airport opts out of porno scanner and grope, told he’ll be fined $10K unless he submits to fondling

      Johnnyedge checked the TSA’s website and learned that the San Diego airport had not yet implemented its porno-scanners, so he went down to catch his flight. When he arrived, he discovered that the TSA’s website was out of date, and the naked scanners were in place. He opted out of showing his penis to the government, so they told him he’d have to submit to an intimate testicle fondling. He told the screener, “if you touch my junk, I’ll have you arrested.” After faffing around with various supervisors and supervisors’ supervisors, he opted not to fly, collected a refund from the American Airlines counter, and started to leave the airport. But before he could go, the supervisor’s supervisor’s supervisor told him he wasn’t allowed to leave the checkpoint once he entered it, that he was already in for up to $10,000 in fines, and that he would have to return and allow the man’s minons to palpate his genitals before he’d be allowed to leave the airport.

    • Strudel Considered Harmful

      Just leaving Bolzano after three nights here for SFSCON (a small but perfectly formed FOSS conference). Passing through the tiny airport I noticed an unusual security requirement – which was being actively enforced. Despite apple strudel (that’s a delicious, giant pastry filled with spiced apple and mixed berries) being a major tourist item on sale in Bolzano, it’s banned on aircraft here.

    • EU criticised for ‘complicity’ in CIA rendition programmes

      The European Union was sharply criticised by a leading human rights group today for failing to call to account member states, including Britain, for their complicity in the CIA’s rendition and secret detention programme.

      The charge is made – ahead of an EU-US summit in Portugal on Saturday – by Amnesty International in a 53-page report, Open Secret, which, it says, contains mounting evidence of Europe’s complicity in rendition and secret detention.

  • Finance

    • Ireland bailout: UK taxpayers could face £7bn bill

      Scale of eurozone crisis underlined as emergency bailout of Ireland appears increasingly likely and EU statistics body says Greek budget deficit was even larger than thought

    • The End of Growth

      The central assertion of this book is both simple and startling: Economic growth as we have known it is over and done with.

      The “growth” we are talking about consists of the expansion of the overall size of the economy (with more people being served and more money changing hands) and of the quantities of energy and material goods flowing through it.

      The economic crisis that began in 2007-2008 was both foreseeable and inevitable, and it marks a permanent, fundamental break from past decades—a period during which most economists adopted the unrealistic view that perpetual economic growth is necessary and also possible to achieve. There are now fundamental barriers to ongoing economic expansion, and the world is colliding with those barriers.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Angle, McMahon led way spending $97 per vote – and lost

      Is a vote worth $97? Sharron Angle seemed to think so. When all of the campaign spending by the Nevada politican and her supporters was tallied, that’s how much it came to for each vote she received in her failed bid to take down Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid last week.

      Angle’s campaign, which attracted support from across the country, was the most expensive congressional contest nationwide on a per-vote basis, according to a Washington Post analyis of campaign finance filings and election results.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Placing Good Books at Risk

      An ongoing Twitter campaign called “Speak Loudly” attempts to raise awareness and prevent Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel “Speak” from being banned by people with good intentions.

      If you censor books because of the ideas within, there is no way to challenge the idea. Instead of taking the opportunity to disprove it, or learn from it, or educate about it, you give the idea additional mystique.

      The only way to guarantee free speech is to protect all speech.
      Even speech we might not agree with.

    • Beyond a Joke: On the Road to China

      People will point out one year in a labour camp is very different from the few thousand quid fine meted out to Paul Chambers, and I of course would agree: the UK is not China.

      But the *attitude* – that humour or satire is a “threat” of some kind, and must be punished in the courts – is shockingly similar. And that is what is most disturbing for me here in the UK about the #twitterjoketrial case: the authorities here are now *thinking* like their Chinese counterparts (who must be delighted to have this high-profile backing for their approach from those hypocritical Westerners). We are on the road to China.

    • Kiddie Porn, a vital corporate tool

      As far as I know, p2pnet is the only site of its kind — maybe the only site anywhere — with a section devoted specifically to the grim, ongoing commercial exploitation and ‘corporate education’ of children before they’re old enough to form their own standards and opinions.


      Orrin ‘Terminator’ Hatch also saw the possibilities and used online kiddie porn to ram Hollywood-friendly bills through congress.

      And there are more — a lot more — examples.

      Bottom line, child pornography is just another weapon in the corporate arsenal to maintain iron control of consumer bases, and the channels which supply them.

      The kids and the horrors inflicted on them are incidental

      Kiddie porn is a terrible thing — unless you’re Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music, or Disney, News Corp, Time Warner, Viacom, NBC Universal and Sony Pictures.

      They can’t live without it.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • EU Stakeholders Tell Commission Net Neutrality Is Essential

      The public consultation, launched on June 30, received input from 318 stakeholders including operators, ISPs, national authorities, consumer and civil society organizations as well as individuals.

      There is no firm definition of “net neutrality,” but the Commission takes the view that it represents the idea that all data on the Internet should be treated equally, whatever its source or destination.

      Most respondents felt that the European Union’s telecom framework, adopted in 2009, is sufficient legislation on net neutrality and that further review is not necessary until it has been implemented and applied at the national level.

    • Netflix Avoided Android Because It Didn’t Have Enough DRM

      Apparently Netflix has not yet been offered up on Android phones because the platform just has too much damn freedom. Netflix admitted in a blog post that the lack of DRM that makes Hollywood happy means that it couldn’t offer movie streaming to Android.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Brian Davey: Beware of Fake Abundance

      My conclusion is that, to talk about abundance is a very misleading message. Commons have much to offer us – sharing ideas without intellectual property constraints will help us, sharing scarce production and energy and pooling production arrangement and infrastructures will too, sharing may bring us into human relationships with many psychological and emotional rewards. In that sense we may describe commons as “having a generative logic” – But an “abundance” is not a message that I agree with – if it taken to mean, or implied to mean, an abundance of material production. In my opinion to use the word “abundance” is a misleading picture of the future that we are heading into.

      An abundance of information about how we might make things is not the same as an abundance of things – it is an abundance of recipes not an abundance of food.”

    • The dinosaurs have gone. What the absence of revenue means for media companies.

      I didn’t sleep well last night. I had a nightmare. I think it was about the future of media and media organisations in the digital world. It was sparked by something I said at a recent conference. I have been turning up on Internet related conference panels since the mid nineties, and what is odd is that, although some of the vocabulary has changed, the theme is always the same. How do we, media companies, make money from the online opportunity. More than fifteen years since I was first asked that question, I am still being asked it today. It was as this thought was being processed in my brain that I had my nightmare.

    • Copyrights

      • Access Copyirght Changes Counsel in Proposed Post-Secondary 1,300% Increase Tariff

        Access Copyright (“AC”) has notified the Copyright Board of a change of counsel in the proposed post-secondary 1,300% increase file.

        Barry Sookman and McCarthy’s are apparently no longer involved and AC will now be represented by Randall Hofley of Blakes.

      • SpicyIP Guest Post: Three strikes and you’re out!!!

        Of late the ‘three-strike’ or the ‘graduated response’ model for copyright enforcement over the internet is gaining popularity among nations, especially after the ACTA negotiations. In India too, the Committee on Piracy appointed by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry recommended this model. Barring few modifications, the model as the name suggests is essentially a three stage process progressing with issuing warning notices to online infringers and subsequently decreasing bandwidth or throttling protocols and eventually taking down connections on continuous infringements over a period. The warnings are intended to educate users and would furnish evidence capable of establishing guilt beyond reasonable doubt. It is the duty of the ISPs to carry out the entire exercise. In some states, the ISPs are obliged to maintain a record of errant subscribers and relevant information and the copyright holder can have access to these records on obtaining permission from authorities (either judicial or administrative. In other words, if a user shares or downloads infringing material, the ISP would serve a warning notice with clinching evidence. If the person continues or commits another infringement within a month, his bandwidth would be reduced or access would be limited and if he still continues or causes another infringement within a year from the first strike, his connection would be liable to taken out and would be listed among infringers which the right’s holder has access to.

      • Suing Blind and One Legged Pirates is Bad PR

        When in court it is the job of the defense lawyer to cast doubt on the credibility of the prosecution’s case. Finding and highlighting those details which show the defendant to be misleading or unreliable can be the make and break of a case. Unfortunately for ACS:Law’s Andrew Crossley, that is a knife that cuts both ways as yet again he is shown to have misled a reporter.

      • German Court: Links Can Infringe on Copyright

        Thus the real issue here seems to be that a site owner is worried about losing advertising revenue if people can skip over the home page. But the solution is simple: just put ads on the inner pages of the site, too. That way, you get the best of both worlds: directly-addressable content that also generates revenue. Is that so hard?

      • Irish Government Wants File-Sharing Compromise, or Legislation Will Follow

        Conor Lenihan, Minister of State with responsibility for Science, Technology and Innovation, has indicated he hasn’t given up on the chance of a negotiated settlement of the illicit file-sharing issue in Ireland. In an Intellectual Property debate, Lenihan praised the IRMA/Eircom agreement and said that while he hopes there can be more arrangements of this type, if they do not arrive, legislation will be the outcome.

      • Girl Talk Releases New Album Online — Free

        Girl Talk is going “one step further to getting the music to fans as quickly and easily as possible,” according to his rep. “While posting the album as a free download on the Illegal Art label’s site allows All Day to reach his fan-base quickly and with minimal cost, Gillis spent more time on this album than any previous release and considers it the most fully realized and evolved manifestation of the Girl Talk aesthetic.”

      • Behind The Scenes at Anonymous’ Operation Payback

        Operation Payback has been without a doubt the longest and most widespread attack on anti-piracy groups, lawyers and lobbyists. Despite the massive media coverage, little is known about the key players who coordinate the operation and DDoS attacks. A relatively small group of people, they are seemingly fuelled by anger, frustration and a strong desire to have their voices heard.

      • ACTA

        • U.S., Participants Finalize Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement Text

          Participants in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) negotiations announced today that they have finalized the text of the Agreement, after resolving the few issues that remained outstanding after the final round of negotiations in Tokyo.

        • [October's and Today's ACTA text]
        • ACTA’s Constitutional Problem

          Today, the USTR announced finalization of the ACTA text. It explained that, following a final meeting on “legal verification of the drafting,” ACTA will “be ready to be submitted to the participants’ respective authorities to undertake relevant domestic processes.”[1]

          And that is where this story begins.

          In many of the countries negotiating the agreement, including the EU, the normal procedures for entering a treaty, including consent by the legislative branch, will be used.[2] But not in the US. The USTR has stated repeatedly that ACTA will enter into force in the US as an executive agreement that does not require any congressional role.[3] Thus, USTR argues, the agreement will be binding on the US once Ambassador Kirk, as the US negotiating representative, agrees to it. Congress will not receive the opportunity to review and amend the agreement before it goes into effect, as it would in any traditional international agreement binding on the US. If USTR succeeds in this bold plan, it will dramatically expand presidential power to make law without congressional consent. But this success seems highly dubious. There appears to be no serious constitutional theory that would support USTR’s claims. ACTA is clearly unconstitutional as applied to the US.

          In a “sole executive agreement,” the President binds the US to an international agreement unilaterally – with no formal ex ante or ex post authorization by Congress. This is the form of agreement that the USTR claims can bind the US to ACTA. But this claim is highly dubious because of the “strict legal limits [that] govern the kinds of agreements that presidents may enter into” without some form of Congressional consent.[1]

        • De Gucht welcomes draft anti-piracy pact

          Karel De Gucht, the EU’s trade commissioner, has welcomed a draft agreement on an international pact to fight counterfeiting and piracy.

          De Gucht said in a statement released today (15 November) that agreement on an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) “paves the way towards a more efficient fight against counterfeiting worldwide”.

      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • FAST Can’t Believe UK Govt to Review Digital Economy Act

          Federation Against Software Theft calls it “staggering” that after “years of consultation, of debate and of Parliamentary time” the Act is being challenged by ISPs. Says ISPs are using the review as a “fig-leaf for their own agendas” and that it’s merely a “last ditch attempt…to ensure they are not hit financially.”

          Soon after it was announced that Justice Wyn Williams had granted a request by UK ISPs TalkTalk and BT for a judicial review of the controversial Digital Economy Act the Federation Against Software Theft chimed in to make its displeasure with the decision known.

        • BT and TalkTalk win judicial review of Digital Economy Act on all four grounds

          BT and TalkTalk have won the right to a judicial review of the Digital Economy Act on all four of the contested legal grounds, the high court ruled today.

          The verdict, delivered late on Friday afternoon, represents a 4-0 victory for two of the UK’s largest broadband providers, though the Act was already on its way to judicial review before Mr Justice Wyn Williams had made the judgment.

Clip of the Day

BMC on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

Credit: TinyOgg


Links 15/11/2010: Avaya Dumps Microsoft for GNU/Linux, Pelagicore Joins the Linux Foundation

Posted in News Roundup at 6:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Avaya drops Microsoft with IP Office 6.1 update

    Communication platform switches to Linux

  • Desktop

    • Open Source Desktops May Not Happen for Small Biz

      For all the talk of how open source software is kicking butt and taking names in the cloud space (see: Red Hat, Ubuntu, Novell) and in embedded space (see Android, MeeGo), there’s one area where open source has consistently fallen woefully short: providing solutions for small businesses.

      This is a weird sort of failure, too, because on the surface it seems like open source software products–with their collective low price tag, solid support, and better security–would be a perfect fit for the needs of smaller businesses, which often need superlative computing capabilities but can only afford the least-expensive hardware and software due to budget constraints.

  • Server

    • Marvell spins quad-core ARM SoC for servers

      Marvell says it is now sampling a quad-core, ARM-based processor aimed at “enterprise class cloud computing.” The Armada XP runs at 1.6Hz, has a 2MB second-level cache, supports 64-bit DDR3 memory, includes four gigabit Ethernet ports and other interfaces, and uses fewer than ten Watts, according to the company.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Ballnux

    • Samsung Galaxy Tab now available on T-Mobile

      Samsung’s seven-inch, Android 2.2 Galaxy Tab tablet is now available on T-Mobile for $399 with a two-year plan or $599 without, says the carrier. Meanwhile, a 10.1-inch Samsung tablet has been spotted at a Chinese trade show.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Automotive Infotainment Development Company Pelagicore Joins Linux Foundation

        The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that Pelagicore is its newest member. Pelagicore develops products and technologies that serve the growing demand for open source infotainment systems from the automotive industry. The company is joining The Linux Foundation to collaborate specifically on MeeGo and its In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) reference design.

  • Applications

    • Easy graphical BURG boot-loader tool ‘BURG Manager’ has been updated to version 1.0.

      Burg manager app updated with new themes, new features

    • Release of KGraphViewer, version 2.1.1

      Release of KGraphViewer, version 2.1.1. This is a bugfix only release that makes the kgraphviewer library cleaner: all necessary headers (and only them) are installed with a proper d-pointer in its sole exported class.

    • VLC v1.1.5 released

      VideoLAN have released an update to their popular media player. This is a minor update mainly containing bug fixes from v1.1.4 and a few new features. Support has been added for RTP access for H264 streams. Multiple language translations has also been updated within VLC, a new Austrian has also been added. You can find the full changelog below.

    • 5 Best Free Linux / Ubuntu Firewalls

      Linux OS is actually considered as a robust platform. It is not easily attacked by virus and other unwanted Internet junk. Yet it is better to keep your system protected as a wiseman said, “Prevention is better than cure”. So, this would make you protect your Linux / Ubuntu system, so we compile a list of 5 best free Ubuntu / Linux firewalls.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine

      • Test-driving Bordeaux 2.0.8

        I’ve been using Bordeaux for about a week now and, though it has some rough edges, I’m enjoying the experience. Once I got the hang of the suite’s little quirks, I found it to be powerful and it makes working with Windows software on PC-BSD a more pleasant experience. Having a list of supported software takes some of the guesswork out of running applications on Wine. Having separate cellars is also nice in that it gets around the problem of different programs having special (or conflicting) dependencies. Right now the software feels like it’s aimed at system administrators who want to install and manage multiple Windows applications. Bordeaux is not quite to the point where I would suggest it for end-users, but with a few more progress bars, tool tips and (especially) documentation it can easily get there. The functionality is in place and just needs some friendly touches. This is definitely a product to keep in mind if you’re trying to transition between the Windows world and the Linux/BSD community.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Attends Relaunched SoLiSC Event in Brazil

        KDE recently attended SoLiSC (website in Portuguese), a local free software meeting based in Florianópolis, Brazil. SoLiSC had been inactive since 2005, but in 2009 the Free Software Association of Santa Catarina (Associação Software Livre Santa Catarina) was created to revive it and succeeded in doing so in October this year. The aim of the Association is to create a permanent forum for the discussion of free software in the state of Santa Catarina.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Quick and easy printer sharing in GNOME

        Printer sharing was once a big challenge for Linux. It almost always involved manually configuring Samba to share out your printers. That is not so now. With the latest releases of the GNOME desktop, printer sharing is as easy as it is in any other operating system. So longer will you need to open up that /etc/smb.conf file and spend hours or days trying to figure out the challenging configuration. Now it’s point and click.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Ubuntu vs Fedora: which is best?

          So, who is right? Maybe they both are. It’s completely understandable that, for example, some Debian contributor feels that Ubuntu is in some way getting credit for their work. It is also true that, before Ubuntu, Linux was perceived as difficult to use and unsuitable for anyone but the most hardened geek.

          Ultimately, all the open source projects and people that work in or around them make contributions to Linux, and because all the Linux distros are part of a shared community, they all contribute too. Which one you choose is really down to what you want to use Linux for.

          What is certain is that there is a lot to discover in virtually every different flavour of Linux, so be adventurous – don’t just install one and stick with it. With virtual machine technology and a huge range of live distributions, it’s easier than ever to take a new version of Linux for a spin.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Squeeze beta- a first look

        OK, this is still a beta, so any nits found here may be fixed before release, but these are my first impressions of Debian Squeeze Beta.


        Overall impression: Good. There’s far less messing around required to get things working than was the case with Lenny. Applications are up to date and work as expected. With any luck the bugs I noticed will get fixed before release.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Speed Limit: 75MPH. Ubuntu: 110MPH.

          In recent days, it was announced that Ubuntu is going to make the switch to using Wayland as a replacement for X as a windowing system and Unity for the desktop environment. I dislike both of these changes for one specific reason: Both codebases for both projects are too new.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 for the O2 Joggler

          I’ve been trying a new Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick) image out on my O2 Joggler this week and it is a big improvement over the 9.04 images I’ve been using previously and everything works out of the box without any fiddling.

        • Ubuntu’s Great Graphical Gambit: X Won’t Mark the Spot

          Reaction in the Linux community to news that Ubuntu will be getting a new graphics system — replacing X.org with Wayland — has been mixed, but the worriers seem seriously worried. “I really think they may have gone too far with this change,” Montreal consultant and Slashdot blogger opined. “There are still plenty of ways to get better speed out of the existing system without a wholesale change like this.”

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Linux Mint 10 New Menu Features

            The Linux Mint main menu has received even more changes in the recent release of Linux Mint 10. Users can now see new menu items highlighted, search for and install software, and search the web from inside of the menu. The main menu also supports GTK bookmarks and its own GTK theme independent from the rest of the desktop.

          • More Thoughts On Fedora 14

            In the most recent episode of the Acrossad GNU/Linux Oggcast, I stated that I was going to try Fedora 14 on a new laptop. I recently got my chance. I was able to test out Fedora 14 on a borrowed Toshiba Satellite L675 laptop.Fedora performed very nicely indeed. The built-in wifi does not work because Linux drivers for the installed Realtek wifi radio card do not yet exist.

          • Linux Mint 10 gains new theme, menu system

            The Linux Mint team released the final Linux Mint 10 (“Julia”), based on Ubuntu 10.10. the popular desktop Linux distribution adds one-click upgrades to the DVD edition, as well as a new Mint-X theme, performance improvements, improved software and update managers, GTK support, and revised menus that highlight new apps.

          • A newly minted Linux a must for the desktop

            One reader commented that Linux already has a higher install base than Mac OS X.

            While that might be true (with Linux being free to distribute it’s always going to be impossible to know exactly), it doesn’t mean Linux is living up to its full potential on the desktop.

            My argument is not that Linux distributions should try to be like Windows or Mac OS X, my argument is they should care more about the end-user experience. And shipping stable, integrated software is key to that.

            Windows and Mac OS X both appeal to non-technical people because a lot of administration tasks are either automated or only involve pointing and clicking.

            Of course, that doesn’t mean Linux is difficult to use. But the lack of integration can be off-putting for someone who has never used it before.

            In fact, there’s absolutely no reason why a free operating system can’t exceed the user experience of a commercial one.

          • Linux Mint 10 (Julia), First Impressions

            Probably the most difficult thing a user is going to run into with Linux Mint 10 (Julia) at this point is simply downloading it. Demand for the new release has obviously been far greater than anything they have seen before, and their servers have not been able to keep up with the load. As of this morning, Monday 15/11/2010 at 9:00 Swiss time, getting a response from their main web page is still inconsistent, so if you know of a mirror nearby, you would be well advised to go directly to it.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Automotive infotainment middleware debuts

      Jungo Ltd. announced a Linux-ready middleware stack for automotive infotainment applications. The Automotive Connectivity Middleware offers a complete media and networking infrastructure, including wireless connectivity, phone management, and integration with mapping and telematics functionality, says the company.

    • Linux development board and BSP ships for multicore MIPS SoC

      NetLogic Microsystems has released a Linux development kit and board support package (BSP) for its MIPS-based eight-core XLP system-on-chip (SoC). The XLP Multi-Core Processor Development Kit includes a development board, software tools, libraries, drivers, and reference solutions, says the chipmaker.

    • 3U cPCI board offers I/O expansion option

      The SBCs also offer identical ruggedization levels and operating system support. The latter includes board support packages (BSPs) for Linux, VxWorks, QNX Neutrino, and Integrity. Windows drivers are also available, says the company.

    • Linux/Android HMI kit upgrades to 1GHz Cortex-A8 SoC

      TES Electronic Solutions announced a new member of its Linux- and Android-ready “Magik” computer-on-module (COM) and HMI development kit family, this time with TI’s DaVinci DM3730 system-on-chip. The Magik-MX-37 COM has 512MB RAM and up to 1GB of flash storage, and the compete kit offers a seven-inch, 800 x 480 capacitive touchscreen plus I/O including Ethernet, USB, and HDMI.

    • Music production tablet runs MeeGo on an Intel Atom

      Trinity Audio Group demonstrated a prototype of a tablet running a MeeGo-based version 5.0 of its Transmission audio platform for musicians. Now open for beta testing, the Indamixx 2 tablet runs on an Intel Atom processor with 2GB of RAM, and offers a multitouch display, 160GB of storage, and the Renoise tracking and sampling application.

    • Android tablets touted for advanced audio

      Creative Technology announced 10-inch and seven-inch tablet computers along with a 3.2-inch portable media player (PMP) — all offering Android 2.1, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, and “Pure Wireless Entertainment” branding. The Creative Ziio 10″ and Ziio 7″ each offer Creative’s 1GHz, Cortex-A8-based ZMS-08 processor, while the Zen Touch 2 Wireless Entertainment Device features a two-megapixel camera.

    • Eight-core DSP claimed to be fastest ever

      With TI’s recent Linux port to the C64x DSPs, system designers developing signal-intensive equipment can take full advantage of the DSP cores directly with Linux, without requiring a SoC that also includes an ARM core. These would include the recently announced TMS320DM8168 as well as many other TI OMAP, Sitara, and DaVinci SoCs such as the DaVinci DM3730.

      Presumably, similar streamlined access to Linux developers is being provided for the C66x family as well. TI has recently been making a major push to open up its DSP architectures to ARM Linux developers. These efforts include the release of two free Linux development tools to ease programming of the TMS320C6000 DSP. The C6EZRun tool partitions code between the DSP and ARM cores, while C6EZAccel offers an ARM-side API library of over 130 optimized DSP kernels.

    • QorIQ SoC offers FlexCAN controllers, runs on 1.1 Watts

      A P1010RDB reference design board incorporating the P1010 is planned for availability in Q1 2011, says Freescale. The company did not list OS support, but previous QorIQ SoCs have been supported with Linux support packages.

      The new QorIQ parts will also be supported by Enea, Green Hills Software, Mentor Graphics, and Wind River, all of which offered testimonial quotes. Mentor Graphics and Wind River specifically mentioned Linux support.

      Stated Brett Butler, general manager and vice president of Freescale’s Networking Processor Division, “The P1010 is the newest member of the broad QorIQ product family, which scales from single-core offerings at 500MHz to multicore processors that deliver 2GHz.”

    • E Ink launches displays for color e-readers

      Electrophorescent (EPD) displays sourced from E Ink have been used in the majority of e-readers to date. Examples include Amazon’s market-leading, Linux-based Kindle — reecently updated to become smaller and lighter.

    • Phones

    • Tablets

      • $150 Android tablet focuses on e-reader apps

        PocketBook USA has launched both a $150 color e-reader tablet based on Android 2.0 and a $180, Linux-based monochrome e-reader tablet. The PocketBook IQ is a seven-inch, 800 x 600 tablet with Wi-Fi and 2GB of memory, while the PocketBook Pro 602 is a six-inch E Ink e-reader with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, says the company.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Apache knights at round tables

    Into this world comes Apache. They are programmers, they have jobs, but within Apache they also have a moral code, a sense of belonging, a common purpose, and important work that feeds the common good. They spin what in our time looks like wealth, then give it away free to anyone who wants it.

  • The Enterprise’s Open Storage Quandary

    Further, open source storage solutions are becoming more sophisticated as third-party add-ons that offer high-end features evolve. For example, OpendedUp, an open source deduplication file system for Linux that’s also known as “SDFS,” emerged in March. This is designed for enterprises with virtual environments looking for a high-performance, scalable deduplication system that’s not too costly.

  • SaaS

    • DimDim’s Acquisition Would Pitch Another FOSS Leader Into Proprietary Hands

      As Canonical COO Matt Asay notes on The Register, and as VCCircle has noted, there are strong signs that Salesforce.com is close to acquiring open source web conferencing company DImDim. Salesforce has been on a tear, with its stock hitting stratospheric heights, and is one of the primary companies illustrating how much promise the cloud holds for business technology users. It’s certainly believable that Salesforce might like to acquire DimDim, but do we want to see another celebrated open source-focused company swallowed up by a proprietary one?

  • Databases

    • Can Firebird gain against MySQL?

      MySQL is now really an Oracle product, price included. Which is a big chance for all other “really free” database servers, like Firebird and PostgreSQL.

  • CMS

    • Drupal 7.0 Beta 3 released

      Today marks reaching Drupal 7′s 0 critical bug milestone! We’ve rolled one final beta release to shake out any last minute problems and fix strings.

  • BSD

    • 2.8.2 Released, 30-Oct-2010!

      The DragonFly 2.8.2 release is now available! A great deal of stability and MP-related work has gone into this release relative to 2.6, as well as many new features, pkgsrc-2010Q3, and the return of the GUI release image for 4G USB sticks.

    • OpenBSD 4.8

      The current release is OpenBSD 4.8 which was released November 1, 2010.

    • PC-BSD 9.0-snapshot
    • FreeNAS 0.7.2

      2010-11-06: Security Alert, all users need to upgrade their FreeNAS to the latest stable ( If you can’t upgrade: Restrict WebGUI access from trusted IP addresses. Thanks to Brian Adeloye from Tenable Network Security for reporting this vulnerability.


  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Boss Complains About ‘Only’ Making $9 Million — If Only We Had Problems Like That

      I’ve seen some truly amazing feats of magic, but here’s one that beats them all. Right before your eyes, this thing rises into the air on its own, with no wires or mechanical devices giving it lift. And it hovers there effortlessly.

    • Would Henry I Have Castrated Goldman Sachs?

      2. Money doesn’t do you any good if you don’t use it at some point. An old workmate of mine used to have a colorful turn of phrase to describe the possession of something that is ostensibly praiseworthy but practically useless: “That’s like tits on a boar hog.” Economists have a more formal way to discuss the extent to which nominal money may actually be like “tits on a boar hog”: The Velocity of Money. The Velocity of Money is a measure of just how often a particular dollar gets spent during the year, and the more often the better.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • India The Latest To Think About Kicking People Off The Internet Based On Accusations Of File Sharing

        A few months back, we pointed to a discussion looking at how three countries with some of the biggest movie industries outside of the US — Nigeria, China and India — all were thriving, despite massive “piracy.” As you looked at the details of each, it showed how each industry had been adapting to a marketplace in which some of the content was widely available, but were still figuring out ways to make money (i.e., you can compete with free). However, because competing with free actually involves work, it should come as no surprise that some are seeking to implement government protectionist policies.

Clip of the Day

IBM on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

Links 15/11/2010: GNU/Linux in Indian Desktops, China Has World’s Top Supercomputer (With GNU/Linux)

Posted in News Roundup at 4:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • FUD^2

    FUD just will not go away. People must be paid to manufacture it. I will not post a link to the latest FUD article I read but it has a bunch of points:

    * GNU/Linux is faster and has more drivers out of the box
    * GNU/Linux is faster to install and brings more apps to the table

    which sounds great. GNU/Linux is a winner… Then TFA goes on to recount that

    * GNU/Linux lacks “special drivers” for “special devices”, the Achilles’ Heel and
    * GNU/Linux crashes a lot, especially when tweaking it

  • Logic and Reason

    Another piece of FUD caught my eye: “Linux vs. Windows: Suspending logic and reason for blind faith“. The authour, Donovan Colbert, expresses outrage/amazement at the unreasoning adherents of operating systems in the security debate. He compares the “many eyes” of FLOSS versus the “security through obscurity” of non-free software. This is an old story but he dredges it up anyway.

    His argument is that the many eyes feature is also a vulnerability since the bad guys can also see the code, not just the good guys. This is nonsense.


    So stuff from 1995 in X applications crashed 24% of the time in fuzz-testing but 100% of GUI apps in Lose 2000 crashed. Does being closed make you more secure? Nope.

  • Kinect Hacker Hector Shows Redmond Who’s Daddy

    The events of this week reminded me why I love GNU, Linux, and free software so much. We leverage the power of communities of independent people better than any organization on the planet. It is simply a fact that gets proven over and over again. Discussions over the last several months have revolved around several interesting GNU/Linux and free software facts:

    * If GNU/Linux were created solely by paid developers, it would have cost over 1 BILLION dollars to develop using conventional proprietary means. 1.
    * Open source and free software are saving a lot of people in the real world a substantial amount of money, including government agencies. 2.

  • Sometimes We Grow Up

    It was no surprise when Jono’s announcement of the OpenRespect project was met with the usual mix of positive and negative responses.


    Maybe Jono is a hypocrite who wants it all ways. I don’t think so, but so what if he is? We’re all imperfect, we all have pasts full of mistakes, and if all we do is focus a critical, judgmental lens on everything we’ll never accomplish anything. I think a reasonable baseline is to expect everyone to try, even a little, to get along with their fellow humans.

  • Rant: Linux Wars

    And each year one “Linux” becomes more different than the next “Linux”. Some want compatibility and standards based development (even if it’s lousy at times). Others want “OMG, not some lame standard, pah! we’re the best! just do it!” and for Linux to do its own thing entirely. Neither approach is entirely correct, nor entirely wrong. But we’re not learning from UNIX either.

  • Desktop

    • GNU/Linux on the Desktop in India

      It’s estimated that this year in India OEMs will ship close to 4,00,000 desktops with a Linux subscription or with preloaded Linux.

    • Help Find out the Real Desktop Linux Market Share

      The same page also features a break down of the figures with some really interesting stats. Ubuntu as usual, has a whooping 61% of the figures tallied so far, with Poland having a staggering 26% of the boxes?

  • Server

    • China Officially Overtakes U.S. in Supercomputer Performance

      It’s been rumored, but now it’s official. The Chinese Tianhe-1A system at the National Supercomputer Center in Tianjin has achieved a performance level of 2.57 petaflop/s (quadrillions of calculations per second). This puts it in the number one spot on the 36th edition of the TOP500′s world’s most powerful supercomputer list, the organization said Sunday.

      As a result, the prior winner on the list—the Cray XT5 “Jaguar” system at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility in Tennessee—is now ranked in second place, with a score of 1.75 petaflop/s.

  • Ballnux

    • Nexus Two aka Nexus S, Images-Details Leaked

      It’s about time Nexus One gets its successor. Engadget has been fueling rumors about the next Nexus phone; it’s not HTC. Two Samsung phones are believed to be the next Nexus phones.

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • Going down the programmable pipeline road

        As you might know OpenGL comes in two flavors: fixed functionality and programmable pipeline. With the fixed functionality you have to use API calls to influence the execution of each stage of the rendering pipeline. It is a very powerful API allowing you to do most of the stuff we use in KWin. The programmable pipeline allows to directly execute code (called a “Shader”) to do vertex and fragment processing. For example we are able to saturate a complete window as a whole with fixed functionality, but we need a fragment shader to be able to change the color of each pixel depending on the input color. This is for example used in the invert effect. A vertex shader can be used to influence the geometry. E.g. we could use it to transform a cube into a sphere. OpenGL 1.x is completely fixed functionality, in OpenGL 2 the programmable pipeline was introduced to exchange parts of the rendering stack, but fixed functionality was still around. With OpenGL 3 everyone expected the fixed functionality to be removed, but it was only deprecated and you can still use it. All the modern calls have been moved into a “core profile”.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Pinguy E-17 remix

        This build is a livedvd showcasing the newly beta EFL libraries for the E-17 window manager. It was built on the 10.04 Ubuntu core and follows PinguyOS, in being a working out of the box operating system.

      • Review: GNU/Linux Utopia 12112010 (Idea by Manuel)

        …GNU IceCat, Liferea, and Seamonkey. IceCat is a rebranded version of Mozilla Firefox, similar to Iceweasel. I was happy to see that most codecs are included out-of-the-box.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.6 Beta Available for Download

        Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, announced on November 9th the immediate availability of the first beta version of the upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.6 operating system.

      • 3 Triangle titans, $3 billion: How will they deploy it all?

        Cree, Red Hat and SAS, three of the Triangle’s most successful home-grown technology companies, are members of an exclusive club.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora, like Ubuntu, to dump X for Wayland

          Fedora, Red Hat’s community distribution, has also decided to start to move to Wayland too.


          Personally, I don’t see any Linux distribution using Wayland as its default graphical interface until well into 2012. I also think it’s possible that a cleaned-up and revised X server may yet keep X as Linux’s dominant graphical interface. For now, though, Wayland’s star is in the ascendent and the venerable X Window’s star is descending.

        • I’m running the latest Fedora 13 kernel,, and I have ATI video and Conexant sound playing nicely

          I’ve been sitting on old kernels for too long in Fedora 13. First I kept because I could use the open-source ati video driver, but then I moved to, where I had working and speedy video with the fglrx driver direct from ATI/AMD as well as the ability to mute the speakers fed by my Lenovo G555′s Conexant 5069 sound chip.

    • Debian Family

      • SimplyMEPIS 11.0 Goes Alpha

        The first Alpha of SimplyMEPIS 11.0 has been released and uploaded to the MEPIS master site. If you are an MEPIS subscriber you can download the file immediately. The global ISO mirrors should make the files available to the general public within 24 hours.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Get New Radio Tray Mono Icons For Ubuntu

          Eriq Jaffe has uploaded a new set of Radio Tray Mono Icons on Gnome Looks. The icons add more style and polish to your Radio Tray.

        • No unity in Ubuntu’s decision

          In a post on her blog Story Peters, executive director of the Gnome Foundation, says as much:

          “We’ve put a lot of work into Gnome Shell, our next big thing, and Canonical is saying that it’s not the best thing for their users. It’s disappointing because we are excited about our new plans and expect lots of users to enjoy them. And we rely on our distribution partners to get Gnome into the hands of users, so we were expecting Canonical to help us in that.”

          Disappointment aside there are a couple of potentially good reasons for Canonical to switch to Unity.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Distro Hoppin`: Dream Studio 10.10

            If you are dreaming of a free software suite to run your studio, then stop dreaming and download a copy of this distro and install it on your machine and be happy, your dream has finally come true.

          • Warning, server downtime, switch your repositories

            The German datacenter we’re using is moving to France and this impacts two of our dedicated servers:

            * The www.linuxmint.com website
            * The packages.linuxmint.com repositories

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • MeeGo 1.1 SDK Beta Released!

          Intel, Nokia lead MeeGo project has announced the release of MeeGo 1.1 SDK Beta. MeeGo 1.1 SDK release enables application developers to develop, install, and debug applications, as well as run applications on N900, Netbook, and Aava devices with MeeGo.

      • Android

        • Android Powered Motorola CITRUS Only For $49

          Motorola CITRUS is now available in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores and online at www.verizonwireless.com tomorrow for $49.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • JoliBook May Beat Chrome OS As The First Cloud-Linux Netbook

        Jolicloud is set to launch its own netbook preloaded with Jolicloud. The launch would beat Google Chrome which is expected to be launched soon. JoliBook seems to follow Apple’s strategy of bundling hardware and software.

      • Jolibook: The Jolicloud Powered Netbook

        Today we’ve received in our mailbox a black envelope from Jolicloud, announcing the powerful and amazing Jolibook netbook device!

        This month, according to the Jolicloud developers, something big is going to happen in the world of little computers. Jolibook, will be a netbook device powered by the Jolicloud 1.1 operating system, it will have a next-generation N550 CPU, a 250GB hard disk, and a LED LCD monitor.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Great Blender Survey Results: The News Behind The News

    So getting back to the Great Blender Survey, scrolling to the end, what’s the first action plan proposed by the survey-taker? They hold up their Don-Norman-blessed edition of Don’t Make Me Think and start chattering about changing the interface on the website, as if the whole survey just went through them like chili through a cat.

  • Chamba Swathanthra Cinema – India’s First Open Movie Project Slowly Coming Alive

    It seems Blender open movies have inspired quite a number of people. Chamba Swathanthra Cinema is an open movie project by a bunch of free software enthusiasts from Kerala, India. Chamba Swathanthra Cinema is probably first of its kind open movie project ever initiated by anyone other than Blender foundation.

  • What can all managers learn from Free, Open Source Software?

    The 2010 edition of the Free/Open Source Software in Academia Conference (fOSSa) was an interesting event, (here’s my final report about fOSSa2010). In this page I intend to present something I found in common among several fOSSa talks. Something that is relevant for everybody who cares about effective business and human resources management in any sector, not just in the software industry.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 4 Beta 8 Scheduled, Beta 7 GPU Acceleration Detailed

        Firefox 4 Beta 7 was a big release for Mozilla, but Beta 8 is already scheduled for release at the end of the month. The company also detailed improvements to its hardware acceleration engine for Windows XP – 7, as well as changes to HTML 5 support.

  • Programming

    • Oracle comments on JVM strategy

      Oracle‘s Java ambassador Henrik Ståhl has reacted to reports from various media outlets about a dual license for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) based on a merger of the JRockit and HotSpot virtual machines. As presented at JavaOne in September, this “united” JVM is to consist of the best features of the two JVMs. The result is to be incrementally implemented in OpenJDK, although a number of components – such as Sun’s Java for Business and Oracle’s JRockit Mission Control, JRockit Real Time and JRockit Virtual Edition – will continue to be sold as proprietary, commercial premium extensions.

    • Launching code.mozy.com

      Since my start at Mozy in September, 2009, one of the internal programs in which I quickly took interest was Mozy Labs. Labs’ main champion was a former Google intern named JT Olds, who had witnessed directly the power of allowing engineers free time for innovation and wanted that for Mozy.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • When and How to Launch a Standards Consortium

      In this article, I will review the situations where a new consortium should and — as importantly — should not, be formed. I will also provide a decision tree for determining what activities a new consortium should undertake to increase the likelihood of its success, a description of the infrastructural elements needed to support these activities, and an indication of the stage of an organization’s maturity at which the addition of each activity becomes advisable.


  • Natural History Museum expedition ‘poses genocide threat’ to Paraguay tribes

    Anthropologists and indigenous leaders have warned that a Natural History Museum expedition to Paraguay could lead to “genocide” and are calling for it to be abandoned. They fear that the scientists and their teams of assistants are likely to make accidental contact with isolated indigenous groups in the remote region they are planning to visit and could pass on infectious diseases.

  • Is Facebook A Threat To The Free & Open Web?

    Google has refused Facebook to automatically ‘import’ Gmail data from a user’s account by changing its terms of service. I see it as Google standing up to fight an abusive, monopolistic forces rising in the Internet world.

  • Has Google Become Too Stagnant?

    The last time Google released something really groundbreaking was Gmail, if I remember right. Of course since then, they’ve cobbled up other small companies to add their own midas touch to make those companies hugely successful Google products, Youtube readily comes to mind here. However, even that strategy does not look to have worked for Mountain View this year given the 23 or so acquisitions.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • San Francisco Moving Toward Ban Of Toys From Most McDonald’s Happy Meals

      In an 8-3 vote, the board passed a preliminary version of a new rule that forbids toy freebies with meals that don’t meet minimum nutritional standards.

    • Despite 2006 “Pledge,” Fast Food Companies Target Kids More Than Ever

      In response to growing pressure about promoting unhealthy food to kids and contributing to the obesity epidemic, the fast food industry did what every industry that produces a harmful product does: it pledged to voluntarily end the harmful practices that started drawing scrutiny to the industry. Accordingly, in 2006 the Council of Better Business Bureaus launched its Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), a voluntary code of conduct under which fast food purveyors pledged to promote healthier food choices in their advertising, and to use messages encouraging good nutrition in ads aimed at kids.

    • Why I Will Stay Far Away From Cliffs From Now on

      I set fire to a lot of bridges when I accepted Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s invitation to testify as part of his investigation into health insurance company practices that for years have been swelling the ranks of the uninsured and the underinsured in the United States. With the publication of my book — the subtitle of which is, “An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out On How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans” — I am torching a few more.

      I describe in the book how a huge share of Americans’ health-care premiums bankrolls relentless propaganda and lobbying efforts focused on protecting one thing: profits. I also describe how the industry’s PR onslaught drastically weakened health-care reform and how it plays an insidious and often invisible role in our political process anywhere that corporate profits are at stake, from climate change to defense policy.

      They’re going to kill you, Wendell,” a former CIGNA colleague warned in an email after reading a couple of chapters this morning. “If I were you, I wouldn’t get anywhere near a cliff.”

    • Potter’s “Deadly Spin” Exposes Damaging Insurance Industry PR Activities

      In his new book, former insurance industry insider Wendell Potter says insurance companies spend a huge portion of Americans’ health insurance premiums on relentless propaganda and lobbying efforts that are focused on one thing: profits. He describes how the insurance industry’s PR onslaught drastically weakened the new health reform law, and how it plays an insidious but often invisible role in politics any time corporate profits are threatened, on subjects ranging from climate change to defense policy.

    • FDA to Require New, Graphic Cigarette Health Warning Labels

      The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has unveiled hard-hitting, graphic new cigarette warning labels that will be required on cigarette packs after October 22, 2012. The labels show corpses, a man smoking through a tracheostomy, pictures of diseased lungs, a bedridden man suffering from end-stage cancer, rotten teeth, a man in the throes of a heart attack, a woman blowing smoke in a baby’s face and similar depictions meant to show the actual physical effects of smoking.

    • U.S. Cigarette Warning Labels Are About to Get Graphic

      Cigarette packages currently come with a tidy black-bordered warning label, reminding users that smoking causes lung cancer, birth defects and heart disease. Dutiful, yes, and easily disregarded. On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) unveiled 36 proposed new warning labels designed to grab smokers’ attention. The new labels will cover half of a cigarette pack with graphic warnings — think dead bodies and cancer-ridden lungs — about the risks of smoking.

    • Natural Gas and Money, a “Bacteria that Ills the American System”

      Things aren’t looking good on the most important issue of them all: environmental justice, or, in more stark terms, the future of the world as we know it.

    • Market Watch: Farmers market cheating alleged

      The largest operator of Southern California farmers markets has protected a vendor who buys produce wholesale and misrepresents it as his own, alleged one of the company’s managers, who made the claim at a listening session held by the California Department of Food and Agriculture last week in Santa Monica. The operator has denied the allegation, but the repercussions seem likely to reverberate in the farmers market world.

    • What the FDA doesn’t want you to know about GE salmon

      One of the arguments against expanding the FDA’s powers over food safety is that the agency has repeatedly shown an unwillingness to enforce existing laws and to regulate aggressively in the face of corporate lobbying.

      Unfortunately, we now have more evidence that the FDA may indeed be a bad-faith regulator.

      The Center for Food Safety has unearthed convincing evidence that the FDA is attempting to freeze out marine and fisheries experts from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in its rush to approve biotech company AquaBounty’s genetically modified salmon for human consumption.

  • Security

    • Explaining Security Concepts to ZDNet Bloggers Is Like Teaching Physics to a Pig

      Once a proprietary software hole is found, it stays open for years. We’ve literally seen the case happen, here’s the 17-year-old Windows hole that just got patched this year. (…and the Register still says ‘hacker’ when they mean ‘cracker.’ See what we’re up against?)

      Conversely, the same strategy doesn’t work against Linux, BSD, and other open source systems. Yes, true, you can penetration-test Linux and BSD. There’s plenty of tools out there to do that, too. There’s even distros like “Damn Vulnerable Linux” specifically built to be weak and demonstrate points of failure. But when you go to all that trouble to find a security hole in Linux and exploit it, you know what’s going to happen?

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Omar Khadr Jury Hammers the Final Nail into the Coffin of American Justice

      On Sunday, a military jury at Guantánamo handed down a 40-year sentence to Omar Khadr, the Canadian citizen who was just 15 years old when he was seized after a firefight in Afghanistan. The decision brought to an end a week of hearings that began when Khadr, now 24, accepted a plea deal giving him an eight-year sentence in exchange for agreeing that he was guilty of murder in violation of the laws of war, spying, conspiracy, providing material support to terrorism, and attempted murder, with one year to be served in Guantánamo, and the remaining seven in Canada.

    • Abuse claims lift cloak of secrecy over Britain’s Iraq interrogation base
    • The many faces of an Iranian Cindy Sherman

      Tara Inanloo has taken a series of self-portraits ‘to represent the different Iranian women inside myself’. Now she is in grave danger if she goes back to her country

    • Toronto officers face G20 discipline over name tag removal

      Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair announced that 90 officers are facing disciplinary action after it was learned that they removed their name tags during the G20 Summit weekend. They will most likely lose a day’s pay.
      On Wednesday, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair testified before the Commons public safety committee where he discussed police officers’ various controversial actions during the G20 Summit in June.

    • British couple kidnapped by Somali pirates freed after ransom payment

      A British couple kidnapped from their yacht by Somali pirates more than a year ago have been freed after a ransom was paid.

      Paul and Rachel Chandler, 61 and 56, from Tunbridge Wells, were handed over by the pirates to officials in Adado, central Somalia, early this morning.

    • Burma election observers report voter intimidation
    • Russian journalist beaten unconscious outside office

      Two young men beat a Russian journalist unconscious outside his office today, 48 hours after another reporter was attacked with an iron bar.

    • Tell the TSA: Hands Off!
    • PG&E SmartMeter exec tries to infiltrate activists

      A Pacific Gas and Electric Co. executive in charge of the utility’s SmartMeter program admitted Monday that he used a fake name in an effort to join an Internet discussion group of SmartMeter opponents.

      William Devereaux, senior director of the $2.2 billion SmartMeter program, used the name “Ralph” when he sent an e-mail to the moderator of a discussion group for people trying to block deployment of the new, wireless electricity and gas meters. But his real name appeared next to his e-mail address.

    • Utility Exec Busted Trying to Spy on Consumers

      Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s executive in charge of its “SmartMeter” program got caught using a fake name to try and join an Internet talk list operated by people who are fighting installation of the new meters.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • The view from beneath the waves: climate change in the Solomon Islands

      The smaller outer islands in the Solomon Islands are already seeing devastating impacts of the rising sea level. The impact of climate change is already affecting the rural population of Solomon Islands, an archipelago of eight bigger islands and hundreds of small, mostly uninhabited islands.

    • US oil spill inquiry chief slams BP’s ‘culture of complacency’

      BP and the other companies involved in the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster were operating under a “culture of complacency” and need top-to-bottom reform, the head of the presidential investigation into the oil spill said today.

      A day after releasing preliminary findings on the causes of the fatal explosion on the Deepwater Horizon – the first of multiple inquiries – William Reilly, co-chair of the commission, was scathing about the safety regime on board the Deepwater Horizon.

    • One last chance: can we save the tiger?
    • US researchers fight to reclaim climate science message

      Hundreds of scientists have signed up to two new campaigns that seek to regain control of the message about climate science.

    • Crude Oil Production Forecast to 2015

      With fresh data out from EIA Washington just this afternoon, and, on the heels yesterday of IEA Paris’ long-overdue admission of Peak Oil, I thought I would release a crude oil forecast. This is a production chart that I’ve been working on over the past few weeks. I use rough estimates of future world GDP, the recent mix of primary energy use with special attention paid to coal vs oil use, and then finally decline rates in global oil production. Despite these efforts, any forecast of this nature is at best general in nature. That said, the trajectory here is worth paying attention to.

  • Finance

    • Infighting, legislative gridlock, open warfare in Congress – just what Wall Street wanted

      A ticker-tape parade along Wall Street might appear crass in this era of austerity. But the victorious Republican leadership in the US House of Representatives can expect a warm, heartfelt welcome from America’s financial elite, who watched last week’s conservative electoral landslide with quiet satisfaction.

      In the eyes of top US financiers, Barack Obama’s hammering in the midterm elections means the White House’s war on Wall Street is over. They feel, as one hedge fund manager told the president at a town hall meeting in September, like piñatas, constantly whacked with a political stick by Democrats keen to cast them as economic villains.

    • Take Action! Tell Elizabeth Warren about Your Top Priorities for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

      The sweeping Wall Street reform bill that was signed into law this summer calls for the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Just like other consumer regulators work to keep dangerous products off the market, the CFPB’s job is to make sure financial products and services don’t harm consumers or our economy.

    • Pillage and Plunder Alert – Deficit Commission Gets Underway

      The two chairmen of the deficit commission, former Clinton Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and former Republican Senator Alan Simpson, surprised Washington Wednesday with the release of their own draft recommendations on federal debt reduction. They were supposed to issue a report December 1, after the full 18-member panel had been given a chance to vote on each item. Knowing that it would be next to impossible to achieve a high level of support on the commission for their recommendations, the raiders decided to go it alone. Their package appears to be about three-fourths cuts and one-fourth revenue raisers.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Media Misreading Midterms

      For months, the problem for Democrats was correctly identified as the “enthusiasm gap”–the idea that the progressive base of the party was not excited about voting. The exit polls from Tuesday’s vote confirm that many Democratic-tending voters failed to show up. How, then, does one square this fact with the idea that Obama and Democrats were pushing policies that were considered too left-wing? If that were the case, then presumably more of those base voters would have voted to support that agenda. It is difficult to fathom how both things could be true.

    • Stauber Lectures on the Public Relations World

      The field of public relations is essentially dark, covert operations carried out by skilled propaganda professionals. That was the message delivered by Center for Media and Democracy founder and investigative journalist John Stauber in a lecture at the University of Northern Iowa November 8. Stauber said he first encountered the field of PR and its effects in 1990 when he started working with a group of small dairy farmers who where upset after finding out that some dairies were injecting bovine growth hormone into cows to increase their milk production.

    • John Stauber gives UNI an inside look at the public relations world

      On Nov. 8, John Stauber presented his lecture, “Toxic Sludge is Good for You,” to University of Northern Iowa students, faculty and staff.

      Stauber, an investigative journalist and New York Times best-selling author, wasn’t really trying to sell the crowd on the benefits of toxic sludge. In fact, his first book, titled “Toxic Sludge Is Good For You: Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry,” explains how to promote critical thinking in the public relations profession.

      “After decades of working as a public interest activist and organizer, I realized that there existed in the United States, especially, an institution devoted to propaganda and we call that institution a profession, the public relations industry,” said Stauber.

    • Amazon’s PR Disaster

      The book, essentially a guide for pedophiles, drew massive media attention and a barrage of public scorn. At first, Amazon defended the author’s free speech rights and issued a statement saying it doesn’t condone censorship…


      Soon after, though, Amazon yielded to complaints and threats of a boycott and pulled the book entirely. Amazon’s content guidelines for authors, including prohibitions on pornography or offensive material, could have prevented the e-book from being listed on its site to begin with, but the company’s confused handling of the situation left it facing even more controversy, including questions about its commitment to quality control and whether the company did, in fact, infringe on the author’s free speech rights.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Tibet spring

      Logging on the Internet successfully at my hotel, but discovering that while Gmail, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal were all easily accessible, Twitter and Facebook were not. Social media more threatening to the censors than the high gatekeepers of Western media? (And if any of my readers has advice on how to connect to Twitter from China, please e-mail me.)

    • Silvio Berlusconi’s media reach

      Silvio Berlusconi’s standard response, whenever he is challenged about his media power, is to exclaim indignantly that the Italian press is as free as any in the world. That, of course, misses the point that he either controls or influences six of the seven main terrestrial channels (the sole exception being La7, owned by Telecom Italia). The effects can be seen clearly in TV coverage of the latest wave of sex scandals to wash over Italy’s prime minister. Corriere della Sera’s TV critic, Aldo Grasso, called it “a triumph of reticence”. He added: “if you followed the Italian television news bulletins, you would understand very little”.

    • Google stands up for your data

      If technology had its own version of People magazine, this week’s cover story would involve pictures of Google and Facebook in opposing bubbles, looking angrily in each other’s direction.

      The battle is now over data portability. To summarize, about a week ago, Google said Facebook wasn’t allowed to come over and play anymore. That is, because Facebook wouldn’t let users take their data back out of Facebook, Google blocked them from importing the data to begin with, which they could in the past.

    • Supreme Court Considers Corporate Right to Mandatory Arbitration

      The U.S. Supreme Court may continue its march towards permitting greater corporate “rights” in the case AT&T Mobility vs. Concepcion, scheduled for oral argument on Tuesday. If the Court sides with the telecom giant, it will greatly weaken rules regarding an individual’s right to join class-action lawsuits, one of the most powerful legal tools available to citizens and consumers.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • 3D Printing May Bring Legal Challenges, Group Says

      A coming revolution in 3D printing, with average consumers able to copy and create new three-dimensional objects at home, may lead to attempts by patent holders to expand their legal protections, a new paper says.

    • How long will innovation continue in internet software?

      Monopolies and the internet are the subject of articles by kdawson at Slashdot link here and Tim Wu at the Wall Street Journal link here. They note that the monopolies are innovative, but that they will not always remain so.

      Actually, they are not real monopolies, but rather collectively they make up an oligopoly where the companies compete at the margins, mainly in the form of product differentiation, They are successful as long as they innovate. Why would they not continue to do so? On first thought, because they run out of innovations. But is that likely?

    • Copyrights

      • Once Again, the Copyright/Trademark Tail Tries to Wag the Internet Dog

        Congress is set to once again consider the Sen Leahy’s Combating Online Infringements and Counterfeit Act, a truly awful bill (with the appropriately awful acronym “COICA” — which sounds a little too much to my ears like “cloaca,” and if you don’t know what “cloaca” means, you can look it up here . . .). I have written a (relatively brief) “Law Professors’ Letter in Opposition,” which now has about 35 signatories, which you can read here. [There’s a summary of the bill’s provisions in the Letter — and the full text of the current version is posted here]

        The bill would allow the Attorney General to institute an in rem action against the domain name of any Internet site “dedicated to infringing activities” — defined to include any site that “engages in” copyright or trademark-infringing activities where those activities, “taken together,” are “central to the activity” of the site. The court would then be authorized to issue injunctions — not against the offending website, but against “the domain name” itself — ordering the domain name registrar where the target site’s domain name was registered, and the domain name registry responsible for maintaining the authoritative database of names for the target site’s top-level domain, to “lock out” the domain name (and therefore prevent access to the site through use of the domain name).

Clip of the Day

Dell on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

Credit: TinyOgg

Links 15/11/2010: Plans for Xfce 4.8, Preview of Debian 6, Linux Mint Has High Demand

Posted in News Roundup at 12:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • CAOS Theory Podcast 2010.11.12

      Topics for this podcast:

      *Our latest CAOS Special Report – Control and Community
      *Red Hat releases RHEL 6
      *Symbian and Oracle highlight community challenges
      *The latest on government adoption of OSS from GOSCON
      *Open core issue continues, now with Linux and evil twins

  • Kernel Space

    • What’s The Fastest Partition Scheme On Cheap Flash Media?

      You read the Fastest Flash article so you already know Ext4 can turbocharge your thumb drive. But you run Linux, so of course want even more! Is there anything else to do?

    • Graphics Stack

      • X.Org 7.6 Release Candidate 1 Is Finally Here

        Alan Coopersmith has announced the first release candidate of X.Org 7.6. Originally the X.Org 7.6 release was supposed to come in October, but that didn’t happen and now into November we are finally seeing the first test katamari.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • RHEL 6 has Nothing Noteworthy for Home Desktops

        Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Final shows up on 10th November 2010, almost 44 months after its previous major release (RHEL 5 was released on 14th March 2007). But at the time it came, it’s already bit obsolete for desktop use. Of course, desktop has never been a sweetpot for Red Hat. But was it really tarnishing it’s rock-stability by riding a few versions up on some packages? What was holding RH back from appropriating KDE 4.5 series, or for that matter jumping to GNOME 2.32? Sure, it must have backported some goodies from Fedora 13 and 14, but they work underneath, the worry is that it’ll put on these DEs till, say, 7 to 10 years. Moreover, KDE has undergone many improvements from its 4.3 to 4.5 versions.

    • Debian Family

      • Preview: Debian 6 “Squeeze” (Part 4: Standard)

        It was a nice experience being able to have this much control over my system. Maybe this is why Arch is supposed to be so good. Stay tuned for a final[ish, but not really] report on the state of Debian-based Oxidized Trinity!

      • SimplyMEPIS Version 11 Alpha 1 (10.9.70) and antiX core

        That was the only issue that I ran into with the very first Alpha Build for the next SimplyMEPIS release. A lot of people reported a similar issue, so it is certain to get fixed in the very next Alpha Build, which will probably be available in a week or two.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • 8 Beautiful Linux/Ubuntu Wallpaper Packs You Should Take a Look

          We have featured a number of wallpaper collections here before which includes the likes of beautiful Ubuntu Maverick wallpapers, awesome Android desktop wallpapers etc. Now, here is a bunch of Linux/Ubuntu wallpaper packs among others you might like.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Linux Mint 10 Download Links

            The release of Linux Mint 10 has brought more traffic than we’ve ever seen before, and sadly also much more than our server is able to cope with. We’ve got dedicated servers for the website, the blog, the forums and the seeding of the torrents, and even with that, we’re not able to face the traffic!

          • How to install Linux Mint 10 on a btrfs file system

            Linux Mint 10 is the first version of Linux Mint with built-in support for the B-tree File System (btrfs). Btrfs is one of the newest file systems in the Linux kernel. It is a copy on write file system with the following features: snapshotting and writtable snapshots, object-level mirroring and stripping, file system compression, multi-device support, online and offline file system checking, etc.

          • Linux Mint 10 Reviewed

            Linux Mint is arguably the front-runner when it comes to Linux distributions that target Windows users looking to migrate to linux. Now Mint has released a new version named “Julia”. Mint claims to be a user-friendly OS that just works for the average user; its forte being elegance, ease of installation and usability. It began in 2006, based on Ubuntu, and basically follows Ubuntu except in some important areas which we will discuss after installation.

          • Linux Mint 10: A beautiful rescue distro

            This is certainly a great rescue distro: easy to use, responsive, elegant, and functional. The only flaw I found is that it does not fit a CD…which is the same case of the alpha release of SimplyMEPIS 11. Is Linux moving to Live DVDs instead of Live CDs?

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Hacked Kinect Handles Photos, Minority Report Style

      With the open source driver for the Kinect released, it didn’t take long for some Kinect hacks to surface. Now someone out there has used the open source Kinect driver to turn the device into a gesture-based multi-touch control device, allowing it to identify gestures that can be used to manipulate photos, similar to how it’s done in the Minority Report film. Check out a video of it in action after the jump, and a clip from the Minority Report film to remind you of what we’re talking about.

    • Mini PC touted for upgradeable design

      Xi3 Corporation announced a compact PC it claims will be readily upgradeable, thanks to the use of one board containing the processor and memory, along with two separate I/O boards. The Xi3 Modular Computer offers a choice of AMD processors, SSD (solid state disk) storage, 1080p video output, two eSATA ports, and an “Xm3dia” expansion port, the company says.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Volunteers Report: OLPC Samoa School Deployments

        In May 2010, XO laptops from OLPC were deployed into two primary schools in Samoa – 48 XO-1.0 laptops to Laumoli Primary School children plus additional laptops to teachers and 27 XO-1.0 laptops to Paia Primary school children plus additional laptops to teachers. These schools are located on Savaii Island.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Monitoring with Nagios: New Online Training from the Linux Magazine Academy
  • Help me start a FOSS Tithing movement

    A tithe is a voluntary tax (often 10% of income), usually paid yearly to a religious organization. I’d like to adopt this concept for free and open source software (FOSS), which in many ways is like a religion.

    Please help me start a FOSS tithing movement. I’ve set up FOSSTithe.org to keep track of company pledges and amounts donated. I also set up a Google group for discussion.

    I’ll go first: DuckDuckGo hereby pledges to tithe 10% of its income to free and open source software projects. I plan to keep this up indefinitely, i.e. as long as I’m in charge.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Elementary Theme is Quite a Revelation

        We have seen other elementary based works before like Nautilus Elementary and the Elementary 2.0 GTK theme itself, but the elementary version of Firefox here quite stand apart. The latest update brings in a name change as well. From now on, it will be called as ‘eFirefox’.

      • Firefox 4, How To Undo The Changes

        I have been working with the latest builds of Firefox 4 for the last two months. The browser has changed tremendously, both interface wise but also under the hood. The interface changes will likely split the Firefox user base. This article is for users who prefer the “old” interface and way of working the web browser. It looks at each change and offers alternatives or options to undo it. That obviously depends on the change at hand, and there may be changes that cannot be undone at all.

  • Databases

  • Oracle

    • LibreOffice Logo

      The LibreOffice project has a preliminary logo. The symbol aside, I see some issues with the type. The combination of the top of the 2nd f and the dot of the i is a little unfortunate. The b and r might work for body text, but not here. Setting Libre in bold only emphasises the unfortunate proportion of the 2 words (close to, but not quite the same width).

    • Apache’s Java threats aren’t new

      The Apache Software Foundation isn’t very happy with Oracle leadership of the Java Community Process. They’ve gone so far as to issue a lengthy statement saying that if certain items and conditions don’t change that they’ll leave the JCP.

  • Project Releases

  • Programming


  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Finance

    • Ireland’s young flee abroad as economic meltdown looms

      Now he is forecasting mass mortgage defaults and an ugly popular uprising. The first stirrings are already visible, he says, with “anxiety giving way to the first upwellings of an inchoate rage and despair that will transform Irish politics along the lines of the Tea Party in America”, giving rise to a new “hard-right, anti-Europe, anti-traveller party”.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Tea Party is not new, or coherent. It’s merely old whine in new bottles

      Lectures about fiscal responsibility from the occupants of a plush suite on the 20th floor of one of the fanciest hotels in Las Vegas stick in the craw like a slice of cantaloupe swallowed sideways. Appropriately, the Tea Party Express’s open bar, trays of fruit and skyline view at the Aria hotel on election night smacked more of a corporate event than a political, let alone a populist, one.

      At one stage I turned to a man standing next to me and asked if he was a Tea Party supporter. “No,” he said. “I was hoping you were.” He was a state department official who had brought some foreign journalists in the hope of meeting some real Tea Party supporters to interview. But they couldn’t find any. There is a reason for that.

Clip of the Day

Symantec on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

Credit: TinyOgg

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