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04.15.10

Links 15/4/2010: Linux Foundation’s Collaboration Summit, Dragora Linux 2.0, ZEN-mini 2010

Posted in News Roundup at 7:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • The death of Linux and other predictions

      Firstly, this is NOT the year of Linux on the desktop, because frankly it has been on the desktop many years already. Read my recent article: Why Linux on the Desktop is Wrong! So can we lay to rest the phrase “the year of the desktop” and all variations? May it rest in peace!

      Secondly, the desktop is NOT dying because someone came up with another clever idea. People sliding their greasy fingers all over their iPad touch screen while drinking coffee isn’t going to somehow end people sitting at a desk and typing on a keyboard.

    • How to switch your small or home office to Linux

      With Linux and free software making a name for itself in the world of big business, many people are testing the feasibility of switching small and home office software to their open source equivalents.

      Regardless of how you feel about the Linux desktop, this is one area in which Linux can have a real impact, both financially and productively, and any small or home office has the potential to be transformed by just switching one application or two to their open source equivalents.

      [...]

      Free software is full of alternatives, because developers like choice. And because the code that’s used to create this software is open, once one application has invented a new kind of wheel, you often find its open source competitors catching up and providing many of the same features.

    • Acer Aspire AS5738PG Netbook review

      That said, Ubuntu 9 worked flawlessly on this laptop and ran quite fast thanks to the dual-core processors and higher-than-normal RAM allocation. For developers, the system represents a forward-looking laptop that could well provide the hardware required for testing touch applications, especially for creating kiosk applications or for contributing to a Ubuntu touch-screen version at some point.

    • Linux Live USB Media

      It is pretty common these days for laptops, and even desktops, to be able to boot from a USB flash memory drive. So you can save a little time and a little money by converting various Linux distributions ISO images to bootable USB devices, rather than burning them to CD/DVD. Oh, and one other reason – it is getting more common, especially with pre-releases, for the Live image to be too large to fit on a CD so it requires a DVD, and I don’t keep blank DVD media as close at hand as CD.

  • Server

    • Cray Releases Latest Version of Its Linux Operating System Equipped With New Cluster Compatibility Mode

      One of the most important features in this latest version of the Cray Linux Environment is the introduction of the new Cluster Compatibility Mode, which provides users with a full-featured cluster environment. Cluster Compatibility Mode is a fully standard x86 Linux environment that allows for simple, out-of-the-box installation and running of parallel ISV applications without porting, re-linking or recompilation. Cluster Compatibly Mode also allows for multiple MPI libraries.

    • Build It And They Will Come

      I’m talking about purchasing and installing a brand new Linux cluster in a pure Windows shop and having any expectations that it will be used. Your co-workers will probably look at you funny, and they might stand way over on the other side of the elevator during that ride up to the fourth floor, but don’t count on them knocking your door down begging for access to your shiny new Linux resource.

      [...]

      Finally, it was time for our first full production run. Voila! In just two hours our little 176-core 64-bit cluster ate up data and spit out the results for 1,500 runs — previously a task that took 3 – 4 people three days. Yesterday I checked on the cluster and noticed that our new users had recently finished their 4,400th run. I called on them to pass on my congratulations and was told that their P/I was thrilled at the increase in productivity the cluster was providing.

      Now that word of this is out we have new application porting activities identified and in the works. A Linux success story!

  • Kernel Space

    • Q&A with Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation

      CG: As Linux gets more “productized” in the mainstream, where is the sense of community that was such a fundamental part of early Linux success? Everywhere we look we see more and more people using Linux for their embedded solutions, but fewer and fewer people seem to be actively engaging with the open source development communities. There are exceptions (the folks at PogoPlug, for example, seem to be doing a good job cultivating a community with their user enthusiasts), but I think the bulk of Linux deployment is following the Google model: use it for hosted solutions, and only share a tiny fraction of your customizations. Will Meego only exacerbate this? How are the big mobile companies adopting Android and Meego “giving back” to the larger open source community?

    • Linux: Strong and getting stronger

      At the Linux Foundation’s annual collaboration summit in San Francisco on Wednesday, Executive Director Jim Zemlin kicked off the event with some interesting perspectives on the state of the Linux marketplace today.

      The short version: Linux is going strong and getting stronger.

      [...]

      Zemlin argues that the new PC economics look much more like the cell phone industry than it does the PC value chain. One example of this is Apple’s 30 percent take of the gross revenue of App Store apps. The new model takes the value off the platform itself and instead moves it to the applications.

    • File-System Benchmarks With The Linux 2.6.34 Kernel

      File-system benchmarks have become quite common to Phoronix in the age of EXT4 and Btrfs with these new file-systems driving much of the interest and as we have also been finding the Linux file-system performance to change between kernel releases (and in some cases, the performance has changed a great deal). Most recently we delivered benchmarks of EXT4 vs. Btrfs vs. Reiser4, but now a month later we are back with more Linux file-system benchmarks as we look to see if the disk performance has changed with the Linux 2.6.34 kernel.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • LXDE, the New Lightweight Linux Desktop

      LXDE (the Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) is new to the Linux desktop scene, having been launched in 2006. It aims to provide a fully-functional desktop environment whilst being as lightweight as possible, to both speed up your desktop and reduce its environmental impact (by using less CPU and RAM). A quick-and-dirty benchmark courtesy of the LXDE edition of Linux Mint indicates that it measures up pretty well on speed and RAM usage. In the third of my series on desktop alternatives, I took a look at it to see how it shapes up from the user’s point of view.

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • [Plasma] On screen keyboard

        In in an old screencast for Plasma Mobile, you seen a demonstration of an on-screen keyboard, it was a working proof of concept, but the interactin was still a bit wonky…

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Dragora Linux 2.0: 100% Free

        Even the embedded Linux-Libre kernel includes no elements that aren’t explicitly under a free license. In the new Dragora release, the kernel is version 2.6.32.11.

      • ZEN-mini 2010 released !

        ZEN-mini 2010 final release is ready for downloading !

        What’s New in This Release:
        - GNOME 2.30
        - kernel 2.6.32.11 bfs
        - addlocale
        - ISO size only 343mb!
        - fixed pulse audio

    • Red Hat Family

    • Ubuntu

      • Regional Membership Boards!

        One thing I always loved about the Ubuntu community is that whatever you did to contribute to Ubuntu, you could become an Ubuntu member and be part of the big circle of friends quite easily. In the earlier days of the Ubuntu project the Community Council was handling the approval of Ubuntu membership and I loved meetings where you heard inspiring stories of what people had contributed to Ubuntu.

        Over time those meetings, inspiring as they were, got a bit long. It got up to four hours every now and then. That’s why we set up the Regional Membership Boards who take care exlusively of membership approval and they are doing fantastic work.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx gets 14 new wallpapers
      • I’m running the Ubuntu 10.04 beta

        I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later.

        I needed to get the laptop back into usable shape, and I did that by installing Ubuntu 10.04 LTS beta 2.

      • Initial impressions of Ubuntu 10.04 beta 2

        All in all the system seems faster than Karmic and pretty darn stable for a beta release. I took the unprecedented-for-me step of making this the actual working system on this machine; I dd’ed it from the spare drive onto the system’s main hard drive and am now using it on this machine full time. I’ve never found a beta release that I liked enough to do that with, until now. So I think Canonical has a winner here.

      • Variants

        • Linux Mint 8 KDE (Helena)

          If you’re a Linux Mint KDE user then this upgrade is pretty much a no-brainer. This release gets you up to date with the latest version of Ubuntu (though Ubuntu 10 isn’t far off so I’ll be reviewing this again soon enough) and KDE.

          If KDE isn’t your thing though, there’s nothing here that will make you want to use it instead of the GNOME version.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia

        • Pics of Nokia MeeGo interface

          Pictures showing how the smartphone and netbook versions of Nokia’s MeeGo operating system (OS) will look have surfaced on the internet.

        • QA with Nokia’s Ari Jaaksi: MeeGo Revs Up

          Can you tell us more about Qt and what it brings to the MeeGo project?

          Jaaksi: Qt is a cross-platform application and UI framework used by hundreds of thousands of developers worldwide looking to create amazing user experiences on Windows, Mac, Linux, Windows Mobile, Symbian and Maemo devices. Qt will be the primary application framework for MeeGo and both Intel and Nokia are committing their investment in it. For developers interested in MeeGo, Qt helps increase the scope for their applications and services across multiple platforms, all using consistent application APIs.

      • Android

        • A fragmented Android universe

          Three months ago, these same statistics showed version 1.6 leading the field with more than 50% of users, with version 2.1 not even listed. Such statistics are useful for developers, who need to test their applications on different versions. They also reveal, however, that companies selling Android smartphones seem to have little interest in supplying existing customers with updated versions of the OS.

        • HTC Incredible Close to Release, Will Pack Market’s Best Phone Hardware

          The HTC Incredible brings some powerful hardware to America’s largest network, Verizon, and should help Android continue its campaign of rampant growth.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Zombies are open source; humans are proprietary

    After last month’s Pwn2Own Contest, Mozilla once again was the first to issue patches for the bug found in the hacking competition, beating Microsoft and Apple to the punch for the second year in a row.

  • Free and Open Source Project Management Software

    Free and Open Source Project Management Software: A project management software is a program that can help apply knowledge, techniques, skills, and tools for planning and controlling resources, costs and schedules to meet the requirements of a particular project. It includes integrated functions such as calendars, charts, budget management, scheduling, and quality management and documentation.

    Project management software can be implemented as either a desktop or as a web-based application. The advantage of using a desktop-based project management software is that it gives the most responsive and graphically-intense style of interface. Meanwhile, web-based project management software has the advantage of being accessible from just about anywhere with internet connection and without the need to install software on user’s computer.

  • COSSFEST, A Calgarian Tale of FOSS, Betrayal, and Murder

    The talks were fascinating as well. Aaron Seigo’s talk on creating Plasma widgets with Javascript almost made me want to get back to coding. Almost. Bruce Byfield’s presentation on sexism in FOSS was enlightening. Dafydd Crosby, in his oddly quiet way, managed in two separate talks to get people totally wired and jumping in to the conversation with enthusiasm; there was more than a little pontificating going on as well. Meanwhile, Daffyd smiled quietly and wrote one liner comments on his notebook, projected in Matrix green on the big screen (beware those quiet types). Richard Weait’s enthusiasm about the Open Streetmap project was palpable and I suspect more than one person will be attending a mapping party sometime soon.

    The surprise panel for me was one given by Brad “Renderman” Haines. It was a surprise because it didn’t really have anything to do with FOSS and yet was utterly and completely fascinating. If you thought the locks on your front door, on your locker in the gym, or guarding the entrance to the server room with all its secret corporate data was safe, think again. Every lock I own and every lock I’ve ever installed is suspect now. Who knew you could open a Master combination padlock in five seconds with a shim cut out from an empty beer can. Spooky! I will be booking an appointment with a locksmith shortly.

  • SaaS

    • Fonality Repositions: Goodbye Open Source, Hello Cloud

      * Before: Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Culver City, CA, Fonality is a leading developer and marketer of open source IP PBX business phone systems and unified communications solutions for small to medium-sized businesses. Investors include Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Intel Capital and Azure Capital Partners.

      * After: Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Culver City, Calif., Fonality is a leading developer and marketer of cloud-based business phone systems and unified communications solutions for small to medium sized businesses. Investors include Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Intel Capital, and Azure Capital Partners.

  • Mixed

    • Memcached Vendors Bulk Up for Web 2.0

      A pair of vendors that offer proprietary solutions based on the open source memcached project are updating their products this week. While both Gear6 and Schooner are adding their own proprietary bits to enhance their respective memcached-based offerings, both vendors are also ensuring that they also are contributing back to the open source core.

  • Oracle

    • OpenSolaris free CDs halted

      Oracle has stopped the free OpenSolaris CD shipping program. A posting on the OpenSolaris website discussion mailing list by Oracle’s Derek Cicero says the related links and icons have been removed from the opensolaris.org site. Downloads of OpenSolaris are still available from the OpenSolaris downloads site.

  • Education

    • A Trip Through The Cathedral & The Bazaar

      That parallel is why this ten year old book is still worth reading. The open source process is still creating magic, marshalling armies of creative people who work for nothing — or rather, as C&D points out, for gains that are not material. The technical prowess of the OSS world is not in doubt: Linux, Firefox, Apache, and a host of other projects show that the bazaar can still out-code the cathedral.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Releases

    • FreeSWITCH Advances “Free” Speech With 1.0.6 Release

      The FreeSWITCH team is proud to announce the official release of version 1.0.6, the latest release of the popular open source soft-switch library. FreeSWITCH 1.0.6 builds upon previous FreeSWITCH releases and brings dozens of new features and scores of enhancements in codecs, SIP processing, CPU utilization, TDM hardware support, and more. In the eight months since the release of FreeSWITCH 1.0.4, the core developers and key contributors have made improvements in almost all areas of the project.

  • Programming

    • Perl 5 development continues as version 5.12 released

      The Perl 6 project, which aimed to radically reinvent the open source programming language, first began to take shape in 2000. A decade later, there are several implementations with varying levels of completeness, but it is still not ready to replace Perl 5 in production environments.

      In order to ensure that Perl doesn’t completely stagnate during the protracted revamp, a group of developers have decided to pull Perl 5 out of maintenance mode and begin actively enhancing it with new features. The result is Perl 5.12, which was officially released this week. It was preceded by 5.11, an experimental development release that was issued last year.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Did Google Just Kill Ogg Theora?

      Montgomery is right. It’s unlikely that open sourcing VP8 is going to kill Theora. There will still be a small but dedicated community supporting the format, and there are going to be cases when it actually makes sense to use Theora and not VP8. What it will kill however, is the notion that Theora could one day become the standard of the HTML5 video web. For that, it would need to be a codec that’s superior to existing commercial solutions, and Theora just never was up to that challenge.

    • The importance of there being another open source codec

      Google’s apparent decision to open source the VP8 video codec will mostly be discussed today in terms of Google’s ambitions, about Google TV, and about HTML5.

Leftovers

  • Paper: Anatomy of contemporary GSM cellphones

    During the last days, I was working on an introductory paper on how a GSM cellphone actually works. It is titled Anatomy of contemporary GSM cellphone hardware and should provide a good technical text for anyone who generally is into technology and understands a bit about both software, computer architecture as well as radio, but who still feels like he has no clue what is actually happening inside the phone, particularly the hardware side.

  • Science

    • NASA to rocket humanoid robot to International Space Station

      Perhaps taking a page from a Star Wars script, NASA said today it will send its newest humanoid robot known as Robonaut2 – or R2 — capable of using the same tools as humans letting them work closely with people into space onboard the space shuttle’s final mission.

    • Armstrong: Obama hurting space effort

      Former astronaut Neil Armstrong has issued a strongly worded rebuke of President Barack Obama, criticizing the president for proposed revisions to the U.S.’ space program.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

    • Bayer admits GMO contamination out of control

      Drug and chemical giant Bayer AG has admitted that there is no way to stop the uncontrolled spread of its genetically modified crops.

      “Even the best practices can’t guarantee perfection,” said Mark Ferguson, the company’s defense lawyer in a recent trial.

    • US study warns of excessive GM crop use

      Farmers in the United States are being told they’re in danger of negating the benefits of genetically modified crops by overusing them.

      The warning is contained in a major report from the US National Research Council.

      It’s being described as the most substantial review of GM crop use in the country. It warns that some weeds are becoming resistant to herbicides.

  • Finance

    • CME, Lehman Book Bidders Likely Protected From Lawsuits

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Barclays PLC, DRW Trading and CME Group Inc. are likely to be protected from lawsuits seeking to recoup losses associated with the auction of Lehman Brothers Holdings’ futures book, according to a court-appointed examiner.

    • Lehman May Have Grounds to Sue Goldman, Barclays, Examiner Says

      Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. may have grounds to sue Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Barclays Plc after they obtained assets from CME Group Inc. for less than half their value, bankruptcy examiner Anton Valukas said.

    • Goldman Sachs Exec Tries Interesting New Tactic Re: Bonuses

      Goldman Sachs has done a lot to try and stem the rage over some people’s belief that the Masters of the Universe did not deserve their nicely-sized bonuses this year. They’ve taken away the cash portion of Lloyd and Co’s, they’ve made senior management fork over a bunch of their money to charity (including a special fund set up specifically to “help Matt Taibbi get the help he needs”), they canceled plans for the annual DuckTails-esque money pit for the distribution of the young employees’ comp, and so on and so forth. And yet. People still won’t get off their asses.

    • Goldman Sachs to Harry Reid: Back Off

      According to people with direct knowledge of the incident, during the event, which was held in a private room at a lower Manhattan restaurant, Reid was verbally harangued by several senior Goldman executives, including Cohn himself, for being part of the growing chorus of politicians who are using anti-Wall Street rhetoric to score political points.

      One of the attendees told Reid that Wall Street, and Goldman in particular, is being “persecuted by the Democratic Party.” Another complained that Goldman, as a “long-term, major supporter of the Democratic Party,” was tired of being publicly attacked.

    • WaMu execs speak candidly about Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and others

      Killinger replied about an hour later: “I don’t trust Goldy on this. They are smart, but this is swimming with the sharks. They were shorting mortgages big time while they were giving CfC [Countrywide Financial Corp.] advice. I trust Lehman (Lehman Brothers news) more for something this sensitive. But we would need to assess if they have the smarts we need.”

    • White House Urges Blankfein, Dimon to Stop Bill Fight

      Top White House officials last week pressed the chief executive officers of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to stop lobbying against a financial-regulatory bill advancing in Congress, according to people who attended the meeting.

      President Barack Obama’s senior adviser David Axelrod and National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers met with Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon, Bank of America’s Brian Moynihan and about 12 other executives at an April 6 event in Washington hosted by the Financial Services Forum, said the people, who declined to be identified because the meeting was private.

    • Fed ends Goldman, Greece probe with no action

      The Federal Reserve has ended its probe of Goldman Sachs contracts with the Greek government that distort the country’s debt levels, without taking any action, said Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday.

    • Bankers’ Ailing-Client Deals End With Greece: Alice Schroeder

      Greece’s fiscal debacle and rescue package aren’t just about national finances. They also say a lot about Wall Street’s investment banks.

    • Another View: We Need a ‘Blankfein Amendment’

      We are the sponsors of a shareholder resolution that seeks pay-disparity disclosure from Goldman Sachs, which was a major beneficiary of taxpayer largesse when the federal government intervened to avert the collapse of the nation’s biggest banks and much of Wall Street.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • China’s Internet Paradox

      On March 23, the day after Google pulled its search operations out of mainland China, a woman who uses the online pseudonym Xiaomi arose in her Shanghai apartment and sat down in her bedroom office for another day of outwitting Internet censorship. She leads a confederation of volunteer translators around the world who turn out Mandarin versions of Western journalism and scholarly works that are banned on China’s Internet–and that wouldn’t be available in Mandarin in any case. That day, working in a communal Google Docs account, she and her fellow volunteers completed translations of texts that ranged from a fresh New York Times interview with Google cofounder Sergey Brin to “The Limits of Authoritarian Resilience,” a seven-year-old analysis of China’s Communist Party from the Journal of Democracy.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • US government finally admits most piracy estimates are bogus

      We’ve all seen the studies trumpeting massive losses to the US economy from piracy. One famous figure, used literally for decades by rightsholders and the government, said that 750,000 jobs and up to $250 billion a year could be lost in the US economy thanks to IP infringement. A couple years ago, we thoroughly debunked that figure. For years, Business Software Alliance reports on software piracy assumed that each illicit copy was a lost sale. And the MPAA’s own commissioned study on movie piracy turned out to overstate collegiate downloading by a factor of three.

      Can we trust any of these claims about piracy?

      The US doesn’t think so. In a new report out yesterday, the government’s own internal watchdog took a close look at “efforts to quantify the economic effects of counterfeit and pirated goods.” After examining all the data and consulting with numerous experts inside and outside of government, the Government Accountability Office concluded (PDF) that it is “difficult, if not impossible, to quantify the economy-wide impacts.”

    • GAO Concludes Piracy Stats Are Usually Junk, File Sharing Can Help Sales
    • Copyrights

      • Disability rights activists oppose copyright regime

        The proposed amendments to the Copyright Act (1957), slated to be tabled in the second phase of the budget session of Parliament that begins on Thursday, has disability rights activists up in arms.

        The copyright exception, which aims at allowing persons with disability easy access to copyrighted material, is “restrictive and discriminatory,” disability rights organisations believe.

        Their demands for reworking this “exception,” that leaves out a large section of disabled persons who cannot access “special formats” (which include only Braille and sign language), have thus far gone unheeded. While a sub-committee was formed to look into the film industry-related parts of the legislation, the demands of disability activists have been ignored. In the run-up to the budget session, disability rights activists cutting across party lines are lobbying for their cause.

      • PPCA Statement Regarding Party Registration Status (AKA: Good News, Everyone!)

        We are pleased to announce that as of April 12, 2010, the Pirate Party of Canada (PPCA) is officially eligible for Party Status.

        After ten months of dedication and hard work, we have reached eligible status, which only leaves a 60-day “purgatory” period. After that, we will field candidates in subsequent federal elections, and begin the real work of a political party.

    • ACTA

      • The Truth About ACTA: My PublicACTA Keynote Address

        Even better, all the videos from the PublicACTA conference can accessed online.

      • Netizens: How ACTA will make a criminal of you

        The ‘Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement’ (ACTA) might sound like it’s aimed exclusively at the crooks selling pirated DVDs at the markets, but it’s really about curbing the behaviour of individual internet users, according to one of Australia’s leading legal academics.

      • Q & ACTA, with Michael Geist

        With the Wellington round of the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) talks underway, organised opposition to the proposed treaty on intellectual property rights and enforcement is also gathering in the New Zealand capital.

        Long-standing ACTA critic Dr Michael Geist from Canada is also in Wellington, and iTnews.com.au caught up with him there and asked him a few questions on the proposed treaty and what it means for all of us.

      • How ACTA could sneak in a three strikes system

        Internet users that download pirated material can expect a “three strikes system” in the wake of ACTA even if it isn’t legislated, according to one of Australia’s top legal authorities on the controversial trade agreement.

        As reported yesterday on iTnews, University of Queensland law lecturer Kimberlee Weatherall has written a 37-page comprehensive analysis of the latest leaked draft text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and concluded that netizens do indeed have a lot to be concerned about.

        Despite assurances from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) that Australia has no intention of introducing a “three strikes” system compelling ISPs to disconnect users suspected of file-sharing, Weatherall’s reading of the leaked draft of ACTA suggests the agreement will likely allow rights holders to achieve the same result through different means.

      • IIA to ask members to sign ACTA petition

        Internet Industry Association (IIA) chief executive officer Peter Coroneos has said he plans to ask his members to sign a declaration calling for more transparency in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) talks being held this week in Wellington, New Zealand.

        The agreement aims to establish international standards on how to enforce intellectual property rights given the changes the internet has brought to copyright. There have been a number of rounds nutting out details for the agreement, involving delegations from multiple countries such as Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Singapore, Switzerland, Morocco and the US.

Clip of the Day

A Fair(y) Use Tale — Novell Explains COPYRIGHT protections.

04.14.10

Links 14/4/2010: Fedora 13 Beta/Previews, RabbitMQ Bought

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Schooner adds DR to SQL and cache appliances

    This is the add-on to Linux that Schooner has created that mashes up the cores and threads in the Xeon processors and the main memory and flash drives and controls access to threads and memory and interleaves them in a more efficient manner than a typical Linux box can do. This SOE does not modify the Linux kernel itself, but creates very efficient and thread-aware userspaces for Schooner’s own blackbox, reverse-engineered, Memecached clone or Oracle’s MySQL Enterprise Edition database (which it licenses from Oracle) to run.

  • Choosing The Best Linux Filesystem For Your PC

    If you’re a Linux user, you’ve likely been asked at some point if you want Ext3, Ext4, XFS, ReiserFS, Btrfs, or one of many other filesystem acronyms. This choice confuses new and old users alike, and like all software, the options change as technology improves. Many people probably don’t care what filesystem they use as long as it’s stable and reasonably fast, but how do you know which one that is? This guide will attempt to cover the basic differences between the most common options, and provide the pros and cons of each choice.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Aaron Seigo on the Future of KDE

        Another example is the new direction for Krita, KOffice’s rasterized graphic program. For a long time, Seigo says, the sub-project wasn’t sure “If they were a drawing app, or maybe a photo retouching app, or what-the-hell were they?”

        At a recent developers’ sprint, Krita enlisted design expert Peter Sikking, who has also worked with the GIMP, to help the sub-project find direction.

      • The Future of KDE

        This is an example of where I would like to see more effort put into the PR end of KDE. Instead of defending 4.0, move on and break down and hype up some of these new features! They are worth talking about – and they are worth explaining to potential users.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • (Yet) Another redesign of Nautilus

        So Nautilus is long overdue for a redesign and many people like Izo and the elementary project have had a crack at what they think makes a good Nautilus and you will no doubt notice some similarities in design. I hear you scream “Well why are you jumping on the bandwagon and doing something others have already done?!” There are two reasons: firstly, I want to learn more about User Interface design and Human Computer Interaction – Nautilus is a fairly easy application to redesign. Secondly, this is going to be an example of why we need better user usage statistics, and how we can get them that I will be discussing at the next Ubuntu Developer Summit in Brussels next month.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Antix M8.5 for Lite Computers is Available

        9 months since the release of antiX-M8.2, the antiX-team announce that antiX MEPIS 8.5 ‘Marek Edelman’ – a fast, light, flexible and complete desktop and livecd based on SimplyMEPIS and Debian Testing – is now available in full and base versions (686 and 486 kernel). This release defaults to a fully customised icewm desktop (fluxbox, wmii and dwm are also installed) using a SimplyMEPIS 2.6.32-11 kernel, tweaked MEPIS Assistants for better compatibility in antiX and the usual range of applications for desktop use. Iceape for internet needs, Abiword and gnumeric for office use, xmms and goggles music manager for audio, gxine, mplayer and gnome-mplayer for video, wicd and ceni for network connection, pidgin for chat. Many cli apps are also included such as Alpine for email, moc for audio, links2 for browsing, abcde and ripit for cd ripping and much more. New features include live with persistence, ‘remaster on the fly’, new boot cheatcodes for setting dpi and desktop windows manager, antix2usb to easily install to usb stick. 12 languages are fully supported out of the box with the language chosen at live CD boot carrying over to install.

      • VortexBox 1.3 released

        VortexBox 1.3 released today. This release includes lots of new features and bug fixes. We have the latest version of SqueezeBox Server and all the latest versions of the 3rd party projects that make up VortexBox. We have also added Subsonic a new GUI that allows you to manage your music collection and stream it to iPods and Android players. New features include

      • Parted Magic 4.10

        Parted Magic 4.10 updates to grep-2.6.3, busybox-1.16.1, simpleburn-1.5.0, sshfs-fuse-2.2, linux-2.6.32.11. There are a few new programs as well. They are encfs_1.5.2, gencfs-1.0.0, gsshfs-1.0.0, rlog-1.4, unetbootin-429, and emelfm2-0.6.0. Parted was patched with updates from Ubuntu to reverse a decision to use a BLKRRPART instead of the BLKPG ioctls that worked. GPicView doesn’t segfault anymore. FAT32 file systems now mount as UTF8 by default. Many enhancements were made to the handing of SCSI device at boot. Creating bookmarks with Chromium no longer crashes the program.

      • MOPSLinux 7.0
      • Dragora GNU/Linux 2.0
      • PelicanHPC GNU Linux

        # 12 Apr. 2010. Version 2.1 is out

        * uses the simplified make_pelican
        * back to a Lenny base
        * Open MPI, Octave, openmpi_ext are latest versions, compiled from source
        * ganglia, slurm and ifenslave have been removed. The emphasis is back on simplicit

      • Xange (formerly Vixta) 2010.04
      • PLoP Linux 4.0.5 released

        update: kernel 2.6.33.2, cvs 1.12.13, fsarchiver 0.6.8, ntfs-3g 2010.3.6AR.4, partclone 0.2.8, parted 2.2, syslinux 3.86, lz utils 4.999.9, dhcp 4.1.1, bind 9.7.0-P1, samba 3.5.2, openssl 1.0.0, openssh 5.4p1, grub2 1.98, useavast script, usefprot script, usb zip file, splash screen

      • Distribution Release: GParted LiveCD 0.5.2-7
      • SystemRescueCd 1.5.2
      • [Freenas-announce] FreeNAS 0.7.1 (Shere) Available
    • Red Hat Family

      • Advantage: Red Hat

        Linux software company Red Hat is in the enviable position of benefitting from several near-term trends in the information technology industry, according to an analyst who recently initiated coverage of the Raleigh-based business.

        UBS analyst Brent Thill rates Red Hat shares a “buy” and has a 12-month price target of $35. Red Hat shares were trading at $30.94, up 13 cents, at mid-day today. The company’s shares were hovering around $17 last May.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 13: Beta and graphics driver test week

          The Fedora project has released the beta of the Fedora 13 Linux distribution, named after rocket scientist Robert H. Goddard, and it is now available to download. Like the alpha version released five weeks ago, the first and only beta has been released a week later than originally planned. This has prompted the project administrators to postpone the final release date of Fedora 13 by a week and it is now rescheduled for the 18th of May.

        • Announcing the release of Fedora 13 Beta
        • Fedora tempts fate with Apollo 13 beta
        • Fedora 13 Beta Released
        • Fedora 13 beta released with many goodies for the enterprise

          The popular Linux distribution, Fedora 13, has been released to its final beta and is chock full of features for enterprise use. Code-named Goddard, the beta version was released on Tuesday with the final version slated for May 18.

        • The Joy of Betas: Fedora 13 Beta Released Today

          Fedora 13, also known as “Goddard,” comes packed with a bunch of new features that are going to benefit not only Fedora users, but most Linux users no matter what distribution they’re using. For example, F13 offers Zarafa — a groupware offering that’s meant to be a drop-in replacement for Microsoft Exchange. Testing in Fedora will help everybody using Zarafa, not just the Fedora community.

        • Fedora 13 Beta – First installation

          That was my first installation of Fedora 13 Beta. I also updated 136 programs. I will test Fedora 13 Beta more the next days and sum it up in another post. If you have any good tips or ideas about Fedora 13 Beta, please let me know.

        • Fedora 13 – Ubuntu’s smart but less attractive cousin

          Other features in Fedora 13 include automatic printer driver installation – which means if you plug-in a supported printer the driver is downloaded and installed automatically. It’s not the most exciting feature we’ve seen, but it does add another, “it-just-works” element to the already very user-friendly distro.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu: Up and Running

        This popular Linux-based operating system is perfect for people with little technical background. It’s simple to install, and easy to use — with a strong focus on security.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Will Palm Wave Goodbye?

        Comparison with the iPhone are inevitable but, unlike Apple, Palm offers:

        * a multi-tasking OS (that’s coming to the iPhone, but the Pre had it from day 1)
        * a Flash player (coming soon)
        * a pull-down qwerty keyboard as well as the touch-screen
        * a free SDK and virtual phone available to Windows, Mac and Linux developers
        * a less restricted App Catalog which permits emulators — such as one which allows users to run thousands of legacy Palm OS applications
        * a ‘homebrew’ application market without an approval process.

      • Nokia

        • MeeGo Linux coming to netbooks, smartbooks soon

          The folks behind the MeeGo Linux project launched the first public beta version of the operating system recently. But that’s just the first step. MeeGo is backed by Intel and Nokia, and they have big plans to get the paltform on all sorts of devices including netbooks and smartphones soon.

          The netbook version of MeeGo doesn’t look like anything all that new if you’ve been following Moblin Linux for a while. MeeGo was born out of the merger of the Moblin and Maemo projects. And it looks like the UI is mostly Moblin-based, with a heavy dose of home screen widgets for checking your email, seeing status updates from your contacts, and launching apps. There are tabs along the top of the user interface for launching different zones, including a people zone (for your contacts) or a media zone for playing music and movies.

      • Android

        • Speakers Corner: First on the Android bandwagon

          Google’s open source Android platform was an intriguing prospect for a manufacturer right from the beginning. The fact it is open source means it has huge potential. But, at the time of launch, it was totally unknown and totally unproven, even if it had the Google brand attached to it.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • OLPC’s Negroponte Honored by Lego Group

        Today the Denmark-based Lego Group, of plastic brick fame, announced that it has awarded its $100,000 Lego Prize to Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the MIT Media Lab and the One Laptop Per Child Foundation.

    • Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • No Permission Needed: Contribute Without Fear

    This came up in Randal Schwartz’s keynote and in Amber Graner’s talk about her work with Ubuntu, as well as some of the “hallway track” during the fest. Talk to any successful contributor, and you’ll find someone who has been motivated enough to jump in without waiting for an invite. Look at any successful and healthy open source project, and you’ll find that it’s a permissive culture that invites fearless contribution.

  • Seismic Tool-Kit Helps Scientists Research Earthquakes
  • BigBlueButton Brings Video Conferencing to Classrooms

    BigBlueButton is a free, open source, server-run project designed to run on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. It’s built on more than 14 open source components like Asterisk, MySQL, ActiveMQ, and more. BigBlueButton integrates with open source content management system Moodle and a handful of other popular open source projects.

  • Ball Aerospace Expands Opticks Open Source Software

    Ball Aerospace launched Opticks in 2007 as its first open source software project designed to enable detailed analysis of remote sensing data and complement strategy promoted by the Department of Defense’s Open Technology Development Roadmap. Opticks is used by scientists and analysts within the DoD community to analyze remote sensing data and produce actionable intelligence.

  • IBM proclaims middleware dominance

    If the technology achieves the same result and is cheaper, users will sooner or later catch on. This is the basic adoption model that we’ve seen for the last 10 years in the open-source world as OSS vendors focused on providing a “good enough” solution at a substantially lower cost.

  • Elance: Mobile development, open source, social media skills in high demand

    Elance also reported that open source technologies represent 20 percent of the IT Top 50 skills list. “Open source content management systems like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal are currently driving the movement with extremely high demand; while database, mobile, eCommerce, and web server technology platforms closely follow,” the company said.

    Read more: Elance: Mobile development, open source, social media skills in high demand – Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal:

  • Elance Report Reveals More Businesses Turning to Online Talent to Drive their Economic Recovery

    Open Source on the Rise – Businesses and entrepreneurs continue to adopt open source platforms for a variety of reasons, including complete customization and community development. Currently, open source technologies represent 20% of the IT Top 50 Skills list. Open source content management systems like WordPress, Joomla!, and Drupal, are currently driving the movement with extremely high demand, while database, mobile, eCommerce, and web server technology platforms closely follow.

  • Free and Open: 18 No-Cost Solutions for Your Enterprise Network

    There are many ways to save money on the network. Small businesses can even get enterprise features without spending top dollar. In this piece, I’ll highlight many different operating systems, routers, services, applications and servers — all of which are free — most open source.

  • Communications for the rest: Rowe and the Mesh Potato

    He is also involved in a free telephony project using similar components, building a network in East Timor, and developing an open source low bitrate speech codec.

    [...]

    And again, his wry humour kicks in: “The idea of having a lot of money horrifies me. Too much responsibility.”

    Rowe has given presentations at the last three Australian national Linux conferences. “I still remember the thunderous applause from the first presentation on the Free telephony Project. Meant a lot. Just getting _into_ LCA means a lot – the standard is so high,” he says. “Not sure about the long term effect on my project, but mixing with geeks at LCA is a good thing. I think I am getting more out of LCA each year as I mature as an open source developer.”

  • Open innovation is coming of age

    The admirable wikihow.com, which uses crowdsourcing to generate “How to” videos that attract 25 million visitors a month, won the Co-creation award, while Open Office, the open source alternative to Microsoft’s Office, won the Open Source Software section in recognition of the progress that has been made over the years to make it more user-friendly.

    [...]

    The trouble is that this Kremlinesque approach has resulted in such beautiful game-changing products as the iPhone and iPad that are a delight to use as reported in the Observer. Contrast that with Google’s adoption of open source software for its Android phones. This is much better in theory as it allows developers to do their own thing but in practice, at least so far, this results in all sorts of different software versions that don’t always work too well on the varying sizes and hardware of different Android phones. As Steven Johnson has pointed out, Steve Jobs has turned a walled garden into a rainforest.

    There is no doubt that open source solutions are on a roll and there are lots of areas where they will sweep all before them. The problem yet to be solved is how to harness the freedom and creativity that open collaboration offers with the need to have consumer friendly products that non-geeks will want to buy with their own money.

  • SunGard Higher Education Launches Industry’s First ERP Community Source Initiative

    SunGard Higher Education and its customers have launched a Community Source Initiative — the first and only vendor-supported community source forum dedicated to higher education Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. The initiative is designed to bring together the insights and experience of SunGard Higher Education’s extensive user community for the benefit of all institutions; make functionality available faster; and help ensure product quality through functional and technical review.

  • India

    • Tech students out to give software firms run for money

      They are the new whiz kids on the block and offer a “better and more affordable” version of popular software. Meet the team of Open Source Software, a community initiative started by a group of engineering students who were in the city to promote their programme during a one-day camp held at Chitkara Business School today.

    • The Guard That Costs Nothing

      FOSS is not just about cost, it is also about freedom. Your freedom to modify the software to your needs. Most big businesses that I know of are deploying or have deployed open source software not only for security but for mission-critical applications as well. The mascot of the open source world–the Linux operating system, is relatively more secure from threats such as viruses and can be deployed for free. Linux distributions such as Fedora, Ubuntu, openSUSE, etc, cost nothing and provide greater security.

    • Crafting the right code

      The precise reason that Software craftsmanship lays its emphasis more on the individual coding abilities of the professional, devoid of financial concerns like direct remuneration, ability of the code to translate into financial gain – short term or otherwise – and the overall ‘health’ of a software code, has seen its popularity among Open Source enthusiasts.

  • Mozilla

    • Beyond the Browser: Messaging As A Future For Mozilla

      Mozilla has long been developing its free, open source Thunderbird e-mail platform, which is much improved in its latest version. It isn’t a revolutionary game-changer, though, and doesn’t have some of the plumbing needed to supplant Microsoft Exchange-centric e-mail deployments in enterprises.

  • Events

  • Business

    • VMware SpringSources for open source Rabbit

      Rabbit Technolgies CEO Alexis Richardson tells us that the company’s open source messaging system, dubbed RabbitMQ, is used by NASA’s Nebula project, a private infrastructure cloud that will apparently be used to power applications across the US federal government.

  • Releases

    • Xen.org updates open source Xen hypervisor

      Xen.org has released a new version of open source Xen hypervisor software, which leverages new network cards optimised for virtualisation and promises users performance and scalability gains for any level of enterprise or cloud application workload.

  • Government

  • Openness

    • Does the world need another chair?

      He then introduced the evening’s theme “Design x Sustainability x Open Source,” and explained how the four Japanese speakers are pioneers in adapting to the open source movement and implementing their creativity in actual projects.

      Collaboration and Open Source is the fundamental mindset behind Designers Accord. According to Yosh, when we talk about sustainability, the same mindset should be applied. We are entering an era of “unsustainability” and a point of no return, when sooner or later we would all have to think about how we are going to sustain our own lives and the planet we live in.

  • Programming

  • Google

Leftovers

  • Environment

    • 100+ Groups Join Scientists and Development Experts in Urging Senate to “Strip the GM Mandate” from the Global Food Security Act

      Experts, scientists and advocates from around the world petitioned the U.S. Senate today in a concerted attempt to strip what they term a “stealth corporate giveaway” embedded in a foreign aid bill which is expected to hit the Senate floor soon. The “Global Food Security Act” (S.384), sponsored by Senators Casey (D-PA) and Lugar (R-IN), is intended to reform aid programs to focus on longer-term agricultural development, and restructure aid agencies to better respond to crises. While lauding the bill’s intentions, the petitioners object to a clause earmarking one agricultural technology (genetically modified – GM crops) for potentially billions of dollars in federal funding. $7.7 billion in U.S. funds are associated with the bill and no other farming methods or technologies are mentioned.

Clip of the Day

SourceCode Season 2 – Episode 8: Justice for Whom? (2005)


Links 14/4/2010: Linux 2.6.34 Reviewed; OpenGL 4.0 Linux Driver; Lightworks Open Source

Posted in News Roundup at 4:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux system flaws can’t pass Buck Security
  • Bisigi Themes Remix Linux in Eye-Opening Ways

    Finding new, good-looking, and complete themes for Linux systems can be a serious scavenger hunt. The Bisigi Project provides 13 free, well-rounded themes you can install all at once, customized for your monitor size. Take a peek at five of them.

  • It’s the 21st Century. Do you know where your files are?

    This does not mean that you can easily find everything that you might consider a “file” or similar entity in Linux. There is a good chance that your email software uses some bizarro file that you can’t easily see inside of. (I use alpine which puts the emails inside a text file, but hardy anybody does that.) There are “hidden” files in Linux just like in Windows (in Linux, everything that starts with a “dot” (“.”) is automatically “hidden” …. meaning you can’t see it unless you “unhide” that which is hidden). There are other strangeosities as well.

  • New Site Launch: LinuxExchange.org

    I’m happy to announce that I just launched a new site: LinuxExchange

    LinuxExchange is “StackOverflow for Linux and Open Source” and is built on the StackExchange platform. That means it’s a collaboratively edited question and answer site about Linux and Open Source with a workflow somewhere between the forums of LinuxQuestions.org and the Mediawiki-based LQ Wiki.

  • rPath Enhances Intelligent Linux Patching Capabilities in Next-Generation System Automation Platform

    rPath, an innovator in automating system provisioning and maintenance, today announced enhancements to the intelligent patching capabilities of its next-generation system automation platform. Specifically, rPath now automates inventory discovery, allows users to “cherry pick” updates and errata for incremental updates, and simplifies the user experience for Linux patching and system administration. To encourage Red Hat Network (RHN) Satellite users to try the rPath platform, the company has launched its “Satellite Swap-Out” promotional offer. For existing RHN Satellite customers, rPath will match or beat their current subscription to RHN Satellite with a richer, more complete solution.

  • Desktop

    • Adobe, Choose Your Allies in the Apple War

      Two clear Allies for Adobe come to light immediately — desktop Linux, in the form of Canonical’s Ubuntu operating system, which has been making significant strides in usability of late, and of course Google’s Android smartphone OS.

    • Cool free stuff

      Going through the article brought me back to my Windows days, when I would scour download sites (CNET’s Download.com being a favorite) for free applications and utilities. Nowadays, since I only use Linux and Mac OS X, I’ve done a lot less of that. After all, there are boatloads of free programs for Linux, and I mostly use OpenOffice for work on my Macbook.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux: 2.6.34-rc4, “Hunting A Really Annoying VM Regression”

      “It’s been two weeks rather than the usual one, because we’ve been hunting a really annoying VM regression that not a lot of people seem to have seen, but I didn’t want to release an -rc4 with it,” began Linux creator Linus Torvalds, announcing the 2.6.34-rc4 Linux kernel. He explained, “we had the choice of either reverting all the anon-vma scalability improvements, or finding out exactly what caused the regression and fixing it. And we got pretty close to the point where I was going to just revert it all.”

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.34 (Part 1) – Network Support

      Expected for release in May, Linux kernel version 2.6.34 contains several new network drivers and various advancements designed to improve network performance or increase network configuration flexibility, which will particularly impact virtualisation.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Puts Out Its OpenGL 4.0 Linux Driver

        The OpenGL 4.0 specification was released towards the middle of March alongside an OpenGL 3.3 update, which NVIDIA was quick to capitalize upon the 3.x update just days later with new drivers for supported operating systems. NVIDIA wasn’t immediate in delivering OpenGL 4.0 support, since they didn’t have any hardware at the time capable of supporting this newest specification. Now that the GeForce GTX 470/480 GPUs are out there and other new DirectX 11.0 / OpenGL 4.0 capable hardware is on the way, NVIDIA has put out its OpenGL 4.0 driver update for Linux and Windows.

      • Reworking OpenGL ES In Mesa, Gallium3D

        In May of last year there were Gallium3D state trackers published for OpenGL ES 1.1 and OpenGL ES 2.0. These were among the first major working state trackers for this new graphics architecture, but in the months since they have continued to receive much affection from a few developers and continue to improve. The OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 support though may now be reworked by Kristian Høgsberg.

  • Instructionals

  • Distributions

    • Fedora

      • Fedora presents…Graphics Test Week this week

        The Fedora project announces that this week is Graphics Test Week. This is the highlight of the Fedora 13 Test Day cycle, with Test Days for NVIDIA, ATI/AMD and Intel graphics all falling this week. Tuesday April 13th is NVIDIA Test Day, Wednesday April 14th is ATI/AMD Test Day, and Thursday April 15th is Intel graphics Test Day.

      • It’s Time To Test The Graphics In Fedora 13

        Fedora 13 will be officially released next month and while we have already used it in testing out the Nouveau Gallium3D drivers and trying out the new Intel graphics, this week Red Hat is hosting community test days for the graphics stack in Fedora 13.

      • Never a dull moment, no. 98.

        At 10:00 am US Eastern time (1400 UTC), Fedora 13 Beta is released. The Beta is our last milestone before the final release of Fedora 13. We’d like to have as many people test it as possible. It’s available in a “Live ISO” format you can write not only to CD DVD, but also to a USB key, and boot off the USB key. I really prefer the USB key, because you can update the key with fixes as you use it using the “persistence” feature. It also gives you nifty options we created along the way, like an encrypted user data area, very fast booting, and very fast installation to hard disk as well. Who loves ya, baby?

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu on a Dime
      • From Dapper To Lucid, Four Years Of Ubuntu Benchmarks

        Last week we shared that we were benchmarking Ubuntu’s current and past LTS releases and began by running graphics benchmarks looking at how the proprietary drivers from the past compare to open-source drivers from the present, but now we have our assortment of system benchmarks to publish from the Long-Term Support releases of Ubuntu 6.06.1, Ubuntu 8.04.4, and an Ubuntu 10.04 development snapshot. In this article, we are looking at how Ubuntu’s performance has evolved over the past four years.

      • An Empirical Investigation of Cloud Computing (C2) as an Option for Liberia

        I opted to use Ubuntu Linux 9.10 Server which includes the Enterprise Cloud Server powered by Eucalyptus as the operating platform.

      • Ubuntu’s New Web Office Integration

        Desktop Integration with the cloud is hot news. Ubuntu One is a great example of this. Currently Ubuntu One integrates file storage, contacts and notes sync, and now you can even buy music from the online store, delivered straight to the Rythmbox media player. But for some devices, integration with the cloud isn’t just a nice feature, it completely changes the user experience (UX). Take for instance a low powered, possibly mobile/embedded system with limited processing power and memory. A cloud based service for these devices could allow resource intensive tasks to be offloaded to an online server somewhere, greatly improving the UX. One set of tasks that are used often but can put a strain on resources are related to office document editing.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Why iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad Owners Should Use Linux

      And as for missing functionality, this is open source. Where there are itches they are going to be scratched. Now that this library has reached its 1.0.0 release, developers are more likely to start incorporating it into their applications. There are python libs for libimobiledevice and related infrastructure, which will enable rapid application development utilising the functionality of this library. I know that it’s already part of the install for Ubuntu Lucid. Furthermore, with the plans for the UbuntuOne service to incorporate a music store, the environment for the iPhone on linux is looking a whole lot healthier. So to butcher an overused film reference, “if you come, they will build it”.

    • Linux-ready trace port analyzer supports Intel CPUs

      Arium announced a new JTAG debugger In-Target Probe (ITP) trace port analyzer device for debugging Linux-based devices. The LX-1000 stores events in on-board high-speed RAM, and initially targets Intel processor platforms.

    • pocket hd multimedia dream device

      If you’re looking for a handheld hd multimedia device, your search ends here. This is such a cool device.
      The only downside is apparently the korean manufacturer can’t keep up with demand as it’s fully sold out at the moment of this writing.

    • Satellite STB streams HD video to smartphones

      Marusys is shipping a Linux-based, PVR-ready satellite set-top box (STB) with a DVB-S/S2 tuner and HDMI output. The initial MS630S and MS850S versions of the DVB-S/S2 HD PVR receiver design are equipped with a Magnum Semiconductor DX6225 transcoder chip, and offer HD recording, as well as WiFi streaming to the Apple iPhone.

    • Nokia

    • Android

      • Motorola Revises Android 2.1 Details for Handsets
      • HTC launches Desire – at last, an iPhone killer

        The company at the centre of the war between Google and Apple launches its latest handset in the UK this week – with experts saying that it is the equal of the iPhone.

        The HTC Desire is similar to Google’s Nexus One smartphone – indeed HTC is the company that manufactures the Nexus – but it has several extras that have reviewers salivating, and the handset is being touted as a real alternative to Apple’s all-conquering iPhone.

      • Intel Ports Android to Atom-Based Smart Phones

        After dominating the desktop market for years, Intel recognizes they have a long road ahead of them in terms of smart phones. Android, as a platform, was initially designed to run on handsets powered by processors made with Arm technology.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Lenovo’s Ideapad U1 Hybrid “coming soon”

        Lenovo’s much anticipated Ideapad U1 Hybrid device looks like it may be hitting retail shortly. The official Lenovo shop website is listing the U1 Hybrid as “coming soon” and is letting people register their interest. As a quick reminder, the U1 Hybrid is a mashup between 11.6-inch CULV notebook and Snapdragon tablet.

    • Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Republicans Turn to Open Source Asterisk

    Open source software is being used today by all types of companies and organizations—even the Republican Party is an adopter.

  • ZapThink Startup Clinic: How to Make Money By Giving your Product Away for Free

    ZapThink has spoken to hundreds of entrepreneurs at IT startups over the last decade, and occasionally executives tell us they are giving away their product or service for free, sometimes (but not always) as open source. Our response? We ask what their business model is. If their reply is that “free” is their business model, that clues us into what they’re really doing. ZapThink has a word that describes companies that confuse free with a business model. That word is hobby.

    A business model, after all, is nothing more than how a company plans to make money. The old dot.com era joke that we’ll give away our product but make it up on volume doesn’t wash in today’s more sober times. You have to make money somehow! However, giving away your product or service for free can be a successful strategy, as long as you truly have a rational business model to back it up.

  • Online Office In Ubuntu With Zoho Webservice

    Canonical developer Jamie Bennett presented a new project 2 days ago: Zoho Webservice, which is basically the online office suite Zoho (which comes with tools such as: Presentations, Spreadsheet and Word Processor), but with Ubuntu integration.

  • Twitter Open-sources the Home of Its Social Graph

    Twitter today open-sourced the code that it used to build its database of users and manage their relationships to one another, called FlockDB. The move comes shortly after Twitter released its Gizzard framework, which it uses to query the FlockDB distributed data store up to 10,000 times a second without creating a logjam.

  • Lightworks

  • Apache/Hadoop

  • SaaS

    • Eucalyptus, GroundWork As Allies: Cloud Stack Coming?

      An important alignment occurs April 7 that will probably win little fanfare. Eucalyptus Systems, the supplier of open source APIs that are Amazon EC2 compatible, has teamed up with GroundWork, a supplier of data center systems management. GroundWork wants to gaze into the private cloud, which in the future, may often be a Eucalyptus-based stack.

  • Databases

  • Business

  • Government

    • Space Available: NASA Embraces Open Government Initiative

      Whether using social networks to allow students to interact directly with astronauts, or creating a cloud computing platform to give unprecedented access to scientific data, NASA’s embrace of Open Government has made it a leader among federal agencies.

  • Licensing

  • Programming

    • Resetting PHP 6

      Rightly or wrongly, many in our community see Perl 6 as the definitive example of vaporware. But what about PHP 6? This release was first discussed by the PHP core developers back in 2005. There have been books on the shelves purporting to cover PHP 6 since at least 2008. But, in March 2010, the PHP 6 release is not out – in fact, it is not even close to out. Recent events suggest that PHP 6 will not be released before 2011 – if, indeed, it is released at all.

Leftovers

  • Google Unveils New Google Docs Platform, Ditches Gears
  • Mini-review of the iPad

    The gadget lover in me wants one, but the part of me that cares about open source and tinkering is stronger. I’m with Cory Doctorow on this one. The iPad is gorgeous, but it’s still not worth it for me.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Juxtaposition of the day award…

      …today comes from Liverpool, where the local council (who we have praised in the past for facing-down the surveillance state) have mooted the idea of banning the word ‘obesity’ from council literature.

    • 15,000 wrongly branded criminals

      The blunders by the Criminal Records Bureau, a Home Office agency, amount to around seven smears every day.

      The victims discovered they had been branded sex offenders, violent thugs or fraudsters when they had a CRB check before a new job. Many went through lengthy appeals to clear their names.

      Our Freedom Of Information probe found the CRB coughed up an incredible £290,000 last year alone in “apology payments” to the worst-affected victims.

    • Holidaymakers Back Use Of Full-Body Scanners

      The approval rate was far higher for the UK than many other countries, according to a poll by security group Unisys.

      Of the 10 other nations investigated, as many as one in three people in Germany and Belgium would object to the machines.

    • Endpoint Security: How to Protect Data on a Laptop
  • Environment

    • Ethanol industry rolls out national ad campaign

      Growth Energy, a producer group based in Washington D.C., unveiled six TV commercials at ten press conferences across the country, including an event at the Minnesota State Capitol in Saint Paul.

    • Corn Ethanol Industry Trying to Butter Up Congress, Public

      The ad campaign seeks to put a positive spin on ethanol, increase the market for ethanol, and counteract the idea that growing corn and other crops for fuel displaces food crops and causes higher food prices.

    • Dispatch: Environmental In-Fighting

      “I have to admit to some schadenfreude when the organic, ‘environmentalist’ crowd turns on itself,” says Stier. “Ms. Waters was a hero of the sustainable food movement, but now they are turning on her because of very low levels of heavy metals in this compost, less even than you’d get from a vitamin supplement. The irony, of course, is that using biosolids is a wonderfully environmentalist thing to do, since it safely recycles waste materials; the ‘environmentalists’ are on the wrong side of this environmental issue.”

    • ACSH Makes Alice Waters a Poster Child for Toxic Sludge

      Blogger Jill Richardson has also appealed to Waters, writing that ACSH still thinks “DDT should be legal. Don’t let them count you as being on their side” in the sewage sludge fight. Richardson notes that San Francisco’s own testing found nasty toxins including dioxins in its phony organic compost.

  • Finance

    • Banks Falter in Rules Fight

      Senate Democrats, resisting a last-ditch lobbying push from big Wall Street firms, are moving toward a sweeping revamp of financial regulation that would squeeze banks’ lucrative derivatives-trading business.

    • As losses slow, big banks eye big profits in Q1

      Banks have been taking advantage of low rates to borrow cheaply and plow the funds into higher-yielding bonds and other securities, a practice known as “playing the spread.” If rates rise this year or next as some analysts predict, that revenue source could be threatened, Ely said.

    • Pulitzer finalist: McClatchy probes of Goldman Sachs, Moody’s and SEC

      McClatchy Washington Bureau reporters Greg Gordon, Chris Adams and Kevin G. Hall were named finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in national reporting Monday for their stories examining Wall Street’s role in the nation’s financial collapse.

    • WaMu Chief Killinger Didn’t Trust Goldman Sachs, E-Mails Show

      Washington Mutual Inc.’s former Chief Executive Officer, Kerry Killinger, didn’t trust Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to give the bank advice in 2007 as it slid toward collapse, according to e-mail released by congressional investigators.

    • Goldman co-head of IB Asia ex-Japan to retire
    • Your Tax Dollars at War: More Than 53% of Your Tax Payment Goes to the Military

      If you’re like me, now that we’re in the week that federal income taxes are due, you are finally starting to collect your records and prepare for the ordeal. Either way, whether you are a procrastinator like me, or have already finished and know how much you have paid to the government, it is a good time to stop and consider how much of your money goes to pay for our bloated and largely useless and pointless military.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Tea Party and GOP Working Together in Wisconsin

      Even though most Tea Partiers insist they are independent from mainstream political parties, members of Wisconsin’s tea party are openly working hand in glove with Republican leaders.

    • Wisconsin Tea Party Members Work Closely With GOP

      Despite trumpeting their independence from the political mainstream, Wisconsin tea party members are taking a different tack than those in other states by working hand-in-glove with GOP leaders.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • The Real Problem With Internet Comments Isn’t Anonymity

      As we’ve noted before, Techdirt gets a lot of comments, including the occasional unfriendly one from a jerk. Sometimes this jerk is anonymous — but if they’re a jerk, it doesn’t much matter if they’re anonymous or using their real name. With that in mind, it’s nice to see that some of the sites in the NYT article above are actually looking at ways to tackle the real issue, and not just anonymity — though there are plenty that still seem to think everybody will be nice if they use their real name.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • RIAA Insists That Musicians Can’t Make Money Without The RIAA

      First of all, there aren’t that many folks who claim that touring alone is enough of a business model, and the rest of the post doesn’t focus on “touring alone,” but on a variety of alternative business models, which makes it a weird and entirely misleading title. In fact, a year ago, we explained why (just like the RIAA is pointing out) touring alone probably isn’t enough to replace the revenues of the recording industry — but that if you combined touring with other business models, it certainly could work quite well. But by using “touring” as the peg, the RIAA can debunk touring alone and pretend (falsely) that it’s debunked the entire space of alternative (smarter) business models.

    • Give It Away And Pray: Maybe Not A Business Model, But Still Important For Artists

      We never know what the world will bring us. Adhering to a business model may make us feel secure, but the most exciting possibilities and opportunities are in the space of not knowing. In Art, unlike Business, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re doing it right.

    • Feds raise questions about big media’s piracy claims

      Congress tasked the GAO in April 2009 with reviewing the efforts to quantify the size and scope of piracy, including the impacts of Web piracy to the film and music industries. In a 32-page report issued Monday, the GAO said most of the published information, anecdotal evidence, and records show that piracy is a drag on the U.S. economy, tax revenue, and in some cases potentially threatens national security and public health. But the problem is, according to the GAO, the data used to quantify piracy isn’t reliable.

    • Newspapers/Copyrights

      • Online newsroom earns Pulitzer, Post trumps Times

        ProPublica, an independent, non-profit online newsroom, became the first online organization to win a Pulitzer Prize.

      • Icon Hank Williams receives Pulitzer citation

        Hank Williams, the country pioneer who is among the most influential singer-songwriters in music, was given a special Pulitzer Prize citation.

        The Pulitzer board awarded the late singer for his lifetime achievement, based on a confidential survey of experts in popular music.

      • In Aggregation Case, Israeli Court Says Online Ads Aren’t Copyrightable (Guest Blog Post)

        Aggregation/index sites are popping up everywhere, trying to solve this problem while aggregating ads (and other materials) from various sites. Yet those aggregation sites encounter potential legal hurdles, such as trespass to chattels (as we saw in eBay Inc. v. Bidder’s Edge, Inc.) or copyright infringement.

      • The Bias of Veteran Journalists

        But within those caveats, I’ve always maintained that the majority of professional print journalists, anyway, try very, very hard to get the story right. But recently, I had an experience that gave me a new perspective on the issue.

      • How To Piss People Off: Publish A Book Using Their Tweets Without Asking Them First

        So, by not involving the Tweet authors in the publishing of Tweet Nothings, the publishers not only attracted the ire of the wronged authors, but also missed out on a huge opportunity for free, viral promotion. After the exchange with Barnes, the publisher, Peter Pauper Press, issued an official apology in which it said:

        We regret that we did not contact the people whose quotes we used in advance. We will be contacting each one with an apology. In the meantime, we are ceasing to sell the book in all venues and will not resume sales until everyone quoted in the book is satisfied with our response.

      • Australia anti-piracy group tries to threaten EarSucker, fails

        Reproduced in full is our communications between Music Industry Piracy Investigations Pty Limited (MIPI), the anti-piracy organization for the Australian music industry and our crack legal adviser (unaccredited) who watches a lot of Judge Judy and should be fired. Regardless of his shoddy credentials, he does a marvelous job of explaining why we’re not quaking in our boots from some hollow legal threat from Australia. Here’s the original post where someone leaked Lady Gaga’s Sydney, Australia itinerary that spawned such insane legal actions. As per our disclosure policy, we are reporting this legal exhange in full for the benefit of our readers.

      • What Is So Special About A Movie’s Theatrical Release?

        Given the example of how Paranormal Activity only screened in nationwide cities after fans demanded it, offering movies that people actually want to see in theaters may be a better way of filling seats. Or maybe there really is no reason to go to movie theaters anymore.

Clip of the Day

SourceCode Season 3 – Episode 10: Immigration Emergency? (2006)


04.13.10

Links 13/4/2010: KDE 4.5 Schedule, Fedora 13 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 4:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • RE: 10 Linux commandments

    8. You shall not steal.

    Run only free, open-source software. Do not go after payware or cracks.

  • The Unity Linux Build Server

    One of the new additions to the Unity Linux packaging process is the introduction of the Build Server (or buildserv for short) The main purpose of the buildserv is to provide users with the ability to package content following our established procedures without being burdened by the overhead of doing so. The buildserv really consists of two parts: a backend server and a frontend web interface.

  • Linux MPX Multi-Touch Table

    Peter Hutterer, PhD Student Wearable Computers Lab at the University of South Australia and MPX developer, granted an interview with Gizmodo recently. Peter discussed the technology more in-depth and explained many of the features (and bugs) that exist.

    This is definitely something to keep your eye on as development progresses. It will be interesting to watch how it evolves.

  • Secure virtualized operating system launched

    The Qubes operating system is currently in the alpha stage, according to Rutkowska, who blogged about the release on her website. The system is based on the Xen hypervisor, X, and Linux, and can run most Linux applications, according to the project website. It uses a concept that she calls security by isolation, allowing users to separate security domains into lightweight virtual machines, which she calls AppVMs. Files and clipboard items can be shared between the virtual machines (VMs).

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 92

    · Announced Distro: Calculate Linux 10.4 Now Has a GNOME Version
    · Announced Distro: Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Beta 2 Has GNOME 2.30 and Revamped Installer
    · Announced Distro: ArchOne 2010.04 Is Available Now
    · Announced Distro: Parted Magic 4.10 Released
    · Announced Distro: SystemRescueCd 1.5.2 Comes with New Linux Kernels

  • Sony Admits Wrong

    This is a prime example of bait and switch.

    How can Sony be allowed to do this to consumers and not face legal issues.

  • Linux Outlaws 145 – Big Meerkat Balls

    This week on the show: Did IBM break their patent promise?, is SCO finally dead?, Songbird drops Linux support, Meerkats, stiffies in burqas and more…

  • Cheap linux hosting is perfect for the businesses as linux platform

    While hunting a cheap website hosting provider, it is a good idea to rely upon the cheap linux hosting solutions. There are different platforms for hosting a website but at present linux platform is considered

  • Kernel Space

    • Meyer Sound Joins Linux Foundation

      If you take a look at all the audio processing and supportive devices, you will see some very complex and useful software. Not just in audio effects that are commonly know, like reverb and delay, but also in things like spectrum analysis.

    • Meyer Sound Joins Linux Foundation
    • Linux File Systems

      LINUX FILE SYSTEMS are an essential operating system resource. Modern file systems and disk drive technology are robust and reliable — so, most administrators put little effort into planning or worrying about them once the operating system is configured. This makes me both smile and cringe.

  • Applications

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • KDE 4.5 Release Schedule Ready

      Last week we finished the KDE 4.5 release schedule. The good news is that you can start organising your release party now, the expected date for KDE 4.5.0 is August 4th 2010.

    • 3 KDE Add-ons Worth Trying

      One of the remarkable features of KDE 4 is the extensibility. Developers or even regular users can contribute to the rich collection of artwork, software, widgets, and visual improvements. Ever so often, I look around for rather random add-ons that make my desktop experience more pleasant or occasionally even serve a meaningful purpose. They range from full applications to very basic widgets.

    • solving a little problem with a slightly bigger solution

      Then I tore out the hard-coded default layout in plasma-desktop and re-wrote it using a Javascript run on first start due to being installed into share/apps/plasma-desktop/init/. This new script makes a loadLayout call to load the default panel template, and so I made such a template and set that to be installed as well. This dropped a few dozen lines of C++ and turned them into about half as many lines of Javascript.

    • File Transfers in KDE 4
  • Distributions

    • [news] ArchBang 2.01 Alpha1

      Major changes: Grub2 replaces grub-legacy and firefox instead of chromium. Also slim is added.

    • Fedora

      • Fedora 13 Beta Release tomorrow

        What are you looking forward to get in this new version? Gnome 2.30, KDE 4.4, Better Webcam support, NetBeans 6.8, Better Bluetooth support, Enhanced NVIDIA and Radeon support, Zarafa, new Upstart version, Automatic Print Driver Installation or just a more stable system (maybe not the first month, or?).

      • Fedora research survey: LAST CALL! :)

        As some of you may know, professors at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University have been conducting a study of Fedora, and have put together an online survey based on interviews they conducted with several dozen folks from the community.

      • Graphics Test Week coming up: April 13th to 15th

        As with Fedora 12, we’re smooshing all the graphics card Test Days into one week to save space on the schedule and make everything feel that much more momentous.

    • Debian Family

      • Wayback machine for Debian repositories

        The Debian project has announced the availability of a new archive snapshot service at snapshot.debian.org. With the new service, users can access older packages based on dates and version numbers.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Game Console With Linux in Development

      Heard about the console Pandora? Made by computer geeks who want the ultimate portable gaming console. This hobby project has just begun mass-producing and the dream is becoming real.

    • Nokia

      • MeeGo project garners new industry participants

        MeeGo, the unification of Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo, and shepherded by the Linux Foundation, is getting a lot of support from a variety of companies. From hardware developers to software houses, from games to automotive to embedded solutions providers, the recent announcement indicates an influx of potentially millions of developer-hours. Some of the new participants are no-brainers, while some are a bit surprising. Whether it’s an effort to hedge bets for or against Android, or just widening the market potential for their products, the end result is hopefully a better MeeGo, which is better for you and me.

      • Chromium ported to N900

        As reported over on Engadget, the move is an unofficial port of the Chromium sourcecode to run on the Maemo Linux platform that forms the core of Nokia’s top-end N900 smartphone.

      • Nokia Launch: Symbian ^3, Or Just Maps?

        Nokia’s recent N900 Linux device is currently generating more excitement than its Symbian smartphones.

    • Android

      • Square Motorola Device Codenamed “Twist”, Due in June

        We’re anxious to see what Motorola has in store for Motoblur, 1.5 if anything. Judging by the picture of the phone, we expect to see widgets to allow one-touch access to turning off WiFi, Bluetooth, etc. It’s hard to picture a radically different experience this early on. Our guess is that it’s subtle add-ons a la HTC’s Sense UI update.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Why Google is a Big Part of Linux’s Future On Netbooks

        Both of Google’s mobile operating systems are Linux-based, and both could have a profound, enduring impact on the netbook landscape. Before we count Linux netbooks out of the game, we should give them a chance to perform.

    • Tablets

      • Apple iPad, Google Android to Grab 75% of Tablet Market in 2010

        Dell’s Android 2.0-based Mini 5 tablet is expected in the U.S. this year, while several Android models will feature Nvidia’s delayed Tegra chipset, including the Adam from Notion Ink. ViewSonic offers the VTablet 101.

      • My week with an iPad

        For instance, I opened an SSH session to a Linux server with iSSH to check on some things, then received a colleague’s IM, served up via push notifications. This required me to quit iSSH to return the IM, then go through the reconnection process to get back to where I was. The same thing happened with RDP sessions — not cool at all. Apple’s April 8 iPhone OS 4 event showed off multitasking features in the new OS version, but I’m going to reserve judgement until I can see it myself.

        Also, several high-profile iPad apps are simply buggy and slow. One of the apps touted at the iPad announcement was MLB at Bat 2010. It was visually impressive and offered features, such as pitch trajectories, not found in the original iPhone app. Being a baseball fan, I bought it for $14.99 on the first day I had the iPad. Since then I’ve found it lacking in many areas. It’s slow, it consistently fails to update game information, it crashed several times, and the video quality lacks luster. Oh, and there’s no sign of that pitch trajectory feature demoed at the announcement.

      • Neofonie launches the WePad tablet at a German press event

        Honestly, at this point I didn’t feel like there was much I didn’t already know about the WePad, the German iPad competitor with a kind of almost clever name. We already knew it would have an 11.6 inch, 1366 x 768 multitouch display and 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 CPU and run a custom version of Linux with a touch-friendly interface. And we knew it was based on a Taiwanese design.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The 20 Best Firefox Extensions : The Firefox Universe

    Accounting for roughly 30% of the total Web browser market, Firefox has gone from being a niche player a few years ago to a present-day browsing powerhouse. Firefox has seen three major releases and a bevy of smaller but still important updates along the way. Firefox 3.6 was released back in January, and like after all major Firefox updates, the Firefox-tweaking ecosystem has been revamped to accommodate the new code.

  • Sun MySQL Head Joins EnterpriseDB

    Karen Padir, a key software leader at Sun Microsystems, has joined Oracle’s competition, open source EnterpriseDB.

  • Educating on open source: Not as easy as it seems

    So Schroeder and Ibáñez have worked with some OSS communities to develop lists of “junior jobs” on any given project — jobs that a student, a newcomer to OSS can come in an do with little oversight and in a relatively short period of time. It will give the students much-needed exposure to the community and provide the community labor to do some small tasks and concentrate more on the larger issues at hand.

    “We’re working in collaboration with people we know … [to] create a system where you can rapidly absorb the students,” Ibáñez said.

    Problem is, he said, college really is too late to start teaching many of these things. In fact, kindergarten wouldn’t be too early to start instilling the basic tenets of open source:Share everything and play fair. But the standardized assessments in every state make it difficult to weave new aspects into the curriculum in middle or high school.

  • BSD Magazine April 2010 Released: Hosting BSD
  • Releases

    • Radio Tray 0.5.1

      Radio TrayIt is with great pleasure that I announce the release of Radio Tray 0.5.1!

    • Oracle freshens its VirtualBox

      The VirtualBox hypervisor now under the control of Oracle – if any open source software project can be said to be under control of any corporation – has been updated with a 3.1.6 release.

Leftovers

  • Finance

    • Imagine the Bailouts Are Working

      Joseph E. Stiglitz, the Nobel-winning economist who was among the doomsayers, still isn’t willing to declare victory, and he probably never will.

      “I think this is disingenuous and a real attempt to distract people,” Mr. Stiglitz, the author of “Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy,” said of the latest claims.

      Mr. Stiglitz, who has made a career of seeing every glass as half-empty, said we’re looking at the numbers wrong. Even if we get our money back, he says, that doesn’t tell the full story. To calculate the real cost, he insists, we need to add in the lost interest on the money spent.

      “Did we get back anything commensurate with the risk?” he asked almost rhetorically, before answering his own question. “Clearly the answer is no.”

    • US bank accounting ‘masks true debt levels’

      Major Wall Street banks are using accounting techniques similar to those utilised by Lehman Brothers in its final days to mask the size of their balance sheets at the end of reporting periods.

    • PhillyDeals: ‘The Big Short’ author counsels patience

      On his way to the Free Library of Philadelphia on Thursday to plug his best seller, Lewis told me his book tour shows America as a different country, compared to 1989.

      “The popular anger is unbelievable,” Lewis said. “It’s orders of magnitude different from what I saw with Liars’ Poker, in the attitude, in the tone of the crowd, in the level of interest in the details that people have. This is a political force that will not be denied.”

    • AIG, Goldman Unwind Soured Trades

      The derivatives unit of American International Group Inc. has unwound most of its soured mortgage trades with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. still left after the insurer was bailed out by the U.S. government in 2008, according to people familiar with the matter.

    • AIG Said to Terminate Most of Goldman Sachs’s Remaining Swaps

      American International Group Inc., the insurer rescued to prevent losses at bank counterparties, has retired most of its mortgage-linked trades with Goldman Sachs Group Inc., said a person with knowledge of the matter.

    • I am from Goldman Sachs, and I am here to help you

      Yet Lloyd Blankfein and his estimable employees are surely there to help you when you decide to gamble in the Goldman Sachs casino. In fact, they love to take you into their confidence so that they can bet against you as you foolishly entrust your hard-earned wealth to their trusted care.

    • Goldman Sachs Says Japan Chairman Asuke to Step Down on June 30

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said Akio Asuke, its chairman for Japan, will step down on June 30. He will become an adviser to the company, Goldman Sachs said in a statement.

    • ‘Misgivings’ at N.Y. Fed Over Board Chairman’s Goldman Stock Probed

      Some senior officials at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York apparently weren’t happy when their board chairman purchased stock in Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., and they had “misgivings” about granting a waiver that allowed him to keep it, according to a congressional panel.

    • With friends like this, who needs enemies
  • Copyrights

    • Freedom Communications’ Valley Morning Star Drops Its Pay Wall

      The Valley Morning Star in Harlingen, Texas, which was a test-bed for Freedom Communications’ plans to potentially charge users for online access to its papers, returned to a free site last week less than a year after beginning to charge for online content. The paper is a small daily (circulation 23,000) but when it instituted its paywall in July 2009, it said it had been “selected to be the first newspaper in a Freedom Communications’ initiative to use its online edition to boost readers’ subscription values.” At the time, publisher Tyler Patton said, “The days of giving content away, which costs money to create and for which we charge our print subscribers, I think, are just over” and added that other Freedom papers would likely follow his paper’s lead.

Clip of the Day

SourceCode Season 3 – Episode 9: New Orleans: Civil Rights from Ruin (2006)


04.12.10

Links 12/4/2010: Awn 0.4.0, VP8 Becoming Free Software

Posted in News Roundup at 5:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • IPFire brings super secure Linux to the masses

    Most folk know if they want a secure gateway between the Internet and their home or business they should use Linux for maximum protection. The new IPFire distribution seeks to take security to the highest level while also making things a breeze for the less experienced to set up.

  • Labour trumpets open-source success

    Stephen Timms — currently the government minister in charge of Digital Britain — spoke to ZDNet UK to explain how the Labour Party stands on strengthening the digital economy, using open source in government IT and protecting consumer data, among other issues.

    [...]

    The NHS ‘Spine’ uses an operating system based on open source. At least 35 percent of NHS organisations covering almost 300,000 users are supported by Linux infrastructure. GP applications running on Linux are being deployed — these are ‘black boxes’ that will handle key functions in GP surgeries. Hundreds of desktops across the NHS are running Linux.

  • Most computer users need Linux.

    Sure computer technicians make money off of these peoples ignorance and stupidity. Personally I would prefer to work on real problems, instead of mindless operating system re-installation and scut work cleaning junkware. Linux does far more towards turning a computer into an appliance than windows can ever do. If the computer users do not wish to properly maintain their machine then they need Linux. Linux is far more advanced at self maintenance than windows will ever be and the sheeple will be far less frustrated at that mysterious box and wonder why they were foisted with windows in the first place.

  • Going Linux: Apr 10: #098 – Listener Feedback
  • Open Source Software Goes Mainstream in Vietnam?

    Army-owned Viettel group just became one of the pioneer organizations using open source software (OSS) in Vietnam. According to local ICTnews, since July 2009 more than 2,200 PC units in Viettel network of stores and postal counters had been installed oss: Ubuntu, Open Offfice, X-Unikey, Mozilla ThunderBird. This is the first stage, and all new PCs will be used with OSS from now on, Viettel said.

  • Microsoft bars Machinarium from XBLA

    Rather, Microsoft was fearful that Mac and Linux users would drain away precious sales.

  • Kernel Space

    • Feature Plans For Xen 4.1 Come About

      Xen 4.0 was just released a few days back with a variety of features from graphics card pass-through support to online resizing of guest disks, but features for Xen 4.1 are already brewing. Xen 4.1 will be the next major release for this once-popular virtualization platform and its feature list is quickly growing.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Ubuntu 10.04 Gets A New Catalyst Pre-Release

        A month ago the Canonical crew working on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS received an unreleased Catalyst 10.4 driver from AMD for inclusion with the Lucid Lynx since the publicly available ATI Catalyst drivers had not — and to this day still do not — support the X.Org Server 1.7 used by this next Ubuntu release. Similar pre-releases for Ubuntu have happened in the past when AMD hasn’t been quick to the game in supporting new Linux kernels and X Servers. This driver was made available in Ubuntu 10.04 even before Catalyst 10.3 was released. Catalyst 10.4 still has not been publicly released, but another updated 10.4 driver has made its way into the Lucid repository.

      • Phoronix Test Suite 2.6 “Lyngen” Alpha 3

        It’s been three weeks since Phoronix Test Suite 2.6 Alpha 2 was released (compared the usual two weeks, due to the tour of Chernobyl), but the third alpha release for this next release codenamed “Lyngen” is now available.

        Phoronix Test Suite 2.6 Alpha 3 is carrying mostly internal changes and improvements to pts-core, but there are some externally visible changes too. The start of the suite-to-pdf option has been introduced, various bug-fixes, text-based interface enhancements, tweaks to the generated graphs, and compatibility with older versions of PHP 5.1/5.2.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Above Resistance – Red Hat

        Shares of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) closed the trading session at $30.81 just above calculated resistance at $30.72 effectively breaking out, grabbing the attention of momentum traders, which could eventually push the stock to different trading range

      • Allegheny first-years dive into Fedora

        Today, 42 first-year students at Allegheny College were thrown into the deep end of the pool on the Fedora project. Given that these are first-year students with no particular background in computing, we’ve worked closely with Mel Chua to get these students plugged into the Marketing and Design teams. This puts them in a context where their lack of experience as programmers is a benefit, as they are discussing and developing feature descriptions with developers with the explicit goal of making the end-result readable by people with no particular background in computing.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – April 12th, 2010

        Welcome to this year’s first issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:

        * Debian Project Leader Election
        * Bits from the Release Team
        * Estimates of the number of Debian users

        [...]

        Four Debian Developers are nominated in the currently running election for the Debian Project Leader: Stefano “Zack” Zacchiroli, Wouter “Yoe” Verhelst, Charles Plessy and Margarita “marga” Manterola — the first woman ever nominated for this position. The voting period ends on Thursday, April 15th.

      • Margarita “marga” Manterola

        The first woman ever to be nominated for Debian Project Leader is Margarita “marga” Manterola. Would it be chauvinistic to hope that a woman might make Debian GNU/Linux a bit more tidy? Perhaps emphasizing communication and cooperation?

      • Trying on sidux

        The sidux distribution is one which has been on my to-review list for a while. It’s a small project which makes a bold effort to take Debian’s Unstable repository and turn it into a functioning day-to-day operating system.

        [...]

        Having played with sidux for a week, I find that it’s an interesting operating system and brings a special collection of characteristics to the table, some of which almost seem contradictions. For one, the Xfce edition is very light of resources, a trait generally found in distributions targeting older hardware. But sidux isn’t looking back, it’s looking ahead, it’s cutting edge, designed with the newest hardware in mind. The operating system itself doesn’t do much hand-holding (such as one might expect from Mandriva or Ubuntu), but sidux does have some excellent documentation and, from what I’ve seen thus far, a polite and friendly community. The distro is based on Debian, but has a flavour, a character, of its own. I wouldn’t recommend sidux to new-comers to the Linux scene, but for people who want to keep up with the latest and greatest without any extra fluff in their faces, sidux seems like a good fit.

      • Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala (System76 Serp5 Speed Test)

          Testing out my new laptop from System76. I feel I could have thrown much more at it, I was just running out of applications. This laptop does a great job with multi-tasking, as you can see, the effects got slow towards the end. However, the Serval Professional out performs (by a long way) all of my previous laptops… This is 32bit Ubuntu Karmic Koala, NOT the 64bit version that ships with the computer. Specs: -Very limited, one-of-a-kind “Light-Up Bumpy Edition” Serval Professional (Serp5) from System76. -nvidia geforce GTX 260M with 1GB DDR3 -Intel Core 2 Duo P8700 2.53 ghz -4 GB – DDR3 RAM -320 Gb HDD 15.4″ WUXGA Matte Finish LCD (1920 x 1200)

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 188

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #188 for the week April 4th – April 10th, 2010. In this issue we cover: Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Beta 2 released, Countdown Banner is live, help spread the word, Regional Membership Boards: Restaffing, Call for New Operators in the #ubuntu, #kubuntu and #ubuntu-offtopic channels, Patch Day, May 5th 2010, Next Ubuntu Hug Day! – April 15, Being passionate about some things, Website Localization Project Meeting, Reviving the Ubuntu Accessibility Team, Ubuntu One contact phone sync opened again, Canonical Upgrading GNOME Bugzilla and Commercial Sponsorship, Ubuntu’s News Web Office Integration, and much, much more!

        • How Canonical Can Do Ubuntu Right: It Isn’t a Technical Problem

          So far, with only a very few exceptions, the comments and discussion around my criticism of Ubuntu has been respectful and on topic, even when people strongly disagreed with me. This says something very positive about the Ubuntu community.

        • Selling Ubuntu to the “Third World”

          Ubuntu adoption for communities in the “Third World” seems like it should be a no-brainer: how could a functional, free operating system not prove wildly popular in developing countries? Nonetheless, I believe Ubuntu use outside rich nations remains limited. Here’s a look at some suggested explanations of that reality, and how to change it.

          Counting Ubuntu users by country–like counting Ubuntu users in general–is surprisingly difficult. There used to be a frappr page, a map run by ubuntu-fr.org and a world map hosted on the Ubuntu forums all dedicated to this purpose, but these resources no longer function.

        • Kubuntu’s biggest problem: Network Management

          k cards are One of the first things someone notices when working with Kubuntu or introducing Kubuntu to someone is networking and how wireless works. Or based on what I’ve been working with, the lack of working. I now that everyone who reads this post is going to comment its the drivers stupid, network drivers are mostly closed source, if there were better drivers then the problems wouldn’t occur.

        • Variants

          • Netrunner (Albedo) – A look at a brand new distro!

            The Gnome DE and no Mono in connection with its Ubuntu roots make this distro a winner in my opinion. Whilst I am going to favor any distro which excludes Mono as default it has to be remembered how rock solid Ubuntu is. Even when booting from the LiveCD a few things struck me, first was the speed. I cannot say if this is due to the absence of Mono or the tinkering in other area’s by the Netrunner team, but Netrunner LiveCD is noticeably faster on the same machine than Ubuntu LiveCD(from which its based).

            [...]

            Don’t let this first release of Netrunner make you think its incomplete, I’ll stress this is a fully functional, damn good distro. I expect Netrunner now only to improve on the solid first steps it has already made.

            Highly recommended and Im glad that at least the developers of Netrunner have returned “the gift to the world” of Mono back to the shop.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • A Silent HTPC

      We’ve just released a practically silent Neuros LINK v1.2 (codenamed “Phantom”) and figured some of you would be interested in the process.

    • Android

      • The Tilt Toward Android Is Only In Its Infancy

        Just yesterday, as Mobile Burn reports, Skyfire’s CEO Jeff Glueck said that his company is stopping work on a BlackBerry version of Skyfire to focus on Android, noting carrier and manufacturer interest. Not only are carriers and manufacturers warming up to Android, developers increasingly are. Google recently confirmed that there are over 30,000 applications for Android, and that the number doubled in only three months.

      • HTC Incredible To Be Officially Announced Monday!

        Guess who’s bizzack? Anonimac! After leaking the Incredible User Guide and the Incredible Equipment Guide he made it trifecta by hooking up our readers and members with an internal email showing the Incredible will probably be officially announced on Monday!

    • Tablets

      • Dual-Screen HTC Tablet in the Works?

        Looks like HTC has just filed a patent for a device that would feature dual touchscreens in a clamshell design. Many are comparing the device to the Microsoft Courier, a similarly dual-screened device, but the Courier would be lacking one key element that is sure to make its way on to this interesting HTC design: Android.

      • Ipad sales fall short of estimates
      • Google Preparing iPad Rival

        Confirming the rumors, and after dismissing the iPad as nothing more than a large phone, Google is getting ready its own tablet computer. At least, that was what Google CEO—and Steve Jobs’ own personal Judas—Eric Schmidt is saying.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Meet on open source software from April 19

    The Department of Computer Science and Engineering of Federal Institute of Science and Technology (FISAT) will organise ICEFOSS- 10, a conference for enthusiasts of free and open source software, from April 19 to 21.

    ICEFOSS is a platform for the promotion of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). It will feature various programmes, including lectures on the philosophical and technical aspects of free software, workshops and open discussions.

  • Use value and free software

    Not everyone was happy with that, and we got rebels such as the heroes of the Free Software Foundation. I’m not going to preach to the choir and repeat the rise and success of free software, but I’m going to say that the rebellion was all about a world-class hacker such as Richard Stallman being unable to fix the driver software for his brand new Xerox printer because it was proprietary. The use value was greatly diminished.

    Free software is all about making software useful again. Software is only useful when you can do what your needs are, not someone else’s. No software vendor is ingenious enough to predict what you might want to do. Free software communities are: they just do what you tell them to do. We’re talking usefulness, use values again.

    So now that we have philosophically and economically fixed everything with the free software ideology and open source development models, and we have wonderful systems like Linux-based GNU systems and all the awesome apps that run on them, we’re home free, right? I’m not sure.

  • Letting Firefox Move Faster: Solving The Innovators Dilemma

    The nearly 400 million current Firefox users is a testament to our ability to make those tough calls and change towards the better. As our user base continues to grow, those calls will only get tougher. We need to find technical and cultural ways to overcome the innovators dilemma and lower the cost of experimentation.

  • Oracle moves Solaris onto quarterly patch schedule

    Oracle has moved Solaris onto its quarterly security patch schedule, meaning users of the Sun Microsystems operating system will now know months in advance when they will be getting security updates.

  • Business

  • Government

    • Open source headlines from the Open Government plans

      The Obama Administration’s Open Government Directive ordered Federal agencies to produce open government plans by April 7th, and while some advocates are disappointed, we have before us a bewildering number of initiatives to improve transparency, collaboration, and participation across the Government. It will not surprise you to learn that I spent some time looking for places where open source is being used in these plans.

  • Open Access/Content

    • OpenUp – TSO Launches Open Data Challenge with £50,000 Development Fund

      TSO (The Stationery Office), the leading provider of publishing solutions to the public sector, has today announced the launch of OpenUp, a £50,000 development fund aimed at encouraging the British public to come up with ideas of how open data can be put to better use for their communities. The move by TSO to offer the substantial fund for investment follows the recent launch of Data.gov.uk by the Government. Individuals or teams of people are encouraged to enter the competition by submitting an idea that can use public data to deliver value to communities locally, regionally, nationally or even internationally. As well as securing the fund to see their idea developed the winner will also be awarded a personal prize of £1,000.

    • The commonsware publishing model

      CommonsWare’s publishing strategy is fairly simple: try to give readers a fair deal.

      Digital publishing with a price tag attached — whether it be books or music or movies — is trying to leverage an artificial scarcity. For all intents and purposes, there is really no additional costs for delivering 200 copies than there are for delivering 2 copies. However, the alternative revenue models are works-in-progress.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Introducing the Ogg

      Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you the official mascot of OggCamp, the Ogg! I came up with this little fella because we needed something to decorate the merchandise for the event and I think mascots are cool.

      As I’ve already established with Dan, Oggs live on a steady diet of puffles, chips and of course, beer. They usually spend their day listening to podcasts, mostly UUPC and Linux Outlaws, and generally looking cool. They are born on the mysterious island of Ardour (somewhere off the coast off France) and when they die, they go to Ogg heaven which they call The Vorbis. You will see lots of these little guys around OggCamp this year, I think.

    • Google to Open-source VP8 for HTML5 Video

      Google will soon make its VP8 video codec open source, we’ve learned from multiple sources. The company is scheduled to officially announce the release at its Google I/O developers conference next month, a source with knowledge of the announcement said. And with that release, Mozilla — maker of the Firefox browser — and Google Chrome are expected to also announce support for HTML5 video playback using the new open codec.

Leftovers

  • Sacked Fujitsu boss threatens to sue

    The ex-president of Fujitsu, Kuniaki Nozoe is now threatening to sue the IT services giant, and asking it to sue some of its own executives.

  • Facing lawsuits, Yelp alters review policies

    Yelp Inc. made several significant changes to its review policies on Tuesday, following a series of class-action complaints accusing the popular San Francisco site of extorting companies into buying advertising.

    The lawsuits, which include several Bay Area plaintiffs, allege the company’s salespeople offered to highlight positive reviews and bury negative ones for businesses that agreed to advertise on the site. Further, some said that positive reviews of their businesses disappeared after they refused the offers.

  • China: Beyond Confidence

    China will reach maturity not when returns the the hubristic self-audulation of The Qing emperors, but when it learns to walk a middle path in its approach to things foreign, assigning value to ideas, innovations, systems and people based not on their origin, but on their intrinsic merits. The country could once afford to forego this middle path, but today it is at odds with everything China seeks to accomplish in a global economy, polity, and society.

  • SLAPP Back

    A SLAPP, or “strategic lawsuit against public participation,” is a little known but widespread threat to the First Amendment. SLAPPs are meritless suits brought by companies, individuals and sometimes the government, not to win, but to silence critics. Congress is now considering federal anti-SLAPP legislation. OTM producer Nazanin Rafsanjani investigates.

  • Police ‘ignored News of the World phone hacking evidence’

    CPS papers reveal investigation focused on a small number of cases and suppressed names of more prominent victims

  • Science

    • Astronauts remove ammonia tank on space station

      Astronauts took part Sunday in the second of three planned spacewalks to replace an old storage tank on the international space station.

      Rick Mastracchio and Clayton Anderson removed an old ammonia tank that is part of the space station’s cooling system. The tank has to be replaced periodically. The current one had been at the station for eight years.

    • Shuttle Discovery docks with space station

      Space shuttle Discovery docked with the international space station early Wednesday despite a broken antenna that knocked out radar tracking aboard the shuttle.

      The shuttle docked with the space station at 3:44 a.m. ET. At the time of docking, both spacecraft were traveling 225 miles over the Caribbean sea near Caracas, Venezuela, NASA said.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Cataloguing the Innocent

      On 4th December 2008 the European Court of Human Rights ruled that keeping the DNA profiles of two men from Sheffield – who had previously been cleared of criminal charges – on the British police DNA database was a breach of their human rights. Reacting to the court’s decision, Jacqui Smith – then Home Secretary – said that “the existing law will remain in place while we carefully consider the judgement.”

    • Ejection Seats, Cooking Dinner, and Vuln Disclosure

      It turned out to be way easier and much more like a webapp than I had thought it would be originally. After a couple hours of poking, I found a huge unauthenticated confidentiality hole. Once the euphoria wore off, I realized I had a big problem on my hands. I had to tell my employer’s app owners and we had to assess risk and make a decision on what to do about it. After some quick meetings with stakeholders, we decided to severely limit access to the thing while we worked with the vendor.

      The vendor refused to acknowledge it was a security issue. Odd, considering most everyone who sees the issue unmistakably agrees that it is not acceptable. Now I’m forced to play hardball, yet nobody wants to fully-disclose and destroy relations with this vendor, whose software is somewhat relied on. Meanwhile, I know there are hundreds of institutions, small and large, using this software who have no idea that it has flawed security and who would probably not find the risk acceptable. What can I do? Nothing. Oh well, sucks to be them.

    • Politicians and the DNA database

      Why is it that the topic of the National DNA Database (NDNAD) brings the worse crassness out of politicians? Two days ago, the Tories changed their mind on what they had long claimed to be a ‘point of principle’, allowing the Crime and Security Bill to become an Act with its DNA clauses intact. Today, Gordon Brown went a few notches up by misleading the public about DNA retention in the presence of the family of Sally Anne Bowman, at a campaign event in Stevenage. His arguments, that retaining the DNA profile of anyone arrested is essential to bring to justice criminals, including the killer of Sally Anne Bowman, has been debunked before, many times.

    • New York and the Moscow Subway Bombing

      People intent on preventing a Moscow-style terrorist attack against the New York subway system are proposing a range of expensive new underground security measures, some temporary and some permanent.

      They should save their money – and instead invest every penny they’re considering pouring into new technologies into intelligence and old-fashioned policing.

    • Polish president’s plane crashes in Russia; 87 die

      Officials say a plane carrying Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife has crashed in western Russia and that at least 87 people have been killed.

    • making Rumsfeld look like a techie by comparison

      Disrupting the operation of a website is very different from disrupting the operation of the internet, which is very different from interfering with military communication systems, which is very different from interfering with military battlefield communication systems, which is very different from being susceptible to the interception of digital communications. But all of these things are just jammed together, mindlessly.

  • Environment

  • Finance

    • The Magnetar Trade: How One Hedge Fund Helped Keep the Bubble Going (Single Page)

      In late 2005, the booming U.S. housing market seemed to be slowing. The Federal Reserve had begun raising interest rates. Subprime mortgage company shares were falling. Investors began to balk at buying complex mortgage securities. The housing bubble, which had propelled a historic growth in home prices, seemed poised to deflate. And if it had, the great financial crisis of 2008, which produced the Great Recession of 2008-09, might have come sooner and been less severe.

      At just that moment, a few savvy financial engineers at a suburban Chicago hedge fund [1] [1] helped revive the Wall Street money machine, spawning billions of dollars of securities ultimately backed by home mortgages.

    • Debt/GDP Worldmap: It’s Full of Debt!

      From Worldmapper and the SASI Research Group, a world map with country sizes scales to debt/GDP ratio. In short, the developed economies are grotesquely swollen in being full of debt.

    • Insurance and gambling

      Kay argues that nearly all use of credit default swaps (or CDSs) is gambling, and that this is highly damaging. He doesn’t extend the argument to other derivative instruments, but it applies equally and feeds into Kay’s recommendation, made elsewhere, that if utility and other banking were separated, the utility banks’ use of derivatives should be restricted to those directly required to protect the utility business.

    • Financial Crisis and Human Rights

      The Federal Reserve System – itself an independent government entity therefore having human rights obligations – has extended its emergency powers in response to the crisis, but at the same time refused to disclose to us, the people, the details of its bailout operations. Indeed, the Federal Reserve is a paradigm of opaqueness and unaccountability. The Government Accountability Office is restricted in its ability to audit the Fed; the Fed enjoys critical exemptions from the Freedom of Information Act, and the banking industry advisors (the Federal Advisory Council) are allowed to meet behind closed doors and not report on what they are doing.

      The new regulatory legislation must take the required obligation to protect seriously. The failure to do so over the last few decades created the economic problems that have engulfed the nation and the world. We need reform that protects the economic and social rights of people and safeguards them from the avarice of the financial market.

    • Edolphus Towns Says Fed Officials Were Unhappy About Friedman Waiver To Buy GS Stock, Were Overruled

      One of the most botched cases of conflict of interest abuse by a Federal Reserve official will forever remain the purchase of Goldman Sachs shares by Goldman Board Member, and FRBNY Board Member (the squid likes to keep its Federal Reserve puppets closely supervised) Stephen Friedman: an act strictly forbidden by the Fed itself. The action was so indefensible it led to Friedman’s quitting shortly after disclosure of his transgression leaked. Yet the reasons why Friedman managed to effect this purchase of 37,000 shares of GS on December 17, 2008 is because he was granted a “waiver” by the Fed. A month ago, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Edolphus Towns sent a rather angry letter demanding an explanation from Ben Bernanke why he had allowed this blatant case of semi-insider trading to occur at the highest echelons of shadow government.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Parliamentary wash-up washes away liberties

      In the mad rush that is “parliamentary wash-up”, it is traditional for civil liberties to be trampled to demonstrate that no party fails the “tough on crime” test – and 2010 is no exception.

    • Chinese human rights lawyer abandons activism to reunite with family

      An outspoken Chinese human rights lawyer whose 13-month disappearance caused international concern has said he is abandoning activism in the hope of being reunited with his exiled family.

      Gao Zhisheng, who resurfaced last month at a retreat in Shanxi province after being seized in February 2009, today said he did not want to discuss his disappearance and whether he had been held or mistreated by the authorities.

    • International man of mystery

      The founder of WikiLeaks lives a secret life in the shadow of those who blow the whistle, writes Bernard Lagan.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Comcast Disables VCR Scheduling In New Guide

      “Comcast has quietly launched a new on-screen guide for its cable boxes. What they’re not advertising is that they’ve removed the ability to schedule VCR-compatible channel flipping any time more than a few hours in advance for people who don’t buy the $20/month DVR service. What this means is that VCR owners are now forced to pay for Comcast’s $20/month DVR service or else start their recordings manually. For us techies there might be a way around this, but ordinary VCR enthusiasts and owners of other recorders are left in the dust. Anyone know a good antitrust lawyer?”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Star Trek app for iPad pulled after infringement complaint

      Although PushyPixels maintains the company did not use any copyright or trademark infringing materials, it killed Captain’s Log rather than get into a long, costly legal battle with Paramount.

      A Paramount Pictures spokeswoman, meanwhile, said PushyPixels simply did not have a license for the app, which was similar in design and function to an app – also called “Captain’s Log” – that the studio is working on for the iPhone.

    • Bad Publicity Forces Lawyers Out of Anti File-Sharing Cases

      A British law firm, which only recently entered the file-sharing settlement letters business, has withdrawn due to masses of bad publicity. Tilly Bailey & Irvine, who tried to rewrite history on its Wikipedia page to remove its connection to this work, say that they fear the rest of their business could be damaged.

    • TBI Solicitors lost its bottle? – Law firms pulls out of file sharing “venture”

      We covered TBI Solicitors in previous articles here. TBI were the law firm who were the latest crew to enter into the world of warning letters and fines for those suspected of file sharing.

      According to Which? TBI, (which was alleged to be pursuing amongst other material, Adult film titles, now appears to have removed itself from the practice making the comment:

      We are concerned that the adverse publicity could affect other areas of our practice and therefore following discussions with our clients, we have reluctantly agreed that we will cease sending out further letters of claim.

    • Copyrights

      • Corporate Copyright Scofflaws 0004 – The Motion Picture Association of America

        The largest copyright pirates are the large corporations, particularly in the content distribution business. Yes, those companies who scream the loudest that their customers are ‘pirating’ movies, songs, books, etc. In this series, we are going to look at cases where these companies have engaged in large scare copyright infringement.

        [...]

        When the MPAA did not respond to his requests, Matthew actually had to resort to a Digital Millennium Copyright Act take down notice sent to the MPAA’s ISP to get action. The problem was that the MPAA, that great advocate of copyright, was not in compliance with copyright law, specifically they did not release the source as required when you distribute an application which uses code which is covered by the General Public License.

        Do you get the impression that there’s two sets of rules? One for them (we can do whatever we want and you can’t stop us) and one for us (do what we say, not what we do).

      • eBook Piracy ‘Surges’ After iPad Launch

        With 500.000 iPads sold in the first week, Apple’s new multi-gadget is already a force to be reckoned with. As book publishers see the iPad as a potential threat to their revenues, we take a look to find out what happened to eBook piracy in the last week. The results are surprising.

      • FT Deal With Foursquare Lets Users ‘Unlock’ Paywall

        The move is notable because the FT has been so ardent in defending its pay system. Clearly, the Foursquare deal shows that the FT isn’t about to give up on its metered model, but it demonstrates that even one of the prime examples of paywalls has to be flexible when it comes to attracting younger users.

      • Managing data vs. producing data on digital artifacts – or how content vs. pipes was moot from the start

        If computer reading is cheaper and more convenient, can free digital publishing lead to sale of same data on physical substrate ? Free data on physical substrate has market value if the substrate has value on its own or if the data has sentimental value. That is a potential axis of development for the traditional publishing industry : when nostalgia and habits are involved, the perceived value of the scarce physical substrate of digitally abundant data may actually increases. Of course, free data has value on its own – but, as the reader of this blog certainly knows, it involves a business model entirely different to physical items.

      • The Final Copyright Consultation Numbers: No Repeat Of Bill C-61

        The copyright consultation concluded last fall and it seems worth reminding Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore and Industry Minister Tony Clement what Canadians had to say when they asked for their opinion on copyright reform. It has taken some time to calculate the final numbers as the government conducted a review to ensure that all were properly posted. There were ultimately more than 8,300 submissions – more than any government consultation in recent memory – with the overwhelming majority rejecting Bill C-61 (6138 submissions against, 54 in support), while thousands called for flexible fair dealing and a link between copyright infringement and anti-circumvention rules.

    • ACTA

      • The Wellington Declaration

        This week marks the start in Wellington New Zealand of the next round of ACTA negotiations, nominally the US-led Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. The scope of the agreement, however, has extended well beyond trade in fake medicines and knock-off Gucci handbags into the technical realms of file-sharing, ISP liability, disconnection, and DRM. Such issues have been contentious where they’ve arisen in New Zealand, France, the UK, USA, and elsewhere, yet negotiators seem ignorant of consumer and technology concerns. To correct this, the open PublicACTA conference two days ago drafted and released the Wellington Declaration.

      • The PublicACTA Conference Webcast
      • Breaking! Live webcast on ACTA-negotiations available
      • U.S.: No ACTA Transparency Unless Other Countries Cave on Substance

        The U.S. Trade Representative issued a release just prior to the launch of the New Zealand round of ACTA negotiations that has left no doubt that the U.S. is the biggest barrier to official release of the ACTA text. The full text of the release is couched in terms of improving transparency, but is really a thinly-veiled shot at the European Union’s public demands for release of the text. The U.S. statement:

        “In this upcoming round of ACTA negotiations, the U.S. delegation will be working with other delegations to resolve some fundamental issues, such as the scope of the intellectual property rights that are the focus of this agreement. Progress is necessary so that we can prepare to release a text that will provide meaningful information to the public and be a basis for productive dialogue. We hope that enough progress is made in New Zealand in clearing brackets from the text so that participants can be in a position to reach a consensus on sharing a meaningful text with the public.”

    • Digital Economy Bill

      • Digital economy bill backlash dominates e-election debate

        Only one thing mattered to the UK’s digital constituency this week: the digital economy bill. The election date announcement meant the #debill, as it is referred to on Twitter, was hurried through parliament before the election.

        An ambitious bill designed to kickstart the UK’s broadband-enabled future and tackle internet piracy, it deserved more scrutiny than two hours’ late-night discussion in an empty chamber, but was passed on Wednesday with Tory support.

      • Leaders sign up for online debate
      • My digital pledges

        After the passing of the Digital Economy Act last week and before the political parties each launch a manifesto next week, I wanted to ask your advice on my own Internet pledges.

        [...]

        I believe that copyright and software patent laws should be reformed to reflect the needs of citizens in the Internet age.

      • The Red Flag Act 2010 (#DEBill and the Locomotive Acts)

        The Tory and Labour parties colluded in forcing through a piece of draft legislation today – the Digital Economy Bill – which is one of the most barefaced examples of Olde Media trying to protect it’s position via legislative muscle.

      • A letter to my MP

        I am writing firstly to commend you for your attendance at the Digital Economy Bill Second Reading last night. I was one of thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of people watching the reading unfold on Twitter. By now perhaps some MPs and party strategists are digesting what happened but I wished to pick out a few things that seemed particularly relevant, particularly in the context of a general election.

        [...]

        Finally I would note that, while you were present, the lack of other Liberal Democrats in the house was noted. This is a natural constituency for your party. Indeed Bath has a vibrant technology community as you are no doubt aware. I hope your party strategists have seen the damage that was done last night and I hope they draw the logical conclusion. If the Liberal Democrats turn out in force tonight and bury this bill at the third reading then it will make a difference to your electoral results. If you want a hung parliament, this is the way to get it.

      • Big Music’s IFPI calls for ‘3 strikes’ action

        The ink isn’t even dry on Britain’s digital economy bill and Vivendi Universal (France), Sony (Japan), EMI (Britain), and Warner Music (US, but controlled by a Canadian) are already crowing.

      • Mandybill: It ain’t over yet

        It’s a bit premature to declare winners and losers from the Digital Economy Bill just yet. The Open Rights Group may have given up campaigning – having already turned its front page into a giant click-through recruitment poster* – but the fight’s not over. The legislation may yet fall.

      • International trade can’t ration finite fossil fuels or tuna, but enthusiastically restricts infinite knowledge

        Colin Jackson, a commenter on a blog, on the miserable state of international law: “What a pity international governments don’t seem to be able to make an agreement to ration finite resources like tuna, atmospheric carbon or fossil fuels, but instead devote their time to making an international agreement enforcing controls over something that costs no resources to copy.”

Clip of the Day

SourceCode Season 3 – Episode 7: Capitalism vs Environment (2006)


04.11.10

Links 11/4/2010: Oracle Loses Gosling, Google Funds Ogg

Posted in News Roundup at 1:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • A word (or two) about Linux desktop security

    All things considered, I still believe that Linux desktop security is superior to that of Windows in a home environment. Here’s why:

    - The default firewall setup offers a very safe configuration off the bat.

    - The software repository model is safer.

    - Viruses are no concern.

    - Social engineering is definitely a threat, but following a few simple guidelines should keep it safe.

    Some have raised a very valid concern about the lack of reactive security in the Linux Desktop. Unlike Windows users, we have nothing to fix or even detect the situation once security is compromised. While I agree with such concerns, in my opinion all that means is that Linux users need to approach security differently to Windows users. Windows users have grown accostumed to a reactive model. They have a wide variety of tools to detect a security threat and kill it. The key to Linux desktop security is to take a proactive approach: Preventing over healing.

    To me, it boils down to this: Linux desktop users are safe as long as they follow a few best practices, which is more than what Windows users can say today, even with the help of an antivirus. In addition, in the event of security being compromised, the severity of damage is generally much more limited.

  • Dear XM Radio…
  • Kernel Space

    • Autonomously Generating An Ideal Kernel Configuration

      While most Linux users are fine with just using the kernel supplied by their distribution vendor, there are some enthusiasts and professional users who end up tweaking their kernel configuration extensively for their needs, particularly if they are within a corporate environment where the very best performance and reliability is demanded for a particular workload.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu 10.04 inspired wallpaper

        Today, we would like to present you a fresh Ubuntu 10.04 inspired wallpaper, brought to you by Opentechblog.com to accompany your morning coffee.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS comes with Impressive Feature Set

        Its the time to gear up for the next version of Ubuntu. Codenamed Lucid Lynx, Ubuntu 10.04 is slated to hit on 29th April 2010. Let’s have a look at the changes & new features to be incorporated in this new Ubuntu LTS(Long Term Support) release.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 gets a new sleek installer

        The recent Beta 2-release of Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) features a new sleek installer that brings a fresh breeze of professionalism into the installation procedure.

      • Ubuntu Is A Poor Standard Bearer For Linux

        So how do we, in the Linux press make people outside of the Linux community aware that Linux does not equate to Ubuntu? That is the real challenge we now face if we want Linux to be more widely accepted.

      • Testing and Feedback in Ubuntu

        I was reading an article about how Ubuntu is a bad standards barer for the “Linux” desktop. I’ll leave aside how paradoxical the brand “Linux” is used to mean desktop when it means nothing of the sort and I assume she means FreeDesktop (FDO).

        But I was struck by the problems that she has had and the comments to the entry. When comparing them to my own support roster for the past few months of sudden grub mortality (8 cases) where grub just looses all ability to boot anything with cryptic errors such as “Invalid symbol ‘u’ found” and ‘Error 15′.

      • Crashes with Ubuntu 10.04 beta 2

        I have been using Ubuntu 10.04 since beta 1 and it has been quite stable until this week.

      • Ubuntu developers make their first MAJOR mistake with 10.04
      • Ubuntu 10.04 Beta 2 Kernel

        Ubuntu 10.04 Beta 2 uses a kernel based on version 2.6.32.9 (2.6.32-16.25). But already now the current stable version is 2.6.33.2 so I would not be surprised if the release would be based on this one (or even a newer one). Check your kernel version with the command uname -r (from your terminal). If you have a new computer with dual core, i5 or i7 processor, then you should consider updating your kernel to a kernel where support for older cpu´s are removed. You can try to use the server version of the kernel instead of the generic one.

      • Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat release schedule

        Ubuntu 10.10 will released on October 28, 2010.

        June 03rd, 2010 – Alpha 1 release

        July 1st , 2010 – Alpha 2 release

        August 12th, 2010 – Alpha 3 release

        September 2nd, 2010 – Alpha 4 release

        September 23th , 2010 – Beta release

        October 21st , 2010 – Release Candidate

        October 28th, 2010 – Final release of Ubuntu 10.10

        Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat release schedule

    • Mint

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Mobile Apps: Strike While Iron’s Still Hot

        According to ABI Research, people will download around 6 billion mobile apps in 2010, up from an estimated 2.4 billion downloaded in 2009. The main drivers for the increase: the rise to the rapid adoption of smartphones (which had a 20% sales growth in 2009) and the proliferation of App stores for those platforms. And with two new platforms set to debut later this year (Samsung’s Bada OS and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7), the growth will only continue.

      • Android

        • iPhone OS 4.0: The great Android 2.1 imitator

          Last year I wrote an article, which explored the nature of the rivalries between the big three: Google, Apple and Microsoft. In that article, I posited that Google’s entry into smartphones, the development of Chrome, and the firm’s titanic efforts in the cloud and with advertising not only obsoleted Microsoft’s presence in these spaces, but elevated Google to Microsoft’s old role as Apple’s arch nemesis.

        • And The Next Battle Is Apple vs. Google… As Microsoft/Yahoo Fade Off Into The Sunset?

          While plenty of virtual ink has been spilled over the Google/Apple device battles, could they be approaching a bigger online battle as well? It’s certainly not outside the realm of possibility — and given its control over the devices it sells, perhaps it could get a pretty good starting position with a search engine. Still, it does seem like a bit of a reach for Steve Jobs and company. At this point, it seems more like some analyst just looking for a more interest “Google vs.” prediction than anything serious at this point.

        • Google’s Android Operating System Makes Profits

          Verizon supported the Android 2.0 gadget with a $1 million marketing promotion, which helped the company make hundreds and thousands of sales of Droids at the time of holidays.

        • Android builds its app arsenal: applications

          GOOGLE’S Android phone operating system is moving into more new handsets as the battle for smartphone supremacy heats up.

        • Is Steve Jobs Ignoring History, Or Trying To Rewrite It?

          Still, it seems like history could repeat itself, with the rest of the industry closing the innovation gap with Apple fast. With Google subsidizing the mobile OS, other phone manufacturers have an economic advantage as well. Jobs is trying everything he can to hold back the Android advance, including suing HTC, the largest manufacturer of Android phones. He is fighting Google with everything he’s got—undercutting Google’s pending acquisition of AdMob by entering the mobile advertising market and creating fear among Android partners with his patent lawsuit.

        • Vodafone launching its own ‘Android App Shop’ in Europe, this June

          Here’s some good news if you’re in one of the many European DEAD ZONES where Google has yet to launch official access to the Android Market – Vodafone is launching its own app-selling shop front to sell Android apps to its customers.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Android on x86: report

        Since I expect Android on tablets to be a big thing in 2010, I am experimenting with the closest thing I can get: Android in my eee 701 Surf 4G…

      • Asus Eee Nettop Available With Red Flag Linux Pre Installed

        This article is provided by third party writers who are not affiliated with DailyBreakNews.com. We do not endorse or create these articles. If you have questions, comments or concerns about any of the articles on this site, please contact us.

        The Asus Eee Box has got the Chinese Linux distribution, The Red Flag Linux, which is going to help you to buy it. The coolest thing is the price of this Asus Eee Box. The features for this model are just the way they were supposed to be. The complete features of this Asus Eee Box are not yet know, but we have go few of the features which this model does carry.Spec Details :1) Red Flag Linux2) Atom N270 processor3) 160GB hard drive4) 1GB of RAM5) standard Intel integrated graphics

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source is a rubber ball

    If an open source project turns proprietary then there will be a fork and the open source lives on. The open source culture is all about freedom. Freedom of information. Those who try and limit their information only end up limiting themselves, not those around them. This is why proprietary companies have come and gone yet open source has out lived them all. When those proprietary companies head off to the failed company afterlife. All of their secrets and locked in knowledge, goes with them. When individual open source projects are shut down then nothing is lost. The information is still available for effective usage in other projects.

  • A challenge to alter Open Source landscape

    If the community-driven Open Source application development is to be considered the new age equivalent of the hippie movement, the coding community goes through a Summer of ’69 almost every year.

    Coding challenges like the Google Summer of Code (SoC), organised between May and August, have, in many ways, altered the landscape of Open Source endeavours.

    UNIX was written by one person in a month, but today the space has been democratised, and an enthusiastic under-grad sending in an important bug fix becomes the new star on an Open Source mailing list.

  • Firefox 3.7 nightly adds built in option for tabs-on-top

    Mozilla’s been playing around with interface changes in Firefox 3.7 for a while — there’s the updated default theme and built-in glass support (which made a very brief appearance and has yet to return). In yesterday’s nightly build, another UI option appeared: a simple right-click allows you to move your tabs to the top of the browser window.

  • Oracle

    • Time to move on…
    • “Father of Java” Resigns from Sun/Oracle

      This would, perhaps, be the second most shocking/sad news after the resignation of Jonathan (former Sun CEO). I’m sad and upset after hearing the confirmed news that James Gosling will be leaving Sun/Oracle.

    • Java founder James Gosling leaves Oracle

      James Gosling, the creator of the Java programming language, has resigned from Oracle, he announced in a blog entry on Friday

      Gosling resigned on April 2 and has not yet taken a job elsewhere, he reported.

      “As to why I left, it’s difficult to answer: just about anything I could say that would be accurate and honest would do more harm than good,” he wrote.

      Gosling was the chief technology officer for Oracle’s client software group and, before that, the chief technology officer of Sun’s developer products group.

  • Openness

    • Open Source Spying: 2010

      In 2006, Clive Thompson wrote in a watershed New York Times Magazine article “Billions of dollars’ worth of ultrasecret data networks couldn’t help spies piece together the clues to the worst terrorist plot ever. So perhaps, they argue, it’s time to try something radically different. Could blogs and wikis prevent the next 9/11?” (Open-Source Spying) At the Gov 2.0 Expo, Clive Thompson will discuss the progress made in the Intelligence Community since that 2006 with Matthew Burton, Chris Rasmussen, and Lewis Shepherd.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Interesting times for Video on the Web

      If I told you that Google had helped fund an ARM code optimised version of the Theora video codec, most people’s reaction would be immediately to skip forward to the next blog entry. Audio and video codecs are the classic example of things that no one cares about, until they don’t work.

      Ask most computer users what their preferred video codec is and they’ll look at you as if you asked what sort of motor they’d prefer in their washing machine. “We just want it to work!” they say. In this regard, it’s exactly the same for content creators and publishers. Every visitor to a website that can’t view a video is one set of eyeballs less for a message to get through to. It doesn’t matter how clever the advertising is, how much time is spent honing the message or how many clever viral tricks are deployed to attract surfers to the site, the moment the page opens up with a big blank box where the content should be, all that has been in vain.

      [...]

      Fortunately, there is some good news in the form of HTML 5. This new version of HTML (the basic language used to write webpages) introduces a video element.

    • Apple Slaps Developers In The Face

      The fact that Apple would make such a hostile and despicable move like this clearly shows the difference between our two companies.

Leftovers

  • Should Kids Be Bribed to Do Well in School?

    In junior high school, one of my classmates had a TV addiction — back before it was normal. This boy — we’ll call him Ethan — was an encyclopedia of vacuous content, from The A-Team to Who’s the Boss?

  • Crime

  • Finance

    • Big Banks Mask Risk Levels

      Major banks have masked their risk levels in the past five quarters by temporarily lowering their debt just before reporting it to the public, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

      A group of 18 banks—which includes Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc.—understated the debt levels used to fund securities trades by lowering them an average of 42% at the end of each of the past five quarterly periods, the data show. The banks, which publicly release debt data each quarter, then boosted the debt levels in the middle of successive quarters.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Copyrights

    • Digital decay and the archival cloud

      Up to now, there has been one characteristic of digital recordings that has provided an important counterweight to the fragility of digital media – it’s what Bollacker refers to as “data promiscuity.” Because it’s easy to make copies of digital files, we’ve tended to make a lot of them. The proliferation of perfect digital copies has provided an important safeguard against the loss of data. An MP3 of even a moderately popular song will, for instance, exist on many thousands of computer hard drives as well as on many thousands of iPods, CDs, and other media. The more copies that are made of a recording, and the more widely the copies are dispersed, the more durable that recording becomes.

    • Copyright 1710-2010 “For the encouragement of learning”

      The world’s first copyright law was passed by the English Parliament on 10 April 1710 as ‘An Act for the Encouragement of Learning’. Its 300th anniversary provides a unique opportunity to review copyright’s purposes and principles. If today we were starting from scratch, but with the same aim of encouraging learning‚ what kind of copyright would we want?

  • Digital Economy Bill

    • Digital economy bill: A quick guide

      The controversial Digital Economy Bill may have had a few parts stripped out, it may even be a damp squib. But the remaining, 76-page bill is still a wide-ranging piece of media and technology reform.

      Confused? Read our clause-by-clause guide to the bill as it stands now after being adopted by the House Of Commons and as it awaits Royal Assent …

Clip of the Day

SourceCode Season 3 – Episode 5: First Nation rights (2006)


04.10.10

Links 10/4/2010: RIM Buys QNX, Palm Pre Runs Almost Everything

Posted in News Roundup at 2:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 10 Things Linux Does Better Than Windows

    In the computer hardware world, certain segments are saturated with choice, while others are not. Take graphics cards for example. For the most part, it’s AMD (ATI) vs. NVIDIA. For CPU’s, AMD vs. Intel. For CPU coolers… ugh, where to begin. We’d need at least a billion “vs.” for that one! Then there are operating systems, where like GPU’s and CPU’s, the choices of major vendor are slim.

  • Chris Atkins: ‘Sometimes I want to punch people who make technology’

    What’s your favourite piece of technology, and how has it improved your life?

    Without question, my favourite piece of technology is my Nokia n900 phone. It is super amazing and pisses all over the iPhone. The ingenious bit about it is that it’s open source, so you can program it to do whatever you want. I used to do some work with Linux when I ran a post-production house, so we’ve worked out how to make it do all sorts of funky things. Some boffins who we do some work with have connected it up to a Rollodex, so as you spin through your contacts, a motor spins through the rollodex. And they canibalised an old Speak & Spell, so you can send texts that sound like ET. It’s the best thing ever.

  • Why I use what I use (software)

    As you can see, my setup is driven by conservative needs, which is why you’ll never see me overclock, pour liquid Nitrogen onto the CPU, flash my BIOS (sounds naughty), or run the latest bleeding edge alpha releases.

  • Desktop

    • 15 Cool and Unique Linux Desktop Workspaces (Workstations)

      15 Cool and Unique Linux Desktop Workspaces (Workstations): I’ve seen plenty of excellent computer workspace or workstation setup lists on the web but I have never seen a collection of workspaces that is exclusively related to Linux. Because of this, I decided to gather several photos of some of the coolest and unique Linux desktop workstations so that I can share them to all of you. In addition to that, I will also be showing you my very own (simple) workstation, which you will see later on.

    • Linux and the Dialup Modem

      One of the interesting things I’ve been working with of late in the Linux world is trying to get a computer to connect to the internet with a dialup modem. I myself haven’t had to dialup to the internet for the better part of 8 years, what with having DSL myself. However, about 35% of the US has to use dialup in one form or another. And in other countries it can be as high as 95%.

      And yes, there are efforts to send dialup to a cold, dark grave in the next five years. However, I don’t think it ever will die. Yes, it’ll be greatly reduced, and may fall to as little as 5% of the population who are using it, but it will remain a staple of daily internet access for at least some slice of the population for years to come. Therefore, I ask this interesting question. Why doesn’t Linux do a better job of supporting dialup modems?

    • How Compiz Fusion and Chaos Built a Linux Hardware Company

      This love-of-Ubuntu turned into a search for Ubuntu-only hardware which turned into me founding a Linux-only hardware company in early 2007. Through ZaReason I have had the delightful opportunity to customize keyboards with Ubuntu or Tux on the Start key and subsequently ask other companies, “Um, does your Ubuntu laptop have a Windows logo on the Start key? How odd…” I have had the rush of enthusiasm when a customer in our first year sent us an extensive (and I mean extensive) price list of how our computers compared to other vendors, showing us where we were doing well and where we needed to improve. I have a wall of love letters showing my builders, my brilliant, wildly intelligent builders that they are on the right path, doing great work for real people, not just order numbers.

  • BlackBerry

    • RIM Buys QNX to Tie Phones to Cars

      Research in Motion said Friday that it had signed a deal with Harman International to acquire its QNX Software Systems unit to help tie its BlackBerry smartphones to car navigation systems.

      Terms of the deal were not announced. It is expected to close within 30 to 45 days if it passes regulatory approvals.

    • The BlackBerry Learns New Tricks

      The deal gives RIM access to a Linux-based software platform that controls information and entertainment data flows in places like network switches, medical systems, and smart-home energy management applications — but the crown jewel of QNX is its in-car infotainment system.

    • RIM buys QNX unit from Harman
  • Kernel Space

    • Linux: Properly Creating And Testing Patches

      “If you’re wondering why I’m taking a long time to respond to your patches,”, began Theodore Ts’o on the linux-ext4 mailing list, in a thread that offered much insight into how and why to properly submit and test patches.

    • Catch the Collaboration Summit from the Comfort of Home

      Next week’s Collaboration Summit, put on by the Linux Foundation, will gather together “the brightest minds in Linux” to mull over all the great problems that plague our beloved operating system. If you can’t make it to San Francisco to collaborate in person, fear not, the Summit will come to you.

    • Free video streaming offered for Linux summit

      The Linux Foundation (LF) has announced it is now accepting registrations for a free, live video streaming program of its Collaboration Summit keynote sessions in San Francisco next Wednesday, April 14. Meanwhile, the non-profit Linux advocacy group has announced several new members, including Ricoh, Parallels, and Cubrid.

  • Applications

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • Using KDE software labels, An interview with the developer of Brewtarget

      In early March Stuart Jarvis wrote an article published here on the Dot which announced the winners of the poll results for suitable KDE software labels. Since then work has begun on coming up with suitable logos for these labels. This work is still underway and in need of volunteers if you have time and artistic skills.

    • Website for Akademy 2010 is Online, Time to Register!

      Starting July 3rd 2010, hundreds of KDE community members, employees of companies working with us and many other Free Software enthusiasts will gather at Tampere, Finland. There, at the University of Tampere, the annual Akademy summit 2010 will take place. For a full week, Tampere will be the place where stunning new technology is demonstrated, hundreds of prominent Free Software contributors walk the corridors and new plans for the future of the Free Desktop emerge.

  • Distributions

    • What being a Gentoo developer is about

      Besides writing ebuilds itself being a Gentoo developer is about quite a few other things: it’s never just configure-make-make-install. It’s actually true not only for Gentoo but for other distros, too. Read on.

    • Crunchbang and Archbang

      Since I stepped up to a slightly more modern computer, I have shifted the majority of my distro-hopping expeditions to virtual machines. Having two cores means I can usually still meddle in other matters while watching an ISO boot in Qemu. And it saves a few steps in burning a CD, rebooting, tinkering with the live environment, then returning to an installed system.

      But let’s face it: Emulated systems just aren’t anywhere near as fun as the real thing. Distro-hopping in a virtual machine is like drinking sugar-free cola … where’s the fun in that? And it tastes strange too.

    • New Releases

      • Salix Live 13.0 (32-bit) is ready

        After a few months of development we are pleased to release the final version of Salix Live 13.0 (32-bit).

        It faithfully replicates Salix 13.0.2 from which it adopts its full choice of application (Xfce, Firefox, the full Openoffice suite, Gimp, Exaile, etc.). Salix Live offers you a complete working desktop which can be used in a completely nomadic but customizable environment. The “Persistence Wizard” will enable you to easily preserve any of your work and modifications. Alternatively Salix Live can be used as a full fledged demo of Salix OS that can easily be installed with the help of our brand new graphical installer.

      • Calculate Linux 10.4 released

        Calculate Linux is a family of distribution, based on Gentoo GNU/Linux and completely compatible with it. Calculate Linux family has three members: Calculate Linux Desktop (CLD, CLDG, CLDX), Calculate Directory Server (CDS) and Calculate Linux Scratch (CLS).

      • The DragonFly 2.6 release is here!

        Three release options are now available for 32-bit: Our bare-bones CD ISO, a bare-bones bootable USB disk-key image (minimum 1G USB stick needed), and a GUI bootable USB disk-key image with a full X environment. The GUI USB image replaces the DVD ISO image we had in the previous release, to work around issues with DVDs simply being too slow to boot an X environment from.

    • Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Tinyme Linux- A tiny OS for old computers

        TinyMe is a lightweight PCLinuxOS-based operating system, replacing KDE with the smaller and faster Openbox window manager. TinyMe is aimed at making the computing experience as bloat- and lag-free as possible. It is well-suited to older computers, enthusiasts devoted to small/fast systems, or users who just want a minimal environment. TinyMe is comparable to other mini Linux distributions like Puppy Linux, Damn Small Linux and Feather Linux.

    • Debian Family

      • First Debian Mini Conference to be held in Germany
      • Ubuntu

        • Canonical’s services play: Revenue windfall or trap?

          It’s tough to compete in an industry where your customers expect your product to be free. Such is the case with software, where giveaways have seemingly become the norm. (Try selling a Web browser or an audio player in 2010.) Some developers have turned to advertising to underwrite their efforts. More recently, a few software vendors have begun offering Internet services as a way to add value to their products and raise revenue. But the latter model is not without its pitfalls.

          Take Canonical, for example. The company behind the Ubuntu Linux distribution now offers cloud-based data synchronization services under the Ubuntu One brand. You can get 2GB of storage for free; $10 per month gets you 50GB. Soon Canonical will be expanding its offering to include contact synchronization for smartphones — also for a fee — and an Ubuntu One Music Store as a Linux-based competitor to iTunes.

        • Ubuntu 10.04: Coming Soon [VIDEO]

          With the Paolo Sammicheli help (that cared about the audio and the communication side) we made a “coming soon” video for Ubuntu 10.04 in order to improve and help the work of any Ubuntu LoCo Team.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • 10 (or so) of the Best Mobile Linux Apps

      Of course, some mobile Linux devices will be written from the ground up for mobile devices. Here are five cool ones, picked somewhat at random from all the many. Literally thousands more can be found at mobile Linux app listing directories like the Zaurus Software Index or the Maemo Garage.

      [...]

      So there you have it, my list of top mobile Linux apps. And I didn’t even get to applications with web service tie-ins, like the super-nifty JayCut video editor or get to what’s coming from the Intel AppUp Center or Nokia’s Ovi Store. Perhaps I’d better ask for help on this one! If you have a favorite mobile Linux app, please post it below, using the story comments feature!

    • Linux tools support Cortex-A8-based 802.11n module

      Timesys announced a partnership with Digi International, making the company the preferred commercial Linux solutions provider for Digi’s ConnectCore Wi-i.MX51 wireless module. Timesys’ LinuxLink embedded development framework now supports the Wi-i.MX51 module, based on Freescale’s Cortex-A8-based i.MX51 system-on-chip, and also supports Digi’s Wi-i.MX51 “JumpStart” reference kit, says Timesys.

    • Linux multimedia dream machine, cool!

      This is the Dreambox, a Linux powered price winning digital television receiver. While it may not look like much at first, wait till you hear what special features it supports (some unofficially) .

      [...]

      The feature I believe this system is most popular for, is not officially supported it even breaks your warranty and is not promoted by Dream multimedia. Unofficial third-party conditional access software modules (CAMs or emulators) are widely circulated on the Internet that emulate the CA systems developed by VideoGuard, Irdeto Access, Conax, Nagravision, Viaccess and other proprietary vendors. Many Dreambox owners use these softcams together with special software for card sharing. Card sharing is when you buy one card for pay-tv and share de decryption codes generated by the card over the network. This allows for watching the pay-tv channels on other systems not equipped with a card. While this practice may be illegal in some jurisdictions, it’s obviously very popular.

    • COM Express module maximizes PCIe expansion

      Axiomtek is readying a Linux-ready COM Express Type-II module that supports up to 19 lanes of PCI-Express, plus up to four PCI slots. The CEM831 includes an Intel Atom N270, up to 4GB of DDR2 memory, gigabit Ethernet, and dual channel LVDS, says the company.

    • Pogoplug serves up tunes from repurposed iPod

      Lehrbaum launched his PogoPod project by prepping an 80GB iPod Classic for use as an A/V fileserver, restoring its firmware and configuration to Apple’s default factory settings, and configuring the device to be accessible as a USB drive. Then, he copied over 37GB of music to the device from an Ubuntu Linux-based PC.

    • Palm

    • Android

      • Android OS Now Used To Drive Real Robots

        For those wondering about the propriety of the name “Android” as a mobile device operating system, wonder no more because its real purpose has finally been revealed. It’s really an operating system for robots.

      • Best Android Mobile Phones In The UK

        Read our detailed overview of what Android is and why it’s the best thing for mobile phones since sliced bread, then check out our list of the best Android Handsets available in the UK.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • $100 netbook has ten-inch screen

        Shenzen-based Science and Technology Co. Ltd. has released a $100 netbook that runs Android, Linux, or Windows CE 6.0 on a Via-manufactured ARM SoC (system on chip). The 1.87-pound device includes a 10-inch screen with 1024 x 600 pixel resolution, from 1GB to 4GB of flash storage, and two hours of battery life, according to the Shanzhaiben.com website.

    • Tablets

      • ICD, HP tablets take shape as Nokia tablet rumors re-emerge

        Innovative Converged Devices (ICD) is prepping an 11.2-inch, Android-based “Gemini” tablet that blows away the iPad on specs, says Engadget. Meanwhile, HP has tipped more details on its Slate tablet, which may run Android, and Nokia is rumored to be readying a tablet that runs the Linux-based MeeGo.

Free Software/Open Source

  • FLOSS Weekly 116: eLua

    James Snyder stops by to talk about eLua, a fully featured programing language for embedded applications.

  • Health IT’s Brewsters Millions

    There is a real possibility and a likely political calculus that these public goods type organizations such as RECs and training programs are structurally set to fail or claim a type of illusory ‘success’. Proprietary EHR companies will be all too happy to point to such failures as proof that they can get the job done.

    With proprietary EHR software, it can all be boiled down to one question: How can allowing taxpayer funding of more opacity (proprietary licensed EHR’s) and not directly funding more transparency (open source licensed EHR’s) in a health care system be a good thing?

  • Open Source BI Efficiency

    Over 300 organizations currently using BI took part in the study, which examined how they prioritize their use of BI resources. Of those, 71 indicated they are actively using open source software as one (or more) of the primary components of their BI implementation. Thirteen of those 71 were using open source products exclusively to provide BI to their business community. The remainder used some combination of open source and traditionally licensed software or subscription based software (software as a service).

  • WebKit2 May Bring Browser Changes

    WebKit, an open source browser layout engine used in Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome, will be releasing a new API layer for the engine called WebKit2, which will allow web content and the application to run in separate processes.

  • Catching up with Leslie Hawthorn

    Few people in the open source community have touched as many projects as Leslie Hawthorn, the now-former open source program manager for Google. As one of less than ten employees in Google’s open source programs office, Hawthorn was at the center of the Google Summer of Code — a project that has worked with hundreds of projects and thousands of college students since its inception in 2005.

  • Mozilla

    • Why Mozilla Needs To Go Into Survival Mode
    • WebKit 2 and Firefox Lorentz Going ‘Out of Process’

      Browser vendors are always trying to improve the stability of their platforms. One key approach being adopted by multiple browser vendors is to take plugins out of the regular browser process and isolate them. The benefit of out-of-process plugins is that if a plugin, say Adobe’s Flash for example, crashes, the entire browser won’t crash.

      Backers of the open source WebKit rendering engine, which is used by Google’s Chrome, Apple’s Safari and RIM’s upcoming new browser for Blackberry, are now testing out new out-of-process capabilities in WebKit2. Mozilla is out this week with Firefox Lorentz Beta which includes out-of-process plug-ins as well.

    • Google trying anew for a 3D Web

      Two related projects from Mozilla and Google, each with the similar goal of bringing hardware-accelerated 3D graphics to the Web, appear to be joining forces after a change in Google tactics.

  • Oracle

    • MySQL users urge Oracle to improve commitment to open source

      MySQL users are cautiously optimistic about life under Oracle, but say Larry Ellison’s team needs to offer a more detailed road map for development of the open source database.

      Under Sun Microsystems, MySQL development “was a little stagnant,” says Rocky Appiah, vice president of technology at Epic Advertising in New York City, a heavy user of MySQL. But when asked if MySQL will improve under Oracle, Epic Advertising CIO Rick Okin says, “Ask us that after they’ve actually owned it for a while.”

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FSF Advocates Free Software for U.S. IPEC Joint Strategic Plan

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has responded to the United States executive “Intellectual Property” Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) Joint Strategic Plan.

      The FSF argues that the government should use free software to provide more freedom and transparency to its constituents and reduce the need to engage in costly copyright enforcement activities on behalf of proprietary software companies. The FSF states that “the most egregious harms to the public interest in the areas of copyright and patents come not from a lack of enforcement, but from extraordinarily excessive enforcement.”

    • GNU Generation 2.0

      After many successful months of GNU Generation, GNU Generation 2.0 was officially announced at LibrePlanet 2010. This builds upon the original GNU Generation by lowering the entry barrier to free software contribution, and making the program more extensible.

    • Incoming distros

      This is a list of new projects for free distros. They have not been evaluated for freedom yet, so they are not in the gnu.org distros list. Most of them are beta software, and this list might also contain projects not yet released or started.

  • Open Access/Content

    • EU KLEMS Growth and Productivity Accounts

      The November 2009 release is an update of the March 2008 release. It provides data up to 2007, but for a limited set of variables and industries (32 instead of 72 industries).

    • Talkin’ about a revolution

      There is news for subscribers of the open-source school who have been waiting for the day when tax-funded research will be freely accessible by all — mountain is about to come to Mohammed a la MIT open courseware. And the ministry of human resources development (MHRD) has chosen design education to test the waters.

    • Volunteers create new digital maps

      “A lot of people thought ‘garbage in; garbage out’ — if you only had the ordinary Joe on the street contributing data, you’d get bad data,” said Steve Coast, who founded OpenStreetMap as a university student in Britain in 2004 when he couldn’t find any open-source digital map data, and decided to go out and map Regent’s Park in London himself. “And in fact, it’s much better data.”

  • Programming

    • The Tyranny of Memory Part IV (Immutable Strings)

      Recent performance improvements in Parrot to avoid aggressive buffer copying and to avoid unnecessary buffer reallocations demonstrate how bugs, mistakes, and design infelicities at the lowest levels of your program stack can have dramatic negative effects on the whole program.

    • Making Programming Easier For Kids With PyJunior

      The interface is simple. There is an area where you can type in code in at the top (which is syntax highlighted to make it easier to understand), and below it is where the output of the program is displayed. At the top is a toolbar that I have deliberately made nice and big and easy to click for kids who are new to using a mouse. When they want to run the code they have typed in, they click the Run button. This will automatically save the file, run it and display the output in the black area at the bottom.

Leftovers

  • Law

    • Spam a Judge, Go to Jail?

      A litigant in a civil lawsuit asked an appeals court Wednesday to overturn his 30-day contempt sentence for urging people to send e-mail to a federal judge.

      Kevin Trudeau was sentenced to 30 days in jail on a contempt charge for urging his followers to e-mail a judge.

      Lots of e-mail.

    • Regulatory failure? Blame the D.C. Circuit.

      There’s a lot of talk these days about how Washington has become dysfunctional. While most of the focus has been on Congress, the inability to perform even basic functions also extends to the agencies that are charged with protecting workers, consumers and investors. Unfortunately, it often takes a global financial crisis or a deadly coal mine explosion to remind us of the serious consequences of regulatory failure.

    • Pearlstein: Beware the courts on government regulation

      I can’t find the quote, but Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. argued that justices first decide how they want a case to come out and then pick the arguments to reach that end. With that in mind, it is much easier for us commoners to understand how judges reach their judgments and that being human, they are not averse to expanding their own powers.

    • The Shirky Principle

      “Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.” — Clay Shirky

      I think this observation is brilliant. It reminds me of the clarity of the Peter Principle, which says that a person in an organization will be promoted to the level of their incompetence. At which point their past achievements will prevent them from being fired, but their incompetence at this new level will prevent them from being promoted again, so they stagnate in their incompetence.

  • Science

    • South African fossils could be new hominid species

      The Malapa fossils were unearthed in the famous Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, which has yielded many fine fossils down the years.

    • Rogue Brown Dwarf Lurks in Our Cosmic Neighborhood

      Brown dwarf-hunting astronomers have reported the discovery of a “failed star” located within 10 light-years from Earth. This makes it the nearest brown dwarf and one of ten nearest stellar objects to our solar system. Although its location isn’t entirely unexpected (it is thought that the galaxy is stuffed full of these objects), the chemical composition of its atmosphere is a bit of a conundrum.

  • Security/Aggression

    • making Rumsfeld look like a techie by comparison

      If there’s one flavor of reporting I find more irritating than innumerate science “journalism”, it’s got to be the cybersecurity beat. This morning NPR was the offender.

      I should admit up front that I automatically assume that anyone employing the prefix “cyber” is an idiot, and this unfortunately means that I’m inclined toward skepticism even when listening to actual experts in the field. But this NPR piece is symptomatic of a undeniably idiotic tendency to lump together every governmental system that takes electricity, then assume that summarizing the first twenty minutes of Transformers and asking “WHAT IF?!” qualifies you as some sort of digital Cassandra.

    • NSF funding creation of secure new OS

      The researchers have now been awarded a $1.15 million grant from the National Science Foundation to build the Ethos OS in an attempt to foil botnets and other security threats. Ethos has been in the works for a few years, with the idea emerging from a 2006 panel on botnets.

  • Finance

    • Report: Banks Understated Debt Levels

      According to a report in the Wall Street Journal on Friday, eighteen banks, including Citigroup, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs, lowered debt levels just prior to reporting earnings during the past five quarters. The revised data made balance sheets appear to be lest risky.

    • The next Greek tragedy: default or bail-out?

      Greece is in danger of defaulting on its national debt as its bond market comes under increasing pressure, unless its European neighbors intervene.

      Analysts believe that the shape of Greece’s fiscal future – default or bail-out – could be decided in the coming days.

      “We think an intervention over the weekend is a distinct possibility,” wrote Stephane Deo, a UBS analyst based in London, in a note to investors.

      He said that the falling price of Greek bonds “means that an external intervention may be unavoidable and could happen very soon as the situation is untenable.”

    • Labaton to Goldman Sachs

      A New York Times reporter who covered the financial crisis, Stephen Labaton, has been hired by Goldman Sachs as “as a full-time consultant on regulatory and legal issues,” the Washington Examiner notices Politico noticing.

    • A call I somehow doubt I’ll be getting — Goldman hires NYT finance writer

      Good thing Goldman is “mov[ing] to navigate Washington regulation,” because, you know, the firm doesn’t really have any Washington connections.

    • Goldman’s Nicholas Said to Leave Environmental Commodities Unit

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s head of environmental commodities including carbon emissions, Gerrit Nicholas, has left the firm, according to a bank official briefed on the decision.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • On Net Neutrality

      This issue will of course be going to the Supreme Court. The Federal Government cannot let this go. Despite the ruling of the Appeals court, the FCC is responsible for a wide variety of communication issues, and many believe that the FCC does have the authority to regulate traffic on the Internet (at least domestically).

      A bigger question though is this. What if the Supreme Court says that the FCC does not have this authority? What happens then? Will it come down to who can buy the largest number of votes on Capitol Hill? And what does that bode for the future of the Internet, and the services many of us have come to rely on?

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Misguided Outrage At NY Times’ Ethicist Over Ethics Of Downloading A Book

        First of all, the situation he was discussing was one where the ebooks were not even available — so it wasn’t even a question of the author losing any money.

      • Juliet vs. Juliet: Did Someone Forget To Tell Hollywood You Can’t Copyright An Idea?

        That’s the only explanation I can come up with for the ongoing lawsuit between two movie studios over who can make and/or release a movie about people seeking advice in love by leaving letters at the supposed gravestone of Juliet Capulet (of “Romeo &” fame). Apparently, two separate studios made movies on the topic, and one is suing to stop the other from releasing the movie.

      • More about the Encouragement of Learning

        And for each book printed, “nine copies upon the best paper,” were to be reserved for “the Royal Library, the Libraries of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, the Libraries of the Four Universities in Scotland, the Library of Sion College in London, and the Library commonly called the Library belonging to the Faculty of Advocates at Edinburgh.” If delivery of books did not take place within ten days after receiving a demand from a library, the offender was fined five pounds (per book).

      • More Movies Trying Out Tiered CwF+RtB Support Models

        The first, pointed out by rosspruden is about a Spanish film called The Cosmonaut which has a few unique features surrounding it. Ross listed them out:

        1. the filmmakers are releasing their work under a CC license to let others mix and reuse their film.
        2. the film is fully funded from fan donations (so the film never needs to turn a profit)
        3. profits are generated from sales of scarce goods
        4. fans are allowed to invest in the project for real financial profit (not virtual profit), which isn’t allowed according to SEC regulations (yet)

      • First Amendment Based Copyright Misuse

        We are at a crossroads with respect to the under-developed equitable defense of copyright misuse. The defense may go the way of its sibling, antitrust-based patent misuse, which seems to be in a state of inevitable decline. Or – if judges accept the proposal of this Article – courts could reinvigorate the copyright misuse defense to better protect First Amendment speech that is guaranteed by statute, but that is often chilled by copyright holders misusing their copyrights to control other’s speech.

    • Newspapers

      • Another Paywall Experiment Ends Badly

        I could have taken my last post and just changed the words “Johnston Press” to “Freedom Communications,” but that would be too cheeky. Instead I’ll just link over to Paid Content, who reports that another large media publisher has decided to end its paywall experiment. This time it’s Freedom Communications, who tested a full paywall at the Valley Morning Star, a small town newspaper in Texas. Today, there is a banner on the site that says “We Moved Back to a Completely Free Site.”

      • No linking to Japanese newspaper without permission

        We’ve definitely entered an era of experiment when it comes to online content, as a number of publications with a tradition in the print world are testing out approaches like building paywalls, mixing free and paid content, and limiting the amount of content that’s indexed by search engines.

    • Digital Economy Bill

      • My letter to the Musicians Union About the Digital Economy Bill

        I opposed it, I still oppose it and I will continue to oppose any legislation about the internet written by people who don’t understand the internet or, in this case, the music industries and the role that music plays in our culture.

        I’m particularly ashamed that the Musicians Union – a Union of which I am a member, was a proud member, and have supported by paying double what I should’ve been paying for the last two years – supported this insane bill, to the detriment of musicians everywhere.

Clip of the Day

Shared Library Issues In Linux


04.09.10

Links 9/4/2010: PS3 GNU/Linux Refund, Ubuntu 10.04 @ Beta 2

Posted in News Roundup at 6:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Promoting Free Software in Developing Countries

    That’s a reasonable price, but still $190 too much for most people in developing countries. The best solution remains sending out CDs and DVDs that can be copied and handed out locally among people who want them.

    It would be easy to create a Web site where people from around the world applied for free CDs/DVDs, and where those in the countries with more resources could burn those discs and send them out. But there are a few problems here. First, there are issues of privacy: people might not want to send their addresses to a site such as this. Then there is always the danger that the discs sent out might not be “real” distros, but might include malware. That can be addressed using MD5 hashes from the distros concerned (for example UbuntuHashes), but that’s a slow process, especially on older machines.

    [...]

    As well as the purely philanthropic aspect, there are good selfish reasons why people might want to help spread free software in developing countries. It would increase the market share of core software like Firefox, OpenOffice.org and GNU/Linux, which would help persuade more companies to support them, and more governments to adopt them. It would increase the pool of programmers who can contribute to free software projects, making them better for everyone. It would also make it more likely that entirely new, indigenous applications would be created for developing countries and their particular needs. It might even lead to a whole new era of free software creation and use.

  • Sony

  • Events

    • Linux Users Group hosts free quarterly Installfest

      A room strewn with slightly worn, yet comfortable couches, donated computer equipment and a collage of CDs spelling out “UCLA” hanging on the back wall is a haven for the technologically savvy and the technologically inept alike.

      The Linux Users Group office,in Boelter Hall 3820 is home to volunteers who provide software and hardware help to students and faculty in need.

      This Saturday, the Linux Users Group is holding its quarterly Installfest, where members will provide free Linux installations for students required to have it for class or those curious about how Linux works. Group members will give instruction on the basics of the operating system, and for those wary of putting a new operating system on their computer, will put the system on a USB drive, if provided.

    • Linux Users Group hosts free quarterly Installfest

      This Saturday, the Linux Users Group is holding its quarterly Installfest, where members will provide free Linux installations for students required to have it for class or those curious about how Linux works. Group members will give instruction on the basics of the operating system, and for those wary of putting a new operating system on their computer, will put the system on a USB drive, if provided.

    • The Linux Box To Launch New Email Archiving And Retrieval System

      The Linux Box will be launching an open source email archiving and retrieval solution at the AIIM International Exposition + Conference.

  • Desktop

    • A Good Evening

      For a young man a good evening is getting “lucky”. For me it was freeing two PCs from the Wintel monopoly.

      A few community members brought in a sick PC. It was a Lose 2000 box from 2000. Since the OS will soon no longer be supported and they did not like the performance anyway, I suggested using GNU/Linux.

    • Stats from Distros

      Recent estimates based wholly or partially on such data gives 24 million for Fedora and 12 million for Ubuntu. With that information and the rapid growth we all see, the 1% figure bantered about on the web is a joke.

    • Ubuntu Linux has over 12 million users
  • IBM

    • IBM on GNU/Linux

      The difference in costs is largely due to the fine work done by FLOSS developers and the package maintainers at Debian GNU/Linux. While I do not count the time it takes me to be conversant with FLOSS, which is something I would do whether paid or not, it is obvious my organization gets the benefits of software which would cost hundreds of dollars for just a few dollars, so the saving is a very high percentage. The difference in costs is very easy to estimate at around 90%. If we include maintenance, the difference is huge.

    • Voxware Adds IBM WebSphere And Red Hat Enterprise Linux Support To Popular Voxware 3 Software Product

      Voxware, Inc., a leading supplier of voice picking software for warehousing operations, announced support for the IBM WebSphere application server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system. A major US retailer has chosen this technology stack for the rollout of their Voxware 3 voice picking solution.

  • Google

    • Google Updates Chrome Browser for Linux

      The amazing Chrome developers at Google Inc., announced today (April 9th) the immediate availability for testing of the Google Chrome 5.0.371.0 Alpha web browser for Linux.

  • Kernel Space

    • Next-Gen Linux File Systems: Change Is the New Constant

      With support for over 50 file systems, excluding user space implementations, GNU/Linux has been extremely successful at supporting file system innovation. That success has no doubt been aided by open source development. However, the storage industry is experiencing major architectural changes, and understanding emerging file systems — and how to apply them — is critical to keeping up with today’s demands.

    • R500 Mesa Is Still No Match To An Old Catalyst Driver

      Now with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS we have only the open-source driver to test. The Catalyst 9.3 driver that was the last to support the ATI Radeon Mobility X1400 graphics processor is not compatible with Ubuntu 10.04 (or even Ubuntu 9.10) due to the newer kernel / X Server. With our Lucid Lynx testing we ran our same OpenGL benchmarks using its default Linux 2.6.32 kernel (but it has the 2.6.33 kernel DRM), X.Org Server 1.7.6, xf96-video-ati 6.12.192, Mesa 7.7 configuration found in a clean Ubuntu 10.04 LTS installation.

  • Instructionals

  • Games

    • CrossOver 9.0 Linux [Review] Part 2: The CrossOver Experience

      Wine and CrossOver are brilliant products once you accept the flaws as part of the package, and consider it more a product to ease migration to Linux than an instant replacement for Windows. There will be pains, as users switching from Windows to Linux + CrossOver will surely need to adjust to Linux, CrossOver won’t help there. It can however let you make the best of old software licenses, which might have been preventing a full migration to Linux, and let you use Office 2007 in case OpenOffice does not suit your needs.

  • Distributions

    • Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Linux Names New CEO

        Recapturing mindshare in an era where Ubuntu’s fearless leader makes bold predictions and Red Hat’s enterprise Linux generates over a half billion dollars a year in revenue is no easy task.

      • Mandriva 2010 Spring (2010.1) Beta Available

        Functionally, as I said, I have had mixed results with installation, but on the systems where it did install it has woked very well. It is still fairly early in the development cycle, the final release is not scheduled until early June. If things keep going as they are now, this could be one of the best Mandriva releases in a while.

    • Red Hat Family

      • LinuxIT tempts new customers with Red Hat service

        Specialist Linux VAR LinuxIT has added a new service to its repertoire, targeting Red Hat customers with 10 or more servers.

        The basic-level service is free for all new clients, whether they are existing users of Red Hat or not.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Beta 2 available
      • Canonical’s newest Linux operating system to be released April 29

        Every two years, Canonical releases a new “long-term support” version of its Linux operating system and on April 29, it will release the next one, 10.04 LTS, according to Gerry Carr, head of platform marketing for Canonical. Named for the month/year of its release, it will include a Desktop Edition as well as a Server Edition and with the latter, Canonical believes it is ready to replace whatever competitor (Linux, Windows or Unix) you’ve got on your servers now.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 facilitates cloud-based file storage and social media

        The open source OS already had a reputation for being easy to use, so the new features “aren’t earth shattering, must-have improvements,” said John Locke, head of the Seattle-based open source product company Freelock Computing. The listed enhancements are “just the next set of small niceties that get constantly added to Ubuntu and other Linux distributions” every six months, he said.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • EnSilica – New development suite for of eSi-RISC processor embedded application designs

      Debugging is seamless with communication over a USB interface to a host PC with GDB, the GNU project debugger, running inside Eclipse.

    • Timesys Partners with Digi International

      Digi International (News – Alert) has selected Timesys Corporation as the preferred commercial Linux solutions provider for the company’s new ConnectCore Wi-i.MX51 wireless System-on-Module (SOM). Timesys is the provider of LinuxLink, a high-productivity software development framework for embedded Linux applications.

    • Phones

      • Palm

        • Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein still believes in Palm’s Success

          Amidst the takeover rumors, this interview is quite reassuring that Palm is able to make it. Rubinstein also mentions that Palm still has $590m in the bank. This means they still have time to hang in there and mature their smartphones.

      • Nokia

      • Android

        • Watch as Droid Does All Kinds of Wonderful Things [VIDEO]
        • HTC Incredible User Guide Leaks [EXCLUSIVE]!

          The Incredible User Guide was brought to you courtesy of AndroidForums Member and Forum Phone Guide – Anonimac. To see the entire 200+ page guide you’ll want to head over to the HTC Incredible Forum Announcement where, as Anonimac puts it, BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE!

        • Motorola Release: Bell Gets DEXT, Rogers Gets Quench

          Enter the Motorola DEXT and Motorola DEXT (Round of applause). Despite MotoBlur not being among the most popular of the Android flavours, I am quite excited to see it enter the Canadian market. We will see soon, as there is no official release date, what MotoBlur is all about when Rogers launches the Motorola Quench, to Bell the Motorola DEXT, and recently as well to Telus the Motorola Backflip.

        • Truckbot: An Autonomous Robot based on Android

          The robot builders over at Cellbots have been busy cranking out robots based around the Google Android OS. Their latest effort is Truckbot, an acrylic differential drive robot that relies on a Google G1 phone running the GNU/Linux-based Android OS combined with an Arduino.

        • Google Android Powered TV Coming in Fall

          Swedish based manufacturer, People of Lava, set to release an HDTV with a built in Android OS to let you surf the web.

        • Swedish company to launch world’s first Android-based TV
        • Clash of the titans: Apple, Google battle for the mobile Web

          Which platform wins remains uncertain, despite all the hobgoblining around from Apple defenders insisting it will be iPad/iPhone/iPod touch. There also are hints Google is directionally changing towards Apple. Google is unifying applications and services and offering more mobile apps for different mobile platforms. Google also is integrating apps and services around Android handsets. The winning platform, if one is to dominate will make lots of people rich. While I’ve focused here on Apple and Google as titans, Nokia is still the reigning mobile device maker by a huge margin, Research in Motion dominates the smartphone market and Microsoft is plotting a comeback. There are plenty of platforms in play, but Apple and Google are the most opposing.

        • iPhone OS 4 vs Android: Why Apple just lost the game.

          Android market share is going through the roof. With it, we’re seeing developers shifting their attention to Android, and releasing applications that are higher quality every day. Instead of getting wrapped up in politics, Android developers have the autonomy that Apple needs to give. Because let’s face it, approving every application does not mean that every application will be of good quality.

          For those who have crossed over from iPhone to Android, today’s announcements likely come as too little too late. We users shouldn’t have to wait years for basic features, or for nagging problems to be fixed. We should have the ability to find something that works better, if we don’t like what you’re offering, and we should be able to use it on our existing device.

          The Apple xenophobia, in this case, might be alienating iPhone OS 4 from gaining buyers.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • The Coming War: ARM versus x86

        The ARM Cortex-A8 achieves surprisingly competitive performance across many integer-based benchmarks while consuming power at levels far below the most energy miserly x86 CPU, the Intel Atom. In fact, the ARM Cortex-A8 matched or even beat the Intel Atom N450 across a significant number of our integer-based tests, especially when compensating for the Atom’s 25 percent clock speed advantage.

      • Lenovo’s ARM-Based Linux Skylight Smartbook Delayed

        The report states that the only market that Lenovo’s product will reach before June, in May to be exact, is that of China.

    • Tablets

      • ICD’s Tegra 2-powered Gemini is the most feature-complete tablet we’ve seen yet

        Multitouch displays will be available in both resistive and capacitive flavors, with the 1,366 x 768 resolution being filled by Google’s snappy Android OS.

      • Tablet Wars: iPad vs WePad vs Nokia slate

        However, the WePad is also a good looking device and, because it’s Linux-based, it could certainly win over the hearts and minds of technology purists – although, the WePad is slightly heavier than the iPad at 800 grams and the iPad isn’t what you’d call light either!

        At present, very little is known about the Nokia tablet – although, online reports have said that the device will be done in partnership with Intel and it will be powered by the Linux-based MeeGo platform. However, if the picture of the proposed device is anything to go by, it’d certainly be our third choice out of the big three.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Upgrading the motivational operating system: A conversation with Daniel Pink

    And then getting to open source, you have this business model that would have seemed fanciful if not insane 25 years ago, which is built not so much around these carrot-and-stick-motivators but around other sorts of drives becoming very popular.

    So I think that more broadly the operating system that’s used–the kind of societal behavioral operating system that is undergirding open source–is in many ways a model for the upgraded motivational operating system that all organizations need.

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox Lorentz beta available for download and testing

      A beta of the Firefox “Lorentz” project is now available for download and public testing. Firefox “Lorentz” takes the out of process plugins work from Mozilla Developer Previews and builds it on top of Firefox 3.6.3. This beta offers uninterrupted browsing for Windows and Linux users when a problem causes a crash in any Adobe Flash, Apple Quicktime or Microsoft Silverlight plugin instance. If a plugin crashes or freezes when using Firefox “Lorentz”, it will not affect the rest of Firefox. Users can submit a plugin crash report, and then reload the page to restart the plugin and try again.

    • Firefox 3.6.4 Coming May 4 with Out of Process Plugins

      Pressure from Google Chrome and, increasingly, from other main players in the web-browser market is forcing Mozilla to change its ways. Most notably, it’s starting to rethink its update schedule and system for Firefox and favoring small incremental updates, a la Chrome, instead of major releases months or years apart.

    • Firefox 3.6.4 (Lorentz) beta coming tomorrow with out of process plugins

      In recent days, the Firefox 3.6 branch became Lorentz, the code name for the first Firefox release to feature out of process plugins, which aims to improve overall stability by running plugins like Adobe Flash, Silverlight, and Java in their own independent process.

    • Firefox Lorentz Beta Isolates Plug-in Crashes for Uninterrupted Browsing
  • Oracle

    • OpenSolaris on System z mainframe hangs in the balance

      The future of OpenSolaris on the IBM System z mainframe seems shaky at best now that Oracle has acquired Sun Microsystems, but the platform’s supporters are still pleading their case.

    • OpenSolaris, Still Open-Source Software Ready to Serve

      ZFS is an advanced filesystem that offers high performance, near-zero administration, file integrity, scalability, reduced costs and backward compatibility. Without going into a lengthy and complicated discussion of storage pools and block allocation algorithms, realize that ZFS’s design features have the enterprise server in mind to extract every bit of performance possible from a disk-based system. ZFS is an intelligent filesystem that can actually adapt its read behavior on the fly for complex read patterns. ZFS also provides built-in compression and encryption.

    • Databases

      • Brian Aker on post-Oracle MySQL

        BA: There hasn’t been a roadmap for MySQL for some time. Even before Sun acquired MySQL, it was languishing, and Sun’s handling of MySQL just further eroded the canonical MySQL tree. I’m waiting to see what Oracle announces at the MySQL Conference. I expect Oracle to scrap the current 5.5 plan and come up with a viable roadmap. It won’t be very innovative, but I am betting it will be a stable plan that users can look at.

      • Oracle to Outline Strategy for MySQL
      • The future of MySQL in a post-Sun world

        Oracle’s absorption of Sun is complete. Now that the European Commission has blessed the merger, the Oracle logo is proudly displayed to anyone who types “sun.com” into a browser. Yet if you visit mysql.com, you’ll see hardly any mention of Sun, the company that purchased MySQL for $1 billion in 2008, and Oracle’s logo is buried deep at the bottom of the pages.

        [...]

        There’s good news for fans of MySQL: It won’t be left to wither and die any time soon. Oracle has made very public assurances that it will spend more on developing the database than Sun ever did, at least for the next three years. The Community Edition will continue to see improvements, which will be released under the GPL at no charge with all of the source code.

      • Are open source politics behind the delay of JDK7?

        The strong community of volunteer developers is often cited as an advantage to adopting open source technology. But these communities can also be a drawback. The involvement of many developers can lead to disagreement and confusion that can prevent a project from moving forward.

      • Oracle to update about MySQL
      • Oracle to Answer Questions on MySQL, but Will It Be Enough?
      • Consult the Oracle and then Hide Your Money
  • Education

    • Open Source Education

      Open source or software freedom isn’t simply another way of procuring software, it’s more a state of mind, a particular attitude to technology. Of course, you can just treat it as a cheap way of getting high quality, robust code, and there’s certainly no requirement to grow a beard, wear sandals or drink real ale in order to install open source applications. However, the philosophies that lie at the core of open source as a movement are important, and, I think have much to offer to education more generally; furthermore, open source approaches to development can apply to things even more important than software, such as curriculum resources, school policies and even the curriculum itself. This brief paper seeks to explore some of these areas.

    • SunGard Higher Education Launches Industry’s First ERP Community Source Initiative

      SunGard Higher Education and its customers have launched a Community Source Initiative — the first and only vendor-supported community source forum dedicated to higher education Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. The initiative is designed to bring together the insights and experience of SunGard Higher Education’s extensive user community for the benefit of all institutions; make functionality available faster; and help ensure product quality through functional and technical review.

    • Netlive,a complete Free Software lab in the pockets of every teacher

      Endless cuts to Public Education budgets are creating survival problems to many italian Public Schools, forcing them to ask more or less “voluntary” contributions to parents every year. How can you guarantee quality education in such conditions, especially when many teachers, either because they only get very short term assignments, every time in a different school, or because their school has more than one campus, work every day in a different neighborhood?

  • Business

    • Market finally catching up with OSBI

      Open source business intelligence (OSBI) burst onto the market several years ago, but only now are we starting to see signs of real traction among enterprises at both “ends” of the BI spectrum – front-end reporting and analysis, and back-end data integration. This, coupled with growing awareness, acceptance, and commercial product development, will help push OSBI into the corporate mainstream.

  • BSD

    • Dru Lavigne’s ‘The Definitive Guide to PC-BSD’ is helping me update my packages and ports

      The FreeBSD Handbook appeared cryptic on how exactly to update packages and ports. I’m sure the answer is in there, but I just couldn’t find it.

      However, I do have Dru Lavigne’s new book, “The Definitive Guide to PC-BSD,” and I’m following her instructions on pages 247-251 on how to use csup and portupgrade to update both packages and ports on my FreeBSD 7.3-release installation.

  • Releases

    • Open Source Asterisk 1.8 Aiming for Long-Term Support

      The Ubuntu Linux distribution isn’t the only open source project with a long-term-support release on the horizon. The Asterisk open source VoIP PBX (define) project is moving ahead with its own long-term support (LTS) plans with its 1.8 release.

  • SaaS

    • Open Source Cloud: Usharesoft

      Open source cloud is getting hype, and looking at the different slices of the “burger cloud” among SaaS cloud providers I happened to step into UShareSoft, a French company based in Grenoble providing an appliance factory to design, build and deploy software appliances in virtual and cloud environments.

    • Twitter opens data system to developers

      Twitter is making its Gizzard data management system open source to help developers provide efficient access to large amounts of data stored across multiple locations.

  • Openness

Leftovers

  • Business Has Killed IT With Overspecialization

    What happened to the old “sysadmin” of just a few years ago? We’ve split what used to be the sysadmin into application teams, server teams, storage teams, and network teams. There were often at least a few people, the holders of knowledge, who knew how everything worked, and I mean everything. Every application, every piece of network gear, and how every server was configured — these people could save a business in times of disaster.

  • Bribery Act passed by Parliament

    A new bribery law has been passed by the Houses of Commons and Lords but is not yet in force. The Bribery Act can penalise companies whose employees engage in bribery if the company did not have adequate policies in place to prevent it.

  • Wis. prosecutor: Teachers risk arrest over new sex-ed classes

    A Wisconsin district attorney has warned schools in his county that if they proceed with new state sex-education courses, teachers could face criminal charges for encouraging minors to have sex, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Target real criminals not drivers, judge tells police

      A judge has criticised a police force for concentrating on harassing motorists rather than dealing with serious crime.

      Judge Richard O’Rorke hit out after being told a hearing to confiscate the assets of a convicted fraudster would have to be postponed.

      He was told Lincolnshire police did not have the manpower to value a catalogue of items worth hundreds of thousands of pounds seized from Tina Crowson.

    • Public being misled over DNA benefits

      The genetics ethics group Genewatch has accused the Home Secretary Alan Johnson of misleading voters.

      On a campaign visit to Stevenage, Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Johnson were pictured with the mother of Sally Ann Bowman, whose killer was caught after his DNA was registered.

      But GeneWatch said their praise for the DNA database in this instance is misleading.

    • DNA database debate is ‘confused’

      Gordon Brown has been accused of confusing the role the DNA database played in the capture of murdered Sally-Anne Bowman’s killer.

      Earlier, he appeared with Ms Bowman’s mother as he criticised Tory plans to remove profiles of people who have not been convicted of a crime.

    • Clarifying our position against ID Cards and the National Identity Register

      To put the record straight, our manifesto clearly states “We strongly oppose compulsory ID cards, and pledge that we will never introduce them.” Some political opponents have tried to twist our use of the world ‘compulsory’ to imply that we want to introduce non-compulsory ID cards, but this simply isn’t the case. Many different voluntary ID cards already exist and are very useful, for example when borrowing a library book, or proving to a foreign hospital that the NHS will cover your medical expenses. The usefulness and unintrusiveness of these voluntry cards is the reason we do not propose a knee-jerk blanket banning of current, non-compulsory, cards that can be used to prove identity.

    • Conservatives compromise on DNA retention

      Instead of blocking the bill, the shadow home secretary Chris Grayling made a fresh commitment that the Tories would bring in early legislation to ensure the DNA profiles of innocent people arrested for minor offences would not be retained on the national police DNA database, reports The Guardian.

    • Spies caught plundering secret Indian docs

      An espionage gang that infiltrated Indian government computer networks across the globe has been pilfering highly classified documents related to missile systems, national security assessments and the United Nations, according to researchers who tracked the intruders for eight months.

    • Veteran of “Collateral Murder” Company Speaks Out

      Josh Stieber, who is a former soldier of the “Collateral Murder” Company, says that the acts of brutality caught on film and recently released via Wikileaks are not isolated instances, but were commonplace during his tour of duty.
      
“A lot of my friends are in that video,” says Stieber. “After watching the video, I would definitely say that that is, nine times out of ten, the way things ended up. Killing was following military protocol. It was going along with the rules as they are.”


    • U.S. Military Releases Redacted Records on 2007 Apache Attack, Questions Linger

      What’s more, the military indirectly blamed the reporters for being in the company of “armed insurgents” and making no effort to identify themselves as journalists. An investigating officer with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 2nd Infantry Division, concluded that “the cameramen made no effort to visibly display their status as press (.pdf) or media representatives” and added that “their familiar behavior with, and close proximity to, the armed insurgents and their furtive attempts to photograph the Coalition Ground Forces made them appear as hostile combatants to the Apaches that engaged them.” A long telephoto lens, the officer says, could have been mistaken for a rocket-propelled grenade.

    • Security Guru Richard Clarke Talks Cyberwar

      The antiterrorism czar who foresaw 9/11 discusses Obama’s cybersecurity plans and North Korea.

    • Securing the smart grid

      Smart meters are arriving at homes and causing a stir. Consumers in California and Texas have complained about higher bills due to smart meters not working properly. And for a second time in about a year, researchers discovered holes in the meters.

      It’s enough to make one wonder: are these devices going to become a security nightmare, allowing attackers to do everything from vandalize home area networks to cause power outages?

  • Environment

    • World Bank to Fund Giant New Coal Plant

      The World Bank yesterday approved a $3.75 billion loan to South African public utility Eskom to fund what will become the world’s seventh-largest coal plant—a move that has frustrated many who have pushed for the development bank to start taking greenhouse gas emissions into account in its funding decisions.

      [...]

      The decision highlights ongoing tensions surrounding the World Bank and other multilateral development banks and their continued funding of dirty energy projects. Despite the fact that climate changed caused by the build up of greenhouse gases will hurt those in the developing world the most, the banks tend to pay little or no attention to the carbon footprint of energy projects in funding decisions. The World Bank and other multilateral development banks and export credit agencies have directed $37 billion to the construction or expansion of 88 coal-fired power plants since 1994, according to an Environmental Defense Fund study released last year. Another $60 billion from private funders and local governments has also been provided to dirty power projects. It is estimated that those 88 plants will spit 791 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year.

    • Save the whales, not the whalers

      IN 1986, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) implemented a moratorium on commercial whaling. Many people believed that this would save the whales and end forever the industrial slaughter that had decimated entire species.

      Not so. A proposal before the IWC could lead to the resumption of commercial whaling as early as next year. If it passes – and there is a real chance that it will – one of the greatest conservation successes of our time will be wiped out.

    • Does Paul Krugman Vastly Understate the Economic Argument for Climate Action?

      Here’s the reality with which our economy is colliding:

      * Climate change is already unfolding much more quickly than we thought it would.

      * The models upon which we’re basing our discussions today (largely the IPCC models) are known to be seriously out-of-date and overly conservative in predicting the speed and consequences of climate change.

      * Steady losses that are climate-related (such as losses of ecosystem services) are already exacting a serious economic cost, while droughts, heat waves, flooding and freak storms grow steadily more common and expensive.

    • Swiss solar-energy plane in maiden test flight

      The Solar Impulse aircraft, a pioneering Swiss bid to fly around the world on solar energy, successfully completed its first test flight in western Switzerland on Wednesday.

      “There has never been in the past an aeroplane of that kind to fly. It was a huge question mark for us and it’s an extraordinary relief,” said Bertrand Piccard, pioneering round-the-world balloonist who co-founded the project.

  • Finance

    • A Tax Day Protest We Can All Get Behind

      Indeed, Americans have lost $14 trillion in wages, savings and housing wealth since the start of the financial crisis. According to our Wall Street Bailout Table, we are still $2 trillion in the hole for the bailout, and read with astonishment that the bailout enabled Wall Street to pay out $140 billion in bonuses in 2009 to top executives. With tax lawyers and accountants up the wazoo, big bankers know how to dodge taxes on their earnings and bonuses leaving middle class Americans holding the bag.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Supreme Discomfort: Doubting the Thomases

      In addition to possible conflicts of interest arising from Justice Thomas hearing a case related to the group’s political activities, concerns would also arise if he were to face a decision involving one of Liberty Central’s donors. This concern is exacerbated by the Supreme Court’s recent Citizens United decision, which permitted corporate dollars to flow into political campaigns: Ms. Thomas’ Liberty Central can now accept donations from corporations, and be permitted to spend those funds advocating for candidates. What’s more, because Liberty Central is organized as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, the group can raise unlimited amounts of corporate money and largely avoid disclosing its donors.

    • It’s an “Educational” Ad (Wink, Wink)

      If the ad was considered an attack on Brown, the Chamber would face a slew of cumbersome obstacles to broadcasting them, like having to disclose who is paying for the ads, and how much they are spending.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Lawsuit Says McAfee Plays Loose With Customer Data

      McAfee, a household name for computer virus-protection, is facing accusations it dupes customers into purchasing third-party services, and hands over consumer banking information to enable those transactions.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • EU-India free trade deal ‘will hurt AIDS patients’

      A new Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and India could make it more difficult for the world’s poorest patients to access antiretroviral drugs, according to humanitarian aid group, Médecins Sans Frontières.

      The deal, which is close to being signed by both sides, is likely to curb sales of generic a three-in-one AIDS drug made in India where there are no patent constraints to stop the sale of combination therapies.

    • Court Rules that DNA Is Information, Not Intellectual Property

      A federal judge in New York ruled yesterday that patents on a set of human genes are invalid. U.S. District Court Judge Robert Sweet handed down his decision in favor of the case brought buy a coalition of groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Patent Foundation. The lawsuit argued that patents owned by Myriad Genetics on two genes connected to breast and ovarian cancer both stunt genetic research and limit access to health care for women.

    • The Pirate Party: how to bypass the great Australian firewall
    • Copyrights

      • Citizen Journalism Platform AllVoices Sets Up News Desks In 30 Cities Around The World

        AllVoices, a fast-growing citizen journalism platform, is announcing significant expansion today. The startup is launching global news desks in 30 different cities around the world, where both professional and citizen journalists will provide regular in-country reports from the ground. With the news desks, citizen reporters will be able to receive assignments from professional journalists. Cities with news desks include Baghdad, Beijing, Islamabad, London, Nairobi, and Shanghai.

      • The Associated Press in Traffic Hunt, Inspired by Mine Tragedy

        First, it was not AP’s place to put together such a list. If a list was needed, the best entity to release it to the media, free of charge, under a GNU license, is the very MSHA, the source of AP’s information. The MSHA is the main source, yet AP doesn’t have the courtesy even to cite it, writing “AP archives, federal mining safety statistics” as the source instead.

        Then, we have the “all rights reserved” issue, AP’s power over the media. To qoute 5 – 25 words from this article would cost $12.50 for profits, and $7.50 for non-profits. If you want to quote more, you have to pay more, naturally. If you want to publish the article for a whole year, that will cost you $750.00 no less. Nothing against paying the price, if the information wouldn’t be copied from the MSHA. The question is, how much did the AP pay the MSHA for the facts?

      • Earliest Known Led Zeppelin Live Recording Hits YouTube

        Before they were busying themselves with supergroups and arguing about reunion tours, the four members of Led Zeppelin were a fierce, inventive rock’n’roll band that helped lay the framework for heavy metal and hard rock. At their peak, Zeppelin were one of the biggest bands in the world. Now, their humble beginning has been documented with their earliest ever recording.

    • ACTA

      • How ACTA will change the world’s internet laws

        This matters because various governments, including the EU, Canada, and the USA, have argued that there is nothing in ACTA that will change domestic law — that it’s just a way of forcing everyone else to adopt their own laws. What we see here, though, is a radical rewriting of the world’s Internet laws, taking place in secret, without public input. Public input? Hell, even Members of Parliament and Congressmembers don’t get a say in this. The Obama administration’s trade rep says that the US will sign onto ACTA without Congressional debate, under an administrative decree.

    • Digital Economy Bill

      • The Digital Economy Bill passed

        Do we have any means of proving we did not download any infringing material? We first need the answers to the previous questions for that.

        Do we know who will intercept our private communications and how personal data will be stored?

        How the Deep Packet Inspection or filtering will operate to catch potential infringers? In other words, how the internet censorship will be organised?

      • Digital Economy Bill passes as critics warn of ‘catastrophic disaster’

        The controversial Digital Economy Bill was forced through the House of Commons last night after behind-the-scenes agreements between Labour and Conservative whips – prompting the Bill’s opponents to warn that it could lead to innocent people having their internet connections cut off, the end of public WiFi, and sites such as Wikileaks blocked.

      • Doublethink – The Digital Economy Bill against the digital economy

        Tonight the UK Labour governement, together with the Conservative arty, forced through the controversial Digital Economy Bill. The Bill now gets a ‘third reading’ in the House of Lords, which means it is almost certain to become law. The government did a deal with the Conservative leadership, which got a number of provisions it didn’t like removed. In other words, it was, to use an old British phrase, a “stitch up.”

        [...]

        Despite opposition from the Liberal Democrats and a handful of Labour MPs, notably long time Internet savvy MP Tom Watson, the government won two crucial votes allowing it to control the content of the bill and its further progress.

      • Twitter crowd redresses #DEBill balance
      • The Technology newsbucket: DEBill Twitterstreamed, Conficker lives!, iPad Luddites and more
      • Did My MP Show Up or Not?

        Since the Digital Economy bill tragically passed, and people seemed to be getting confused about whether the site was about the Second Reading or the session in Parliament when the bill was rammed through I have decided to take the site down. It may return if Parliament gives us access to something which I feel strongly would improve transparency, a proper hour by hour, minute by minute register of attendance of MPs.

      • Yet Another Letter to My MP

        It seems my MP was not at the Second Reading of the Digital Economy Bill. Here’s what I’ve just fired off:

        Following my long conversation with your assistant yesterday (who was very sympathetic) about the Digital Economy Bill, I was disappointed not to see your name on the list of MPs that attended the Second Reading yesterday. The full list is here:

        http://debillitated.heroku.com/

        Now, perhaps your name has been left off by mistake, in which I apologise for the false accusation. But if you were in fact absent, I’d like to ask why a Bill that is so important that it must be rammed through the wash-up with only the barest scrutiny is not something that is worth turning up for?

        I think it is important to recognise that things have changed in politics: that many more of us can – and do – follow closely what is happening in Parliament, and write, blog and tweet about it. This means that politics is becoming more open, and much more public, which I think is a good thing. But it does mean that we are all much more aware of what our representatives are doing at all times.

        Against that background, I would urge you to do all you can, even at this late stage, in pushing for the Bill to be dropped so that it can be debated properly after the election.

      • An Open Letter to Siôn Simon, Pete Wishart, David Lammy, Peter Luff, John Robertson, Stephen Timms

        Dear Sirs,

        This evening, as the Second Reading of the Digital Economy Bill was heard in the House of Commons, you were watched by a great many people. Many of these people had never watched Parliament in session before. Almost universal was the horror and anger at the affront to the democratic process which was unfolding before our eyes.

        This letter is addressed to you because you stated your support for the bill, and helped ensure its passage to the compressed “wash-up” stage of proceedings, despite the wide-ranging, contentious and to many unknown provisions it includes. Some of you expressed your dismay at the contempt shown for the House, the lack of scrutiny which has been afforded, and your deep concerns with respect to certain provisions. Despite this, you pledged your support for the bill, in one case claiming to “do so under duress”.

      • They Work For The BPI
      • What we do next

        What a debacle. Measures to allow disconnection of individuals from the internet, for undefined periods of time, web blocking laws; all with no real scrutiny and limited debate.

      • The Digital Economy Bill has passed

        Fortunately such a party already exists, the Pirate Party. Everyone who cares about these issues should join it. (If you doubt the truth of this assertion, just ask yourself what would IFPI, the BPI, the RIAA, or the MPAA want you to do? Would they want you to join the Pirate Party, or would they prefer it if you despondently admitted defeat and gave up?)

      • Digital Economy Bill passes

        Something important and wonderful was happening online. This is the type of democratic engagement that politicians supposedly dream of. They want our votes, they want us to care, they want us to be involved. Unless it is about something that has already been decided and negotiated by the powers-that-be, in that case we just become a nuisance, part of an annoying self-referential minority that can be easily ignored. It’s back to business as usual. It is precisely this disconnect between genuine public interest and the vested interest of powerful lobbyists what is destroying democracy. When people tuned in to watch the debate online, they could witness with their own eyes just how undemocratic the entire system is. Letters do not matter, what matters is the sickening toadying MP making reference to Feargal Sharkey’s Undertones, while sycophantily winking at him in the stands.

      • Minister for Digital Britain thinks an IP address is an “Intellectual Property address”

        The Right Honourable Stephen Timms is the UK’s “Minister for Digital Britain.” He’s the guy behind the Digital Economy Bill, which makes the US DMCA look good by comparison. Seriously, this is some terrible, terrible lawmaking.

        Here’s what appears to be a letter the DigiMini sent to another MP, explaining why the Digital Economy Bill needs to go forward. It reads, in part, “Copyright owners are currently able to go on-line (sic), look for material to which they hold the copyright and identify unauthorised sources for that material. They can then seek to download a copy of that material and in so doing capture information about the source including the Intellectual Property (IP) address…”

        If this letter is genuine (and it seems to be), it means that the guy who’s in charge of Britain’s digital future thinks that the “IP” in “IP address” stands for “Intellectual Property.”

      • The DEBill, and why we’re *really* screwed

        Last night, along with most of the geeks in the country, I watched the Digital Economy Bill get rammed through the Commons thanks to a combination of a whipped vote and some supine opposition. It’s not really worth me trying to articulate the combination of rage, frustration and disappointment that I felt, because others have done this far better than I can already. But once I’d had a few hours sleep, while I was walking the dog I managed to gather some thoughts coherent enough to be worth trying to type out.

Clip of the Day

SourceCode Season 3 – Episode 4: State of the Oceans (2006)


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