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

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

GNOME bluefish



  • How Linux Saved A Fast Food Giant.

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

  • Desktop

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

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

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

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

    • An HPC Field Trip

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

  • Ballnux

    • Most 2010 HTC Android Phones to See Froyo Upgrade

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

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

    • The Cost Of Running Compiz
    • Beware the benchmarks.

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

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

    • Gallium3D

      • Gallium3D Anti-Aliasing (MSAA) Is Going In

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

      • AROS (The Free AmigaOS) Gets With Gallium3D

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

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • KDE at Ökumenischer Kirchentag

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

    • Revamped Sidebar Lands In Nautilus Elementary (2.30)

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

  • Distributions

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

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

    • Arch

    • Fedora

      • Seven Reasons to Upgrade to Fedora 13

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

      • It’s Fedora Election season!

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

    • Ubuntu

      • More Iron for your blood…

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

  • Devices/Embedded

    • mobile hsdpa/wifi router powered by Linux

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

    • Linux development platform targets multi-core MIPS SoCs

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

    • Open source robot is all eyes

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

    • Nokia/Wine

      • MeeGo and Btrf

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

      • Wine running on a Nokia N900

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

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

      • Sony Shifts on Open Source

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

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

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

Free Software/Open Source


  • OK Go Chats With Planet Money About The Music Business

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Security/Aggression

    • Cyberwar Cassandras Get $400 Million in Conflict Cash

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

    • Lieberman To Unveil Cybersecurity Bill

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

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

    • Pre-Crime Policing

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

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

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

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

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

    • Government to track your child’s BMI

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

    • Symantec buys large share of SSL market

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

  • Environment

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Finance

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

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

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

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

    • Thank You, Lloyd Blankfein

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

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

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

    • Can States Fix Their Pension Problems?

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

    • Lower bailout estimate assumes higher stock prices

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

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

    • Perfume’s Un-Sexy Side

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

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

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

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

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

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

    • Appeals Court Halts ‘Hot News’ Publishing Order

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Pakistan blocks Facebook in row over Muhammad drawings

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

    • Foreign reporters rap Kurdish authorities over press freedom

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

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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

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

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

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

    • Copyrights

      • Superman attorney lawsuit: smear campaign or savvy strategy?

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

      • The Increasing Irrelevance Of The Major Record Labels

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

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

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

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

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

      • Gym muzak may replace more funky workout music

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

      • Police Say Anti-Piracy Law Makes Catching Criminals Harder

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

      • Copyright Lawsuits Plummet in Aftermath of RIAA Campaign

        New federal copyright infringement lawsuits plummeted to a six-year low in 2009, the year after the Recording Industry Association of America abandoned its litigation campaign against file sharers, court records show.

      • The Pirate Bay returns to the internet

        Popular BitTorrent search engine The Pirate Bay has just come back online, around a day after it was apparently forced offline by a German court injunction filed a week ago.

    • Politics

      • Obama Reiterates Support For ACTA, As More People Point Out How Far ACTA Is From The Purpose Of Copyright

        A few months back, President Obama publicly stood behind ACTA despite tons of concerns about it from the public. It’s disappointing that as more and more concerns and problems with ACTA have been highlighted, Obama has not reconsidered. He still seems to be taking the position that “more copyright must be good, and ACTA therefore is good.” That’s a naive position. The group Open ACTA points us to a statement made by Obama in Mexico, concerning better trade relations with Mexico, where he again insists that ACTA is a key part of better trade relations…

      • Joint Statement from President Barack Obama and President Felipe Calderón
      • Newspaper Edits Politicians Out Of Bill Signing Photograph; Doesn’t Get Why People Think That’s Bad

        Romenesko points us to a story of a West Virginia newspaper that photoshopped three politicians out of a bill signing photo that ran with a story about the bill.


        This is a newspaper that won’t run photos of candidates running for election? It makes you wonder how they report on those elections. With illustrations? And then to claim that it’s okay to edit a photograph by then calling it a “photo illustration” rather than a photo that’s been edited seems a bit questionable no matter where you stand on the question of journalistic ethics.

    • Digital Economy Bill

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – DITNS – Aurora Borealis (1/4/2003)

Links 21/5/2010: Mandriva Linux 2010 Spring RC, Google Activates 100,000 Android/Linux Devices Per Day

Posted in News Roundup at 8:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Server

    • SGI advances Linux on the HPC front

      WORKSTATION AND SERVER VENDOR Silicon Graphics International (SGI) represents how a once fiercely proprietary company has been able to leverage open source for High Performance Computing (HPC), much to its benefit.

      Following multiple bankruptcies, a change of its iconic logo and replacing ‘Incorporated’ with ‘International’, SGI has learned the hard way that the time for going it alone is long gone. It many ways it has realised long before some larger companies that, rather than fight a losing battle against the open source movement, it should embrace it.


      Pointing to the resource meter, Goh explained that the code essentially was a memory allocation exercise to show how the firm can use a maximum of 16TB of RAM as a single memory space. Why stop at 16TB? Goh answered his own question by stating it was the limitation of the 44-bit virtual memory addressing in Intel’s x86-64 Xeon chip. He claimed that the chipmaker will be increasing the virtual address length to 46-bits in 2012, which will allow for even larger physical memory configurations.

    • Reboot

      gentooexperimental ~ # uptime
      11:21:14 up 463 days, 17:07, 2 users, load average: 0.39, 0.84, 1.62

  • Kernel Space

    • Open source industrial group joins the Linux Foundation

      The Linux Foundation (LF) announced that it has accepted the Open Source Automation Development Lab (OSADL) as a new Silver member of the non-profit organization. OSADL, which oversees the development of “Latest Stable” industrial real-time Linux kernel versions, among other projects, will collaborate with LF members on embedded and industrial Linux efforts.

    • The Experimental Nature of Linux

      So lately it is off to the races with new releases. With Ubuntu, Fedora, Red Hat, just to name a few having recently put forth their latest offerings. This will always be followed by the derivative distributions like Mint and Centos. So what is so great about all this new stuff? Well everything of course. Don’t you want to be on the latest and greatest version of the Kernel? Don’t you want access to new file systems like BRTFS?

    • Graphics Stack

      • The State Of The X.Org Server 1.9 Release

        Version 1.8 of the X.Org Server was just released at the start of April, but Intel’s Keith Packard who’s been serving as the release manager called for an even tighter release schedule with X.Org Server 1.9. Keith pushed plans for an August release of X Server 1.9. With that said, to meet that deadline, the merge window for the 1.9 release is closing at the start of June.

  • Instructionals

  • Games

    • Danger from the Deep

      Considering this game is in the alpha stage, it’s an extraordinary effort with nice graphics, a brilliant installer and even a small soundtrack! Submarine buffs, do yourself a favor, and check out this game.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • SystemRescueCd updated

        SystemRescueCD Logo The SystemRescueCd developers have released the fourth update to the 1.5.x branch of their Linux distribution. Based on the Gentoo LiveCD, the SystemRescueCd is configured as a tool kit for administering or repairing an operating system and recovering data after a system crash. Supported file systems include Ext2, Ext3 and Ext4, ReiserFS, XFS, JFS, VFAT, NTFS, ISO9660 and Btrfs.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Linux 2010 Spring RC isos are available

        Here comes the last development release for Mandriva Linux 2010 Spring. A few days left now before final release planned for 3rd of June. These isos are available on all public mirrors:

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

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu 10.04 filesystems and boot times

        I haven’t really mentioned it much, but the few times in the past month that I’ve used Ubuntu 10.04 have been rather disappointing. I haven’t dared install it on anything except this machine, and in most cases that’s been only borderline acceptable.


        Take away from this what you will; for me, it told me that the filesystem wasn’t the source of my problems, and that I didn’t need to micromanage the installation to find the source of my disk woes. I will be sticking with ext2 in spite of all the fear and loathing that early filesystems attract. But I’ll probably be sticking with Arch Linux too.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 Test Drive

        After playing around with the appearance options a bit, I’m even more convinced that the folks at Ubuntu have finally taken their graphics overhaul idea seriously. There are loads of easy options for changing window appearances, and even a nice bunch of attractive wallpaper. This is a huge upgrade from previous versions, where you got to either choose a subtle variant of brown, or go on the hunt for your own high-quality wallpaper.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Review

        There were a few things that I didn’t care for, such as the clashing of colors and the fact that there are games installed rather than GIMP or VLC instead of the utterly horrid Totem. Additionally, my biggest annoyance is that while Ubuntu went out of its way to revamp its entire look, they went to someone else’s look. As for the look itself, it’s okay. The new logo is very nice. I liked it quite a bit. As far as the distro is concerned I was pleased. HUGE improvement over the Koala. Overall, I would rate Lucid Lynx an A- for newbie friendliness and usage and a B+ for looks. That last would have been an A- but I’m not fond of copycats.

      • Ubuntu Software Center Gets A History Tab (Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Development)

        Here we go again: just like we did with Ubuntu 10.04, we’ll be providing news regarding important changes in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat as soon as they are released.

        An update in Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat today (which didn’t even hit the first Alpha yet) brings a new “History” tab in the Ubuntu Software Center where the users are able to see all installed and removed packages…

      • Variants

        • Review: Linux Mint 9 Isadora

          All in all, Linux Mint 9 has been a pleasant surprise, probably the best 2010 distro release so far along with PCLinuxOS 2010. I obviously recommend it for anybody trying Linux for the first time, but also for experienced users, who should equally enjoy its great features. If you are an Ubuntu user who wanted to upgrade/install 10.04 but were disappointed with the end result, make sure you give Linux Mint 9 a try.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Qbo, Based On Linux, To Join Growing Field Of Open Source Robots

      Slowly but surely, the field of open source robotics has expanded, and we’ve covered some of the most promising robot projects before. These include the iCub, which runs on an open source software platform found here, and open source robotics competition entries, with participants from all around the world. Now, one of the more interesting new open source robots is Qbo (shown), a Linux-based robot from the folks at thecorpora.com.

    • Android

      • Google Now Activating 100,000 Android Devices A Day — 50,000 Android Apps

        Today at Google I/O Vic Gundotra made a big revelation. Last year, Google was activating 30,000 Android phones a day. The past February, that number jumped to 60,000. Today, Google is now activating over 100,000 Android phones a day.

      • Open Android vs. Closed iPhone

        I’d basically decided to switch to the Droid. The keynote on Day 2 was split between Android 2.2 and Google TV. I was completely blown away by Android 2.2. It doesn’t merely address each of the issues I have with my iPhone, it demolishes them. Google wasn’t bashful during the keynote about taking shots at Apple, which was fun to see. And as I sat there, I kept thinking about how far Android has come taking an entirely open approach.

      • Introducing Google TV
      • Google Unwraps Its Long-Awaited TV Platform; Plans To Ship In Fall

        With the introduction of Google TV, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is now the latest company to try to bridge the gap between the web and the TV. The key feature of the long-expected platform, which the company is unveiling right now at Google I/O: A “quick search box” that lets users quickly look up and access TV broadcasts and web content. Engineers demonstrated how users could seamlessly switch between watching a video from anywhere on the web and watching a live TV broadcast. Users can also visit a website at the same time that they watch a broadcast—a scenario that could be useful if, for instance, somebody wanted to look up sports stats related to an ongoing game.

      • Schmidt Makes The TV Rounds Talking Google TV

        So, the usual question for Google (NSDQ: GOOG) in the wake of its announcement of Google TV: How will it make money from a platform that it will be licensing to device makers for free?

      • Um, Did Google Just Quietly Launch A Web-Based iTunes Competitor? Yep.

        Today at Google I/O, Vic Gundotra introduced Froyo, aka Android 2.2. But he also went a bit beyond Froyo. Coming soon, is a way to download an app through the Android Market over the web — and have it automatically download on your Android devices too. But that’s not all. Gundotra also showed off a new section of the Market — Music. Yes, an iTunes competitor on the web from Google.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Asus’ Eee PC 1201T ultraportable

        Slapping on Linux solves the cost issue, and devotees of open-source operating systems may rejoice at the prospect of dodging the infamous “Microsoft tax.” But does Linux really work as well as Windows on a system like this? And most importantly, is the 1201T’s hardware compelling, regardless of the OS situation?

Free Software/Open Source

  • ‘Future Is Bright For Open Source Enthusiasts’

    Q: What opportunities exist for FOSS and Linux experts in the IT industry? What are the reasons for this sudden demand?

    A: Open source is becoming the heart of enterprise computing, as it is the core of business applications in enterprises, allowing cost savings and improving processes. There is an increasing demand for free software tools as they are generally available at no cost and with functionalities similar to those available in commercial tools. With open source software and advancements in virtualised architectures, organisations gain the freedom to choose what applications and infrastructure software they want to evaluate (at no cost), which of these solutions they want to deploy and how they want to pay for that deployment — on-site licenses, hosted solutions, or software as a service (SaaS). Open source applications are now available for all common types of enterprise software-from databases, application servers and Web servers, to Web browsers and office applications, to network monitoring software and security software. The code base is stable, increasing the reliability of the software.

  • Mozilla

  • CMS

    • 7 (More) Best Free and Open Source Content Management Systems (CMS)

      Due to popular demand, we will give you another round of some of the best free and open-source Content Management Systems (CMS). This new set of CMS is as good as the previous list that we have so this should be interesting. Without any more delay, check out this new collection of some of the best free and open-source Content Management Systems (CMS)…

  • Education

    • Open source software in UK schools…it missed the boat

      Buying an Open Source solution is becoming much the same as buying a proprietary one…which is a good thing.

      Well, we have a new Government, spending cuts have begun and speculation about how schools will be affected is well under way. Naturally the likes of me are looking for clues as to how ICT in schools will be changed.

      Last week the NAHT railed against the excessive costs of outsourced ICT, this week yet another public IT project went belly-up as a result of naïve outsourcing. This time it was to a giant French IT company who promised the Met Police ‘massive savings’ in their Payroll and HR systems..hah!

      So is it safe to assume that the gloss is going off outsourcing?..maybe… it all depends on just how savvy are our new masters and mistresses in parliament.

  • BSD

    • OpenBSD 4.7 Released

      An anonymous reader writes “The release of OpenBSD 4.7 was announced today. Included in this release are support for more wireless cards, the loongson platform, pf improvements, many midlayer filesystem improvements including a new dynamic buffer cache, dynamic VFS name cache rewrite and NFS client stability fixes, routing daemon improvements including the new MPLS label distribution protocol daemon (ldpd) and over 5,800 packages. Please help support the project by ordering your copy today!”

  • Government

    • DK: Finance ministry: ‘Open standards advance competition, lower cost’

      Denmark’s ministry of Finance says that using open standards can increase competition and may help to decrease costs for the public sector. However, the ministry advises against moving to open standards without determining these cost benefits.

      Lars Frelle-Petersen, manager of digitisation at the ministry of Finance, expects that open standards will be increasingly important in the Danish public sector.

    • [UK] Joint plans for government published

      We will create a level playing field for open-source software

  • Open Hardware

    • Make-offs: DIY indie innovations

      As Andrew and other young makers become more familiar with the equipment used in industry and science, they will see new opportunities to build “knock-offs” using cheaper, reusable components that are open and adaptable to customization. We shouldn’t consider them “knock-offs” as we talk about what’s produced in China. As “make-offs,” they stand-out as examples of creative DIY innovation and collaboration. Make-offs are open platforms for doing new things, enabling more people to participate and develop the expertise to solve new and more challenging problems together.


  • Try the new IANA WHOIS server
  • Taylor Momsen Did Not Write This Headline

    Keep in mind that all of the things that make headlines meaningful in print — photographs, placement and context — are nowhere in sight on the Web. Headlines have become, as Gabriel Snyder, the recently appointed executive editor of Newsweek.com, said, “naked little creatures that have to go out into the world to stand and fight on their own.”

  • Crime

    • Chipmakers fined by EU for price-fixing

      Nine chip makers have been fined 331m euros (£283.1m, $404.2m) by European Union regulators for illegally fixing prices.

    • Facebook CEO’s latest woe: accusations of securities fraud

      May has been a bad month for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who just turned 26 last Friday but spent his birthday wrestling with an uproar over Facebook’s privacy practices. The latest unwelcome gift: accusations of securities fraud from former Harvard schoolmates who say he and other Facebook executives tricked them into a supposed $65 million settlement that was actually worth far less.

  • Science

    • Scientists create a living organism

      Scientists have turned inanimate chemicals into a living organism in an experiment that raises profound questions about the essence of life.

    • Craig Venter creates synthetic life form

      Craig Venter and his team have built the genome of a bacterium from scratch and incorporated it into a cell to make what they call the world’s first synthetic life form

  • Security/Aggression

    • New UK govt to curb CCTV, scrap ID cards, help open source

      The Britain of today is watched constantly by CCTV cameras, is preparing for a national ID card, slaps a “crown copyright” on most government data, and can now censor websites and eventually boot people off the Internet.

    • Sea lions, dolphins trained to foil terrorism

      A Navy seal – actually a sea lion – took less than a minute to find a fake mine under a pier near San Francisco’s AT&T Park.

      A dolphin quickly located a terrorist lurking in the black water before another sea lion, using a device carried in its mouth, cuffed the pretend saboteur’s ankle so authorities could reel him in.

    • UC Berkeley Asking Incoming Students For DNA

      UC Berkeley is adding something a little different this year in its welcome package — cotton swabs for a DNA sample.

  • Environment

    • Leaking Legitimacy

      Over the last month, it’s become increasingly clear that there is a coordinated information operations campaign in place to downplay the impact of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The US government and British Petroleum have imposed a scientific and media blackout to prevent the gathering of the information on the oil leak needed to generate precise estimates (specifically, updates to very low estimates made during the very early days of the crisis). Despite this blackout, credible outside estimates made possible by the little information that has trickled out show that the amount of oil leaking from the broken wellhead is upwards of twenty times the official British Petroleum and Government estimates — nearly 4,000,000 gallons a day vs. 210,000.

    • Answering an Age-Old Question: How Deep Is the Ocean?

      As long ago as 1888, John Murray dangled lead weights from a rope off a ship to calculate the ocean’s volume — the product of area and mean ocean depth. Using satellite data, researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) set out to more accurately answer that question — and found out that it’s 320 million cubic miles.

      And despite miles-deep abysses like the Mariana Trench, the ocean’s mean depth is just 2.29 miles, thanks to the varied and bumpy ocean floor.

    • US top scientists urge coal, oil use penalties

      Ditching its past cautious tone, the nation’s top scientists urged the government Wednesday to take drastic action to raise the cost of using coal and oil to slow global warming.

  • Finance

    • Jobless claims rise by largest amount in 3 months

      The number of people filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week by the largest amount in three months. The surge is evidence of how volatile the job market remains, even as the economy grows.

    • Why Recoveries Can Be as Difficult as Recessions

      That’s why at SRC cash is now our No. 1 financial priority. We believe credit will remain tight, which means we need to work on the terms of our receivables and payables to give us maximum flexibility with our cash. We also know that cash is going to get more expensive over the next few years as interest rates continue to rise. So it makes sense for us to fix our borrowing rates for as long as we can right now.

    • Clients Worried About Goldman’s Dueling Goals

      Although Goldman had decided months earlier that the mortgage market was headed for a fall, it continued to sell the WaMu securities to investors. While Goldman put its imprimatur on that offering, traders in the same Goldman unit were not so sanguine about WaMu’s prospects: they were betting that the value of WaMu’s stock and other securities would decline.

      Goldman’s wager against its customer’s stock — a position known as a “short” — was large enough that it would have generated at least $10 million in profits if WaMu collapsed, according to documents recently released by Congress. And by mid-May, Goldman’s bet against other WaMu securities had made Goldman $2.5 million, the documents show.

    • SEC Report On May 6 Meltdown Discusses HFT, Has Not One Mention Of The NYSE’s “Supplementary Liquidity Providers”

      One thing that there is no mention of anywhere in the report, is the NYSE contraption known as Supplementary Liquidity Provider, a program created to give Goldman dominance over the DMM-parallel liquidity rebate system at the NYSE. One would think that the SEC would be aware of this program that was supposed to expire in early 2009, yet continues to be extended and provides Goldman and Getco with, arguably, unprecedented forward-looking information on order flow.

    • Dems Overcome GOP Filibuster With 60-40 Vote To Advance Financial Reform

      When at first you don’t succeed…

      After failing yesterday to get the 60 votes they needed to bring debate on a historic financial reform bill to a close, Senate Democrats succeeded in this afternoon’s cloture vote.

      The final vote today was 60-40 (yesterday it was 57-42). Next up is a final vote on passage, which is expected to take place within days.

    • Fading of inflation helps buyers and borrowers

      It’s a good time to buy a car or refinance a mortgage, thanks to super-low inflation and interest rates.

      Invest in a savings account? Forget it.

      Consumer inflation has all but disappeared, the government reported Wednesday. The Federal Reserve may now be emboldened to keep interest rates at record lows well into next year – and possibly into 2012.

    • Wall Street reform update: Uncertainty, anger and drama running high

      Last night, Chris Dodd (who is managing the Wall Street reform bill), introduced an amendment to gut the derivatives regulation that is at the heart of the bill. The original derivatives language had been written by Agriculture Chair Blanche Lincoln. It was pretty strong, as it required the biggest banks to sell off their derivatives departments. Dodd’s proposal would delay implementation of Lincoln’s language by two years, and probably forever, by requiring a series of studies led by people opposed to those portions of the bill (such as leading Obama administration figures).

    • Collins To Vote With Reid To End Financial Reform Debate
    • Reihan Salam Joins Club Wagner
    • Agencies consider new rules post-plunge

      Nearly 21,000 trades were canceled because exchanges deemed them erroneous after the “flash crash,” which sent the Dow Jones industrial average down nearly 1,000 points in less than 30 minutes. Many retail investors were affected, and senators pressed at the hearing for remedies.

    • The Betterness Manifesto

      We can feel it, I suspect, most of us, deep in our gut. Bailouts, global debt crisis, fourth estate destroyed, nature ravaged, future stolen. Welcome to the roaring teens.
      Unless we do something about it, there won’t be much of a tomorrow.

      Here’s the score. The global economy faces a series of tectonic structural shifts. The great gears of this vast machine must be reset over the next decade. Consumption must fall. Savings must rise. Investment must be more productive. Incomes and wealth must be shared more broadly. Borrowing from tomorrow must slow. The rate at which we value the future must grow. Growth itself must be revitalized.

      Think of it as a great reboot of prosperity itself. How will it happen? Who will reset these great gears? Institutions are the “dials” that tune the gears, that set the rates. Exurbs, corporations, arms-length exchanges, industries, resources, “profit”, and “GDP”. All that’s the stuff of the industrial era. Yet those are the institutions that still surround us today. A better kind of prosperity demands a new set of institutions. New kinds of cities, companies, communities, markets, capital, contracts, growth (to name just a few).


      Real change doesn’t begin with governments, presidents, or prime ministers. It begins with each of us. In the 20th century, never-ending mass-marketing, monopoly, and mega-politics came together to convince us, each and every one, that we’re not really free: just free enough to choose between different flavors of the same old toxic junk. It was a trick, a ploy, a television hallucination. We’re the freest people in history. It’s time to use it like we meant it.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Travellers to be searched for porn

      Australian customs officers have been given new powers to search incoming travellers’ laptops and mobile phones for pornography, a spokeswoman for the Australian sex industry says.

    • Germany Asks Google to Surrender Private Data

      Google came under increased pressure in Europe on Tuesday over its collection of private data from unsecured home wireless networks as a German regulator threatened legal action if the company did not surrender a hard drive for inspection.

    • Pakistan court orders Facebook ban

      A Pakistani court has issued a ban on the social networking site Facebook after a user-generated contest page encourged members to post caricatures of Prophet Mohammed.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Debate Erupts Over WHO Police Work Against “Counterfeit” Drugs Trade

      The only internationally agreed definition of “counterfeits” is at the World Trade Organization, where it is defined as a violation of trademarks, say those who oppose the term. It is “devoid of value” in the absence of a clear understanding said India yesterday and as such is a “nonstarter.” There is further concern that the vague definition could interfere with trade of low cost generic medicines. Brazil said falsification of medicines was a critical issue, but it had a problem when “private commercial interests wage a war” within the WHO against generic medicines. Spain on behalf of the European Union Wednesday acknowledged that the term counterfeit gives rise to certain confusion, but said the term could be clarified.

      The Brazilian ambassador told Intellectual Property Watch there are concerns about both fake generics and fake brand-name medicines. But, “if we want to fight medicines that have intellectual property problems, let’s go to the WTO, WIPO [World Intellectual Property Organization].” At WHO, the focus should remain on “quality, safety, and efficacy.”

      Michelle Childs and Tido von Schoen-Angerer from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors Without Borders) told Intellectual Property Watch that the experience of the organisation from its field work is that substandards are the primary threat, not counterfeit. The credibility of the WHO needs to be in addressing these concerns and helping to find a solution, they added, saying the drive for intergovernmental processes indicated a lack of certainty from some states that WHO would act in a way that protects their interests.

    • Google fights the Hollywood tech veto

      Ever since the Web was spun there has been tension between Silicon Valley and Hollywood.

      Generally, Hollywood has won.

      The passage of laws like the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), and their strict enforcement not just by American cops but by foreign trade representatives, is well-known.

    • Claws out over ‘geekgirl’ trademark

      Two prominent women in the Australian IT industry are in a bitter dispute over the ownership of the trademark “geekgirl”.

      The two women concerned are Sydney-based IT consultant Kate Carruthers and Melbourne-based creator of the world’s first online cyber-feminist magazine Rosie Cross.

    • Copyrights

      • Entertainment Industry Gets Politicians To Advertise File Sharing Sites

        But, apparently one ridiculous list isn’t enough. The RIAA and MPAA have convinced a group of US elected officials, who have dubbed themselves the “International Anti-Piracy Caucus” to put out a list of file sharing websites that it hates… and with it, an attempt to shame the companies where those websites are hosted. The timing on this is amusing, because, of course, just last week, you would have needed to put the US on the list, as LimeWire would have likely been seen as just as widely used for unauthorized file sharing as some of those sites.

      • Nice Work ASCAP: Convinces Yet Another Coffee Shop To Stop Promoting Local Bands

        We see nearly identical stories every six months or so, but Chris Curvey has sent in the latest involving the various US collection societies — ASCAP, BMI and SESAC threatening a little coffee shop into canceling all live music, after demanding a performance license, despite the fact that the coffee shop only has local, unsigned bands playing, with a promise that they won’t play any cover songs. It’s the same old story that we hear over and over again. The venue insists that only unsigned bands are playing, and they’re not playing ASCAP music, and ASCAP says that it doesn’t matter.

      • Giganews Lawyer Says Steal This Film Is An Illegal Download

        As the once minority activity of downloading from newsgroups enters the mainstream, ever-more aggressive copyright-related lawsuits are doing likewise. In this environment Usenet-related companies are becoming increasingly careful to keep their behaviors entirely legal. Leading Usenet provider Giganews has taken the concept to a whole new level.

    • ACTA

      • Help sign the Written Declaration 12/2010 about ACTA
      • Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement: Impact on Individuals and Intermediaries

        The Australian Digital Alliance has released Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement: Impact on Individuals and Intermediaries.

        Here’s an excerpt:

        ACTA might have a negative impact on individuals as Internet citizens and as consumers of digital technologies because some of its requirements go beyond Australian law. ACTA will facilitate excessive damages payouts by mandating the controversial ‘lost sale analysis’ for the assessment of damages and encouraging punitive style statutory damages that set arbitrary amounts for infringement. ACTA will also broaden the scope of commercial scale infringement to criminalise purely private acts that occur in the homes of some Australians, and will create a new criminal offence for ‘camcording’. ACTA may strengthen existing procedures to lock up copyright material and prevent Australians from accessing or using it in certain legitimate ways.

      • A Chance to Act on ACTA – Now

        Despite all the excitement over the Digital Economy Act and minor things like general elections, the great ACTA machine is still grinding away in the background, slouching towards Bethlehem to be born.

        But there’s hope: the European Parliament has shown itself unhappy with the way the process is being conducted, in secret, and without any kind of democratic oversight.

    • Usenet Death Watch

      • A Piece of Internet History

        This week marks the end of an era for one of the earliest pieces of Internet history, which got its start at Duke more than 30 years ago.

      • Usenet’s home shuts down today

        Duke University in North Carolina is where Usenet began, and today the institution is shutting down its Usenet server. The college cites “low usage and rising costs” for the decision.

      • Duke To Shut Down Usenet Server

        Rantastic and other readers wrote about the shutdown of the British Usenet indexer Newzbin today; the site sank under the weight of a lawsuit and outstanding debt. Combine these stories with the recent news of Microsoft shuttering its newsgroups, along with other recent stories, and the picture does not look bright for Usenet.

      • Usenet gets attention and Giganews tries to avoid it?

        When the poorly thought out strategies for dealing with online copyright infringement started to take effect, I said at the time that we would see a migration towards Usenet. I am aware of whats called the “first rule of Usenet” which is not to talk about Usenet, but since I have no interests in infringing copyright by downloading such material and my Usenet interest is mainly comp.os.linux.advocacy, I really don’t have a problem breaking that “rule”. I expect what passes today as “the scene” will have words about that.


        I would suggest that people put the IPkat out for the night and realize this problem is far too deep routed for any one (or collection) of court victories to change.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – World Space Congress (1/2/2003)


Links 20/5/2010: Robin Hood Powered By Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 8:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Russel Crowe’s Robin Hood Is Powered By Linux

    Colorist Stephen Nakamura of Santa Monica-based Company 3 used DaVinci Resolve and DaVinci 2K high-end Linux systems for all the color grading work on Universal Pictures’ epic action-adventure “Robin Hood,” starring Oscar winners Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett, directed by Ridley Scott and produced by Oscar winner Brian Grazer.

  • Linux: The Final Frontier?

    Linux hasn’t overcome every challenge, but it’s succeeded over a majority of problems, and like any other mature product has begun to be more selective about the paths of innovation. One good example of this is the excitement generated by cloud computing and virtualization. Vendors see it as a way to make new money, and developers see it as the next new territory to explore and dominate. Cloud computing, until something new comes along, is the quantum physics of the Linux and open source community.

  • Five things you can learn at Linux Day 2010

    Our specialists are keen on getting out into the community to show how to get the most out of Linux in the enterprise. That’s the purpose of the Linux Day 2010 Tour. We’re bringing them to a city near you, to provide live demos, share best practices, and arm you with real-world strategies you can apply today.

  • OpenSolaris and its killer features. Coming to a GNU/Linux near you?

    When we think of free operating systems we tend to think overwhelmingly of the big hitters (all GNU/Linux) like Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora and Mandriva and then of those niche distros that have been designed for low end systems or for specialist purposes like security and forensics. But Oranges are not the only fruit. There is a hinterland out there called Unixland, populated by other less well known systems whose roots are firmly Unix too. BSD for example, famed for its rock-like security. OpenSolaris is another one, perhaps less well known, but it has features that are well worth a punt. This article will look at those kernels and if porting them to mainstream distros is technically possible and permissible in terms of the perrenially thorny issue of licencing.

  • Write Your Next Program on Linux

    We won’t be using an Integrated Development Environment (IDE), at least, initially. We will just do it the simple way: write code using a text editor, save it, and compile/interpret it using an appropriate compiler/interpreter. In the Linux world, you have a plethora of text editors to choose from. One of the editors, such as gedit or kwrite, will definitely be installedwhen you install Linux—you can use either. If you install a distribution like Ubuntu, which has the GNOME desktop environment, then you will have gedit already installed. It’s just like Notepad, only more useful and feature-rich.

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • IBM freshens up System x servers

      The System x3620 M3 is certified to run Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2; Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP3 and 11 (including the integrated Xen hypervisor); Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4; and VMware ESX Server 4.0 and ESXi 4.0 Update 1. The server will start shipping on June 8.

  • Kernel Space

    • Thoughts on 2.6.34

      So, as most people will have heard, the 2.6.34 kernel was released on May 16. Back in February, I was predicting a mid-May release, so I hit it almost exactly. That says nothing about my prediction skills, though (which are horrible) and a lot about how the kernel development process is going. It has become a very predictable, nearly boring affair.

    • The First DRM Pull Request For Linux 2.6.35 Kernel

      The Linux 2.6.34 kernel was released only three days ago, but David Airlie has emailed Linus Torvalds and the Linux Kernel Mailing List with the first DRM pull request for the Linux 2.6.35 kernel.

    • SUSE Linux Is Hooking Up With Btrfs Too

      Fedora was the first tier-one Linux distribution shipping with support for optionally installing to a Btrfs file-system for the past year, but in recent weeks the adoption rate of Btrfs looks like it will be quickly rising. Fedora 13 is extending the Btrfs support to offer system rollback support by where a file-system snapshot is created via Btrfs each time a yum transaction takes place. Red Hat recently released the first public beta of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.0 and it includes Ananconda installation support for RHEL6 onto Btrfs, MeeGo will be using Btrfs by default in this distribution that marries Maemo and Moblin, and Ubuntu is making Btrfs plans where Btrfs may become the default file-system in Ubuntu 10.10. Novell / openSUSE is also getting in bed with Btrfs.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • One of these things is not like the others

      Having a faster machine in the house means I have the luxury of trying out some of the bigger, heavier distros without feeling like I’m having my brain pressed through a bowl of mashed potatoes. I consider it homework, making sure I keep up-to-date on what the bulkier versions of Linux can do, and at what cost.

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Plasma Netbook 4.5

        Some of those changes are quite visible at a UI level, some other are more under the hood, but contribute to give to it a more “finished” look and feel to it.

      • Going where no gearheads have gone before…

        Thomas Jensch from the FSFE initiated our presence at the event and is networking with church representatives, something I could not do, since I know way too little about internal church organization (and probably don’t want to know either). I guess he will report more about that. What we (that is the KDE folks) talk about with people coming to our booth is free software in general and KDE in particular, depending on the interest of our visitors and their knowledge level. People here come with very varying backgrounds, we get the occasional Linux power user, but mostly it’s down to the basics. There is often an understanding why open standards are important and from there on we can talk about the freedoms (of free software) or drift off to how great KDE is. Sometimes it was interesting to see people running away when we ask them if they knew about free software. Typically they would mumble something about not knowing much about computers. But those are only very few people, most visitors are very interested. Sometimes on the other hand, people don’t want the philosophical talk and are happy instead to just play with our shiny KDE demo machine. This event we have different apps running, Palapeli worked quite well as eye-catcher, running on a big monitor. Of course we are happy to show more apps and give some introductions to how KDE works. Some teenagers enjoyed the puzzle and completely ignored our lecturing about philosophy behind it :) We gave away quite some Linux dvds and FSFE handouts to the people that are actually interested. For the next time I hope we’ll have a one page “what is KDE” handout. That would be nice…

      • Rekonq: A Quick Glance At Kubuntu Next Default Browser

        The talk of the town is that the next version of Kubuntu (10.10, codenamed Maverick Meerkat) will have a new default browser, replacing Konqueror, the longtime KDE favorite. The replacement browser may very well be Rekonq, a browser that could be viewed as a next-generation approach to Konqueror.

      • Yet Another GSoC update : libface gets Face Recognition

        To those who do not know: As part of my GSoC work, I’m committing to libface , an open-source face recognition library made by me and my mentor Alex Jironkin. libface shall be used for the upcoming Face Detection and Recognition support in digiKam.


        And tagging. I’ve just checked out a fresh copy of Adrian Bustany’s nepomuk-peopletag project, which has been abandoned since about two years or so. I’ll be modifying it – actually it involves removal of code, not much actual coding. I’ll be removing the nepomuk-specific code from it (no offense to the Nepomuk people), as digiKam shall talk to Nepomuk through it’s own interfacing.

  • Distributions

    • Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Business as usual for Mandriva?

        The response that was given on the posting entitled About Mandriva’s current situation, basically presented the current situation as business as usual. Stating that it is nothing new and that Mandriva has always been involved in investment and acquisition activities.

      • Best Mandriva Wallpaper Collections from Madriva-Art

        I look around the Mandriva-Art website to find some good Mandriva wallpapers. And I already compiled them into this post, so its easier to you to download the best Mandriva Wallpaper from Mandriva-Art.

      • Make your PClos Gnome 2010 look like PClos KDE 2010

        Just For fun, if you bored about pclinuxos 2010 gnome standar layout. This is how to make your pclinuxos gnome 2010 look like a pclinuxos kde 2010.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Paving the Way to Success: Red Hat Services Pathways

        Reducing the sprawl common in many of today’s heterogeneous data centers is often top of mind for CIOs and IT departments. From identifying a process to increase hardware homogeneity and meeting application and environment migration targets to utilizing cost-effective virtualization technologies, Red Hat is primed and ready to help companies pave the way to success with Red Hat Services Pathways.

      • CentOS 5.5 USB Device Mounting Annoyance
      • Another Educational Institute Opens Its Gates to Open Source

        Built on the CentOS distribution and with features like Qmail MTA, MailScanner, SpamAssassin, ClamAV anti-virus, Squirrel Mail, Group Office (a Web-based collaboration suite), MySQL, Joomla CMS, and a customised administration panel using a PHP and Ajax interface, TechnoMail was a perfect fit for Bharati Vidyapeeth.

      • Fedora

        • [Fedora] Elections are open.

          If you aren’t familiar with how the system works, check out the Fedora Elections Guide. I also encourage Fedora community members to review the logs from our Town Hall meetings, where the candidates talked openly about their goals and viewpoints. Get informed, and then vote appropriately.

        • Ubuntu vs. Fedora: The Latest Versions Square Off

          Ubuntu regularly claims to be the most popular Linux distribution. But, if so, Fedora is a competitive second. Both have thriving communities and are a major source of free and open source software innovation.

          Regularly, you can read on mailing lists of users having grown discontented with one and deciding to migrate to the other. In many users’ minds, each is an alternative to the other.


          Both Fedora and Ubuntu are GNOME-centered distributions, with KDE, Xfce, and other desktops as alternatives. Fedora has included fresh art for each new release for several years now, so its wallpaper compares favorably with Ubuntu’s much-discussed new color-coded scheme.

    • Debian Family

      • Stefano Zacchiroli (Debian Leader): Local communities are important

        Stefano Zacchiroli, a new Debian Project Leader, in an interview with Polish Debian Portal speaks about this year’s campaign, realase policy of the project, the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD port and other non-linux ports, and the role of local Debian communities.

      • Debian Project News – May 18th, 2010

        Deadlines are looming for DebConf10 – some have already passed. For example, the last day to submit a BoF (Birds of a Feather) talk has come and gone. There is still lots you can do for DebConf10 however including volunteering time, lending equipment, and even donating money. Sponsors and donors are needed to help defray the costs of holding DebConf10 as Raphael Geissert wrote on his blog.

      • Pieces of the roaming laptop puzzle in Debian

        Today, the last piece of the puzzle for roaming laptops in Debian Edu finally entered the Debian archive. Today, the new libpam-mklocaluser package was accepted. Two days ago, two other pieces was accepted into unstable. The pam-python package needed by libpam-mklocaluser, and the sssd package passed NEW on Monday. In addition, the libpam-ccreds package we need is in experimental (version 10-4) since Saturday, and hopefully will be moved to unstable soon.

      • Ubuntu

        • 10 things you’ll love about Ubuntu 10.4

          It’s here: A shiny new release of the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution. But why should you care? You may not use Ubuntu — or maybe you don’t really know much about Linux at all. Well, here are 10 new or improved features that make Ubuntu 10.4 worth caring about.

        • Life with Linux: Notes on installing Ubuntu 10.4 LTS

          This was on my personal home desktop, a rather powerful machine I built earlier this year (6Gb memory, quad core, 2Tb disk) specifically for 3D apps and personal software development. It’s a dual boot machine, so when I did the upgrade on the Ubuntu half I wanted to make sure the other side remained intact.


          All in all this is a solid release, as far as I can tell so far.

          Update: I’ve switched to the new default Ambiance theme to get the full effect of the changes in the user interface. I’ve changed the background image (my favs are from InterfaceLIFT) but otherwise I should be living La Vida Lucid.

        • New Windicators (Window Indicators) Mockups [Ubuntu 10.10]

          Note: these are not official mockups, but they are still pretty close to what window indicators want to be.

        • Is Arch Linux Really Faster Than Ubuntu?

          Our testing was carried out on a Lenovo ThinkPad T61 notebook with an Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 dual-core processor, 4GB of DDR2-667MHz system memory, a 100GB Hitachi HTS72201 7200RPM SATA HDD, and a NVIDIA Quadro NVS 140M 512MB graphics processor. Tests we ran included 7-Zip compression, LAME MP3 encoding, FFmpeg, x264, World of Padman, OpenSSL, GraphicsMagick, Bullet Physics Engine, John The Ripper, SQLite, Apache, C-Ray, Unpack-Linux, PostMark, dcraw, Parallel BZIP2 compression, and MAFFT. Testing was done by the Phoronix Test Suite.

        • Variants

          • Lubuntu Netbook Remix: A Look

            All in all, there’s not much else to say about how LNR actually works. It’s a simple, straightforward product; what you see is what you get. When I was using it, the only criticism I had was that there are no keyboard shortcuts for navigating between the different categories of the netbook interface.

          • Puppy Linux slims Ubuntu down

            Puppy Linux’s latest release may be based on Ubuntu but it is still as small as ever

            Puppy Linux, a long-time maker of ultra-compact versions of Linux, has released Lupu, its first release based on Ubuntu Linux.

            Over the years Puppy Linux has typically released slimmed-down versions of Linux that clock in at around 100MB in size. Being that small Puppy Linux is both small to download as well as being compact enough to run entirely from RAM.

            Now the project has released a new branch of its operating system, basing it this time on Ubuntu Linux. The final download size is a little bit bigger than the usual Puppy releases at 128MB, but it is still significantly smaller than the 600MB+ downloads for the original Ubuntu Linux.

          • Mint

            • Linux Mint 9: A First Look

              From what I can see, Mint 9 looks to be a worthy successor to the Mint line. They’ve largely left intact what works, and have worked hard to improve that which needs improving. As a full-featured desktop OS with modern hardware, this really looks great, but older hardware really struggles with some basic tasks. Firefox is sluggish, and, as mentioned previously, Software Manager brings my computer to its knees. In a few weeks I’ll see how it performs on slightly newer equipment. For now, though, I’ll have to bide my time until the LXDE or Fluxbox editions come out before I can consider using it regularly on my existing hardware.

            • Linux Mint 9 (Isadora)

              The menu has been improved. If you turn on 3D effects, you can view a partly transparent menu. You can also now right-click on an item in the menu to edit it. You also have the option of changing the menu’s default behavior from showing what you looked at last to defaulting to your favorites. You can even right-click items to add them to your desktop and panel. I love the right-clicking features in the menu, it makes it very fast to change items or put them on your panel or desktop.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Thanks, Yahoo, You Did the Right Thing

    It looks like Yahoo has reinstated the Linux/Open Source link on their Tech News page. Perhaps it was just a fat-fingered mistake or an accident of some sort that the link was removed from the main link bar but it certainly raised my hackles. And, frankly, my hackles don’t need raising over something like this. But, they’ve put it back in a different location (not a big deal) but at least they’ve put it back. And, for those of you who either believe that it never left or that my eyesight is somehow to blame, I have screen shots for you.

  • Brazil: commercial adoption of free software continues to grow

    An annual survey conducted by CETIC (Center for Study of Information Technology & Communications) found that the use of free software in mid-sized and enterprise companies continued to grow through 2009. The survey, TIC Empresas 2009, has been surveying commercial trends in Brazil’s growing technology markets for five years now.

  • Open Source Web-Mapping App in Douglas County, Nev., Offers Aerial View of Local Data

    In Douglas County, home to some 50,000 residents, officials decided to use open source software to cut costs, especially in budget-crunching times. The bulk of the expenses, Schmidt said, went to development consulting and Web hosting.

  • Open Source: A license, a community or more?

    To Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, a “non-free program” – i.e., proprietary software – represents an attack on your freedom. See this interview he granted Jolie O’Dell:

    Stallman believes that even a patent violates this freedom. (He’s not the only one in the open source community to feel this way.)

  • Use value and free software

    Why business is good

    Let us see how we have needed companies that exploit our free software commons. Let us see how they have actually added not only capital for themselves, but actual use value for all of us.

    In the late 1980s, before the Internet or the Linux project existed, a few guys realized that the GNU C compiler, the GDB debugger and Emacs made a pretty damn good set of developer tools, and decided to sell them to developers and support them. They listened to customers and fixed bugs, added features, and customized the tools for individual companies and users. The GNU project was not interested in doing any of this, so the users were better off paying Cygnus to do it for them. Cygnus was adding real use value to the GNU tools. Soon the company noticed that the GNU project was really slow in integrating their improvements to the official compiler tree, so they were left with no choice other than forking it. Eventually, the FSF realized that Cygnus’ version was far superior to them, and adopted it as official. Cygnus pretty much became the maintainers of the GNU C compiler.

    The GNOME project was created in 1997 to create a free desktop for GNU-based systems. It succeeded because Red Hat hired developers to work on it. Red Hat got a nice desktop for themselves, and the GNU project got a free desktop. Red Hat made sure the potential use value was created.

    In 2010, we are complaining when Canonical, Red Hat and Novell are leading the evolution of desktop systems, and IBM, Oracle, and others are in charge of the kernel. Why do we complain? What we are witnessing is the reconciliation of use value and exchange value. Everybody wins when commercial free software succeeds.

  • The Psychology of Open Source Explained

    The video makes a powerful argument that a society set up for contribution to the common good may suit us better than one that assumes we are rational self-maximizers. The video is based on Pink’s new book, Drive.

  • Marketcetera and Lakeview team on open source trading platform

    Marketcetera, a developer of innovative open source software solutions for algorithmic electronic trading today announced that it has partnered with Lakeview Capital Market Service GmbH, an investment, technology and consulting provider based in Starnberg, Germany, to enhance and broaden the reach of Marketcetera, the industry’s leading open source electronic trading and risk system.

  • 50 Open Source Tools To Replace Popular Security Software

    For this list, we’ve compiled a set of open source security tools and their commercial counterparts. We’re not suggesting that the open source apps have all the same features and use the same methods as the commercial products they can replace.

  • Consider open source deduplication

    Some vendors (e.g., NetApp, EMC) give away data reduction (aka capacity optimization) technology, while other solutions for compression and data deduplication can get pretty expensive pretty quick. There’s another alternative: open source deduplication.

  • Open source Vaadin bridges Java to Ajax

    With rich Internet applications all the rage an open source Web framework dubbed Vaadin promises rapid Ajax development while keeping Java code on the server.

  • Events

  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla and leadership: Rethinking the CEO

      Why change the title? My interest is that the title communicate the message of Mozilla mission and its method. CEO’s are usually (although, admittedly not exclusively) associated with traditional companies, and to a lesser degree, hierarchical decision making structures. Indeed, if asked what words I were to associate with the CEO I think “authority,” “command” and “hierarchy” would be among the top to jump into my mind.

    • Should *Mozilla* Fork Firefox?

      What Ross’s complaint comes down to is that Firefox is suffering the inevitable side-effects of its own success. It’s no longer put together by a small, agile team that can turn on a sixpence, but has developed a complex, global group of skilled and generous people collaborating in different ways and at different levels. The need to achieve a certain consensus implies that things move much more slowly than in the early days; breaking things in any serious way for the sake of progress is hardly an option, which makes change incremental.

    • Is Firefox Headed Towards A Massive Decline? Its Co-Founder Thinks So
    • A hungrier, more aggressive Mozilla

      In its search for a new CEO, Mozilla should be looking for someone more like Marc Benioff and less like Gandhi. Much of its former competitive advantage–community, open source–is increasingly shared by Google, a competitor with its entire business at stake.

  • SaaS

    • Cloud computing’s secret sauce

      Along the way I suspect we’ll see open-source companies like Puppet Labs and Opscode, as well as open-source savvy companies like RightScale, really thrive. It’s one of the first times open source has taken the lead in simplifying IT, rather than feeding its complexity.

    • Servoy Simplifies SaaS with Open Source Servoy 5.2 and PostgreSQL

      Servoy today announced the first open source version of its award-winning SaaS application development platform, Servoy 5.2 using PostgreSQL. This change means that Servoy users have enormous flexibility in deployment to cloud hosting or desktop systems. It also enables open source developers looking for RAD tools, rapid prototyping and data application development to utilize a mature, easy-to-use environment.

    • The Challenge to Open Up the Cloud

      The question is whether this is enough. As we’ve seen in the past, it is very difficult to foster open source communities in environments dominated by a few top players. And with Amazon, Microsoft, Google and, increasingly, RackSpace calling the shots, it would take quite a counter-push on the part of the open source community to make any real headway. With the cloud is still in its infancy, says ZDnet’s Paula Rooney, that effort will have to come soon before the playing field is laid out by the big guys.

    • IBM punts commercial Hadoop distro

      Not everyone is a Google, where the MapReduce distributed data cruncher and its related file system was created, or even a Yahoo, where Hadoop was nurtured to do what Google does – but in an open source, community-driven fashion. Hadoop is used at Yahoo! and Facebook and Twitter, and it helps drive a portion of Microsoft’s Bing search engine. But it is not widely understood in the corporations where IBM does its business.

    • IBM chooses Hadoop to analyze big data
  • Databases

    • Jailer frees developers who test database apps

      Four years ago, the company that German software engineer Ralf Wisser worked for needed a tool to remove outdated data from its production databases. “We couldn’t find an appropriate tool,” Wisser recalls, “so I created Jailer.”

    • NTT and EnterpriseDB Contribute Code to Support Postgres Ecosystem and Encourage Further Development of Extensible Cluster Technology

      Based upon the open source Postgres code and utilizing the same application programming interface, Postgres-XC is a write-scalable synchronous multi-master Postgres cluster with both read and write-scalability. Designed to greatly increase Postgres’ scalability and reliability, Postgres-XC is being contributed to the open source community for further development in order to leverage the rapidly growing Postgres ecosystem of developers, partners and end-users. Postgres-XC, which is still in its early development stage, already includes significant feature functionality including Global Transaction Management and proven scalability.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle Releases MySQL Enterprise Upgrade

      Database and enterprise application giant Oracle on May 17 released a new version of MySQL Enterprise, the first major upgrade of the open-source relational database since Oracle acquired MySQL with the buyout of Sun Microsystems. The major new component of this release is MySQL Enterprise Monitor 2.2, which provides new query performance monitoring tools.

    • Sun’s stars: Where are they now? And why did they leave?

      Key departures have included Java founder James Gosling, XML co-inventor Tim Bray, and Simon Phipps, Sun’s chief open source officer.

    • OpenOffice.org

      • Organizations Switching from Microsoft Office Choose OpenOffice Over Google Docs: New Survey by Info-Tech Research Group

        Microsoft’s decision to discontinue support for Office 2003 or older means that organizations using these suites will soon have to bite the bullet and decide whether to upgrade to Office 2010 or find an alternative solution. Google has been pushing hard for organizations to make the switch to Google Docs, but Info-Tech Research Group suggests that most organizations should not make the switch. However, when a full or limited migration is validated, OpenOffice is the way to go.

        “Our research shows that no other alternative suite stands up to the features, reliability and familiar feel of OpenOffice making it the best option for organizations making a full switch or planning a limited deployment of an alternative suite,” said Tim Hickernell, Lead Research Analyst for Info-Tech Research Group. “Google Docs does have the collaboration aspect going for them, but when it comes to spreadsheets, presentations and word processing, OpenOffice is far superior to other alternatives.”

      • OpenOffice.org Conference 2010: Call for Papers

        This year’s OpenOffice.org Conference will take place from the 31st of August to the 2rd of September in the Hungarian capital of Budapest. The 10th anniversary event for the free open source office suite is open to users, developers and contributors and will focus on a number of topics, such as the OpenDocument Format (ODF), development and interoperability.

  • Content Management

  • Google

    • Google Wave: Now open to the public
    • Google Fonts Directory, Open Source Fonts For The Websites

      Google has released an exciting tool for website owners: Google Fonts Directory. All the fonts in this directory are available for use on any website under an open source license and served by Google servers. To use Google Fonts on websites, the site owners need to put a one line code in the head section of webpage. Here is an example page, created by me, which uses the Lobster font available in the Google Fonts gallery.

  • Education

  • Healthcare

  • Business

    • Software Freedom Means Business Success

      The free software definition does indeed read like a revolutionary manifesto, partly because it is. The people behind it often eschew the pragmatism of the term ‘open source’ and focus on liberty alone. It’s worth looking behind their philosophy though. I paraphrase the free software definition as guaranteeing the liberty to use, study, modify and distribute software without interference. Those four liberties create value for business:

      * The freedom to use the software for any purpose, without first having to seek special permission (for example by paying licensing fees). This is what drives the trend to adoption-led deployment, where iterative prototyping leads to rapid solutions.
      * The availability of skills and suppliers because they have had no barriers to studying the source code and experimenting with it. The market in open source tools and consultants is getting richer and more vibrant by the day because of this freedom.
      * The assurance that vendors can’t withhold the software from you because anyone has the freedom to modify and re-use the source code. If a vendor decides to end support for open source software, another company can step in and carry on where they left off – as I intend to prove.
      * The freedom to pass the software on to anyone that needs it, even including your own enhancements – including your staff, suppliers, customers and (in the case of governments) citizens.

    • Why Businesses Need To Work More Together On Open Source

      It’s instructive to look at an initiative going on in Thailand. As discussed here, a consortium of Thai businesses called the Business for Open Source Society (Boss) is pooling contributions from open source specialists and local software companies and launching training programs for open source developers.

    • WANdisco Gives Back to the Subversion Community
    • Oki Launches “Mission-critical Systems Migration Support Services”

      Oki has also proactively promoted open source in response to the needs of cost-conscious companies. In particular, for JBoss Enterprise Middleware(*9), an open-source-based middleware product line, OKI was the first Japanese company to conclude a JBoss Premier Business Partner contract with provider Red Hat in May 2009, positioning it as the ideal partner in Japan.

    • Magento Development Company is Providing Cost Effective Magento Development Services

      Magento is a highly popular among the open source ecommerce development community. Magento Development Company specifically provides topnotch Magento development services and solutions at competitive prices.

  • Appointments

  • BI

  • ECM

  • ESB

    • MuleSoft Ships Management Console for Open Source ESB

      MuleSoft is bringing a new level of management to integration architects using the Mule open source ESB. The just-released Mule ESB Management Console offers web-based UI console for centralized views of multiple ESB server instances, message flow debugger, and intelligent alerting against SLA violations.

    • FAA uses open source ESB to handle flight data

      Last year the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) selected an open source enterprise service bus (ESB) to provide integration support for a system that uses Web-based services to handle flight and weather data for airlines. Earlier this year, a SWIM Prototype became operational at the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City, NJ.

  • BSD

  • Project Releases

    • SalesLogix Cloud Prompts Open Source Release of Popular Apps
    • CKAN v1.0 Released

      We are pleased to announce the availability of version 1.0 of the CKAN software, our open source registry system for datasets (and other resources). After 3 years of development, twelve point releases and a several successful production deployments around the world CKAN has come of age!

    • Official Twitter App to be open-sourced

      It seems Google is trying to develop a set of templates for developers to base their app UIs on, or at least in part, which might help standardize the entire user experience within Android and its growing list of apps and developers.

  • Government

    • FOSS vendors lick chops over ConLib IT plans

      Of course both the Tories and the LibDems currenty face an overwhelming problem with a multi-billion pound deficit. So is the pledge to support open source software procurement – that might just help drive down some costs – a happy coincidence for the Camelegg jamboree?

      “With the current coalition exploring a rather unchartered territory [sic] of power sharing and common interests, it will be interesting to see what change the new Cabinet will bring to the UK public IT policy,” Ingres global ops veep Steve Shine told The Register following the coalition’s formation.

    • UK dominates European ICT services market

      The report also covered the open-source market, noting that Europe is the world’s “main contributor” to the open-source software community. In 2008, open source accounted for €4bn (£3.4bn) of the total €229bn value of the European software market. However, the report’s authors predicted that the open-source software market will reach a value of €12bn in 2012 — a growth rate of 30-40 percent per year.

  • Transparency

  • Openness

    • Culture

      • FutureEverything gathers technology’s avant garde

        Artists, musicians, engineers and hackers from around the world recently descended on Manchester for a three day celebration of digital culture.


        The whole project is open source said team member Evan Roth – and the most technical component is a hacked webcam from a PlayStation 3.

      • Open sound series: Part 2 – OpenChord.org

        OpenChord.org develops open source controllers allowing you to play Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and Frets on Fire using a real guitar. Right now, we’re offering a kit to let people build their own guitars, but hope to sell assembled guitars and devices soon.

    • Open Hardware

      • Startup’s Kits Help You Hack Your Home

        SuRF is powered by the company’s Open Source Home Area Network operating system. OSHAN is based on TinyOS, a platform for wireless sensors that currently has about 10,000 developers. Moss hopes OSHAN-powered devices could replace the networks we have at home — Personal Access Networks, with a range of about 30 to 40 feet — with something he calls Home Access Networks, with a range of 100-200 feet.

      • Touring New York Startups: Meet Bug Labs

        To upend the delays and financial dangers of the normal hardware process, New York-based Bug Labs offers an open-source hardware alternative.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • If Mark Zuckerberg invented the Web

      The Web knows how pages are connected. Social networking sites know how people are connected. Both are obviously crucial. But, Facebook, for all its success, is not living up to the potential for social networking sites, not by a long shot. The social networking site that will do for the connections among people what the Web has done for the connections among sites is awaiting its own Tim Berners-Lee — a person or group that understands that control constrains, but gifts liberate.


  • Panera Bread Testing The ‘Pay What You Want’ Model

    Popular restaurant chain Panera Bread has long been interested in experimenting with smart new business models. It was one of the first restaurants out there to push free WiFi in all its locations — at a time when many thought fee-based WiFi was the future — noting how much it helped bring in more business for the food. A bunch of folks are now submitting the news that Panera is testing out a pay what you want model in one of its new restaurants. There are “recommended” prices — but you can pay more or less than those numbers.

  • UK’s Sunday Times Preparing To Lose 90 Percent Of Traffic Behind Paywall?

    Did The Sunday Times’ editor, in the UK, just admit his website’s about to lose nine tenths of its readers once charges are introduced?

  • Implementing the “Publication as Aggregation”
  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

    • UK internet users becoming more security conscious

      Most UK internet users are becoming more knowledgeable about security issues and less willing to provide personal information online, according to new Ofcom research.

    • Student DNA scans in California prove controversial

      New students at the University of California, Berkeley, will get the results of one test before they attend a single class this year. Rather than a pass or fail, the results will be measured in the As, Ts, Cs and Gs that make up the genetic code.

      As part of their orientation, Berkeley’s incoming freshman class will be asked to “return a cotton swab covered in cells collected from their inner cheeks”, reports Inside Higher Education.

  • Environment

    • Mining garbage for tomorrow’s metals

      [T]he world is facing looming shortages of ruthenium, and other metals few people have ever heard of – indium, tellurium, selenium, gallium, neodymium and more.

      These metals are essential for the technologies that run the modern world – there are some in your cellphone – and they are crucial for many of the high-tech gadgets being touted to save us from our own polluting excesses, including semiconductors, solar cells, efficient lighting, wind turbine magnets, hybrid vehicle batteries, LEDs, fuel cells and catalysts. Demand for indium alone is projected to double by 2020.

    • One Million Chernobyl Fatalities?

      The book, “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment,” is by Alexey Yablokov of the Center for Russian Environmental Policy in Moscow and Vassily and Alexey Nesterenko of the Institute of Radiation Safety in Minsk.

      Global assessments made ten years after the accident and reported at an IAEA conference in 1996 estimated that in the long run, the toll from Chernobyl in terms of premature or “excess” deaths would come to about 8,650. But because the number of “background” cancer deaths in the population most severely affected–the 600,000-800,000 involved in clean-up operations–would come to 825,000, most of the excess cancer deaths would be “hard to detect epidemiologically,” said Elizabeth Cardis, probably the world’s leading expert on the subject.

    • Demand for ivory soars in Asia, leads to death of African elephants

      Carefully, the Chinese ivory dealer pulled out an elephant tusk cloaked in bubble wrap and hidden in a bag of flour. Its price: $17,000.

    • I share their despair, but I’m not quite ready to climb the Dark Mountain

      Anyone who has watched the emerging horror in the Gulf of Mexico in the past few days has cause to doubt this. The world’s richest country decided not to impose the rules that might have prevented the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, arguing that these would impede the pursuit of greater wealth. Economic growth, and the demand for oil that it propelled, drove companies to drill in difficult and risky places.

    • Our mission is to help the gulf coast recovery by creating a daily record of the oil spill.
    • Balloon Mapping the Oil Spill Proves Responsive, Open Source
    • Jeremy Jackson talks about How We Wrecked the Ocean

      We have been hearing a lot about what the oil spill is doing to the ocean. But something else which is also concerning is the condition the ocean was in, even prior to the spill. We live in a finite world. Our continued mistreatment of the ocean, the reduced fish population, and the disappearance of large fish in the last 50 years are all serious concerns.

    • Whistleblower Sues to Stop Another BP Rig From Operating

      A whistleblower filed a lawsuit today to force the federal government to halt operations at another massive BP oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, alleging that BP never reviewed critical engineering designs for the operation and is therefore risking another catastrophic accident that could “dwarf” the company’s Deepwater Horizon spill.

  • Finance

    • Labour hid ‘scorched earth’ debts worth billions

      THE government last night accused Labour of pursuing a “scorched earth policy” before the general election, leaving behind billions of pounds of previously hidden spending commitments.

      The newly discovered Whitehall “black holes” could force even more severe public spending cuts, or higher tax rises, ministers fear.

    • Nations Over Banks (Who Serve Only Themselves)

      No nation can survive when it the rule of law becomes subordinate to a handful of rich and powerful people who simply steal anything they want with impunity. The economy of such a nation ultimately is bled dry by that corruption and theft, with the people over time refusing to innovate and provide their effort when it will simply be robbed away from them.

      There’s a lesson in here for Washington and President Obama, but the time available for both to act is limited; should the “let ‘em rob ‘em all” mentality persist the market will solve this problem in a most-unpleasant fashion.

    • Web of Debt
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Bank lobbyists make very direct quid pro quo argument

      Bank lobbyists are really laying it out there. The New York Times reported over the weekend that lobbyists presented their case against an amendment that could reduce debit card fees, the existence of which increase the price of pretty much everything you and I purchase, by threatening to withhold campaign contributions.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • 48 Hour Magazine gets cease and desist letter from CBS

      48 Hour Magazine, the project I took part in earlier this month in which a team of Bay Area journalists and designers created a print magazine in two days, received a cease-and-desist letter from CBS, owner of the 48 Hours TV series:

      On May 11, Lauren Marcello, the assistant general counsel at CBS sent a cease and desist letter, noting that “CBS is the owner of the rights in the award-winning news magazine televison series, ’48 Hours,’ and its companion series, including ’48 Hours Mystery,’” adding later in the letter, “your use is unlawful and constitutes trademark infringement, dilution and unfair competition …” along with a lot of other complicated, vaguely threatening legalese.

    • China Goes After “Illegal” Online Maps

      Xinhua, the Chinese news outlet, is reporting this morning that the Chinese government will be implementing new standards that are aimed at preventing “state secrets being disclosed and uncertified maps published online.”

    • Lhasa to require real name registration for printing and photcopying
    • Guest Post: Simon Singh on the BCA and Dishonesty

      Last week the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) hosted one of the world’s biggest gatherings of spinal manipulators, namely the European Chiropractors’ Union Convention in London.

      During the coffee breaks, there was probably lots of discussion about the BCA’s decision to sue me for libel over an article I published in the Guardian back in April 2008.

      The contentious part of the article questioned whether chiropractors should be treating childhood conditions such as ear infections, asthma and colic.

      Last month, after two years of legal wrangling, the BCA backed down and withdrew its libel action. It now has to foot its own legal bill and my legal costs, which I estimate will come to £300,000 in total.

      I am sure that the members of the BCA are annoyed that their subscriptions have been wasted on a horrendously expensive libel suit, but at least they can be reassured by some of the comments made in a press statement issued by the BCA last month.

      The BCA pointed out that the motivation for its legal action was that it believed that my article alleged that the BCA was a dishonest organisation.


      Is it possible that the BCA threw in the interpretation of dishonesty merely as a tactical trick?

      Or, is it possible that the BCA was right (albeit late) in arguing that my article contained an accusation of dishonesty?

      Do the words “happily promote bogus treatments” imply dishonesty?

      It depends on the context, and for me the context clearly points towards an organisation that is naïve and reckless in promoting treatments that I believe are ineffective.

      For example, earlier in my original Guardian article I had written about chiropractors who have “quite wacky ideas”, which implies eccentricity or stupidity rather than dishonesty.

    • Collateral Murder, Collateral Damage

      That’s right, it was taken down on the basis of alleged copyright infringement, not because somebody thought it too shocking to be displayed. The idea that such an action would be taken because of an alleged infringement on somebody’s monopoly, while the underlying cold-blooded massacre of Iraqi civilians is swept under the carpet, is of course, repulsive. But it’s just another effect of the outdated law that is copyright – collateral damage, so to speak.

    • Samaranch, Kissinger and the Coca Cola company: a relentless fascist’s curious date with democracy

      Henry Kissinger, smaller and baggier than in his heyday, but still exuding an aura of power-celebrity, spoke of his ‘enormous confidence’ in Samaranch’s ‘meticulous adherence to the letter and the spirit of reform’. At the end of the day, Hill & Knowlton’s Gary Hymel strolled over to Upton’s counsel, Jan Faiks, and gloated, ‘that was just a great hearing.’ Faiks growled back: ‘You won one on me Gary and I am never going to forget it.’

      When Samaranch’s testimony was over he stood and turned to Kissinger who gripped him by the arm and pulled him close. It was an unsettling moment, the Jew who had escaped the Nazi holocaust embracing the fascist whose regime had kept Hitler’s Wehrmacht in supplies and smart grey uniforms, two old men united in the service of the ‘Movement’, McDonalds and the Coca Cola company.

    • Stop UCC from abusing its harassment policy to limit academic freedom

      It was also covered extensively in the international press. Dr Evans had been engaged in an ongoing debate with the colleague in question about the relevance of evolutionary biology to human behaviour, and in particular about the dubiousness of many claims for human uniqueness. He showed the article to the colleague in the presence of a third person, and to many other colleagues on the same day, none of whom took offense. Nevertheless the colleague to whom Dr Evans showed the article complained to HR that the article was upsetting.

      HR launched a formal investigation. Despite the fact that external investigators concluded that Dr Evans was not guilty of harassment, Professor Murphy has imposed a two year period of intensive monitoring and counselling on him, which may result in his application for tenure being denied.

    • Mucky private chat could be illegal soon

      First up is the case that got the green light yesterday. As already reported by The Register, Kent Police are in the process of using the Obscene Publications Act as a means to prosecute an individual, Gavin Smith, of Swanscombe for publishing obscenity in respect of a log of a private online chat he had with another individual.

      Due to reporting restrictions, we are unable to give any further details of the alleged content of the conversation at this point in time.

      What is beyond dispute is that this case marks an extension of the OPA into an area that its originators could never have envisaged – to wit, text chat or, as most internet users would regard it, person-to-person conversation.

    • Pakistan blocks access to YouTube

      Pakistan has blocked the popular video sharing website YouTube because of its “growing sacrilegious content”.

      Access to the social network Facebook has also been barred as part of a crackdown on websites seen to be hosting un-Islamic content.

    • Personal data privacy: What are your rights?

      Should you have the right to your own data? Privacy people think we should, and I think we should in many instances, but governments and some providers are no so positive about this.

    • DtO: Everybody Panic!
  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • British Library to scan 40m newspaper pages

      The library holds 52,000 national and international titles covering 300 years. Currently researchers, 30,000 a year, have to go to Colindale in north London to scan through microfilm or hard copies.

    • Digital Agenda: Caution required for the future EU Net policie

      Today, with the release of Neelie Kroes’ Digital Agenda, the European Commission is unveiling major policy orientations regarding Internet-related policies. Several leaked drafts of the document revealed heavy pressures from various special interest groups. While the general outcome of the final document is encouraging, the crucial question of interoperability and open standards was eventually arbitrated in favour of US software vendors’ positions. On IPR enforcement and cybercrime, the worst has been avoided but some very ambiguous wording remains.

  • Copyrights

    • Shazam shares big numbers: 75 million users, over 1 billion songs identified

      Mobile music recognition and discovery startup Shazam this afternoon revealed that it has grown its user base from 50 million to 75 million members in the last six months.

    • The Pirate Party Becomes The Pirate Bay’s New Host

      After its previous bandwidth provider had to take the site offline due to concerns over an aggressive Hollywood injunction, today The Pirate Bay is fully back in operation with a surprising new supplier. From a few hours ago, in a move intended to “stand up for freedom of expression”, the Swedish Pirate Party became the site’s new host.

    • Four things you wouldn’t expect to be affected by piracy

      In some cases, the company behind the content being shared is another multi-billion dollar corporation while in other instances, it’s the work of an individual or small business. Either way, the content costs something to create, and sometimes Internet users aren’t even aware that what they’re sharing may be copyrighted.

    • Hurt Locker Producer Says That Criticizing His Plan To Sue Fans Means You’re A Moron And A Thief

      [T]he producers of the Oscar-winning movie Hurt Locker were supposedly gearing up to sue tens of thousands of fans for unauthorized file trading of the movie. Even if you’re against infringing on copyrights, it’s not hard to see why this is a strategy doomed to backfire massively. A Boing Boing reader found the email for Hurt Locker producer, Nicolas Chartier, who already has something of a reputation for… well… aggressive emailing, and received quite a response.

    • ACTA

      • Written Declaration 12 on ACTA: halfway there, participation still needed!

        185 signatures already, 184 left for an absolute majority! The Written Declaration 12 (WD12) on the ACTA agreement is still open for signatures from Members of the European Parliament (MEPs); it is now halfway completed. By setting red lines to the EU negotiators, it addresses key issues of the right to a fair trial and liability of Internet service providers. This week is a plenary week in Strasbourg, where MEPs will have an occasion to sign it. Who are the signatories so far? Who should be contacted in order to get to 369 signatories?

    • Digital Economy Bill

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect: Planetary Landers (2/11/2002)


Links 19/5/2010: Fedora 13 is Near, Linux Mint 9 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 1:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Kitchen appliance seller goes Asterisk for UC roll-out

    The company selected a Digium Switchvox IP-PABX for the project which replaced an ageing Samsung OfficeServ 500. The Switchvox appliance runs the open source Asterisk software on Linux.

  • Still no Mac, Linux support for ATO’s e-tax

    The 2010 version of the Australian Taxation Office’s (ATO) online tax return software will support Windows 7, but not Mac or Linux operating systems.

    Since the e-tax software was introduced in 1999, it has been compatible only with Microsoft’s operating systems.

  • What price can you put on a user community?

    One advantage of the Cell was its ability to run Linux without dramatic changes to the code base: the standard Linux kernel now supports the Cell as one it its architectures.

    The Cell’s ability to run Linux combined with Sony providing the “Install Other OS” feature with its PS3 software gave birth to a niche community of PS3 users – the Linux user community.

    I remember at the last Linux.conf.au to be held in Sydney (January 2007), a few IBMers proudly had a PS3 running Linux on display.

    Unlike the Xbox and Wii, the PS3 and its Linux option was seen as “geeky” and “more than just a game console”. And it wasn’t long before mainstream Linux distributors (Fedora comes to mind) started providing full Linux-based OS options for the PC – graphical interface and full-on “desktop” apps.

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 97
  • StrandVision Offers Preconfigured Linux Point-of-Display Digital Signage Player

    When using the StrandVision Linux Player, users simply connect the large format display to the VGA or HDMI output on the player, connect the unit to the Internet and enter their username and password. The Linux player automatically finds and logs onto the StrandVision service in the Cloud and after initializing the system, begins the signage playback.

  • Michigan Career Training School Launches Certified Nurse Aide & Linux Systems Administrator Programs

    Career Quest, an established career training school in Michigan, announces the launch of two new programs at their Lansing, Mich. facility. Starting this session, Career Quest will offer a Certified Nurse Aide program as well as a Linux Systems Administration training program.

  • Server

  • Ballnux

    • A Close Look at Samsung’s Wave

      There is a certain degree of interest and anticipation for this latest touch screen smart phone from the Korean based phone manufacturer, Samsung. The Wave smart phone presents two new major innovations from Samsung; the new open source, Linux based Bada operating system (which will be the first OS that Samsung has developed) as well as the new super AMOLED touch screen technology -has been confirmed to also appear in various upcoming devices from Samsung.

    • HTC

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • TestPlant updates eggPlant for Linux

      The new release also features a new TypeText recording feature that allows you to automatically capture most keyboard input, including modifier keys, by just typing. New SenseTalk features expand eggPlant’s text handling and provide more options for value comparisons. Improved Control over helper suites and enhancements to the case and bug submission panel allows version 10.2 of this universal GUI test tool to bring with it key features that reduce the learning and deployment curve of the tool thus significantly helping QA engineers who are new to automation.

    • Spotify Still Missing Two Essential Features

      This means that if you have a Linux desktop computer, you’re out of the picture (ed : we know that Spotify works under Wine but they have yet to announce any Native clients).

    • Proprietary

      • Wine 1.2 Planned For Release In June

        Wine 1.0 was released in June of 2008 after this free software project had already been in development since 1993. Over the past two years since that release we have continued to receive bi-weekly development snapshots, but no major stable releases have yet arrived. Fortunately, it looks like that soon may change with the release of Wine 1.2 as soon as next month.

      • Download Wine 1.0.1 / 1.1.44 Free For Linux
      • Google Chrome 6 Is Here

        As expected, the latest dev channel release is now labeled Google Chrome 6. The Google Chrome 6.0.401.1 dev release is just a regular update, fixing several bugs on all supported platforms, Windows, Mac and Linux. No new features have been added since the previous dev channel release, Google Chrome 5.0.396.0. The update fixes some issues with how Chrome handles the shortened addresses displayed in the Omnibox.

      • Google begins Chrome 6 development
      • HDS improves network performance monitor

        IT Operations Analyzer is aimed at mid-sized companies, is an agent-less heterogeneous application with root-cause analysis capabilities that watches Windows, Red Hat Linux networks, and, with v 2.0, SUSE Linux and Sun Solaris-connected servers, switches and storage devices.

      • Eclipse and Embedded Linux Support Added to MathWorks Code Generation Tools

        MathWorks today announced that its Target Support Package and Embedded IDE Link products now support the Eclipse integrated development environment (IDE) and Embedded Linux through the GNU compiler tool chain. As a result, engineers can automate project creation in Eclipse and deploy real-time embedded systems on Linux using automatically generated code from MATLAB and Simulink models. These capabilities enable engineers using Model-Based Design to rapidly implement and verify algorithms on processors that can run Embedded Linux, such as ARM, Freescale, and Intel.

    • Instructionals

    • Games

      • Playing Popular Windows Games in Linux Becomes Easier

        One of the reasons why Linux can never catch up to Windows is its inability to play mainstream, popular games. Linux is powerful, safe, and secure. But Windows PCs are preferred specially by the gaming crowd. I’ve been a user of Linux, and I know that Linux has plenty of games. What these people usually mean is that it doesn’t have their favorite Windows games – but now, that’s changing.

        For years now, it has been possible to play selected popular Windows games on Linux via Wine. But one can never run these games natively, unless a proper port to Linux is available.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Slackware 13.1 RC1 Is Here

        With the release of the Slackware 13.1 Release Candidate 1, the latest update to the oldest supported Linux distro in existence is now very close. Slackware 13.1 RC1 comes less than a couple of weeks since the first beta launch and is mostly a bug-fixing release, though it comes with some updated packages as well.

      • Toorox 05.2010 Comes with KDE SC 4.4.3

        Toorox 05.2010 has been released, the latest update to the Gentoo-based, LiveCD distro. It brings an updated Linux kernel and the latest KDE SC 4.4.3, as well as other changes and bug fixes. All remaining legacy KDE3 packages have been removed, but other than that, there’ aren’t any new features. 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Toorox 05.2010 are being made available.

    • Fedora

      • The five best things coming in Fedora 13 Linux

        When Fedora 13, Goddard, is released on May 25, it’s not going to be your usual Fedora Linux release. In the past, Fedora has been seen as a great Linux distribution for Linux experts. Paul W. Frields, the Fedora Project leader, told me though that this release is more new-user-friendly and that is no longer just for experienced Linux users. Based on my early look at this Red Hat community Linux distribution, I agree.

        You will be able to see it for yourself soon. After several delays, Frields has no doubt that this time, the Fedora final will be available for download soon. Frields explained to me that the delays were because Fedora has adopted much more “detailed and fleshed-out release criteria. In the past, we would release releases when it felt right. Now, we have criteria that make the process both more transparent to the community and provide strong release guidelines.”

      • QA: Fedora Project Lead Paul Frields on the “Grown Up” Distro

        Henry Kingman today shares with the Linux.com community his exclusive interview with Fedora Project Leader Paul Frields. Frields goes into detail on the upcoming Fedora 13 release, his decision to transition out of the Project Leader position and how many contributors to Fedora are being paid by Red Hat, among many other topics. Grab a cup of coffee for this in-depth discussion.

      • Download Fedora 12 Free
      • Linpus Linux Powered eMachines Hit Indian Market

        eMachines is bringing the most aggressive mobile computing solution that exists in the market today. It enables to make the dream of owning a laptop a reality for the average Indian consumer. This Notebook from eMachines, is one of the most economical Core i3 based laptops available in the market today. eMachines730, with its dual tone refreshing design, is the best option in terms of price-performance ratio, as it offers the most competitive prices in the market for the specifications incorporated.

    • Linux Mint

      • Linux Mint 9 ‘Isadora’

        Based on Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx, Linux 2.6.32, Gnome 2.30 and Xorg 7.4, Linux Mint 9 “Isadora” features a lot of improvements and the latest software from the Open Source World.

        Featured improvements in this release: 30,000 applications catalogued and reviewable both online and in the new software manager, brand new incremental backup tool for both data and software selection, menu transparency and editable items, USB and Windows installers, 3 years support, look & feel improvements.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Fit-PC2i Turbo

      Other hardware configurations are the Fit-PC2i, which has 1GB of RAM and no on-board flash and comes either diskless (£299), with Ubuntu Linux (£340) or with Windows XP Professional (£379).

    • Viewsonic VMP74 1080p media player

      Review For most of this century, I’ve evangelised home movie set-ups that put a lightweight, probably Linux-based player in the living room, leaving your multimedia libraries on a server at the other end of your network.

    • Cavium Unveils Processors, Receive Support from MontaVista Software

      MontaVista CGE carrier grade Linux is widely used in telecom, networking and wireless applications and is said to be the only Linux to meet CGL 4.0, LSB 3.0 and IPv6 specifications and provide virtual routing and forwarding capabilities. With MontaVista’s support for Cavium processors the CGE Linux can run on OCTEON II processors and offer a combination of value, performance, and reliability in data center, mobile internet and borderless enterprise market segments.

    • Datalight Shares Reliable Method for Bootstrapping Linux from NAND

      Today Datalight unveiled a new whitepaper describing details of the company’s process for booting an embedded Linux system directly from NAND flash.

    • Use Linux to water your lawn

      So you bought the EasyBloom to take precise soil moisture readings. You have a spreadsheet plotting plant growth over time. But you’re still schelpping out to water the lawn like all your Luddite neighbors. Where’s your sense of pride? You’re a geek! You should be using technology to make your life better. Here, we’ll help get you started with this Instructable on using Linux to water your lawn!

    • User guide to software for avionics systems


      Linux is now an option many project managers for aerospace and defence applications and companies such as Honeywell have already deployed in space-borne systems.

      For deployments where security is a concern, the US National Security Agency (NSA) has developed a Security-Enhanced Linux (SE-Linux), a set of Linux security features that provide a variety of security policies, including US Department of Defense–style mandatory access control through the use of Linux Security Modules (LSMs) for the open source Linux kernel.

      SE-Linux is not a Linux distribution but a set of security modifications (patches) that can be applied to any Linux or UNIX operating system.

      Traditionally, Linux scheduling and interrupt performance, although quite adequate for enterprise and desktop systems, was not very deterministic and had a wide variance over changing system conditions in embedded environments. This made Linux unsuitable for use in traditional embedded systems that demand microsecond response times.

      But two advances have changed this situation: a modification of the Linux core, named PREEMPT_RT, and a fast, deterministic scheduler inside the Linux system, named Real-Time Core for Linux.

    • Mentor Graphics and NetLogic Microsystems Establish Strategic Multi-Core Collaboration for Embedded Linux

      NetLogic Microsystems will provide the Mentor-developed Linux solution to multi-core developers to enable them to create innovative applications for high-performance multi-core processors targeted at next-generation enterprise, telecom and data center networks.

    • NAS

      • Two-bay NAS offers AES encryption

        Synology America announced a two-bay, Linux-based networked-attached storage (NAS) device for the SMB market, integrating a 256-bit AES hardware encryption engine. The DiskStation DS210+ can hold up to 4TB of internal storage, consumes 30 Watts, and includes the new Synology DiskStation Manager 2.3 software, with improved RAID setup and security features.

      • Synology unveils speedier DS210+ NAS server
    • Android

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Got Apps? Get accelerated.

        In a move aimed at bringing more applications to the Intel AppUp Center Beta program, Intel announced the launch of Accelerator 2010 as part of its Intel Atom Developer Program Million Dollar Development Fund. The AppUp Center is a repository for applications designed specifically for Intel Atom-processor based netbooks, and Accelerator 2010 will be used to fund companies interested in developing new and inventive ways to use netbooks.

      • Acer Denies Chrome OS Netbook Coming at Computex

        Acer has officially denied rumors that said it would show its first netbooks running Chrome OS at the upcoming Computex show in Taipei next month. The denial comes a few days after Acer spokespeople earlier declined to comment on the rumors, which first appeared on the tech business blog VentureBeat.


        Google is also working on a netbook version of the Android operating system as well, and Acer has committed to an Android netbook, so it had been unclear how the PC maker would have differentiated between an Android netbook and Chrome OS netbook. For Google’s part, at least, the search leader’s co-founder, Sergey Brin, has said that eventually, Google plans to converge Android and Chrome OS into a single platform for netbooks.

      • No Chrome OS netbook from Acer at Computex
      • In Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition Firefox can be replaced with Google Chrome

        We have already reported on the leading companies Canonical formulation of a new operating system Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition. This software platform, in accordance with its name, is intended for use in compact notebooks with small display and energy-efficient processors, known as netbooks.

      • Linkbook a good beginning

        Millions of Africans will experience the Internet – do a search, get e-mail, see YouTube or just browse a website – for the first time on their cellphones.

    • Tablets

      • Dell CEO confirms Streak Android tablet for Europe next month

        During his keynote speech yesterday at the the Citrix Synergy conference, Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell confirmed that the company’s Streak Android-based tablet, formerly known as the Mini 5 tablet, will be available in Europe next month from mobile phone carrier Telefonica O2, which offers service in the UK, Ireland, Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Mr Dell also added that it would be available from the GSM carrier AT&T in the US “later this summer”.

      • Ipad Operating Function

        The huge problem is that there is no multithreading technology. This means that your $600+ tablet computer can only run one application at a time just like your iPhone. For some who like multitasking while using a computer this is a big let down. Even the cheapest sub $300 netbooks running Linux can handle multiple applications at one time and that hardware is quite a bit less powerful than what the iPad has. One can expect though since this is the first version.

      • What Slate Makers Need To Do To Succeed

        At CES2010 the “Year of the Tablet” was ushered right as the new year was beginning. There were promises of Tablet/Slates promised in just about every flavor you could imagine. All of this with this news that Apple was going to release its iPad lurking just around the corner.

      • Kno to Unveil its Dual Screen Linux Tablet in June

        Boy you just can’t have enough of Tablet news for a day. This time, we won’t be talking about an iPad Tablet for a change. A startup tablet designer named Kakai has announced that it will be unveiling its dual screen tablet on 2nd June at the D8 conference.

    • WebOS

Free Software/Open Source

  • Maddog Editorial: Reusable Code and What It Means to Your Company

    Companies have, in the past, assumed that all the code written by their programmers had widespread value to their customers and protected it all under the mantle of closed source, releasing the code as “open source” only when there was a strong business case to make it “open.” Often the proof of open source value was very arduous, and therefore not often pursued. Perhaps it is time to reverse the practice and make every piece of code open source, unless there is a demonstrated business reason to keep it closed. Then more programmers can stop re-inventing the wheel.

  • Mozilla

  • Databases

    • Get to know FB in 2 minutes – now available in 18 languages

      The introductory paper “Get to know Firebird in 2 minutes” is now available in 18 different languages! Thanks for all the translators who contributed.

    • PostgreSQL developers fix vulnerabilities

      PostgreSQL 7 and 8 users are advised to update their installations as the development team has released new versions which fix a vulnerability classed as moderately severe in PL/perl and PL/tcl. CVE-2010-1169, CVE-2010-1447 and CVE-2010-1170 reports detail the vulnerabilities involved. The changes include the removal of the Safe.pm module, which acted as a kind of sandbox for Perl programs. Instead, PostgreSQL code now includes a hard-wired list of permissible Perl operators. According to the release notes, one side effect of this is that stored procedures written in Perl now compile more quickly.

  • CMS

    • Joomla 1.6 Beta Ships

      The Joomla Project has announced the release of the beta of version 1.6 of the open-source Joomla content management system.

  • Programming

    • What’s New in Python 2.7

      This article explains the new features in Python 2.7. The final release of 2.7 is currently scheduled for July 2010; the detailed schedule is described in PEP 373.


  • Environment

    • Five-Day Volcanic Ash Charts

      These charts indicate the forecast position of the volcanic ash cloud at 1200 GMT each day for the next five days for the altitudes indicated. It must be stressed that the five day charts are based on observed volcanic activity at the time of issue and should be regarded as indicative only.

  • Finance

    • German trading curbs hit markets hard

      World markets dropped sharply Wednesday after Germany’s new curbs on traders – a unilateral and unexpected attempt to reduce volatility in financial markets – unsettled investors.

      The euro, meanwhile, recovered from four-year lows against the dollar – reached in the aftermath of the ban – as experts suggest European central banks are considering intervening in the markets to slow the currency’s drop. The European Central Bank declined to comment.

    • EU Commission urges joint action on short-selling

      EU countries should act jointly to regulate so-called naked short-selling of shares and investments to reduce volatilty in financial markets, the European Commission said Wednesday.

    • Katie Bar The Door

      Those 10,000 US cities, and all the counties and states they find themselves in, are -all but a precious few- at the end of their financial rope. All but a few have voted in ridiculously rosy budgets, and now they see their revenues tank. Some will install sneaky speed traps to increase revenues, others will try to raise property taxes on homes plunging in value. All will fail to restore a sound budget. Millions of government workers will be laid off nationwide, which all by itself guarantees further declines in revenue. Which will lead to more lay-offs, all of which will lead to further drops in real estate prices, which lowers tax revenues etc. You have to admit one thing: it’s not a terribly hard storyline to follow. It couldn’t be easier if you had seen this film before.


      The US Treasury announces a $1.6 billion loss on a loan to Chrysler, GM announces an $865 million creative accounting profit because it wants investors (who’ll be sure taxpayers’ dough will support them all), and Obama announces a commission that will investigate how the Gulf of Mexico became one huge dead zone.

    • An Interview With Joseph Stiglitz — Regulation and the Euro Zone

      Joseph Stiglitz: The problem on Wall Street is that we had bought into the idea that money is everything, and that the metric of whether you are doing well for the economy is how much money you were making for yourself. To me there were two very serious moral failings. One is that so much energy went into exploiting the poorest Americans; selling them houses they knew were beyond their ability to pay, with mortgages that were exploitive. There were people who called themselves mortgage brokers supposedly looking for the best mortgage, but in fact were looking for the worst mortgage. The whole hosts of mortgages that are designed to maximize fees basically rob the poorest people of all their life savings. The irony was that the financial markets were hoisted on their own petard, as I point out in my book. That is to me, one of the most serious moral failings on the part of the financial markets. The second is while Bernie Madoff represented a pyramid scheme engaging in illegal activity, much of what the financial markets were doing was perhaps legal, but clearly unethical, or borderline. That the financial markets did not seem to see much distinction is a severe criticism. A good example is what Goldman Sachs did; how they sold products that they knew were bad, so bad that they were actually selling them short, betting on the fact that they would lose money. The whole debate in their mind is whether what they did was legal or not. The unanimity that it was immoral that they did not disclose to the buyers that they thought these were so crappy that they were going to lose money on them and the fact that they see nothing wrong with that suggests that they live in a parallel universe, a different world, a different moral compass than the rest of society.

    • Workers asked to return bonuses after 16 years

      About 180 county employees in suburban Atlanta are being asked to return thousands of dollars the county says they were overpaid 16 years ago.

    • Unhinged: When Concrete Reality No Longer Matters to the Market (and What to Do About It)

      A recent government suit alleges that Goldman Sachs colluded with a billionaire short seller, John Paulson, to defraud investors and “construct a package of mortgage linked derivatives designed to blow up” so Paulson could make a fortune.

    • Goldman’s Trading Advice To Clients Has Been HORRIBLE This Year

      Goldman isn’t taking directional bets on Chinese stocks on the zloty. And it can’t tell its clients to become a bank, borrow from the Fed and lend long.

    • Clients Worried About Goldman’s Dueling Goals

      As the housing crisis mounted in early 2007, Goldman Sachs was busy selling risky, mortgage-related securities issued by its longtime client, Washington Mutual, a major bank based in Seattle.

    • Senate Republicans Call Reform Bill a ‘Takeover’ of the Banking Industry

      Senate Republican leaders on Tuesday unleashed a barrage of criticism at the far-reaching financial regulatory legislation being debated on the Senate floor, indicating that many of the party’s leaders were prepared to vote against the bill.

    • Financial regulation bill gets last-minute amendment from Sen. Chris Dodd

      Dodd offered a clever Washington solution aimed to appease both friends and foes of the provision. His amendment preserves the tough language — but it postpones any action for two years so it can be studied. And it assigns that study to a new council of regulators, headed by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, whose members have serious reservations about such a dramatic measure and may very well kill it in the end.

    • Finally, The Republicans Come Out To Fight. Where Is The President?

      This is a defining issue for the president. Either he takes up the Volcker Rule – proposed by his administration, to great fanfare (and some skepticism) in January. Or he rolls over – admitting that Wall Street has won.

    • SEC proposes rules to prevent another ‘flash crash’

      Twelve days after the stock market took a historic plunge that raised fears of another financial crisis, federal officials are still struggling to understand what went wrong even as they offer proposals for how to avoid another “flash crash.”

    • Treasury announces Wells Fargo warrant auction

      The government says it will auction 110.3 million warrants it received from Wells Fargo & Co. as part of its effort to recoup the costs of the $700 billion financial bailout.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • George Donnelly freed from federal captivity

      Libertarians responded fast and forcefully to the illegal abuse of Donnelly. Not only were his actions clearly within his human and Constitutional rights but a Department of Homeland Security document makes it clear that taking photos on federal property is not illegal.

    • Thailand protests: army prepares to storm redshirts’ camp

      On the fourth day of bloodshed the Thai government orders all women and children to leave the protesters’ camp before a final army offensive


      Thailand’s worsening political conflict faces a new deadline, with the government ordering all women and children to leave the redshirts’ camp in central Bangkok by 3pm tomorrow before a final offensive to forcibly remove anybody remaining.

      Bloodshed continued for a fourth day, with 31 people killed since Thursday in battles between anti-government protesters and soldiers.

    • “Murdered” Chinese man reappears after 10 years

      A Chinese man who was supposedly hacked to death in a fight has reappeared in his hometown after 10 years, state media said, raising questions about police torture to extract a confession from the alleged killer.

    • Noam Chomsky barred by Israelis from lecturing in Palestinian West Bank

      Chomsky said he was disappointed and surprised to have been turned back from the Allenby bridge across the Jordan river, which is understood to be the first time he has been refused entry by the Israelis. He had been due to give a series of lectures on domestic and foreign policy at Birzeit University and the Institute for Palestine Studies in Ramallah, in the West Bank.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect: Planetary Landers (2/11/2002)


Links 18/5/2010: Linux 2.6.34 is Out, Desktop Summit 2011 Extends Deadline

Posted in News Roundup at 5:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • SouthEast LinuxFest announce more speakers
  • Linuxcare returns with focus in the cloud

    Back in Linux’s early days, Linuxcare emerged as the first important Linux support company. In 1998, the company made headlines not just in the technology press but in mainstream business publications like the Wall Street Journal as the company that would help businesses switch over to Linux. It was not to last. Poor top management decisions led Linuxcare to lose first its way, and, then, years later, to quietly vanish. Now, one of its founders, Arthur F. Tyde III, has brought Linuxcare back from the grave and made it ready for the 21st century.


    In a statement, Dr. Scott S. Elliott, Linuxcare CEO, explained that since “Many companies are moving their IT to Cloud computing providers such as Amazon Web Services in order to reduce expenses for capital equipment, buildings, utilities, and supporting manpower.” We have built Linuxcare in the Cloud to provide scalable services such as helping clients set-up, configure and debug their open-source applications, including Linux, Joomla, SugarCRM, and many others.”

  • Weekend Project: Transition to IPv6

    The Linux Kernel and Utilities

    The Linux kernel has supported IPv6 since the very beginning, around 1996, and has adapted to keep up with the revisions and enhancements of IPv6-related RFCs over the years. Today, virtually no Linux distribution ships a kernel that does not include the IPv6 module compiled and loaded by default. You can test for its presence in several ways, though. The simplest is to look inside the /proc/net/ directory; if /proc/net/if_inet6 (and other entries) are present, the IPv6 module is loaded. If not, you can load it with modprobe ipv6.

  • Desktop

    • Bite the Bullet

      As I have previously mentioned, a friend contacted me Friday morning with a dead laptop – major graphic hardware problems. This was a system that I had worked on before, so I knew the most likely case was that there would be no saving it this time. So I told her to bring it to me, and I would extract her data and prepare another system for her to use while she decided on a new purchase.

      My plan was to prepare my mini-ITX dual Atom 330 desktop system with the latest Ubuntu distribution (10.04, Lucid Lynx). After transfering her documents and data, she would be able to surf the web (Firefox), email (Thunderbird), and work on MS Office documents (OpenOffice.org). From experience I know that loading from scratch, transferring her data, and showing her the high points of using those programs instead of the Windows programs she was accustomed to, would take me about two hours.

    • It Never Rains but it Pours PCs

      I just chatted with a teacher working late. He wants to try GNU/Linux because he is so tired of that other OS making him wait all the time. I will bet one of these new machines will be a rocket with GNU/Linux. I am unwilling to accept the EULA, too. I accidentally got that far into one when I applied power to insert SystemRescueCD instead of using the paper-clip trick. I did some tests:

      * all the hardware works with Linux
      * full disc reads at 110MB/s average, 130 MB/s peak.
      * memory cache runs at 18 gB/s

      I am leaning towards converting these machines for GNU/Linux terminal servers on a per-classroom basis. That will give the teacher total control of the students’ processes and a power-house multimedia station all at the same time. The advantages of the students’ processes running on a 64bit machine with RAID 1 and 3gB RAM are huge. If the teacher already has an application loaded, the students’ windows will pop open in the blink of an eye. I need some network switches soon…

    • Getting a Ubuntu Laptop setup for my Mum

      As sitting in the garden while surfing the internet is way cooler than only having a dedicated computer in an office we decided to get a notebook while at it. As both Thilo and myself are very familiar with Linux, the plan was to get a Linux-compatible netbook, install Ubuntu on it, get wireless up and running, pre-configure the necessary applications and hand it over after a short usage introduction.


      For two weeks now mom is now happy user of the Ubuntu netbook edition – step by step learning how to write e-mails, chat and use the internet. As usual first thing we tried out was searching for vacation destinations, but also for at least my name.

    • When Microsoft hardware works more easily on Ubuntu than XP

      How often have you heard the words “it’s difficult to get this software/hardware working on Linux, that’s why it hasn’t caught the mass imagination”?

      On the other hand, how often have you heard that it’s more difficult to get software/hardware working on Windows compared to Linux – but others do it for you so you aren’t exposed to the problem?

      My personal experience is more of the latter and much less of the former. The latest example I have to offer is that of hardware made by Microsoft itself – LifeChat USB audio headphones.

      A bit of background. My children have run through eight pairs of headsets in the last two years, most of them LogiTech, for one reason or the other – the sound fails, parts break, the wires come loose. Each set costs something in the region of $40 so it ain’t cheap stuff.

      Whenever any set which they are using fails, they grab the one sitting on their mother’s PC and behave as though nothing has happened. I have to then buy my wife a new set.

    • eMachines Bring Power Of Linux To India

      Acer has announced the launch of a new notebook, eME730, under its super value brand eMachines. Through its value-driven product offering from eMachines, Acer aims to address the void in the value PC segment.

      eMachines is bringing the most aggressive mobile computing solution that exists in the market today. It enables to make the dream of owning a laptop a reality for the average Indian consumer. This Notebook from eMachines, is one of the most economical Core i3 based laptops available in the market today. eMachines730, with its dual tone refreshing design, is the best option in terms of price-performance ratio, as it offers the most competitive prices in the market for the specifications incorporated.

  • Google

    • The New Browser Wars: Will Ubuntu drop Firefox for Google Chrome?
    • Clearing the air around Ubuntu and Chrome

      Reports of the popular Linux distro ditching Firefox get clarified

      Amidst reports that Ubuntu would ditch longtime default browser Firefox for Google’s Chrome browser were put to rest with a resounding “sort of.”


      Castro was also quick to dispel any rumors that the potential browser switch was for the desktop build of Ubuntu. If Chromium is chosen, it will only affect the netbook edition of Ubuntu 10.10.

    • Good Google!

      They have the rising-stars of browsers, OS, and are stronger than ever in search and advertising.


      At the moment, this is happening on mobile things, small mobile things. With ARM it can spill over to immobile things, too. How many hundreds of millions of people will have to know GNU/Linux and derivatives work before the monopoly is broken? My estimate is one. Why? Because everyone knows a few people so the contacts the in-folk have are just about everyone.

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Release

      • Linux 2.6.34 Kernel Released! Time For 2.6.35
      • Linux 2.6.34

        Nothing very interesting here, which is just how I like it. Various random fixes all over, nothing really stands out. Pretty much all of it is one- or few-liners, I think the biggest patch in the last week was fixing some semantics for the new SR-IOV VF netlink interface. And even that wasn’t a _big_ patch by any means.

      • What’s new in Linux 2.6.34

        The Nouveau driver for GeForce graphics hardware now includes everything you need to dynamically generate open source firmware for NV50 GPUs on demand, so that 8xxx, 9xxx and GTX2x0 series GeForce graphics chips will now run without the controversial ctxprogs, generated using proprietary graphics drivers.

    • File Systems

      • Linux 2.6.34 Kernel Debuts With New Filesystems

        The Linux 2.6.34 kernel is now available, delivering new filesystems to the open source operating system.

        Among the big new items included in the 2.6.34 release is the Ceph distributed filesystem and LogFS, a filesystem geared toward flash media devices. The update comes as the second major Linux kernel development of 2010 and follows the Linux 2.6.33 kernel release by just under three months.

      • Linux gains flash filesystem

        Linus Torvalds announced the release of Linux 2.6.34, which is notable for adding two filesystems: Ceph for distributed and cloud-based applications, and LogFS, which is optimized for flash-memory based devices. Other new features include a faster KVM virtualization driver based on Vhost.net technology, says LinuxPlanet.com.

      • Linux kernel 2.6.34 adds scalable Ceph filesystem

        Linus Torvalds announced this week the official release of version 2.6.34 of the Linux kernel. The update introduces two new filesystems and brings a number of other technical improvements and bug fixes.

      • Linux gets jiggy with more filesystems in 2.6.34 kernel release

        But open source software fans and vendors will be happy to see the Ceph distributed filesystem, which supports many petabytes of storage, and flash media-happy LogFS filesystem included in the 2.6.34 release of Linux.

      • A Random Btrfs Experience

        I still look forward to the promise of btrfs. I’m impressed with how far it has come, and it holds great promise. However, I just can’t see this being production-ready quite yet. At least not without heavy backups (which I can’t afford right now – at least not doing it right).

      • Article ZFS data integrity testing and more random ZFS thoughts.
    • LM_Sensors

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Blur Effect enabled by default

      I just enabled the blur effect by default for the beta cycle. If your graphics card at least supports the extension GL_ARB_fragment_program (check with glxinfo) you should see the blur behind Plasma tooltips, etc.

    • Is GNOME or KDE Better for New Users?

      One argument I hear is how much KDE 4.x looks like OS X or Windows 7, while GNOME feels more like something from the 90′s. Out of the box, a few years ago, this might have held some truth to it.

      These days however, GNOME is highly customizable and looks very professional out of the box. Taking the experience further, you can even alter the GNOME theme in three easy clicks. Four, if you count the new theme you’ve selected.

      I also appreciate the fact that from the same three clicks, I can download ready-made themes if those provides are simply not cutting it.

    • Someone is *Wrong* On The Internet

      What prompted this thread, you might ask? Well, I was reading Michael Read’s recent KDE4: It hurt, but did it work? article, and was tickled by the fervor of the anti/pro camps surrounding the great KDE vs. Gnome debate. Did the anti-KDE flamers win over any converts to whatever was being claimed as a superior desktop environment? I doubt it. Did it make for entertaining reading? I think so.

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Keynote Speaker at Akademy 2010: Aaron Seigo Interview

        In about 6 weeks the biggest yearly gathering of the KDE community starts in Tampere. To give you all a little taste of Akademy 2010, Guillermo Amaral interviewed Aaron Seigo and asked him about his keynote.

      • Desktop Summit 2011 Extends Deadline for Call for Hosts
      • KMyMoney announces release candidate for KDE platform 4

        After a year of hard work on a version for the KDE platform 4, the KMyMoney team is happy to announce the immediate availability of the first release candidate. Unlike previous versions, this one is recommended for general use. The feedback provided by previous beta releases makes us confident that it is as stable and rock-solid as previous stable versions.

      • Clementine is an attractively simple music player and organizer

        Clementine is actually a port of Amarok, one of the better music organizers for KDE and Linux. It’s still early days — they just released version 0.3 — but a core set of features and no bloat is what makes Clementine appealing! It plays music, it organizes music and it streams radio. That’s it! Sure, it also lets you scrobble to Last.fm and, yes, you download missing album art too — but these things happen in the background. It still remains a simple program with just a handful of precious, useful settings that can be changed.

  • Distributions

    • The Secret Identities of Linux Distributions

      Of the three, Ubuntu is probably the easiest to identify: most popular desktop Linux distribution. That’s a laudable goal, but right now that strong sense of identity could work against Canonical, which is also trying to position Ubuntu as a strong server platform and a cloud client. Look for a push to build some sort of meta identity for Ubuntu soon, I would expect.

    • Gentoo

    • New Releases

      • ABC GNU/Linux

        This is how the first version of ABC GNU/Linux arose, which was in trial phase by April 2009. It involves a free software-based distribution (Ubuntu), is live as well as installable, and is capable of automatically configuring a cluster of up to 254 computers. Castanos said, “100 PCs are purchased and my DVD is inserted into one of these and booted, either from the DVD or installed in the hard disk itself. This computer and the rest of the machines are connected together by a switch (a device that acts like a router). When the rest of the machines are booted, using a BIOS (basic in/out system) specifying which device is to be booted, they are told what to do by means of the network card. All are booted from the DVD itself — or the hard disk if installed — registered, and connections are created between them.”

      • Arch Linux 2010.05 arrives

        The Arch Linux developers have announced the release of the project’s official 2010.05 installation images. Arch Linux is a simple and lightweight Linux distribution for i686 and x86-64 platforms aimed at Linux users who want to create “their own ideal environment” and install only what they need.

      • Zippy, cloud-based Linux distro off to fast start

        A new fast-booting, cloud-oriented, “Peppermint OS” Ubuntu variant has been downloaded 25,000 times in its first week. Meanwhile, the Red Hat Enterprise Linux clone CentOS has been released in version 5.5, adding features such as improved KVM virtualization and expanded WiFi support, and pioneering Linux distro-maker Mandriva is up for sale.

    • Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • More On PCLinuxOS 2010

        I am still enjoying the distribution of Linux I have currently on my laptop and it’s stability and solidness.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat’s Worldwide Middleware ISV Ecosystem Expands

        “We are seeing a growing number of customers, who want to leverage the performance and price benefits of open source middleware, request that their application vendors certify against Red Hat’s JBoss Enterprise Middleware,” said Craig Muzilla, vice president, middleware, Red Hat. “We believe that the growth of our ISV Program reflects a migration away from complex and expensive proprietary platforms towards the leading open source middleware provider, Red Hat.”

      • The End Is In Sight For RHEL 3

        It’s doubtful that anyone really likes having to upgrade, but at some point it has to be done. For those particularly adverse to the upgrade — like enterprise users, with good reason — there are extra-long windows, but eventually even those windows close. Last week, Red Hat announced that the oldest of its supported platforms has officially entered the homestretch.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 13 – Ready to roll

          Automatic driver installations, better mobile broadband and the end of PowerPC support can be expected from Fedora 13.

          Fedora Linux, the community release of Red Hat, is putting the final touches to its latest release, Fedora 13. Codenamed “Goddard”, Fedora 13 has a number of features that will please end users as well as systems administrators. Fedora 13 also ends the relationship with PowerPC processors and now backs the KVM virtualisation system.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian-Ubuntu relationship: poll summary

        So, I’m now back and with some feedback to share. I’ll first post (in this mail) a summary of the replies I got to this “poll” and later on a more general summary of what I did at UDS.

      • Ubuntu

        • UDS Brussels: Prototype tool helps tracking kernel patches

          Steve Conklin, member of the kernel team at Canonical, wrote the patchtracker during the last couple of months, much of it in the last two weeks. The patchtracker is written in python running on the Django framework. It allows developers to locate all git branches in which a certain kernel patch found its way.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick) Developer Summit

          The community track discussed the usual line-up of events, outreach and advocacy programs, organizational tools, and governance housekeeping for the 10.10 cycle, as well as goals for improving the translation of Ubuntu and related resources into many languages.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 193

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #193 for the week May 9th – May 15th, 2010. In this issue we cover Ubuntu Developer Summit – Ubuntu 10.10 – Maverick Meerkat planned, Ubuntu Developer Summit -M Videos, Unity, and Ubuntu Light, A Case for Modifying the Ubuntu Release Schedule, New Default Applications In Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10?, Ubuntu Stats, Ubuntu DC LoCo InstallFest, Release Party In Uruguay was a Big Hit, Welcome To Ubuntu in Maryland! May 20th, Ubuntu Release Party 10.04 – Alagoas, Ubuntu Hams – Our First UDS Session was Great, Clarifications around Ubuntu using “Google Chrome”, UDS-Maverick recap, BTRFS By Default In Maverick?, Testing Ubuntu Releases, Receive Ubuntu bugs by mail with the Debian PTS, Columbia Areas Linux User Group – Featured speaker Mackenzie Morgan, In The Press, In the Blogoshpere, Canonical’s Ubuntu support scope, Commercial bug-fixes for Ubuntu, Upcoming Meetings and Events, Updates and Security, And much much more…

        • Ubuntu Maverick UDS Group Photo made with the Hugin Panorama Creator
        • Early Release Schedules For Ubuntu 11.04, 11.10, 12.04 LTS

          While the release schedules for Ubuntu Linux aren’t exactly a close secret — new releases generally coming in April and October with the version scheme being YY.MM such as Ubuntu 11.04 for the April 2011 release — Canonical’s Robbie Williamson has laid out tentative release schedules for Ubuntu 11.04, Ubuntu 11.10, and even Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

        • Ubuntu toolbox

          Eye candy. Compiz, which brings all sorts of cool effects to your screen, is already installed with Ubuntu, but to gain greater control over how it behaves, install the settings manager (compizconfig-settings-manager in Synaptic). Also install the Emerald Theme Manager (emerald in Synaptic) so that Compiz can display fancy translucent windows. To activate Emerald after it’s installed, hit F2 and type gksu emerald—replace and hit Enter. I also create a new start-up program using the same command to make sure my fancy windows come up every time.

        • Ubuntu (w/ GNOME) Switching To Single Click For Opening Files And Folders?
        • Variants

          • Linux Mint 9 “Isadora” released!
          • Cloud-ready Peppermint OS blasts off to fast start

            A fast-booting, cloud-oriented, “Peppermint OS” Ubuntu variant has been downloaded 25,000 times in its first week. Meanwhile, Red Hat clone CentOS has been released in version 5.5, adding features including enhanced KVM virtualization and improved WiFi support, and pioneering Linux distro-maker Mandriva is up for sale.

          • Linux and Open Source: A Look at Peppermint OS, a Linux for the Masses
          • Puppy

            • Ubuntu-based Puppy Linux 5.0 arrives

              The major update, also referred to as “Lucid Puppy”, was built using the Woof build system and is based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx binary packages. Lucid Puppy features the new Quickpet package manager which allows users to install a number of Linux programs with a single click. Available applications include the Kompozer web authoring system, GIMP for image editing and several browsers, such as Firefox, SeaMonkey, Chromium, and Opera.

            • Distro Hoppin`: Puppy Linux 5.0

              Puppy Linux is on an ever-ascending curve with every new release proving to be a must have for Linux nomads who need an Internet- and Multimedia-ready system wherever they go, without needing to sacrifice precious space on their thumb drives, nor tones of resources on the host machines. Puppy Linux 5, what a great specimen you are…

            • Puppy Linux 5.0

              Puppy Linux, in case you aren’t already familiar with it, is a lightweight version of Linux that is designed for portability.

              The .iso file of Puppy Linux 5.0 weighs in at an incredibly petite 128 MB. It’s much, much smaller than all of the usual desktop heavyweight distros. But don’t let its small size fool you, Puppy Linux 5.0 is anything but an also-ran in terms of functionality and usability.

              Puppy Linux 5.0 is built from Ubuntu Linux 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) binaries, so it’s…er…pet name is Lucid Puppy. Like a lot of other things about Puppy Linux, the name is cute and adorable. I felt like giving Puppy Linux a dog bone and a pat on the head when I started using it.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux on the iPhone: Status update

      I know the binaries for the iPhone 3G are taking a while. Everything is basically done and all the code I have is in the source repositories so people are free to build it for themselves. However, I wanted to improve the packaging slightly to ease installation (no longer requiring people to modify ext2 partitions). The release of the binaries (and a how-to) will be sometime within the next week.

    • Workshops tackle Qt, Linux, and i.MX development

      Future Electronics and Nokia will host six full-day, hands-on workshops across the North America on using Linux and Nokia’s Qt development framework to develop user interfaces (UIs) for Freescale’s ARM-based i.MX system-on-chips (SoCs). Starting in Boston on May 18, the workshops will use the Freescale i.MX23 SoC as its sample platform.

    • WebOS

      • Palm’s webOS installed and running on old Dell laptop

        Old used laptops are usually paired with old operating systems like Windows XP or some GNU/Linux variant. But for those of you who want to try out something completely different, check out Palm’s webOS.

        No, I have not gone crazy or fallen victim to a typo of some sort. Palm’s mobile operating system on the Pre and Pixi has been found to be capable of running on an old Dell laptop. See the image below for some introductory proof.

      • webOS up and running on PC hardware
    • Android

      • Rumor: T-Mobile ‘Project Emerald’ is Sidekick-Branded Android Product

        TmoNews and DroidDog are reporting that the phone that’s going to be part of T-Mobile’s latest initiative will actually be a Sidekick. This time around, HTC will be manufacturing the device as opposed to Sharp or Motorola. Rumored specs peg the phone with Android 2.1, a 1 GHz processor (assumed to be Snapdragon), a front-facing camera, 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display, and 16 GB of internal storage. Sounds like a pretty grown up Sidekick to us! No firm dates yet, but we’ve learned it should be ‘summer’.

      • Can Froyo 2.2 Save Linux-Based Android From Fragmentation?

        As Google prepares to kick off its annual Google I/O developer conference Wednesday, the wireless industry — including many open source mobile app developers — are anticipating the Android 2.2 release, dubbed Froyo, not only because of its faster processing features but also for its potential to mitigate the nascent OS’s fragmentation issue.

        Handsets powered by Google’s Android are becoming increasingly popular, but the open source smartphone platform is facing a threat that could cause it to self-destruct.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Dual-core Atom for netbooks?

        Intel will launch its first dual-core Atom processor for netbooks and other mobile devices during the third quarter, Fudzilla claims. The N550 will be clocked at 1.5GHz, have 512KB of second-level cache per core, and offer an 8.5 Watt TDP, Fuad Abazovic writes.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Do we need open source vendors?

    One of the biggest misconceptions about open source software (OSS) in the enterprise is that it is software that can be rolled out without the involvement of a vendor. But in reality, in any enterprise software deployment, there will always be someone that needs to play the role that the vendor plays in the commercial software space.

    What I do mean when I say that there will always need to be a vendor? To put it simply, I believe that there will always need to be someone you can count on to provide the support and services that you can’t depend on the open source community to provide.

  • New Hampshire Libraries Band Together for their Implementation of Koha

    ByWater Solutions, an open source community supporter and official Koha support company, announced today that The Monadnock Library Community of New Hampshire has partnered with them for the installation and support of the community version of the Koha integrated library system.

  • Databases

    • 5 of the Best Free Linux MySQL Tools

      MySQL is a relational database management system. It provides a very fast, multi-threaded, multi-user, and robust SQL (Structured Query Language) database server. MySQL is the most popular open source database, and is the database component of the LAMP software stack. LAMP consists of the Apache web server, MySQL and PHP, the essential building blocks to run a general purpose web server. MySQL is used and championed by many large organizations including Google, Facebook, BBC, Intel, Sun, SAP, Dell, AMD, Novell, Veritas and many others.

  • Oracle

    • 6 Advanced OpenOffice.org Extensions

      OpenOffice.org (OOo for short) is a powerful open source and multi-platform office suite, and is even comparable to Microsoft Office. However, there’s always room-to-grow, features to improve, and things to customize. Luckily, the open source community provides a great repository of extensions and add-ons. Today, we’ll look at six of them. Now let’s get started!

  • CMS

    • Social networking platform eXo Social released

      eXo has announced the release of eXo Social 1.0, an enterprise social networking package which supports OpenSocial, under an AGPL licence. eXo Social is bundled with eXo’s GateIn 3.0 and Tomcat 6.0 to allow users to configure a social network “out of the box”. eXo Social is aimed at enterprises who want to integrate social networking concepts into their existing infrastructure.

    • eXo Social now open source

      eXo Software said its eXo Social 1.0, which follows the Open Social standard, is now available under the Affero GPL License.

      The AGPL makes server enhancements as well as software available to others. It is considered the bottom of the open source incline for online companies, and is staunchly resisted by Google for that reason.

    • Drupal

      • U.S. Department of Commerce using Drupal

        The United States Department of Commerce just relaunched their website on Drupal. Check out their new website at http://commerce.gov.

        According to Wikipedia, the Department of Commerce has more than 140,000 employees, and an annual budget of $14 billion USD. Needless to say this is another great win for Drupal, and for Open Source in government!

      • Forrester Research using Drupal
  • Business

    • Diaspora: The Future of Free Software Funding?

      A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Diaspora, a free software project to create a distributed version of Facebook that gives control back to users. Since then, of course, Facebook-bashing and Diaspora-boosting have become somewhat trendy. Indeed, Diaspora has now soared past its initial $10,000 fund-raising target: at the time of writing, it has raised over $170,000, with 15 days to go. That’s amazing, but what’s more interesting is the way in which Diaspora has done it.

      Of course, the sudden interest of mainstream media has helped, but beyond the arithmetical implications of having lots of people looking at your site, what’s important is how the Diaspora team has managed to turn those proverbial eyeballs into practical funds.

  • BSD

  • Government

    • MT: Government starts open source user group

      The government of Malta has started the Government of Malta Open Source End User Group (Moseug) last month. The group is meant to become a major driving force behind open source initiatives in the country.

      According to an article on the new user group in the Times of Malta newspaper, written by Michel Bugeja, an IT architect at Malta’s governmental Information Technology Agency (MITA), the government wants the group to help to increase the use of open source software in the government. “All stakeholders see the formation of the user group as a commitment from the government to promote open source software on equal play to proprietary software.”

  • Openness

  • Programming

    • Zend Raises Another $9 million – For What?

      They now claim to have more than 1 million registered users for its PHP solutions which include the Zend Studio IDE and Zend Server PHP efforts.

    • Google I/O: What to Expect, What to Hope For

      The folks at Apple have made an art form out of annual conferences with big announcements.

      In recent years we’ve seen the iPhone, MacBook Air, and more recently the iPad unveiled to much fanfare.

      Not to be outdone by Apple, Google has been making some Waves as well with their annual spring conference dubbed Google I/O.

    • Django 1.2 released

      Django 1.2 introduces several large, important new features, including:

      * Support for multiple database connections in a single Django instance.
      * Model validation inspired by Django’s form validation.



  • Verizon gives up on family’s $18,000 bill

    For, in the story of the Massachusetts family that fought for four years against a Verizon bill of some $18,000, a winner has been declared. And it is not, you will be pained to discover, Verizon.

  • Bill revealed affair, woman sues Rogers

    A Toronto woman says the billing practices of Rogers Wireless Inc. led to her husband discovering her extramarital affair.

  • Exclusive: Seagate confirms 3TB drive

    After a few weeks of rumours, Seagate’s senior product manager Barbara Craig has confirmed to Thinq that “we are announcing a 3TB drive later this year,” but the move to 3TB of storage space apparently involves a lot more work than simply upping the areal density.

    The ancient foundations of the PC’s three-decade legacy has once again reared its DOS-era head, revealing that many of today’s PCs are simply incapable of coping with hard drives that have a larger capacity than 2.1TB.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Cars’ Computer Systems Called at Risk to Hackers

      Automobiles, which will be increasingly connected to the Internet in the near future, could be vulnerable to hackers just as computers are now, two teams of computer scientists are warning in a paper to be presented next week.

    • Hack attacks mounted on car control systems
    • Security guard admits he hacked hospital PCs

      Jesse William McGraw, 25, called himself Ghost Exodus in videos such as this one as he wandered the halls of the North Central Medical Plaza in Dallas during the graveyard shift. He used his physical access to the facility’s PCs to install bots so he could launch attacks on a rival hacking gang, prosecutors said. The compromised machines included a nurse’s station computer for tracking patients and one that controlled the HVAC, or heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system.

    • CCTV? Oh yes, it’s a great earner!

      Oh good! If the system makes more money, then there can be even more watching!

    • Ahead of G20 summit, more CCTV cameras go up

      Crews have been hard at work downtown putting up dozens of security cameras, which will be used to monitor streets during the G20 Summit next month.

    • Tim Loughton and ClassWatch

      Loughton You may not have heard of a company called ClassWatch – but if you’ve got a child of school age, the chances are that Classwatch has an eye on your family. They install CCTV in classrooms. Have a look at their website – under “technology” you can see the way they install surveillance (including listening devices) in different classroom layouts.

    • Unpleasant to see you, to see you, unpleasant

      Of course, such schemes have at their heart a “won’t somebody think of the children” nanny state agenda driven by the extreme examples such as Baby P’s sad death. But cases like that are about the clear-cut failure of social services (who had had multiple interactions with that family). Rather than deal with such incompetence, the state’s solution is to dole out much greater powers to the same types of incompetent people, over the lives of a far wider sector of society. The vast law-abiding majority shouldn’t be intruded upon as a consequence of the state’s failure to deal with the tiny minority.

    • Judge Permanently Bans Webcam Spying On Students
    • Scientists Question Safety Of New Airport Scanners

      After the “underwear bomber” incident on Christmas Day, President Obama accelerated the deployment of new airport scanners that look beneath travelers’ clothes to spot any weapons or explosives.

      Fifty-two of these state-of-the-art machines are already scanning passengers at 23 U.S. airports. By the end of 2011, there will be 1,000 machines and two out of every three passengers will be asked to step into one of the new machines for a six-second head-to-toe scan before boarding.

      About half of these machines will be so-called X-ray back-scatter scanners. They use low-energy X-rays to peer beneath passengers’ clothing. That has some scientists worried.

    • Pentagon hacker demands Government payback

      Pentagon hacker, Gary McKinnon has called on the newly-elected British government to put its money where its mouth is and tear up his extradition order.

    • Alasdair Palmer is wrong, wrong, wrong

      I would love to ask Mr Palmer how he thinks ID cards would facilitate crime prevention? Is his ideal world one in which every UK citizen carries identification that the Police can order to see at any time; to paraphrase our new PM’s infamous gaffe – “ver are your papers?” Not even our overbearing previous government were ready to go that far!

    • The Controversy Magnet: PositiveID “Chips” Alzheimer’s Patients, Quite Possibly Without Permission

      When is a medical experiment in which you implant microchips in 200 old people with Alzheimer’s disease not a medical experiment? According to PositiveID (PSID), it’s when you forget to get permission from an institutional review board, which oversees medical experiments on humans.

    • Need a false identity? It’ll cost a couple of quid

      Confused about who was going to end up as prime minister earlier this week? Imagine how the fake identity card company felt which produced documents for The Observer and security company CPP.

      To show how easy it is to obtain fraudulent documents using anyone’s details, CPP applied for four official-looking proofs of ID using David Cameron’s name and Gordon Brown’s photo. As you can see, the results of this unlikely coalition are pretty convincing.

    • West Hull residents asked to shop neighbours for leaving bins out too long

      PEOPLE in a west Hull street are being asked to shop their neighbours if they leave their bins out for too long.

      City council officials are even asking residents to fill in so-called “environmental crime incident diaries”, similar to those used to log violent anti- social behaviour.

    • Pruning twigs leads to £20k fine threat

      When the Highways Agency chopped down dozens of trees shielding his home from the busy M6 last year, pensioner Bryan Wiseman had to simply put up with it.

      But after pruning a couple of branches from a hawthorn tree overhanging his garden in Woodside Way, Short Heath, the 70-year-old has been stunned by the threat of a court fine of up to £20,000.

    • Oh, You Mean Those Quotas

      In March, I wrote a column detailing a number of credible accusations made against the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for instituting a quota system for arrests and for stop-and-frisk searches. At the same time, additional allegations charged higher-ups in the department with actively discouraging crime victims from reporting crimes—as well as downgrading felonies to misdemeanors—in order to make the city’s crime statistics look better. Taken together, these allegations painted an ugly picture of New Yorkers being stopped, hassled, and frisked for either petty offenses or for no offense at all, while the victims of acutal crimes faced unsympathetic law enforcement officials.


      Unfortunately, the current political class in New York has bought into the idea that these policies are responsible for the drop in crime. It seems odd to say that it will take an unusually conscientious politician to call for a crime policy that doesn’t involve suppressing real crimes, manufacturing fake ones, and harassing the citizenry. But that is precisely what it will take.

  • Environment/Health

    • Barack Obama sends nuclear experts to tackle BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil leak

      The US has sent a team of nuclear physicists to help BP plug the “catastrophic” flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico from its leaking Deepwater Horizon well, as the Obama administration becomes frustrated with the oil giant’s inability to control the situation.

    • Oil Spill Encounters Loop Current

      Satellite image speaks volumes

      There have been conflicting rumblings across the newswire services and across social media outlets whether the Gulf oil spill has been entrained into the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current.

      The images below from NASA’s MODIS satellite speaks volumes and confirms many people’s worst fears.

    • How Much Oil Is Really Spilling into the Gulf of Mexico?

      At first, right after the BP Deepwater Horizon offshore rig exploded on April 20, BP and U.S. government officials reported the underwater well was pumping about 1,000 barrels a day into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. A few days later, that figure was challenged by the non-profit group SkyTruth, which uses remote sensing and digital mapping to evaluate environmental issues globally. Ten days later, by April 30, some industry experts said the well could be leaking at a rate of 5,000 barrels daily — five times the previous estimate, and the one that has been the most widely and persistently used in the media.

    • Gas surge shut well a couple of weeks before Gulf oil spill

      The material paints a chilling image of the violent force of the rig explosions and the chaos that ensued as rig workers tried to escape spewing mud, seawater and methyl hydrates in the form of icy slush. That same type of frozen natural gas blocked BP’s attempts during the weekend to control the well leak with a huge box lowered 5,000 feet to the sea floor.

      Back on April 20, the slush forced its way to the rig, shot 240 feet in the air and heated into a gas that quickly ignited into fireballs, Bea’s witness accounts say. Among those tossed asunder by the explosions were BP officials who were on the rig to celebrate a seven-year spotless safety record.

    • Submerged oil plumes suggest gulf spill is worse than BP claims

      Ocean scientists in the Gulf of Mexico have found giant plumes of oil coagulating at up to 1,300 metres below the surface, raising fears that the BP oil spill may be larger than thought – and that it might create huge “dead zones”.

    • The Right Wing’s Next Target: The Greenlining Institute

      Last year, right-wing activists masqueraded as a pimp and a prostitute and used a phony storyline and a hidden camera to take down the community group ACORN. ACORN was eventually absolved and the unsavory tactics of the right exposed, but that hasn’t stopped the right from moving on to a new target: the Berkeley, California-based Greenlining Institute. Like ACORN, the Greenlining Institute is a progressive organization that advocates for the poor and works for economic justice. It also supports implementation and enforcement of the Community Reinvestment Act, a federal law passed in 1977 to mitigate deteriorating conditions in low and moderate-income neighborhoods by addressing the practice of redlining — denying credit or insurance to people based on their ethnic background or neighborhood.

    • MIT Team Unveils Airplane that Uses 70 Percent Less Fuel

      Today a team of researchers at MIT unveiled their latest feat of engineering — an airplane that uses 70% less fuel than conventional aircraft.

    • Mixing of poisonous chemicals in Tetra Milk Pack disclosed.

      The NA Standing Committee on Human Rights has constituted a monitoring committee to ensure the supply of quality edibles to consumers after disclosure of harmful ingredients in the preparations of Tetra Milk Pack. The meeting of NA Standing Committee was held at the Parliament House with its Chairman Riaz Fatyana in the chair on Monday.

  • Finance

    • Jim’s Mailbox

      Perhaps many intelligent German people studied the history of Weimar hyperinflation that occurred in 1923. The printing presses like those today went out of control sending the price of gold to the stratosphere as paper dollars became useless!

    • Why the SEC Decided to Sue Goldman Sachs

      As you might imagine, the ongoing revelations about the SEC (Bernie Madoff, Allen Stanford, and porn, among others) has made things somewhat awkward for the agency’s employees. Children jeer at them on the street. Priests sigh in disgust when they confess the name of their employer through the grate. Their local deli guys are like, “How’s it hangin’, ladyboy?” when they stop in to buy cigarettes. Even old ladies give them a hard time, according to this morning’s Journal.

    • An Updated List of Goldman Sachs Ties to the Obama Government Including Elena Kagan


      This lists compiles the names above and those in the prior diary on this. For more detail on names not annotated in this diary, see the earlier diary linked here):



      BIDEN, JOE.





    • The Government as Identity Thieves

      The spotlight remains on the Greek sovereign debt crisis as the riots continue. The terms of the Greek bailout from the IMF and Eurozone countries remain contentious with citizens on all sides. Europeans hate having their governments throw public money away as much as Americans do. The Greeks are not happy about having their taxes raised while their pensions and salaries are cut. Meanwhile, it is rumored by the Financial Times, AFP and others that Greece may spend more than it saves from austerity measures on arms deals with Germany, France and the US as a potential condition of receiving bailout funds. If true, it is certainly not unprecedented for the global military industrial complex to benefit from deals made by their friends in the central banking community. After all, war is the health of the state. The last thing big government proponents want is for peace to break out in the world.

  • AstroTurf

    • “Your Superhero is Smoking?”

      So, I’m new, but I said screw it and I took Gary’s concern up with management and here’s the deal.

      If Supercool Creative gets 500 tweets telling us the logo is no good we’ll change it… on our business cards, letterhead, websites, social networking sites… everything.

    • Death by Tweet?

      Supercool Creative, a social marketing company that tries to shape opinion by making viral videos and posting them on the Web, recently adopted a new Superman-like hero as its logo. So what’s the problem? The guy is shown smoking a cigarette. After the image prompted a man from Prospect, Connecticut to tweet the company letting them know their smoking logo was not cool, Supercool Creative decided to take turn what appeared to be a nascent social effort to oust their logo into a into a viral challenge.

    • Pampers Parents Liars? That’s P&G’s Response to Complaining Consumers

      Parents who’ve complained that reformulated Pampers caused severe diaper rash in their children are liars, a Procter & Gamble executive claims.

      “For a number of weeks, Pampers has been a subject of growing but completely false rumors fueled by social media that its new Dry Max diaper causes rashes and other skin irritations,” said Jodi Allen, P&G Vice President for Pampers. “These rumors are being perpetuated by a small number of parents, some of whom are unhappy that we replaced our older Cruisers and Swaddlers products while others support competitive products and the use of cloth diapers. Some have specifically sought to promote the myth that our product causes ‘chemical burns.’”

      Allen offered no documentation for her allegations, simply labeling the complaints of parents false. But an analysis of complaints filed with ConsumerAffairs.com finds that most come from parents who were loyal Pampers customers until they encountered problems with the reformulated “Dry Max” Pampers.

    • Spin

      • Texas schools board rewrites US history with lessons promoting God and guns

        US Christian conservatives drop references to slave trade and sideline Thomas Jefferson who backed church-state separation


        The new curriculum asserts that “the right to keep and bear arms” is an important element of a democratic society. Study of Sir Isaac Newton is dropped in favour of examining scientific advances through military technology.

        There is also a suggestion that the anti-communist witch-hunt by Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s may have been justified.

        The education board has dropped references to the slave trade in favour of calling it the more innocuous “Atlantic triangular trade”, and recasts the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as driven by Islamic fundamentalism.

      • My Growing Library of Banned Books

        I have never understood people who become justifiably apoplectic when the government bans books at the behest of a political party in power, but then remain silent (or even offer their support) when the same government power bans books at the behest of private corporate interests. The end result is the same. A free mind who wishes to explore creative works and form artistic judgments on them is prevented from doing so by force of law.

    • Fox

      • Jimmy Wales: Fox News Is Wrong, No Shake Up

        Contrary to several reports, Wikipedia’s Founder Jimmy Wales is not relinquishing his editorial control of Wikipedia and its related projects. On Friday, Fox News reported that “a shakeup is underway at the top levels of Wikipedia…Wales is no longer able to delete files, remove administrators, assign projects or edit any content, sources say. Essentially, they say, he has gone from having free reign over the content and people involved in the websites to having the same capabilities of a low-level administrator.”

      • Glenn Beck’s war on the FCC (and Satan worshippers)

        Right-wing talker Glenn Beck took to his Fox News TV program last Monday night to deliver a rant about how President Obama has compiled something “almost like an enemies list” and how Obama is into “silencing opponents.” The president’s tool of choice for this censorship? Network neutrality—the principle that ISPs cannot interfere with content.

      • Fox News Dishonest Edit of Obama as Exclusionary?
  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • U.S. military using private spy ring overseas despite concerns about operation’s legality

      Top military officials have continued to rely on a secret network of private spies who have produced hundreds of reports from deep inside Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to American officials and businessmen, despite concerns among some in the military about the legality of the operation.

      The American military is largely prohibited from operating inside Pakistan. Under Pentagon rules, the army is not allowed to hire contractors for spying.

    • Personal Data: reclaiming individual control

      The potential rewards are immense. It’s not just that, like BP, we need to stem the toxic leakage, in our case of personal data from government. Nor that we need to cut the cost of maintaining government’s huge data sets, and restore people’s trust in what goervnment does with personal data. The real wins come when public services are driven more directly by more accurate data sets, and can be more closely aligned only to needs which really exist. Imagine the “just in time” revolution of 1970s car manufacturing applied to public services. But the saving we have to make mean we’ll need nothing less than that.

    • EFF: Forget cookies, your browser has fingerprints

      Even without cookies, popular browsers such as Internet Explorer and Firefox give Web sites enough information to get a unique picture of their visitors about 94 percent of the time, according to research compiled over the past few months by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

    • Web Browsers Leave ‘Fingerprints’ Behind as You Surf the Net
    • Facebook downplays privacy crisis meeting
    • Welcome to the former Big Brother House

      Finally and perhaps most importantly, data protection simply cannot be enforced while national DP watchdogs are starved of the cash and personnel they need to manage an enormous task of supervision and education and take on the crucial job of leading test and group cases. But proper resourcing needs not more law but political will. That must come from ordinary users making it clear that contrary to whatever Marc Zuckerberg may think, privacy really does matter to them. It’s not ALL about the economy, stupid.

    • Extended Civil Commitment of Sex Offenders Is Upheld

      The 7-to-2 decision touched off a heated debate among the justices on a question that has lately engaged the Tea Party movement and opponents of the new health care law: What limits does the Constitution impose on Congress’s power to legislate on matters not specifically delegated to it in Article I?

    • China’s Web “firewall” should be WTO issue: EU’s Kroes

      Dutch-born Kroes, who is also in charge of Europe’s digital agenda, said the firewall was a trade barrier as long as it blocked communication for Internet users, preventing the free flow of information.

    • AAT upholds EFA link deletion

      We are disappointed but not surprised by this decision, which we feel highlights many issues with the current system. Those who choose to can simply move their content overseas or change the address of the web page in question, leaving those who abide by the spirit of the law to remove their material, or have it removed for them by their provider. From the leak of the blacklist, we saw that many of the sites on there were far from obscene, but contained all manner of harmless, controversial and borderline political material. This raises enormous concerns. Could debate and culture thrive in Australia if all R-rated material was effectively blocked?

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Legal experts: LimeWire likely doomed

      A federal court judge has likely dealt a death blow to LimeWire, one of the most popular and oldest file-sharing systems, according to legal experts.

    • The Pirate Bay Sinks And Swims
    • The Economist looks at “piracy” and internet access

      The problem with that is whether the portion “detected” as a copy is really piracy. The article totally ignores whether fair use would allow the “copy.”


      It concludes, “America’s regulatory approach has left much of the country with a cable monopoly for truly fast broadband access. The single largest reason given for failing to purchase broadband access in America is price, and many non-adopters are stymied by hardware fees, a lack of billing transparency and the extra cost of bundled services that providers often add to internet access. The FCC’s current plan to ask last-mile providers to subsidise rural service, and to ensure equal treatment of packets of information is a mild intervention by global standards. America’s modern-day common carriers should count themselves lucky.”

    • Copyrights

      • Time Warner Cable tries to put brakes on massive piracy case

        Time Warner Cable has no intention of complying with thousands of requests asking it to identify copyright infringers.

        Remember the US Copyright Group? They’re the DC legal outfit that is turning P2P copyright infringement into cash, partnering with independent movie studios (the big players are not involved) to sue individual file-swappers in federal court—and ISPs are not pleased with the plan.

      • Over $50 Billion NOT Lost due to Software Piracy

        The main problem with software piracy is that people take software for granted. Software is easy to get, easy to download, and easy to pass around and share with friends. Joe might say to Fred “look at how awesome the new Photoshop is, let me install it on your machine so you can check it out”. Now Joe and Fred both have it, but neither would have purchased Photoshop if it weren’t so easy to get (have you seen the price of it lately?!) and therefore their theft wouldn’t factor in to the Business Softtware Alliance’s statistics.

      • Hollywood’s Passion For Movie Remakes May Run Into Copyright Problems… Created By Hollywood

        The MPAA and Hollywood in general have been very, very strong supporters of stricter and more restrictive copyright laws pretty much as far as they can go. Jack Valenti, for many years the head of the MPAA, has famously declared both that, if it were up to him, copyright would last “forever minus a day” and that fair use was not part of the law. But, of course, time and time again, we see that strongest defenders of copyright law often find that they get a bit upset when it constrains them as well. Eriq Gardner has the story of the rise in lawsuits over Hollywood remakes from the estates (or others who purchased the copyrights later) of authors claiming infringement over movies. The main case that resulted in the article is really quite impressive in the number of layers deep that the whole thing goes.

      • Time Warner Cable Stands Up To Automated Copyright Infringement Filing Factory

        During that time, we noted that US Copyright Group claimed that it had gone from having one ISP cooperating to “75%” of ISPs cooperating. This was a surprise, because years back, ISPs had been reluctant to cooperate with similar efforts. So the numbers seemed questionable. Either way, apparently Time Warner Cable is not at all interested in working with US Copyright Group.

      • Why I Steal Movies… Even Ones I’m In

        With bandwidth and storage increasing exponentially, getting cheaper, and consumers becoming more tech-savvy, it’s becoming easier every day to grab free copies of books, movies and albums. This is why Internet users are thrilled. Including me. This is why people in the entertainment industry are terrified. Including me.

      • Princeton Demands Website Remove Elena Kagan’s Thesis; Claiming Copyright Infringement

        Of course, ordering that the document be pulled down pretty much guarantees that it will get spread more widely — and there’s definitely a journalistic reporting defense for posting the document (though, I’m not particularly convinced that anything anyone wrote in college has much meaning once they’ve spent a few decades outside of college). And, of course, in trying to get the document taken down, it’s just going to lead conspiracy-minded folks to think there’s more to the document than there is (in actuality, it’s a rather bland historical analysis, but you wouldn’t know that from what some sites are claiming about it). But from a journalistic standpoint, it seems you could make a decent argument for fair use in distributing the document. In fact, publications like Newsweek are already sharing parts of the thesis as well (mostly to debunk the hysteria around it). It’s difficult to see what Princeton gained in issuing the takedown notice, other than to rile up people.

      • Reinventing Book Publishing: Building Real Communities, And Only Holding Rights For Three Years

        Now there are some things in this description that I think are great, and others that I’m not sure will work, but it definitely is a big and interesting vision, that really does seem to get the basic concept of both connecting with fans and giving them a reason to buy, while also looking to build out complementary scarcities. My main concern are (as usual) the attempts to use infinite goods as if they were scarce, but given so many other smart aspects to this program, I get the feeling that after some experimentation, things will shake out in a way that works well.

      • James Moore Has Just Made Himself A Big Target

        James Moore now has a big target painted on his back. No matter what he does, someone isn’t going to be happy. In fact he, and the Conservative Government would have been far better served to have ignored the issue. The current Canadian copyright regime has problems, however it’s better than what the United States or Great Britain have implemented, and far, far better than what South Korea has implemented.

        Currently Canada has one of the best copyright systems in the world. It isn’t as flexible as it should be, the copyright term is far too long, it’s corporate friendly features are too strong, and it’s artist friendly features are far too weak. In fact the change that would most help creators could be made easily, would attract the support of a wide spectrum of Canadians, and incidentally bring us closer to the WIPO copyright treaty. That is to make it illegal for a corporation or anyone else to buy a copyright. Oh, they should be allowed to lease copyrights, but for a period of no more than five years, and automatic renewal should be illegal. The only method of changing ownership of a copyright would be through inheritance.

      • Canadian Appeals Court Says Song Previews Can Be Fair Dealing

        While the US entertainment industry continues to insist that Canada’s copyright law is way too “friendly” to would-be infringers, one area where it most certainly is not is in the area of fair use. Up in Canada, they don’t even have fair use, but the much more limited “fair dealing,” which is rigidly defined (unlike fair use) — with one area being “research.” Apparently, the Copyright Board of Canada ruled back in 2007 that the 30-second previews of music found on services like iTunes counted as fair dealing, because it was consumer “research” into whether or not they wanted to purchase the song. In response, the Canadian songwriters group SOCAN disagreed and asked a court to review. According to SOCAN such a broad definition of “research” was not what Canadian copyright law intended. In SOCAN’s view, “research” only meant scientific research (so, only folks in science labs and white lab coats could listen to 30 second previews legally).

      • And Here Comes The Media Campaign About How Spain Needs To Change Its Copyright Laws

        So when Spain finds that a file sharing network doesn’t violate copyright laws because it only points to infringing files, but doesn’t do any of the distribution, the industry spins it as Spain being weak on copyright, rather than just accurate in applying liability.

        Of course, childish threats from Hollywood to leave the market (yeah, that’ll stop file sharing…) has convinced some to put forth new copyright laws that mirror those elsewhere. This, despite the fact that an economic analysis of the new law suggests it would do more harm than good.

      • MPAA Worries About Pirating U.S. Soldiers in Iraq

        While U.S. men and women put their lives at risk in Iraq, the MPAA has queried the military about the pirating habits of the soldiers stationed there. A declassified document from United States Central Command confirms that the MPAA is fighting a war of its own in the Middle East, one against copyright infringing soldiers.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – WATMTG – Microgravity (1/12/2002)


Links 17/5/2010: Firefox 3.6.4 Build 4, State Services Commission (NZ) Goes for Free Software

Posted in News Roundup at 10:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Do Package Managers Spoil Us?

    Do systems break less with easier resolutions due to package managers? Does it mean that the new user of today won’t be as experienced as the old user of yesterday?

    I think it might.

    Users in the past had to chip away and reassemble with less documentation and no package manager. This meant that the user of yesterday ripped apart systems and packages to discover how they worked and which cogs fit where.

  • What IS Linux (and what it should be)?

    But there is a bigger issue at hand for Linux – than just the stigma of its past. With regards to society at large, on a grand-scheme scale, most people don’t even know what Linux is. So to the masses Linux would be completely foreign. And those are the people the Linux distributions should be focusing on.

  • Tuxification

    As you might have guessed, I have a lot of Linux-based T-shirts….a LOT of them. And I enjoy wearing those T-shirts. From time to time wearing the image of Tux encourages strangers who would normally never say anything to strike up a conversation. The number of security people at the airport that know about Linux and Free Software, for instance, is fairly amazing.

    On the other hand, I have fewer outer garments that have Tux or “Linux” on them, and often Tux is not visible as I travel.


    On the airplane returning from a recent trip to Brazil I sat beside a woman about my age. She saw my Tux T-shirt and said something about Linux. It turns out that she was a former employee of Sun Microsystems in the USA that had moved to Salvador, Brazil. She had (of course) used Unix, programmed in “C”, JAVA, used MySQL and used other FOSS programs. We exchanged email addresses.

    Make Tux a bit more visible in your life and you may find a lot of new FOSS friends….or just find your suitcase easier.

  • Terminals

    • Remote Terminals With Linux – An Introduction

      One of the most interesting features of Linux is its versatility. Being able to make complicated configurations out-of-the box. You do not need to buy the ultimate hyper business version to have the ability to set up a complex client / server system with dumb terminals and a remote application server.

      Creating a client / server network is relatively easy, since the multi-task / multi-user architecture is a native feature of Linux.

      But in order to understand this process, it is necessary to work with some theory, where we will see what is a client / server network with remote dumb terminals, what are its advantages, in which cases it can be used and in what ways it can be implemented on Linux.

    • Internet Cafes With Linux

      LanBr is a manager software that helps to control and manage of Lan Houses and Cyber Cafes powered by Linux, in order to ease the operations of daily life in an internet cafe/ lan house environment.

      The system is constantly evolving and has many features to achieve a good management of Lan Houses or Cyber Cafes in Linux.

      There are times when you feel you do not belong to the Ubuntu community for your lack of coding knowledge. But is that really true? Do you have to necessarily be a coding geek to contribute to the development of the most popular Linux distro around? The Ubuntu community manager Jono Bacon (who I hear likes bacon) talks to Amber Granner about that and more in this video.


      It is a project of Wilson Pinto Junior with help of volunteers and has as main objective to provide a complete and easy LAN Manager for Cyber Cafes and Lan Houses. The Program is all written in Python using Gtk and GNOME Human Guidelines “to an intuitive interface and ease to use”.

  • Google

    • More Images Of What Chrome OS Will Probably Look Like

      Chrome OS — Google’s lightning quick operating system that’s based entirely on the Chrome browser — is due out the second half of this year (check out our report earlier this evening on its progress). We’ve seen some demos of it in action, and even tried out an early version ourselves, but there are still plenty of question marks as far as how people will actually use this thing. After all, while the browser will be able to accomplish most tasks, users are going to want some degree of multitasking, and there’s also the question of how users will be navigating Chrome OS’s basic file structure.

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Community Feedback Helps Make Linux.com Even Better

      The annual Linux.com Planning meeting took place at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit last month. It was a great opportunity to meet face-to-face with some of the most active Linux.com community members and to understand what kinds of things are working and not working on the site. We even had some hard-core contributors who dialed in for the four-hour session!

    • Using qemu to instrument Windows

      Part of the problem that we face in providing Linux hardware support is that we’re lucky if there’s a spec, and even if there’s a spec there almost certainly isn’t a test suite. Linux still isn’t high on the list of things that vendors test with, so as a result hardware and firmware tend to be written to work with Windows rather than some more ideal notion of what a spec actually says.

    • Guest Blog: Rares Aioanei – Kernel News with openSUSE Flavor

      -Frederic Weisbecker posted perf fixes for 2.6.34, James Bottomley came up with SCSI fixes for -rc6, Paul E. McKenney had some RCU fixes for 2.6.35; perf fixes came also from Arnaldo Carvalho de Melo.

  • Applications

    • Decibel Audio Player – Simple Audio Player For Linux

      Decibel Audio Player is a lightweight (and simple) GTK+ based audio player. Although it has existed since 2007, it has been updated again.

      This player is made for speed usage, not for looks, so this is very fast, even on low-end netbooks/pcs.

    • [Compiz] Bugfixing and Testing

      Over the past 2 or so weeks, I’ve gotten some phenomenal amounts of input varying from quirks, crash reports and other problems which I probably wouldn’t have spotted otherwise.


      Over the past 2 or so days, I did some refactoring of the buildsystem so that plugins do not need to use ‘rpath’ in order to link to libraries such as libcompizconfig and libdecoration. This means that we can finally build RPM and Debian packages. Hopefully a PPA for Ubuntu will be coming soon, and we might even see Compiz 0.9.2~ in Ubuntu Maverick Meerkat if we’re lucky :)

    • prll is a pearl of a utility for parallel command execution

      Varlec is working on some cosmetic changes for the next version of prll. “I will also try to make prll POSIX-compliant. Most of the work has already been done by a helpful user, but I have yet to check it, merge it with the latest version, and see if I can maintain it in the long run. I’m also considering some internal utilities to be made available to the functions being executed. For example, I’d like to provide a locking mechanism to users, further expanding the usefulness of prll. But I want to keep prll as simple as possible.

    • Morevna: Open Source Anime Using Synfig, Blender, Gimp, and Krita

      Synfig is an authoring tool designed from the ground up to do smooth animation without drawing multiple frames in between the key frames, a process called “tweening,” meaning that the number of artists required to complete a major project is significantly reduced. The artist defines the position of the objects in two keyframes, chooses a path for the movement, and assigns filters or deformations, and the result is computer generated. I understand that normal anime has very few tween frames and limits motion on the screen to limit the amount of work artists have to do. Synfig’s method means a smoother-looking movie with thirty frames per second and the ability to add more animated movement.

    • Add a Pandora Screenlet to your Linux desktop
    • Writing made easy for young students: Introducing WriteType

      After several months of development, it is finally time to introduce the world to WriteType. WriteType is an application designed to aid young students in writing and typing on the computer. It offers text completion to make touch typing more efficient. It also will read back the document with one of the four implemented text-to-speech engines, enable teachers to easily highlight areas for review, and more.


      Apparently, the school had been purchasing these $400-500 devices because they offered word completion. These devices, vaguely reminiscent of the infamous AlphaSmart series, were anything but ergonomic or easy to use. Word completion was the killer feature that made paying $500 to type on a itsy-bitsy LED screen seem like an attractive offer. It would seem that a feature included by default in most cell phones would have at least one desktop implementation, however a little bit of research showed that this awkward brand of “computer” was indeed the only way to make use of auto-completion while typing documents.

      The shock effect alone was enough to motivate me to spend the weekend hacking up an initial version. I sent out some early versions a local elementary school to be tested. But as time went on, I began hearing from other people as well. If a program that achieves such a feat was in such high demand, it is quite amazing that no proprietary software company has made any attempt to capitalize on the needs of schools. Of course, readers of my blog understand how I feel about greedy educational companies who claim to want what is best for education but really just want to be filthy rich. Because of these beliefs, I had no choice but to release WriteType as free software.

    • Songbird has sung its last song…on Linux

      Will Linux suffer if Nightingale fails? No. Would Linux better for having Nightingale? Of course. Should the Linux community reach out to the Nightingale project and ensure it doesn’t fail? Hard to say. If given the choice between more rapid development and features for the current standards (Rhythmbox, Banshee, Amarock) or including Nightingale in the mix (and slowing down development of the others), I would happily say forget Nightingale. But given that Linux needs as many familiar tools as it can get, Nightingale could (and should) be a very important project.

    • Instructionals

    • GIMP

      • A Quick Gimp Tutorial For Hiding People
      • [AVATAR] Become a real Na’Vi using GIMP!
      • Episode 140: Double Deck Bus License

        00:20 My trip to England
        02:00 My photographic output – the image to process
        03:20 Bill’s workflow guide
        03:50 Copy the original layer
        04:30 Perspective correction
        05:15 Rotate (two attempts)
        10:00 Crop, inside out
        12:30 Cloning and healing
        14:30 Contrast correction with a curve
        15:05 Dodge and burn
        19:00 Scaling
        22:20 Sharpening and flattening the image
        24:00 Saving for the Web
        24:20 Scaling discussed
        26:30 How to license the workflow guide
        27:30 Creative Commons License
        32:45 Creative Commons for images

    • Games

      • Quake-Live Follow-Up: Strategy Observations

        For those of you bored out of your minds at this, I’ll get back to my regular content eventually. But hey, it is sometimes also important to show that, yes, Linux can be an enjoyable gaming platform, and Linux geeks can enjoy ourselves like normal human beings once in a while.

      • Penumbra: Overture, HPL1 Engine And OALWrapper Released As Open Source

        Frictional Games are the second company to release the source code of their game and engine because of the Humble Indie Bundle success.
        The game and engine were released under few different licenses depending on the tools, game parts : GPLv3, Creative Commons 3 and zlib

  • Desktop Environments

    • Carving up the corpse of Fluxbuntu

      If you’re running Ubuntu you can probably just install Fluxbox and then force dpkg to install those deb files and start it up. If you’re using Arch, grab the deb2targz tool out of the repositories, transmogrify each one of those debs into tar.gz files, then extract them to your root directory — the file structure will drop them perfectly into place. Probably most other distros could follow that same route, and get these same results.

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Akonadi Meeting and the KDE SC 4.5 release

        We are at the Akonadi meeting at the KDAB offices in Berlin right now, which was quite nice so far. We had the first round of API review of new methods in KDEPIMLIBS for 4.5, and already cleaned up quite a bit. Having multiple eyes look at the API is a nice way to improve the overall quality of the API. We met with Andrey Moiseenko and Alvaro Manera of Nokia, who work on calendaring for the next Meego phone from Nokia. They use our KCal library, which they have forked/extended for some special requirements they have. We’re now making plans with them to integrate their changes back to our version of KCal, so that both sides will profit from changes and have a single point of maintenance.

      • Whats up in KDE Remote Desktop Client?

        KDE SC 4.5 is coming up around the bend and I’m posting about some of the new exciting (to somebody I hope) features for KRDC. For KRDC 4.4 we introduced a new gui layout. I have been away from the keyboard for awhile and finally have been able to hammer out some bugfixes (1,2,3,4) for those new features as well as some older bugs to both 4.5 and 4.4.3 (for the most part).

        Well what are these new features I’m talking about? Well for starters I’ve taken that drab list of connections in the center of KRDC and made it much more useful by adding statistics and other information. You can sort your list by these different pieces of information and it will save your sort column/order for the next time you open it so you can keep it sorted the way you like.

      • KDE and the Masters of the Universe

        As some of you may know, I stared a new podcast called KDE and the Masters of the Universe (KDEMU for short). It is an *all* KDE podcast that will cover a wide range of KDE topics, releases, interviews with developers, etc. Our premier episode with Aaron Seigo and has just been released Today!

      • Alternative widgets explorer [Plasma]

        From KDE SC 4.5, you’ll be able to fire up KRunner or Lancelot, search for some plasma widget and drag it to the desktop.

      • TouchFreeze 0.2.5 for Linux

        TouchFreeze is a special software for Linux system that will disable the mouse click while you are typing. This is a useful utility for Linux built using QT4 and Xeview header. TouchFreeze docks in your system tray (KDE/Gnome) and disables button click events while typing.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • live cd compare : ubuntu/kubuntu 10.04 and pclinuxos 2010 kde/gnome

        Number of Linux distributions do not make us confused to select the distro. Limitations of the Internet connection is also not stopped our desire to learn Linux. Still afraid of installing linux? do not worry, there’s a many distribution with live cd base. With the live cd you can try to use Linux without having to install to the hard disk. There are various Linux distributions that use the livecd, but this time I am just going to try livecd of ubuntu and PCLinuxOS distro.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian + Backports is Better than the Latest Ubuntu

        I’ve always found Debian Stable+Backports to be more stable than the latest Ubuntu. What’s more, with backports configured you can get the latest versions of popular packages.

      • VideoLink, assembles a DVD video filesystem from HTML pages and video files.

        VideoLink is available in Debian from version 5.0 ‘lenny’. If you don’t run Debian, get the source tarball (tar.gz file) and build from that.

      • Ubuntu

        • Chromium Daily shifts buttons to the left for Ubuntu users

          Users of the Chromium browser daily builds for Ubuntu may be surprised to find their window controls ‘doing a Lucid’ and switching from the right to the left.

        • [VIDEO SUNDAY] Jono Bacon on non-developers in the Ubuntu Community

          There are times when you feel you do not belong to the Ubuntu community for your lack of coding knowledge. But is that really true? Do you have to necessarily be a coding geek to contribute to the development of the most popular Linux distro around? The Ubuntu community manager Jono Bacon (who I hear likes bacon) talks to Amber Granner about that and more in this video.

        • Desktop Fun: 21 Cool Ubuntu Wallpapers

          Ubuntu 10.04 was released last month, and comes with some breath taking design enhancements, and has some fabulous art work integrated into it. We’ve put together a collection of wallpapers to make it more customized.

        • Zeitgeist: The Road to Maverick Meerkat

          Just like last year Zeitgeist developers were present at UDS…
          It was amazing I will write about the UDS exprience in another blogpost.
          I think my favorite moment was Mark announcing Unity and using Zeitgeist for file management on the desktop. Although Mikkel knew about it (he works for Canonical), it took the rest of the team by surprise. It is very nice to feel appreciated. And I think i speak on behalf of the whole team when I say “Thank you Ubuntu and Canonical for giving us a chance”.

        • Ubuntu 10.04 installation fun

          Bottom line: There is missing a clear path how to replace older Linux, be it Ubuntu or whatever else. Something fast, clear, nice for lame user without selecting / partition in advanced mode (not that complicated, but still). One question: “Do you really want to replace this BlaBla Linux? All data on that partition will be lost. Your Windows XP will not be affected. Proceed?” That is the thing I’m missing as an upgrade option.

        • Variants

          • Peppermint: Just like any other Lubuntu, only more so

            Ultimately it all falls to preference, and we’re back to the most important idea: Freedom to change and choose. So if Peppermint appeals to you because you believe you’re sparing your netbook the effort of thrashing through the Gnome desktop, and at the same time undercutting the system requirements of Lubuntu … well, you are always welcome to use it.

          • Review: Peppermint OS

            Peppermint OS is a very nice project with a fresh and very interesting approach to how Linux should shape up for modern users. Far from the extremely minimalistic approach taken by Google with Google Chrome OS, Peppermint OS actually keeps enough local weight to keep your attention when you can’t go online.

            In fact, one thing I specially like about Peppermint’s approach is that it provides lots of flexibility. On the one hand, you may choose to go minimalistic, going for an OS that can take as little as 512MB of hard drive space. Nothing would prevent you from installing many of the applications available and beefing up the local catalog though, consequently getting closer to a standard desktop OS.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Litl Plans to Launch Web-Connected TV Box

      The Litl box will run an open Linux-based OS, the same used in the Webbook, making it easier to encourage users to create web apps due to the open OS. litl will also be releasing an Adobe Flash 10.1-based Software Development Kit (SDK) at this weekend’s Flash and the City developers conference.

    • 4 Netbook Operating Systems Worth Checking Out

      There are a number of great netbooks on the market, and a bunch more great netbook operating systems worth trying out. I’ve only highlighted a few of the pack leaders worth checking out, but there’s a lot more beneath the surface if you’re willing to dig.

Free Software/Open Source

  • How and Why Contributing to FOSS Can Benefit Your Organization

    A Linux distribution is a carefully culled collection of software from these upstream projects which makes a complete operating system and even includes a lot of application software. This collection of software is tested and prepared to run securely and maintainably together. Debian is built upon this model.

    Some distributions of Linux use Debian as a source project unto itself. There are a number of Linux distributions based on Debian, including the popular KNOPPIX and Ubuntu distributions. Being “based on Debian” can mean several things, but it primarily means they draw from the software repository at some point in the release cycle, and they use the Advanced Packaging Tool (apt) to manage this software. In these cases Debian is an intermediary between the original FOSS project and the “children” distributions which may also pull from original software projects to expand upon what Debian provides to target their particular focus.

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox 3.6.4 Build 4 Released

      A new build of Firefox 3.6.4 has been released and is currently distributed to users who have a previous build of the upcoming Firefox version installed on their computer system. The update check in the browser will recognize the new build and download it automatically to the computer so that the browser can be updated.

    • Hacks to Make Firefox Faster than Google Chrome

      Google Chrome has now eclipsed Mozilla Firefox in the speed category. However, I still use Firefox as my main web browser because it is still better than Chrome in certain areas.

      But just recently, I tried a few tweaks that significantly improved the speed of Firefox making it a little bit snappier than the latest version of Google Chrome when loading webpages.

  • Databases

  • Project Releases

  • Government

    • SSC specifies open source software in tender process

      The State Services Commission has raised eyebrows after specifying that open source software be part of its revamped website.

      The commission has told potential suppliers that the website’s content management system, which will let it update and manage the site, must use open source software rather than proprietary software – such as that supplied by Microsoft.


  • Security/Aggression

  • Finance

    • Greek leader considers action against US banks

      Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou declared he is not ruling out taking legal action against U.S. investment banks for their role in creating the spiraling Greek debt crisis.

      Both the Greek government and its citizens have blamed international banks for fanning the flames of the debt crisis with comments about Greece’s likely default, actions that are causing the country’s borrowing costs to soar.

    • Fear of a Double Dip Could Cause One

      THE risk of a double-dip recession hasn’t abated, even after news of the huge European bailout in response to the Greek debt crisis.

      World markets soared initially on the announcement of the nearly $1 trillion rescue plan, and then declined. But as the economist John Maynard Keynes cautioned long ago, such market reactions are basically a “beauty contest” — with investors trying to predict the short-term reaction that other investors think still other investors will have.

    • Fears Intensify That Euro Crisis Could Snowball

      After a brief respite following the announcement last week of a nearly $1 trillion bailout plan for Europe, fear in the financial markets is building again, this time over worries that the Continent’s biggest banks face strains that will hobble European economies.

    • Nightmare on Wall Street

      The Wall Street reform bill is taking that rarest of paths through the Senate — actually gaining tougher provisions against the industry as it proceeds, not being watered down to win votes as health care reform was.

    • Despite audit, Federal Reserve’s scope may widen with Senate bill

      As the debate over how to overhaul financial regulation heated up last year, there was one thing Democrats and Republicans seemed to agree on: that the Federal Reserve had made major mistakes that contributed to the financial crisis and needed to have its wings clipped.

    • Obama’s terms for financial overhaul remain mostly intact

      Passage of a 1,400-page bill to overhaul the nation’s financial regulations would come just two months after Obama signed a landmark health-care overhaul. But in the case of financial regulation, much more so than with health care, the Senate bill largely reflects the administration’s initial blueprint, despite the fervent efforts of lobbyists and lawmakers of all stripes to alter it.

    • James K. Galbraith: Why the ‘Experts’ Failed to See How Financial Fraud Collapsed the Economy

      Thus the study of financial fraud received little attention. Practically no research institutes exist; collaboration between economists and criminologists is rare; in the leading departments there are few specialists and very few students. Economists have soft- pedaled the role of fraud in every crisis they examined, including the Savings & Loan debacle, the Russian transition, the Asian meltdown and the dot.com bubble. They continue to do so now. At a conference sponsored by the Levy Economics Institute in New York on April 17, the closest a former Under Secretary of the Treasury, Peter Fisher, got to this question was to use the word “naughtiness.” This was on the day that the SEC charged Goldman Sachs with fraud.

    • Wall Street banks investigated over links to ratings agencies

      Inquiry into bid to find whether banks cheated in hunt for high credit ratings includes Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – HASB – Sun Basics (1/3/2002)


Links 16/5/2010: More Linux Tablets; Ellison Talks About Sun

Posted in News Roundup at 2:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Why cult madness is driving me off Apple

    Do I go with a commodity notebook platform based on Ubuntu? Do I trash years of experience with Apple’s Mac as a platform? Steve Jobs has angered me in a personal way by behaving like the other boorish executives in the industry. I get FUD fed to me on a daily basis, and my FUD detector is strong. Like other consumers, I can be a strong ally. But I’m not a fanboi, not a lapdog sycophant, and am pro IT industry and not a stockholder.

    There’s an HP Pavillion with my name on it out there for $300. It’s a nice used machine. I’m wondering now what it will look like with Lucid Lynx on it. Maybe a VM with Windows 7.

  • Dell upgrades tough netbook

    In each version, the 10in, 1024 x 600 display – a touchscreen if you’re buying for a school – is driven by the CPU’s on-board GPU, the GMA 3150. 802.11n Wi-Fi is part of the package, but there’s a choice of OS: Linux, Windows XP, Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Starter.

  • Medical researchers adopt HPC system

    A team from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has called on an IBM-based HPC system to help with research on genetics.

  • Acer to Launch Chrome OS Devices at Last?

    Remember Chrome OS, Google’s stripped-to-the-browser operating system? It’s reportedly ready for prime time, with Chrome OS devices from Acer leading the way.

  • Ballnux

    • Samsung’s Bada gets a developer kit

      The Software Developer’s Kit version 1 is available from the Bada Developers’ portal, which promises that the Bada-based Wave phone (which should be shipping by the end of the month) will be followed by “successive promising handsets”, and that Bada phones will be available globally later this year.

    • Samsung releases Bada SDK

      Time will tell if Samsung can attract developers to its own smartphone operating system now that it has released the beta of its Bada software development kit.

    • HTC EVO 4G $200, on Sale June 4

      Sprint’s first 4G smartphone, the EVO 4G, will go on sale June 4 for $200 after a mail-in rebate. (The full price is $450, but if you grab one from Best Buy, you’ll get the discount applied when you buy.)

    • Android This Week: Sprint Unveils EVO 4G Pricing; Patent Infringement Accusations Fly

      Sprint this week officially launched the Android-based EVO 4G phone. The EVO will cost $199 with a two-year contract and require a $79.99 monthly plan that provides 450 anytime talk minutes along with unlimited data, texting and calling to other mobile phones. However, the pricing includes a $10 “premium data charge,” which already has prospective buyers complaining. They’re interpreting the fee as a 4G tax, yet customers in areas without 4G coverage will be subject to it along with those in areas that do have 4G. The EVO 4G will be available on June 4 from Sprint and various retailers.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mozilla

  • Oracle

    • Ellison slams former Sun management

      In an interview with Reuters, Ellison said, “really great blogs do not take the place of great microprocessors”, in an apparent swipe at former Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz.

      Schwartz, as we are sure you know, had a bit of a habit of blogging, and signed off with a haiku. Nothing unusual about that, maybe, but Ellison said that a lot of this chat came at the expense of actually running a business well.

    • Special Report: Can That Guy in Ironman 2 Whip IBM in Real Life?

      Although his products are used by businesses only and not nearly as recognizable as Apple’s Macs or Google’s search engine, they’ve made Ellison the world’s sixth-richest man, worth an estimated $28 billion, according to Forbes. Oracle counts the bulk of the world’s major corporations as customers, and the company’s market value now tops that of Hewlett-Packard, the world’s top maker of personal computers.


  • Security/Aggression

    • Indo-Mancunian Windows support scammer phones Reg hack

      Yesterday I got a call from a chap claiming to be from Windows Support, letting me know that my computer was dangerously infected, and that only he could help.

      The scam isn’t new – we reported on it a year ago – but tough times are driving miscreants to expand operations to the point where even Reg staff are being targeted in the attempt to put the wind up unsuspecting computer users.

    • Gary McKinnon lawyers lobby new home secretary

      The new home secretary has been urged to overrule her predecessor’s decision to allow the extradition of UK computer hacker Gary McKinnon.

      Mr McKinnon’s lawyers have made “representations” to Conservative Theresa May as part of a long campaign to prevent a US trial for their client.

    • Guilty Plea After Botnet Tested With DDoS on ISP

      Edwards pleaded guilty to the charges before U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle on April 29. He is set to be sentenced August 19. Before he decided to plead guilty, Smith’s case had been set to go to trial next week.

    • Software Insecurity is Our Biggest Weakness

      In place of this current model, Ranumm suggested that it may be time for a centralized federal development organization that focuses on writing custom software.

      “Why don’t we have a government coding office? We have a government printing office,” he said. “Why don’t we have a strategic software reserve? Is this putting us at a greater or lesser risk? I’m not sure. But our own software is probably a greater threat to us than anything other people can do to us.”

    • Cryptographer Whit Diffie takes ICANN security job

      Six months after leaving his job at Sun Microsystems noted cryptographer Whitfield ‘Whit’ Diffie has landed a new gig, this time as a security adviser to the corporation that manages the Internet.

  • Environment

    • US Climate Bill: The Good, Bad and Boring Details

      A comprehensive energy and climate bill like this one is a game-changer. It marks a fundamental, and I think irrevocable shift, in our way of doing business. It puts a bounty on carbon, and it marks out a clear path to a world where carbon emissions are a curiosity.

    • The Latest in E-Waste Recycling: e-Steward Certification

      This new certification program is truly worldchanging: it responds to social inequities and environmental problems, and builds consumer demand for responsible business practices by restructuring e-waste recycling through transparency and accountability. According to a Pike Research survey, 76% of American consumers believe recycling is the answer to e-waste.

    • Climate Change and the Integrity of Science: 255 National Academy of Sciences Members Defend Climate Science Integrity

      It seems these scientists realize that what the journal Nature said is true: “Scientists must now emphasize the science, while acknowledging that they are in a street fight.”

      Now these same scientists need to start writing op-eds, doing ed-board meetings, giving talks, and the like (see “Publicize or Perish: The Scientific Community is Failing Miserably in Communicating the Potential Catastrophe of Climate Change“).

    • Greenpeace heads to Arctic to investigate urgent ocean threats

      We are returning to the Arctic Ocean with our ship the Esperanza this month to reinforce the urgent need to protect one of the most pristine and fragile environments on Earth.

    • Setting sail to shut down bluefin tuna fisheries

      The Rainbow Warrior is heading out to confront one of the most irresponsible and destructive fishing operations in the world. Mediterranean bluefin tuna have been exploited to the brink of extinction – making them the most visible and tragic example of oceans and fishery mismanagement.

    • Bad days for bluefin
    • Oil spill could go on for years, experts say

      The retired chairman of an energy investment banking firm told National Geographic in little-noticed comments Thursday that efforts to stop the oil leak under the Gulf of Mexico could prove fruitless and than oil could gush into the ocean for years.

    • Angry Obama denounces oil companies’ ‘ridiculous spectacle’

      “I will not tolerate more finger-pointing or irresponsibility. The people of the Gulf Coast need our help,” Obama said, as he also unveiled a review of the environmental safeguards to be put in place for oil and gas exploration.

      He slammed the three oil companies linked to the Deepwater Horizon rig for seeking to pass the blame, denouncing what he called a “ridiculous spectacle” by their top officials during congressional hearings.

    • BP must clarify intentions on clean up costs: US

      British Petroleum must clarify its “true intentions” on paying for costs associated with a massive US oil spill, the US homeland security and interior secretaries said in a letter released Saturday.

  • Finance

    • Exclusive: Waddell is mystery trader in market plunge

      A big mystery seller of futures contracts during the market meltdown last week was not a hedge fund or a high-frequency trader as many have suspected, but money manager Waddell & Reed Financial Inc, according to a document obtained by Reuters.

      Waddell on May 6 sold a large order of e-mini contracts during a 20-minute span in which U.S. equities markets plunged, briefly wiping out nearly $1 trillion in market capital, the internal document from Chicago Mercantile Exchange parent CME Group Inc said.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • China targets online commentator anonymity

      China is considering forcing its citizens to use their real names when they post comments on internet bulletin boards.

      The suggestion came from Wang Chen, head of the government’s information office, at a meeting of senior Chinese leaders.

    • Evony case against British blogger withdrawn

      The Chinese owners of the massive multiplayer online game, Evony, dropped a libel case against British blogger Bruce Everiss after two days of hearings, the Guardian reports.

    • Google Comes Clean About Wi-Fi Network Data Collection

      Google opened up in a blog post today confirming that they have been collecting data from Wi-Fi networks with their Google Maps Street View Cars as they have driven around. This is a subject that has been brought up, but in a recent blog post Google said that it had not been collecting “payload data”, but is now saying that it actually has been.

    • Google’s Wi-Fi Spying: What Were They Thinking?

      It was no secret that Google’s cars had already been collecting publicly broadcast SSID information (Wi-Fi network names) and MAC addresses (unique numbers for devices like Wi-Fi routers). But this techie data, which is used for location-based services such as Google Maps, didn’t include any “payload data,” or personal information sent over the network.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Obama to promote RIAA’s favourite lawyer

      The prosecutor who spanked the World’s Dumbest File Sharer, Jammie Thomas, is set to be the US’ next Solicitor General.

      The Solicitor General represents the US Government in Supreme Court cases, and there’s a vacancy after the current incumbent Elena Kagan became the latest Court appointment.

    • Pirate Bay ISP hit with German injunction

      The Hamburg district court has slapped an injunction on German ISP CB3ROB (Cyberbunker) and its operator, demanding that the outfit refrains from plugging The Pirate Bay into the internet.

    • Copyrights

      • Jane Siberry makes entire back-catalog into free downloads

        Clifton sez, “Canadian recording artist Jane Siberry has made all of her recordings (16 complete albums) available for free download, with the words: “DOWNLOAD ALL SIBERRY MUSIC HERE. IT IS FREE, A GIFT FROM JANE. TAKE GOOD CARE OF IT. AND ‘PAY IT FORWARD’ TO OTHERS.”

      • Strangling the Net: Stripping DMCA Protections from YouTube

        Greetings. An amicus curiae brief was filed a few days ago by the Washington Legal Foundation in the ongoing Viacom vs. YouTube/Google lawsuit.

        Even by the normal standards of our adversarial legal system, this brief is startling not only in the depth of its misleading and just plain inaccurate arguments, but also in the implications that its “logic” would have for the Internet at large.

        Despite Google’s implementation of a comprehensive “video fingerprinting” system to aid in the identification of copyrighted materials that rights holders wish to remove from the YouTube environment, the brief’s arguments that services such as YouTube are not deserving of DMCA protections are clearly disingenuous.

    • Digital Economy Bill

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – FOFE – Testing Aircraft (1/11/2001)


Links 15/5/2010: 65,000+ Linux-based Google Phones Per Day; English Leadership on F/OSS

Posted in News Roundup at 6:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • CERN cranks up its LHC network

    According to HPCWIRE, the LHC doomsday device’s network has linked mass data storage sites, such as the Ohio Supercomputer Centre and more than 1,000 international physicists, engineers and technicians.

    Apparently the LHC detectors spew out 1.25GB of data per second. That’s about six times the contents of Encyclopedia Britannica including the index every second.

  • Ballnux

    • Nexus One gives the iPhone a run for its money

      Google made a wise decision when it decided to release an open source mobile operating system — it has allowed it to quickly infiltrate the smartphone market because of the business model: it’s free and open source like Linux.

      Despite this, most of the Android devices on the market today are not really true competitors to the iPhone, due to the immaturity, sluggishness and the availability of apps. But with the release of the latest device, the HTC Nexus One running Android v2.1, Android is finally becoming a threat to the iPhone, which has held its own for almost two years as the most desirable mobile device.

    • Nexus One changes in availability

      But, as with every innovation, some parts worked better than others. While the global adoption of the Android platform has exceeded our expectations, the web store has not. It’s remained a niche channel for early adopters, but it’s clear that many customers like a hands-on experience before buying a phone, and they also want a wide range of service plans to chose from.

    • Say Hello to the TELUS HTC Triumph!

      Got to hand it to TELUS as they keep bringing on very strong Android devices. First it was the HTC Hero, followed up with the Motorola Milestone then the very unique Motorola Backflip… now behold the HTC Triumph!

    • Samsung Wave out soon, SDK out now

      As has been widely reported, Samsung’s eagerly anticipated Wave handset is due out in the next month or so and is based around the new open-source bada platform. As a result, people eager to start creating apps for the smartphone device can start doing that right now, by downloading the Software Developers Kit directly from bada.com.

    • Ok, For Real Guys… Android 2.1 Available for Samsung Moment
    • US Cellular’s Samsung Acclaim Pic Confirmed

      Engadget is reporting that the handset pictured to the left is the new Samsung Acclaim that US Cellular has recently scored exclusive rights to. Their confidence that this is the Acclaim is high, with their “doubt meter hovering at zero.”

    • Is this T-Mobile US’s Galaxy S? UPDATE

      This is another one of those posts that could be way off the mark, but it could be right on. Howard Chui from howardchui.com recently posted a video walkthrough of the Samsung Galaxy S. If you will kindly take note of the icons in the screen shot to the right, you’ll notice there are a couple recognizable icons there, icons that are commonly found on T-Mobile US Android devices. I’ve looked through several Galaxy S videos from CTIA and none of the demos show these icons in the app tray, only this video.

    • Samsung Galaxy S Promotional Video Surfaces
  • Instructionals

    • How To Check URLs You Don’t Trust

      There are alternatives which may or may not have their own HTTP engines. Did you know Firefox and Google Chrome have a view-source protocol handler? You can view the source code for my blog at view-source:http://blogs.pcmag.com/securitywatch/.

      And then there’s Curl, a free and open source Internet URL retrieval engine. It’s most famous for retrieving HTTP URLs, but it handles many other protocols too (HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, FTPS, SCP, SFTP, TFTP, DICT, TELNET, LDAP or FILE).

    • VLC Media Player Download
  • Games

    • Four indie games to go open source

      The developers of the Aquaria, Gish, Lugaru HD and Penumbra Overture have all pledged to release the their code as open source. Wolfire Games, makers of Lugaru HD, have already posted their source code under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and within hours of the release a number of people have created and submitted patches.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • VectorLinux 6.0 Standard Edition

        Ten years after the first release, the VectorLinux team announced a new version of the Standard Edition. The 6th generation of the Linux operating system has an installer with Graphical User Interface for the first time, developed by Moises Henriquez (M0E-lnx) and Uel Archuletta (uelsk8s). We have delivered a stable, clean and fast Operating system, that is easy to install, configure, and use.

      • eBox 1.4-2
      • CentOS 5.5
      • Toorox – Linux Live System: 05.2010


        * Kernel 2.6.33-gentoo
        * KDE 4.4.3
        * Xorg-Server 1.7.6
        * OpenOffice 3.2.0
        * VLC 1.0.6
        * IceCat 3.6.3
        * Thunderbird 3.04
        * K3b 1.91.0_rc2
        * Gimp 2.6.8
        * Wine 1.1.43
        * Amarok 2.2.1
        * Audacious
        * Ardour 2.8.2
        * Kino 1.3.3
        * Cinelerra 20100320
        * …

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Rocking Out With A Linux Guitar

      By working the LCD screen with one hand and pressing down on virtual strings on the neck of the instrument, you can create synthesized sounds. For guitar geeks, this looks like a great gift, but there isn’t any price cited yet.

    • Nokia

      • What does Nokia need to do to become relevant again?

        3) Ditch Symbian for smartphones: Nokia claims that Symbian “democratises the smartphone market”. They’re saying that open source programmes make their phones more customisable and more relevant to a larger audience than, say, an iPhone. But Android is already by some measures outselling the Apple iPhone, it’s already open source and it’s already very good, when HTC design with it at least. Symbian 4 is, by virtue of its arrival later this year, surely not able to be a patch on Android 1.6, never mind the newer 2.1, and equally poor in comparison to iPhone OS3. What’s the point in backing the Symbian horse? Insiders say forthcoming OS Meego will be great. It’s too little, too late, when Android is already streaks ahead and Windows Phone 7 Series is on the way. (I’d love, by the way, to be proved wrong, but “the open source OS” Symbian 4 is currently a secret – you can take a look here at Mashable, however.

    • Android

      • 65,000 Android phones shipping every day: Google

        At least 65,000 mobile phones powered by Google’s Android operating system are being shipped every day, Google chief executive Eric Schmidt said Thursday.

      • Android is for real

        As for Android, even if it was helped along by Apple-like advertising campaigns and two-for-one offers, the Linux-based, Apache-licensed mobile OS has undoubtedly made the biggest strides in the modern smartphone market we’ve seen since iPhone. I recall immense skepticism when we indicated in our CAOS report Mobility Matters way back in November 2008 that the first Android phone on the market, the G1, represented an impressive first step and a sign of fast, carrier-supported development and advancement thanks in large part to open source. Regardless of how significant its device maker and carrier support, including two for one deals, Android has done better than expected in the market. It certainly marks the furthest a mobile OS based on Linux has ever gone.

      • Michael Dell Confirms Streak 5 for AT&T This Summer

        Michael Dell, CEO, took to the stage yesterday for a keynote speech at the Citrix Synergy conference where he promptly teased the crowd with a demo of the Streak 5 tablet phone. The 5-inch device features a 5-megapixel camera, a 800X480 touch display with 5 inches viewable screen, and a customized build of Android. We aren’t sure what version of Android the Streak 5 will have. Our first glimpse of the device had 1.6 on it but enough time has passed to get 2.1 loaded.

      • NTT DoCoMo’s Best Selling Smart Phone Ever is Probably Sony Ericsson Xperia X10

        We’ve given the Sony Ericsson Xperia a rough go at things here on the site and on some of our podcasts. To sum things up we’d have to say we’re disappointed all around. We wish it was more responsive in their Mediascape and Timescape apps, we wish it had something newer than Android 1.6, we wish it would hit the US at some point, etc… Just a general sense of letdown.

      • DROID Does More Commercials

        Droid Does Augmented reality! Well, technically most Android devices can “do” augmented reality. However, none of the other carriers and/or manufacturers are promoting the sheer amount and variety of Android apps that are available. Even if you think the videos are too industrial or crass, you have to admit that Verizon is helping to gain visibility for our little, green buddy.

      • Android Rips Up Google to Reveal a Nexus One Easter Egg

        Google sure does love its easter eggs, and here in the UK Android fans are treated to a very special sight when “meet Android” is typed and “I’m feeling lucky” hit.

    • Tablets

      • Verizon: We’re making a tablet with Google

        Google released a statement: “Android is a free, open source mobile platform. This means that anyone can take the Android platform and add code or download it to create a mobile device without restrictions. The Android smartphone platform was designed from the beginning to scale downward to feature phones and upward to MID and netbook-style devices. We look forward to seeing what contributions are made and how an open platform spurs innovation, but we have nothing to announce at this time.”

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Predicted to Experience High Growth in 2010

    A new survey by one of Europe’s specialist pan European headhunting companies in the software space, predicts Open Source will be a good bet to achieve high growth this year.

  • Make Your Own Creative Suite With Free Open Source Software

    When you’re getting started with web design, industry standard software such as Adobe’s Creative Suite is often far out of your budget. Fortunately there are many Open Source alternatives that go a long way towards putting together a solid suite of design tools.

    Alternative To Photoshop: GIMP

    GIMP or GNU Image Manipulation Program started in 1995 and is probably the best known Open Source image editor. It has powerful painting tools, layers and channels support, multiple undo/redo, editable text layers. There is a huge supportive community around GIMP with many plug-ins to allow easy extension of it’s functionality. Gimp can import native Photoshop files and can read scalable vector graphics (SVG) files.

  • Events

  • SaaS

    • Yahoo! to open source floating Google-Amazon crossbreed

      Known simply as “Cloud” within the company, the platform is that piece of Yahoo! infrastructure that serves up its online applications. In short, it provides the company’s internal developers with on-demand access to computing resources. But rather than offering raw virtual machines as Amazon EC2 does, it spins up “containers” of server power that are pre-configured for things like load-balancing and security. That way, developers needn’t handle the load-balancing on their own.

  • Databases

  • Healthcare

    • IAC to VA: Modernize VistA

      The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) should commit to and announce as a matter of strategic policy a plan to move to an open source, open standards model for the re-engineering of the next generation of the department’s integrated health information system, VistA, according to a new report from the Industry Advisory Council (IAC). The 100-page report from the Washington, D.C.-based IAC provided recommendations to VA on how to modernize VistA (VA Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture).

    • A Look Into the Mind: WiseWindow Leverages Open Source, Cloud Computing to Gauge Opinions

      I understand Rajiv has been named advisor and architect for a new open source project funded by the National Institute of Health and executed by Caltech. What is the goal of this effort and what exactly does it have to do with open source?

      Dulepet: The goal of this effort is to provide scientists an open platform for bio-medical research where they can share analytical applications and data with their colleagues.

  • Business

  • Government

    • Whitehall’s new IT minister, who’s it gonna be?

      Whomever is handed the government’s IT portfolio will, among other duties, be responsible for overseeing the Cabinet Office’s open source and open standards software procurement policy, which the previous Labour administration rejigged under then IT minister Angela Smith in January this year.

    • UK hot-swaps leaders – Brown out, Cameron in

      The Tories also look like following many European and US authorities on open source and open standards. The party has promised to make government data available upon request in open-standard formats.

    • Tories and Lib Dems form coalition government

      The Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties, both of which opposed ID cards and favour open source, have formed a coalition government.


      Both parties are keen on open-source software. The Tories have backed the use of open standards in major government IT projects, which they say will create a “level playing field” for open source, and the Lib Dems have sung the praises of open source’s cost benefits.

    • New Government: Tory-Lib Dem Coalition Will Agree On Most Public Sector ICT Issues
    • Goodbye Gordon: The Labour Tech Legacy

      7. Open source government

      Brown’s government was one of the first to use open source tech to help the public sector cut IT costs during the economic downturn. The decision to encourage greater use of open source was based on the need for greater support for community development by IT vendors, and some commentators claimed savings could be as much as £600 million a year.

      However, Britain has been found to be lagging behind many other countries when it comes to open source, and many open source vendors have criticised the policy as toothless. Meanwhile, the European Commission has warned that any progress in using open source and open standards will have to be tempered against the possibility that the software could have downsides in terms of security.

    • European Commission Releases New Version of Open e-PRIOR To Push eProcurement Across EU

      The Directorate-General for Informatics (DIGIT) has recently announced that a new version of Open e-PRIOR, the open-source version of the e-PRIOR (electronic PRocurement, Invoicing and Ordering) platform has been published on the Open Source Observatory and Repository for European public administrations (OSOR.eu).

  • Open Data

    • Cory Doctorow, geek culture icon (Q&A)

      From his home in England, the Canadian-born Doctorow, a Hugo Award nominee, is one of the most prolific writers going, constantly turning out blog posts, magazine articles, novels, and everything in between. And he travels more in a year than most people will in a lifetime.

      His Boing Boing posts can cover issues from the fact that there are now at least 13 open-source hardware companies making $1 million or more annually, to anything related to Net neutrality, to the current battle over the U.S. Federal Communications Committee’s decision to give Hollywood permission to activate the so-called “Selective Output Control” technologies in consumers’ set-top boxes.

  • Open Hardware

  • Open Access/Content

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Technology: Beautifully Rendered Music Notation With HTML5

      An anonymous reader writes “This is incredible. This guy has built a music notation engraver entirely in JavaScript, allowing for real-time music editing right in the browser. Here’s a demo. The library has no external dependencies, and all the glyphs, scores, beams, ties, etc. are positioned and rendered entirely in JavaScript.”


  • Feds to examine ways to jam prisoners’ illicit cell phone calls

    Federal regulators are now seeking input on ways they can jam signals or otherwise crack down on prisoners who smuggle and use cell phones in federal jails.

  • Successful Businesses Focus On Innovating

    Anyone working at a small company has likely experienced the time distractions of playing phone tag and chasing down late payments. These diversions can drain enthusiasm and energy that could otherwise be put to better use. Given this common problem, we’re on the lookout for how others in small businesses are creating innovative projects. Software as a service offerings are often cited as examples for saving time — allowing small companies to focus on their own tasks, rather than dealing with maintaining IT resources and installing software packages.

  • Science

    • NASA’s moon program gets a boost from Congress

      Two Republican lawmakers today moved to block White House efforts to kill NASA’s Constellation program, adding an amendment to a broad budget bill that prohibits NASA from taking steps to terminate efforts to return astronauts to the moon.

      The provision, inserted in an emergency spending bill aimed at funding military operations in Afghanistan, is the latest salvo in a months-long battle between Congress and the White House on what to do with NASA after the agency retires the space shuttle fleet at the end of the year.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Inside Sourcefire’s Vulnerability Research Team

      In many IT security shops, administrators rely on open-source tools to keep up with the malware bad guys continue to toss their way. One industry favorite is Sourcefire, parent of the Snort IDS tool and ClamAV.

    • Friday Funnies
    • Single group did 66% of world’s phishing

      A single criminal operation was responsible for two-thirds of all phishing attacks in the second half of 2009 and is responsible for a two-fold increase in the crime, a report published this week said.

    • Report reveals DNA sample failings by police in London

      Failings in the way police officers in London dealt with DNA samples linked to violent crime, rape and murder have been highlighted in a report.

      The inspection found samples had been left in a freezer at two police stations in Hackney, east London, instead of being sent for analysis.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Defending “Hot News” Claim in New York Court

      From DarkReading.com, a story about a federal lawsuit against Goldman Sachs and several unknown Goldman Sachs employees who allegedly logged into, and stole thousands of records from, the plaintiff’s database of investor contact information. The database was protected by a restrictive license and by passwords.

      The lawsuit has several aspects that make it worth watching. First, the plaintiffs claim that Goldman Sachs should be liable for its employees’ violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Few cases discuss the circumstances under which an employer can be held liable for an employee’s CFAA violations. Cases like Butera & Andrews v. IBM Inc., No. 1:06-CV-647 (D.D.C. Oct. 18, 2006), create a high hurdle for plaintiffs, stating that intentional conduct on the part of the company must be proven to create CFAA liability.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Facebook founder called trusting users dumb f*cks

      Loveable Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg called his first few thousand users “dumb fucks” for trusting him with their data, published IM transcripts show. Facebook hasn’t disputed the authenticity of the transcript.

    • Facebook Should Follow Its Own Principles

      About a year ago, Facebook suffered a tremendous consumer backlash over its changes to the Terms of Service. To quell the uproar, Facebook introduced a set of Principles. Through a “Facebook site governance” vote, users voted on whether these Principles should serve as the foundation for governing the site.” At the time, the company trumpeted the success of the vote, by which about 75% of voters selected the new Facebook Principles: “We strongly believe that our proposed documents satisfied the concerns raised in February.” As Facebook explains, the Principles are “the foundation of the rights and responsibilities of those within the Facebook Service.” A year later, the foundation is cracking.

      Now Facebook flatly contradicts its own stated Principles. The contradictions are clearly shown in Facebook’s widely panned ([1][2][3][4][5]) response to New York Times readers’ questions on the social network’s brave new privacy practices. A reader asked Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s vice president for public policy, the key question: “Why can’t I control my own information anymore?”

    • Why Open Alternatives Are Bound To Challenge Facebook

      Still, as we’ve noted before, both Facebook and Twitter suffer from the fundamental problem that they are closed systems. They harken back to the early days of email, when you had to be on, say, MCI Mail, or CompuServe, to send another computer user a message. Facebook and Twitter are walled gardens that don’t allow users enough control over their interaction with others. Diaspora is unlikely to ever threaten Facebook’s dominance, but the welcome it has received in such a short time shows how fed up people are with Facebook’s policies. In the long run, Facebook will likely face more serious challenges from open alternatives to its service.

    • Facebook ID theft Mr Big just a sprat, says social network
    • VA Continues Its Annual Tradition Of Losing Laptop With Unencrypted Sensitive Data

      When we last checked in with the Veterans Administration (VA) it was to suggest that it rename itself the “Ministry of Data Leaks.” That’s because every year or so they admit that they’ve lost a computer that happens to contain unencrypted personal data on VA members. And, each report seems to get worse than the previous one. So you would think that, by now, the VA would have at least put in place some system to encrypt and protect the data it stores. That would be wishful thinking. It’s now come out that the VA has had two major data breaches in just the last month — both involving laptops that had unencrypted data.

    • Google Admits It Was Accidentally Collecting Some Open WiFi Data

      There’s no way around the fact that Google should not have done this, and in doing so, it’s just handed years worth of “evidence” of Google’s evil nature to the company’s critics. In context, however, it’s still not clear that what Google did was really that bad. Anyone using a WiFi network can similarly see unencrypted data used by others on that same access point. It happens all the time — which is why if you are using a shared network, you should always encrypt your traffic — and most sensitive websites (webmail, banks, etc.) automatically encrypt the traffic. On top of that, as Google notes, since the data collected came from cars driving around, they were not connected to any particular WiFi network for very long at all.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Hollywood backs Viacom in Google legal fight

      Ever since Viacom first filed a lawsuit accusing Google’s YouTube of violating copyright law, most of Hollywood has appeared determined to stay neutral. That seems to be changing.

    • Subway To Everyone Else: Stop Selling ‘Footlong’ Sandwiches

      Last week, the restaurant got a letter from a lawyer representing Subway, which, as you may have heard, sells 12-inch sandwiches for five bucks.

      After explaining that Subway “has applied for the trademark FOOTLONG (TM) in association with sandwiches,” the letter says:

      You are hereby put on notice to cease and desist from using FOOTLONG (TM) association with sandwiches. You must immediately remove all references to FOOTLONG (TM) in association with sandwiches.

    • Viacom Still Not Getting It — Files Bogus Takedown And Kills Some Free Transformers Buzz

      Yes, it appears Paramount promptly filed a DMCA takedown — which seems like a fantastic way to kill excitement for the movie. According to the takedown, Brown’s video “matched third party content,” which, of course, is impossible since Transformers 3 has yet to be finished (let alone released) and obviously Brown took the video himself. The filming took place in a public alley, so anyone around is totally free to take pictures or video and share them.

      Now, not only is it ridiculous to claim that these videos are covered under Paramount’s copyright, it’s hard to fathom why Paramount would want to bother quashing these videos at all. After Brown and Krimmel posted their videos, entertainment blogs picked the story up and started to build buzz about the movie. Isn’t that a good thing?

    • Copyrights

      • Public Knowledge Proposes Changes To Copyright Technical Protection Law

        In the second part of its Copyright Reform Act project, Public Knowledge (PK) today suggested critical changes to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to correct crucial flaws in the law’s section that covers permissible circumvention of technological protection measures.

        The latest PK report about Section 1201 of the DMCA found that the law “fails to appropriately distinguish between circumvention for lawful purposes and circumvention for unlawful purposes, causing a range of harmful effects to befall creators, consumers, researchers, innovators, and competitors.” At the same time, the report found, that the “anti-circumvention provisions have failed to provide copyright owners adequate relief from large-scale infringement.”

      • Shepard Fairey: OBEY my lawyers

        What do you do if you’re a street artist turned marketing phenom who uses other people’s images when someone uses one of your designs? If you’re Shepard Fairey, apparently, you call your lawyers.

        Fairey, of Obama HOPE poster fame, is defending himself against charges he infringed on an Associated Press copyrighted photo in making the poster. He’s also been criticized by artists for using others’ work without attribution (see background here and here). His lawyers claim in the AP case that he is protected by fair use provisions of the copyright law.

      • Has Shepard Fairey Learned That He’s Been Hypocritical When It Comes To Others Appropriating His Works?

        But there’s another part of Fairey’s actions that has been equally troubling: he’s been known to aggressively go after others for copying his work, despite the fact that the entire basis of his work is appropriation art. Fairey has used his lawyers in a manner not unlike the recent case we wrote about involving the estate of appropriation artist Roy Lichtenstein threatening a band for using an image that was copied not from Lichtenstein’s painting, but from the same original source material.

      • The Music Industry Needs Fair and Open Markets, Not Regulation

        This is the ORG website; you are not likely to find here the usual complaints about freeloading filesharers destroying opportunities for artists and blighting the creative industries’ digital future. Instead here’s a much more pro-business and pro-artist agenda for the five year coalition to consider, and it is one which does not need mass surveillance, consumer ‘education’ campaigns, and regulation. Nor does it require Ofcom to spend millions of pounds of public money studying how close Sisyphus is to the top of the mountain.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – AATC – Future NASA Technology (2001)

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