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05.27.10

Links 27/5/2010: Fedora 13 Reviews, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Run Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 5:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 98

    · Announced Distro: Arch Linux 2010.05
    · Announced Distro: Linux Mint 9
    · Announced Distro: Slackware 13.1 RC2
    · Announced Distro: SystemRescueCd 1.5.4
    · Announced Distro: Mandriva Linux 2010.1 RC1

  • TTE Wrappers protect system operations

    If intending to use an off-the-shelf processor running Linux or another standard OS in the embedded system, it can be challenging to ensure that the system will operate safely at all times.

  • Desktop

    • Growth in Mobile PCs and “No OS”

      Coincidence? I don’t think so. HP and the others are not big on “No OS”. I think “No OS” may be working for folks who hate that other OS and want to pick their own OS, such as GNU/Linux. I think about 10% of PC users are able/willing to install an OS so a large part of the growth of ASUS and Acer could be due to this plus the fact that they push low-end mobile PCs.

    • Students can turn to free alternatives for necessary software

      Most computers that you may purchase will come with an operating such as Microsoft Windows or a Macintosh OS. However, not all manufacturers include an operating system on their computers and if you need to purchase an operating system it can cost you several hundred dollars, depending on what you need.

      Linux is a term used to refer to operating systems based on the Linux Kernel and is generally free and open source. Linux is made of different distributions or “distros.” Each distro has its own features and uses, so it is up to the user to decide which is best for them. A distro can be made by a single individual or a collaborate group of dozens.

      However, because Linux is the way it is, there is no paid support for most distros and help comes from online forums normally. Linux is usually considered fairly advanced and requires the computer user to be fairly computer literate.

      Usually considered one of the most user friendly distros, Ubuntu is very popular among new Linux users and would be a good place to start. Download at www.ubuntu.com.

    • Downloads of MEDUSA4 Personal up by 38% for free 2D/3D CAD on Linux® and Windows®

      About a third of all users are on Linux.

  • Server

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • The Linux Foundation Announces LinuxCon 2010 Program and Schedule

      The Linux Foundation (LF), the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced new keynote speakers and its full conference schedule for North America’s premier annual conference LinuxCon taking place in Boston August 10-12, 2010.

    • LinuxCon Program Announced: This Year’s Themes
    • The People Who Support Linux: Driving 4,000 Miles to LinuxCon
    • Graphics Stack

      • Intro to CUDA

        General Purpose computing on Graphics Processing Units, or GPGPU, is one of the hottest up-and-coming trends in software development. By writing code specifically to run on the massively parallel stream processors found on today’s high-end 3-D graphics cards, programmers can speed up an array of algorithms — and not just in high-performance computing (HPC) applications. One of the most popular GPGPU architectures available for Linux is NVIDIA’s “Compute Unified Device Architecture” (CUDA). If you are looking to get started, CUDA allows you to write GPU-optimized code in C, using only a few language extensions.

  • Applications

    • Spirit iPhone Jailbreak for Linux gets User Interface
    • Spirit Jailbreak for Linux now Available
    • Spirit Jailbreak for iPhone 3.1.3, iPad 3.2, iPod touch 3G Ported to Linux

      The developer behind Greenpois0n, p0sixninja has managed to port “Spirit” jailbreak tool to Linux. Spirit is an all-in-one untethered iDevice jailbreak for iPhone 3.1.3, iPad 3.2 and iPod touch 2G/3G. It was released earlier this month for both Windows and Mac OS X.

    • Nautilus Elementary Simplifies File Browsing in Linux

      Linux only: While lots of people like advanced file browsers like previously mentioned Total Commander or Path Finder, sometimes the explorer can get overwhelmingly complicated. Nautilus Elementary is a mod that compacts and streamlines Nautilus in GNOME to make file browsing easier.

    • Proprietary/Middle Ground

      • Wine 1.2 gets a first release candidate

        The Wine developers have announced the availability of the first release candidate (RC1) for version 1.2 of their Windows API implementation, marking the beginning of the code freeze period. Wine, which is an acronym for Wine Is Not an Emulator, is free open source software that allows users to run Windows applications on Linux and Unix by providing its own native versions of Windows DLLs.

      • Google releases Chrome for Mac and Linux

        Google has officially released Chrome for the Apple and Linux operating systems, taking the software out of beta.

      • Google Chrome grows up: Out of beta on Mac/Linux

        Although I’m perfectly happy clicking away in Opera, Firefox, or Chrome/Chromium, the speed/stability improvements in this cross-platform release make for a pretty compelling argument to stick with Chrome, especially for those of us who spend a lot of time in Google Apps and AJAX-heavy sites.

      • Interesting times for Linux Flash support

        Although many proponents of free software and an open web don’t like Flash, the multimedia platform has become so ubiquitous that it is difficult to imagine the web without it. However, Flash support has always been a challenge for Linux distributions. Adobe has had a proprietary Linux release of its Flash player software for years now, but only for the x86 processor architecture. Meanwhile, open source projects trying to recreate Flash functionality are lagging behind and struggling with lack of manpower. Luckily, there are also some interesting new technical developments in the open source Flash world. One that sparked our interest recently is Lightspark, which was written from scratch based on the SWF documentation Adobe published in June 2009 as part of the Open Screen Project.

        [...]

        But x86 and preliminary x86_64 support for Flash obviously isn’t enough in the open source world. Granted, Adobe is or has been working with some mobile phone manufacturers to offer a version for ARM (for example on MeeGo or Android), but people running a Linux desktop system on a non-Intel processor are left in the cold. Until last year, your author was in exactly this position, running Debian on a PowerMac G5. If non-Intel users want to run the official Flash player they have to use ugly solutions such as running Flash in an x86 emulator.

        Luckily there are some open source programs recreating Flash functionality, of which the most well-known is Gnash (“GNU Flash”), which also runs on PowerPC, ARM and MIPS processors. It’s not even limited to Linux: Gnash also supports FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD, so it pleases a lot of people that don’t want to run proprietary software on their open source operating system but have to be able to see Flash content. In March we looked at the current state of affairs of Gnash when project lead Rob Savoye talked about the project at SCALE 8x.

    • Instructionals

    • Games

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Exploring Lilliput: Is the Cloud Replacing Tiny Linuxes?

      In case anyone wondered why I haven’t been offering any of my highly-opinionated pieces on Linux Planet lately, it’s because I’ve been exploring Lilliput: sampling for myself a few of the better known small-footprint distros that offer an astonishing amount of computing power packed into a mere handful of megabytes. And though I haven’t been at this long enough to try out more than a small fraction of the available ones, some overall characteristics of the breed are beginning to appear. The most interesting feature to me is that there seem to be two main branches of small distros: the Tools and the Products.

    • Red Hat Family

      • 3PAR adds could support with Red Hat server virtualisation

        3PAR has announced support for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation for Servers, a server virtualisation offering that includes a standalone Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor and server management tools.

        The company said that 3PAR InServ Storage Server customers can choose the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation Hypervisor to build and deploy a virtualisation environment on a scale necessary for public or private cloud datacentres.

      • 200Day Might Become a Great Reference Point for Red Hat
      • Fedora

        • Fedora’s Paul Frields: Leadership, trust, fail early and often

          Paul works for Red Hat and is currently the Fedora Project Leader and chairman of the Fedora Project Board. It’s no coincidence that our chat with Paul was posted on the day that Fedora 13 was released. But I can’t express how excited I was when I saw his responses to the interview questions drop into my inbox. Then I read the email. Twice. When Paul started talking about overcoming failure, curating leadership, and fostering community participation, I was ecstatic. I think you will be too.

        • Fedora 13 update revamps virtualisation
        • Fedora 13 gets utility for tracing code
        • Fedora 13 brims with updates
        • Fedora 13 Released
        • Fedora 13 Released
        • Fedora Linux 13 released

          For developers Python 3 can be installed in parallel with an existing Python stack and there is support for the Java EE 6 specification in Netbeans 6.8.

        • Fedora 13 released
        • Rock it

          Known as “Goddard”, Fedora 13 not only boasts a current software selection and a modernised design, it also offers an extensive range of technological improvements. As usual, the distribution demonstrates its pioneering role in this area and many of its advanced features are likely to appear soon in other Linux distributions.

        • Fedora 13 (Goddard) Hits the Waves

          I have loaded the Gnome 64-bit version on my Lifebook S6510 (Intel Core2 Duo and 965 graphics) and HP Pavillion dv2-1010ez (AMD Athlon Neo and AMD Radeon graphics), and the Gnome 32-bit version on my HP 2133 Mini (VIA C7-M and Chrome9 graphics). All loaded easily and without significant problems. The 2133 has a small (10″) relatively high resolution (1280×768) screen, and I thought the default font size was much too large, but it took just a few mouse clicks to reduce that, and it looks fine now.

          Here are a few of the significant changes and improvements that I have noticed personally.

        • Fedora 13 released with open 3D drivers and Python 3 stack

          I tested Fedora 13 myself to see how it compares to the previous version. It’s a fairly solid release, certainly one of the better offerings from Fedora that I’ve seen in a while. The improvements relative to version 12 are somewhat modest, but compelling enough to motivate an upgrade. The general level of fit and finish has increased since the previous version. After spending several hours with Fedora 13, my conclusion is that the new hat is a good fit.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS: Lucid Lynx Benchmarked And Reviewed

        Ubuntu 10.04 LTS comes with a video editor pre-installed–a widely perceived weak point in desktop Linux distributions. PiTiVi is probably the best choice to bundle with Ubuntu. It is one of the easiest-to-use video editors out there, yet still robust enough to keep most users from seeking an upgrade. Throw in the best GTK conformity, and PiTiVi is the obvious choice for Ubuntu. With a minimalist interface and a focus on drag-and-drop interaction, this app finally brings Linux users a video editor that can seriously compete with Windows Movie Maker for user-friendliness.

      • Ubuntu Live CD As A Forensics Too

        Ubuntu is one of the best open source computer operating system based on the Debian GNU/Linux distribution. Ubuntu provides an up-to-date, stable operating system for the average user, with a strong focus on usability and ease of installation. The Ubiquity installer allows Ubuntu to be installed to the hard disk directly from the Live CD, without requiring the computer to be restarted prior to installation.

      • Canonical Releases Landscape 1.5, the Ubuntu System Management Tool

        Ubuntu has taken the Linux world by storm on the desktop, but, for the enterprise market, it is still an up-and-comer. The open-source operating system is evolving to meet the requirements of this market as well and has proven especially popular for cloud applications. The Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud version is an interesting option for those looking to deploy an Amazon EC2-compatible private cloud. Now, Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, has released an updated version of its Landscape management tool for enterprises.

      • Canonical updates Landscape manager
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Open-Source Gaming Console is Just About Ready to Play

      The OpenPandora project has created a Linux-based hand-held intended for hacking, gaming, and for use as an ultra-portable desktop. The ARM-based OpenPandora platform features OpenGL ES–the mobile version of the OpenGL 3D graphics API–and is capable of powering real-time 3D games similar to what might be found on the Nintendo DS or Playstation Portable.

    • Pandora open-source handheld gaming console finally ships

      The Pandora packs a 600MHz CPU, PowerVR SGX OpenGL 2.0 ES compliant 3D hardware, analogue and digital gaming controls, and a host of other features. It’s basically a little Linux OS computer made for portable gaming and with an app store.

    • Cute Qbot aims to be Model T of robots

      Where’s the robot revolution already? It’s 2010! Aren’t we supposed to be hip-deep in droids by now? Well, Spanish robot developer Francisco Paz thinks he’s got the makings of a proverbial Ford Model T for robots, a cute little number called Qbot.

    • StrandVision Offers Preconfigured Linux Point-of-Display Digital Signage Player

      StrandVision LLC recently introduced an optional preconfigured, point-of-display Linux player for use with its digital signage system. The compact appliance can be mounted at or behind a flat screen digital signage display to ease deployment and administration.

    • Readying Linux for today’s embedded devices

      Linux is making rapid strides into the embedded world. There are several factors that are driving this trend. Many devices such as netbooks, set-top boxes, mobile devices, assorted gadgets, media players, etc, are Linux powered. Cutting down Linux’s boot time is one of the final hurdles that’s left to be conquered.

    • How Linux-powered helicopters are taking off

      Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) today are becoming smarter and are able to perform ever more difficult tasks. They can help find people in remote environments, or explore dangerous places.

      Nicolas Roy, from the Robust Robotics Group at MIT, leads a team that designed a quadcopter that won the International Aerial Robotics Competition last year. And guess what? It runs on Linux.

    • Phones

      • Nokia

        • Researchers track eyeballs

          Researchers at Dartmouth College have developed an advanced iris recognition algorithm that they have cleverly christened the Eyephone. The algorithm runs on Nokia’s 810 tablet, which runs Linux.

        • Nokia N900 Review

          Nokia may lead the pack in the mobile handset race but when it comes to their smartphone market share, it’s totally a different story to tell. Nokia has evidently struggled to keep pace with the growing competition in the smartphone space but is trying their best to gain some lost ground.

          It has the aging Symbian OS that currently powers few Nokia smartphones like N97, N97 mini, 5800XM and they’ve Maemo, a linux-based platform that has often been undermined by the Finnish giant. Maemo OS is responsible to produce some decent tablet devices in the past but it’s the N900 that is the first device from Nokia to marry the internet tablet with cellular capabilities. But does N900 deliver? We delve to check out.

        • Nokia N900: The Smartphone That Runs Linux-Based Maemo OS

          Maemo is backed up by a superscalar ARM Cortex-A8 processor to deliver a PC-like multitasking experience and a super-fast, fully interactive, Mozilla-powered browser that has to be seen to be appreciated.

        • No MeeGo Upgrade for the N900, Says Nokia
        • Nokia Releases PR 1.2 Firmware Update for N900

          In the next few weeks, we will be coming to you with a review of the N900 featuring the new PR 1.2 firmware which we will extensively explore. In the meantime, we will give you a short summary of the features that have been added by Nokia with the PR 1.2 firmware update.

        • MeeGo, the new netbook Linux, arrives

          Take one part Intel’s Moblin, mix with Nokia’s Maemo, bake for three months in the Linux Foundation oven, and you get MeeGo. Linux Foundation executive director, Jim Zemlin has called this new embedded Linux, the open-source uber-platform for the next generation of computing devices: tablets, pocketable computers, netbooks, automotive IVI (In-Vehicle Infotainment) and more.”

        • MeeGo 1.0 For Netbooks And Nokia N900, Now Available For Download

          MeeGo is an open source Linux Project which integrates the Moblin project headed by Intel and Maemo headed by Nokia, into a single open source platform. MeeGo platform delievers no-compromise web standards and rich web experience to the Netbooks and mobile devices. MeeGo’s immense popularity is based on the fact that it includes flexible and powerful app development environment based on Qt.

      • Android

        • Android 2.2 Headed to OEMs in Coming Weeks

          Sending Android 2.2 to OEMs and open source community in the coming weeks is a good thing, right? Definitely. (Hello 2.2 ROM anyone?) Continuing to expect the Motorola Droid or Droid Incredible to receive the update sometime in June? Probably a reach.

        • Google: Guess what, Apple, we’ve discovered the internet

          The war of words between Google and Apple – in public at least – has never raged more fiercely. On stage, as the search company announced the new generation of its Android mobile phone operating system, Vice President Vic Gundotra repeatedly referred disparagingly to the closed ecosystem that Apple uses for its products.

        • Turf war heats up as Google accuses Apple of forgetting its roots and stifling innovation

          “He said it was critically important to provide a free mobile operating system, an open-source operating system, that would enable innovations at every level of the stack,” Mr Gundotra started.

        • Google: Android fragmentation isn’t fragmentation

          “Some of the press has called it fragmentation, but that’s probably the wrong word for it,” he told reporters last week at Google I/O, the company annual developer conference. “The better word for it is ‘legacy.’ With these phones and devices, the iteration cycle is incredibly fast. It used to be that every 18 months, a new device would reach the market. But we’re seeing it happen every three or four months. The software obviously has to keep up and I don’t think anyone is harmed by it.

        • Try Out Android on Older iPhones

          Want to see what all the Android fuss is about? You can if you have an older iPhone 3G or 2G. 3GS owners need not bother; it won’t work yet. For details you’ll need to head on over to Linux on the iPhone and read about the process. There is a version of Android that has been hacked to install and run on older iPhones.

        • A Step into the World of Google’s Android

          Since Google first announced that they were working on a Linux based open source mobile platform, many people were already on board with the Android operating system. The establishment of the Open Handset Alliance already saw many major figures in the mobile industry moving to support Google’s project.

        • Why the Android Brings Sales to Smart Phones

          Reports are stating that Google’s Android operating system is bringing a bigger boost to the already growing number of smart phone sales. The big plus factor comes from people finally seeing the point of owning a smart phone over a conventional handset –thanks to the many practical and useful features of the Android OS.

        • Can Google TV Win Where Apple and Microsoft Haven’t?

          Leveraging Linux – Many home electronics already run embedded Linux, and Linux is at the core of Android. Manufacturers know how to integrate Linux, so commercializing Google’s platform should not require dramatically new skills. Additionally, these same hardware companies are also delivering Android mobile devices today.

        • Flash on Android 2.2: Slow loading, but smooth running

          eWEEK evaluated a Nexus One running Android 2.2 and a beta Flash Player 10.1, and found Flash to be slow loading, but surprisingly smooth and power efficient. Meanwhile, HTC vows that most of its Android phones will move to version 2.2 later this year, and a 4Q release for Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) has been tipped.

        • An Updated Android OS History: from Android 1.5 Cupcake to Android 2.2 (Froyo)
    • Sub-notebooks

      • What’s next for the future of the netbook?

        New platforms hint at new directions too. ARM’s recently-released Cortex A9 processor claims far greater computing power per watt than the Atom, but doesn’t offer the x86 compatibility required to run Windows. ARM could thus bring Linux-based netbooks back into play, perhaps providing a boost for Google’s web-based Chrome OS.

    • Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why We Still Need OSI

    For reasons best left to the reader to uncover, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) has often been at loggerheads with the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and particularly with its more excitable supporters.

    In the words of one trollish commentator:

    The (Free Software) world doesn’t need a worthless ORG like the OSI.

    Advert

    I beg to differ. I have been (and in plenty of ways still am) a critic of OSI, as well as a firm supporter and advocate of the FSF. I believe OSI should be a member organisation with a representative leadership.

    I believe it should strive for the inclusion to its community critics, ending the perceived divide. Most of all, I believe that its stewardship role for pragmatic software freedom should be broader than just licence approvals.

  • FOSS Yellow Pages Is Now On Web!

    For those looking for a cost-effective solution for maintaining their company’s IT infrastructure, here’s some good news. FOSS Yellow Pages, the brain child of LINUX For You magazine, is now available on the web to cater to enterprises looking for experts to deploy and support various Linux and Open Source Solutions.

    Fossyellowpages.com lists all companies that support and provide Open Source and will be of great help to users in finding category-wise information on Free and Open Source Software.

  • Champion Man Wins Top It Prize

    The award which was the first of its kind by the Free and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA) and Deutsche Welle (DW), under FOSSWAY project, was presented to Mr. Nweke in Accra, Ghana, last week by the Director, Deutsche Welle Online, Mr. Thomas Bastian, in company of FOSSFA chairperson, Ms. Nnenna Nwakanma, as part of the weeklong fourth Idlelo Conference, organized at the Banquet Hall, State House, Accra.

  • Open-source services show signs of growth in Africa

    Changing procurement rules and regulations, increased uptake of open-source-based certification and growth in the software and hardware markets has led to the rise of businesses that were previously ignored.

    [...]

    Most open-source software service companies were considered too small to get big contracts and did not have the capital to invest in technical support compared to established proprietary software companies.

  • SabreDAV PHP framework becomes calendar server

    Most calendar clients are able to use the CalDAV protocol which allows remote swapping of appointments – however, there is a shortage of open source CalDAV servers. Version 1.2 of open source PHP framework SabreDAV now includes the requisite functionality.

  • BitTorrent open sources µTP protocol

    BiTtorrent has open sourced an update to its popular peer-to-peer file-sharing protocol.

  • Digital Parallels Embraces Zenoss for Managed Services

    Zenoss, maker of open source monitoring software, has added another managed services adopter: Digital Parallels, a master MSP in the United Kingdom. Although most MSPmentor 100 companies seem to be using traditional closed-source software, there are niches where open source alternatives are gaining momentum. Here’s a closer look at Zenoss and open source in the MSP ecosystem

  • Zombies, Open Source, and Bad Analogies

    I guess Vernon has not spent a lot of time watching zombie movies. Generally, at best, humans find a bit of respite from the zombies but they’re still there. Usually waiting for George Romero to work on a sequel. But the point is, zombies generally win. While I’m not crazy about the zombie analogy, the same is true of open source. It’s not really possible to kill off an open source project or the movement permanently. The licenses ensure that the code will always be there for someone else to pick it up. The community may suffer setbacks, but over time it will adapt to solve not only technical problems but also solve the business, legal, and social issues. Maybe more slowly than some of us would like, but like the undead, we have time. Maybe that zombie analogy isn’t quite as bad as I thought.

  • FOSS Community Member Launches Documentation Project for Blind Linux User

    During a recent interview at technology blog The Stop, OSS community member Tony Baechler raised the issue of how difficult it is for visually-impaired Linux users to access documentation. He says that he would like to point other vision-impaired friends to Linux and open source software but custom audio tutorials designed specifically for the blind are almost non-existent.

  • Events

  • Guradian

  • Mozilla

    • Experiments with audio, part X

      I’m working with an ever growing group of web, audio, and Mozilla developers on a project to expose audio data to JavaScript from Firefox’s audio and video elements. Today we show you how much JavaScript can really do.

  • Databases

  • Oracle

    • Red Hat Denies Oracle as the Largest Open Source Company
    • O JavaFX, What Art Thou?

      Partly. As described in the section above on licensing, there is a portion of JavaFX that is open source, but significant portions are not. The openjfx site now forwards one to the JavaFX.com site.

      Again, I’m not the first to wonder about the degree of “open sourcedness” of JavaFX. Others have posted questions on this topic in posts such as JavaFX: Open source or not? and the JavaFX forum thread Is JavaFX open-source? I particularly like the latter (the forum thread) because it nicely covers the intricacies of making a product like JavaFX open source.

  • CMS

    • USASpending.gov Refresh Uses Open Source, Cloud

      The refreshed site, like other federal Web sites, takes advantage of open source components. It was developed on the open-source platform Drupal, which also powers the WhiteHouse.gov site that was relaunched late last year.

  • Education

    • Harley From PTFS-LibLime: What It Is—and Isn’t

      While the LibLime Koha Community offering is available both as a SaaS or hosted service and for local installation, Enterprise Koha is limited to SaaS because the General Public License, which all those participating in Koha development must accept, requires that any enhancements made to open source software must be “distributed” by free download to any interested party.

    • Open source code software saves schools money on licence fees

      When seventh grader Joonas Puuska switches on the computer in his school library, it’s not the familiar Windows that appears. Instead, it is the big Ubuntu logo, under which Puuska types in his name and password.

      Puuska, a pupil at the Lauritsala School in Lappeenranta, shows the software on the computer, which includes word processing, picture modification, a web browser, a spread sheet, and various teaching programmes.

      The appearance of the desktop on the screen is similar to the traditional one, but the computer uses the Ubuntu operating system. Puuska dies not really like Ubuntu, because the computer tends to crash.

  • BI

  • Openness

    • Open Your World forum preview: Q&A on music and Creative Commons

      Daniel James is the director of 64 Studio Ltd, a company developing custom GNU/Linux multimedia products for OEMs. He was the founder of the linuxaudio.org consortium, which promotes the use of GNU/Linux and Free Software in the professional audio field.

      Daniel is also the author of Crafting Digital Media: Audacity, Blender, Drupal, GIMP, Scribus, and other Open Source Tools (Apress). The book is a foundation course in photographic manipulation, illustration, animation, 3D modelling, publishing, recording audio and making music, DJ’ing, mixing and mastering audio CDs, video editing, and web content delivery with open source tools.

    • Beatfly: The open source blimp

      While he has no immediate plans to mass produce this blimp, Mr. Yoshimoto has kindly open sourced his work, making his software, materials, mechanical drawings, and circuit diagrams readily available on this page (Japanese only) for anyone who would like to take to the air with Beatfly. It uses an Arduino chip and the free software Pure Data was used as the programming environment.

    • The Open Source Approach to Feeding the Hungry

      Now a Florida-based engineer has come up with an open source design to help feed the hungry.

    • Glaxo Tries a Linux Approach

      A decade ago, the Linux operating system helped spark a revolution in how software is developed. A move by GlaxoSmithKline PLC could test how well similar open-source principles work for developing new drugs.

      [...]

      In software, the approach has spawned the Linux operating system, MySQL database and an array of other programs. Those community-born technologies now compete with products from Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp. and other traditional, commercial software makers. Open-source developers share programming instructions called source code that software companies traditionally kept confidential.

    • Open Data

      • Cut high textbook costs

        I see the high costs for textbooks and wonder why. What about open-source e-textbooks? Set up an online community that can develop e-textbooks.

      • Open education vs. Texas Board of Education

        The best way to get around this would either be some coordination between states in order to increase their leverage against the publishers, or for more states to begin opting out of the for-profit textbook industry altogether and moving toward an open-source curriculum / open-source textbook model.

        Indeed, even in Texas the open-source textbook movement may prove to be a bit of a thorn in the Board of Education’s side. Of course, open-source has its share of problems also, and if implemented badly these could be just as worrisome as anything the Texas reformists are doing. But done properly, open-source can connect education communities nationally without a national mandate; they can save states lots of money to spend on things like teachers and school supplies; and they can get around bad education reforms like those passed in Texas. Furthermore, open-source can combine the best parts of local autonomy and the best parts of national connectivity, and the material will constantly evolving to meet the needs of modern students and educators.

    • Open Access/Content

Leftovers

  • IBM’s Moffat, Chiesi Were `Intimate,’ U.S. Says

    Robert Moffat, the former International Business Machines Corp. executive who pleaded guilty in the Galleon Group LLC insider-trading scheme, had an “intimate relationship” with accused tipster Danielle Chiesi, prosecutors said in court.

    Moffat admitted to securities fraud and conspiracy in March and is scheduled to be sentenced in July. He faces six months in prison at most. Today at the sentencing of Mark Kurland, a co- founder of New Castle Funds LLC and Chiesi’s former boss, a defense lawyer said Kurland deserved no more prison time than Moffat.

  • ☞ WebM Data Points

    IBM’s Moffat, Chiesi Were `Intimate,’ U.S. Says
    So Sun’s secrets were gifted to an insider trader as pillow talk? Great, that makes it so much better. Can’t say I instantly feel “Moffat is the least culpable person charged” on that basis.
    (tags: IBM Sun Insider Corruption Acquisition)

  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

    • Application Security – Who Is Responsible?

      When companies pay such a lot of money for software, it should be possible, somewhere in the development cycle, to put the investment in to make the software properly secure. The problem at the moment is that there is no incentive to make that investment.

      When software fails or is insecure, the developer, producer and seller rarely suffer. The small print of any contract protects them.

      If there was some sort of accreditation for secure software, then at least vendors could get extra revenue. If we could build up trust in the security kitemark, then users would pay a premium for accredited software, and it would actually be worth their while making secure software.

    • War on whistle-blowers intensifies

      The Obama administration’s war on whistleblowers — whose disclosures are one of the very few remaining avenues for learning what our government actually does — continues to intensify. Last month, the DOJ announced it had obtained an indictment against NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, who exposed serious waste, abuse and possible illegality. Then, the DOJ re-issued a Bush era subpoena to Jim Risen of The New York Times, demanding the identity of his source who revealed an extremely inept and damaging CIA effort to infiltrate the Iranian nuclear program. And now, as Politico’s Josh Gerstein reports, an FBI linguist who leaked what he believed to be evidence of lawbreaking is to receive a prison term that is “likely to become the longest ever served by a government employee accused of passing national security secrets to a member of the media.”

  • Environment

    • Researchers race to produce 3D models of BP oil spill

      NSF approves supercomputing time as researchers apply storm surge models to oil spread

    • Time for industry to end its war on regulation

      The biggest oil spill ever. The biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. The deadliest mine disaster in 25 years. One recall after another of toys from China, of vehicles from Toyota, of hamburgers from roach-infested processing plants. The whole Vioxx fiasco. And let’s not forget the biggest climate threat since the Ice Age.

    • CALL TO ACTION: Let’s stop the spill the open source way

      So let’s do it. Let’s show the world how the open source way can help solve the world’s most pressing issue and let’s do it in the next week. May the “best ideas win” and always remember that none of us is as smart as all of us.

  • Finance

    • Doubts on European Central Bank Amid Crisis

      The euro stops with the European Central Bank — or does it?

    • Tighter Credit in Europe Tied to Turmoil in Stock Markets

      As fears grow that Europe could face a full-blown financial crisis, potentially damaging the economy in the United States, investors are abandoning risky bets in the financial markets and rushing for safety instead.

    • 10 Most Corrupt US Capitalists

      America’s Ten Most Corrupt Capitalists

      1. Robert Rubin
      2. Alan Greenspan
      3. Larry Summers
      4. Phil and Wendy Gramm
      5. Jamie Dimon
      6. Stephen Friedman
      7. Robert Steel
      8. Henry Paulson
      9. Warren Buffett

    • Lights, Camera … Derivative Trading!

      Max Keiser is unhappy. “I feel like Robert Oppenheimer. I invented something and it destroyed civilization.”

      Keiser, unlike Oppenheimer, didn’t have access to atomic bombs. His lethal weapon is more the financial kind, and after a long hibernation it has become the root of this year’s biggest controversy in Tinseltown: an exchange on which traders could bet on the performance of movies. What Keiser created along with Michael Burns in 1996 was the Hollywood Stock Exchange, a virtual technology where over 350,000 registered players traded shares of movies and celebrities using fake dollars. If Congress approves the idea, real trading should go live on exchange as soon as June 28—with real money.

      For much of its life, the HSX has functioned as a prediction market, and pretty accurately; in 1999, its users correctly called 82 percent of the major Oscar nominees. Keiser’s technology eventually got acquired by Wall Street bond trading firm Cantor Fitzgerald, then warehoused in favor of different technology created by Cantor itself—although the name and idea of his creation have lived on for the past 12 years.

    • Regulators Seek Global Capital Rule

      Capital is the body fat of banking: too much is debilitating, too little is fatal. During the financial crisis, as large banks burned through their capital reserves, governments were forced to add padding at public expense.

    • Price of single-family homes drops for sixth straight month

      Home prices remained weak through the early months of this year, according to a closely watched housing index released Tuesday, an indication that the housing market continues to struggle despite recent improvements.

    • Senators appointed to hammer out differences with House on financial overhaul

      Senate leaders on Tuesday appointed seven Democrats and five Republicans to meet with counterparts from the House in coming weeks to hammer out differences between new financial rules approved by each chamber.

    • U.S., Europe fall out of step on global financial reform

      The global campaign to harmonize rules for financial firms is swerving off course, threatening efforts to curb the risky bets that rocked the world economy two years ago.
      This Story

      * Lawmakers to work out final financial overhaul
      * Nations go own way on global financial reform

      As U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner lands in Europe on Wednesday, differences are growing among world leaders over how to keep the promise they made at the height of the financial crisis: that they would work together to reshape how finance is governed. Their aim was to avoid another upheaval by making financial rules consistent across borders and closing loopholes.

    • The FinReg battle: The next two years

      A lot could still happen in either direction this week, but let’s talk about the medium term in this fight for financial reform. Given where progressives are, I think it is best to think in terms of specific battles where it is likely they’ll both win and where they’ll be able to do the most in terms of serious reforms of the financial sector. I see three battles in the next two years that will happen regardless of a double-dip financial crisis.

    • Wall Street ‘Popping Champagne’ Over Watered-Down Financial Reform Bill (VIDEO)

      Sorkin, appearing on “Charlie Rose,” initially didn’t agree with his fellow guest Steven Pearlstein of the Washington Post, who argued that Wall Street was “popping Champagne” over the bill’s holes and omissions.

    • 4 Easy Ways to Improve Financial Reform
    • SEC proposing uniform ‘audit trail’ for orders

      Federal regulators moved Wednesday toward requiring a uniform system for tracking all securities orders on U.S. exchanges, in hopes of making it easier to investigate market disruptions like the May 6 plunge.

    • Banks, credit unions face tough fight on swipe fees

      As part of the 1,500-page effort to overhaul Wall Street regulations, the Senate adopted a seven-page amendment with major implications for debit card issuers, merchants and consumers. The legislation aims to limit fees paid by merchants to debit card issuers.

    • The debate over GSE reform is beginning

      I can already hear you saying, “Whatever, I’m never going to be a homeowner in the bleak 21st-century job market,” but remember that all this liquidity and stabilization handles the rental market, too. Where you live. (Or your parents’ mortgage or rental, if you live with them.) So there’s no getting outside of this question.

    • Treasury: AIG in better shape to repay bailout

      Insurance giant American International Group Inc. is better positioned to pay back all of its $182 billion federal bailout, a key Treasury official testified Wednesday.

    • Ex-execs charged in $60M stock scam in NYC

      A former bank director built himself a financial fiefdom out of automotive-chemical companies, then plundered it through a series of stock frauds that let him live lavishly even though he’d declared bankruptcy, prosecutors said Tuesday.

    • Fed boss: Fed must be free from political meddling

      The Federal Reserve and other central banks must protect their ability to make key economic decisions free from political interference, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday.

    • With credit scores, it should be equal access for all

      The proposal, included as an amendment to the financial reform legislation recently passed by the Senate, isn’t far-reaching enough. There’s still time to fix this during the reconciliation process, but you should let your congressman and senators know that when it comes to something as important as credit scores, half a loaf isn’t enough.

    • The Manufactured Deficit Crisis

      Harold Meyerson wants Washington to quit the Deficit hawkery and focus on creating Jobs: Of all the gaps between elite and mass opinion in America today, perhaps the greatest is this: The elites don’t really believe we’re still in Recession. Or maybe, they just don’t care.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Digital Economy Bill

    • BCS EGM

      The British Computer Society is in the process of being transformed into The Chartered Institute of IT. This is the wrong direction – it’s becoming a club for the Pointy Haired Boss instead of an association to support Dilbert and Alice. The consequence? It’s full of talk of outsourcing real computer jobs abroad and wants to serve the people who are doing it. It failed to take any public leadership position over the Digital Economy Bill and rejects attempts to embrace open source. It has no connection to the interests of actual computer professionals any more. For me (a Fellow, for now) it has come to symbolise all that’s worst in British IT.

      [...]

      Thanks for the reply, David. The BCS did indeed show up a little in the DeBill debate, but it was not in the way most of the computer professionals I know would want.

      The BCS appears to support 3-strikes/graduated response kangaroo-courts-without-the-court, according to http://www.bcs.org/server.php?show=conWebDoc.34746 where I also see BCS supporting the fallacy that “the creative industries” need defending from the internet (rather than recognising the benefits of adapting to it). BCS concerns I have read are rarely about fundamental liberties or software freedom; they are about the cost of implementing the legislation.

      From my vantage point as a branch committee member, I see none of the vitality I would want from my professional association; just PHB-speak and core governance that gives lip-service to inclusion of technologists. The bCS voice I read in http://www.computerweekly.com/blogs/read-all-about-it/2010/04/the-egm-debate-bcs-v-len-keigh.html turns me off, I’m afraid.

      Maybe the BCS doesn’t need people like me as Fellows? That seems to be the message I’m hearing.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – VE – Representation (10/16/2003)


05.26.10

Links 26/5/2010: Fedora 13 Celebrations

Posted in News Roundup at 12:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Why GNU+Linux is > GNU/Linux and > just Linux

    Let’s get the obvious out of the way, we advocate for computer software users’ freedom. The Free Software Foundation and GNU Project are responsible for most of the software we use everyday. At InaTux Computers, we of course use the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) to compile custom Linux kernels (when customers want them), as well as other custom software modifications customers may want (such as hardware optimization). Our compiling is of course done in GNOME Terminal running GNU BASH, and most software we compile require the GNU C Library, GTK+, gtkmm, etc.

  • Desktop

    • 6 things Microsoft needs to do before I’ll take Windows seriously

      While I’m going to address security later in this article, let me say one thing about Windows Updates: you need them. If you are not applying updates at least monthly, you will regret it, unless you’re one of those oddball system administrators who doesn’t MIND finding that your servers are part of a botnet, or have been turned into a porn server, or a spam server, or more on the stability side of things, are ridden with bugs that Microsoft has deemed worthy of fixing in a patch or a hotfix.

      As for my second truth there, in my experience Windows servers act “funny” when they’ve been up and running (and providing some service, not just sitting idle) for longer than a month or so. Odd things will happen… you might see some out of control paging file usage, bizarre error messages, services that are in some sort of “starting” or “shutting down” limbo (which only a reboot can fix), you know the drill.

      My point is, Windows servers need frequent reboots. If you’re a Windows IT person and you don’t think that only a month of uptime isn’t ridiculous, then you obviously haven’t done anything other than Windows in your data center, because I’m here to tell you: it’s nuts.

      Microsoft needs to address stability first and foremost, and while they’re at it, and while we’re on the subject of uptime, they need to engineer things in a way that won’t require a reboot for seemingly EVERY SINGLE UPDATE.

      My last maintenance evening I had to reboot one particular server four times in order for it to take all of its updates, and it had only been two weeks since its last round of them. That’s ridiculous. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve actually HAD to reboot a Linux machine after applying pushed-out updates for it.

      [...]

      I always find it funny when I read articles that are mostly FUD that say things like “Linux is not ready for the desktop” and “not ready for the enterprise”, because as I just discussed, the reality of the situation is that well, neither is Windows. Whether you’re running XP or Windows 7, Server 2003 or Server 2008, you’ll find that compared to the alternatives, you’re running something that requires constant attention, constant hand holding, constant reboots, constant patching, constant reloading, troubleshooting, more hardware requirements, and more security-mindedness in your administrative approach, just to do its job.

    • I’ve Installed Linux, Now What?

      How do you deliver the bad news to someone who is upset, technically unsavvy and has just overwritten their Windows system with Linux?

      He had installed a second hard disk in his system and wanted to put Linux there. The problem was that when he installed it, he did so to the primary (Windows) disk.

      I looked up a PC Recovery business in the phone book for him and politely told him, “Good luck.” I unplugged my phone until the next morning.

      I’ll never know what happened to that guy or if he ever recovered his files or his Windos system. But, it makes me wonder if that scenario could play out today with our newer, cooler, smarter installers. Could that happen on Ubuntu, for example

    • Teen builds computer lab for Traceway residents

      Next, he installed a Linux-based operating system that would be easy to use. The Ubuntu operating system had the added benefit of being free.

  • Audiocasts

  • Kernel Space

    • The kernel column #87

      The past month saw steady progress toward the final 2.6.34 kernel release, including the announcement of initial Release Candidate kernels 2.6.34-rc1 through 2.6.34-rc4. The latter had an interesting virtual memory bug that added a week of delay (I will cover that in a future issue), and of course there was already an incompatible release of the nouveau graphics driver that was covered in last month’s column. But such issues aside, the 2.6.34 kernel is otherwise shaping up to be a good release, including a number of new features of some note as well as fixes for various performance regressions that have affected some of the more recent comparative benchmarks against older releases.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • The Trinity Project Picks Up Where KDE 3.5.10 Left Off

        Hey, pst! Yes, you! I know you’ve been crying yourself to sleep at night ever since those mean, mean people developing the K Desktop Environment decided to radically change the way your favorite DE worked and release the dreaded “4″ version. Good news! There’s no more need to get over it and move on with your life, as, apparently, the God of open source decided to bring you a fork of KDE 3. Ok, maybe not God, but a company/team that goes under the name of Pearson Computing.

      • Sneak preview for coming KDE SC 4.5

        KDE SC 4.5 is in feature freeze right now. Therefore, I decide to share some of early screenshots with you. In General there are no major changes. It is all about polishing and fixing bugs. There is a lot of under-hood changes in libs which as enduser we cannot see. KDE SC will be release in August 2010. Now I will let you enjoy the screenshots.

      • Qt Multimedia/Mobility vs. Phonon: FIGHT!!!

        Well it’s not really like that, but I guess those involved can think about it a bit like that at times!. For some background, Phonon is a Multimedia framework that was included in Qt 4 as far as I understand it, it was developed outside Qt, but was adopted (please correct me if my history is incorrect here). It was designed to give application developers easy access to media playback systems, be it MP3 music or new fangled WebM video! Rather than implement any of the complex stuff itself, Phonon hands off the actual decoding and playback parts to existing media frameworks. Originally Qt wrote a GStreamer “backend” for Phonon and this was the only available backend on Linux in the early stages (others were available for other platforms too). I personally think that GStreamer was a good choice. I think it is a very powerful system, but it’s not for the feint hearted. I wont begin to pretend that I understand it (although I have hacked my way through some GST code!), but the principle of it’s operation seemed to fit the needs of the Phonon project very nicely.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Mutter 2.31.2 Brings Performance, Theme Enhancements

        Over the past 48 hours or so there has been a horde of GNOME 3.0 development packages being checked in for the forthcoming development snapshot (GNOME 2.31.2). Yesterday we reported on the Clutter 1.3/1.4 enhancements and now there’s a release of Mutter, which happens to use Clutter, and it too boasts some interesting changes from the previous development release.

      • GNOME Shell 2.31.2 Brings Exciting Changes Too

        The GNOME Shell 2.31.2 also boasts some interesting changes, including a magnifier option being added for accessibility reasons (though it may find uses for general purposes too), the GNOME Shell clock is now configurable, IM notifications within the message tray now use Telepathy and support in-line messaging, a performance event log that tracks events has been added to the GNOME Shell Performance Framework, an initial application menu has been added to the top panel, many interface enhancements, many Shell Toolkit enhancements, and quite a few bug/build fixes.

      • The Default Nautilus Will Soon Look A Lot Like Nautilus Elementary
  • Distributions

    • UCK your own Linux distro!

      That’s why you might want to construct your own distribution. Perhaps you know exactly how a good Linux distro should be, and every time you install Linux you set up specific applications and settings. Set your own distro up and bingo, every time you load it onto a new machine it is exactly how you like it.

      There are tutorials online how to roll your own Linux distro but here’s a new tool which makes it dead simple to base something on the ever-popular Ubuntu.

    • Paris Descartes University’s UFR Biomédicale turns to Mandriva to improve its infrastructure management

      Paris Descartes University’s UFR Biomédicale has installed the Mandriva Linux operating system on client desktops and servers to ensure a permanent stability and optimise the work of its 4,500 students.

      The ‘UFR Biomédicale’ of Saints-Pères embraces within the Paris Descartes University different medical and life science academic units and 14 laboratories attached to the CNRS and INSERM research institutions.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat: The one true open source company?

        Oracle boasts an extensive list of free and open source software, now more than ever with its recent acquisition of Sun. IBM is a key contributor to the Linux kernel and dozens of other high-profile open source projects. Google has released millions of lines of code of Android, Chrome, and GWT (Google Web Toolkit) for public use.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 13 Propels Open Source Innovation

          The Fedora Project, a Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT) sponsored and community-supported open source collaboration, today announced the availability of Fedora 13, the latest version of its free open source operating system distribution. Fedora 13 combines some of the latest open source features with an open and transparent development process. Fedora 13 includes a variety of features and improvements to enhance desktop productivity, assist in software development, and improve virtualization.

        • Fedora 13 – Linux for Applephobes

          That focus on the more tech savvy, contributing users is reflected in Fedora 13, where you’ll find open source, 3D-capable graphics drivers, excellent Python tools, some very nice color management tools, and other less flashy improvements.

        • Linux Outlaws 151 – Fedora 13 Release Special

          We celebrate the release of Fedora 13 and have a look at the new features and improvements.

        • Work underway to keep Xen support in Fedora 13

          As for KVM, Red Hat is, of course, a major contributor to Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM), a project the company committed to when it purchased KVM’s pioneer Qumranet in 2008. Red Hat’s commercial version, RHEL 6.0, was the first RHEL version to have dropped support for the Xen hypervisor.

        • Fedora 13 Lightscribe labels

          Nelson Marques and James Findley (siXy) have put together a set of LightScribe disc labels for Fedora 13. I don’t know if there is a way to use them using free software (I don’t have a LightScribe drive) – I know you can use LightScribe’s proprietary app in Fedora to make them. Anyway, these seem to be popular every release so here they are fresh for your F13 arch of choice, thanks to Nelson and James!

        • Fedora 13 Linux “Goddard” Takes Flight

          The Red Hat-sponsored Fedora Project today officially released the Fedora 13 Linux distribution, codenamed “Goddard,” with improvements aimed at both new and experienced Linux users.

          The new Fedora 13 release comes six months after Fedora 12′s debut and continues to enhance the Linux operating system experience for its users. Fedora 13 includes improved virtualization, along with other developer, desktop and server improvements.

        • The Coding Studio OS Screenshots: Fedora 13 Screenshots
    • Debian Family

      • SimplyMEPIS 8.5

        The last time I looked at SimplyMEPIS was the 8.0 release. In this review I’ll be taking a look at the latest version, SimplyMEPIS Linux 8.5. SimplyMEPIS is based on Debian, and it uses KDE as its desktop environment.

        [...]

        Summary: SimplyMEPIS offers a viable, KDE-based alternative to some of the better known desktop distros. It’s worth considering if you want a workhorse desktop distro rather than a showhorse.

        Rating: 4

      • Ubuntu/Canonical

        • Ubuntu’s Unity Desktop: Reality vs. Rationales

          Over the past year, Ubuntu has become one of the centers for usability design on the Linux desktop. You might criticize this effort because it takes place in the distribution, rather than as contributions to the GNOME desktop, but at least it is happening. Moreover, this effort is being discussed far beyond the outer reaches of the Ubuntu community.

          Part of the reason for this discussion is because Ubuntu’s popularity automatically makes it influential.

          Yet an even more important reason for the interest is that Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has made usability his personal obsession. Not only has he withdrawn from managing the business affairs of Canonical, Ubuntu’s commercial arm, in order to devote his full attention to it, but — what really matters — he blogs about usability decisions as they are announced.

        • Five Usability Improvements in Ubuntu 10.04

          While no operating system is perfectly intuitive, Ubuntu gives its competitors a good run when it comes to usability. Other Linux distributions, and proprietary operating systems, certainly do some things better than Ubuntu. But all in all, I’m impressed with the attention to user-friendliness evident in Lucid.

        • Canonical Landscape 1.5 Extends Ubuntu Linux Management for Enterprises

          Landscape 1.5 is being officially announced this week, providing users of Ubuntu Linux with new management and deployment capabilities.

          The new Landscape follows the debut of Ubuntu’s most recent Long-Term Support (LTS) release, the latest edition of the open source Linux distro aimed at providing enterprises with the ability to maintain and upgrade their deployed Ubuntu distributions. Now with the Landscape 1.5 release, Canonical, the lead commercial sponsor behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system, is extending its management platform as it looks to further grow its enterprise business.

        • Variants

          • Linux Mint 9 Review

            Chromium and Flock now in the repositories! Nice!! My biggest wow moment concerns the AWN dock but I think I may have to do a review of it on its own merits :D The Hardware Analysis tool is going to be very useful in terms of getting the information needed to do troubleshooting, especially with the copy to clipboard option which is very useful when trying to get help with an issue..just copy and paste the problem right into the forum!

            So my overall, unbiased opinion? I give Linux Mint 9 a solid A for performance and an A/A- for appearance. I’ve heard various sources saying this is up there for top distro release this year and I believe it. Linux newbies, this one’s for you!

          • Linux Mint 9: Solid, Simple, Shiny

            Overall, I find Linux Mint to be a fine desktop distro. Being based on Ubuntu, the package selection is huge and you can also get decent support for third-party apps like Dropbox. It’s a good GNOME-based distribution, though it doesn’t stay perfectly in step with upstream GNOME default applications. It’s also a pretty solid distro. I haven’t run into any major glitches or problems since starting with the Mint RC a few weeks ago.

            Linux Mint has quite a lot to offer. If you’re new to Linux or want a distro to recommend to someone who’s new to Linux, Mint is one of the best to start with. The inclusion of “restricted” codecs and such is likely to rankle some Free Software purists but can help get new users transitioned to Linux a bit more quickly. Since Mint 9 is based on an Ubuntu Long Term Support (LTS) release, users have support for the desktop through 2013, which makes it even more ideal for new users. If you haven’t settled on a distro yet, or want one to recommend to friends and family, Mint is an excellent choice.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android

      • Want Android On Your iPhone? It’s Ready For Download

        Last month we reported that an enterprising young hacker named David Wang had managed to successfully port Android on to the Apple iPhone. Wang noted the release wasn’t far away from making his work available, just that he needed time to clean his code before releasing the binaries for public consumption.

      • Android UFO/Chopper/Blimp2.0: Parrot AR.Drone [VIDEO]

        You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that one of the coolest products being demonstrated at Google IO was an Android device but you probably wouldn’t have guessed it is a vehicle… and not the Chevy Volt.

      • Why Google’s Android Could Rule Connected Cars

        The recent linking of General Motors and Google for a handful of services related to the plug-in Chevy Volt marks an intersection for automakers and Internet giants. The two industries — one little changed for centuries decades and marked by steel and manufacturing, the other constantly morphing over the past decade and ruled by chips and algorithms — will come together more and more as “connected” cars begin to offer a new platform for development, innovation and revenue.

      • Android Has Won — Time for Chrome OS to Move Along?

        Yes Google held a press conference where co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin talked up the Chrome Web Store, but that was pretty much it. That’s because while Chrome is still waiting for its day in the sun, Android has taken on a life of its own. By the time the Chrome OS becomes available via devices on store shelves, who knows where Android will be.

    • Tablets

      • Dell launches Streak tablet PC across Europe

        PC giant Dell has joined the increasing number of firms offering a tablet device.

        The world’s number three computer manufacturer says that its Streak – also known as the Mini 5 – is the first of a number of planned products.

        The Streak is smaller than most tablets with a 5in (12.5cm) screen and runs Google’s Android operating system.

Free Software/Open Source

  • AbiWord: The Underappreciated Word Processor

    Network effects being what they are, OpenOffice.org tends to suck all the oxygen out of the room when talking about open source productivity applications. But OpenOffice.org isn’t the only game in town for open source word processing. One of the best, if underexposed, open word processors is AbiWord.

  • CloudCourse: An Enterprise Application in the Cloud

    At Google we have experts on everything from Python to penguins. However, connecting our expert teachers to eager students around the globe can be a complicated business. To that end, we are excited to release our new internal learning platform, CloudCourse under an open source license. Built entirely on App Engine, CloudCourse allows anyone to create and track learning activities. CloudCourse also offers calendaring, waitlist management and approval features.

  • EditShare Announces First Ever Lightworks Open Source platform

    Though its not Blender related news it is open source news for editing which I felt warranted mention here. I’ll let you in the community figure out if its worth it or not. From what I’ve read it on their site, it looks impressive. Have any of you ever used it?

  • Multimedia

    • The Very Best Open Source Tools For Video, Audio and Graphics

      If you cycle back 10 years, the sophistication of and available tools for working with video, audio, and graphics–including working with them online–lagged far behind what is available today. The improvement in the available tools has hardly been lost on the open source world, where some best-of-breed tools are available at absolutely no cost. In this post, you’ll find a roundup of our most significant posts on open source tools for video, audio and graphics. There are many gem applications to be found here.

    • Is VP8 open source?

      The license that Google has chosen for VP8 isn’t technically an approved license from the OSI (Open Source Initiative), the group that decides what is and what isn’t a bona fide open source license. At least that’s the view of former Sun Chief Open Source Officer Simon Phipps.

    • Google open codec ‘not open,’ says OSI man
  • Mozilla

    • The Firefox plugin checker needs to be checked
    • An Open Web App Store
    • Mozilla Weave Being Rebranded as Firefox Sync
    • quick update on Korea

      Kim Tong-hyung, staff reporter for the Korea Times, is the only reporter providing English-language coverage of the news on the Microsoft monopoly in S. Korea.

      I wanted to share two recent articles from Kim Tong-hyung, one covering the event that Mozilla’s Lucas Adamski attended at the end of April and another covering the “anti-virus” industry in Korea, which is one of the incumbent industries that would be significantly negatively affected if the Korean government moved away from the current PKI-based encryption architecture.

  • Databases

    • PostgreSQL 9.0 is now in Betaphase

      The PostgreSQL developers’ community recently published the first Beta version of the new 9.0 release. Over 200 new functions and improvements feature in this new version.

  • CMS

  • Business

    • The behavioral economics of free software

      Behavioral economics explores the way in which our irrational behavior affects economies, and the results are curious and subtle. For example, the riddle of experience versus memory (TED video), or the several examples in “The Marketplace of Perception” (Harvard Magazine article). I think it would be illuminating to examine free software through this lens, and consider that the vagaries of human perception may have a very strong influence on our choices.

      Some questions for thought:

      * Does using free software make us happier? If so, why? If not, why do we use it anyway?
      * Do we believe in free software because we have a great experience using it, or because we feel good about having used it? (Daniel Kahneman explains the difference)
      * Why do we want other people to use free software? Is it only because we want them to share our preference, or because we will benefit ourselves, or do we believe they will appreciate it for their own reasons?

    • Status.net: Raising Social Capital and Paying Customers

      One of the startups that calls Montreal home is Status.net, “a platform that enables communities, brands and organizations to incorporate micro messaging into their own domain.” I caught up with CEO Evan Prodromou by phone to talk about some of the marketing strategies they employ. While he darted around Montreal in his car (using a hands free unit, of course) he told me about how they strategically position their commercial products alongide the messaging for their open source offerings.

  • BSD/UNIX

    • UNIX still a hit for mission-critical systems

      The majority of companies using UNIX will be sticking with it for their mission-critical systems, even though use of the operating system has declined in recent times.

      Almost two-thirds running UNIX-based platforms will keep them, in comparison to the 38 per cent who will be dumping the platform in the next three years, according to a survey from Coleman Parkes Research on behalf of HP.

    • Bordeaux on PC-BSD Screenshot tour

      This is a Bordeaux on PC-BSD 8 Screenshot tour. This tour will show you how easy it is to install Bordeaux on PC-BSD and start installing Windows Applications and Games. Bordeaux has a single dependency on Zenity once Zenity is installed Bordeaux will install and run on your PC-BSD system.

  • Project Releases

    • Digital Networks Releases Openvirt 2.0

      Today Digital Networks released Openvirt 2.0. Openvirt provides a full virtualization platform for Linux, Windows, Solaris and FreeBSD virtual machines.

      Openvirt provides commercial quality virtualization that is completely free of license fees. A web based control panel makes for easy management.

  • Government

    • CeBIT 2010: AGIMO says open source needs to lift its game

      Despite a new level of openness through the recent adoption of eGovernment and web 2.0 tools, the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) is still cagey when it comes to procurement of open source software.

      Commenting at CeBIT Australia 2010, John Sheridan, division manager at AGIMO’s Agency Services Division hinted that open source suppliers would need to lift their levels of support if they were to make further inroads into the public sector.

      “Our policy on open source remains one of informed neutrality,” he said. “Our view is, rather than preferring one particular sort of open source software to another, to make sure our software can be properly supported.

  • Openness

  • Programming

    • Damian Conway on Perl and its future

      I’m just starting work on a new book…on Perl 6. I hope it will appear some time next year.

      As far as second editions go, I’d certainly like to revisit “Perl Best Practices”. I’ve learnt so much more myself about good programming in the past five years. The community’s notion of “best” – and its available tools – have also developed considerably in that time. But, if I were to look at a second edition, it would certainly be a few years further down the track. There are just so many other projects and so few available tuits.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • HTML5 Video on Ubuntu

      There’s not much to say about my actual experience playing HTML5 video in Chrome, other than that it worked great, and with little effort. After enabling HTML5 on Youtube, videos were decoded extremely smoothly and with only about half the CPU load of flash videos. Vimeo also worked seamlessly with HTML5 enabled. The only drawback on both sites is that fullscreen playback is not yet supported, due to browser limitations.

      Much to my dismay, Hulu has yet to announce plans to support HTML5 in desktop browsers. If that changes, I’ll have gotten everything I want out of life.

Leftovers

  • Newly open source BitTorrent protocol aims to unclog tubes

    The company behind the BitTorrent technology has opened the source code of its uTorrent Transport Protocol (uTP). A production-ready implementation of the protocol code in C++ is now available from GitHub under the MIT license.

  • Intel Puts Mobile CPUs on a Diet for Ultra-Thin Laptop PCs

    Intel today broadened its number of ultra-low voltage (ULV) processors to include a complete range, from Celeron to Core i7, for the super-thin laptop market. This announcement builds on Intel’s January introduction of laptop processors, which included only a few low-end ULV processors.

  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

    • Enhance Desktop Security Using Virtualization

      You might have seen this scene during the climactic shoot-out in any number of movies and television shows—the hunted character lures his hunters into a room full of mirrors, who fire their weapons at the reflections, mistaking them for the real person. Like most of what we see on the screen, this probably isn’t a very plausible scenario in real life (who gets so confused by a reflection, besides my cat?). But it is an apt metaphor when we think about using PC virtualization to add a layer of defense against malware and other types of security compromises.

    • Act now to keep your medical records private

      The new coalition government has committed itself to rolling back state intrusion, with plans to scrap the ID card scheme, the National Identity Register, and the ContactPoint database.

    • No refunds for ID card pioneers

      The government is set to refuse refunds to people who have forked out good money for ID cards.

      There will be a bill to abolish the cards, along with electoral and parliamentary reform – a move to equally-populated constituencies and to the Alternative Vote system – in the Queen’s Speech tomorrow.

      But thousands of people persuaded to buy an ID card should not expect a refund, the Sunday Telegraph reports.

    • Councils carry out over 8,500 covert surveillance operations

      More than 8,500 covert surveillance operations on members of the public have been carried out by 372 local authorities in Britain in the past two years – the equivalent of 11 a day, according to a study published today.

      The research by the pressure group Big Brother Watch names Newcastle upon Tyne as the worst local authority in the country for the use of its powers under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, having spied on its residents 231 times over the past two years.

      West Berkshire and Walsall were close behind, however, with 228 and 215 Ripa authorisations respectively since April 2008.

    • [Bruce Schneier:] Scene from an Airport

      I’ve gotten to the front of the security line and handed the TSA officer my ID and ticket.

      TSA Officer: (Looks at my ticket. Looks at my ID. Looks at me. Smiles.)

      Me: (Smiles back.)

      TSA Officer: (Looks at my ID. Looks at me. Smiles.)

    • An old scam still works

      Bank insider issues extra card, steals money, customer blamed – after all, chip and pin is infallible, isn’t it? Expecting banks to keep decent logs might be too much; and I supppose it’s way too much to expect bank fraud staff to read the research literature on their subject.

  • Environment

  • Finance

    • Reforms put Wall Street in its place

      The most important provision in the bill may be the Volcker Rule, which restricts the ability of banks to trade on their own account. Goldman Sachs became the poster child for this kind of trading when it was revealed that the firm was selling mortgage-backed securities designed by an investment partner who was shorting mortgages. These trades led to charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission and prompted a federal criminal investigation into the firm’s dubious practices.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • More conservative textbook curriculum OK’d

      Texas standards often wind up being taught in other states because national publishers typically tailor their materials to Texas, one of the biggest textbook purchasers in the country.

      Approval came after the GOP-dominated board approved a new curriculum standard that would encourage high school students to question the legal doctrine of church-state separation – a sore point for social conservative groups who disagree with court decisions that have affirmed the doctrine, including the ban on school-sponsored prayer.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • In search of “Internet freedom”

      But it’s hard to find consensus – even amongst liberal internationalists with different cultural and religious backgrounds – about how to find the right balance between our right to free expression and assembly and our right to privacy and security. Even trickier is the question of what is “hate speech” and what constitutes justified criticism or even satire of one religion by members of another. The Global Voices community has come together around a set of common values around freedom of expression and communication. Our Manifesto begins: “We believe in free speech: in protecting the right to speak — and the right to listen. We believe in universal access to the tools of speech.” But all you need to do is to read this post about Pakistani reactions to the “Draw Mohammed Day” Facebook page, then read this post by another member of our community, to see how far we are from having a consensus about how civilized cross-cultural discourse should or shouldn’t be managed on global Internet platforms.

    • Bad Stuff About Facebook, But Not What You Think

      Meanwhile, be very careful about saying bad things about Facebook or you could get banned from the site, as happened to a radio station that dared link to Leo Laporte’s sayonara Facebook show. The way Facebook is treating negative comments and bad press, you’d think they were Apple.

    • Muhammad cartoon sparks threats to South African newspaper

      Staff at South African newspaper received threatening phone calls today after publishing a satirical cartoon depicting the prophet Muhammad.

    • Jafar Panahi ‘may soon be freed’

      Tehran’s prosecutor general has asked the Islamic revolutionary court to reconsider the continued detention of the celebrated Iranian film-maker, Jafar Panahi, raising hopes that he may quickly be freed.

    • U.N. body adopts resolution on religious defamation

      A United Nations forum on Thursday passed a resolution condemning “defamation of religion” as a human rights violation, despite wide concerns that it could be used to justify curbs on free speech in Muslim countries.

    • Wang Keqin and China’s revolution in investigative journalism

      Death threats from criminals and official wrath fail to silence zealous watchdog journalists

    • Australia Can Search Laptops, Phones for Porn

      Make sure you dispose of anything baring flesh on your mobile phones and laptop drives before heading to Australia.

      A spokesperson for the Australian sex industry is warning visitors that local customs officers suddenly have an “unfettered right” search laptops and mobile phones for porn. Apparently Incoming Passenger Cards now ask visitors if they’re carrying adult material. Visitors must answer truthfully or face criminal charges if the material is in possession and the answer was marked “No.” This means home-made movies in the bedroom or footage of you taking a shower must be reported.

    • Why Should Customs Officers Be Determining What Counts As A Copyright Circumvention Device?

      Some of the earliest fears around ACTA concerned some of the earliest draft suggestions, that would increase the power of border patrol/customs officials to look for infringement at the border, including the possibility of searching your laptop or iPod for infringing content. While those provisions mostly seemed to drop out in the negotiations, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t still efforts to get closer to that sort of system. Mart Kuhn, at Public Knowledge, has an interesting post, looking at a bill in the Senate that would give customs the authority to determine if things crossing the border were “circumvention devices” as prohibited by the DMCA. Of course, as the article notes, determining what is and what is not a circumvention device is not particularly easy — as various lawsuits have demonstrated. So it’s quite questionable as to why anyone thinks border patrol agents should be involved in that process at all.

    • Silvio Berlusconi faces barrage of criticism over telephone bugging law

      Judges, prosecutors and journalists say law is simply to shield Silvio Berlusconi from further embarrassing revelations

    • Turin police raid Scientology chapter

      Police raided a local Scientology chapter here and discovered a hidden archive which contained not only information on the group’s members but also on the sect’s ‘enemies’, the Turin daily La Stampa reported on Thursday.

      Police were acting on a warrant issued by magistrates who have opened a probe into the religion which is suspected of violating laws governing the handling of personal information.

    • Facebook, Google and Twitter: custodians of our most intimate secrets

      The next time you hear the phrase “internet privacy”, don’t think of teenage infatuations heatedly committed to Facebook, of lads puking down their Ted Bakers and sticking the cameraphone footage on YouTube, or of some hack writer tweeting about the progress of his colonic cancer. No, consider instead AOL Subscriber 4417749.

      [...]

      Except that list, coupled with a little patience, was all anyone needed to yank down AOL’s privacy screen. A couple of New York Times journalists showed how easily it could be done. Trawling though the hundreds of searches made by Subscriber 4417749 for local estate agents and gardeners, through to “numb fingers”, “dog that urinates on everything” and “60 single men”, they tracked down Thelma Arnold, a 62-year-old widow and pet-owner from Lilburn, Georgia. “My goodness, it’s my whole personal life,” she said as the reporter read AOL’s search records to her. “I had no idea somebody was looking over my shoulder.”

    • Cloud Computing Prompts Push for Privacy Law Rewrite

      Members of a broad coalition advocating an overhaul of a more than two-decades-old privacy law took to Capitol Hill Friday afternoon, convening a briefing for congressional staffers to champion the cause.

      They argued that the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, or ECPA, has fallen lamentably out of step with the way that people are using computers and the Internet, particularly with regard to cloud computing and location-based services.

    • German watchdog tells firms to do own US privacy checks

      German privacy watchdogs have told companies to conduct their own checks of US companies’ conduct before passing personal data to them, even if they are signed up to the EU-US ‘Safe Harbor’ data protection scheme.

  • DRM

    • Open University Academics Object to BBC DRM Proposals

      Following up on our recent open letter to Ofcom on the BBC HD DRM proposal, a large group of Open University academics has written to the Michael Lyons, the Chairman of the BBC Trust, notifying him of our objections to the idea. The full text of the letter is below.

      We write in connection with the BBC’s current application to Ofcom to vary the terms of its licence for its HDTV service by encrypting signals using DRM. We have written separately to Ofcom to oppose this proposal but write to you now because we believe it raises several important issues for the BBC Trust.

      First, and procedurally, the BBC management’s application to Ofcom raises the question (interestingly identified by Diana Coyle and Chris Woolard in their book for the Trust, ‘Public Value in Practice’) whether a new application should be made to the Trust, analogous to that for the “bookmarking” function of the iPlayer. We believe that the encryption proposal is so fundamental a change from the original HDTV proposal, and one which raises such fundamental issues for the BBC, that it should be the subject of a new Public Value Test. You will be aware that DRM is a kind of encrypted digital lock used to control access to digital files and signals. In order to access the BBC HD signal a viewer will require equipment containing the relevant decryption key.

      Second, and substantively, the proposal to encrypt the HDTV signal using DRM breaks the clear and, seemingly unequivocal, undertaking made in the BBC’s Building Public Value (published in 2004), and underwritten by the last Chairman of the BBC Governors, Mr Michael Grade, that the BBC would not encrypt its services. Building Public Value stated (p 10) that “the BBC will always be on the side of universal provision, open access and unencryption”.

      Third, and also substantively, the proposals to use DRM in the BBC’s HDTV signals breaks from the Trust’s policy, stated (at p 9) in the PVT authorisation of the HDTV proposal, that “Any move from the currently proposed HD standards on picture resolution should not disadvantage consumers who invest in HD equipment which meets the current standards”.

  • Publishing

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Diplopedia a success at US Department of State

      Study looks at 5-year history of creating and implementing the State Department’s use of Wikipedia-like knowledge and platform

      A new study released today by Rice University and the U.S. Department of State’s (DOS) Office of eDiplomacy looks at the five-year history of creating and implementing Diplopedia, DOS’ use of the Wikipedia-style diplomacy Web 2.0 tool.

    • What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption

      Shareable contributor Rachel Botsman and co-author Roo Rogers just released a video previewing What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption, their new book being released in September about sharing.

      One thing I have in common with Rachel is that I’ve learned that sharing is much bigger than we had thought. In a recent example, I was quite surprised by the growth of bikesharing. According to the video, it’s the fastest growing form of transportation. All the major cities in the US has a bikesharing program in development. Who knew?

    • Why we share: a sideways look at privacy

      And that’s what happening about digital privacy and sharing. We’re learning. And there are going to be mistakes. And there will be hurt. And out of all that new value will emerge. People like danah help us and safeguard us, because they’re looking at some of these issues deeply. People like the Web Science Trust are looking into this. People like the Berkman Center are looking into this. Even people like the World Economic Forum are looking into this. Because it matters.

    • FluidDB Aims To Become The Wikipedia Of Databases

      A few years ago, Terry Jones sold his Barcelona apartment so that he could single-mindedly pursue a rather radical idea. What if a database worked like Wikipedia—it was not only readable by everybody, but also writeable by everybody?

    • Seeds of doubt in Delhi

      Caught in the middle of a fierce domestic debate, the Indian government is wavering over the introduction of GM aubergines – and the rest of the world is watching closely. Joydeep Gupta reports.

    • Monsanto Ranked Least Ethical Company In The World

      Monsanto, the Missouri-based agriculture giant, ranked dead last in the Covalence ethical index. The company, which leads the world in the production of genetically-engineered seed, has been subject to myriad criticisms. Among them: the company is accused of frequently and unfairly suing small farmers for patent infringement.

    • Copyrights

      • itTorrent Open Sources ‘Improved’ BitTorrent Protocol

        BitTorrent Inc. has open sourced uTP, the BitTorrent protocol powering the latest release of uTorrent, in the hope that other BitTorrent clients will soon adopt it. UTP promises less congestion for ISPs and end users without degrading overall download speeds. Thus far, however, many BitTorrent developers outside the BitTorrent Inc. team are skeptical about the new protocol.

      • Gallo Report on the future of EU copyright: repression or reflexion ?

        The Gallo Report on the future of “intellectual property rights” (IPR) enforcement will be voted on June 1st, at 9 AM,1 in the Committee for Legal Affairs (JURI) of the European Parliament. Since no compromise was found between the members of the committee, two visions will frontally oppose. While the rapporteur — French sarkozyst EPP member Marielle Gallo — is pushing for more repression to tackle online file-sharing, some positive amendments from all the other political groups2 seek to end the dogmatic repression and call for the consideration of alternative schemes to fund creation. Every citizen concerned by the future of copyright in Europe and by the open nature of the Internet should express their views to the Members of the JURI committee3.

    • ACTA

      • UK regulator plans a taste of ACTA for small ISPs

        Ofcom’s proposal to exclude small ISPs from the Digital Economy Act 3-strikes measures is not quite what it seems. One interpretation is very interesting in the context of the online service provider ‘policy’ provision in ACTA.

    • Digital Economy Bill

      • ConDems Won’t Repeal UK’s Digital Economy Act

        All those angry digital liberties campaigners? They shouldn’t get their hopes up too much about the Digital Economy Act under a new government…

        “We’re not going to repeal it,” the new UK government’s Conservative culture secretary Jeremy Hunt told paidContent:UK.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – FoF – Computer Simulation (1/5/2003)


05.25.10

Links 25/5/2010: KDE 3.5 Forked, Slackware 13.1 Released, Fedora 13

Posted in News Roundup at 4:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The World, Brought to You by Linux

    What do Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), the U.S. Navy submarine fleet, the French Parliament, Virgin America, the Internet Archive and the ASV Roboat all have in common?

    Ha! You guessed it! They all run our favorite operating system. Not only that, but they are all on the “50 Places Linux is Running That You Might Not Expect” list that was published recently by Focus.

  • Center opens for job seekers

    Volunteer Stephen Goss worked with the village to transform a section of the Windsor Community House into the job search center. Use of a free and Linux-based computer operating system called openSUSE enables the center to operate at a “minimal cost,” he said.

  • Going Linux – May 24: #103 – Computer America #26
  • Btrfs

    • BTRFS and Ubuntu

      I’ve seen a few comments that raise the concern that Ubuntu might do to btrfs what some feel they did to PulseAudio – undermine it by introducing it to the “mainstream” before it was ready. I know I personally have a poor opinion of PulseAudio based only on initial exposure through Ubuntu. I won’t claim that’s Ubuntu’s fault – but I have certainly heard that argument put forward.

    • Btrfs and the Ubuntu spin machine

      Alone among GNU/Linux distributions, Ubuntu has managed to project the impression that it is the best first choice for someone who wants to test the Linux waters. Put this down to slick media management.

  • Graphics Stack

  • Mail

    • Retro mail client Cone has some modern features

      Cone harks back to the era when users read e-mail in a non-graphical application, without using menus, mouse, or buttons. Longtime Pine users will feel right at home with Cone; many keyboard commands are the same. However, Cone is not a Pine clone; developer Sam Varshavchik combined the general look and feel of Pine with modern advanced features.

    • Wanted: Virtual Personal Email Servers
  • Instructionals

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Welcome to Pearson Computing’s fork of KDE3.5, codename Trinity!

        This project aims to keep the KDE3.5 computing style alive, as well as polish off any rough edges that were present as of KDE 3.5.10. Along the way, new useful features will be added to keep the environment up-to-date.

        Towards that end, significant new enhancements have already been made in areas such as display control, network connectivity, authentication, and much more!

      • Activities in 4.5

        huzzah! I made a screencast showing the activities stuff in 4.5 :)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Victory: A Tweakers dream GTK Theme

        NeWhoa’s Victory GTK+ theme offers users more than just a good looking desktop for it allows the ability to choose the sidepane and menubar colours separately – making Victory truly worthy of it’s name in the eyes of customization control-freaks everywhere!

      • LLVMpipe May Be A Bit Closer To Running GNOME Shell

        While LLVMpipe is able to run OpenGL games, we then tested to see if LLVMpipe could run the GNOME Shell or Compiz, which need OpenGL but are not nearly as taxing on the graphics as a normal game. If LLVMpipe could efficiently handle running GNOME Shell it would mean a lot for providing a better “out of the box” experience for systems where there is no open-source 3D driver available by default with the GNOME 3.0 desktop. However, Compiz nor the GNOME Shell had worked with LLVMpipe at that time.

      • Clutter Advances In-Step With GNOME 3.0

        With the GNOME 2.31.2 release (an early GNOME 3.0 development snapshot) due out soon and various GNOME packages being checked-in for this milestone, the Clutter developers have made available their first post-1.2 release. Clutter 1.3 is the development series that will lead up to the Clutter 1.4 release that’s expected to be released in tandem with GNOME 3.0. The just-released Clutter 1.3.2 release is this first step forwards.

  • Distributions

    • Top 5 Free Linux Distributions for Desktop Computing in 2010

      According to Nick Carr, marketing director of Red Hat, Linux desktop has developed very rapidly over the past few years. Even from the technology viewpoint the Linux desktop is well developed, feature rich and mature. What adds to the merit is the low cost, better security and manageability. It’s also well suited to a wide range of customer deployments. Well, coming to the Linux distributions for Desktop computing, Red Hat’s Fedora has created significant impact, but its not the only one in the market. Another remarkable Linux distribution for the desktop is on the rise, a completely free distro Ubuntu. It has been widely supported by online communities. While it would be great to include several distributions on this list, the reality is we had to filter out the best Linux distribution for desktop computing. A typical desktop Linux distribution comprises a Linux kernel, GNU tools and libraries, additional software, documentation, a window system and window manager. We delved into the Linux distributions for desktop computing and queued up a list of top 5 distros.

    • Slackware version 13.1
    • Port the new distro-neutral initrd framework, Dracut, to Gentoo

      Dracut is an initramfs infrastructure. Its aim is to be distribution-independent, although for now it’s supported only in RedHat, Fedora and Debian.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat exec: Oracle’s not an open source company

        It’s been said that Oracle is now the industry’s most powerful open source vendor, but don’t tell that to Red Hat executives, who say Oracle doesn’t even qualify as an open source company.

      • WSJ: Red Hat shifts hiring strategy as competition for talent intensifies

        The market for tech jobs appears to be tightening, creating increased competition for high-tech companies seeking new workers in the Triangle and other smaller metros.

        The Wall Street Journal makes that point in a story Monday that cites the example of companies such as Red Hat, which is adding 800 jobs to its 3,200-person staff and has to contend with resurgent hiring among Silicon Valley firms.

        To compete with better-known firms in tech hotspots such as California and Boston, Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) is retraining its recruiters to tell personal stories of opportunities and variety in tech projects to new hires. The company has retrained 50 of its 437 hiring managers, the story said.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 13 Is Set To Premiere Today

          Fedora 13 is shipping with X.Org Server 1.8, the Linux 2.6.33 kernel, GCC 4.4, KDE 4.4, and GNOME 2.30, among many other updated desktop and server packages.

    • Debian Family

      • Recent changes in dpkg

        The versions 1.15.6 and 1.15.7 of dpkg introduced several important changes.
        Let’s skim over them:

        * The dpkg-maintscript-helper tool has been introduced in dpkg 1.15.7.2 to help packagers deal with renaming conffiles and removing obsolete conffiles. Check its manual page dpkg-maintscript-helper(1) for more details on how to use it. This shell script might be extended over time to cover other common operations. Feel free to make suggestions while it’s not too late to make changes on this new interface.

      • Ubuntu

        • My thoughts on Ubuntu 10.04

          So, why did I go back to Ubuntu? Why did I not stay on PCLinuxOS? Well, because KDE and GTK apps fought over control of Audio, and it forced me to use mostly GTK apps in a KDE environment. So, I wanted to go back to a GNOME distribution that offered great PulseAudio support, and something I haven’t tried yet. So, although I’ve used previous versions of Ubuntu, I have had yet to give 10.04 a try. Not to mention Ubuntu 10.04 is normally my fall-back distribution where I normally expect everything to work.

          So anyway, to start off with, I kind of avoided using Ubuntu 10.04 for the first few weeks after release. Not because it was a new release or anything, but I wanted to give other distributions a try, and I wasn’t really agreeing with some of the things Canonical was doing, and the attitude they had towards their users when the users were showing their discontent on the changes that Ubuntu had made to the titlebar, or the fact Ubuntu was trying to look and act like Mac OS X. Also, I tried the Beta out and I wasn’t too big of a fan of it, even though I tried it in a VM. With the factors of the last time I tried 10.04 that it was in beta and that I tried it in a VM, and that I was getting a bit ticked off at PCLinuxOS KDE not wanting to properly install PulseAudio, I felt “Why not give Ubuntu 10.04 a try.”

          [...]

          So overall Ubuntu 10.04 is a very nice distribution. I did have a few issues with it here and there, but nothing too much. Some of the issues I did have with it before even using the final version were more to do with Canonical’s decisions, and the attitude towards the users that were showing their discontent towards the changes they made. Overall, I would definitely recommend it to somebody who is looking to start out with Linux – that, along with Mint, PCLinuxOS, or Mandriva. I would definitely say give this a try and tell me your thoughts on it in the comments! Thanks for reading, and if you want to, subscribe clicking on the link at the top right of my blog!

        • Variants

          • Ubuntu Linux Netbook Edition 10.04 (Lucid Lynx)

            I’ve been reviewing various Ubuntu derivatives and this week I thought it would be fun to take a look at the netbook version of Ubuntu.

            Ubuntu Netbook Edition used to be called Ubuntu Netbook Remix, but Canonical changed the name once this distro became an official edition of Ubuntu.

            [...]

            Summary: Ubuntu Netbook Edition takes most of what’s great about the desktop version and wraps it up in a colorful, attractive netbook interface.
            Rating: 4/5

          • Puppy Linux turns to Ubuntu for version 5.0

            Puppy variants include a Quirky 1.0 release intended as an experimental sandbox for new Puppy ideas.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Build a Linux-Powered Sprinkler System for your Garden

      Once all the electronics are in place, grab your favorite Linux flavor and install it followed by a tiny app called parcon to turn the parallel port’s data lines on and off. Follow the post’s directions for using crontab to schedule watering, and you’re good to go.

    • Android

      • Pandigital’s Novel eReader: The Little Android Tablet That Could?

        Pandigital has unveiled an e-book reader that appears to have many of the features the iPad sports. Although its screen size is smaller and its battery life is less, its price tag is could make up for those deficiencies: It will sell for a mere $199. Also, it runs on Android, which is drawing increasing interest as a developer platform.

      • Android 2.2: A Developer’s Perspective

        So, on the surface, it appears that Android 2.2 is goodness with few downsides. Of course, with the SDK only being available for ~36 hours, we may yet run into major regressions or other calamities. But Froyo went how I would expect Gingerbread and future releases to go — the core remains largely unchanged, new APIs are added you can optionally leverage, and lots of stuff gets added around and outside of app development.

      • T-Mobile Garminfone looks confirmed for June 2 release

        It seems that your wait for Garmin’s first T-Mobile-bound phone — the aptly-named Garminfone — might be a short one. We’d already known it was coming in June for $200, but this shot here makes it sounds like June 2 is the date you should start lining up in front of the store at four in the morning (we kid, we kid) for your shot at arguably the best turn-by-turn experience available on an Android phone today. You can get over the lack of Froyo and a 3.5mm headphone jack, right?

      • Google open sources My Tracks GPS app for Android

        Google has announced that it has released the source code for its My Tracks GPS application for Android powered devices. The My Tracks app allows users to record GPS coordinates and visualise the routes they take when, for example, hiking, running or biking. The app also features several live statistics, such as time, speed, distance and elevation, and data can be exported to other Google services like Google Spreadsheets or Google Maps. The company says that it hopes that open sourcing My Tracks will help to improve the app and attract enthusiasts, developers and third-parties.

    • Tablets

      • Computex will bring Android + ARM tablets, but are they ready?

        Computex Taipei is coming up next week, and tech watchers should brace for the impending wave of “iPad-killer” stories. Most of the upcoming tablet offerings out of Asia will run Google’s Android operating system—not because it’s a great tablet OS, but because it’s free, available, and has a growing roster of apps.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Don’t Talk The Talk, Without Walking The Walk, Otherwise You Are Just Throwing Gasoline On Fire

    All of this because Neil said some companies like Microsoft have us believe there is no innovation with open source. But there is no proof of that, so this whole discussion goes off without a foundation. Microsoft gets a probably uncalled for black eye, the people reading this are given a false impression and worse of all, the many good deeds and good will that Microsoft has earned from the open source community recently is wasted by misunderstanding.

  • Five questions about authenticity and the open source way with Jim Gilmore

    My friend Robert Stephens, founder of the Geek Squad, is fond of saying, “Advertising is the tax you pay for being unremarkable.” I feel that way about most marketing. I’d like to see creative talent diverted from making messages about goods and services and used instead to help create truly remarkable experiences, ones so compelling that they command a fee as product.

  • FLOSS for Medium Businesses : challenges and opportunities

    My answer was that Open Source is essentially a buyer market, not a vendor market. If you want to select an open source software, you can certainly find between 10 and more than 1000 open source product depending on what you are looking for (ex: a Web Server, a CMS, etc.). As a consequence, you have to define your need carefully, select one or several open source solution and then evaluate the maturity of the solution.

  • Events

  • Mozilla

    • Go personas happy with Personas Rotator

      Ready for some randomness in your browsing? Personas Rotator is a simple Firefox extension that changes the active persona as frequently as you want, picking one from the category you selected. If you are logged on to getpersonas.com you can pick from your saved favorite personas.

  • Oracle

    • OpenOffice.org Extensions: Are Two Repositories Better than One?

      The Free Software Foundation announced an alternative OpenOffice.org extensions repository, which will list only extensions released under free software licenses.

    • Can OpenOffice.org regain momentum?

      The latest evidence, from my friend Roberto Galoppini in Rome, is word that the Free Software Foundation has felt moved to create its own list of OpenOffice.org extensions, on its LibrePlanet wiki.

      The release from Peter Brown is polite. “The FSF asked the OpenOffice.org Community Council to list only free software extensions, or to provide a second independent listing which only included free extensions, but they declined to change their policy.”

  • BSD

    • Clang Gets Boosted By The Boost Libraries

      Clang, the C/Objective-C/C++ compiler front-end for the Low-Level Virtual Machine, and LLVM itself have a lot to be proud of lately. LLVM 2.7 was recently released with many new features, LLVM now has its own libstdc++ replacement, and LLVM is finding itself used in many places from a JIT engine in a Flash player to providing software acceleration in Gallium3D. The latest accomplishment for Clang is that the C++ library can now build the Boost libraries.

  • Government

    • Texas moves emphasize need to open source education

      Texas has created an enormous opportunity for states, for communities, for publishers, and for authors to use open source and mass customization to transform education, just as those savings are most needed.

  • Open Data

    • Spreading the Word about Open Government Data

      One of the most amazing – and heartening – developments in the world of openness recently has been the emergence of the open government movement. Although still in its early stages, this will potentially have important ramifications for business, since one of the ideas at its heart is the opening up of government datasets for anyone to use and build on – including for commercial purposes (depending on the particular licences). The UK and US are leading the way in this sphere, and an important question is to what extent the experiences of these two countries can be generalised.

Leftovers

  • BDFL considered (potentially) harmful

    Your code may be open-source, but what about your project?

    Is your software project’s Benevolent Dictator For Life really benevolent?

    “Yes” is a fine answer.

  • Security/Aggression

    • TJX Hacker Gets 20 Years in Prison

      Convicted TJX hacker Albert Gonzalez was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Thursday for leading a gang of cyberthieves who stole more than 90 million credit and debit card numbers from TJX and other retailers.

    • Typhoid adware hijacks LAN, inserts ads into uninfected computers’ browsers

      Security researchers at the University of Calgary have identified a new malware they call “Typhoid.” Typhoid impersonates the wireless router on your local network, effecting a man-in-the-middle attack that allows it to insert ads into the browsing sessions of all the other, uninfected users on the LAN.

    • Typhoid Adware Could Spell Trouble at Internet Cafes

      Researchers from the University of Calgary, in Alberta, Canada, have developed proof-of-concept implementations of a scheme that exploits unencrypted wireless connections to blast PCs with ads.

    • Surveillance Suspected as Spacecraft’s Main Role

      A team of amateur sky watchers has pierced the veil of secrecy surrounding the debut flight of the nation’s first robotic spaceplane, finding clues that suggest the military craft is engaged in the development of spy satellites rather than space weapons, which some experts have suspected but the Pentagon strongly denies.

    • School Spy Program Used on Students Contains Hacker-Friendly Security Hole

      A controversial remote administration program that a Pennsylvania school district installed on student-issued laptops contains a security hole that put the students at risk of being spied on by people outside the school, according to a security firm that examined the software.

    • School violated student’s privacy in ‘sexting’ case, lawsuit says

      A 19-year-old Pennsylvania woman sued her former high school Thursday, claiming school officials invaded her privacy and violated her free-speech rights when they confiscated her cell phone, found semi-nude photos stored inside and turned the phone over to authorities.

    • NHS uses babies’ blood for secret database

      HOSPITALS have quietly created banks of DNA from blood taken from millions of newborn babies without the proper consent of their parents, emails show.

      Freedom of information (FOI) requests to hospitals around Britain have established that the blood samples, taken in heel-prick tests to screen for serious conditions, have been privately stored by parts of the NHS since 1984.

  • Environment

    • Oil tax increase would help pay to clean up spills

      Responding to the massive BP oil spill, Congress is getting ready to quadruple—to 32 cents a barrel—a tax on oil used to help finance cleanups. The increase would raise nearly $11 billion over the next decade.

      [...]

      President Barack Obama and congressional leaders have said they expect BP to foot the bill for the cleanup.

      “Taxpayers will not pick up the tab,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday.

    • What Are The Fiduciary Duties Of Heritage Minister James Moore?

      At this point I’d like to segue to the Gulf of Mexico – should BP be allowed to cause damage to it’s neighbors? Think about it. The fisherman in Louisiana may loose their livelihoods because of the oil spill. Does BP have a responsibility to repair the damage caused by the oil spill? Because it is the same issue. Andrei also made a claim that

      That’s what the monstrosity about social justice is all about. It requires that in order to give the unearned to the undeserving, the government use force to extort value from people of achievement.

      You could read Andrei’s statement as saying that the money that the people of Louisiana could earn from having a sound ecosystem is unearned, and that they are undeserving of government protection. Or legal protection if you wish. Executive. Legislature. Judiciary. These are the three legs of government. The courts, or judiciary, are the third leg of the government stool. All three parts of the government have a fiduciary duty to the citizenry. When part of the government fails to act on a situation for which it is responsible, the damage can be profound.

  • Finance

    • Insider Trading Is Perfectly Legal – But Only For Members Of The U.S. Congress

      Did you know that insider trading is perfectly legal in the United States? Well, not for 99.9% of the population. It is actually only a very small percentage of the population that can legally indulge in insider trading – the members of the United States Congress. In fact, a law that would ban insider trading by members of Congress has been stalled for years on Capitol Hill. So why wouldn’t lawmakers in Washington D.C. want to apply the same rules to themselves that apply to the rest of us? After all, how are we supposed to respect the integrity of those “serving” in Congress when they are playing by an entirely different set of rules? The American people aren’t stupid. They can see what is going on. The truth is that there is a reason why approval ratings for Congress are at an all-time low.

    • Senate: Exclude car dealers from consumer rules

      With House-Senate negotiations on the bill expected to conclude next month, the talks provide an opening for a last lobbying thrust before the legislation reaches the president for his signature.

    • To Prepay for a Crisis, or Not

      That assessment of the Senate’s recently approved financial legislation came from Harvey R. Miller, the éminence grise of the bankruptcy bar and a partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

    • Regulation vs. Structural Change

      I would add that Obama is also a political pragmatist with a strong belief that getting something done is better than nothing. I think that on health care he and the administration probably did the best they could. Remember, they barely got a majority in the House, then barely got sixty votes in the Senate, then barely got a majority in the House again (to pass the revised bill), and public opinion was very divided.

      But on financial reform I think they could have gotten more done. First of all, public opinion wanted more; and second, the administration lobbied against some of the most far-reaching changes, such as Kaufman-Brown and Blanche Lincoln’s derivatives spinout provision, and Merkley-Levin never got a vote. The whole theater of the administration trying to put the bill into stone before it got much stronger should have been embarrassing to them, but they decided they could take the hit.

    • House, Senate battle over extending fiduciary duty

      House and Senate lawmakers overhauling Wall Street are clashing over whether brokers and insurance agents should have a fiduciary duty to their clients.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Leave Them Tubes Alone

      Others have not backed off, though. The Federal Communications Commission has been working diligently to find a way to act on the same control impulses that Sunstein had in mind, with something called “net neutrality.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • China Blasts Bogus US Report On China’s IP Policies… As US & China Seek New IP Agreement

      It seems the left hand doesn’t always know what the right hand is doing on the diplomatic front, apparently. Late last week, the US and Chinese patent offices signed an agreement promising cooperation, including sharing information and best practices between the two. At the same time, however, it appears the Chinese government is pretty steamed about being included in the USTR’s silly special 301 report (which is basically mocked by everyone outside of the the USTR and the entertainment or pharma industries).

      [...]

      While it’s difficult to take the word of Chinese officials on this matter seriously, we again have to wonder if US politicians (and industry reps) have any idea what they’re setting themselves up for. As we noted recently, under pressure from US companies and politicians, China has begun cracking down on infringement, but has done so almost exclusively against foreign companies. Ticking off China even more on this issue doesn’t seem like a particularly wise strategy.

    • Supreme Court: NFL Not Immune From Anti-Trust Lawsuits

      Justice Stevens proves to be the go-to Justice once again when it comes to IP issues on the Supreme Court.

      It just released a unanimous decision that he authored, holding that the NFL can be sued for anti-trust violations for trying to give exclusive manufacturing licenses for producing trademarked clothing with NFL logos on them.

    • Justices rule against NFL over apparel licensing

      The Supreme Court unanimously ruled against the National Football League over its exclusive contract with an apparel maker in one of the most important sports law cases in decades.

    • The Social Efficiency of Fairness

      Property rights provide incentives to create information but they also provide incentives to hoard it prior to the award of protection. All-or-nothing rights, in particular, limit prior sharing. An unintended consequence is to slow, not hasten, forward progress when innovation hinges on combining disparately owned private ideas. In response, we propose a solution, based on a reward defnition of “fairness,” that unblocks innovation by increasing willingness to share private knowledge.

      We present four arguments. First, we show that fairness can increase the rate of innovation. Welfare can improve both in the absolute sense of enabling new projects and in the relative sense of reordering the social sort order of which projects individuals prefer to undertake. Second, in contrast to models of “other regarding” preferences, we show how self-interest alone is suffcient to justify fairness in a one-time encounter. Third, we show how this problem is more acute for information than for tangible goods. Fourth, we argue that liability rather than property rules can be more conducive to innovation based on information reuse and recombination.

    • Copyrights

      • Hollywood Lands Triple Strike On Pirate Bay, OpenBitTorrent

        With the assistance of the Svea Court of Appeals, the main Hollywood movie studios have landed a triple blow on OpenBitTorrent, The Pirate Bay and site founders Gottfrid Svartholm and Fredrik Neij. The Court handed out three injunctions yesterday, one of which took the OpenBitTorrent tracker offline.

      • RapidShare Also Scores Trail-blazing Victory in US

        Yet another company has failed in its attempt to discredit and have the business model of the leading global one-click-filehost, RapidShare AG, declared illegal.

      • 1 down, 5 to go? isoHunt neutered by US judge

        An American judge, concerned about the “staggering volume of infringement” taking place at BitTorrent search site isoHunt, has issued a permanent injunction against the site and its owner, Canadian Gary Fung.

      • 5 Insane File Sharing Panics from Before the Internet

        1. VCR’s Will Kill Television!
        2. Phonographs and Player Pianos Will Kill Music!
        3. Pirated BASIC Will Kill Software Development!
        4. The Cassette Will Kill Music! Again!
        5. The Printing Press Will Kill Literature!

      • James Murdoch Lectures On Copyright, But Still Seems Confused

        I love the wording here: “assert a fair value.” As if implying that everyone else in the business is not asserting a fair value. But, again, we can see what the market thinks of his notion of “fair value,” but I warn him that the market tends to price things not on “fair value” (a made up concept) but on supply and demand. I’d like to see how his notion of “fair value” stands up to the notion of “widespread free competition.”

      • ISP Takes BitTorrent Admin Privacy Case To The Supreme Court

        Earlier this week a Swedish appeals court upheld the ruling of a district court and ordered an ISP to hand over the details of a torrent site operator. Faced with a potential $96,500 fine for non-compliance, TeliaSonera has announced it will take an appeal to the Supreme Court in an attempt to balance pre-existing privacy obligations with those under IPRED.

      • When Anti-Pirates Sue Each Other Over Pirating Each Other’s Technology…

        Well, this is fun. A tech company in Germany is claiming that movie studio Warner Bros. has “pirated” its “anti-piracy” technology.

      • National Post Reports “Heavy Handed” Copyright Law Coming Next Week

        While that is not how I would describe the outcome of the consultation – fair copyright is not the same as “go-easy” – Martin’s report is wholly consistent with my earlier reporting that the PMO has sided with the out-of-touch Moore, who has emerged as a staunch advocate for a Canadian DMCA. While the bill will undoubtedly include some elements designed to garner support from consumer and education groups, the U.S.-style approach to digital locks will effectively undermine the current fair dealing provision and any additional user-oriented reforms that find their way into the bill.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – Festival of Flight (1/5/2003)


05.24.10

Links 24/5/2010: ASUS + Expressgate/Linux, Xfce 4.6.2 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 6:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Choice: Linux or Red Dead Redemption?

    When Firmware 3.21 launched, many people thought it was a joke (partially due to its 1st April release date). In fact, it was nothing of the sort. It removed Other OS support, already omitted from the PlayStation 3 Slim, and led to some three separate lawsuits as people claimed that Sony was taking away advertised features. It also managed to bring down the United States Airforce, which was using PS3s with Linux for processing power (fine, it didn’t, but how awesome would that be?)

  • Linux is going mainstream

    The truth is that Linux is well on it’s way to being a mainstream operating system. The bad news is that this will not happen the way many of us envisioned.

  • Business

    • Who said Linux couldn’t make you money?

      But someone has done it, and done it well. That someone? The Linux Box. The “Box” was established in 1999 in order to provide regional, national, and international customers with support for open source technologies. On top of that, they commit 20% of their budget back into open source software development (to projects like OpenAFS, Moodle, Drupal, dotProject, Jobby, Squid, and more). Located in Ann Arbor Michigan, The Linux Box works closely with the community and has built its business around close collaboration with customers.

    • Show me the money…

      Every day I come to work, I get excited about the possibilities of the power of participation: to solve complex problems, to share knowledge, to bring people together. Opensource.com has been a great vehicle for me to learn and participate in a dialog about the power of open source principles–-especially when applied beyond software.

      I believe together we can solve many of the most complex problems our world faces. I also believe strongly that we, as a society, will never fully realize the full potential of the power of participation unless and until we find vehicles for individuals and institutions (both public and private) to directly profit from it.

      [...]

      Red Hat is an example: our mission is to be the catalyst in communities. Our community/enterprise model clearly works, but we need to find more business models to encourage others to play catalytic roles and foster their own communities of participation.

    • How to Sell Linux
  • Desktop

    • How to Configure an Ubuntu Linux Computer for Less Than $200

      Does your family need an extra PC? Educator, Mac expert, and Linux enthusiast Phil Shapiro explains in this YouTube video how, for less than the price of some operating systems, you can configure a useful, virus-free computer with a 23-inch LCD monitor ($150 refurbished) and a Wi-Fi wireless adapter ($15). This project is easy to do and should take about an hour.

    • Your old computer, born again

      Netbooks such as the original Acer Aspire One and the Dell Mini don’t use the latest iteration of the Intel Atom processor (called Pineview) and come with 1GB of RAM or less. (Companies such as Lenovo now offer 2GB and 3GB versions of their netbooks.) Older netbooks usually run Windows XP, which some see as outdated.

      One easy way to make your netbook run faster is to use a new operating system called Jolicloud.

      To use Jolicloud, you’ll need a 1GB USB key. Click the download link at Jolicloud.com and download the ISO file for Jolicloud and use Jolicloud’s USB Creator to create the key. Boot up your netbook, watching carefully for the key to press so you can access the netbook’s BIOS. Now, look for an option to boot from a USB key, enable it and save the BIOS. Jolicloud will walk you through the basic installation.

    • Church of Linux

      Another advantage of bringing spinoffs back to their parent distribution is the increased development power. Why have 10 people working on each of 10 distributions when you could have 25 people working on each of 4 distributions, each of which have a couple of specialised setups available.

    • The View from Mudsock Heights: Linux Has Come Far — In One Case, Maybe Too Far

      The free software movement, which in many respects means the Linux operating system, is a puzzle to those accustomed to paying for things. Software is expensive stuff — how good can the stuff be if it doesn’t cost anything?

      Actually, very, very good.

      [...]

      Then, in July 1998, the desktop problem started to be solved. That’s when KDE 1.0 was released. I downloaded, compiled, and installed it that very first day, and it blew me away. Linux was now easy to use, sort of. KDE (which stood for the “KDE Desktop Environment,” in that self-referential Linux way) could do things in version 1.0 more than a decade ago that only the latest Windows can do.

    • Washing the windows myths. Device support.

      There is a common mantra which windows advocates like to chant. I guess it has a calming influence for them as they navigate the labyrinth of installing new hardware on their machines. The mantra goes like this, windows has better device support. This mantra, while boosting the superiority complex of windows advocates, is simply a myth.

      It is said that myths generally have a germ of truth in them and I have to agree. Many years ago windows did have superior device support. That has all changed now. In fact the situation has reversed. Linux now has superior device support when compared to windows and arguably any other operating system. The reason for this is due to the differences between the way windows and Linux look at hardware device drivers.

      [...]

      The proof is in the pudding. Do this experiment, if you dare. If you have not already lost your windows drivers disks, put them away under lock and key. Format your hard drive and install windows from scratch, without installing any other drivers. How much of your hardware works? Now do the same for Linux. You will find that more of your hardware works with a standard install of just about any modern Linux distribution. Including printers, webcams, scanners and other peripherals.

  • Asus

    • Asus has NOT abandoned Linux

      We came across this article written by Steven Nichols, Computer World, who believes Linux is dead on netbooks. Well, guess what Asus Asia has been selling the Asus Eee 1201T with Express Gate which is actually a customized Linux OS. This allows them to sell this AMD NEO-powered machine under $380 because Linux does not cost a penny. It comes with AMD NEO processor, 2GB RAM, 320GB HDD, 12.1-inch 1366×768 pixel display and a very spacious chiclet keyboard.

    • Lost Sheep

      First ASUS unleashes netbooks with GNU/Linux. Then they push that other OS. Now they are selling good netbooks with no OS but Expressgate. What’s with that?

      Surely M$ does not approve. Is this another sign that M$ is losing its grip on OEMs?

  • Server

    • Linux trading system to save London Stock Exchange £10m a year

      The London Stock Exchange has said its new open source-based trading system will save it at least £10 million annually, as well as driving new business.

      Millennium Exchange, a Linux and Sun Solaris Unix-based platform, which uses Oracle databases, is being rolled out across all of the LSE’s electronic trading systems, replacing the slower TradElect platform, which is Microsoft .Net based. TradElect had suffered a series of high-profile outages and will be replaced by Millennium Exchange in stages from September.

    • When the Administrator walks…

      Each situation is different but here are some general recommendations. First, make sure you have a LiveCD of your favourite distribution. Fedora, Ubuntu, even Knoppix have a number of tools already baked in that you will find you will need. If possible, write your LiveCD out to a USB stick and add additional packages so they are there when you need them and you will not have to rely on an external connection to the Internet.

  • Audiocasts

    • Linux Outlaws 150 – Linux Cloudlaws

      This time on Linux Outlaws: HP buys Palm, Steam coming to Linux, Humble Indy Bundle goes open source, more PS3 firmware fallout, Red Hat & Novell win important lawsuit, Mandriva in trouble, UDS news and lots of Microsoft and Apple bashing as usual…

    • KDE and the Masters of the Universe – 2010-05-21

      This week on KDEMU we introduce Mike Arthur one of the co-hosts of KDEMU, we talk about KDE on Mac OSX, his plans for rend-a-child and his love for David Faure!

    • Episode 141: The Fourth Colour (Microsode 1)

      This is the first Microsode of Meet the GIMP. This are short(er) videos that are produced ahead of publication and cover one topic – and no chit chat about my life, the site, the forum and so on.

    • Full Circle Podcast #7: Two Tin Cans and a Length of String

      News: Ubuntu Developers Summit, Ubuntu Light, Unity.

      Guest Spot: We go through the Ubuntu bug-reporting process with Alan Pope.

      Games: Ed, Dave and Alan are all agreed about the Humble Indie Bundle and Dave looks at Wormux.

      Interview: Part II of the Ubuntu Manual Project – tools

      Keynote: Part I of Mark Shuttleworth’s keynote from UDS

  • Ballnux

  • Benchmarks

  • Graphics Stack

    • NVIDIA 256 Beta Linux Driver Released

      NVIDIA has rolled out its first beta in the expected 256.xx driver series for Linux, Windows, and other supported platforms. Last month we asked what you wanted from the NVIDIA 256.xx driver and while many of the respondents didn’t get their greatest wishes answered, the 256.25 beta driver does offer quite a bit of changes over the previous-generation proprietary NVIDIA driver.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Status of Gentoo on MacBook Pro (5,3)

      So, as you can see, besides pommed, a fan script, and the webcam, there’s really very little tweaking required. Everything more or less works.

    • Slackware Linux 13.1 screenshots

      If you’ve grown tired of all the hand-holding utilities in Ubuntu or Fedora, then look no further than Slackware — a distribution that shuns the now-standard GUI configuration and system utilities in favour of the venerable command line.

    • Reviews

      • First look at NimbleX 2010 (Beta)

        NimbleX NimbleX, based on Slackware Linux, is a project which attempts to provide a small, yet fully functional, desktop operating system for people on the go. Specifically, NimbleX provides a modern KDE desktop on a live CD or Flash drive. The project also provides a tool called Custom NimbleX, which allows the user to customize their ISO image prior to downloading it. Before taking NimbleX for a test drive, I had a chance to talk with Bogdan Radulescu, creator of the distribution.

    • Debian Family

      • More flexible firmware handling in debian-installer

        After a long break from debian-installer development, I finally found time today to return to the project. Having to spend less time working dependency based boot in debian, as it is almost complete now, definitely helped freeing some time.

      • Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS

          Overall I think 10.04 is another great step forward to Ubnutu and Linux in general to get into the hands and homes of the average user. Kudos to the Ubuntu team for a great OS distro, keep up the great work guys!

        • More Ubuntu 10.04

          The software bundled with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx is much the same as the past few versions – Firefox, OpenOffice, Rhythmbox (think iTunes), and F-Spot (for digital cameras) – so you needn’t scour around for the essentials. GIMP (Photoshop-like image editor, but without CMYK support) is not in by default any more but easily added.

          When you do need to install something else, a new Ubuntu Software Centre offers a cheerful interface, for a large repository of free apps.

        • Fawning Over Ubuntu 10.04

          I can’t say enough good things about this Ubuntu distro, I highly recommend you upgrade if you use older Ubuntu distros or if you’re a PC user who’s itching for a change from Windows, download the ISO and give it a whirl without even installing it. Yes, Ubuntu Live CD will let you test drive the distro without even installing it. Again, well done Ubuntu crew, keep up the work and thanks for a beautiful and functional OS!

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 194

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 194 for the week May 16th – May 22nd, 2010. In this issue we cover Ubuntu Mentioned on CBS’s The Big Bang Theory, Audio from UDS Sessions Now Available, Taking a Long Term View of the Release, Next Americas Regional Membership Board Meeting Announced, Why Launchpad Rocks, Kubuntu Maverick All Planned Out at UDS, Ubuntu Stats, Ubuntu Uruguay Approved Team, Ubuntu-my (Malaysia) Workshop Monash University, Ubuntu-my (Malaysia) Lucid Release Party, Ubuntu Catalan LoCo Team Release Party, Ubuntu Brazil Release Party Pictures, Ubuntini Recipe Released, LoCo Items for Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Debian and Ubuntu, Archive / Permissions Reorg confusion, Ubuntu Maverick UDS Group Photo made with the Hugin Panorama Creator, Melissa Draper: UW World Play Day 2010 Competition: The Movie, In The Press, In the Blogosphere, In Other News, Upcoming Meetings and Events, Updates and Security, and much much more!

        • Puppy

          • Puppy Linux 5.0 “Lucid Puppy” Released

            My initial fears, that the move over to Ubuntu packages would have a serious negative impact on performance and resource usage, seem to have been unfounded. As ever, Puppy booted into a useful and responsive desktop on a test setup with 256MB of RAM. It remains my go to distribution for a certain type of project.

          • REVIEW: Puppy Arcade 8 (LiveCD 105mb)

            Yet another great release for Puppy Arcade. I like the idea of having a poll for the browser, which means that not only do you get a smaller .iso download, but you don’t have to waste your time downloading a browser which you are going to replace anyway. The size of the download is another massive plus and will have you enjoying emulation in no time at all. It’s quite amusing to think that the whole distro is downloaded in 105mb which is less than many PSX games themselves!

        • Kubuntu

          • Kubuntu Netbook Edition 10.04 review

            The installation is dead simple, just like Ubuntu. If you have installed any Linux OS lately, you should not have any problem installing Kubuntu Netbook Edition. I installed it using UnetBootin which allows one to make a bootable USB drive.

            Out of the box, everything worked, from Ethernet to Wireless LAN – everything! This is great as most of the netbook users do not like wandering over Ubuntu/Kubuntu forums trying everything to work. Even the function keys worked.

          • Video: Kubuntu with KDE 4.3 Overview. Linux Rocks!

            Today whilst browsing Youtube for KDE-related videos (hey, some of us do it!) I can across this little gem of a video from self-described novice user ms55555. It highlights Kubuntu 10.04′s beauty in style. Some gems to look out for…

        • Variants

          • Lubuntu 10.04

            Lubuntu is a faster, more lightweight and energy saving variant of Ubuntu using LXDE, the Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment. The Lubuntu team aims to earn official endorsement from Canonical. Please join us.

            [...]

            I was pleasantly surprised and quite liked the Netbook mode, which give us a different from the traditional desktop as an alternative. I also like the way to manage start-up login, where it allows us to start with the default LXDE desktop or with Lubuntu Netbook mode.

          • Community Counts: Another Advantage to Linux Mint

            A few months back I listed five reasons I thought Linux Mint is a better choice than Ubuntu for a Linux distro. Today I would like to add another reason to that list. With the recent releases of Ubuntu 10.04 and Linux Mint 9 we see something that I feel really makes Linux Mint out shine Ubuntu (yet again)…

            [...]

            Now what is the big deal about a distro making improvements to itself in a new release? It is the fact that the creators took to heart what their users where telling them when making this improvement. For some of you this may not be a big deal, but personally I enjoy using a distro where my opinion counts.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Pandora’s Linux Based Gaming Handheld Now Shipping – Open Source Gaming Goes Portable

      In what can only be considered a major victory for the open source gaming scene the fabled Pandora handheld is finally shipping. After almost two years of sneak peeks and disappointing setbacks the first batch of units are finally being massed produced and sent out to paying customers. The end product is the polar opposite of the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP in just about every respect. Rather than trying to make a closed down platform filled with proprietary technologies, the hardware and software architectures are completely open and just begging to be exploited.

    • BYO Linux router to the NBN

      They can both be part of the home router you connect to it, according to ISP iPrimus. Customers will be free to use whatever router they like, such as a Linux-based Tomato router (firmware that you install into a readily available router such as the Linksys WRT54G).

      There had been concerns among the enthusiast community that the government would mandate a particular router be used at customer premises so that the network could be administratively controlled remotely.

      However, customers will have complete freedom to use their own homebrew Linux routers to connect their premises to the National Broadband Network instead of using a standard router from the likes of Netcomm or Netgear, internet service provider Primus revealed last week.

    • BYO Linux router to the NBN
    • Toyota’s Robot Violinist Wows Crowd At Shanghai Expo 2010 (Video)
    • Sub-notebooks

      • Will the ‘$100 laptop’ project ever be considered a success?

        “The creation of the netbook market is largely, and appropriately, credited to OLPC,” says Ed McNierney, Chief Technical Officer of OLPC. “We wouldn’t have $300 netbooks in the consumer market if that push from OLPC hadn’t happened.

      • Installing Linux On ARM-Based Netbooks?

        For example, the Augen E-Go. It is a widely touted theory that it is impossible to install Linux on one of these notebooks, replacing the commonly installed Windows CE operating system. The sub-$100 netbooks carry decent specs, including 533MHz ARM processor; 128MB DDR RAM; and a 2GB Flash drive, as well as most expected netbook components (USB, Wi-Fi, etc.). I find it hard to believe that a computer with these specs is impossible to hack and install Linux to, but Google searches have been largely unsuccessful in finding proper information. Do any Slashdot readers have experience in installing ARM Linux distros to these cheap netbooks like this? If so, what distros do they recommend?

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source film recommendation engine from Filmaster.com

    Filmaster.com, a social network for film lovers, has recently presented a new movie recommendations engine. The algorithm that generates recommendations is open source and has been released under AGPLv3 license.

  • Quality

    • Open source innovation on the cutting edge

      Open source doesn’t innovate — so goes the old saw. Proprietary software vendors, including Microsoft, would have you believe the open source movement has produced nothing but knockoffs of existing products and cast-off code that couldn’t cut it in the free market.

    • 7 open source innovations on the cutting edge

      Think open source doesn’t innovate? Think again. Here are seven projects that are exploring exciting new directions in computing — for free

    • License Equals Software Quality?

      But does closed source software simply work better? One could make the case that because of the commercial nature of closed source, i.e., finished projects make money, that closed source software is ready to work faster–though I don’t think you could make that a blanket statement. Like open source software, a feature added to proprietary software has to be decided upon, only now the feature has to pass another bar to get included: it has to be profitable. Which means, even if it’s the Coolest Feature Ever, if may not get included because the proprietary vendor may not want to make the investment.

      This is why, ultimately, I think the whole open vs. closed software quality argument is moot. Each of the approaches has strengths and weaknesses the other approach doesn’t, which balances out the notion that any software will be higher or lower quality because of its license. Developers code software poorly or well based on their own strengths.

      There are other facets of the open vs. closed debate, a debate that I believe open source ultimately wins. Just don’t make software quality part of the argument. It’s a moot point.

  • Events

  • Mozilla

    • a better web is winning

      There are more than half a billion people using these four amazing and modern browsers right now.

  • SaaS

    • Open APIs key in cloud computing

      It is the data formats and the walled gardens that sit within the cloud environments that will become the biggest challenge to customers looking to avoid vendor lock-in. And it affects home users as much as it does enterprise customers and governments – it’s hard enough as an individual to close a Facebook account, imagine trying to move that data to another service?

  • Oracle

    • How Could the NetBeans Team Make Money from the NetBeans Platform?

      With the snowballing interest in NetBeans Platform usage (here’s a nice list of +-150 screenshots and counting), is there a place, somewhere/somehow, where Sun/Oracle/NetBeans could make actual money from the NetBeans Platform? (And would the amount of money be an “interesting” amount?)

  • BSD

  • Government

    • FR: Chamber of Commerce selects open source for craftsmen

      A DVD with a selection of free and open source software applications tailored to very small businesses (VSBs), was published by the Chamber of Commerce for Crafts and Trades of the French Somme Department, earlier this year.

      “Our goal is to assist VSBs in their use of office productivity tools and business applications”, writes Alain Bethfort, president of the organisation, in his introduction.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Ninth worker death at Taiwan iPhone firm Foxconn

    A ninth employee has jumped to his death at Taiwanese iPhone manufacturer Foxconn, China’s state media reports.

    Xinhua said 21-year-old Nan Gang leapt from a four-storey factory in China’s Shenzhen in the early hours.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

    • “It’s BP’s Rules – Not Ours.”
    • Nature Conservancy faces potential backlash from ties with BP

      In the days after the immensity of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico became clear, some Nature Conservancy supporters took to the organization’s Web site to vent their anger.
      This Story

      *
      Nature Conservancy faces potential backlash from ties with BP
      *
      Salazar slams BP for missing deadlines
      *
      Gulf slick is invading fragile coastal bays
      *
      BP agreed in 2004 to parts changes on drilling rig, letter says
      *
      Oil spill cleanup, containment efforts, hearings in wake of gulf disaster

      View All Items in This Story
      View Only Top Items in This Story

      “The first thing I did was sell my shares in BP, not wanting anything to do with a company that is so careless,” wrote one. Another added: “I would like to force all the BP executives, the secretaries and the shareholders out to the shore to mop up oil and wash the birds.” Reagan De Leon of Hawaii called for a boycott of “everything BP has their hands in.”

    • Another Chance to Stop the Gulf Leak

      BP is preparing to launch a procedure as early as Sunday to clog the flow of oil and gas from the month-old Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But the proposed “top kill” method is untested at the 5,000-foot depth of the spill, and could easily join the growing list of fixes thwarted by the spill’s punishingly remote environment. It is also the most invasive maneuver attempted to date, and could rupture the leaking well and actually accelerate the flow of crude.

    • BP prepares complex ‘top kill’ bid to plug well

      Government and BP officials are hopeful after extensive preparations, but are not guaranteeing that a complex attempt early this week to cap an uncontrolled underwater oil spill from a well in the Gulf of Mexico will be successful.

      The so-called “top kill” procedure that oil major BP is tentatively scheduled to attempt on Tuesday involves plugging up the well by pumping thick “drilling mud” and cement into it. While it has been attempted on above ground wells, it has never been tried at the depths involved with this spill, nearly 5,000 feet below the surface.

      In an e-mail to staff late Friday, BP CEO Tony Hayward said success of the procedure could not be taken for granted, according to the Wall Street Journal.

  • Finance

    • New financial rules might not prevent next crisis

      The most sweeping changes to financial rules since the Great Depression might not prevent another crisis.

    • Rules Grow, Banks Stay Same Size

      The financial legislation passed by the Senate last week, largely built to specifications that the administration provided last summer, vastly increases the scope and sophistication of federal regulation. It grants more resources and more authority to those charged with overseeing the industry. It is hoped that this will produce better results.

      The bill does not, as some liberal Democrats and populist Republicans had advocated, require the breakup of conglomerated behemoths. It does not prohibit some of the most speculative genres of Wall Street trading. It does not reduce the vast menagerie of financial companies that compete with banks.

    • Commentary: Maryland foreclosure-prevention law adds bite to federal efforts
    • Tax credit and low mortgage rates boost home sales

      Homebuyers rushed to take advantage of government incentives and low mortgage rates in April, giving the housing market its biggest boost in five months.

    • As Reform Takes Shape, Some Relief on Wall St.

      The financial reform legislation making its way through Congress has Wall Street executives privately relieved that the bill does not do more to fundamentally change how the industry does business.

    • Cuts to Child Care Subsidy Thwart More Job Seekers

      Despite a substantial increase in federal support for subsidized child care, which has enabled some states to stave off cuts, others have trimmed support, and most have failed to keep pace with rising demand, according to poverty experts and federal officials.

    • Government Spending and Economic Expansions

      With everyone waiting until the other guy moves first, there isn’t much of a foundation set down for future growth. But if the government steps in and acts when nobody else is willing to do so, it could create that more stable environment the private sector needs in order to get off the ground.

    • Ask Goldman Sachs to Give it Back!

      To be fair, sometimes they had the money to pay off one another without government bailouts, but not often. That’s because they were largely betting with money they never had. AIG is the perfect example. Their executives made hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses from the early wins in these bets, but then stuck the taxpayers with a $182 billion bill when they lost.

    • So much for the little guy

      The Obama administration’s tough statements about Wall Street misdeeds mask a strange fact: For an administration that talks so much about helping the little guy, it is astonishing how many of President Barack Obama’s “reforms” work to the advantage of powerful corporate interests at the expense of small employers and independent entrepreneurs.

      Two recent examples are the new burdens that Obamacare places on small business and the way the administration’s proposed financial reform legislation works to the advantage of the largest financial institutions at the expense of smaller competitors.

    • Poll: Economists more upbeat despite deficit woes

      Economists forecast the pace of U.S. growth to pick up in the year ahead as consumers and businesses alike accelerate spending, according to a new survey.

    • Bank Brawl Continues: Now It’s Lincoln vs. Obama

      Last week, the U.S. Senate passed a financial reform bill that was far stronger that what had been proposed by the Obama administration and passed by the House. Now it’s time to hold President Obama’s feet to the fire to ensure the strongest possible bill.

    • ‘100% Protected’ Isn’t as Safe as It Sounds

      For an investor in one of these notes to earn the return of the index as well as get the principal back, the index cannot fall 25.5 percent or more from its level at the date of issuance. Neither can it rise more than 27.5 percent above that level. If the index exceeds those levels during the holding period, the investors receive only their principal back.

    • Case Said to Conclude Against Head of A.I.G. Unit

      Federal prosecutors investigating the events leading up to the collapse of the American International Group in 2008 will not bring charges against Joseph Cassano, the chief executive of the unit that insured mortgage-related securities with calamitous results, according to two people briefed on the matter.

    • Financial Overhaul Bill Poses Big Test for Lobbyists

      Last Wednesday, Representative David Scott, Democrat of Georgia, mingled with insurance and financial executives and other supporters at a lunchtime fund-raiser in his honor at a chic Washington wine bar before rushing out to cast a House vote.

    • A Guide to Complaints That Get Results
    • What is the point of innovative financial instruments ?

      I remain very ignorant about banking and real world finance. Some time ago, a commenter noted that while at first I said I was winging it I seemed much more confident and asked if I had learned a lot or if I was winging it louder. I am winging it louder.

      I don’t know what innovative financial instruments have been invented. I tend to assume that the purpose of some is tax avoidance. For all I know, some are used to share risk, and might actually be socially useful.

    • Dems play old-school hardball

      To finish the Wall Street reform bill, Democrats are resurrecting a casualty of Washington’s hyperpartisan culture: the House-Senate conference committee, in which lawmakers from both parties will hash out differences between the two chambers’ bills.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Copyrights

    • Lady Gaga Says No Problem If People Download Her Music; The Money Is In Touring

      Like Mariah Carey, it looks like Lady Gaga has realized that this concept of Connect with Fans and giving them a Reason to Buy works at the superstar level just as much as it does down at the indie artist level. The specifics of implementing a business model around the concept are very, very different — but the core concept remains the same. Treat your fans right, learn to leverage what’s infinite to make something scare more valuable, and then sell the scarcity.

    • Eircom to cut broadband over illegal downloads

      EIRCOM WILL from today begin a process that will lead to cutting off the broadband service of customers found to be repeatedly sharing music online illegally.

      Ireland is the first country in the world where a system of “graduated response” is being put in place. Under the pilot scheme, Eircom customers who illegally share copyrighted music will get three warnings before having their broadband service cut off for a year.

    • How local TV could go the way of newspapers

      Once it becomes as easy and satisfying to view a YouTube video on your 50-inch television as it is to watch “Two and a Half Men,” audiences will fragment to the point that local broadcasters will not be able to attract large quantities of viewers for a particular program at a finite point in time.

    • ISP Must Hand Over Identity Of OpenBitTorrent Operator

      An ISP must hand over the identity of the operator behind a major BitTorrent tracker, a court in Sweden ruled today. OpenBitTorrent, probably the world’s largest public tracker, is currently hosted by Portlane. The ISP must now reveal the identity of its customer to Hollywood movie companies or face a hefty fine.

    • Federal Court Issues Permanent Injunction For Isohunt

      The injunction theoretically leaves the door open for the site to deploy a strict filtering system, but its terms are so broad that Isohunt has little choice but to shut down or at the very least block all US visitors. … The verdict states that they have to cease ‘hosting, indexing, linking to, or otherwise providing access to any (torrent) or similar files’ that can be used to download the studios’ movies and TV shows. Studios have to supply Isohunt with a list of titles of works they own, and Isohunt has to start blocking those torrents within 24 hours.

    • Want to buy a Linux company?
    • After keeping us waiting for a century, Mark Twain will finally reveal all

      The great American writer left instructions not to publish his autobiography until 100 years after his death, which is now

    • Separating Fact from Fiction: My Fair Copyright Proposals

      So yet again in an effort to separate fact from fiction, here is my submission to the copyright consultation from last summer. It doesn’t call for everything to be free, it calls for WIPO implementation, and it emphasizes that updating the law means accounting for both creator and consumer needs.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – FoF – RLVs (1/5/2003)


05.23.10

Links 23/5/2010: GNU/Linux on TV; deltaCloud

Posted in News Roundup at 3:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Video post: Hey look, Ubuntu is on tv

    As seen on American TV CBS show on May 18, Ubuntu is shown as the favorite Linux operating system of a physicist charater. While I am greatful for the product placement, people should know “Ubuntu is for human beings too.”

  • Move Ubuntu 10.04 Window Buttons from Left to Right with 1 Command
  • Red Hat Commercializes deltaCloud, Eyes a More Open Cloud

    Open source vendor Red Hat is betting on a year-old open source effort that it hopes will further open up the Cloud. Red Hat’s deltaCloud project http://deltacloud.org/ started last year as a way of enabling and managing a heterogeneous Cloud virtualized infrastructure. Now, deltaCloud is on a path to commercialization as part of a set of new virtualization products from Red Hat. The potential payoff for Red Hat is that deltaCloud will be positioned as an open source approach to managing nearly any type of virtualized Cloud technology.

    “We’re creating a Cloud management engine based on the open source deltaCloud project,” Scott Crenshaw, vice president and general manager of Red Hat’s Cloud business, told InternetNews.com. “We haven’t yet issued a delivery date for that product, but it will be sometime next year. We have people using deltaCloud now, but in terms of a fully supported product, it will be incorporated into a family of products for Cloud management that Red Hat will provide.”

  • Android

    • Google, Sony and Android: TV and much, much more

      In the wake of Google’s announcement of the Google Android-based TV, Google and Sony have unveiled plans for Android-based entertainment products that go well beyond TV. And other partners have joined the Google TV bandwagon.

    • Amazon jumps into Androidland

      ONLINE BOOKSELLER Amazon will be offering an app that will allow users of Android smartphones to read books in the Kindle format.

    • Android mobile phones get streaming TV

      MOBILE TV OUTFIT Yamgo has released beta software for Android users so that they can see live streaming of high-quality mobile TV and video on demand.

    • Whereis Navigator finds its way to Android

      Whereis Navigator provides turn-by-turn GPS navigation on Android phones such as the HTC Desire and the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Don’t be finicky
  • Gov 2.0 Week in Review

    “The more open a government agency is, the more it seems that the public trusts it,” mused Chris Dorobek in his post on public trust and government. If so, the creation of a “right to data” under the “Big Society proposals” from the new United Kingdom government could be significant. For those interested, there’s a good overview of European mashups of public data at OurData.eu.

  • Google programming Frankenstein is a Go

    “We’re already using Go internally at Google for some production stuff,” Robert Pike, one of Go’s developers and a former member of the Unix team at Bell Labs, said today during a question and answer session at the company’s annual developer conference in San Francisco. “The language is pretty stable.”

Leftovers

  • Chomp! Pac-Man, the arcade classic, turns 30
  • Crime

    • Lawyers Suspended for Ignoring ‘Warning Signs’ of Partner’s $17 Million Fraud

      An attorney accused of ignoring “multiple warning signs” of a $17 million fraud carried out by his former partner has been suspended from the practice of law for three years.

    • An Old Chip Cartel Case Is Brought to a Swift End

      The European Union fined a group of computer chip makers 331.3 million euros ($409 million) on Wednesday for price fixing in the first use of a new procedure that allows settlement of cartel cases in Europe.

    • Chipmakers fined by EU for price-fixing
    • Kurland to serve 27 months for Galleon case role

      The first Wall Street executive to be sentenced in the sprawling Galleon hedge fund illegal insider trading case was ordered to serve two years and three months in prison on Friday.

    • Tobacco Executive Charged With Threatening Family Court Magistrate

      A high-level executive at an Opa-Locka, Fla., tobacco company is facing extortion charges after allegedly threatening a Miami-Dade family court magistrate who recommended a judge rule against him in a paternity case.

      In a letter to the magistrate, he told her to step down or face a public relations nightmare, according to an application for an arrest warrant filed by investigators.

      Victor M. Gonzalez, comptroller for the family-owned Dosal Tobacco Corp., posted $7,500 bond Tuesday after his arrest at the company’s headquarters the day before. Gonzalez, 50, was charged with one count of extortion, a second degree felony that carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in state prison.

  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

    • Chelsea fans hack Man Utd phone systems

      Chelsea fans mocked their rivals at Manchester United last weekend by hacking into the Old Trafford club’s phone system and changing its recorded message.

    • Man accused of DDoSing conservative talking heads

      Federal prosecutors have accused a man of carrying out a series of botnet offenses including attacks that brought down the websites of conservative talking heads Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter and Rudolph Giuliani.

  • Environment

    • Sweet success for Kit Kat campaign: you asked, Nestlé has answered

      A big ‘Thank You!’ to the hundreds of thousands of you who supported our two-month Kit Kat campaign by e-mailing Nestlé, calling them, or spreading the campaign message via your Facebook, Twitter and other social media profiles. This morning, Nestlé finally announced a break for the orang-utan – as well as Indonesian rainforests and peatlands – by committing to stop using products that come from rainforest destruction.

    • Bad days for bluefin

      And on this side of the Atlantic, in the Mediterranean, the odds aren’t much better, even without a catastrophic oil-spill. The bluefin’s days are numbered. In just a couple of days the month long bluefin purse-seining season opens. It only lasts a month, a restriction that has come into place in the past few years because there are simply too many fishing boats chasing too few fish. But it happens to be the very time the fish spawn.

    • SNL’s Alec Baldwin Season Finale: 5 Funniest Moments

      Cold Open: “A Message From the People Who Ruined Our Ocean.” BP, Transocean, and Halliburton outline some of their proposals for cleaning up the mess.

    • Furious Louisiana officials accuse BP of destroying fragile marshes

      Crude oil oozed into US wetlands Friday as furious Louisiana officials accused BP of destroying fragile marshes and leaving coastal fishing communities in ruin.

      As delicate marshlands in the Mississippi Delta faced an environmental nightmare, BP conceded after days of pressure that it had underestimated the amount of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico.

    • Link Roundup: Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
    • One Drill Too Far
    • Hopes pinned on BP’s ‘dynamic kill’ to stop oil spill

      BP, which leased the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded on April 20, hopes to stop the noxious flow with a so-called “dynamic kill” operation, in which heavy drilling fluids would be injected into the well to stem the oil flow, followed by a cement operation to seal it up permanently.

    • The snakes we lost in the fire

      Some 80,000 snakes and several thousand spiders and scorpions were lost, including several specimens that had never been cataloged. Beyond simple scientific curiosity, the collection played an important role in helping scientists understand and prevent extinctions. You could always collect another 100K creepy crawlies, but they wouldn’t cover the same significant historic ground.

    • Nuclear News: BP’s Radioactive Liability Cap

      ‘As BP destroys our priceless planet, its lawyers gear up to save the company from paying for the damage. The same will happen — only worse — with the next atomic reactor disaster. By law, BP may be liable for only $75 million of the harm done by the Deepwater Horizon. Ask yourself why the federal government would adopt legislation that limits the liability of an oil driller for the damage it does to us all. Ask the same question — on another order of magnitude — about nuclear power plants. By any calculation, BP did more than $75 million in harm during the first hour of this undersea gusher. That sum won’t begin to cover even the legal fees, let alone the tangible damage to our only home. Now imagine a melt-down alongside the blow-out. See the Deepwater Horizon as a nuclear power plant. Think of the rickety Grand Gulf, a bit to the north, or the two decaying reactors at South Texas, a ways to the west. Imagine that apocalyptic plume of oil ravaging our seas as an airborne radioactive cloud. Feel it pouring like Chernobyl over the south coast, enveloping all of Florida, blowing with the shifts of the winds up over the southeast, irradiating Atlanta, then Nashville, then New Orleans, then Houston, all through Mexico and the north coast of South America, the Caribbean, then around again across Florida, through the Atlantic and all over Europe, then around the globe two or three times more. The instigators of such a nightmare are currently on the hook for a maximum of $11 billion. Ask yourself why the federal government would limit the liability of a reactor owner for the damage it imposes on the public.’

    • Nightmare scene as oil smothers Louisiana wetlands
    • BP Disaster: Oil reaches Louisiana marshlands
    • The Gulf oil slick has a tail, and that’s bad
    • The nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference Greenpeace urges delegations to recognise proliferation risks of nuclear energy expansion
    • Free nuclear advice for the Polish Energy Group

      So Poland has declared its intention to launch a nuclear ‘renaissance’ of its very own. They’ve appointed analysis teams and signed ‘memoranda of cooperation’ with nuclear reactor builders. It’s a very serious business.

    • Climate change ‘no excuse’ for failure to beat malaria

      A team of UK and American scientists say that – assuming global warming proceeds in line with mainstream expectation – there is no reason to fear a global malaria outbreak.

    • Costa Rican elbows out South African as UN climate boss

      A Costa Rican bureaucrat is set to take the top job at the United Nations climate convention after a mini-revolt from small island states.

    • Iceland, Eyjafjallajökull – May 1st and 2nd, 2010
  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Revolving Door: The New Edition

      Since then, the scrutiny of Goldman has risen to a whole new level, with the SEC alleging that the firm committed securities fraud, federal prosecutors probing its subprime-mortgage-related activites and lawmakers grilling the firm’s top executives.

      And the revolving door continues to turn — plenty of former Goldman staffers now work at a range of agencies from the SEC to the Treasury Department. To win friends and influence people in Washington — and sway the pending financial reform legislation — Goldman fields a deep bench of lobbyists with plenty of experience in politics, as noted by CBS News and the HuffPost Investigative Fund.

    • High Frequency Trading Is A Scam

      No. The disadvantage was not speed. The disadvantage was that the “algos” had engaged in something other than what their claimed purpose is in the marketplace – that is, instead of providing liquidity, they intentionally probed the market with tiny orders that were immediately canceled in a scheme to gain an illegal view into the other side’s willingness to pay.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Clegg promises liberties restoration

      Nick Clegg promised government that will restore individual liberties and value dissent this morning, as he set out his Deputy Prime Minster’s brief to repeal Labour laws this morning.

    • Feds to step up monitoring of global press freedom

      President Barack Obama is set to sign legislation Monday expanding the federal government’s role in monitoring global freedom of the press, according to the White House.

      Obama will sign the Daniel Pearl Freedom of the Press Act, which requires a greater examination of the status of press freedoms in different countries in the State Department’s Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

    • The secret life of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange

      Julian Assange, the man behind the world’s biggest leaks, believes in total openness and transparency – except when it comes to himself. Nikki Barrowclough tracked him down.

      Julian Assange has never publicly admitted that he’s the brains behind Wikileaks, the website that has so radically rewritten the rules in the information era. He did, however, register a website, Leaks.org, in 1999. ”But then I didn’t do anything with it.”

    • Pakistanis shout ‘Death to Facebook’, burn US flags

      Pakistani protesters shouted “Death to Facebook”, “Death to America” and burnt US flags on Friday, venting growing anger over “sacrilegious” caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed on the Internet.

      A Facebook user organised an “Everyone Draw Mohammed Day” competition to promote “freedom of expression”, inspired by an American woman cartoonist, but sparked a major backlash in the conservative Muslim country of 170 million.

      Islam strictly prohibits the depiction of any prophet as blasphemous and the row has sparked comparison with protests across the Muslim world over the publication of satirical cartoons of Mohammed in European newspapers in 2006.

    • ‘Draw Mohammed’ call prompts Pakistan Facebook ban
    • ‘Draw Mohammed’ page removed from Facebook
    • Pakistan extends Web site ban to include YouTube
    • Everybody panic!
    • Twitter gets subpoenaed

      In his subpoena, Corbett has requested that the micro-blogging service appear as a witness to “testify and give evidence regarding alleged violations of the laws of Pennsylvania”. It will also be required to provide, “name, address, contact information, creation date, creation Internet Protocol address and any and all log in Internet Protocol address”.

      [...]

      In Oregon, privacy is also high on the agenda, as three lawyers have filed a class action suit against Google and its Street View vehicles, which we now know were cruising around sniffing up wireless data.

      Google executives have admitted that its survey cars mistakenly acquired information during the creation of its updated mapping tools. However, it looks like this candour could cost it dearly, and not just in terms of its reputation.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Europe outlines plan to boost broadband by 2020

      All European households will have broadband speeds of 30Mbps (megabits per second) by 2020, the European Union has pledged.

    • Cops back in on BT/Phorm case

      The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has called in City of London Police to assist as it decides whether to go to court over BT’s covert trials of Phorm’s web interception and profiling system.

      [...]

      It was claimed by privacy campaigners and legal commentators after The Register revealed the secret trials that BT and Phorm had committed offences under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, which restricts covert wiretapping and interception of communications.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Wall Street banks lose court ruling on hot news ban

      Three Wall Street banks suffered a legal setback when a federal appeals court in New York put on hold a ban on financial news service Theflyonthewall.com Inc from quickly reporting “hot news” about their analysts’ research.

    • Copyrights

      • Worst Week for Album Sales Since 1991

        Without any major releases and amid overall decreasing record sales, this past week has the dubious distinction of seeing the fewest number of total album sales in a single week — 5.3 million — since Nielsen SoundScan started tracking in 1991.

      • Is YouTube’s three-strike rule fair to users?

        “Until I lost 900 videos, I never actually considered there was anything unsafe about trusting a company such as Google to protect my data. After all, who keeps photos in a shoebox anymore?”

      • EC plans stronger data protection and copyright laws

        The European Commission will strengthen legal protections for personal data, reform copyright law and ensure that device and software makers embrace standards, it said when outlining its new digital policies.

        The Commission will also consider forcing companies to tell users and customers when their systems have been breached and personal data has been lost, stolen or exposed.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – FoF – Launch Gravity (1/5/2003)


05.22.10

Links 22/5/2010: Mandriva Linux 2010 Spring RC, Android 2.3 Talks

Posted in News Roundup at 2:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • A Herd of Print Linux Magazines

    Linux Journal

    Linux Journal is the grandaddy of them all, founded in 1994 by Phil Hughes. Now it is published by Belltown Media, owner Carlie Fairchild, who acquired Linux Journal in 2006. Over the years Linux Journal has been home to regular writers like Marcel Gagne and his “Cooking With Linux” column, which was the most controversial LJ feature. Why? Not because he used bad language, or flamed anyone, but because of his Chez Marcel and French-waiter-serving-wine schtick. It was both a regular Reader’s Choice winner, and the recipient of the most hate mail.

    LJ has always covered a wide range of topics, such kernel programming, system and network administration, security, desktop, multimedia, games, and industry news.

    Linux Pro Magazine

    Linux Pro Magazine is called Linux Magazine outside of the US and Canada; in the US there is another Linux Magazine. There is no relation between the two except a confusing similarity of names. Linux Pro Magazine covers all the usual topics, plus extensive Linux conference coverage. Their Event Calendar is comprehensive, and they provide live and archived videos of many conferences. Linux Pro Magazine is distributed in several countries and languages, such as Poland, Spain, Germany, and Brazil.

    There is a new sister publication to Linux Pro, Ubuntu User. Ubuntu User features good tech articles, and informative pieces from Ubuntu insiders such as Jono Bacon and Amber Graner.

    Linux Magazine

    This is the Not-Linux Pro Magazine, just plain old Linux Magazine. They no longer have a print edition, which ceased publication in 2008. I’m mentioning them here to (hopefully) clear up the confusion between the two Linux Magazines. It’s an excellent publication even if they don’t sell nice glossy printed pages anymore.

    Linux Format

    Linux Format is based in the UK.

  • Infrastructures
  • Desktop

    • Sheldon Cooper: Ubuntu User

      Well, if you are a Linux fan and you have not noticed, Sheldon Cooper, the self-proclaimed genius and truest nerd on The Big Bang Theory has been seen using Ubuntu.

    • A capitalist fan of commie software

      It’s a good question, I suppose. A tree-hugging leftwinger from a proud union family with an inexplicable taste for expensive Scotch single malts asked to know why, if I’m such a capitalist, I am so vocal about liking free and open source software.

      My desktop operating system has been Linux ever since 2003, when I formatted my Windows box in a fit of pique that had been brewing since sometime before Windows 3.1 was released. I tried a few variants, but quickly settled on the local distribution, Ubuntu, masterfully named and competently compiled by a famous rich kid from Durbanville in the Western Cape.

    • Linux users cry fail over ATO AUSKey compatibility

      The Australian Taxation Office is pushing the AUSkey public key infrastructure (PKI) for secure data exchange when submitting tax returns, but Linux users say they have again been left out in the cold.

      [...]

      In the case of tax returns, people can continue to use an ATO digital certificate until it expires – or it is cancelled – and then they will be forced to use an AUSkey. AUSkeys do not expire provided they are used at least once every year.

  • Server

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Guest Blog: Rares Aioanei: Kernel Review with openSUSE Flavor
    • New version of Linux OS includes Ceph file system developed at UCSC

      Although Ceph is still in development, it just received a big vote of confidence from Linus Torvalds, who included Ceph in the latest version of the Linux kernel (Linux 2.6.34). Brandt’s graduate student Sage Weil did much of the development work on Ceph for his Ph.D. thesis, and he has continued working on it since earning his degree in 2007.

      “Having Ceph in the Linux kernel makes it much easier for people to use, so a lot more people will be testing it now and contributing to the project,” Weil said.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • digiKam Photo Manager To Get Face Recognition

        Linux users really love Google Picasa even though it’s not a native Linux application (unpack the .deb and you’ll notice some wine.exe and other such files). Reading the comments from our “best linux photo manager / organizer” post, it seems face recognition is the feature that attracts people the most to Picasa.

        Well, it seems Google Picasa will have a serious native Linux competitor, as digiKam will be getting face detection and recognition – Aditya Bhatt made this his GSoC project and his “libface” (which will be used by digiKam) sounds amazing already…

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • A new distribution designed which communicates computers so that they can work in parallel

      This is how the first version of ABC GNU/Linux arose, which was in trial phase by April 2009. It involved a free software based distribution (Ubuntu), live as well as installable, capable of automatically configuring a cluster of up to 254 computers. Mr Castaños gives an example as to how it works: “100 PCs are purchased and my DVD is inserted into one of these and booted, either from the DVD or installed in the hard disc itself. This computer and the rest of the machines are connected together by a switch (a device that acts like a router). When the rest of the machines are booted and, using a BIOS (basic in/out system), as when specifying which device is to be booted, they are told what to do by means of the network card. All are booted from the DVD itself -or the hard disc if installed -, registered, and connections are created between them”. Any user who knows how to programme can do this; it is not necessary to know how to administer systems.

    • Trisquel GNU/Linux 4.0 Beta

      Trisquel is a fully free as in speech GNU/Linux operating system. It is based on Ubuntu, but includes only free software.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Linux 2010 Spring RC released

        Building on the previous beta releases, the RC is based on the 2.6.33.4 Linux kernel and features the latest GNOME 2.30.1 and KDE 4.4.3 desktops. A number of changes have been implemented in the Nautilus file manager in anticipation of the GNOME 3.0 release with the GNOME Shell. Built-in desktop applications include version 3.2 of OpenOffice.org, Firefox 3.6.3, the Chromium web browser and version 1.92 of the Transmission BitTorrent client. Other changes include use of the Nouveau driver for NVIDIA graphics hardware and improvements to the Mandriva tools, such as data encryption, parental control and network profiles.

      • Mandriva Linux 2010.1 RC1 Is Ready for
    • Red Hat Family

      • Close to the 200 Day – Red Hat

        Shares of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) traded at $28.26 close to its 200 day moving average currently set at $27.94. Red Hat’s price action is just above this key support level, and it will certainly raise traders attention, as a possible trading opportunity.

      • Fedora

        • Of hall monitors and slippery slopes

          For the current problem thread, at least, the real underlying issues have yet to be completely addressed. As Fedora moves toward implementing the new packaging rules, which may slow down the usual Fedora update stream, the decline in users and contributors that Kofler envisions may occur. The opposite could happen as well. Only time will tell.

        • Oh My Goddard! An Early Look at Fedora 13

          Also innovative in this release is automatic printer installation. Rather than have every printer driver under the sun installed by default, Fedora will instead detect when a printer is plugged in and automatically install the correct system drivers. Now that’s plug ‘n print! Color management will makes its mark in this release, which will allow users to adjust the color profiles on their system and adjust accordingly. This means you can match the colour of a recently scanned picture and ensure images will print correctly. This is a feature often touted on the Mac platform, and something which is sorely needed for graphical work on Linux.

    • Ubuntu

      • First details of developments in Ubuntu 10.10

        It seems possible Btrfs could replace Ext4 as the default file system in Ubuntu version 10.10, code name “Maverick Meerkat”. Developers attending last week’s Ubuntu Collaboration Summit in Brussels discussed testing Btrfs as the default file system in an alpha version of Ubuntu 10.10. Ubuntu Developer Manager Scott James Remnant assessed the likelihood of switching to Btrfs as “a one in five chance”.

      • Privacy Vs Openness; Public Interest Vs Corporate Interest

        Ubuntu

        In Ubuntu you have a product that is built by the community for the community. While Canonical is a business which underwrites a fair amount of Ubuntu’s development, by and large decisions on functionality, aesthetics and the direction of the software are all discussed and debated in the open, by anyone who wishes to participate. There is very much a democratic ethos to the software, which extends far beyond the operating system itself — people feel as though they have a real voice in the evolution of Ubuntu. Other examples of this model include Kaltura and WordPress.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 Test Drive

        I’ve been a fan of Linux for several years now. But for the past year or so, I haven’t really done much with it. Sure, I’ve had a Wubi installation running inside of Windows that I boot up occasionally, but for daily use I finally succumbed to my wife’s insistence that she simply preferred Windows. It’s not that she dislikes Linux or Ubuntu, it’s just that she is a user, not a geek. I don’t mind fighting my computer every once in a while to get it to work. She can’t stand it. Lucky for me, Windows XP had a little meltdown a few weeks back, and has been barely functional since then. I spent my requisite two or three evenings to fix it, but with no luck. Tired of fighting Windows, I decide it’s time to try Ubuntu again.

      • Ubuntu 10.4 offers many new options

        Ubuntu’s latest 10.4 release offers many new and improved features that are worth upgrading for, according to TechRepublic blogger Jack Wallen.

      • Things to do with an old computer – Feature

        The Ubuntu operating system (http://www.ubuntu.com/GetUbuntu/download) is the hands-down favourite among those who want to get their first exposure to Linux- based computing.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • HP Wants to Bring webOS to Printers

      When HP discussed expanding webOS, this probably isn’t what Palm had in mind.

    • Google TV Platform introduced

      At the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco (USA), several leading industry players announced the development of Google TV – an open platform that merges the web and TV. It will be based on the Linux based Android platform and runs the Google Chrome web browser.

    • Mentor, NetLogic join hands for embedded Linux
    • Phones

      • O2 offers double Palm salute

        O2 is set to bring two Palm phones into its range at the end of the month.

        The Palm Pre Plus and its smaller sibling the Palm Pixi Plus will be on sale at O2 come May 28th.

      • HTC Leo (HD2) Hacked To Boot Into Linux Kernel; Android Coming Soon

        HD2 is the Windows Mobile phone that appeals WinMo, Android and iPhone lovers alike. The point that clicks is its hardware. No one likes Windows Mobile 6.5 but you have to stick to it unless it gets a Windows Phone 7 or… you know, an Android hack!

        So here’s a good news. XDA folks have been working hard to hack HTC Leo aka HTC HD2. They have a success. They have successfully booted HD2 into a Linux kernel. Though many drivers are missing (many are working too) yet but it easily displays 720p HD movies. You can’t however listen to the sound yet. Drivers and patches are expected soon.

      • LiMo

      • Nokia

        • Yahoo is expected to announce a Nokia deal

          PROJECT NIKE is allegedly the name of a joint programme between Yahoo and Nokia that will be annouced at a press conference in New York on Monday 24 May.

          The initiative is named after either the running shoe manufacturer or the Greek goddess of victory, one assumes. Various media report that the press conference will hear that Yahoo will provide applications for Nokia phones.

          [...]

          If Yahoo will provide applications for Nokia then there might be an open source element to it, since Nokia announced in April that it will use Symbian’s open source S^3 OS in its smartphones.

      • Android

        • Android 2.2: An Introduction

          Codenamed “Froyo,” for frozen yogurt, Android 2.2 includes more than 20 new features geared to enterprises, said Google’s Vic Gundotra, vice president of engineering. Among these is integration with the Microsoft Exchange messaging system, with such capabilities as account auto-discovery and linkage with the Exchange global address book. Calendar synchronization is offered as well.

        • Google unveils Froyo Android update

          Google said that the Android 2.2 software update, code-named Froyo, would be available to download on to Android-based handsets “soon”. It brings a host of new features running the Google-backed, open source operating system, including device tethering, so that laptop users can piggyback off the phone’s 3G data connection to surf the web, and full Adobe Flash support in the browser.

        • Android Gingerbread features : Version 2.3 announced

          The Android operating systems are based on Linux kernels so with ever advancement of a kernel release, the Android gets one step ahead. The Froyo, featured as Android Operating System version 2.2 is based on Linux kernel version 2.6.32 which is expected to be released shortly for commercial use. The next version of Android operating system, Gingerbread will be featured upon Linux Kernel version 2.6.33 or 2.6.34 on no longer than end of this year.

        • Next Android Update ‘Gingerbread’ Later This Year
        • iPhone vs Android? Still wondering?

          2. So far, Google hasn’t tried to censor Android applications the way Apple have been censoring their app store. I’m an adult and I really resent being told what kind of applications I can run on my phone. If someone told me what apps I could run on my computer, I’d have some choice words for them too. Applications censored have included gay content and political satire.

          3. Android is available on a wide range of devices. I had a choice between products by Samsung, Sony Ericsson, HTC and Motorola. There are phones with hardware qwerty keyboards, although most are touchscreen phones. Also, the hardware is, in many ways, better. You can remove the battery from all of them, they have room to expand the memory using Micro SD cards (the industry standard) and use the micro-USB charging socket, which means cheaper and more readily available accessories for your device. You can also get a new battery — or a second battery, even, in case you’re ever caught out.

        • Google TV is ‘un-Sony-like’

          Sony embracing an open platform like Google TV for its home electronics business is a pretty big change for the company.

          And Sony’s Chairman and CEO tends to agree. “It seems very un-Sony-like,” Sir Howard Stringer allowed at a press conference Thursday afternoon following the introduction of Sony Internet TV, the first TV with the Google TV platform. Sony’s TV will run Android OS and use Google search to allow users to browse and watch programming from the Web and from a channel service provider.

        • Google I/O 2010: Day of the Droids

          Google has lined up support from Sony, Logitech, and Intel for the Google TV initiative. That’s a start, but not nearly enough for this thing to take off. There is a lot of skepticism that anyone can pull this off, and many will wait and see before committing. It may take a while (read: years), but this one has a lot of potential. After all there are over 4 billion TV watchers out there – an audience that dwarfs even the mobile phone market. The first hardware will be on sale in time for this year’s holiday season.

        • Photos: Google I/O pitches future of web dev
    • Sub-notebooks

      • Tech.view: On the internet in a trice

        But even Google cannot claim to have the can-do consistency of Canonical. The Ubuntu developer has delivered a major new version of its flagship product like clockwork every six months. In the six years the company has been in business, it has made Ubuntu (and its many derivatives) the most popular version of Linux in techdom—and done more than any other Linux distributor to force the free operating system out of the workplace and into peoples’ homes.

        [...]

        Mr Shuttleworth is adamant that Ubuntu Light—with its rapid start-up and touch-screen capabilities—is not only for netbooks, tablets and other portable small fry. It will work just as well, he insists, on large desktop computers. That may be true. But the Unity interface seems to have been designed largely for the squat, ten-inch format of netbook screens today.

    • Tablets

      • Android tablet powered by NVIDIA and ARM A9

        At this year’s Google I/O developer conference, a new prototype tablet running Google’s open source Android mobile operating system was on display. The Foxconn-manufactured tablet is based on NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 platform and features an 8.9 inch WSVGA display (1024×600), a 1 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A9-based processor and 1 GB of RAM – likely making the device more than capable of 1080p video playback.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • LinuxWochen Vienna 2010

      From Thursday to Saturday there was an event in Vienna held as a part of longer Austrian tour called LinuxWochen. This opportunity could not have been missed by openSUSE, so we formed a team consisting of me, Michal and Sirko.

      All three days were packed with more than 70 talks and workshops.

    • Linuxwochen Vienna

      In Germany mostly the Linux events are on universitys. The LinuxTag for example started at the university of Kaiserslautern. And in Vienna the event took place in different places in the city most city halls or other public places. This year was the event in the old city hall from the 17th century.

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox FUD not lagging

      Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got my issues with Firefox too, It still uses far too much memory and is still far too slow on startup. However, with the current Firefox 4 development plan, which is very aggressive, I just don’t see how Firefox is lagging behind anyone. Releases continue to come at a steady pace, new technologies continue to be debuted and the road ahead for Firefox continues to move forward.

    • Firefox, Chrome, Safari have finally killed Internet Explorer

      What this means, is that “we did it”. Most web applications are based on AJAX, and work on any browser. No bank will ever release an Internet Banking system that will only work on IE. Nobody can really afford to make a browser that behaves oddly, so that a web site will look “broken” on any other browser. The web will remain a well documented, free platform on which more and more people will develop. The Australian Tax Office is going to have to come up with a much better piece of software to pay your taxes online.

  • SaaS

  • Databases

    • Top 10 Enterprise Database Systems to Consider

      How far back does your knowledge of databases go — late-1980s, mid-1990s, five years ago? If so, you might not recognize some of the old timers in this list. You’ll also do a double take if you didn’t know many of them have their roots in the mid-to-late 1970s. It would be hard to argue that the database market is not mature.

  • Security

    • Security: FOSS/CSS Updates – Are They Worth Anything?

      It appears from my experience that the majority of non-technical end-users who end up with infected systems fall into the first category. The second category is a smaller group that have just been lucky to not yet have an infected PC. These two categories of users are almost all Microsoft operating system users. The latter two categories are the small group of users that are more technical and/or security conscious. The more security conscious but non-technical are usually those who have had to deal with a prior PC infection. The latter two categories rarely or never see an infection. The Open Source community of Linux users is generally more technical at this point and thus more likely to take updates seriously.

    • Metasploit 3.4 Takes Aim at Java Apps

      The Metasploit open source vulnerability testing framework is out this week with a new release boosting its exploit count and adding new Java, brute force and exploit automation technologies.

    • Over 4,500 logins uploaded to open source content site

      Chris Boyd, malware researcher at Sunbelt Software, claimed that as Scribd allows users to share written content online, converting PowerPoint, PDFs and Word documents into web documents that can be viewed through sites such as Facebook and other social networking services, it was inevitable that a scammer would decide to use such a service for foul means.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Intel Core 2, Core i7 Optimizations For GCC 4.6

      CodeSourcery, a company that works on GCC for various companies like with Texas Instruments for bringing the GNU Toolchain to new CPUs and also offers their own software development environment, has shared their intentions to provide a new set of GCC optimizations for Intel’s Core 2 and Core i7 processors.

    • PyPy: the other new compiler project

      We have recently seen a lot of attention paid to projects like LLVM. Even though the GNU Compiler Collection is developing at a rapid pace, there are people in the community who are interested in seeing different approaches taken, preferably with a newer code base. LLVM is not where all the action is, though. For the last few years (since 2003, actually), a relatively stealthy project called PyPy has been trying to shake up the compiler landscape in its own way.

    • If You Want Freedom, Don’t Use Proprietary Software [VIDEO]

      Like many heroes of the digital era, Richard Stallman is largely unsung by the general populace. Yet when it comes to user privacy and technological freedom, he’s probably one of the most committed individuals in the world.

      By freedom, he means four things:

      1. The software should be freely accessible.
      2. The software should be free to modify.
      3. The software should be free to share with others.
      4. The software should be free to change and redistribute copies of the changed software.

  • Government

    • Securing Open Source App Development

      Application developers for the state have used open source software for years, but now it has guidelines on its proper use. But how will the new policy be enforced in a state bureaucracy known for its decentralization?

      Mark Weatherford, Chief Information Security Officer, State of California

      Application developers for the state of California, like those working for other governments, have been using open source software for years. But it wasn’t till this year than the state adopted standards governing how its employees and contractors should use open source software.

  • UK

    • Government coalition document prioritises open data and open source software

      The Conservative and LibDem coalition document has some pointers on the new government’s approach to IT, with a section dedicated to IT-related policies.

      The focus is on open source software and the publication of government data and the coalition also says steps will be taken to “open up government procurement and reduce costs”.

    • Coalition gov’t plan outlines ICT contract split

      The deal, published on Thursday, includes several elements of the Conservative IT manifesto, with pledges on widening access to procurement and on open-source software.

    • Government vows to open up IT contracts

      Further measures to widen procurement access will include creating “a level playing field for open source software”, and breaking up large ICT projects into “smaller components”.

  • Guardian

  • Openness

  • Open Hardware

    • From Knock-Offs To ‘Make-Offs’

      The NYC Resistor hackerspace gave birth to Makerbot Industries, a company that produces a 3-D printer kit called MakerBot that sells for under $1,000. Featured on the cover of Make Magazine (Volume #21), Bre Pettis and his team used open-source software, the Arduino microcontroller and digital fabrication techniques to create a low-cost competitor to high-end 3-D printers that sell at $20,000 and above.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • LongTailVideo Releases The First Flexible Open-Source HTML5 Video Player

      Last week, LongTailVideo announced that they have created and released the open source JW Player in a new HTML 5 version (Beta) that features PNG skinning, Javascript API, fallback to flash and more. Perhaps this could become the new standard for sites looking to implement an open source HTML 5 video player solution.

Leftovers

  • Mobile IT Case Study: Migrating from Outlook, BlackBerry OS to Google Apps, Android

    But cost was not the only reason I switched to Google.

    As a small business we have the opportunity to be nimbler than the large competitors we face every day. Having excellent communication tools and well organized data is a competitive advantage for us — as is the ability to have shared-anytime-anywhere access to our assets. And as I evaluated our options, I considered Google Apps to be a practical and unifying move that could be done quickly with limited cost outlay.

  • The Price of that Tech Gear Is … Wrong!

    So folks, here’s my advice. Keep it simple. Better yet, make a free version available for a limited time or a limited number of users or PCs or whatever. And if you can’t put your prices online where your customers can see them, then you shouldn’t be in business.

  • The Oxymoronic Citizen Journalism

    Let’s fire a few missiles at politically correct ideas such as “Digital media makes all of us journalists”, “citizens will soon displace professional reporters”, and so on.

    That’s nonsense (I have more explicit words in mind). Does it means public input in news should be kept at bay? Certainly not. Quite the contrary, actually. Newsrooms have a challenge on their hands, they need to get better at handling such input.

  • Finance

    • The best financial reform? Let the bankers fail

      The trouble with Wall Street isn’t that too many bankers get rich in the booms. The trouble, rather, is that too few get poor — really, suitably poor — in the busts. To the titans of finance go the upside. To we, the people, nowadays, goes the downside. How much better it would be if the bankers took the losses just as they do the profits.

    • The Unbelievably Rampant Corruption On Wall Street

      In order for a financial system to be able to function properly, it is absolutely essential that the general population has faith in it. After all, who is going to want to invest in the stock market or entrust their money to big financial institutions if there is not at least the perception of honesty and fairness in the financial marketplace? For decades, the American people did have faith in Wall Street. But now that faith is being shattered by a string of recent revelations. It seems as though the rampant corruption on Wall Street is seeping up almost everywhere now. In fact, some of the things that have come out recently have been absolutely jaw-dropping.

    • Media ignores Goldman Sachs’ ties to Corexit dispersant

      In a recent New York Times’ article “Less Toxic Dispersants Lose Out in BP Oil Spill Cleanup”, journalist Paula Quinlan questions why BP is using the 100 % toxic, 54 percent effective dispersant Corexit to clean up the oil when twelve other dispersants proved more effective in EPA testing.

    • US pre-open: Economic worries persist

      Persisting worries about the economy are expected to cause another drop on Wall Street when the markets open on Friday.

      The Dow closed 376 points lower in the previous session after Wall Street took an absolute hammering as worries over bank reform, the eurozone and sliding commodity prices.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Facebook, MySpace Confront Privacy Loophole

      Facebook, MySpace and several other social-networking sites have been sending data to advertising companies that could be used to find consumers’ names and other personal details, despite promises they don’t share such information without consent.

    • Proposed Louisiana Law Would Ban Any Online Speech Intended to “Embarrass, or Cause Emotional Distress” to an Under-17-Year-Old

      The bill (HB1259) — which passed the state House of Representatives by a 78–16 vote , and has cleared the state Senate Committee on Judiciary C — would make it a misdemeanor to transmit any Internet communication or other computer communication “with the intent to coerce, abuse, torment, intimidate, harass, embarrass, or cause emotional distress to a person under the age of seventeen.” This applies without regard to whether the message is communicated to the person, to some other individuals, or to the public at large.

    • School Spy Program Used on Students Contains Hacker-Friendly Security Hole

      A controversial remote administration program that a Pennsylvania school district installed on student-issued laptops contains a security hole that put the students at risk of being spied on by people outside the school, according to a security firm that examined the software.

    • Portland attorney Mark Ginsberg fights red-light camera ticket — and wins

      Mark Ginsberg was certain he didn’t blast through a light next to Portland City Hall on Feb. 2. So he was surprised when a photo red-light camera flashed as he drove by.

      Days later, he received a $287 citation in the mail. The ticket included several photos, including one clearly showing him in the middle of the intersection. The word “red” was digitally stamped at the top of the photo, along with a jumble of letters and numbers.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Woman claims ‘Avatar’ lifted from ‘Warrior’ novel

      On Monday, Kelly Van filed a lawsuit in California district court against Cameron, Fox and producers of the blockbuster film, claiming it infringes the copyright on her 2003 book “Sheila the Warrior: The Damned.”

    • Court Allows Copyright Infringement Free For All On File Hosting Sites

      Right now, it appears that courts are willing to let file-hosting sites like Rapidshare, Hotfile, and Megaupload live in the void in the law between Grokster, Limewire, and Napster. Recently, Judge Huff of the Southern District of California denied Perfect 10′s request for a TRO against Rapidshare holding that P10 could not prove a likelihood of success on the merits. A couple of notes from the decision:

      1. Judge Huff finds that Rapidshare is not violating the 106(3) distribution right because their activity is distinguishable from Hotaling and Napster. Judge Huff reasons that because Rapidshare does not index its files, it is not making the files available in the same way that Hotaling and Napster were.

    • Copyrights

      • US Court Refuses Injunction Against RapidShare As Perfect 10 Gets Legal Theories Rejected Yet Again

        Amusingly, the ruling came out just a day before a bunch of US politicians tagged Rapidshare as one of the worst copyright offenders out there, and suggested sanctions should be made against Germany for not stopping Rapidshare. Funny, then, that a US court also doesn’t seem to think Rapidshare is breaking copyright law…

      • FP Tech Desk: U.S. judge slams Canada’s Isohunt over copyright infringement allegations

        As Canadian politicians in Ottawa prepare to launch new copyright legislation next week, Canada’s most notorious file sharing Website is facing increasing legal pressure from legal authorities in the United States.

        On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Wilson in Los Angeles issued a permanent enjoinment against Gary Fung, the Richmond, B.C. owner of Isohunt, one of the largest BitTorrent search engines on the Internet.

      • Did Warner Bros. pirate antipiracy technology?

        Warner Bros. has been sued for stealing an antipiracy technology patent.

      • Newzbin has been shut down

        The outfit lost a court case brought against it by the Music Publishers Association (MPA), which wanted it shut down because it helped people find copyrighted material. Newzbin owes the MPA £230,000 just in interim costs before the judge awards damages. Apparently it also owes a software development house over £500k.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – DITNS – IMAGE Satellite (1/4/2003)


05.21.10

Links 21/5/2010: KDE at Ökumenischer Kirchentag, Arch Linux 2010.05

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • How Linux Saved A Fast Food Giant.

    Our last choice was to re-image the POS system using our existing Ghostcast server infrastructure. While mostly automated, each one had to be kicked off manually in each restaurant and took nearly an hour. We wanted to avoid this at all costs just because of the huge amounts of hassle involved. So how does Linux get involved? My idea was to create a small, self-extracting, PXE-bootable Linux system, mount an existing shared folder on the server in the restaurant, mount the the workstation’s Windows partition with read/write access, delete the broken svchost.exe and the virus definition, copy over a working svchost.exe, and finally reboot the machine. Logically it could work and it meets all the criteria. Small, fast, and—most importantly—fully automated.

  • Desktop

    • The end of the (Linux) desktop as we know it ?

      More and more of the Linux ecosystem (PC hardware vendor, phone hardware vendor, search engine giant and more recently a well known Linux distro, Ubuntu) uses Linux as an embedded system for the desktop. Some examples to illustrate this trend :

      * Asus Express gate embed Linux in the motherboard. You can have, in a few seconds, a browser, skype, etc.
      * Google Chrome OS : not yet released but it is define as the Web OS with a minimalist/zen approach (like an OS based on Chrome, the browser)
      * Mobile platform : you’ll have plenty to choose. ARM based : Symbian, Meego, Android, etc.
      * Last but not least, Canonical announce “Unity”, a minimal/Zen OS that will be available to OEM but can be nonetheless deployed on Ubuntu Lucid and later.

    • 25 Fresh and Cool Linux Wallpapers
    • LinuxCertified Announces Ultra-Portable yet Powerful Linux Laptop with Intel ULV processor
  • Server

    • An HPC Field Trip

      I have attended most of the Wall Street shows and noticed that the financial sector seems to have bounced back from its recent hiccup. On this very nice April day, I enjoyed the sights and sounds on my walk from the bus terminal to the Roosevelt Hotel. Upon arrival, I grabbed my press badge and almost walked right into Matthijs van Leeuwen from Bright Computing. From what I had gathered, Bright Computing provides cluster management software. I was not sure what their “edge” was because there is certainly no shortage of cluster solutions out there.

  • Ballnux

    • Most 2010 HTC Android Phones to See Froyo Upgrade

      Wondering if your new HTC Desire will be getting Android 2.2? Yeah, so are we! Well, according to HTC if your Android handset was made in 2010, it has a very good chance of seeing the Froyo upgrade (yay!). The Desire, Droid Incredible, My Touch Slide, HTC Legend, as well as future models are a definite. When this happens is anyone’s guess, but expect it to occur in the second half of 2010 at the earliest. For those who don’t want to wait you can always root!

    • Samsung Galaxy S Video from Google I/O
  • Kernel Space

    • The Cost Of Running Compiz
    • Beware the benchmarks.

      Today phoronix published an article called “The Cost of Running Compiz“. While the content in the article is mostly true, and likely points out the obvious, I should probably clarify a few things before my inbox fills up with (n readers * ~ 8 ) mails telling me that compiz is slow and I need to fix it.

      The article basically tests the performance of applications while they are being run as redirected windows. What does that mean? Well, for the better part of the year, pretty much 95% of graphics hardware has some support for what we call “redirected direct rendering”, both through open source and proprietary drivers. NVIDIA was the first to get this feature, and then most of the other drivers picked it up last year.

    • Gallium3D

      • Gallium3D Anti-Aliasing (MSAA) Is Going In

        As implied by its name, the gallium-msaa branch introduces support for Multi-Sampling Anti-Aliasing (MSAA) for the Gallium3D driver architecture. Specifically this branch makes the structural changes needed to allow MSAA to work within Mesa on the Gallium3D architecture and a context function to set the sample mask for MSAA. However, the Gallium3D hardware drivers themselves haven’t yet been hooked-in to actually offer multi-sampling support. Hopefully this will come soon.

      • AROS (The Free AmigaOS) Gets With Gallium3D

        A $600 bounty came around a while back within the AROS (AROS Research Operating System) community to port Gallium3D and the Nouveau driver to this operating system that is a free software implementation of the AmigaOS 3.1 APIs.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • KDE at Ökumenischer Kirchentag

      The booth was rarely empty: all kinds of people, from small children (fascinated by Big Buck Bunny looping in a window) to seasoned Linux users (at least one of whom we could help by showing her how to make KMail behave) came by and stayed for a while to watch and talk. The team explained how the free-as-in-freedom aspect could help build a more just and equal world and how the free-as-in-beer aspect was useful for a tight church budget. In fact, the monetary question often didn’t even come up as the social question was already reason enough for most people to be interested.

    • Revamped Sidebar Lands In Nautilus Elementary (2.30)

      A new, revamped sidebar has been added to the latest Nautilus Elementary 2.30 (only available for Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx).

  • Distributions

    • Element- A linux OS for Home theater and Media center computers

      Element is a free operating system for Home Theater and Media Center Personal Computers, featuring an innovative across the room ‘ten-foot interface’ that is designed to be connected to your HDTV for a digital media and internet experience within the comforts of your own living room or lounge. Element comes stacked with the software needed to stream all kinds of web content and manage your own music, videos, and photos.

    • Arch

    • Fedora

      • Seven Reasons to Upgrade to Fedora 13

        Fedora 13 is right around the corner. Code-named “Goddard,” the Fedora 13 release sports tons of updates from Fedora 12 and some really exciting new features that will have Linux power users running for their CD burners. You’ll find everything from better printer support to experimental 3D support for Nvidia cards and filesystem rollback. Ready to roll up your sleeves? Let’s take a look at the best of Fedora 13.

      • It’s Fedora Election season!

        You’ve only got until May 26th to vote in the Fedora elections: elections are open now. This election we are voting on new members of the Fedora Project Board and the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee. Before you vote, you’ll want to read up a bit on the elections to make sure you’re making an informed choice. Here’s a cheatsheet for you.

    • Ubuntu

      • More Iron for your blood…

        The Beta I have been using these last few days, along with the fabulously new Linux Mint 9, is Iron’s 5.0.377 Beta for Linux.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • mobile hsdpa/wifi router powered by Linux

      If you need wireless internet access on your boat, car, helicopter or while hiking, this may be the solution you are looking for. A Linux powered device sharing mobile broadband EVDO/HSDPA on a wifi router. The hardware runs on 110/220 volt with a DC power supply but it’s very flexible allowing for 11-56 Volt DC input and even 5 volt trough an internal connector.

    • Linux development platform targets multi-core MIPS SoCs

      The Linux solution might more accurately be described as a Mentor-acquired Linux solution, as Embedded Alley had already released its first embedded Linux development platform before the company was acquired by Mentor Graphics last summer. The Embedded Alley Development System for Linux was released in December 2008.

    • Open source robot is all eyes

      A startup called TheCorpora is readying an open source Linux robot based on a Mini-ITX board with an Intel Atom and an Nvidia Ion GPU. The foot-and-a-half tall Qbo lacks arms or legs, but is mobile, can be controlled via WiFi, and offers stereoscopic face, object, and gesture recognition, plus speech synthesis and voice recognition.

    • Nokia/Wine

      • MeeGo and Btrf

        MeeGo is arguably the dark horse in the mobile platform race: it is new, unfinished, and unavailable on any currently-shipping product, but it is going after the same market as a number of more established platforms. MeeGo is interesting: it is a combined effort by two strong industry players which are trying, in the usual slow manner, to build a truly community-oriented development process. For the time being, though, important development decisions are still being made centrally. Recently, a significant decision has come to light: MeeGo will be based on the Btrfs file system by default.

      • Wine running on a Nokia N900

        ARM based superphone N900 running the x86 wine binary via a statically compiled arm qemu binary, within an x86 chroot.

      • Wine icon facelift on target for June
      • Bordeaux 2.0.4 on Mac Screenshot tour
    • Google/Android

      • Sony Shifts on Open Source

        The partnership between Sony Corp. and Google Inc. highlights the changes taking place in TV viewing habits, but it is also symbolic of another change: Sony’s stance on open-source technology.

      • Google TV to mix Android, Chrome, and Atom
      • Google Gears Up Chrome Web Store for App Fans

        Is Google looking to compete directly with iTunes? The company’s Chrome Web App store may have modest beginnings — especially considering that Chrome accounts for less than 7 percent of the global browser market — but Google is not the sort of company to think small. The company reportedly is in talks to get other browser vendors on board.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • OK Go Chats With Planet Money About The Music Business

    The important takeaway here is that the new models of success may yet be discovered. Innovation by savvy people is still paramount. So, to succeed, the music industry needs to cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit and get out of the way of artists, instead of acting as a restrictive gatekeeper.

  • Who woulda thunk it: Fact-checking is popular!

    Has anyone else noticed that the Associated Press has been doing some strong fact-checking work lately, aggressively debunking all kinds of nonsense, in an authoritative way, without any of the usual he-said-she-said crap that often mars political reporting?

    I asked AP Washington Bureau Chief Ron Fournier about this, and he told me something fascinating, if not all together unexpected: Their fact-checking efforts are almost uniformly the most clicked and most linked pieces they produce.

    Journalistic fact-checking with authority, it turns out, is popular. Who woulda thunk it?

  • ‘Virtual sit-in’ tests line between DDoS and free speech

    UC San Diego Professor Ricardo Dominguez spearheaded the March 4 digital protest by calling on demonstrators to visit a webpage that sent a new page request to the UC president’s website every one to six seconds. A separate function automatically sent 404 queries to the server. A “spawn” feature allowed participants to run additional pages in another window, multiplying the strain on the targeted website.

  • Privacy expert: It’s good PR to say no to the government

    A leading privacy researcher is urging companies to say no to government requests for data, arguing that it’s good for business.

    “Or rather, saying yes can be really bad for business,” said Chris Soghoian, an Indiana University PhD candidate and security and privacy researcher.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Cyberwar Cassandras Get $400 Million in Conflict Cash

      Coincidences sure are funny things. Booz Allen Hamilton — the defense contractor that’s become synonymous with the idea that the U.S. is getting its ass kicked in an ongoing cyberwar — has racked up more than $400 million worth of deals in the past six weeks to help the Defense Department fight that digital conflict. Strange how that worked out, huh?

    • Lieberman To Unveil Cybersecurity Bill

      Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., plans to unveil a bill soon that aims to beef up cybersecurity inside and outside government by using agencies’ mammoth collective purchasing power to demand safeguards in information technology products, a Senate Democratic aide said on Monday.

      The House and Senate are working on legislation that would update the 2002 Federal Information Security Information Management Act, a law widely criticized for requiring agencies to fill out reports showing they have complied with security policies rather than asking them to take specific actions to secure networks, Nextgov.com reported.

    • Pre-Crime Policing

      A SWAT team brings in a man and seizes his legally purchased guns—for a crime no one committed

    • The all-seeing eye of the London 2012 Olympics mascot

      The image you see on the right is ‘Wenlock’ – one of the two creepy cyclopean mascots chosen as the child-friendly ambassadors representing the London games.

    • Clegg’s speech may mean the state intrudes less – but we must not forget ongoing invasions of privacy by the private sector
    • Warning of rise in microchips in council bins

      Privacy campaigners claim increasing numbers of councils are gearing up for “pay as you throw” rubbish charges by installing microchips in wheelie bins.

    • Government to track your child’s BMI

      I thought this might be one of those bills where someone has misread the language and interpreted what the legislation is supposed to do incorrectly.

    • Symantec buys large share of SSL market

      Symantec has agreed to acquire VeriSign’s Identity and Authentication business for an aggregate purchase price of $1.28 billion. It had previously looked as though Symantec was setting itself up to become a direct competitor of VeriSign following its recent acquisition of PGP Corporation, which also has trusted root certificates in browsers through its own acquisition of TC TrustCenter.

  • Environment

    • How Bush’s DOJ Killed a Criminal Probe Into BP That Threatened to Net Top Officials

      Mention the name of the corporation BP to Scott West and two words immediately come to mind: Beyond Prosecution.

      West was the special agent-in-charge at the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Criminal Investigation Division who had been probing alleged crimes committed by BP and the company’s senior officials in connection with a March 2006 pipeline rupture at the company’s Prudhoe Bay operations in Alaska’s North Slope that spilled 267,000 gallons of oil across two acres of frozen tundra – the second largest spill in Alaska’s history – which went undetected for nearly a week.

    • Boycott BP
    • Atlantic coast now under threat as current spreads Gulf oil slick

      There was mounting evidence last night that the scale of the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has grown beyond all the initial worst-case scenarios, as thousands of gallons of oil continued to gush from the sea floor.

      On the island of Key West, south of Florida, coastguard officials said about three tar balls an hour were washing up on the beaches of a state park. They said the globs of concentrated oil suggest leaking crude has now become caught up in the powerful loop current and could move from the gulf up to the Atlantic coast.

  • Finance

    • Bill Passed in Senate Broadly Expands Oversight of Wall St.

      The Senate on Thursday approved a far-reaching financial regulatory bill, putting Congress on the brink of approving a broad expansion of government oversight of the increasingly complex banking system and financial markets.

    • What’s Next For Bank Reform?
    • How the Finance Bill Affects Consumers

      One last-minute Senate addition would lower the fees that merchants pay to process many debit card transactions. If banks lose revenue as a result, they could make up for it by adding fees to checking accounts or cutting back on rewards programs. Retailers say that once card costs fall, they will hire more workers and hold the line on prices. There is a fair bit of disagreement about who has the better argument.

    • Thank You, Lloyd Blankfein

      FinReg: what do I think? I think Ed Andrews has it right: not all it should have been, but better than seemed likely not long ago, thanks to a changed climate. Wall Street in general, and Goldman in particular, provided scandals at just the right time. Thank you, Lloyd Blankfein.

    • The VC Tax Break
    • What the 111th Congress has done — and what it still has to do

      But I’m skeptical. The bill asks the very institutions that failed us last time — and that have failed again and again throughout history — to regulate banks that are even bigger now than they were before the crisis, and that are not confined by simple rules governing the amount of capital they have on hand or simple taxes that make risk and bigness undesirable. Take resolution authority. Before a risky firm can be brought down, the Treasury Department, the FDIC, the Federal Reserve and three bankruptcy judges have to all sign off. If anyone refuses to go along, resolution cannot be used. It is easy to imagine a bank effectively lobbying, say, a Treasury secretary for more time. It is hard, conversely, to imagine so many players agreeing on something as difficult as destroying a major financial firm before we’re officially in a market-recognized bank run.

    • Can States Fix Their Pension Problems?

      Stories about $150,000-a-year pensions for retired officials are fueling anger and demands for action, but there seems to be little that officials can do about existing contracts, for legal and other reasons. The focus has turned to reforming the state systems, to make sure they are fiscally sustainable in the future. What states have led the way? And what political obstacles have arisen in other places?

    • Lower bailout estimate assumes higher stock prices

      The Treasury Department indicated Friday it expects taxpayers will lose billions less from the financial bailouts than earlier estimated. The problem is, its revised forecast assumes Treasury’s shares of bailed-out companies are gaining value despite this week’s plunge in stock prices.

    • Lincoln, Chief Architect of Massacre?
    • Defend Derivatives Reform
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Perfume’s Un-Sexy Side

      The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics commissioned laboratory analyses (pdf) of 17 men’s and women’s name-brand perfumes to determine their chemical content, and found 38 secret chemicals present in all 17 products. The average product tested contained 14 chemicals not listed on the label, some of which are associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions. Many of the secret chemicals have never been safety-tested for use in personal care products.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Pennsylvania AG Tom Corbett Can’t Take Anonymous Twitter Criticism; Issues Subpoenas For IDs

      What is it with various state Attorney Generals and their difficulty in understanding the law? And why is it that those same AGs always seem to be running for higher office when they do? We’ve already covered how Andrew Cuomo (who wants to be NY’s governor) appeared to ignore the law in bullying ISPs. And then there’s Richard Blumenthal (who wants to be one of the Senators from Connecticut) who continues to ignore Section 230 safe harbors for Craigslist in grandstanding against the company. Then there was South Carolina’s Harry McMaster (who tried to run for governor), who also ignored Section 230 in threatening to put Craigslist execs in jail.

    • UK’s secret surveillance regime ‘does not breach human rights’

      The European Court of Human Rights has rejected a claim that the UK’s Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) violates the human right to a private life. The UK’s rules and safeguards on covert surveillance are proportionate, said the court.

    • Appeals Court Halts ‘Hot News’ Publishing Order

      A federal appeals court on Thursday lifted a lower court’s order that a well-known financial news aggregator delay publication of prominent financial analysts’ buy and sell recommendations — stock picks that allowed the well-to-do the first crack at capitalizing on that trading research.

    • Hot News Decision from New York Is Stayed Pending Appeal
    • Ofcom leaves people in the dark on future of Open WiFi and evidence used for technical measures

      ORG together with Consumer Focus, Which? and the Communications Consumer Panel have drawn up a list of principles for the notification letter. We have attended a meeting at Ofcom this afternoon to discuss these principles.

    • Privacy is not just a technical problem – the NHS needs to change the way it thinks about our data

      When your medical record was held in a brown cardboard envelope you could be fairly certain that you were confiding in your doctor or nurse. And if you did discover that the details of your health problems were doing the rounds, you’d at least have a pretty good idea who to blame. When we decide to consult a doctor, we all carry out a pretty sophisticated mental calculus that balance our need for help with the pain of disclosing intensely private information. That’s why “Doctor-patient confidentiality” is a tenet of medical folklore as precious as “first do no harm.”

    • Wikimedia: ‘Fox News’s campaign against us is nonsense’

      Jimmy Wales’ Wikipedia empire is dealing with an almighty furore in the wake of a series of damaging and particularly zealous stories by Fox News concerning allegations that it is hosting images of child pornography.

    • Pakistan blocks Facebook in row over Muhammad drawings

      Pakistan today blocked Facebook indefinitely in response to public outrage over a competition on the social networking site that encourages people to post drawings of the prophet Muhammad.

    • Foreign reporters rap Kurdish authorities over press freedom

      Eighteen foreign correspondents who have long covered Iraqi Kurdistan sharply criticised the region’s government on Sunday over a deterioration in the work conditions of Kurdish reporters.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Court Refuses to Extend Trade-mark Protection to File Extensions

      In Autodesk, Inc. v. Dassault Systèmes Solidworks Corporation, the US District Court for the Northern District of California recently considered whether computer file extensions are entitled to trade-mark protection.

    • Who Owns You? – A Documentary – Trailer
    • Libraries innovate and foster innovation

      It seems to me that without saying so explicitly, the article constitutes a powerful argument for making information as freely and cheaply available as possible. It also provides examples of how this is already being done. Innovation is clearly taking place here, and IP law needs to get out of the way.

    • Copyrights

      • Superman attorney lawsuit: smear campaign or savvy strategy?

        The emails kept coming all day Friday: “What’s going on at Warner Bros?” asked a copyright lawyer. “Man, you think Warners hates Toberoff?” joked another. “So, you win a case against a studio these days and they’ll sue you personally?”

      • The Increasing Irrelevance Of The Major Record Labels

        Yesterday I attended the always worthwhile SF Music Tech Summit. This has to be the fourth or fifth time I’ve gone, and I always find that after it’s all over and I’ve had some time to think about it, I recognize one key theme that kept hitting me over and over again throughout the event. This time it was the increasing irrelevance of the major record labels. I’ve been to a lot of music industry events in the past few years, and there’s no doubt that the presence of the majors at various events continues to decline (though, they still seem to have no problem wasting ridiculous sums of money on lavish parties at some events). While the decreased presence at Music Tech might have been a result of the overlap with another industry event, NARM, which the labels almost certainly deem more important, what was more telling was the audience’s reaction to the major labels.

      • Axis of P2P Evil? Congress, RIAA call out six worst websites in the world

        This morning, the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus held a press conference along with RIAA CEO Mitch Bainwol to call out the six worst websites in the world. Think of them as an “Axis of P2P Evil.”

      • Instead Of Better Defining Fair Use… Should We Define Unfair Use?
      • Coffee shop stops live music after copyright licensing debate

        For Henderson business owner Mike Hopper, his coffee shop, Mocha Joe, was the perfect environment to let local artists showcase their original music. At least that was the plan until the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers said otherwise.

      • Gym muzak may replace more funky workout music

        MUZAK may replace the top 40 as the soundtrack to gym classes after the Copyright Tribunal ruled fitness centres have not been paying musicians enough.

      • Police Say Anti-Piracy Law Makes Catching Criminals Harder

        The head of Sweden’s National IT Crime Unit says that following the introduction of IPRED anti-piracy legislation it has become more difficult to track down serious criminals. This unfortunate eventuality is a side-effect of ISPs throwing away logging data to protect the privacy of their customers. While this protects casual file-sharers, it unfortunately protects serious criminals too.

      • Copyright Lawsuits Plummet in Aftermath of RIAA Campaign

        New federal copyright infringement lawsuits plummeted to a six-year low in 2009, the year after the Recording Industry Association of America abandoned its litigation campaign against file sharers, court records show.

      • The Pirate Bay returns to the internet

        Popular BitTorrent search engine The Pirate Bay has just come back online, around a day after it was apparently forced offline by a German court injunction filed a week ago.

    • Politics

      • Obama Reiterates Support For ACTA, As More People Point Out How Far ACTA Is From The Purpose Of Copyright

        A few months back, President Obama publicly stood behind ACTA despite tons of concerns about it from the public. It’s disappointing that as more and more concerns and problems with ACTA have been highlighted, Obama has not reconsidered. He still seems to be taking the position that “more copyright must be good, and ACTA therefore is good.” That’s a naive position. The group Open ACTA points us to a statement made by Obama in Mexico, concerning better trade relations with Mexico, where he again insists that ACTA is a key part of better trade relations…

      • Joint Statement from President Barack Obama and President Felipe Calderón
      • Newspaper Edits Politicians Out Of Bill Signing Photograph; Doesn’t Get Why People Think That’s Bad

        Romenesko points us to a story of a West Virginia newspaper that photoshopped three politicians out of a bill signing photo that ran with a story about the bill.

        [...]

        This is a newspaper that won’t run photos of candidates running for election? It makes you wonder how they report on those elections. With illustrations? And then to claim that it’s okay to edit a photograph by then calling it a “photo illustration” rather than a photo that’s been edited seems a bit questionable no matter where you stand on the question of journalistic ethics.

    • Digital Economy Bill

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – DITNS – Aurora Borealis (1/4/2003)


Links 21/5/2010: Mandriva Linux 2010 Spring RC, Google Activates 100,000 Android/Linux Devices Per Day

Posted in News Roundup at 8:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

    • SGI advances Linux on the HPC front

      WORKSTATION AND SERVER VENDOR Silicon Graphics International (SGI) represents how a once fiercely proprietary company has been able to leverage open source for High Performance Computing (HPC), much to its benefit.

      Following multiple bankruptcies, a change of its iconic logo and replacing ‘Incorporated’ with ‘International’, SGI has learned the hard way that the time for going it alone is long gone. It many ways it has realised long before some larger companies that, rather than fight a losing battle against the open source movement, it should embrace it.

      [...]

      Pointing to the resource meter, Goh explained that the code essentially was a memory allocation exercise to show how the firm can use a maximum of 16TB of RAM as a single memory space. Why stop at 16TB? Goh answered his own question by stating it was the limitation of the 44-bit virtual memory addressing in Intel’s x86-64 Xeon chip. He claimed that the chipmaker will be increasing the virtual address length to 46-bits in 2012, which will allow for even larger physical memory configurations.

    • Reboot

      gentooexperimental ~ # uptime
      11:21:14 up 463 days, 17:07, 2 users, load average: 0.39, 0.84, 1.62

  • Kernel Space

    • Open source industrial group joins the Linux Foundation

      The Linux Foundation (LF) announced that it has accepted the Open Source Automation Development Lab (OSADL) as a new Silver member of the non-profit organization. OSADL, which oversees the development of “Latest Stable” industrial real-time Linux kernel versions, among other projects, will collaborate with LF members on embedded and industrial Linux efforts.

    • The Experimental Nature of Linux

      So lately it is off to the races with new releases. With Ubuntu, Fedora, Red Hat, just to name a few having recently put forth their latest offerings. This will always be followed by the derivative distributions like Mint and Centos. So what is so great about all this new stuff? Well everything of course. Don’t you want to be on the latest and greatest version of the Kernel? Don’t you want access to new file systems like BRTFS?

    • Graphics Stack

      • The State Of The X.Org Server 1.9 Release

        Version 1.8 of the X.Org Server was just released at the start of April, but Intel’s Keith Packard who’s been serving as the release manager called for an even tighter release schedule with X.Org Server 1.9. Keith pushed plans for an August release of X Server 1.9. With that said, to meet that deadline, the merge window for the 1.9 release is closing at the start of June.

  • Instructionals

  • Games

    • Danger from the Deep

      Considering this game is in the alpha stage, it’s an extraordinary effort with nice graphics, a brilliant installer and even a small soundtrack! Submarine buffs, do yourself a favor, and check out this game.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • SystemRescueCd updated

        SystemRescueCD Logo The SystemRescueCd developers have released the fourth update to the 1.5.x branch of their Linux distribution. Based on the Gentoo LiveCD, the SystemRescueCd is configured as a tool kit for administering or repairing an operating system and recovering data after a system crash. Supported file systems include Ext2, Ext3 and Ext4, ReiserFS, XFS, JFS, VFAT, NTFS, ISO9660 and Btrfs.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Linux 2010 Spring RC isos are available

        Here comes the last development release for Mandriva Linux 2010 Spring. A few days left now before final release planned for 3rd of June. These isos are available on all public mirrors:

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

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu 10.04 filesystems and boot times

        I haven’t really mentioned it much, but the few times in the past month that I’ve used Ubuntu 10.04 have been rather disappointing. I haven’t dared install it on anything except this machine, and in most cases that’s been only borderline acceptable.

        [...]

        Take away from this what you will; for me, it told me that the filesystem wasn’t the source of my problems, and that I didn’t need to micromanage the installation to find the source of my disk woes. I will be sticking with ext2 in spite of all the fear and loathing that early filesystems attract. But I’ll probably be sticking with Arch Linux too.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 Test Drive

        After playing around with the appearance options a bit, I’m even more convinced that the folks at Ubuntu have finally taken their graphics overhaul idea seriously. There are loads of easy options for changing window appearances, and even a nice bunch of attractive wallpaper. This is a huge upgrade from previous versions, where you got to either choose a subtle variant of brown, or go on the hunt for your own high-quality wallpaper.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Review

        There were a few things that I didn’t care for, such as the clashing of colors and the fact that there are games installed rather than GIMP or VLC instead of the utterly horrid Totem. Additionally, my biggest annoyance is that while Ubuntu went out of its way to revamp its entire look, they went to someone else’s look. As for the look itself, it’s okay. The new logo is very nice. I liked it quite a bit. As far as the distro is concerned I was pleased. HUGE improvement over the Koala. Overall, I would rate Lucid Lynx an A- for newbie friendliness and usage and a B+ for looks. That last would have been an A- but I’m not fond of copycats.

      • Ubuntu Software Center Gets A History Tab (Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Development)

        Here we go again: just like we did with Ubuntu 10.04, we’ll be providing news regarding important changes in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat as soon as they are released.

        An update in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat today (which didn’t even hit the first Alpha yet) brings a new “History” tab in the Ubuntu Software Center where the users are able to see all installed and removed packages…

      • Variants

        • Review: Linux Mint 9 Isadora

          All in all, Linux Mint 9 has been a pleasant surprise, probably the best 2010 distro release so far along with PCLinuxOS 2010. I obviously recommend it for anybody trying Linux for the first time, but also for experienced users, who should equally enjoy its great features. If you are an Ubuntu user who wanted to upgrade/install 10.04 but were disappointed with the end result, make sure you give Linux Mint 9 a try.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Qbo, Based On Linux, To Join Growing Field Of Open Source Robots

      Slowly but surely, the field of open source robotics has expanded, and we’ve covered some of the most promising robot projects before. These include the iCub, which runs on an open source software platform found here, and open source robotics competition entries, with participants from all around the world. Now, one of the more interesting new open source robots is Qbo (shown), a Linux-based robot from the folks at thecorpora.com.

    • Android

      • Google Now Activating 100,000 Android Devices A Day — 50,000 Android Apps

        Today at Google I/O Vic Gundotra made a big revelation. Last year, Google was activating 30,000 Android phones a day. The past February, that number jumped to 60,000. Today, Google is now activating over 100,000 Android phones a day.

      • Open Android vs. Closed iPhone

        I’d basically decided to switch to the Droid. The keynote on Day 2 was split between Android 2.2 and Google TV. I was completely blown away by Android 2.2. It doesn’t merely address each of the issues I have with my iPhone, it demolishes them. Google wasn’t bashful during the keynote about taking shots at Apple, which was fun to see. And as I sat there, I kept thinking about how far Android has come taking an entirely open approach.

      • Introducing Google TV
      • Google Unwraps Its Long-Awaited TV Platform; Plans To Ship In Fall

        With the introduction of Google TV, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is now the latest company to try to bridge the gap between the web and the TV. The key feature of the long-expected platform, which the company is unveiling right now at Google I/O: A “quick search box” that lets users quickly look up and access TV broadcasts and web content. Engineers demonstrated how users could seamlessly switch between watching a video from anywhere on the web and watching a live TV broadcast. Users can also visit a website at the same time that they watch a broadcast—a scenario that could be useful if, for instance, somebody wanted to look up sports stats related to an ongoing game.

      • Schmidt Makes The TV Rounds Talking Google TV

        So, the usual question for Google (NSDQ: GOOG) in the wake of its announcement of Google TV: How will it make money from a platform that it will be licensing to device makers for free?

      • Um, Did Google Just Quietly Launch A Web-Based iTunes Competitor? Yep.

        Today at Google I/O, Vic Gundotra introduced Froyo, aka Android 2.2. But he also went a bit beyond Froyo. Coming soon, is a way to download an app through the Android Market over the web — and have it automatically download on your Android devices too. But that’s not all. Gundotra also showed off a new section of the Market — Music. Yes, an iTunes competitor on the web from Google.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Asus’ Eee PC 1201T ultraportable

        Slapping on Linux solves the cost issue, and devotees of open-source operating systems may rejoice at the prospect of dodging the infamous “Microsoft tax.” But does Linux really work as well as Windows on a system like this? And most importantly, is the 1201T’s hardware compelling, regardless of the OS situation?

Free Software/Open Source

  • ‘Future Is Bright For Open Source Enthusiasts’

    Q: What opportunities exist for FOSS and Linux experts in the IT industry? What are the reasons for this sudden demand?

    A: Open source is becoming the heart of enterprise computing, as it is the core of business applications in enterprises, allowing cost savings and improving processes. There is an increasing demand for free software tools as they are generally available at no cost and with functionalities similar to those available in commercial tools. With open source software and advancements in virtualised architectures, organisations gain the freedom to choose what applications and infrastructure software they want to evaluate (at no cost), which of these solutions they want to deploy and how they want to pay for that deployment — on-site licenses, hosted solutions, or software as a service (SaaS). Open source applications are now available for all common types of enterprise software-from databases, application servers and Web servers, to Web browsers and office applications, to network monitoring software and security software. The code base is stable, increasing the reliability of the software.

  • Mozilla

  • CMS

    • 7 (More) Best Free and Open Source Content Management Systems (CMS)

      Due to popular demand, we will give you another round of some of the best free and open-source Content Management Systems (CMS). This new set of CMS is as good as the previous list that we have so this should be interesting. Without any more delay, check out this new collection of some of the best free and open-source Content Management Systems (CMS)…

  • Education

    • Open source software in UK schools…it missed the boat

      Buying an Open Source solution is becoming much the same as buying a proprietary one…which is a good thing.

      Well, we have a new Government, spending cuts have begun and speculation about how schools will be affected is well under way. Naturally the likes of me are looking for clues as to how ICT in schools will be changed.

      Last week the NAHT railed against the excessive costs of outsourced ICT, this week yet another public IT project went belly-up as a result of naïve outsourcing. This time it was to a giant French IT company who promised the Met Police ‘massive savings’ in their Payroll and HR systems..hah!

      So is it safe to assume that the gloss is going off outsourcing?..maybe… it all depends on just how savvy are our new masters and mistresses in parliament.

  • BSD

    • OpenBSD 4.7 Released

      An anonymous reader writes “The release of OpenBSD 4.7 was announced today. Included in this release are support for more wireless cards, the loongson platform, pf improvements, many midlayer filesystem improvements including a new dynamic buffer cache, dynamic VFS name cache rewrite and NFS client stability fixes, routing daemon improvements including the new MPLS label distribution protocol daemon (ldpd) and over 5,800 packages. Please help support the project by ordering your copy today!”

  • Government

    • DK: Finance ministry: ‘Open standards advance competition, lower cost’

      Denmark’s ministry of Finance says that using open standards can increase competition and may help to decrease costs for the public sector. However, the ministry advises against moving to open standards without determining these cost benefits.

      Lars Frelle-Petersen, manager of digitisation at the ministry of Finance, expects that open standards will be increasingly important in the Danish public sector.

    • [UK] Joint plans for government published

      We will create a level playing field for open-source software

  • Open Hardware

    • Make-offs: DIY indie innovations

      As Andrew and other young makers become more familiar with the equipment used in industry and science, they will see new opportunities to build “knock-offs” using cheaper, reusable components that are open and adaptable to customization. We shouldn’t consider them “knock-offs” as we talk about what’s produced in China. As “make-offs,” they stand-out as examples of creative DIY innovation and collaboration. Make-offs are open platforms for doing new things, enabling more people to participate and develop the expertise to solve new and more challenging problems together.

Leftovers

  • Try the new IANA WHOIS server
  • Taylor Momsen Did Not Write This Headline

    Keep in mind that all of the things that make headlines meaningful in print — photographs, placement and context — are nowhere in sight on the Web. Headlines have become, as Gabriel Snyder, the recently appointed executive editor of Newsweek.com, said, “naked little creatures that have to go out into the world to stand and fight on their own.”

  • Crime

    • Chipmakers fined by EU for price-fixing

      Nine chip makers have been fined 331m euros (£283.1m, $404.2m) by European Union regulators for illegally fixing prices.

    • Facebook CEO’s latest woe: accusations of securities fraud

      May has been a bad month for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who just turned 26 last Friday but spent his birthday wrestling with an uproar over Facebook’s privacy practices. The latest unwelcome gift: accusations of securities fraud from former Harvard schoolmates who say he and other Facebook executives tricked them into a supposed $65 million settlement that was actually worth far less.

  • Science

    • Scientists create a living organism

      Scientists have turned inanimate chemicals into a living organism in an experiment that raises profound questions about the essence of life.

    • Craig Venter creates synthetic life form

      Craig Venter and his team have built the genome of a bacterium from scratch and incorporated it into a cell to make what they call the world’s first synthetic life form

  • Security/Aggression

    • New UK govt to curb CCTV, scrap ID cards, help open source

      The Britain of today is watched constantly by CCTV cameras, is preparing for a national ID card, slaps a “crown copyright” on most government data, and can now censor websites and eventually boot people off the Internet.

    • Sea lions, dolphins trained to foil terrorism

      A Navy seal – actually a sea lion – took less than a minute to find a fake mine under a pier near San Francisco’s AT&T Park.

      A dolphin quickly located a terrorist lurking in the black water before another sea lion, using a device carried in its mouth, cuffed the pretend saboteur’s ankle so authorities could reel him in.

    • UC Berkeley Asking Incoming Students For DNA

      UC Berkeley is adding something a little different this year in its welcome package — cotton swabs for a DNA sample.

  • Environment

    • Leaking Legitimacy

      Over the last month, it’s become increasingly clear that there is a coordinated information operations campaign in place to downplay the impact of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The US government and British Petroleum have imposed a scientific and media blackout to prevent the gathering of the information on the oil leak needed to generate precise estimates (specifically, updates to very low estimates made during the very early days of the crisis). Despite this blackout, credible outside estimates made possible by the little information that has trickled out show that the amount of oil leaking from the broken wellhead is upwards of twenty times the official British Petroleum and Government estimates — nearly 4,000,000 gallons a day vs. 210,000.

    • Answering an Age-Old Question: How Deep Is the Ocean?

      As long ago as 1888, John Murray dangled lead weights from a rope off a ship to calculate the ocean’s volume — the product of area and mean ocean depth. Using satellite data, researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) set out to more accurately answer that question — and found out that it’s 320 million cubic miles.

      And despite miles-deep abysses like the Mariana Trench, the ocean’s mean depth is just 2.29 miles, thanks to the varied and bumpy ocean floor.

    • US top scientists urge coal, oil use penalties

      Ditching its past cautious tone, the nation’s top scientists urged the government Wednesday to take drastic action to raise the cost of using coal and oil to slow global warming.

  • Finance

    • Jobless claims rise by largest amount in 3 months

      The number of people filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week by the largest amount in three months. The surge is evidence of how volatile the job market remains, even as the economy grows.

    • Why Recoveries Can Be as Difficult as Recessions

      That’s why at SRC cash is now our No. 1 financial priority. We believe credit will remain tight, which means we need to work on the terms of our receivables and payables to give us maximum flexibility with our cash. We also know that cash is going to get more expensive over the next few years as interest rates continue to rise. So it makes sense for us to fix our borrowing rates for as long as we can right now.

    • Clients Worried About Goldman’s Dueling Goals

      Although Goldman had decided months earlier that the mortgage market was headed for a fall, it continued to sell the WaMu securities to investors. While Goldman put its imprimatur on that offering, traders in the same Goldman unit were not so sanguine about WaMu’s prospects: they were betting that the value of WaMu’s stock and other securities would decline.

      Goldman’s wager against its customer’s stock — a position known as a “short” — was large enough that it would have generated at least $10 million in profits if WaMu collapsed, according to documents recently released by Congress. And by mid-May, Goldman’s bet against other WaMu securities had made Goldman $2.5 million, the documents show.

    • SEC Report On May 6 Meltdown Discusses HFT, Has Not One Mention Of The NYSE’s “Supplementary Liquidity Providers”

      One thing that there is no mention of anywhere in the report, is the NYSE contraption known as Supplementary Liquidity Provider, a program created to give Goldman dominance over the DMM-parallel liquidity rebate system at the NYSE. One would think that the SEC would be aware of this program that was supposed to expire in early 2009, yet continues to be extended and provides Goldman and Getco with, arguably, unprecedented forward-looking information on order flow.

    • Dems Overcome GOP Filibuster With 60-40 Vote To Advance Financial Reform

      When at first you don’t succeed…

      After failing yesterday to get the 60 votes they needed to bring debate on a historic financial reform bill to a close, Senate Democrats succeeded in this afternoon’s cloture vote.

      The final vote today was 60-40 (yesterday it was 57-42). Next up is a final vote on passage, which is expected to take place within days.

    • Fading of inflation helps buyers and borrowers

      It’s a good time to buy a car or refinance a mortgage, thanks to super-low inflation and interest rates.

      Invest in a savings account? Forget it.

      Consumer inflation has all but disappeared, the government reported Wednesday. The Federal Reserve may now be emboldened to keep interest rates at record lows well into next year – and possibly into 2012.

    • Wall Street reform update: Uncertainty, anger and drama running high

      Last night, Chris Dodd (who is managing the Wall Street reform bill), introduced an amendment to gut the derivatives regulation that is at the heart of the bill. The original derivatives language had been written by Agriculture Chair Blanche Lincoln. It was pretty strong, as it required the biggest banks to sell off their derivatives departments. Dodd’s proposal would delay implementation of Lincoln’s language by two years, and probably forever, by requiring a series of studies led by people opposed to those portions of the bill (such as leading Obama administration figures).

    • Collins To Vote With Reid To End Financial Reform Debate
    • Reihan Salam Joins Club Wagner
    • Agencies consider new rules post-plunge

      Nearly 21,000 trades were canceled because exchanges deemed them erroneous after the “flash crash,” which sent the Dow Jones industrial average down nearly 1,000 points in less than 30 minutes. Many retail investors were affected, and senators pressed at the hearing for remedies.

    • The Betterness Manifesto

      We can feel it, I suspect, most of us, deep in our gut. Bailouts, global debt crisis, fourth estate destroyed, nature ravaged, future stolen. Welcome to the roaring teens.
      Unless we do something about it, there won’t be much of a tomorrow.

      Here’s the score. The global economy faces a series of tectonic structural shifts. The great gears of this vast machine must be reset over the next decade. Consumption must fall. Savings must rise. Investment must be more productive. Incomes and wealth must be shared more broadly. Borrowing from tomorrow must slow. The rate at which we value the future must grow. Growth itself must be revitalized.

      Think of it as a great reboot of prosperity itself. How will it happen? Who will reset these great gears? Institutions are the “dials” that tune the gears, that set the rates. Exurbs, corporations, arms-length exchanges, industries, resources, “profit”, and “GDP”. All that’s the stuff of the industrial era. Yet those are the institutions that still surround us today. A better kind of prosperity demands a new set of institutions. New kinds of cities, companies, communities, markets, capital, contracts, growth (to name just a few).

      [...]

      Real change doesn’t begin with governments, presidents, or prime ministers. It begins with each of us. In the 20th century, never-ending mass-marketing, monopoly, and mega-politics came together to convince us, each and every one, that we’re not really free: just free enough to choose between different flavors of the same old toxic junk. It was a trick, a ploy, a television hallucination. We’re the freest people in history. It’s time to use it like we meant it.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Travellers to be searched for porn

      Australian customs officers have been given new powers to search incoming travellers’ laptops and mobile phones for pornography, a spokeswoman for the Australian sex industry says.

    • Germany Asks Google to Surrender Private Data

      Google came under increased pressure in Europe on Tuesday over its collection of private data from unsecured home wireless networks as a German regulator threatened legal action if the company did not surrender a hard drive for inspection.

    • Pakistan court orders Facebook ban

      A Pakistani court has issued a ban on the social networking site Facebook after a user-generated contest page encourged members to post caricatures of Prophet Mohammed.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Debate Erupts Over WHO Police Work Against “Counterfeit” Drugs Trade

      The only internationally agreed definition of “counterfeits” is at the World Trade Organization, where it is defined as a violation of trademarks, say those who oppose the term. It is “devoid of value” in the absence of a clear understanding said India yesterday and as such is a “nonstarter.” There is further concern that the vague definition could interfere with trade of low cost generic medicines. Brazil said falsification of medicines was a critical issue, but it had a problem when “private commercial interests wage a war” within the WHO against generic medicines. Spain on behalf of the European Union Wednesday acknowledged that the term counterfeit gives rise to certain confusion, but said the term could be clarified.

      The Brazilian ambassador told Intellectual Property Watch there are concerns about both fake generics and fake brand-name medicines. But, “if we want to fight medicines that have intellectual property problems, let’s go to the WTO, WIPO [World Intellectual Property Organization].” At WHO, the focus should remain on “quality, safety, and efficacy.”

      Michelle Childs and Tido von Schoen-Angerer from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors Without Borders) told Intellectual Property Watch that the experience of the organisation from its field work is that substandards are the primary threat, not counterfeit. The credibility of the WHO needs to be in addressing these concerns and helping to find a solution, they added, saying the drive for intergovernmental processes indicated a lack of certainty from some states that WHO would act in a way that protects their interests.

    • Google fights the Hollywood tech veto

      Ever since the Web was spun there has been tension between Silicon Valley and Hollywood.

      Generally, Hollywood has won.

      The passage of laws like the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), and their strict enforcement not just by American cops but by foreign trade representatives, is well-known.

    • Claws out over ‘geekgirl’ trademark

      Two prominent women in the Australian IT industry are in a bitter dispute over the ownership of the trademark “geekgirl”.

      The two women concerned are Sydney-based IT consultant Kate Carruthers and Melbourne-based creator of the world’s first online cyber-feminist magazine Rosie Cross.

    • Copyrights

      • Entertainment Industry Gets Politicians To Advertise File Sharing Sites

        But, apparently one ridiculous list isn’t enough. The RIAA and MPAA have convinced a group of US elected officials, who have dubbed themselves the “International Anti-Piracy Caucus” to put out a list of file sharing websites that it hates… and with it, an attempt to shame the companies where those websites are hosted. The timing on this is amusing, because, of course, just last week, you would have needed to put the US on the list, as LimeWire would have likely been seen as just as widely used for unauthorized file sharing as some of those sites.

      • Nice Work ASCAP: Convinces Yet Another Coffee Shop To Stop Promoting Local Bands

        We see nearly identical stories every six months or so, but Chris Curvey has sent in the latest involving the various US collection societies — ASCAP, BMI and SESAC threatening a little coffee shop into canceling all live music, after demanding a performance license, despite the fact that the coffee shop only has local, unsigned bands playing, with a promise that they won’t play any cover songs. It’s the same old story that we hear over and over again. The venue insists that only unsigned bands are playing, and they’re not playing ASCAP music, and ASCAP says that it doesn’t matter.

      • Giganews Lawyer Says Steal This Film Is An Illegal Download

        As the once minority activity of downloading from newsgroups enters the mainstream, ever-more aggressive copyright-related lawsuits are doing likewise. In this environment Usenet-related companies are becoming increasingly careful to keep their behaviors entirely legal. Leading Usenet provider Giganews has taken the concept to a whole new level.

    • ACTA

      • Help sign the Written Declaration 12/2010 about ACTA
      • Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement: Impact on Individuals and Intermediaries

        The Australian Digital Alliance has released Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement: Impact on Individuals and Intermediaries.

        Here’s an excerpt:

        ACTA might have a negative impact on individuals as Internet citizens and as consumers of digital technologies because some of its requirements go beyond Australian law. ACTA will facilitate excessive damages payouts by mandating the controversial ‘lost sale analysis’ for the assessment of damages and encouraging punitive style statutory damages that set arbitrary amounts for infringement. ACTA will also broaden the scope of commercial scale infringement to criminalise purely private acts that occur in the homes of some Australians, and will create a new criminal offence for ‘camcording’. ACTA may strengthen existing procedures to lock up copyright material and prevent Australians from accessing or using it in certain legitimate ways.

      • A Chance to Act on ACTA – Now

        Despite all the excitement over the Digital Economy Act and minor things like general elections, the great ACTA machine is still grinding away in the background, slouching towards Bethlehem to be born.

        But there’s hope: the European Parliament has shown itself unhappy with the way the process is being conducted, in secret, and without any kind of democratic oversight.

    • Usenet Death Watch

      • A Piece of Internet History

        This week marks the end of an era for one of the earliest pieces of Internet history, which got its start at Duke more than 30 years ago.

      • Usenet’s home shuts down today

        Duke University in North Carolina is where Usenet began, and today the institution is shutting down its Usenet server. The college cites “low usage and rising costs” for the decision.

      • Duke To Shut Down Usenet Server

        Rantastic and other readers wrote about the shutdown of the British Usenet indexer Newzbin today; the site sank under the weight of a lawsuit and outstanding debt. Combine these stories with the recent news of Microsoft shuttering its newsgroups, along with other recent stories, and the picture does not look bright for Usenet.

      • Usenet gets attention and Giganews tries to avoid it?

        When the poorly thought out strategies for dealing with online copyright infringement started to take effect, I said at the time that we would see a migration towards Usenet. I am aware of whats called the “first rule of Usenet” which is not to talk about Usenet, but since I have no interests in infringing copyright by downloading such material and my Usenet interest is mainly comp.os.linux.advocacy, I really don’t have a problem breaking that “rule”. I expect what passes today as “the scene” will have words about that.

        [...]

        I would suggest that people put the IPkat out for the night and realize this problem is far too deep routed for any one (or collection) of court victories to change.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – World Space Congress (1/2/2003)


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