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03.23.10

Links 23/3/2010: KDE 4.4.1 in Mandriva 2010, Demand for GNU/Linux Skills Grows

Posted in News Roundup at 6:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • What is this Linux thingy and why should I care?

    Linux is a free operating system just like Windows or Mac OS. The great thing about Linux is that it is completely free to download and use. I am shocked when I see people going into computer stores and paying hundreds of dollars for Windows. Most people do not know about Linux because there is no single company behind the project. It is a community effort and many individuals, companies and organizations are involved to bring you this amazing OS.

  • Using Ubuntu Linux to Rescue Windows

    Did Windows crash beyond repair? If so, you probably want to get your files off of the drive before you erase everything and reinstall Windows. This tutorial will help you do exactly that.

    We’re going to use Ubuntu’s LiveCD mode. Ubuntu is a popular Linux distribution that’s a free and open source alternative to Windows. The LiveCD mode lets you boot into and use the operating system (OS) without installing anything on the computer. You should be able to view your files and copy them to another drive, backup to discs, or transfer via a network. Now let’s get started!

  • XtreemOS 2.1: Linux for the Grid

    The XtreemOS consortium developers have announced the release of version 2.1 of their Linux-based Grid operating system. The project, which has as its motto “Making Grid Computing Easier”, is aimed at creating an open source Grid OS with native support for virtual organisations (VO) and the ability to run on a wide range of platforms, from clusters to mobiles.

  • Going Linux for Mar 22: #097 – Linux and Cloud Computing-Introduction
  • Server

    • Linux: A Platform for the Cloud

      The goal of this article is to review the history and architecture of Linux as well as its present day developments to understand how Linux has become today’s leading platform for cloud computing. We will start with a little history on Unix system development and then move to the Linux system itself.

    • The Linux of stock markets

      Today’s news that TSE (Tokyo Stock Exchange) has moved to Red Hat’s RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) as the operating platform for its next-generation “Arrowhead” trading system shouldn’t come as a surprise. Linux has become the smart stock market’s operating system of choice.

      Red Hat has been working with TSE and Fujitsu for some time on the Arrowhead platform. As always with stock markets, the name of the game is to accelerate TSE’s order response and information distribution speeds. According to Red Hat, “Arrowhead is designed to combine low latency with high reliability to accommodate diverse products, trading rules and changes within a short time window.”

    • Open source finds its way into CFD trading

      Czech-German company xITee has announced a recent delivery of a new version of the CFD–Trading-Platform to the German company Panthera Capital AG, which is the technical solution provider for CeFDex AG.

      Version 2.1 is fully based on open-source software. It uses an EnterpriseDB/PostgreSQL database, and JBoss server as an application server.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • New brush in Krita: Softbrush

        I stared to change the function that produce the brush mask and affects it’s softness. I selected Gaussian as it is nice function and I experiment with this function, but I found it complicated to control it (you setup sigma, uh what is sigma, you artist ask?). So let’s add some different function to the brush mask code. Oh, let’s put this decision to the artists hands, let’s give him some curve he can model as he want. We already has nice widget for that in Krita, so use it. So you can setup the brush mask by curve!

      • muscle memory

        A friend was showing me his Hackint0sh today, and while it was interesting to see that fine OS on an non-approved platform, it confirmed a few things to me, such as the idea that regardless of where it was installed or how hacked it is, I still wouldn’t use it. This I knew already, but it was nice to come back to it after a year of not really having touched it and confirming what I already knew.

        [...]

        For years, before I knew how to create my own keyboard shortcuts really effectively in KDE, I would subconciously hit unique-to-App1e keyboard shortcuts (like command-shift-3 or command-shift-n) and expect them to work on KDE. I’d do a double take when they didn’t work, then my brain would kick in and override the muscle memory and I’d do whatever the correct procedure was.

  • Distributions

    • Elive 2.0 – Distro Review

      This is Elive’s slogan. As I am sure you can guess, it is a Debian based distribution that uses the Enlightenment window manager. I always like to jump in with both feet when it comes to playing with technology, so to get the best feel for what Elive is and how it works I downloaded the LiveCD and installed it as the primary operating system on my Sager Laptop.

    • KDE 4.4.1 available for Mandriva 2010 !!

      The first bugfix release of KDE 4.4 was released at the beginning of this month and again thanks to neoclust we have packages for Mandriva 2010 available since last week. You can follow the instructions of my previous post about the upgrade to KDE 4.4.0 to upgrade to 4.4.1. If you are upgrading from KDE 4.4.0 then don’t forget to disable or delete the old KDE 4.4.0 repository before starting this upgrade, just in case.

    • Epidemic GNU/Linux

      Epidemic GNU / Linux is a Linux distro created by Brazilians using the KDE graphical interface. Modern is one of the main attractions which classify Epidemic distrobuições one of the best current Linux using KDE.

    • Red Hat Inc. Call Buying Spikes Ahead of Earnings

      Linux specialist Red Hat Inc. (RHT) is scheduled to release its quarterly earnings report after the close of trading on Wednesday, March 24. Analysts are currently looking for a profit of 16 cents per share from the company, up from earnings of 14 cents per share in the same quarter last year. Historically, Red Hat’s results have been modestly better than expected during the past four quarters, topping the consensus estimate twice and matching twice for an average upside surprise of more than 14%.

    • Ubuntu

      • Lucid Lynx beta boasts social networking features

        The Ubuntu project released its first beta of Ubuntu 10.04 (“Lucid Lynx”), offering two new themes, social-networking tools, cloud-related enhancements, faster boot-times, and an updated Firefox browser with Yahoo search as default. Meanwhile, an oddball icon placement in one theme has Ubuntu users up in arms.

      • Free Software is a democracy, Mark Shuttleworth!

        No. Ubuntu has a kernel team because Canonical thinks it needs one, Canonical feels the need to change the kernel. How many serious security flaws have there been in Ubuntu? And how many were specific to Ubuntu? Linus Torvalds makes the kernel decisions, not Ubuntu’s kernel team. Ubuntu’s kernel team should only be there to make appropriate changes, like which modules are included, swappiness, hard disk parameters, and which kernel version should be used.

        Linus makes these decisions because he started the kernel. Ubuntu’s kernel team’s messing with it has only caused problems. And because Linus believes in democracy he doesn’t complain when Ubuntu’s kernel team messes with it. He wouldn’t have any right to anyway, because the GPL is designed to allow open development and democracy of software development.

      • Ubuntu users, Shuttleworth doesn’t owe you anything

        It’s difficult to understand why GNU/Linux users have this sense of entitlement and often make meaningless threats to try and get their preferences implemented. The software is free, one benefits by using it (else I doubt anyone would be doing so) and it comes out with clockwork-like regularity. There really is not much scope for complaint.

      • Unleashing The Ubuntu LoCo Directory

        In terms of resources for this community, we have the following key components:

        * Wiki Pages – these wiki pages include best practise and details about how to join the community.
        * Teams List – this is the big list of teams, complete with contact details and online resources.
        * Mailing List – this is where the LoCo community discuss general LoCo related topics. In most cases cases teams have mailing lists too.
        * #ubuntu-locoteams on Freenode – this is an online discussion channel where you can ask questions and socialize with other LoCo community members.

      • Two Ubuntu Community Team Intern Opportunities Available

        I want to be clear that my team is a fast-paced, hard-working, hectic environment. I am going to work you hard, and you should expect that, but my goal here is to help you squeeze every ounce of opportunity out of your internship. We will have 1-on-1 weekly calls, I will help guide you on what to work on, help you manage your work, solve problems, and be effective in your projects. In other words: when you sign up for your internship, expect a solid six month adventure, but an adventure that will sow the seeds for many great opportunities in the future.

      • Ubuntu’s Latest Should Scare Microsoft

        The Ubuntu community, shepherded by the company Canonical, has delivered not only its fastest operating system to date but has included so many flourishes that are relevant to today’s PC market that it should receive much stronger consideration in competitive engagements than ever before. From social networking to security to desktop cloud services, the Beta 1 of Ubuntu 10.04, the so-called Lucid Lynx version, leaves Windows 7 behind in several areas with tightly integrated applications.

      • The UbuntuOne Music Store Now Open

        The store is “built in” to Rhythmbox meaning you don’t need to install any extra add-ons to use it – simply start Rhythmbox and click the ‘UbuntuOne’ sidebar entry to load up the store and do some browsing.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 in Beta, Stable Release in April

        Ubuntu is Linux for the rest of us. It is simple to install and use. Despite that, not that many users are on board with estimates of 1-2% of all computer users running various Linux operating systems. But with the release of Ubuntu 10.04, there might be a few reasons to give it a try. It is currently in beta, so you may not want to install it on your primary computer.

      • Ubuntu One Music Store Public Beta Begins
      • Ubuntu One and the Lucid Lynx (Ubunt 10.04)
      • Ubuntu 10.04 Beta 1

        Overall there seems to have been quite a few changes to Ubuntu in this release. However, most of these are cosmetic measures. As well, many of them look like an attempt to boost revenue at Canonical. Over the long term, this may not go down too well with the community. Still, I’ve found this to be an excellent release, far better than the 9.10 which I didn’t give a lot of love.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Dual-core SOC for thin clients runs Android locally

      NComputing shipped a SoC (system-on-chip) designed for thin clients that will provide multimedia-enabled remote access to Windows and Linux desktops, and optionally run Android 2.1 locally. The $20 Numo SoC is based on a dual-core ARM-based CPU, and is designed to work with the company’s VSpace virtualization software.

    • Dell Aero claimed to be world’s lightest Android phone

      AT&T said it will soon announce the Dell Aero, which appears to be a version of Dell’s Android-based Mini 3 phone, and is claimed to be the lightest Android smartphone on the market. The wireless carrier also announced that it will soon offer the Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus smartphones.

Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenSSO becomes OpenAM

    This entry in the not403 blog discusses OpenSSO, a single sign-on project which Oracle acquired from Sun and has subsequently shut down.

  • Mario Goes Open-Source with Arduino

    The open-source Arduino electronics platform has received a ton of attention from the hardware enthusiast community. And one more follower is joining the fray–Mario himself. The mustachioed plumber of console video game fame has been converted into an eight-by-eight LED matrix by Carnegie Mellon University student Chloe Fan. And, yes, she’s even made a separate Arduino device to give her side-scrolling adventure the classic Mario theme.

  • Why Community Projects Need CRM Too

    You might think of customer relationship management (CRM) software as something that’s only useful for businesses, but it can play an important role in the health of a community project as well.

    Think of it not as “customer” relationship management, but community management software. In every community I’ve worked with, there’s been a revolving cast of participants who each have contact with a slice of the internal community and external contacts for that community. Think about everything from managing conferences and sponsorships, to working with other open projects.

  • Google Summer of Code 2010 Mentors Announced

    The role of a mentoring organization is to provide a list of projects for students to choose from, and shepherd a student through the Summer of Code process. The organization is also expected to provide feedback and a written evaluation of the student’s work, as well as make sure work is down well and turned in on time.

  • Why Webscale Companies Need open Source

    Facebook, et. al., would not be possible today if it weren’t for open source software. Commodity hardware and open source software have provided the fertile breeding ground for Web-scale sites like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and others. Of course they’re going to turn to open source for the next generation of software. Had the initial stack of software they rely on been proprietary, their existence wouldn’t have been possible. But these companies have enjoyed the control and flexibility that open source enables and they are wisely choosing to invest their profits into more of the same.

    Web companies should absolutely, and fully, commit themselves to rolling their own code or hitching their wagon to existing open source solutions. The alternative is to cede an unhealthy amount of control over their infrastructure to outside parties.

  • Must-have Open Source Applications for Writers
  • Bursting with reports to deliver? Here’s a tool for you

    DocumentBurster is a light, loosely coupled free report-bursting tool that lets you automate high-volume document delivery to customers, vendors, employees, and prospects. You can pay the big money to buy a similar solution from the likes of Oracle, IBM, or BusinessObjects, or you can turn to this open source application.

  • Skills

    • Need for Open Source Developers Continues to Increase

      And while open source jobs declined slightly in the nearly 40,000 jobs posted on U.S-based online workteam builder oDesk (PDF link) that was mainly due to a surge in job requests for folks with social media skills. MySQL, Joomla, Linux, PHP and other open-source skills were comfortably in the top 50 skills requested by job posters.

    • Demand grows for SQL and Linux skills

      Demand for nearly all skills fell in the period compared with Q4 2008. Only demand for PHP and AJAX skills grew in Q4 2009 compared with the same period in 2008, 17 percent and six percent, respectively.

  • Oracle

    • OpenOffice in Afrikaans

      Translate.org.za has recently released local language versions of OpenOffice.org which give users a full set of office tools including a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation tool and a drawing application.

  • CMS

    • Vosao: CMS for Google App Engine

      This is on top of Vosao’s support for WYSIWYG editing, content versioning, SEO-friendly URLs and other standard CMS goodies. The goal of the project isn’t just to produce a free software CMS (it’s licensed under the GPLv2), but to support App Engine, which allows free hosting for sites with up to 500 MB of storage and 5 million page views per month.

  • Programming

    • New Python versions released

      The Python developers have released two new version of the programming language. Versions 2.6.5 and 3.1.2 are both new maintenance releases; 2.6.5 of the older Python 2.6 development strand, and 3.1.2, of the current Python development version. Because Python 2.6 is currently in bug fix mode, there is no added functionality, but over sixty bugs have been fixed in the Python 2.6.5 release since the previous version.

    • The Difficulties of Unwritten Community Standards

      The strong sense of community standards in Perl and the CPAN offers many benefits. The uniformity of conventions suggests that all of the code I’m likely to use has decent documentation, a test suite, a project page on the CPAN, dependency tracking, and a very reasonable chance of installing correctly (or at least strong community pressure to figure out why it doesn’t and to fix it).

Leftovers

  • Web

    • The Government has allocated millions to create an Institute for Web Science.

      Alongside promises for superfast broadband, the government today announced £30 million to create an Institute for Web Science, lead by web creator Sir Tim Berners-Lee and professor Nigel Shadbolt.

    • H.264 – A sting in the tail

      In the view of Tim Berners-Lee, “the lesson from the proliferation of new applications and services on top of the web infrastructure is that innovation will happen provided it has a platform of open technical standards, a flexible, scalable architecture, and access to these standards on royalty-free terms.”

      H.264 is owned by MPEG-LA, the company that runs the patent pool shared between companies with patents on the codec. It is in the interest of the patent pool to encourage adoption of the codec, and to this end, MPEG-LA has promised that H.264 will remain royalty-free until 2016.

    • An Overview of HTML5 and Its Anticipated Features

      “Standards are as interesting as a Russian Truck,” said Ken Olsen, president and CEO of Digital Equipment Corporation, at that time the second largest computer system company in the world.

      It was a fairly strange statement to come from a person whose company had helped develop more computer standards than almost any other, and the press had a field day with that quote. If he said it today, Ken might be thought to be addressing HTML5, the long-awaited standard of what has become the most important publishing mechanism on the face of the earth…the web.

    • Kaltura Brings Video Services to Higher Education

      Kaltura, an open source online video platform, is headed to college. The company has partnered with IT consulting firm Unicon, Inc. to deliver its video services to higher education institutions. Kaltura’s software already integrates with popular learning management systems like Moodle, so Unicon’s role as an authorized reseller will be to do the heavy lifting associated with getting the product up and running in schools and universities.

  • Security

    • Peter Watts may serve two years for failing to promptly obey a customs officer

      That’s apparently the statute: if you don’t comply fast enough with a customs officer, he can beat you, gas you, jail you and then imprison you for two years. This isn’t about safety, it isn’t about security, it isn’t about the rule of law.

      It’s about obedience.

      Authoritarianism is a disease of the mind. It criminalizes the act of asking “why?” It is the obedience-sickness that turns good people into perpetrators and victims of atrocities great and small.

    • Computer glitch prompts 50 raids on elderly couple’s home

      New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg apologized to an elderly Brooklyn couple on Friday for about 50 door-pounding visits police made to their home resulting from a glitch in one of the department’s computers.

  • Finance

    • Bernanke Asked by Towns on Friedman’s Goldman Stake

      A House committee requested that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke turn over documents related to Stephen Friedman’s purchase of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. shares while he was on the boards of both the Wall Street firm and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

    • Goldman Sachs: Need… More… Evil!

      Which begs the obvious question: Why on EARTH would Goldman, if it has the slightest interest in rehabilitating its public standing, bring in a former honcho from Wal-Mart to help oversee its management?

    • Who Needs Wall Street?

      The idea of a transfer tax, on financial trading generally, has resurfaced. European leaders, like Gordon Brown in England, are in favor. Timothy Geithner, the U.S. Treasury secretary, has resisted the idea. The ideal of a frictionless market is so instinctual that we have lost sight of the peril that comes with speed. Maybe it’s time to slow the markets down.

    • Goldman’s Huge Call: Don’t Be Fooled, There Won’t Be Any Real Tightening This Year

      So the message from Goldman seems to be: Don’t expect any significant form of tightening in 2010.

    • The Pay Czar Threatens Goldman Sachs And Morgan Stanley With More Clawbacks

      Government officials told the WSJ that the pay czar, Kenneth Feinberg, will review compensation at all 417 firms that took government bailout funds, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Morgan Stanley.

    • The Perks of Being a Goldman Kid

      But the filing did note that Ms. Stecher’s son made $200,000 last year and that Mr. Viniar’s stepdaughter made $225,000 last year. That’s a substantial increase from 2008, when the two children made $124,000 and $150,000, respectively, according to Goldman’s 2009 proxy.

    • Pay czar widens review of executive pay at banks
    • Reining In Greed at Goldman

      Last year, the high compensation accrued across the banking industry — at a time when most people were suffering from a recession partly created by bankers’ excesses — provoked an angry response. A special industry tax was imposed in Britain, and various levies were proposed in the United States. Ultimately, most banks reined in pay.

    • Volcker Rule Hinges on Dodd’s ‘Shall’ Becoming ‘May’

      Lobbyists for financial firms are seeking to water down language in Section 619 of the 1,336-page proposal by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat. Their message: Study the issue first to see if it’s needed, then give regulators the option of imposing a ban.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Command & Conquer 4 requires constant online connection

      EA proudly declared that C&C4 has “NO DRM” but clearly this is not the case. C&C4 will boot you if your connection drops, making it no less insidious than Assassin’s Creed 2 and Silent Hunter 5. Electronic Arts is trying to justify the DRM by saying the game updates user statistics, but it’s a poor excuse given that other games simply wait until a player is back online to update stats.

  • ACTA

    • Your life will some day end; ACTA will live on

      The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) isn’t just another secret treaty—it’s a way of life. If ACTA passes in anything like its current form, it will create an entirely new international secretariat to administer and extend the agreement.

      Knowledge Ecology International got its hands on more of the leaked ACTA text this week, including a chapter on “Institutional Arrangements” that has not leaked before. The chapter makes clear that ACTA will be far more than a standard trade agreement; it appears to be nothing less than an attempt to make a new international institution that will handle some of the duties of groups like the WTO and WIPO.

03.22.10

Links 22/3/2010: Commodore 64 With Linux, Linux 2.6.34 @ RC2

Posted in News Roundup at 5:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 89

    · Announced Distro: Announcing Linux Mint 8 RC1 LXDE Edition
    · Announced Distro: openSUSE 11.3 Milestone 3 Comes with GCC 4.5
    · Announced Distro: Berry Linux 1.01 Is Based on Fedora 12
    · Announced Distro: PCLinuxOS 2010 Beta 2 Comes with Linux Kernel 2.6.32.10
    · Announced Distro: SimplyMEPIS 8.5 RC3 Is Here, the Final Release Candidate
    · Announced Distro: SystemRescueCd 1.5.0 with Linux Kernel 2.6.32.10
    · Announced Distro: Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Beta 1 Out for Testing

  • ‘Revolution OS’ at Darress Theatre

    The New Jersey Linux User’s group will present a film titled “Revolution OS” at the Darress Theatre in Boonton on Wednesday, March 31.

  • Well, what else could it have been?

    This pilot fish works his way up to managing one of the two main groups in his company’s IT organization.

    “One group — ours — was running the Unix and Linux machines and managing a slew of database servers,” fish says. “The other group provided the Microsoft support, which included managing some server-supported applications.”

    [...]

    “I’m now working for another company. I’ve heard the Microsoft manager has since been fired. I’m guessing he wasn’t as successful as they thought he would be.”

  • How Cheap Could Computing Get: Free? NComputing Thinks So

    Ncomputing makes powerful chips that make thin clients work: Essentially turning a keyboard, mouse, monitor and small box of electronics into a fully-functioning powerful Windows or Linux PC, with its real complex “guts” in a different location accessed over a network, and serving up desktops to many different users.

  • Solid-State Drives From a Developer’s Perspective

    After locking down the X25-M in my computer’s drive bay chassis, I turned on the computer with an expectation that something different should happen. Of course, nothing out of the ordinary occurred beyond the BIOS recognizing that my primary hard-drive capacity had changed and the fact that no operating system booted. As such, I proceeded with a fresh install of Ubuntu 9.10 64-bit desktop edition and was once again stunned how quickly the installation occurred compared to my older hard drive install experiences. This result greatly raised my expectation for OS boot times and I was not disappointed. Because the X25-M has virtually no access time and significantly faster read and write times, what normally took nearly a half hour was completed in roughly two-thirds the time.

  • Desktop

  • Google

    • Google extends ARM to browser natives

      Chrome OS is set to arrive in the fall on x86 and, yes, ARM netbooks. Google first unveiled Native Client in December 2008, calling it “a technology that aims to give web developers access to the full power of the client’s CPU while maintaining the browser neutrality, OS portability, and safety that people expect from web applications”. Then, in October of last year, it slipped the plug-in into its Chrome browser, which serves as the centerpiece for Chrome OS. The OS is essentially Chrome running atop the company’s Goobuntu flavor of Linux.

  • Kernel Space

    • Systems Management Innovator rPath Joins Linux Foundation

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that rPath is its newest member. rPath is an innovator in automating system provisioning and maintenance across physical, virtual and cloud environments and works with Linux users to achieve flexibility, scalability and control within today’s limited budgets.

    • Linux 2.6.34-rc2 Kernel Released

      Some 18 hours ago the Linux 2.6.34-rc2 version was tagged and is now available, but oddly we have yet to come across a kernel release announcement from Linus Torvalds.

    • Linux adds router denial-of-service prevention

      The recently completed Linux 2.6.34 merge window included a patch to eliminate a type of denial-of-service attack against routers. The “Generalized TTL Security Mechanism” (GTSM) is described in RFC 5082 as a means to protect routers from CPU-utilization attacks—essentially overloading the router with bogus Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) packets. With the addition of a simple socket option, those attacks can be easily thwarted.

    • HostV Deploys Ksplice Rebootless Solution to Boost Server Uptime

      HostV, a leader in managed Virtual Private Servers and Dedicated servers, announced today it has completed deployment of Ksplice Uptrack, a subscription service that enables server administrators to apply important Linux kernel security updates without rebooting the server.

    • Revisited: ZFS, Btrfs and Oracle.

      This entry is a continuation of one published in May of 2009. In fact it is relating to a comment made earlier today which I responded to in brief words. I am now taking the time to offer my viewpoint on the whole ZFS licensing under the CDDL and the reasoning for it.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa Receives Some OpenGL 3 Love

        OpenGL 3.0 was announced in the summer of 2007 and since then we have seen the subsequent releases of the 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3 specifications. Just last week there was even the release of OpenGL 4.0. The proprietary Linux graphics drivers have picked up support for these latest industry standard specifications, but it hasn’t been smooth sailing in the open-source world.

      • GPU Offloading PRIME May Get Improvements

        A week ago we reported on open-source GPU offloading, which allowed multiple GPUs from different vendors that were backed by open-source graphics drivers to offload the 3D rendering work to a secondary GPU and then to pass the rendered result back to the primary GPU driving the display.

      • NVIDIA’s New CUDA Toolkit Supports Fermi
      • With Fermi Coming, NVIDIA Releases CUDA 3.0

        The NVIDIA Fermi support in CUDA 3.0 includes native 64-bit GPU support, multiple copy engine support, ECC reporting, concurrent kernel execution, Fermi hardware debugging support via cuda-gdb, and Fermi hardware profiling support for CUDA’s C and OpenCL via the NVIDIA Visual Profiler. The first of the NVIDIA Fermi graphics cards in the GeForce 400 series, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 and GeForce GTX 480, are expected to be launched in just a few days and are both built upon the “GF100″ core.

      • Radeon 3D Performance: Gallium3D vs. Classic Mesa

        It has taken years of work for Tungsten Graphics (now VMware) and the Linux development community to develop Gallium3D into a robust and reliable multi-platform graphics architecture, but this investment should begin paying off later this year or within the next year. Nouveau’s Gallium3D support is becoming reliable and working across the range of NVIDIA GeForce/Quadro graphics cards that they are targeting to the point that Red Hat is shipping this driver by default in Fedora 13. For Ubuntu users there is a Gallium3D Nouveau PPA too, but we would not be surprised if Ubuntu 10.10 is to pull in this driver as it finally provides a free software 3D NVIDIA driver for Linux.

      • AMD ATI fights Nvidia’s grasp of 3D market with open source – Open Stereo 3D

        At a time when Nvidia might make its GPU comeback – the launch of the Fermi chips, AMD has decided to concentrate their efforts in the 3D field, in an attempt to catch-up with the green graphics giant. It does this in typical Advanced Micro Devices style, by setting the open source atmosphere with what it calls Open Stereo 3D. Similar to its Open Physics venture which goes head to head with Nvidia’s PhysX, AMD now launches its open offensive against the 3D Vision front.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KOffice 2.2 Beta 1

        The KOffice team is happy to announce the first beta of the upcoming 2.2 release of KOffice. This release brings back Kexi, the data management application similar to MS Access. The new beta also offers many new features and improvements, bug fixes, and improved support for Microsoft file formats.

      • KOffice 2.2 Beta 1 Released

        The KOffice team is happy to announce the first beta of the upcoming 2.2 release of KOffice. This release brings back Kexi, the data management application similar to MS Access. The new beta also offers many new features and improvements, for example improved support for Microsoft file formats with the addition of import filters for MS OOXML, and bug fixes.

      • KDE 4.3.4 is lighter than Gnome: Linux2u

        Strange na but its reality KDE 4.3.4 is lighter than Gnome 2.28.I am going to prove it.On my machine Linux Mint 8 KDE 4.3.4 use only 135 to 160MB Ram while Windows XP 240MB and Gnome take around 210MB. While windows fastest edition Windows 7 uses more than 450MB RAM.Don’t believe that KDE 4.3.4 uses 145MB Ram,Lets have a look below.

      • Lancleot Part applet is dead…

        There were two main problems with the Lancelot Part applet.

        The first was the name. The name, although it does represent what the applet is technically, it doesn’t really say what the applet is meant for and what it does.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Build a lighter Gnome in Ubuntu

        In light of the last post and this post from a day or two ago, I suppose it’s worth mentioning (or showing) that a simplified Gnome desktop is possible in Ubuntu too. But in showing it, I will probably be underscoring a few other issues that I have grazed in the past.

        [...]

        Beyond that it’s quite slender, and you’re in a good position to build upward. If you have a preference for certain parts of what Ubuntu delivers, but an extreme distate for anything else, I would recommend starting with gnome-core.

  • Distributions

    • System rescue and virus scanning with Dr.Web LiveCD

      Of course we already have ClamAV and in terms of the scanner interface and incremental updates both appear quite similar; however, I am not aware of a ClamAV live CD. On top of this, security-conscious people do not like to put all their eggs in one basket and it is recommended in some settings, even at home, to periodically scan and re-check with different products. I have had anti-virus software in the past detect Trojans that another (free) one did not detect. This was on a different operating system, but you don’t have to use this rescue CD exclusively on your UNIX/Linux systems.

    • New Releases

      • SystemRescueCd 1.5.0 released

        SystemRescueCd Logo The SystemRescueCd developers have announced the availability of version 1.5.0 of their Linux distribution that’s configured as a tool kit for administering or repairing an operating system and recovering data after a system crash. The SystemRescueCd is based on the Gentoo LiveCD and the kernel supports a wide variety of file systems including Ext2, Ext3 and Ext4, ReiserFS, XFS, JFS, VFAT, NTFS, ISO9660 and Btrfs.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Extends SOA Platform Offering For Expanded Enterprise and Cloud Adoption

        Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the launch of JBoss Enterprise SOA Platform 5.0. with enhanced functionality to update its JBoss Enterprise Middleware portfolio. JBoss Enterprise SOA Platform 5.0 is a comprehensive platform designed to integrate applications, services, transactions and business process components into an architecture for automating business and IT processes.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora edges closer to Debian development process

          Fedora’s old way was to stop development at a certain point in Rawhide (the name of the development branch), stabilise, release, and then pick up development again. This meant that uploads to the development branch would have to cease until the release process was over.

          Fedora’s new method is to split off the development branch at the point when it is deemed fit for stabilising and releasing. This is then released as the next Fedora release. Development on Rawhide continues apace.

    • Debian Family

      • Interview: CrunchBang Creator Explains Switch to Debian Sources

        MY fondness for CrunchBang Linux is well documented, so when the release of the first alpha version of the next generation of this fine UK-based distribution was announced I was excited, to say the least.

      • SimplyMEPIS 8.5 RC3 Is Here, the Final Release Candidate

        MEPIS has now made available the third release candidate of its upcoming Linux-based operating system, SimplyMEPIS 8.5 RC 3. The new release comes with several updates, both upgraded packages and fresh features, and is available for 32-bit, as well as 64-bit platforms. There is no clear time frame for the final release but this is the last release candidate version and SimplyMEPIS 8.5 should be coming in a week or two.

      • Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu drifting away from open source?

          First there was news that Yahoo would be the default search engine in Ubuntu, then we heard about the move to a closed source Single Sign on Service built on OpenID, now we find out that the Ubuntu Music Store will be sacrificing the open-source ogg-theora format for proprietary MP3. Is Ubuntu drifting away from the Open-Source movement?

        • Build a lightweight graphical system in Ubuntu

          Why Ubuntu? Well mostly because I took a chunk out of Ubuntu a few days ago when I complained about the weight of the Gnome desktop in Karmic, and I’m still feeling a little guilty about that. And also because I still see random notes here and there about how the button location in Lucid is a dealbreaker :roll: and it’s clear that a lot of people haven’t cued in on how simple (dreadfully simple) it is to get your own system built in Ubuntu.

        • Ubuntu Linux- In need of a unique identity

          Yes there needed to be change in the way Ubuntu looked from the factory, but the change should have added to the uniqueness of it, not cause people to actually have to think twice to know that Ubuntu is not Mac OS. Change is good, but a unique form of change is even better. What do you think?

        • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS “Lucid Lynx” Preview

          Spring is in the air! The trees are budding and the flowers are starting to come out of their slumber. It also means that it is time for another release of the desktop oriented Ubuntu Linux.

          Ubuntu will frequently produce what is called a LTS or a Long Term Support release. That means unlike non LTS releases, this version is meant to be stable and to also have security updates and fixes for the next three years. A release like this is meant for those who want to install something that will be somewhat guaranteed to work for the next 3 years. The previous LTS, Ubuntu 8.04 codenamed “Hardy Heron” was released in 2008.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 185

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #185 for the week March 14th – March 20th, 2010. In this issue we cover: Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Beta 1 released, Ubuntu Global Jam: time is ticking, Call for Community help: Ubuntu.com Website Localization Project, Launchpad’s Bug Watch system and other animals, Upgrade Jams – made easy, Server Bug Zapping – eucalyptus and euca2ools, Nominate your favorite Ubuntu Server Papercuts, Full Circle Podcast #2: The Full Circle of Light (Brown), and much, much more!

        • Ubuntu loses the human aspect

          For anyone who doesn’t know by now, Ubuntu has decided to ditch their world famous brown “human” suit in order to look more like a washed out version of Mac. Ever since Ubuntu came on the scene, it has sported a brown theme. Many people have poked fun or just flat out hated it. I read a comment about how Ubuntu looked like something off a “pumpkin pie box” for instance.

        • TestDrive Virtualizes Brand-New Ubuntu Builds for Easy Testing

          It would be icing on some tasty cake if this tool could be made to work for Windows users. If that can be pulled off, or there’s a similar tool, do let us know in the comments. In the meantime, it’s a free download for Ubuntu users, who can install it by running the command sudo add-apt-repository ppa:testdrive/ppa, then reloading their sources and installing the testdrive package.

        • First Look at Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Beta

          If you give Ubuntu 10.04 a go as a live CD, virtual machine, or on your hard drive, tell us what’s new and exciting, and what’s just goofy, in the comments. If you’re an Ubuntu user who doesn’t want the fuss of setting up a test run, consider using TestDrive for a super-simple VirtualBox try-out.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Iris Servers and Velocity Workstations from Pogo Linux Feature 12x Better Performance with Intel’s New Intel Xeon 5600 Processors

      New Pogo Linux servers and workstations built with the new Intel Xeon processor, automatically shift the CPU and memory into the lowest available power state at any given time. In addition to integrated power gates for increased energy savings, Pogo Linux Intel Xeon 5600 systems automatically regulate power consumption and adjust system performance to meet application and user-environments needs.

    • Datalight Simplifies Reliable Data Storage for Linux-based Devices

      Datalight announces support for Linux kernel versions up to 2.6.29 with new versions of FlashFX Tera, the file-system independent flash memory manager and Reliance Nitro, the highly-reliable, high-performance file system.

    • Timesys(R) – Preferred Linux Solution Provider for Texas Instruments Processors – Announces Support for the New TMS320DM365 DaVinci(TM) Video Processor
    • E-Readers

      • Kindles Come to Classroom in Ghana

        This is the idea behind the Worldreader project, which has just put 20 Kindles into a school of 11 to 14-year-olds. I know what you’re thinking: What’s wrong with paper books? Why do they need this expensive, fancy gadgetry? Because paper books take a long time to replace. These schools are on a 5-year book-renewal cycle right now. A Kindle, although pricy to start, essentially gives access to thousands of free, public domain books.

      • Atom-based tablet runs Android, targets publishers

        A Berlin-based software company is preparing an Intel Atom N450-based e-reader that runs Linux with Android extensions. Billed as the “tablet PC for publishing houses,” Neofonie GmbH’s “WePad” tablet sports an 11.6-inch touchscreen, 16GB of flash storage, a SD card, WiFi, Bluetooth, USB, and a webcam, says Neofonie.

      • Alex eReader set to ship two weeks after iPad

        Spring Design’s Alex eReader is one of those products that probably would have gotten a lot more attention had it managed to come out before Apple’s iPad. However, as it stands, the $399 Android-powered device, which features both a 6-inch e-ink display and a 3.5-inch, 16-bit color touch-screen LCD, is scheduled to ship in the middle of April and threatens to get overshadowed by the iPad’s arrival on April 3.

      • Introducing the enTourage eDGe™
    • Phones

      • Nokia

        • Nokia N900 Top 20 Free Games

          The Nokia N900 may have been designed as an open-source tablet allowing you to make the most of the Linux-based OS for high-end tasks on the go. However, it also happens to be a pretty awesome gaming machine in its own right. Check out our guide to the Top 20 free games Nokia N900 games of all time…

      • Android

        • Reasons for Root: Report

          Not quite three weeks ago, I made a request in this column for “reasons for root” — business arguments why a device manufacturer should be willing, perhaps even interested, to allow replacement firmware and/or root access on their devices. That post received a number of comments, as did a tweet and a thread on the [android-discuss] Google Group.

          [...]

          Obviously, this report does not include every possible argument, specifically trying to stay away from emotional or ethical points and sticking to business and financial ones. I am sure there are more ideas and arguments to be made, so I expect this report to be a “living document”, republished periodically, gaining strength each time.

        • DailyTech: “HTC Incredible Arriving in 2 Weeks”

          Speaking to a member of the DailyTech team, a member of Verizon confirmed that the provider will be offering the phone just two weeks from now.

    • Tablets

      • Enso’s zenPad is the cheap Android tablet you’ve always wanted, available now

        With so many concept Android tablets floating around lately we were inclined to just ignore this one — until we learned two particularly interesting aspects: it starts at $155, and it’s actually shipping now. It’s the zenPad from Enso, a five-inch, 800 x 480 Android 1.6 tablet with 8GB of storage (on a replaceable microSD) that, for an additional $25, comes with GPS.

      • Eric Schmidt confirms Android (Marketplace?) for Tablets

        Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, recently spoke about large screen Android Tablets at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit keynote (at timecode 10 minutes and 39 seconds). It’s a nice way of Eric Schmidt to indirectly confirm that Google is definitely going to support the development of Android based Tablets as alternatives on the market to the upcoming iPad.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Google Releases Free Web Security Scanner

    Though skipfish performs the same functions as other open-source scanning tools like Nikto and Nessus, Google engineer Michal Zalewski argues that skipfish has a several advantages.

  • STMicroelectronics speaker at SHARE on-line event

    We’re happy to promote this one – a SHARE SIG on-line event. The organisation’s slogan is ‘Improving European Embedded System Industry through Open Source SW Sharing’.

  • Health

    • HealthAlliance restarts open-source desktop project

      Auckland health shared services unit HealthAlliance has resuscitated efforts to develop a standard desktop based on open-source software, but CIO Phil Brimacombe says it looks as though the District Health Boards will never be able to divorce their desktops entirely from Microsoft.

      First mooted in 2005, the open-source desktop idea, seen as potentially relevant for all DHBs, was “put into mothballs” in 2009, owing to many higher-priority projects, Brimacombe says.

      [...]

      “There’s no way we could be Microsoft-free,” says Brimacombe, “but we expect a hybrid solution will still lower our total cost of ownership.”

    • Here’s How Much Money Your Hospital Could Get For Computerizing Records

      To get that money, however, hospitals have to meet certain criteria drafted by the federal government. Since Medsphere’s e-health software is free — so-called open-source software that you could download from home — the firm is hoping to turn a profit by helping hospitals set up e-records and meet those federal requirements. They developed the calculator as a marketing tool to show potential clients that much of their fees are offset by the stimulus cash.

  • Asia

    • A fresh way to conduct meetings

      Designed by the Open Source Competency Centre under MAMPU, this application makes it possible for stakeholders to track the status of decisions and action items.

    • National Free Software coalition formed

      Free Software is not just about writing GNU/Linux software or choosing one technology over the other.

      Taking forward the ideology of Free Software — that includes free knowledge, science and digital societies in its ambit — delegates at the National Free Software conference announced the formation of a national coalition, the National Free Software Movement of India.

  • Media

    • Listen To Online Radio While Browsing The Web

      For Google Chrome on Windows and Linux Only: The Chrome Radio extension for Google Chrome makes it much easier to playback online radio streams right inside the browser. The extension is very nifty, streamlined and fits smoothly in the browser without interfering with the user’s browsing experience.

    • 5 Open Source music sharing sites worth knowing

      The billions of Dollars of the recording industry versus your dozens of Dollars will always mean ground breaking fines and terms of imprisonment should you fall foul of their rules. If you are a music lover and want to enjoy music without looking over your shoulders at all times, then the following 5 Open music sharing sites should be of interest to you.

    • Ubuntu One Music Store

      Another interesting question is if the stores will offer the same titles.I can see exclusive arrangements with each service and consumers will have both services in order to get songs they want.It will also be interesting if the Ubuntu Music Store can be used outside of Linux.

  • SaaS

    • Open Source in the Cloud

      Drizzle is currently being developed by many of the same people who originally developed MySQL, but this project is decidedly more robust in terms of performance, which Bryce said makes it ideally suited for the cloud.

    • Why Open Source and Operations Matter in Cloud Computing

      Earlier this week, IBM announced a cloud computing program offering development and test services for companies and governments. That doesn’t sound like much, yet on closer inspection it’s a flagstone in the march toward a comprehensive cloud offering at Big Blue. It also demonstrates how operational efficiency is a competitive weapon in our service economy. Let me explain.

    • Monitoring: Via the Cloud or Open-Source Tools?

      As today’s fast-paced IT industry changes, with the development and growth of virtualized infrastructure and cloud computing, both open-source network and cloud-based monitoring tools are attracting growing interest.

  • CMS

    • Is this the year the proprietary CMS dies?

      A few panels at SXSWi gave rather convincing evidence this has become the norm, not the exception.

      It wasn’t any surprise that speakers at the Friday panel, “Selling Your Milk When the Cow is Free,” were in the open source corner. After all, the moderator was Jeff Eaton, software architect for Lullabot Consulting and a core developer for the Drupal project. Panelists were Brad Fitzpatrick, creator of LiveJournal; Evan Prodromou, founder/CEO of StatusNet Inc, the Open Source microblogging company; Eric Gundersen, president/co-founder of Development Seed; and Tiffany Farriss, president of Palantir.net Inc. and member of the Drupal Association Board of Directors.

    • How Open Source Led the Blogging Revolution

      The Panthers site is hosted on a Linux system, so it took me a little while to remember all of my Linux/Unix stuff, but within a day or two I was cruising. I updated the Word Press install and installed the automatic update plug in for future updates. I also installed a bunch of other plug ins that bring all kinds of functionality to your blog. There are literally 100′s if not thousands of plug ins that let Word Press do virtually whatever you want.

      I love the dashboard and control panel for Word Press. Many of the plug ins have their own configuration screens that you can access and you can use the widget page to arrange your side bars.

  • Business

    • Mitre 10 taps open source for fast BI win

      National hardware chain Mitre 10 implemented a business intelligence system in eight weeks to centralise its reporting while maintaining compatibility with existing spreadsheets.

    • Why Standards and Open Source Will Save You Money

      You’ve probably seen a commercial at some point with some guy throwing money in the air, declaring his intent to “Save you money!” Of course, the deal invariably required that you pay money to “save” money, which makes marginal sense at best. Still, this perennial exuberant exclamation has served as a regular reminder of the natural human desire to pay less than retail price (whatever that means).

      Saving money these days carries vastly more weight than it has in previous years – and that trend will surely continue throughout 2010, one way or another. The reason is simply because lots of money really did just disappear, and new money will take time to infiltrate the system (read: your pocket). So, what’s an information manager to do in the meantime?

      [...]

      This is where standards really shine, and what master data management is all about. By employing standards at the semantic level, with a corporate taxonomy, for example, a company can manage its metadata in a most meaningful way, and that will make for much happier – and less expensive – times down the road when new systems come online.

    • NYSE Euronext and Bloomberg bring open symbology to data feeds

      “An open source, truly integrated solution for market data distribution is long overdue. NYSE Euronext is pleased to join with Bloomberg in delivering this innovative, market-based approach to benefit our customers and the investing public,” said Larry Leibowitz, Chief Operating Officer, NYSE Euronext.

  • Releases

    • GDB 7.1 released

      Release 7.1 of GDB, the GNU Debugger, is now available via anonymous FTP. GDB is a source-level debugger for Ada, C, C++, Objective-C, Pascal and many other languages. GDB can target (i.e., debug programs running on) more than a dozen different processor architectures, and GDB itself can run on most popular GNU/Linux, Unix and Microsoft Windows variants.

    • Version 6 of the PHProjekt project management software released

      After two years of development, the developer team at Würzburg, Germany based vendor Mayflower responsible for the PHProjekt project management software has released a completely rebuilt version 6 of PHProjekt under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL). The latter allows developers to combine their own modules with PHProjekt and release them under a different licence.

    • Version 1.4 of opentaps ERP + CRM application released
  • Government

    • Better Portland government through open source apps?

      Civic problem got you frustrated? Mayor Sam Adams hopes you’ll build an app for that.

      Adams announced the launch of CivicApps, an open source design contest to “showcase regional open data and promote collaboration between citizens and government to create applications … that address civic issues” to benefit the community at large.

  • Openness

    • Is Open Source the Answer to Residential Demand Response?

      OpenADR — the Berkeley Labs open source system for automating the way utilities do demand response — is already being used to control some 70 megawatts of capacity for big industrial and commercial customers of California’s biggest utilities. Could it expand its reach into homes and small businesses? Mary Ann Piette, research director at Berkeley Labs’ Demand Response Research Center, believes it can and mentioned a list of interested parties on Wednesday during a California Public Utilities Commission workshop in San Francisco.

    • GoAhead Software shifts to open source business model

      GoAhead Software said that it is shifting its business model and technology strategy from its SAFfire product to an open source software model. In conjuction with the move to open source, GoAhead has also acquired Avantellis from Emerson Network Power.

    • Voting for trust

      Located in downtown Palo Alto, Open Source Digital Voting Foundation’s goal is to build a publicly owned digital elections system that is practical, secure, affordable and above reproach.

    • Open Source Washing Machine Project Rethinks Clothes-Washing

      Most of us don’t think about the cultural context of our washing machines–we just toss in clothes, turn on the device, and don’t ponder it further. But the reality is that the majority of people on the planet wash clothes by hand, mostly because of poverty and lack of available resources. Enter the Open Source Washing Machine Project, which rethinks the way we wash clothes based on economical, sociological, cultural and environmental conditions.

    • The Open Source Washing Machine Project

      The Open Source Washing Machine Project was created by students from the École Supérieure d’Art d’Aix-en-Provence of France. The project’s objective is to develop affordable alternative washing technologies based on the unique economic, climatic and cultural contexts of different countries.

    • Cusat to join OSDD programme

      The Cochin University of Science and Technology(Cusat) will soon become a part of the Team India consortium for the Open Source Drug Discovery(OSDD) programme of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The OSDD programme aims at developing modern medicines at cheaper rates and developing newer solutions for diagnosing diseases like TB which are responsible for more than 1,000 deaths a day in India.

    • Yves Behar and his open-source people’s car

      “A highlight of last month’s Greener Gadgets conference in New York was a cute, emerald-colored product designed by Yves Béhar of FuseProject that is aimed for citizens of the developing world who might never have dreamed of possessing such an object.

  • Programming

    • Software development – a lot more than coding

      Today, embedded compilers handle C++ as well as C, and code size is improved even if that is less important in the new powerful 32-bit devices. The difference in size between compilers from different vendors is marginal on most cases, and the free GNU compiler is in many cases even better than some commercial compilers. Debuggers are better too, but it is still functions for execution of code and inspection of variable values that are in focus.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Kaltura and Partners Launch New Initiatives to Promote Open Video and the HTML5 Standard

      “The world needs an open video standard which allows everyone to produce and share video, without licensing fees or browser plugins,” said Erik Moller, Deputy Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. “HTML5 offers such a standard, and we have partnered with Kaltura to develop an open source HTML5 video solution for Wikipedia. We encourage you to check it out, and to support open standards in your web applications.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Undercover Feds on Social Networking Sites Raise Questions

      The next time someone tries to “friend” you on Facebook, it may turn out to be an undercover fed looking to examine your private messages and photos, or surveil your friends and family. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has obtained an internal Justice Department document that describes what law enforcement is doing on social networking sites.

    • US school spy case sparks fight over money

      Parents representing about a quarter of the high school students in the suburban Philadelphia school district accused of spying on teenagers using their laptops’ cameras said they’re “outraged” by a lawsuit seeking monetary damages.

      Meanwhile, Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) has scheduled a hearing on March 29 by the Judiciary subcommittee on crime and drugs, which he chairs, on the use of student-issued computers to allegedly spy on students in their homes.

    • BEXLEY: CCTV contract with Siemens leads the way in the UK

      In a few weeks time, Bexley’s new CCTV control room will be up and running. LINDA PIPER has been taking a sneak preview.

      AFTER signing a £7m 10-year contract with one of the world’s top technology companies to run the borough’s CCTV system, it is hardly surprising Bexley is pleased.

    • New IPS ID card blog – a grammar and truth vacuum

      Yet, in 2008 the government lost over 29 million personal records. Amongst the data lost were the details for 25 million child benefit claimants; the Ministry of Justice lost information affecting more than 45,000 people, in some cases revealing their criminal records and credit histories; and the Home Office lost the personal details of 3,000 seasonal agricultural workers – including their passport numbers – when two CDs went missing in the post.

    • Metro cops press P10-M CCTV system at NLEX, SLEX

      In a bid to catch motoring criminals trying to escape via the North and South Luzon Expressways (NLEX, SLEX), Metro Manila police have earmarked P10 million for a closed-circuit television (CCTV) system that can recognize vehicle license plates.

      But Metro Manila police chief Director Roberto Rosales asked the management of NLEX and SLEX to provide counterpart funds for the ambitious project.

      [...]

      In case of a car chase, chokepoints and checkpoints could immediately be established in case suspected vehicles are spotted around the jurisdiction of the monitored area.

      “The monitoring system will not only help us document incidents of crime for purposes of presenting them as evidence in court but, will also enable us to immediately and appropriately respond to any crime incident that happens within NLEX and SLEX and adjoining thoroughfares,” Rosales said.

    • Political activists call for inquiry after revelations about undercover police

      Political activists have reacted with anger to revelations in last week’s Observer that their organisations were infiltrated by an elite undercover unit of the Metropolitan police.

      Members of one of the groups demanded a public inquiry after the Observer disclosed that a former member of Special Branch, known as Officer A, had infiltrated far-left organisations in the mid-1990s to gather intelligence about potentially violent demonstrators. He was regularly involved in brutal confrontations with uniformed police officers and activists from the extreme right. On numerous occasions he engaged in violent acts to maintain his cover.

  • Environment

    • Methane May Be Building Under Antarctic Ice

      BALTIMORE — Microbes living under ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland could be churning out large quantities of the greenhouse gas methane, a new study suggests.

    • Greenpeace takes action against coal plant to halt ‘Global Shame’

      Terapii Williams from the Cook Islands has come to Prunerov to support this action. He warned: “Pacific nations are endangered by rising sea levels and rising sea temperatures. Our homes are threatened and the marine ecosystems on which we depend are being damaged. The very existence of whole nations and cultures is at stake. If industrialised countries like the Czech Republic continue to fuel climate change, we are doomed.”

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Sued for Not Divulging Madoff Ban to Investor

      A Bernard Madoff victim who lost $15 million is suing Goldman Sachs for allegedly failing to tell him in 2004 that it had put a taboo on the Madoff Fund and that he should pull his money out.

      Retired businessman Jerome Goodman, 69, of Hardwick, N.J., claims in his suit in federal court in Newark, N.J., that “Goldman Sachs implemented an internal ban on investment with the Madoff Fund in or around 1999, after Goldman Sachs conducted or attempted to conduct satisfactory due diligence into the Madoff Fund.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Justice’s wife launches ‘tea party’ group

      But Thomas is no ordinary activist. She is the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and she has launched a tea-party-linked group that could test the traditional notions of political impartiality for the court.

      In January, Virginia Thomas created Liberty Central Inc., a nonprofit lobbying group whose website will organize activism around a set of conservative “core principles,” she said.

    • Chemicals in Plastic Linked to Low IQs in Kids

      A new study published in the March issue of Environmental Health Perspectives finds that phthalates (pronounced “THA-lates”), chemicals used to make plastics flexible and artificial fragrances linger, could have an effect on brain function in children who have been exposed to them. These phthalate plasticizers, are being eliminated from children’s products in this country due to health concerns. But they’re still present in many products children are exposed to on a daily basis, including countless home, medical, and personal-care products, as well as cleaning supplies used in schools

    • MPs targeted in undercover sting over cash for influence

      A group of MPs, including former ministers, have been targeted in an elaborate sting operation in which journalists set up a bogus lobbying company and offered to pay them in return for political influence.

      Among the politicians approached was Stephen Byers, the former cabinet minister and arch-Blairite, who was filmed describing himself as a “bit like a sort of cab for hire”. He offered to trade Westminster contacts for £3,000 to £5,000 a day.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Oz Internet Censorship gets noticed in China

      Kevin Rudd’s plans to crack down on Internet content appear to have drawn the attention of no less than the Chinese Government. The website of the State Council Information Office recently featured an article (Google translation here) on Rudd’s endorsement of an “online ombudsman” to deal with inappropriate Internet content and discusses the upcoming mandatory filtering legislation.

    • Court: Cyberbullying Threats Are Not Protected Speech

      A California appeals court ruled this week that threatening posts made by readers of a website are not protected free speech, allowing a case charging the posters with hate crimes and defamation to proceed.

    • Nestle Discovers The Streisand Effect… But Only After Making Things Worse And Worse… And Worse

      Earlier this week, reader Jorvay sent over the news of how food giant Nestle had massively overreacted to an (admittedly disgusting) anti-Nestle video put together by Greenpeace and posted to YouTube. The thing was, this video was getting no attention. It had less than 1,000 views… but someone who should have known better at Nestle filed a bogus copyright claim to take down the video.

    • Kit Kat spat goes viral despite Nestlé’s efforts

      A global game of Whack-a-Mole broke out Wednesday on the Internet when YouTube removed a gruesome anti-Nestlé commercial by Greenpeace after the multinational food giant complained, only to have viewers flock to the video-sharing site Vimeo.com, where the spot became an instant cause célèbre because of the reputed censorship.

      The 60-second video depicts a bored office worker enjoying a Kit Kat, which rather than being the popular chocolate-hazelnut ladyfinger-style confection, appears to be a chocolate-covered ape finger. As he munches on the treat, it oozes blood over his chin and across his keyboard, shocking his co-workers. “Have a break?” reads the on-screen text. “Give the orangu-tan a break.”

    • Weil Wins Injunction Against Fly on the Wall

      Like our colleague Alison Frankel at The Am Law Litigation Daily, we had not before heard of the “hot news” tort that places some limits on the publication of information, even if that information is already in the public domain in some form. That’s the tort three banks represented by Weil, Gotshal & Manges used to win an injunction against the breaking Wall Street news site Theflyonthewall.com, according to The Am Law Litigation Daily. The banks claimed Fly’s practice of publishing pieces of research reports almost instantly undercut their work by making key nuggets meant for exclusive client use available to a wider audience immediately. Why would clients pay big money those reports–which themselves cost the banks money to produce–if Fly was going to publish the important stuff right away?

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Too Little Too Late: Universal Music Finally Realizes That Maybe CDs Were Too Expensive

      Uh, perhaps because the market is shrinking because people find it too expensive otherwise. Either way, this move seems like way too little, way too late. Doing this in the late 90s might have been a start, but this isn’t going to get people who have stopped buying CDs back into a plastic disc fix.

    • [Satire] Report: Music Industry Made $18 In 2009

      The Recording Industry Association of America announced Tuesday that the combined revenue brought in by Warner, Sony, EMI, Universal, and countless independent music labels in 2009 totaled $18. “The music industry is back,” RIAA representative Doug Fowley said. “Not only was Kenny Chesney’s Greatest Hits CD purchased at a Knoxville, TN Borders for $12.99, but we also had two songs downloaded through iTunes, and our ringtone sales reached three.” Fowley added that as long as no one returns or exchanges the CD, the music industry would continue to be a vital and creative force in American culture.

    • Hotel music charges case referred to ECJ

      THE HIGH Court has asked the European Court of Justice to decide legal issues raised in proceedings brought in an effort to have hotel operators pay a charge for playing copyright music in guest bedrooms.

    • PITTSBURGH: Music, Copyrights, and Free Speech in the Digital Age

      In the past 10 to 15 years, music has gone from a finite good available only in physical form from various brick and mortar retailers to an infinite good readily available for legal purchase and illegal download on the internet. As I write this post, I’m listening to music on an iPhone, a device smaller than a deck of cards, which holds approximately 8 GB of music that has been ripped from CDs, purchased from iTunes, and downloaded from the internet. Music’s relatively new status as an infinite good has led to an intense debate between the music industry and consumers. How far may the recording industry limit consumers’ free speech rights to hear and disseminate recorded works in the interest of protecting copyright? The ACLU event that I attended was led by staff attorney Sara Rose, and was an attempt to facilitate a discussion on this inherent conflict between copyright and free speech. However, it became clear that many of the audience members lacked an understanding of the basic economic, ethical, and technological issues impacting the music industry in the 21st century.

    • Confidentiality Issues Mushroom in the Tribune Bankruptcy

      The Tribune Co. bankruptcy keeps producing juicy legal storylines: a bench smackdown of Sidley Austin’s proposed $1,100 per hour rates, a debate over expensive fee examiners, a cameo from Warren Beatty and, most central to the case, a possible lawsuit against the banks that engineered the leveraged buyout that ruined Tribune.

    • ACS:Law Now Using Dubious Legal Theories To Threaten Slyck.com

      Just last week, we were talking about how UK firm ACS:Law, who has been condemned by UK politicians and ISPs, was still pushing forward with its efforts to send out tens of thousands of threatening “pre-settlement” letters. These letters attempt to scare recipients into paying up to avoid a potential (though rarely filed) lawsuit claiming copyright infringement, based on quite weak evidence (an IP address collected by DigiProtect after DigiProtect purposely puts a file online). The whole thing has been called a “scam” by Lord Lucas in the UK, and lawyers at the firm that initiated this practice, Davenport Lyons (and who apparently provided ACS:Law with its original documents) were recently referred to a disciplinary committee by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

      [...]

      Of course, in theory, ACS:Law could push forward against Slyck anyway, and could potentially win in the UK. But given the mass scorn being heaped upon ACS:Law right now in the UK, combined with a recent push in the UK to rewrite defamation laws to prevent these sorts of questionable lawsuits, if ACS:Law does decide to push forward, it may find that the backlash is a lot more damaging than some anonymous person in a forum calling its plan a wank plan.

    • Making a copyright system that works

      Today, plagiarism is an honor code offense, not a violation of law, and this seems to be quite adequate. The defense against plagiarism accusations is simple, though: simply identify your sources. This informal attribution requirement hardly needs enforcement.

      Formal attribution requirements do carry a burden though, of transactional costs involved in tracking the information and meeting the notice requirements. In this way, they are similar to the BSD advertising clause that the GNU project objected to. So, I think it is reasonable to have time limits to the formal requirements of attribution, exactly as for copyleft terms.

    • “Piracy” sounds too sexy, say rightsholders

      For years, we’ve heard complaints about using the term “piracy” to describe the online copyright infringement—but most have come from Big Content’s critics.

      As noted copyright scholar William Patry argued in his most recent book, “To say that X is a pirate is a metaphoric heuristic, intended to persuade a policymaker that the in-depth analysis can be skipped and the desired result immediately attained… Claims of piracy are rhetorical nonsense.”

    • ACTA/Digital Economy Bill

      • If ACTA Gets Approved, Expect China To Use It As Justification For Censorship

        While one of ACTA’s biggest supporters, Rep. Howard Berman, is now pushing for laws to stop companies aiding in China’s censorship, he might want to consider that a better plan would be to back down on ACTA. If ACTA passes, it seems quite likely that China would then use it as justification for its own “great firewall” censorship program. Already, we’re seeing that China is looking to use plans for internet filters in Australia to its own advantage by comparing that system to its own — and you can bet China would be thrilled to be able to use a US-backed concept to support its continued censorship.

      • ACTA: the new institution

        KEI has access to yet undisclosed sections of the negotiating ACTA text. The text is organized in 6 chapters. The longest is Chapter 2 on “legal framework for enforcement of intellectual property rights.” The second longest is Chapter 5, on “Institutional Arrangements.” In ten pages of text, the ACTA negotiators have set out a plan to create a new institution to administer, implement and modify ACTA. ACTA is seen as playing an important role that will rival in some ways the WIPO or WTO.

      • New ACTA Leaks: Criminal Enforcement, Institutional Issues, and International Cooperation

        New ACTA leaks have emerged this week that fill in the blanks about the remainder of the still-secret treaty. While earlier leaks provided extensive detail on the Internet and civil enforcement chapters, these latest leaks shed new light into the criminal enforcement section, the chapter on ACTA institutional issues, and international cooperation.

      • Would the actions of the Digital Economy Bill be tolerated “offline”?

        There’s a race on, and no it’s not the Cheltenham festival. Should the election be held on the 6th of May as is expected then parliament will be duly dissolved around the 6th of April, which leaves only 10 days of parliamentary time to debate all the remaining laws trying to be passed. It is this reason that when the Lords finally passed the Digital Economy Bill on the 15th of March they spent a significant portion of time discussing the issue of the “wash-up”, or a (relatively) clandestine period of legislative discussion that occurs in the twilight between an announcement of an election being made, and parliament being closed down for the impending election.

        [...]

        The Digital Economy Bill is a step back for all of us, and another shot in the foot for our very democracy; a heavy handed approach to a relatively small issue. So again, if you haven’t done so please write to your MP and let them know you simply want them to do their duty in representing you and protecting you against hastily crafted law that isn’t in your best interests. If we’re lucky then we may make sure that it is only the few uncontroversial parts of this law that make it on to the books.

      • Don’t rush through extreme web laws

        We’ve teamed up with Open Rights Group to make it easy for you to write to your MP urging them to stop the Government rushing the bill through. It’ll take you less than 2 minutes. Just enter your postcode above (so we can find your MP) and click “participate” to get started.

      • Just As It Tries To Kick People Offline, The British Gov’t Wants To Move All Public Service Online

        Just as it considers kicking people offline via the Digital Economy Bill, it looks like the UK is getting set to move all sorts of government services online — giving every UK citizen a unique webpage, where they can access all sorts of personalized gov’t services.

      • Rush to pass digital bill will ‘sidestep democracy’

        A group of senior public figures have called on the government to abandon its plan to push through controversial digital economy bill before the election, amid claims that the move could “sidestep” the democratic process.

        Earlier this week the government revealed that it wants to force the digital economy bill – which includes the controversial “three strikes” rule to cut off the internet connections of those accused of illegal file sharing – into the statute books in the next few weeks.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Scottish Parliamentarian Patrick Harvey_05 (2004)


Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

03.21.10

Links 21/3/2010: LXDE in Google Summer of Code, CrunchBang Moves to Debian

Posted in News Roundup at 5:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Editor’s Note: All This Great Technology Just to Reinvent Television

    But I think the real goal is not to enable us little birds to do great things like we can do with our standalone Linux apps, like create professional-quality music, photographs, publishing, drawings, programming, make movies, and what-have-you. We’re not supposed to do anything but open our little beaks and consume whatever they see fit to serve us. Which is such a waste when we have all this great technology at our fingertips. No thanks, I’ll keep my Linux Shopsmith.

  • Flipping out with Linux.

    The next thing that I wanted to do is copy the video to my computer. This is where I was concerned. As you know I use Linux and according to the Flip web site (here) this little beast only supports windows and MacOS. Not one to shirk at a challenge I decided to plug it in to my Linux (Gentoo) and see what would happen.

    I am sorry to say that it was not a challenge at all. The Flip was instantly recognized by my computer and I could browse its memory at will. Apart from the programs to install the windows and MacOS software the videos were stored in the same directory format as normal digital cameras. I simply navigated to where the videos were stored and double clicked on a video to play it directly from the camera.

  • Kernel Space

    • Studying kernel bugs
    • NVIDIA Releases OpenGL 3.3 Linux Driver

      Well, that didn’t take long. Just earlier this month the Khronos Group unveiled the OpenGL 4.0 specification that brought many long-awaited changed to this open graphics API. On the same day this industry consortium also released the OpenGL 3.3 specification, which aims to bring back as much of the OpenGL 4.0 functionality to graphics cards that only support OGL3. OpenGL 4.0 is designed for graphics cards that are meant for DirectX 11.0, which basically means AMD’s Radeon HD 5000 series and NVIDIA’s forthcoming GeForce 400 series. OpenGL 3.x on the other-hand is compatible with DirectX 10.0 grade hardware, such as the Radeon HD 4000 series and GeForce 200 series. For those with a newer NVIDIA graphics card, you can now run OpenGL 3.3 applications or games as they have just released a supported driver.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • LXDE accepted for Google Summer of Code

      LXDE Foundation has been accepted as a mentoring organisation for the Google Summer of Code.

    • Is Wikipedia’s “Deletionism” Out of Control?

      Guarding against inaccurate content, spam, biased material, and unverifiable entries is admirable. The relentless pursuit of deleting content because someone unfamiliar with a topic decides that it’s not “notable” enough is not. The fact that this continues to be a problem even for a project like dwm demonstrates that Wikipedia is still not working well. While the site certainly provides a valuable resource, some portion of its community is ensuring that it is not as valuable as it could be.

    • KDE at Solutions Linux 2010

      This week was the week of Solutions Linux 2010. A 3-day exhibition held in Paris, gathering companies, LUG and other associations. As always, KDE France was here.

  • Distributions

    • [notice] ArchBang website is now online!

      Wow! Can you believe it? ArchBang website? Really? Thanks to Will and Mike it was possible so fast! A Big thanks to loki for the artwork!

    • Simply GNU/Linux 5.0 : An unsung son of ALT Linux

      ALT Linux ( ALT implies ALT Linux Team ) is one of those undiscovered and non-famous Linux distribution from Russia which lacks the “Pomp, glamour and glory” like other mainstream distributions partly because the development team of ALT Linux love to work in shadows and do not consider it important to publically project and advertise their work and also because people outside Russia are not either aware of or interested in what this distribution is about. But this does not undermine the work this team is doing , they are quitely and persistently working on a project which stands proudly on its work. This is a Russian spirit of all times !

    • Fedora

      • Our Top 10 Reasons To Use Fedora

        1) Fedora offers the freedom of changing, replacing, modifying each component in the system;
        without the concern of the system stability being affected.

        2) Fedora has High quality support in the form of User forums, IRCs, Wikis and Official guides.

        3) Fedora can be carried on CD or a jumpdrive to use Live on any computer.

        4) Fedora provides a set of graphical tools for building a customized, updated Fedora “Spin”.

    • Debian Family

      • Easy (and amazing) Debian for the N900.

        Using the N900 has been an incredible experience. In the two weeks that I’ve had it I feel I’ve barely scratched the surface of what it can do. Though it clearly trumps my N86 in so many way I’m not sure if the N900 could replace because (1) it’s not the type of device you can whip out of a pocket and quickly interact with, and (2) the only available option for a compatible 3G network in Canada has been a colossal disappointment. More on that next week.

      • CrunchBang Linux 10 “Alpha 1″ Released, Ditches Ubuntu

        Philip Newborough has announced the development release (Alpha 1) version of CrunchBang Linux 10 code-named “Statler” just moments after the release of Ubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx” Beta 1. For the first time ever, the distro is being built using Debian sources, instead of Ubuntu.

      • Ubuntu

        • Nerd alert: first Lucid Lynx Ubuntu beta fun

          Between Canonical’s web-based syncing service Ubuntu One – unveiled last year – the coming U1 music store, and the new Me Menu, Lucid Lynx is looking less like the stoic Linux desktops of yesteryear and more like like, well, what everyday consumers want in an operating system.

        • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Beta 1 Out for Testing

          What’s new in Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Beta 1? Well, as everybody already knows… Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Beta 1 has a brand-new look, composed of two new themes (Ambiance and Radiance), one is dark and the other one is light. Click the link above to access a very nice article we created last week, to showcase the new themes, logos, font, boot splash and boot prompt. However, after installing the proprietary Nvidia video drivers, the boot splash screen has been changed to what you see below…

        • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx beta1 Screenshots tour
        • Ubuntu 10.04 beta 1 is looking good, less brown

          Canonical has announced the availability of the first Ubuntu 10.04 beta release. The new version of Ubuntu, codenamed Lucid Lynx, is scheduled to arrive in April. It will be a long-term support (LTS) release, which means that updates will be available for three years on the desktop and five years on servers.

          Although the Ubuntu developers have largely focused on boosting stability for this release, they have also added a number of noteworthy new features and applications. One of the most visible changes is the introduction of a new theme—a change that is part of a broader rebranding initiative that aims to update Ubuntu’s visual identity.

        • Lucid Lynx Review: New features since Ubuntu 9.10

          Alpha 3 of Kubuntu features the new KDE SC 4.4. For more information about new features in Kubuntu, see https://wiki.kubuntu.org/LucidLynx/Alpha3/Kubuntu.

        • The new Ubuntu Linux’s five best features

          The forthcoming version of Ubuntu Linux, Lucid Lynx, has just gone beta, and it’s going to be the most important Ubuntu release in years. I say that not just because it brings numerous important changes to this most popular of Linux distributions, but because Ubuntu 10.04 is the next LTS (Long Term Support) edition and, as such, is going to be supported for paying desktop customers for three years and for corporate server users for five years. In other words, this is the edition that’s going to make or break Ubuntu’s parent company Canonical’s business future.

        • Ubuntu: three little buttons cause a great deal of angst

          The forthcoming Ubuntu release, Lucid Lynx, has a lot of good things going for it but one little change is causing a great deal of angst among users. That change is the switching of the window buttons that enable one to close, maximise or minimise a window from the right to the left.

        • Is the Scrollbar Going Away?
        • Democratic, Meritocratic, or Dictatorship?

          Martin Owens makes a comment that Ubuntu is not really a meritocracy. Is that true? Is Ubuntu really democratic? Really meritocratic? Actually a dictatorship (as Mark Shuttleworth’s “SABDFL” title implies)? Does it matter? Which is better for Ubuntu in the long run.

          I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with being a dictatorship, as long as the leader is good. The Linux kernel is a reasonable example. OS X might be, too, depending on your stance on Free Software.

        • Why Mark Shuttleworth is right – Ubuntu is not a democracy and nor should it be
        • Open Source is Not a Democracy
        • Free Software is a democracy, NOT!

          If too many people start doing that, Mark Shuttleworth has two options. Either he creates the perfect distribution for Mark Shuttleworth or he starts asking himself the right questions. A customer lost take twice the effort to reel in than a new one. He’s making money with that, I suppose. I’m not. I only got my vanity to consider..

        • All Done With Ubuntu
        • Ubuntu Music Store (coming soon!)

          If you have been playing around much with the Alpha releases of Ubuntu Lucid Lynx you may have noticed something special that was announced some time ago is actually coming to fruition. Announced soon after the release of 9.10, the Ubuntu Music Store is a new addition to the Ubuntu Linux desktop and promises to extend the capabilities of the Linux desktop further than it has ever been.

        • Ubuntu Dropbox

          Download the Dropbox Linux client that suits your machine (either 32-bit or 64-bit)
          Extract the contents of the downloaded archive to your home folder for easy access
          Create a Dropbox account if you don’t already have one

        • Variants

          • Lubuntu 10.04 Beta 1 Released; Visual overview

            Lubuntu beta 1 sees many improvements since the last Alpha release including a beta version of default file manager PCManFM, a new Plymouth theme and the addition of some new applications.

          • Xubuntu 10.04 (Lucid) Beta 1 Screenshots Tour

            The default theme (well, actually style) in Xubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Beta 1 is Albastross and the icons are Xubuntu Elementary (you can see these throughout all the screenshots in this post)…

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android

      • Motorola Roi video demo

        MOTOROLA’S LATEST Roi Android handset gets captured on film by the INQUIRER in an exclusive walk through. The Roi is the world’s first 8-megapixel Google OS powered mobile, which is capable of HD video capture that can also be displayed directly on an HD TV via its built in HDMI port.

      • Gesture Search now available for Android 1.6

        Since we launched Gesture Search on Android Market two weeks ago, I’ve seen quite a bit of feedback. For example, some of you have requested Gesture Search for earlier versions of Android, as well as access to it outside the US.

      • Android Market Push Threatens BlackBerry and iPhone

        Android will, at some point, move past the iPhone and into second place. It will take a large number of different handsets to accomplish this, so it’s safe to say that no single Android smartphone will be a legitimate “iPhone killer.”

      • Google Maps for Android Gets Improved User Interface

        Google has released version 4.1 of Google Maps for Android, adding a constantly-updated map wallpaper, tweaking the way search results are displayed and adding a new Latitude widget for tracking your friends.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • SOS Pupils Get 150 Laptops

        The One Laptop per Child (OLPC) programme was launched in late 2008 with the aim of providing all primary school children in Rwanda with the important learning tool.

    • Tablets

      • Marvell announces $99 Moby Tablet to Revolutionize Education

        According to this press release, Marvell is announcing the $99 Moby Tablet for Education. You’ve seen my video of Marvell’s 4.3″ Tablet prototype shown at CES based on the Marvell Armada 600 processor. The Moby tablet is based on the same Armada 600 platform but comes with a larger screen (probably 10″).

Free Software/Open Source

  • GParted is such sweet software

    What are some good practices for managing a successful project? “You need to keep an open mind while carefully listening to what others have to say,” advises Curtis Gedak. “Keeping your cool and remaining patient is also essential to understanding a perspective that might differ from your own. And remember to recognize the contributions of individuals, and to provide credit for accomplishments where credit is due.” Those words of wisdom – and some pretty useful software – have propelled the project Gedak manages, GParted, to a spot on the weekly Tops Downloads list on SourceForge.net. GParted’s latest release came out last week.

  • Ten ways our world is becoming more Shareable

    7. Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). FOSS and the Internet have a symbiotic relationship. The Internet would not have been possible without FOSS. And the growth of FOSS relies on the Internet to power its peer production and distribution model. Over 270 million people use the Firefox browser. Half of the world’s Web sites, about 112 million, run on Apache Server. A quarter million websites, including this one, run on Drupal, a leading open source content management system.

  • Why Open Source and Operations Matter in Cloud Computing

    Earlier this week, IBM announced a cloud computing program offering development and test services for companies and governments. That doesn’t sound like much, yet on closer inspection it’s a flagstone in the march toward a comprehensive cloud offering at Big Blue. It also demonstrates how operational efficiency is a competitive weapon in our service economy. Let me explain.

  • Open source makes another move on Wall Street

    Open source has made its third big move on Wall Street with Bloomberg’s decision to open source its proprietary stock identifiers alongside NYSE-Euronext data streams.

    I say third because Marketcetera’s open source trading platform, under the GPL, has been gold for almost a year. A SaaS version of Marketcetera for portfolio management was also released last year. (They must be working hard there — their latest blog post is dated November.)

  • Comcast Rolls Out Open Source Tech for IPv6

    What will it take to get Americans to use IPv6 (define)?

    For one thing, it will require broadband providers like Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) to help users be fully enabled on IPv6 while still being able to access IPv4 content. That’s where the new open source Address Family Transition Router (AFTR) software comes into play.

  • Ex-MySQL Chief Marten Mickos Lands New CEO Job

    Mickos is staying in the open-source world but jumping on a newer computing trend — cloud computing. Eucalyptus makes an open-source software platform for building private clouds, or data centers in which workloads can be moved around across different systems to maximize efficiency.

    The company’s software is used as the cloud platform for the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud, a software package that includes Ubuntu’s open-source operating system. It is also designed to work smoothly with Amazon Web Services and other public cloud services.

  • Open season

    Mozilla. Red Hat. MySQL. The list of companies that have built lasting and successful businesses around open-source software is not a long one.

    It’s early days still, but Lucid Imagination Inc. CEO Eric Gries may just have a shot at adding the name of his tiny startup, which offers open-source search software to business customers, to that list.

  • GIMP 2.8 development still under control

    A while back I announced the creation of a schedule for GIMP 2.8 development. I’ve made sure to keep this schedule up to date, and after a bunch of initial adjustments such as postponing some feature and adding others, the schedule has now stabilized a bit. The estimated date for a release candidate is still in December 2010. Tracking progress with a schedule really helps you to feel in control of development. The 2.4 development cycle which I were around in the end of, and the 2.6 development cycle which I were fully part of, were more chaotic with no commitment to a delivery date. This is perfectly fine for many, but I prefer structured development.

  • Audiocasts

  • OSBC

  • Browsers

    • The hunt for the Fastest Browser on Earth – Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari and Internet Explorer fight it out
    • Google Launches 3D Graphics Driver Project for Chrome

      Google has launched a new project for Chrome that will let the browser run a wider range of 3D graphics content without downloading additional drivers.

      The open-source project, called ANGLE (Almost Native Graphics Layer Engine), seeks to let Chromium run WebGL content on Windows computers, wrote product manager Henry Bridge on the Chromium blog.

    • Google Gets Into The 3D Driver Game

      To help out the adoption of WebGL, the Khronos-backed API originally started by Mozilla that seeks to let web developers tap into modern graphics processors via the web-browser natively, has caused Google to get into the graphics driver game. WebGL binds to OpenGL ES 2.0, and with the Microsoft graphics drivers being more DirectX-optimized rather than OpenGL, Google’s playing to Microsoft. Google wants more users to be able to use WebGL, particularly when running the Chrome browser, so they have just announced the Almost Native Graphics Layer Engine. The objective of ANGLE is to just take the subset of the OpenGL ES API exposed by WebGL and to translate those extensions into their DirectX 9.0c equivalents.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla ditches support for aged SeaMonkey 1.0

        Mozilla has dropped support for version 1.0 of its four-year-old internet app suite, SeaMonkey.

        The open source browser maker pushed out a second iteration of SeaMonkey last autumn, so 1.0′s demise was all but inevitable.

        Mozilla confirmed yesterday that its modern-day take on Netscape Communicator had moved on significantly enough since it first released the tool in January 2006 for its project developers to discontinue support for SeaMonkey 1.0.

      • Firefox 3.7 Alpha 3 Released

        A Mozilla developer preview of Gecko 1.9.3 has been released. The release comes in the form of a nightly build of Firefox 3.7 alpha 3. The new build introduces several new features including an experimental Direct 2D for the Windows builds of Firefox, JavaScript api improvements, stability and security improvements as well as additional fixes for multi-process plugins.

  • Oracle

    • Reviewed: OpenOffice.org 3.2

      There’s a new version of Linux’s grandest office suite, but is it a major step forward or just another humdrum release with little to show? And most importantly, does it finally get the startup time down to an acceptable level? Read on for all the gory details…

      Office suites lack glamour. They’re perfunctory, practical and prosaic. They remind us of real work, mundane chores and things that need to be done. But that’s also why they’re essential and why OpenOffice.org is a vital part of the free software ecosystem, whether it innovates or not.

      OOo 3.2 is a step in the right direction. Firstly, it’s a lot faster. Version 3.2 of Writer launched more than 50% quicker than 3.1 in our tests, down to 3.4 seconds from around 7 with a fresh reboot. That alone makes a big difference, but the UI also seems to be more responsive. We used Writer exclusively over the last couple of weeks, and there’s an almost imperceptible improvement in the on-screen typing latency, which can really help if you create a lot of words.

      [...]

      Our verdict: Still the best, most comprehensive office suite available on Linux. 8/10

  • CMS

    • Ryan Szrama, From The Commerce Guys, On Drupal-Based E-Commerce

      The annual DrupalCon conference is coming up, April 19th to 21st at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. Drupal, of course, is the increasingly popular open source content management system founded by Dries Buytaert, and OStatic itself runs on the platform. There will be many movers and shakers from the Drupal world at the conference, including representatives from The Commerce Guys, which helps companies and organizations deliver useful Drupal-based e-commerce sites and solutions.

      In advance of the conference, we caught up with Ryan Szrama, a developer with The Commerce Guys, and the original developer of Ubercart, an open source e-commerce package. Here are some of his thoughts on where Drupal-based commerce is headed.

  • Government

    • Berners-Lee says rate countries by data sharing

      Berners-Lee promotes data.gov.uk, the UK’s government data portal which launched in January. It aims to get developers interested in creating applications to make better use of the information collected by the government.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Thailand: Blood symbolically spilled at protests

    Photographs by Newley Purnell of “red shirt” protestors in Thailand as they gather human blood and store it in large bottles, to pour on the ground in front of the prime minister’s residence in a shocking gesture of condemnation.

  • “Rebuilding Haiti” — the Sweatshop Hoax

    The jobs the Haitians will get are only temporary, in any case. Haitian workers have been through all this before.

  • Winning the war on cancer? US death rates show broad decline

    President Nixon declared war on cancer in 1971 and, since then, the National Cancer Institute (part of the NIH) has funded research on prevention, surveillance, and treatments. But, despite the effort, progress has been elusive, leading to press reports in Newsweek, Fortune, and The New York Times suggesting that, at best, cancer is fighting us to a draw. But a new analysis of death rates, performed by staff at the American Cancer Society, indicates that cancer death rates peaked around 1990, and have been declining broadly since. As a result, they’re now below where they started in 1970.

  • Science

    • LHC boffins crank beams to 3.5 TeV redline

      Big news from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) overnight. The titanic proton-punisher has once again smashed all records to achieve the most powerful particle beams ever generated by the human race, at energies of 3.5 Tera-electron-volts – the maximum redline power at which the mighty machine can currently be safely run.

  • Security

    • As Iraq war enters final act, US readies for exodus of men and machines

      A total of 31m items will be packed and stacked, including 43,000 military vehicles, 600-odd helicopters, 120,000 containers and 34,000 tonnes of ammunition. Shipping out is estimated to take 240,000 truckloads and 119 shipping freighters.

      The withdrawal will leave only 50,000 US troops in Iraq by 30 August, none of them in combat roles, and reduce the number of bases from 290 to fewer than 10. Even with the remaining US presence, the withdrawal will probably be perceived, in Iraq and elsewhere, as the final act of the war.

    • Blowback On the Border: The Purpose of the Terror War System

      The Terror War is not an event, or a campaign, or even a crusade; it is a system. Its purpose is not to eliminate “terrorism” (however this infinitely elastic term is defined) but to perpetuate itself, to do what it does: make war. This system can be immensely rewarding, in many different ways, for those who operate or assist it, whether in government, media, academia, or business. This too is a self-sustaining dynamic, a feedback loop that gives money, power and attention to those who serve the system; this elevated position then allows them to accrue even more money, power and attention, until in the end — as we can plainly see today — any alternative voices and viewpoints are relegated to the margins. They are “unserious.” They are unimportant. They are not allowed to penetrate or alter the operations of the system.

    • Peter Watts found guilty

      Early terse reports are that the jury has returned a guilty verdict for Dr Peter Watts, a science fiction writer who was beaten at the US-Canada border when he got out of his car to ask why it was being searched, then charged with assault. Peter faces up to two years in prison. I’ve emailed him for comment and I hope that he’s appealing.

  • Environment

    • Bluefin tuna fails to make UN’s list of protected fish

      Japan, Canada and scores of developing nations opposed the measure on the grounds that ban would devastate fishing economies

    • Ten sites named in £4bn UK marine energy project

      Crown estate and Scottish government name 10 wave and tide power installations around Orkney islands and Pentland Firth

    • Plan to ban items from bins to boost recycling

      Tonight, Hilary Benn, the environment secretary, said the ban would have both financial and environmental benefits. It would cut greenhouse gas emissions from landfill sites and from manufacturing new products such as cans and bottles from virgin materials.

    • Ad industry OKs climate porn

      The UK advertising industry has bravely decided it can continue to accept millions of pounds from the state to create alarming climate advertisements, despite inaccuracies and a storm of complaints from parents. The principled decision, from the admen’s self-regulatory body the ASA, follows 939 complaints about the UK energy ministry DECC’s “Drowning Dog” prime time TV and cinema ad (aka “Bedtime Story”) , which cost £6m, and four related posters.

  • Finance

    • Coming Soon: Take Photo Of Check, Deposit It in Bank

      Picture this: Soon, consumers will be depositing paper checks straight into their bank account by taking a couple of photos with a smartphone.

    • Madoff geeks charged for writing book-cooking code

      A federal grand jury has indicted two computer programmers on fraud and conspiracy charges for developing programs used by Bernard Madoff to cook the books in his billion-dollar ponzi scheme.

    • Lehman whistleblower lost his job weeks after raising alarm

      • Auditor Ernst & Young blamed for taking ‘virtually no action’
      • Bank accused of laying off Matthew Lee in retaliation

    • Celebrating Sen. Ted Kaufman, Accidental Leader

      But, far from biding his time, Kaufman has emerged as one of the Senate’s fiercest critics of Wall Street and a champion of the need to push for a serious rebooting of our financial system.

    • Judge rejects SEC’s decision to ease curb on investment bankers, analysts

      A federal judge rejected a decision this week by the Securities and Exchange Commission to relax one of several provisions put in place after the dot-com bubble to prevent collusion between investment bankers and analysts at Wall Street firms.

    • Bernanke Asked by Towns on Friedman’s Goldman Stake

      A House committee requested that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke turn over documents related to Stephen Friedman’s purchase of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. shares while he was on the boards of both the Wall Street firm and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

      Friedman bought more than $1 million of Goldman Sachs stock “without notifying the Federal Reserve,” said Representative Edolphus Towns, chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, in a statement today. “This raises serious questions about transparency, fairness and the appearance of a cozy relationship between Wall Street and the government.”

    • US ECON: Economists at Goldman Sachs say if enacted,.

      Economists at Goldman Sachs say if enacted, the health
      reform package released in Congress yesterday should have little fiscal effect over the next 2-years, followed by modest restraint from 2012 to 2014.

    • Michael Lewis Slams Bonuses, Fuld, Hails Regulation: Interview

      The loner with a glass eye, a medical degree and Asperger’s who makes millions betting against the subprime mortgage-bond market is just one of the unlikely heroes in Michael Lewis’s “The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine.

    • Michael Lewis’s THE BIG SHORT, visiting the econopocalypse through the lens of LIAR’S POKER

      Lewis is a gifted chronicler and debunker and demystifier of the world of finance. Twenty-odd years ago, in Liar’s Poker, he revealed the crucial story behind the junk bond debacle, turning it into something human-scale for those of us who don’t live and die by the pink sheets.

    • Wall Street Paints a Target on Main Street’s Back

      As if looting Main Street of its savings, pensions, and that precious thing called trust weren’t enough, now Wall Street paints a target on our backs.

      The unease begins with the title of the lead story in The New York Times: “Banks bet Greece defaults on debt they helped hide.” [Read here.]

      Uh-oh, my instinct for survival alerts me: Sounds like double-dealing, an invitation to retaliation. I hope American banks aren’t involved. I read on and my fears of double-dealing and American involvement are soon confirmed: Banks — including notably the American mega-bank Goldman Sachs — that for the past decade helped Greece mask its spiraling debt with creative refinancing may now be pushing Greece “closer to the brink” by betting it will default. How? With credit default swaps, the instruments that “nearly toppled” AIG, the mega-insurance company. Why oh why, I wonder, aren’t these ruinous ‘instruments’ outlawed or at least very tightly regulated? Straining to keep its prose grey, the Times writes that these swaps “effectively let banks and hedge funds wager on the financial equivalent of a four-alarm fire.” Effectively? By now my hair effectively catches fire. The story goes on, “If Greece reneges on its debts, traders who own these swaps stand to profit.”

    • Goldman Sachs Sued for Not Divulging Internal Madoff Ban to Client

      A Bernard Madoff victim who lost $15 million is suing Goldman Sachs for allegedly failing to tell him in 2004 that he should pull his money out of the Madoff Fund.

    • What would Goldman Lobbyists Hate About the Financial Reform Bill?

      Ok, so a crowd-sourcing request. There’s a lot of coverage on the new Chris Dodd financial reform bill, and most of it is trying to find good things to say about the bill. Trying very hard in fact, with varying degrees of success.

    • Rajat K. Gupta Will Not Stand for Re-Election to the Goldman Sachs Board of Directors
    • Goldman Sachs’s Blankfein Got $9.8 Million for 2009

      He received $862,000 in 2009, reflecting his decision to forgo a bonus for 2008, when the firm converted to a bank holding company and accepted $10 billion in government rescue funds.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Marking World Water Day, March 22, 2010

      World Water Day 2010 is Monday, March 22nd. It is no surprise that corporations have attempted to co-opt this event. One example of greenwashing that SourceWatch has targeted is the Starbucks-run “www.worldwaterday.net,” which many environmentally-minded individuals may mistake for the official UN World Water Day website. Since SourceWatch first identified the misleading page, www.worldwaterday.net now routes viewers to www.waterday.org, where the Starbucks connection is not apparent. (A cached version of the original page’s privacy agreement can still be viewed here).

    • Texas Spins History, Again

      * Replaced the word “capitalism” with “free-market system.”

      [...]

      * Demanded that McCarthyism be defended, because there were some actual communists who were discovered;

      * Deleted founding father Thomas Jefferson “from a list of figures whose writings inspired revolutions in the late 18th century and 19th century,” and replaced him with conservative religious figures St. Thomas Aquinas and John Calvin, and also made changes that called into question the U.S. tradition of the “separation of church and state,” despite efforts of the Framers of the Constitution to ensure that no religious oaths were required by the Constitution among other protections from religious persecution or preferential treatment via the government.

    • Dennis Kucinich Will Vote ‘Yes’ on Health Care

      It’s unclear how close this brings Democrats to having the votes they need, but it appears they’re close. And, perhaps as importantly, it shows that Obama’s personal push has yielded results.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • FBI using Facebook in fight against crime

      Agents taught how to extract information from social networking sites in US government document obtained by advocacy group

    • Mafia don suspect tracked down via Facebook

      Italian police successfully used Facebook to track down a Mafia suspect.

    • Apple, Facebook Get Into Geolocation

      Location services, like Foursquare and Gowalla, are a hot trend among some mobile device users, and are usually based on a check-in model. When you get to a restaurant, party, concert or museum you can choose to broadcast your location, using your smartphone’s GPS capabilities, to other network users as well as to your Twitter or Facebook feeds.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Valve dishes DRM dirt

      We reported last week that Ubisoft’s latest anti-piracy measures caused a barrage of complaints. It was revealed that the system forced gamers to login via the publisher’s website in order to play and required users to have a constant Internet connection.

      On behalf of Valve and 99.9 per cent of the gaming industry, Newell said he thought that DRM, in its current form, is restrictive and a damaging customer experience.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Historian warns against copyright-fight heavy hitting

      Copyright-dependent industries risk alienating the public and undermining intellectual property laws with their unregulated and aggressive tactics, according to an historian who has studied nearly 400 years of piracy and intellectual property law.

  • Digital Economy Bill

    • Let’s kill the Digital Economy Bill

      THE PEOPLE have the chance to rise up and crush the Digital Economy Bill before the UK Government grovels before the entertainment cartels.

      Thanks to people power society 38 Degrees and the Open Rights Group, Internet users who object to the threat of disconnection can write to their MPs and prevent the Government from rushing the bill through.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Scottish Parliamentarian Patrick Harvey 04 (2004)


Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

03.19.10

Links 19/3/2010: Google’s TV Project, OpenOffice.org Turning 10, OSBC

Posted in News Roundup at 8:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Quality over time in Munich

    LiMux has a long-term agenda

    Yes, LiMux has a long-term agenda. We could have switched to linux clients in just a few months, giving the order to all 21 IT units to set up a linux client until end of 2008. No further specifications, no standardization and no consolidation. I’m pretty sure they would have done this excellent and then I would have published great news in 2007 or 2008 “LiMux done, Munich completely on free software”. But if we would have done this we would have ignored this big opportunity for Munich’s IT as a whole. Quality over time! Not related to free software, but neccessary for cleaning up our IT.
    We never ever will be happy slaves again

    I won’t excuse me for being clever and adjusting the way to achieve better goals. Digital sustainability is a long-term effort and not only a matter of Linux vs Windows. It’s not a matter for or against Microsoft. There are many vendors trying to lock you in. We learned it and do our homework. We never ever will be happy slaves again. You, too?

  • LiMux project management, “We were naïve”

    Since the end of last year, test runs have, says Schießl, shown that the Linux client can be fully integrated into these heterogeneous environments. According to Schießl, the pilot projects have been successfully concluded. A total of 3,000 computers are running open source software, twice as many as planned under the new initiative. Converting all computers to the Open Document Format (ODF) standard has overcome dependency on a single office software suite. The team is now getting down to the optimisation phase, aimed at improving efficiency and supporting “digital sustainability”. Schießl is confident that the remainder of the migration will proceed in a similarly smooth and rapid fashion.

  • Audiocasts

  • Desktop

    • Crazy Linux Fans Are Messing up Departmental Store Computers

      I had not heard of that term until I was surprised to see, it even made to a Wikipedia entry! From what I could figure out, PCjacking is an art of messing up with departmental store computers by quietly installing Linux on them to promote Linux. This of-course is an unauthorized install.

  • Server

    • Rethinking Failsafes for Critical Linux Systems

      Yes! The configurations of Linux and server applications are often customized during the installation as well as ongoing maintenance and general troubleshooting. Even servers with very similar functions are often configured differently. A primary goal to protecting a critical Linux server is being able to repair or replace the system and get it back into production quickly.

      The best-documented changes can quickly become outdated and often cause errors if not found until the damage has been done. Having a process that will automatically protect the unique configuration information will allow those changes to be applied to a standby or replacement server for rapid recovery.

  • Kernel Space

    • ATI Radeon KMS vs. UMS Performance With Ubuntu 10.04

      Through the Phoronix Test Suite we ran the World of Padman, OpenArena, Tremulous, Urban Terror, and VDrift tests. On the next two pages are the results.

    • AMD RS780/SB700 CoreBoot Support Released

      This free software BIOS implementation should now work on these newer AMD-based motherboards and are just the most recent of a growing list of supported chipsets by CoreBoot. AMD had promised this support many months ago but finally they cleared the legal requirements to push this code out to the general public.

    • Bam! Phoromatic 1.0 Unleashed & Ubuntu Joins The Party

      Phoromatic has been a huge success, but today we are announcing that Phoromatic has reached a 1.0 status and additionally we are providing the Ubuntu Linux community with a new performance tracker in collaboration with Canonical.

    • Graphics Stack

      • With KMS, Now Run Two X Servers Off One GPU

        Over the past several weeks there have been a number of new Linux graphics features introduced by David Airlie, a Red Hat employee and long-time X.Org contributer. Last month David began on a project rampage by bringing hybrid graphics to Linux via code he called “vga_switcheroo” to switch between ATI/NVIDIA/Intel GPUs without rebooting the system (though restarting the X.Org Server is needed at this time) that that code has now made its way into the mainline Linux kernel.

  • Applications

    • Shaving megabytes: cplay and mcplay

      A few months ago I mentioned mcplay as an alternative to the time-honored but unfortunately departed cplay. mcplay is intended to be a close mimic to the dead program, written in C as opposed to Python. At the time I made no real distinction between the two, since my concern was mostly with function, but as yasen mentioned, I should have.

    • 5 of the Best Free Linux Medical Practice Management Software

      Medical Practice Management Software (MPMS) is a type of software that is designed to supervise and support the day-to-day operations of a medical practice. This category of software typically offers functionality such as data entry, scheduling appointments, billing, reporting, records management, the generation of reports, accounting, and capturing patient demographics.

    • Audio

      • Linux Arpeggiators, Part 2

        I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief introduction to arpeggiators for Linux. The programs I’ve profiled are valuable additions to the creative Linux musician’s audio armory, you can’t beat the prices, and they are all great fun to explore. For now, I leave you to those explorations, and I’ll return soon with reports on the Behringer BCF2000 and FCB1010 MIDI control devices.

      • What’s been going on with Ardour?

        There hasn’t been much news posted here for a while, so I thought it was appropriate to update subscribers and other supporters of my work on Ardour on what has been going on. Development efforts have ben split (about 60:40) between Ardour 3.0 and continuing work on the 2.X series, both to fix bugs and to support the continuing improvement of Mixbus.

    • Proprietary

      • 10 Windows applications that should be ported to Linux

        I can’t tell you how many emails, phone calls, IMs, and Facebook messages I’ve gotten that asked when or if an application would be ported from Windows to Linux. Or how many times I’ve heard someone say, “I would use Linux, if X were ported to it!” So I decided to put these wishes to good use and list the top applications that should be ported to Linux. Some could be possible. Some are not (for whatever reason), which is a shame because the “not possible” tends to keep people from adopting Linux.

    • Instructionals

    • Games

      • How Nexuiz did not become proprietary or: “Silly names in Games”

        Some company will use LordHavoc’s DarkPlaces engine (DPE) to publish a game on some game console(s). The development team includes “a number of Nexuiz developers, and previous Quake1 community developers”. Nexuiz is a (or rather “the”) FOSS FPS that uses DPE.

        As far as I can tell, no assets of Nexuiz will be used. On the other hand, the soundtrack playing on the console-DPE-game homepage sounds like a remix of a Nexuiz track. I will just assume that the composer agreed to this and that the same might happen to other high-quality Nexuiz content and that it will all be legal. Lee Vermeulen (Nexuiz’ lead developer) is no license-n00b after all. Also, the console game will be using Nexuiz’ gameplay, which I assume means “game modes”, “movement/physics” and “weapon functions/balancing”.

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME and KDE to co-locate 2011 Desktop Summit

      Following the success of last year’s Gran Canaria Desktop Summit (GCDS), Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier, former Community Manager at Novell, has announced that the GNOME Foundation and KDE e.V. boards have decided to once again co-locate their flagship conferences, Akademy and GUADEC, in 2011. In addition to simply co-locating the events, as they did in 2009, GNOME Foundation board Member Vincent Untz says that he hopes that the projects can “actually plan a combined schedule in 2011 so that KDE and GNOME contributors have every opportunity to work with and learn from each other.”

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Testing the Gnome 3 Release Candidate

        Although there’s no official word on when Gnome 3 will become the default desktop environment in Ubuntu, Mark Shuttleworth suggested last summer that the October 2010 release, or Ubuntu 10.10, would be a likely target.

        Given my experience with the new Gnome, I’m not convinced that’s a good idea, unless a lot changes on Gnome’s end between now and the fall. But I’ll save my criticism for another post. Below, I’ll focus on what Gnome 2.30/3 actually does, and how it’s so different from its predecessors.

      • Mutter 2.29.1 Brings Dependence On Clutter 1.2

        Mutter, the new window manager designed for GNOME 3.0 integration to replace Metacity 2, has experienced a new development release. Mutter reached version 2.29.0 last month and it integrated the most recent Metacity changes (up to v2.26), improved appearance of scaled down windows using mipmap emulation, new signals and properties, and many other changes. Metacity 2.29.1 that’s been released today doesn’t bring as many changes to the table.

  • Distributions

    • Three favorite distros currently in testing: SimplyMEPIS, antiX, PCLinuxOS

      SimplyMEPIS and antiX, two of the products in the MEPIS family, have been through several iterations of their Beta testing cycle, and now each of them has also released three release candidates (RC), and they are very cloe to release. Each of them has a Version 8.5 RC 3 now available for testing. These can be upgraded to final form by simply using Debian upgrade packaging techniques.

    • Debian Family

      • ROSE Blog Interviews: Margarita Manterola, Debian Developer

        Debian Developer Margarita Manterola recently threw her hat into the ring to be the next Debian Project Leader. Surprisingly, she was the first woman ever to do so.

        Join me in congratulating her for nominating herself and wishing her Good Luck!

        Q: Who are you?

        A: My name is Margarita Manterola. I’m a 30-year-old Software Developer from Argentina. I develop mostly in Python, but also in other languages, such as C or PHP. I teach programming at my local university. I’ve been married for five years to Maximiliano Curia, who is a System Administrator and a Debian Developer, like me.

      • Ubuntu

        • Tim O’Reilly: ‘Whole Web’ is the OS of the future

          Open-source developers and businesses are focused on the wrong opportunity, according to industry luminary Tim O’Reilly. The future isn’t programming for Linux or MySQL. The future is programming for the “whole Web.”

        • Difference Between Ubuntu and Linux

          Linux systems can be installed in various computer hardware, such as smartphones, laptops, PDA, and so forth. The use of Linux is very prevalent in servers. It is even reported that in 2008, at least 60 percent of web servers worldwide was run on Linux operating systems.

        • Testing The Power Management Of Ubuntu 10.04

          We tested out this new package with a notebook and netbook to see how it changes the power game for Ubuntu 10.04 along with whether it’s much of an improvement over the current Ubuntu 9.10 release.

        • Bye Ubuntu, it could have been fun .. but it wasn’t

          Ubuntu is supposed to be a meritocracy where an elite group of people make decisions based on technical ability. Where is this technical ability that they speak of though? How this process seems to really work is that Mark says “make it so” and his drones say “yes master”. That’s not a meritocracy, not at all.

        • OMG BUTTONS ON THE LEFT!!!

          The kicker, of course, is something I see way too often in Ubuntu land: people that don’t like it are simply called “trolls” and told to shut up. Often it’s shut up and leave.

          What the hell? How exactly are you supposed to get feedback and determine if you have a great success with your user interface if you don’t listen to the users?

        • Variants

          • Kubuntu is not Ubuntu

            So since Canonical does currently not exploit all business potential coming from Kubuntu, the community will probably be responsible for quite some time to come.

            This ultimately means that the community will apply the rules and judgment of which they think it is the best available. Since the community is mostly consisting of people contributing in their spare time human time resource is rather limited and thus one must choose the battles carefully. In consequence this means that some things simply cannot be done. Like say Ubuntu One integration, of course it would be nice to have, but currently there are much more important things to work on. Same goes for porting Software Center. Finally it also means that the community gets to decide how much branding gets committed, and currently the opinion is to stick with KDE’s. Not only is their artwork of incredibly high quality, but also are they the biggest contributors to the Kubuntu desktop, so they deserve most credit.

            On that last note I would also like to note that Kubuntu’s target was to make the best KDE distribution, not the best Ubuntu flavor, thus deriving from KDE’s artwork and color scheme would not only be in conflict with the fact that Kubuntu’s color palette is almost identical, but also with what Kubuntu is trying to achieve.

            In short: Kubuntu is not Ubuntu. Occasionally blogs and news stories and bug reports assume Canonical is responsible for things they are not. In general, me and the other Kubuntu developers are responsible for Kubuntu, please keep this in mind when moaning or praising us.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Marvell promises $100 tablet for students

      Marvell announced its intent to deliver a $100, Android-ready tablet computer built around a 1GHz Armada 600 series processor. Aimed at students, the “Moby” will offer WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, an FM receiver, and Adobe Flash compatibility, the company says.

    • Google’s TV Project

      • Google and Linux are coming to your TV

        In what may have been Google’s worst kept secret in years, Google, along with its partners, Intel, Logitech and Sony, is on its way to delivering the Web to your television. What will they be using to do this? Why, they’ll be using Google’s Android Linux, of course.

        Android is an embedded Linux that Google has already been deploying in phones like its own Nexus One and Motorola’s Devour and Droid. But Android has always been more than just a smartphone operating system; it’s also been used in netbooks and other devices. So taking it to a TV set-top box was an easy move for Google and its hardware friends.

      • News analysis: Google, partners have clout to make smart TV a reality

        With Google said to be working with Intel and Sony to develop a way to bring the best of the Internet to television, industry analysts wonder if the time for a smart TV has finally arrived.

      • Get Ready For Google TV, It’s Linux Too!

        Google has reportedly joined hands with Intel, Sony and Logitech to create Google TV. What is Google TV and why Google is suddenly interested in a new medium: TV?

      • Googleocracy
      • YouTube’s Bandwidth Bill Is Zero. Welcome to the New Net

        YouTube may pay less to be online than you do, a new report on internet connectivity suggests, calling into question a recent analysis arguing Google’s popular video service is bleeding money and demonstrating how the internet has continued to morph to fit user’s behavior.

    • Nokia

      • Nokia asks the Internet to help design a phone

        Nokia is tapping into the collective wisdom of mobile technology enthusiasts on the Internet as it designs a new smartphone concept device. The handset maker has launched a new project called Design by Community which aims to collect feedback about preferred device characteristics from visitors to the Nokia Conversations blog.

    • Tablets

      • Linux alternatives for the iPad – and the future of netbooks, tablets and smartbooks

        Apart from Apple, some other companies are bringing some interesting tablets. In contrary to the iTab, those other tablets do run Linux. Some are already available, such as the TouchBook from Always Innovating (AI), and some have supposedly better screens, like the Notion Ink Adam tablet. From the info available from Sola’s blog on the Notion Ink tablet, from the Wikipedia-info on the iPad and AI Touchbook and from the website of the AI touchbook I made a feature table so you can compare features. Apart from that, let’s take a look at the future: What technologies are coming to this market?

Free Software/Open Source

  • Building a better Firewall Builder

    Back in 1999, Vadim Kurland realized he needed a better way to configure a Linux firewall than the then-typical process of issuing cryptic commands or editing a text-based configuration file full of esoteric settings. Fortunately, he had lots of experience with commercial firewalls that he was able to apply to the problem. The result was Firewall Builder, a firewall configuration and management tool that lets administrators build firewall policies using a GUI, then push the configuration to firewall machines. It supports the open source firewall platforms iptables, pf, ipfw, and ipfilter, as well as Cisco ASA (PIX) and IOS access lists, and makes all these very different firewalls appear the same to the administrator.

  • SpringSource Launches TomcatExpert.com

    SpringSource says they’re expecting the site to be the single go-to-one-stop place for all your Apache Tomcat needs, be it troubleshooting to application server deployment. And that’s kind of a big deal, because, as the press release needs to remind you — Apache Tomact is the “world’s most widely used Java application server…” and “SpringSource employees” are credited with 95% of bux fixes to Apache Tomcat in the last two years. Plus, a good handful of Tomcat problem incidents are noted and fixed by SpringSource before they reach the community. SpringSource says it’s resulted in a 97% renewal rate for Tomcat support. Sounds pretty impressive.

  • The Tortoise And The Hare

    THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE

    The philosophy of Open Source reminds me of a story from ‘Panchtantra’: the tortoise and the hare.

    The tortoise and the hare were friends. One day, they decided to race against each other. The hare obviously took the lead; he thought of relaxing and went off to sleep. The tortoise, walking slowly but steadily, overtook the hare and won the race. The moral is,

    ‘Slow but steady wins the race’.

    In recent time, some new chapters have been added to this story.

    The hare was perturbed by the defeat. He asked the tortoise to race again. This time he did not take rest and won the race easily. The moral is,

    ‘It is better to be fast and reliable’.

    But, this is not the end of the story.

  • Mozilla

    • getting faster at getting faster

      Two things of note:

      1. The update offer of Firefox 3.6 to users of Firefox 3 and Firefox 3.5 is the first time we’ve ever done an offer to a .0 release to our user base. We’ve always waited until the .1 release or later. We did this because we were able to measure improvements over 3.5 in terms of performance, reliability and add-ons compatiblity.

  • Oracle

    • Ten Years of OpenOffice.org

      This year (2010) marks the 10th anniversary of a lot of things: Tuvalu’s entry into the United Nations, Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon, and the debut of Windows ME, for example. But much more importantly, 2010 marks OpenOffice.org’s tenth year of existence. To celebrate, here’s a look–literally, because there are a lot of screenshots–at how OOo has evolved throughout the decade.

  • OSBC

    • OSBC focus turns to best practices for open-source adoption

      Bob Sutor, vice president of open source and Linux for IBM, gave a keynote address in which he enumerated the criteria by which open-source projects should be evaluated. His talk highlighted the problems that can arise when organizations choose the wrong open-source project around which to standardize. He also advocated the creation of a company-wide open-source governance plan.

    • 2010 Open Source Business Conference – Day One

      I am currently in San Francisco attending the Open Source Business Conference (OSBC). While the conference has been around for awhile, I have never had a desire to attend before since people have told me it is more like the Open Core Business Conference. Also, it was founded my Matt Asay who nurses a strong dislike for OpenNMS (for proof just check out his negative article on us and our BOSSIE last year which is based on quotes that don’t seem to exist in the original article).

      We have a standing rule at the OpenNMS Group that we will pay the expenses for any employee who gets a paper accepted at a conference, so I dutifully submitted two talks. The first was my ever evolving “So You Think You Want to Start and Open Source Business?” presentation, but since I was pretty certain that would be shot down, I also suggested another presentation where two of our “Ultra” support customers, Rackspace and New Edge, could talk about how they use the OpenNMS management application platform in their business.

      Both were shot down.

    • OSBC 2010 – Age of open source enablement

      My talk at OSBC centers on the cost savings benefits of open source software and how this drove adoption amid difficult economic conditions. There was also discussion at the conference of the impact of an improving economy. While I don’t believe IT budgets will get fattened up with improving economic conditions, I do believe that this could put more emphasis on some of the other benefits of open source software. Again, we found cost savings was the main driver for customers considering open source. However, after adoption, the top benefit changes to flexibility. In addition, while factors such as vendor lock-in appear to subside after adoption, open source benefits such as reliability and performance grow in significance. I believe this is indicative of where the market, customers and vendors are headed as they contemplate the benefits and rewards of open source. I also believe these ‘other’ non-cost factors all contribute to enabling IT individuals and teams based on open source.

    • The New Open Source Business Model Still Relies on Closed Source

      Over the last couple of years a number of different open source business strategies have evolved. According to the 451 Group, it’s an evolution that includes the broader adoption and usage of open source overall by both open source and proprietary software vendors.

  • Releases

    • Introducing the ANGLE Project

      We’re happy to announce a new open source project called Almost Native Graphics Layer Engine, or ANGLE for short. The goal of ANGLE is to layer WebGL’s subset of the OpenGL ES 2.0 API over DirectX 9.0c API calls. We’re open-sourcing ANGLE under the BSD license as an early work-in-progress, but when complete, it will enable browsers like Google Chrome to run WebGL content on Windows computers without having to rely on OpenGL drivers.

  • Government

    • Open Source Gets Political

      As an election looms in the UK, copyright, intellectual property and Open Source, are making an appearance on the political stage, both at home and internationally.

      The government has been forced to make a number of significant changes to Lord Mandelson’s much-criticised Digital Economy Bill. In response to a petition, the Prime Minister has dropped Mandelson’s plans for a controversial ‘three strikes’ rule forcing ISPs to permanently disconnect those repeatedly accused of illegal file sharing by copyright holders.

      Amongst a long list of grievances with the proposed bill, critics had pointed out the potential human rights implications of cutting-off households, particularly school children, from the Internet, based on the behaviour of one individual using a shared connection. However, in a statement on the Number 10 website, the government did not rule out forcing ISPs to enforce bandwidth restrictions, download limits and temporary account suspensions onto customers accused of breeching copyright.

      [...]

      Meanwhile, Shaddow Chancellor George Osborne has reiterated previous pledges to “create a level playing field for open source IT in government procurement”. The Tories’ new manifesto also promises to publish more information on all government contracts and tendering opportunities, as well as spending by QUANGOs and Local Government, in a bid to “open up government procurement to more SMEs.”

    • Web inventor calls for government data transparency

      Countries should be judged on their willingness to open up public data to their citizens, the inventor of the world wide web has told the BBC.

  • Openness

    • U.S. systemic savings from a full shift to OA: $3.4 billion

      King argues for an open access system via article processing fees, fully paid by the federal government. It is noteworthy that King’s estimate is that this would cost, in a worst-case scenario, an increase of less than 1% of what the U.S. federal government spends on research grants right now. King acknowledges the unlikelihood of this scenario. Average cost-per-article of $1,500 and $2,500 U.S. scenarios are employed; the additional cost for 100% funding of articles would be $427 million (at $1,500 per article) or $712 million (at $2,500 per article). King estimates that academic and special libraries could, together, save an estimate $4.1 billion per year.

    • ONS Solubility Book: Edition 3 with Notebook Archive

      We’ve been trying for some time to find a way to conveniently take a snapshot of our Open Notebooks and all associated raw data files. This could serve as a way to back up all of our work as well as provide a means of finding out the state of knowledge for a project at a given moment in time. There is also a tremendous benefit to confidently using the best of free hosted Web2.0 services out there (e.g. GoogleDocs and Wikispaces) without being concerned with changes in policies or access down the road.

    • On Open Data, Open Source, UK Libel Law and Evidence-based Sustainability

      As is often the case, someone asks for a written answer to a question, but then fails to use the material. The great thing about blogs is that they make it very easy to make sure such content isn’t wasted. So here are some thoughts on the GreenMonk mission and sustainability more broadly.

      We set up Greenmonk with the explicit intention of lobbying for open data and open source for better environmental outcomes.

      [...]

      In the UK, libel law is regularly abused to shut down dissenting voices. Its not just randy footballers that try and abuse the law. Pushing back against the status quo are organisations such as Sense About Science, which is backing the National Petition for Libel Law Reform.

    • An Approach to Open Access Author Payment

      There have been hundreds of articles in recent years exhorting the strengths and warning of the weaknesses of Open Access through author payment. This article discusses a few of the favorable and unfavorable issues and proposes an approach that takes advantage of the favorable aspects and overcomes some of the unfavorable ones. It requires extensive government support, which may or may not be feasible, but the approach is presented here nevertheless. Some evidence is given for the potential savings that would be achieved by scientists, publishers and libraries in the US.

    • No Panaceas! A Q&A with Elinor Ostrom

      Ostrom’s seminal book, Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action, was published in 1990. But her research on common property goes back to the early 1960s, when she wrote her dissertation on groundwater in California. In 1973 she and her husband, Vincent Ostrom, founded the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis at Indiana University. In the intervening years, the Workshop has produced hundreds of studies of the conditions in which communities self-organize to solve common problems. Ostrom currently serves as professor of political science at Indiana University and senior research director of the Workshop.

      Fran Korten: When you first learned that you had won the Nobel Prize in Economics, were you surprised?

      Elinor Ostrom: Yes. It was quite surprising. I was both happy and relieved.

      Fran: Why relieved?

      Elinor: Well, relieved in that I was doing a bunch of research through the years that many people thought was very radical and people didn’t like. As a person who does interdisciplinary work, I didn’t fit anywhere. I was relieved that, after all these years of struggle, someone really thought it did add up. That’s very nice.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Wikipedia plans to offer open source video

      STANDARDS ADVOCATE the Open Video Alliance has got behind a campaign to enrich Wikipedia articles with video.

      Wikipedia walks a lonely path in supporting Theora, an open format which is in contention to be incorporated into HTML5′s video tag. This goes against the popular Flash encoded video ‘standard’ used by sites such as Youtube.

    • Let’s get video on Wikipedia

      The Open Video Alliance and the Participatory Culture Foundation have launched a new campaign to encourage people to upload videos to Wikipedia, the free collaborative online encyclopedia.

    • Why add video to Wikipedia?
    • What is HTML5 Video?
    • Open Video Alliance launches Wikipedia video campaign

      The OVA’s members include open video platform company Kaltura, Yale’s Information Society Project, Mozilla, and the Participatory Culture Foundation (PCF). To get the party started, the PCF is making available a new software tool for Windows and Mac OS X that can convert videos into the open Ogg Theora format. The OVA has rolled out a new website with simple instructions that describe how users can download the software and start participating in the campaign.

    • Will Open Source Video Finally Kill Adobe Flash? Steve Jobs May Be Sorry What He Wished For

      All the buzz is that HTML5 will signal the death knell for Adobe Flash. Many would say good riddance, especially Apple’s Steve Jobs, whose steadfast refusal to support the technology has left many iPhone users with a crippled web browsing experience (including this blogger). But Jobs should be careful of what he wishes for. The eventual winner of the HTML5 video standards debate could be an open source standard. This will leave Jobs and his black box, closed system henchman in Cupertino in a bind.

    • W3C to Microsoft – follow the process

      In a posting on W3C blog, Ian Jacobs, Head of W3C Communications, has taken up Microsoft’s offer and invited the company to create an “Incubator Group” for the specification. Incubator groups do not produce standards, but the W3C community can decide later on whether or not to move the API onto the W3C Recommendation Track.

      Jacobs says that “Incubator Groups can smooth the transition from ‘good idea’ to ‘widely deployed standard available Royalty-Free’”. He also pointed out that the invitation was “not just for Microsoft” and that the W3C is interested in data access APIs adding “If you’re working on an API and it has ‘data’ in the name, I encourage you to build community support in a W3C Incubator Group.”

Leftovers

  • Canon First in Line for Its Own Top-Level Domain, .canon

    Canon announced Wednesday it intends to be the first company to say goodbye to .com and buy its own top-level domain, taking advantage of ICANN’s decision to broadly widen the number of top-level names. If — or rather when — this starts happening, web address conventions may never be the same.

  • Is There a Google News Blacklist?

    My relationship with Google News has always run hot and cold. No make that cold and tepid. From the very beginning of Google News as an experiment back in 2001, they refused to index my work, which they said was my fault, not theirs (“they” being an algorithm attached to an e-mail box, of course). But new evidence has recently come to light suggesting to me that Google News has an actual blacklist.

  • Science

    • [LHC] 19 Mar, New record beam energy

      Commissioning of the LHC continues at a very encouraging rate. In the past few days the protection systems have been qualified such that the beams could be safely accelerated to higher energies. In the early hours of this morning, around 5:30am Geneva time, both beams were successfully ramped to 3.5 TeV, 3 times higher than ever before! Even more encouraging, the beams were extremely stable during this period and had a very long lifetime.

  • Security

    • Exclusive: Next-generation super ID card on the cards for 2012

      According to Hosein, if the upgrades do take place, early adopters will have a hard time swallowing the fact they had paid £30 for a card that had gone out of date in three years or less.

    • Confidential report on Summary Care Records finds database is inaccurate

      The Summary Care Records database – which is central to the government’s plans to create health records for 50 million people – contains inaccuracies and omissions that make it difficult for doctors to trust it as a single source of truth, according to a confidential draft report.

      The findings by researchers at University College London, are likely to reinforce the concerns of the British Medical Association which has called for a halt to the “rushed” rollout of the “imperfect” Summary Care Record scheme.

    • Senators push Obama for biometric national ID card

      Two U.S. senators met with President Obama on Thursday to push for a national ID card with biometric information such as a fingerprint, hand scan, or iris scan that all employers would be required to verify.

    • Don’t be fooled. The ID card has not gone away

      If you are over 60 and want a bus pass – Pensioners could be forced to carry identity cards to qualify for free bus travel

      If you are poor and bank at RBS and Lloyds – Meg Hillier said companies might offer to buy the £30 cards for people who wouldn’t pay for them otherwise

      Or if you are just poor – Home Office minister Meg Hillier argues ID cards can provide the foundation for fairer access to services and opportunities

      If you work at an airport – All staff who work ‘airside’ are eligible to get a free card as part of the regional roll-out of the ID cards scheme

    • Town Council hit for CCTV debt

      A surprise demand to settle an outstanding debt for surveillance cameras in Monmouth could land Monmouth Town Council in the county court, reports Desmond Pugh.

    • CCTV bungle causes more delays

      Halstead’s long-awaited CCTV system faces fresh delays.

      Although the four cameras have been installed in the town, they have been fitted with the wrong type of cable boxes.

    • Dismantling of Saudi-CIA Web site illustrates need for clearer cyberwar policies

      By early 2008, top U.S. military officials had become convinced that extremists planning attacks on American forces in Iraq were making use of a Web site set up by the Saudi government and the CIA to uncover terrorist plots in the kingdom.

      “We knew we were going to be forced to shut this thing down,” recalled one former civilian official, describing tense internal discussions in which military commanders argued that the site was putting Americans at risk. “CIA resented that,” the former official said.

    • Peter Watts found guilty

      Early terse reports are that the jury has returned a guilty verdict for Dr Peter Watts, a science fiction writer who was beaten at the US-Canada border when he got out of his car to ask why it was being searched, then charged with assault. Peter faces up to two years in prison. I’ve emailed him for comment and I hope that he’s appealing.

    • Georgia Supreme Court Says It’s Okay To Put Non-Sex Offenders On The Registered Sex Offender List

      The question of registered sex offenders lists is a tricky one — because for those people who really do commit sexually-driven crimes against minors, it’s hard to be even remotely sympathetic to any complaints they have about the punishment they receive. The problem is that so many things are considered sexual offenses these days that many people are put on the list, and must live with it for life, for something that most people may consider a youthful indiscretion, rather than something that automatically should brand them to neighbors as a possible child molester. Things such as kids having sex with each other after only one of the two teens has reached the “legal” limit or even urinating in public can sometimes be classified as a sexual offense.

    • The Seventh And Ninth Circuits Split On What Constitutes “Without Authorization” Within The Meaning Of The Computer Fraud And Abuse Act
  • Environment

    • Climate Action: Burning Forests to Avoid Megafires

      Prescribed burns in the forests of the western U.S. will prevent larger wildfires and significantly cut the nation’s carbon footprint, according to a new study.

    • Caught Red-Handed: How Nestlé’s Use of Palm Oil is Having a Devastating Impact on Rainforest, The Climate and Orang-utans

      Nestlé is using palm oil from destroyed Indonesian rainforests and peatlands, in products like Kit Kat, pushing already endangered orang-utans to the brink of extinction and accelerating climate change.

    • How to make a snake

      When these regions are compared in animals like turtles and people and chickens, the genomes reveal signs of purifying selection — that is, mutations here tend to be unsuccessful, and lead to death, failure to propagate, etc., other horrible fates that mean tinkering here is largely unfavorable to fecundity (which makes sense: who wants a mutation expressed in their groinal bits?). In the squamates, the evidence in the genome does not witness to intense selection for their particular arrangement, but instead, of relaxed selection — they are generally more tolerant of variations in the Hox gene complex in this area. What was found in those enlarged intergenic regions is a greater invasion of degenerate DNA sequences: lots of additional retrotransposons, like LINES and SINES, which are all junk DNA.

    • Need a break? So does the rainforest

      Nestlé, maker of Kit Kat, uses palm oil from companies that are trashing Indonesian rainforests, threatening the livelihoods of local people and pushing orang-utans towards extinction.

    • Bye bye, bluefin: bid for trade ban fails

      An unprecedented effort to use world trade rules to save a species from rampant overfishing has failed. A proposal to ban international trade in bluefin tuna under the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) was defeated today at a meeting of the 175 nations that belong to the treaty in Doha, Qatar.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • End government pre-snoop on stats

      The ability of politicians to spin official statistics to support their own point of view is likely to be severely curtailed – at least if UK Statistics Authority has its way.

      While the Reg finds it hard to believe that any government minister would be tempted in this way, the good folk over at the Statistics Authority would appear to be a little more cynical.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • A Saint Patrick’s Day special: Further Thoughts on Manuscripts, Marginalia, Mashups and Reading as Writing

      I wrote a post the other day about Digital Manuscripts, Reading as Writing, and the danger of of “digital rights management” (DRM). The New York Times today provided a lovely follow up in the shape of an article – Turning Green With Literacy – about the Irish role in saving the book after the Roman Empire collapsed.

      [...]

      DRM is designed to prevent playfulness. But the smartest people in publishing realise that the future will be ludic – George Walkley, who runs digital strategy at Hachette recently told me of the importance of making publishing more “ludic” or game-like.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • YouTube Motions Highlight How Entertainment Industry Lawsuits May Have Slowed Useful Platforms

      Now, some will scoff and claims that Grokster was never going to turn into what YouTube is today, but you’re saying that with the gift of hindsight. A large part of Viacom’s motion tries to suggest that the two companies actually were quite similar — but even Viacom is now admitting that YouTube’s business model was able to mature and adapt. Considering that we still don’t have music discovery, promotion and distribution tools as convenient as Napster was back in the day, this can be seen as a real shame. These lawsuits killed off a useful path of exploration for legitimate business models, and that’s not only shameful but a waste of innovative effort. It’s only through the random quirk of a slow court that YouTube may avoid suffering the same fate.

    • Indie Artists Discuss Dealing With File Sharing

      Then there’s an interview of Dan Bull, known around these parts for his musically brilliant open letters to Lily Allen and Peter Mandelson. In the interview, he discusses his views on the music business and things like file sharing. He notes that he’s mainly “against… enforcing backwards laws in order to cling onto an obsolete business model.”

    • The Little Band of White That Forced a Design Copyright Fight

      This writer is worn out and he wasn’t even at South by Southwest this weekend. So in the interest of keeping things light, here’s something to put into the strange copyright battles file. Dixie Consumer Products and Huhtamaki Americas Inc. have just finished up in federal court over a suit filed by Dixie who said their competitor had copied their cup design.

    • Apparently The Word ‘Piracy’ No Longer Sufficiently Derogatory For Entertainment Industry

      Ok. Pick your jaw up off the floor. First, this is stunning in that it’s been the entertainment industry itself that pushed and popularized the term “piracy” for copyright infringement. They did so very deliberately in an attempt to demonize the act of infringement, presenting it as something much worse. That some have since taken that term and embraced it hardly changes that initial fact. Second, she’s wrong about the fact that they’re “talking about a criminal act.” Yes, in some cases copyright infringement may be a criminal act, but in most cases the use of “piracy” these days refers to civil issues between two parties and not criminal acts at all.

    • Is Copyright the Buggy Whip of the Digital Age?

      Then in another panel session, Mr. Griffin, the founder of OneHouse, whose company is developing a new model of music and entertainment delivery, probably made the most impassioned argument that content must flow freely (double entendre intended) given its capacity to improve the human condition. He likened the current copyright model to an “old vine we cling to,” unsuited for today’s digital world. His solution is to pay content creators based on an “actuarial” model where groups can share revenue collectively.

      What was most inspiring is that these people were openly saying what I was thinking — the current system is ill-suited to the current realities. The answer lies in innovating new ways to compensate content creators such as new compensation structures or new engagement methods that can be monetized. In their personal experiences and outlooks, these content producers effectively laid down the gauntlet to the legal industry — innovate or we may all die.

      Maybe that’s why Jim Griffin used this quote as a rallying call: “Copyright law … is not an engine of free expression, but a yoke of innovation.” Maybe that’s why the conference is themed: “The Collision of Ideas.”

    • The 94 Percent Solution

      Newspapers are folding, magazines are fading, ad pages are down and angst is up in the serial publishing business as it struggles through a global technological transition and may not survive. But what will be our next New York Times, our new Field & Stream, our improved Playboy? That’s what the big guns of publishing are fighting about with their Kindles and iPads. But I think they may have it all wrong and my friend Anina, the fashion model/girl geek may have it all right.

    • DIY icon Albini addresses music industry issues

      The scene at Hailey’s Club on Friday afternoon played like a rumpled, foul-mouthed version of Inside the Actors Studio with James Lipton. Denton musician Scott Porter had notes at the ready for his interview with Chicago-based punk rock musician and recording engineer Steve Albini. The near-capacity crowd in the bar filed in from Mulberry Street.

    • ACTA/Digital Economy Bill

      • Why the ICC Report Makes Me Ick

        I have restrained myself from writing much about the ICC’s “Building a Digital Economy” report, because I knew it would make me too cross. Fortunately, someone who is rather calmer me than me has done a better job than I would with some careful, rigorous analysis.

      • About that Internet piracy study…

        Yesterday, Richard Wray wrote up a piece in the Guardian on a study which has been backed by the TUC and claims that by 2015, losses from piracy will reach £218bn and put 1.2 million jobs in peril.

        [...]

        What the BPI does publish (repeatedly on its site) is the figure of “some 7.3 million people engaged in unlawful filesharing”, according to Jupiter Research. Assuming these two figures — the number of people sharing and the amount of infringement taking place — are supposed to be consistent with one another, this leaves us with a few problems.

        That 7.3m figure was investigated by BBC Radio 4’s “More or Less” programme, and the results were written up by Ars Technica.

        [...]

        The bottom line here is that the 7.3m figure is essentially meaningless; it’s based on a survey of just over a thousand households and then multiplied up in the same way that the BASCAP report does in its predictions. If — and there’s potentially some wiggle-room here — this (still publicised today) 7.3m figure is related to the 1.1bn “infringements” figure, then it renders the UK music part of the BASCAP report as worthless as an educated guess by a journalist. If this is the quality of the data across the board, then the entire report has little merit at all from a analytics perspective.

      • Is the music industry trying to write the digital economy bill?

        Two weeks is a lifetime in politics – especially in the political life of the backwards digital economy bill, Labour’s gift to the incumbent entertainment industries that government is bent on ramming into law before the election.

        In my last column, I bore the bizarre news that the LibDem front-bench Lords had introduced an amendment to the bill that would create a Great Firewall of Britain. This would be a national censorwall to which the record industry could add its least favourite sites, rendering them invisible to Britons (except for those with the nous of a 13-year-old evading her school’s censorware). Over the following days, the story got weirder: the LibDem amendment got amended, to add a figleaf of due process to the untenable proposal.

        And then it got weirder still: a leaked memo from the BPI (the UK record industry lobby) showed that the “LibDem amendment” had in fact been written – with minor variances – by the BPI. And the BPI continued to leak: someone sent me the weekly internal status update prepared by Richard Mollet, BPI Director of Public Affairs for the core group of plotters behind the bill (someone should teach Mr Mollet about BCC).

      • New ACTA leak: It’s a screwjob for the world’s poor countries

        Translation for non-wonks: Historically, developing countries have asked the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization for “technical assistance” with their copyright laws. This has usually amounted to “Create copyright laws that will make it easier for rich countries to get richer,” but in the past several of years, WIPO has found itself with a large cadre of public interest activists and now, WIPO is working on a treaty on its “Development Agenda” to figure out a copyright system that serves humanitarian goals, too (for example, by making it legal for archivists and educators to work together to translated and adapt works that have different copyright rules in different countries).

        We’ve all known that ACTA is a way of writing copyright treaties without having to let poor countries and human rights advocates into the room. We’ve suspected that poor countries — who aren’t invited to the negotiations — will be strong-armed into signing onto the treate afterwards.

      • UK IP Minister Lammy Backs EU Release Of ACTA Text

        David Lammy, United Kingdom Minister for Intellectual Property, today said the UK supports the European Union’s position that the text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) should be made public.

      • Does ACTA = EU-wide copyright enforcement for the ‘Net?

        The European Commission has now admitted in writing what the ACTA negotiations will mean for the Internet. In Europe, it will mean a ‘harmonised’ enforcement

      • Now let’s visualise how the digital economy bill has changed..

        A simple programming tool is helpful in understanding what’s changed – but we really need some proper internet-enabled means of viewing bills, as MySociety points out

      • More ACTA Leaks: Would Create Special Organization To Manage Worldwide Copyright Laws

        The more of ACTA that leaks, the worse it seems. KEI has the details on another portion of ACTA that had not leaked yet, which focuses on setting up new institutions that would manage ACTA after it was implemented. Basically, it would be an ongoing organization tasked with continuing to update ACTA’s rules — sort of a parallel organization to WIPO, which already exists, but which has recently committed the mortal sin of actually listening to consumer rights groups.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Scottish Parliamentarian Patrick Harvey 03 (2004)


Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

03.18.10

Links 18/3/2010: Steam and Linux; Red Hat’s CEO Talks

Posted in IRC Logs, News Roundup at 9:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Podcast Season 2 Episode 4

    In this episode: Gnome’s Guadec and KDE’s Akademy are getting back together in 2011, and they’re looking for a venue, while Canonical unveils a major rebranding for Ubuntu 10.04. We reveal which presenter had the most SUSE Studio downloads and report back on our time spent with Ubuntu 4.10.

  • FUD

    • Thinking about “Asking the hard questions about open source software”

      I’m very aware of the FUD that was thrown at open source software and especially Linux in the last decade, though I think we’ve gotten the right facts by now. Therefore I’ve tried to be very careful in the tone of the presentation to be constructive while realistic about adopting open source software.

    • My OSBC 2010 keynote

      This morning I gave a keynote called “Asking the Hard Questions about Open Source Software” at the OSBC 2010 conference in San Francisco.

    • Designing a Secure Linux System

      Bruce Schneier’s blog post about the Mariposa Botnet has an interesting discussion in the comments about how to make a secure system [1]. Note that the threat is considered to be remote attackers, that means viruses and trojan horses – which includes infected files run from USB devices (IE you aren’t safe just because you aren’t on the Internet). The threat we are considering is not people who can replace hardware in the computer (people who have physical access to it which includes people who have access to where it is located or who are employed to repair it). This is the most common case, the risk involved in stealing a typical PC is far greater than the whatever benefit might be obtained from the data on it – a typical computer user is at risk of theft only for the resale value of a second-hand computer.

    • 2010 CWE/SANS Top 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors

      The 2010 CWE/SANS Top 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors is a list of the most widespread and critical programming errors that can lead to serious software vulnerabilities. They are often easy to find, and easy to exploit. They are dangerous because they will frequently allow attackers to completely take over the software, steal data, or prevent the software from working at all.

  • Desktop

    • Desktop GNU/Linux

      Desktop GNU/Linux is happening whether on clients thick or thin or on servers. Repeating the same old drivel that GNU/Linux has no share and never will is tiresome and wrong. It could be that certain niches will stick with M$. It is those who are becoming irrelevant. GNU/Linux is mainstream and growing more rapidly daily on both server and desktop. Last time I looked, that other OS was still losing share in the top server hosting companies.

  • Kernel Space

    • A Tale of 20 Interns, 1 Project and 1 Fiery ‘Mythical Man-Month’ Debate

      The story was told by Greg Price on the Ksplice blog just over a week ago. Said tale involves an impending product launch, a list of critical engineering projects, and not enough time.

    • How to quadruple your productivity with an army of student interns

      Startup companies are always hunting for ways to accomplish as much as possible with what they have available. Last December we realized that we had a growing queue of important engineering projects outside of our core technology that our team didn’t have the time to finish anytime soon. To make matters worse, we wanted the projects completed right away, in time for our planned product launch in early February.

  • Applications

    • winetricks 20100316 released
    • IO Profiling of Applications: MPI Apps
    • TerminalRun Firefox Addon Allows You To Run Shell Commands From Websites Via Right Click [Linux]

      TerminalRun and FoxRunner are two similar Firefox extensions for running a command from a website in a terminal. Because FoxRunner didn’t work for me (but it seems to be working for most people so you can try it if you want), I’ll review TerminalRun.

    • Shotwell 0.5 (Gnome Photo Manager) Has Been Released

      That makes Shotwell the only Gnome photo manager which supports exporting photos to all of the 3 services: PicasaWeb, Flickr and Facebook.

    • Applications and bundled libraries

      Package installation for Linux distributions has traditionally separated libraries and application binaries into different packages, so that only one version of a library would be installed and it would be shared by applications that use it. Other operating systems (e.g. Windows, MacOS X) often bundle a particular version of a library with each application, which can lead to many copies and versions of the same library co-existing on the system. While each model has its advocates, the Linux method is seen by many as superior because a security fix in a particular commonly-used library doesn’t require updating multiple different applications—not to mention the space savings. But, it would seem that both Mozilla and Google may be causing distributions to switch to library-bundling mode in order to support the Firefox and Chromium web browsers.

    • Claws Mail: Mail with Attitude

      Want to take full control of your email? Tired of the limitations of Webmail, or GUI clients that are designed for users who only get a handful of emails every day. It’s time to bring out the heavy guns and start using Claws.

    • Psi Is A Feature-Rich Jabber Instant Messaging Client For Windows, Linux And Mac OS X

      Jabber, also known as XMPP, is used by Google Talk, LiveJournal, Portugal Telecom and Facebook also recently allows you to chat using XMPP.

    • Snap Spiffy Linux Screenshots with Shutter

      Snapping a quick screenshot is a capability you get out of the box with most current Linux distributions. Hit the Print Screen function key, and you should see a dialog box pop up with a capture of your entire screen. For GNOME users this typically launches gnome-screenshot while Kde will bring up Ksnapshot. Both tools are similar in functionality and get the basic job accomplished.

    • Instructionals

    • Games

      • When Will Steam Come to Linux?

        I know that there are those who will argue that Linux isn’t worth supporting, but I disagree. It’s been a travesty and grave injustice for Linux to be almost totally locked out of the computer gaming market thanks to Microsoft pushing its proprietary junk and deliberately locking game vendors into Windows, and the laziness of game companies that can’t be bothered to support multiple platforms.

        The lack of games for Linux (and also Mac OS X) has worked to Microsoft’s advantage by making Windows the platform for computer gaming. That’s great if you’re a Microsoft shareholder or employee, but it’s very bad if you believe in choice when it comes to computer operating systems.

        Gaming companies need to abandon DirectX as quickly as possible and move to OpenGL instead.

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • MagicFolder in KDE4: Plasmoid Now, but what is the future?

      True story: last night I was thinking about how great a Magical ~/Downloads/ folder would be, so that downloaded PDFs, videos, documents, whatever would automatically get moved into my ~/Documents/ and my ~/Music/ and my other folders. I thought, hmm maybe I’ll make a wish on http://bugs.kde.org/ for something like that. Granted, not everyone wants it as their Downloads/ folder (and not everyone even has that; Iceweasel and Firefox set it up in 3.5 and beyond and I don’t know if Konqueror, ReKonq, or Aurora even use it). But it was an interesting idea.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat CEO Says Innovation Trumps Cost Savings

        The economy may still be in the doldrums, but Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst said pitching the cost savings of open source software doesn’t necessarily seal the deal with enterprise customers as it once may have.

      • The clouding of open source and virtualization

        In fact, the cloud has largely displaced open source as the “next big thing” in the enterprise computing landscape, but it’s important to recognize that open source provides much of the underlying software infrastructure for the majority of commercial public clouds.

        In a press meeting Wednesday, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst and vice president of corporate development Mike Evans discussed how open source is at the basis of cloud computing and how an open architecture and layered approach to infrastructure is the best path forward.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 13 Alpha Now Available, What are the features??
        • Berry Linux 1.01 Is Based on Fedora 12

          Berry Linux is a Live CD Linux distribution based on Fedora and aimed mostly at the Japanese market. The latest update, Berry Linux 1.01, is based on the latest stable release, Fedora 12, and comes with updated packages, especially the very latest stable versions. It uses a customized KDE 4 environment, the latest version plucked from Fedora 12, KDE 4.4.0. Both Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird are now at the newest versions and the Microsoft Windows networking suite Samba has also been updated.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu prerelease testing made easy with TestDrive

        Canonical’s Jorge Castro recently introduced me to a nifty tool called TestDrive that simplifies the setup process by automatically downloading the ISO and configuring a VM. TestDrive provides a simple command-line tool that allows you to select which ISO image you want to test. It will download the image and then configure and launch a VM. The real win is that it caches the ISO images and uses rsync to update the parts that have changed so that you don’t have to download the whole ISO again every time you want to test a new daily build.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 Reads File Sizes Differently
      • BitNami adds Ubuntu to the Stacks

        Want to run WordPress, Drupal, or whip up a DJango instance on Ubuntu without all the hassle of configuring an operating system and support stack? Now you can. BitNami has added the most recent release of Ubuntu to its virtual appliance stacks.

      • Variants

        • Greenie Linux: A distribution for ALL users

          PeterB was right. Greenie Linux is one outstanding distribution. All you have to do is get beyond the language barrier (by simply installing the distro) and you will find a flavor of Linux that has something for just about everyone. Give this distribution a try. You won’t be disappointed.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Smart phones get their smarts from open source

        My blogomaniac buddy Alan Shimel recently posted a piece arguing that Android, the open source darling of the mobile world, looks pretty small against the elephantine overall mobile market whichodence-droid comprises mostly un-smart phones. Despite that, he points out that recently open sourced Symbian “is a major force in the traditional handset OS market.” Substantiating the point, Tony Bradley writes for PC world, “Symbian has nearly as much market share as the rest of its competitors combined–including the iPhone, with more than 330 million Symbian smartphones in use.”

      • Google Denied Trademark for ‘Nexus One’

        Google’s attempt to trademark the term “Nexus One” for its Android smartphone has been rejected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, as it was deemed too similar to a related term.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mozilla

  • Databases

  • OpenOffice.org

    • OpenOffice.org Project of the Month: the Irish community

      Recently at OpenOffice.org we have decided to give more highlight to our many native-language communities, who are in charge not just of localization, but also QA, users support, documentation translation and marketing. Each month, we will interview teams, blog about it, include it in the OpenOffice.org, newsletter, etc. This month, we start with the Irish native-language project, lead by Kevin Scannell. You can find more about the Irish language here.

    • Cool OpenOffice.org Easter Eggs

      Since it’s almost Easter Sunday, I will be sharing with you several cool virtual Easter eggs hidden inside some of our favorite software applications. Today, we will take a look at some Easter eggs inside OpenOffice.org so get ready to have fun or be amused.

  • Business

    • Should You Customize Open Source ERP?

      I could reinvent the wheel here, but there’s no point. The best post that I have seen on this comes from my friend, John Henley of Decision Analytics. Henley details some advantages to customizing an application. They include:

      * Core competencies
      * Your other front/back-office systems require it
      * You want additional fields and/or different field sizes
      * Regulatory requirements

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU

    • Open Ballot: would you hire the FSF for the role of Linux PR department?

      The Free Software Foundation has always done a great job defending the various free software licences, promoting their use, and asking for Linux to be referred to as GNU/Linux.

    • Send us your questions for new W3C CEO Jeff Jaffe

      I had the opportunity earlier this week to sit down with Jeff and discuss with him his appointment and learn a little more about the work of W3C and his plans for the coming year. Jeff talked about the importance of W3C’s Royalty-Free Patent Policy and we discussed how the free software community could participate in and follow the work of W3C. He stated that he wanted to “make sure that free software advocates view W3C — which has spearheaded the removal of patent royalties from standards — as a great place to participate.”

    • Interview: Eben Moglen – Freedom vs. The Cloud Log

      Free software has won: practically all of the biggest and most exciting Web companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter run on it. But it is also in danger of losing, because those same services now represent a huge threat to our freedom as a result of the vast stores of information they hold about us, and the in-depth surveillance that implies.

      Better than almost anyone, Eben Moglen knows what’s at stake. He was General Counsel of the Free Software Foundation for 13 years, and helped draft several versions of the GNU GPL. As well as being Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, he is the Founding Director of the Software Freedom Law Center. And he has an ambitious plan to save us from those seductive but freedom-threatening Web service companies. He explained to Glyn Moody what the problem is, and how we can fix it.

    • Categories of Free and Non-Free Software

      Free software is software that comes with permission for anyone to use, copy, and distribute, either verbatim or with modifications, either gratis or for a fee. In particular, this means that source code must be available. “If it’s not source, it’s not software.”

  • Government

    • Government Agencies Have a Way to Go on Open Government

      It’s only appropriate then, that during Sunshine Week, the National Security Archive would check on how various agencies have responded to Freedom of Information Act requests in the last year. Sunshine Week, according to the organization’s Web site, is a national initiative established to focus on the importance of open government and the freedom of information.

    • PROMISES, PROMISES: Records not so open with Obama

      One year into its promise of greater government transparency, the Obama administration is more often citing exceptions to the nation’s open records law to withhold federal records even as the number of requests for information declines, according to a review by The Associated Press of agency audits about the Freedom of Information Act.

    • Wiring Up The Big Brother Machine… And Fighting It

      Indeed, as ABC’s Nightline revealed much later, both Negroponte and National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden pressured the LA Times to kill the story. And when Klein told his story to CBS’s 60 Minutes, they too eventually killed the story without explanation.

      In the end, of course, Klein’s evidence became the backbone of EFF’s lawsuit against AT&T for their complicity in illegal government spying. Originally ignored by Senators and newspapers alike, his evidence was ultimately so damning that it could only be defeated by an unprecedented “telco immunity” law pushed by the Bush White House and passed by the US Congress amidst a massive public controversy. EFF then relied on Klein’s evidence for a case against the government, which has been met with fierce resistance by the Obama Administration.

    • BE: Minister: “Open source prevents monopolies, increases innovation”

      “Open source prevents monopolies, helps to share knowledge and increases social innovation”, says Vincent Van Quickenborne, Belgium’s minister for the Simplification of the Administration. He expects that public administrations will increasingly turn to this type of software, in part because it helps to cut costs.

      With his talk, minister Van Quickenborne opened a workshop on free software for public administrations, organised by the ministry of Economics in Brussels, on Friday 12 March.

  • Openness

    • Fun with free maps on the free desktop

      Playing with open map data can be a fun pastime. Creating and editing open data can be not only fun, but also a boost for free data to go along with free software. Whether you want to view open map data or edit it, there’s no shortage of applications that run on Linux and work well with OpenStreetMap (OSM) data. Here’s a look at some useful mapping applications for displaying and editing open map data on the Linux desktop.

  • Programming

    • Ruby 1.9.2 expected in August

      According to a new schedule, the next version of the dynamic Ruby 1.9.2 scripting language will probably be released in mid August. While previous plans were for a final release by last December, the developers wanted to ensure that the new version passed the RubySpec tests. Eventually this lead to the release being postponed. Ruby 1.9.2dev has now passed all the relevant tests.

    • Qt 4.7 debuts QML for declarative UI development

      The Qt developers have announced a technical preview for QT 4.7, the cross platform C++ framework for GUI applications. According to the developers, the pre-release is not suitable for production use, but will give a good idea of how they plan to enhance the framework. According to the developers, the final release of Qt 4.7 will be around the middle of the year.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Liberate your documents.

      There are several more ideas on the site and ways to support the organizers of the event itself. So, if you’re one of the millions of people who would actually like others to be able to open the documents you send them, visit the Document Freedom Day website for more info and start working on your DFD project. You’ve got two weeks! Feel free to share your DFD ideas below.

Leftovers

  • Crime

    • Two Muslim men charged over alleged plot to kill Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks

      Two Muslim men were charged last night in the Irish Republic in connection with an alleged plot to murder Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, whose artwork outraged many Muslims after he depicted the Prophet Muhammad’s head on the body of a dog in 2007.

    • Death in Juarez

      To address the violence, decriminalization has to encompass not just possession for personal use (a policy that Mexico and several U.S. states have adopted in limited ways) but production and distribution as well. During alcohol prohibition—when the U.S. homicide rate rose by 43 percent, peaking the year of repeal—there were no criminal penalties for drinking. Yet by making it illegal to manufacture and sell alcohol, the government invited the likes of Al Capone to vie for control of a lucrative black market, with predictably violent results. Once alcohol was legalized, the business was no longer run by criminals, and liquor suppliers stopped shooting at each other.

    • Property Outlaws: important scholarly book on how breaking property law improves it

      Eduardo Penalver and Sonia Katyal’s Property Outlaws: How Squatters, Pirates, and Protesters Improve the Law of Ownership has been at the top of my discretionary reading pile for months, now ever since the publisher, Yale, sent me a review copy. Unfortunately, it’s been months since I’ve done any substantial discretionary reading and it’ll be months still before I get to do so. So yesterday, I just carved out 45 minutes to give it a good, thorough skim, and while I don’t have enough of the book in me to do an actual review, I can tell you that my suspicions were confirmed.

  • Security

    • Man thrown off train for writing Killers song titles on list

      A 25-year-old man was asked to leave a train after staff became concerned when he wrote song titles by bands including The Killers on a piece of paper.

    • Schoolchildren ‘routinely monitored’ by CCTV

      As many as 85 per cent of teachers have reported the use of CCTV in their schools and one-in-10 said cameras had even been placed in toilets.

      According to the study, some schools are also using other techniques such as fingerprinting, metal detectors, electronic identity cards, eye scanners and facial recognition systems.

      Research funded by Salford University said that schools were increasingly becoming a “hotbed for surveillance practices” in the UK as children were subjected to checks for often mundane reasons such as borrowing a book from a library or paying for lunch.

      But Dr Emmeline Taylor also suggested many schools were collecting CCTV images illegally by failing to inform pupils and visitors that they were being monitored under the Data Protection Act.

    • Residents to monitor CCTV in Sussex

      Sussex Police will be the first force in the country to have members of the public monitoring its CCTV.

      Twelve independent, fully trained and vetted volunteers will visit each police CCTV monitoring centre in Sussex once a month to look at the usage of more than 400 council-owned cameras.

      Currently, 400 cameras stream live to bases in Brighton and Haywards Heath and can be searched from police stations around the county.

    • Expertise and Influence in Military Policy

      To effectively oversee a massive, complex institution like the US military, you need a massive, hierarchical institution composed of people whose job it is to understand that institution. The military itself has an officer’s corps that performs this function. No other institution, inside or outside the government, has the capacity to understand military operations in anything close to their full detail.

      [...]

      Similarly, last year the New York Times documented that the “military analysts” you see on cable TV programs tend to have close (and almost always undisclosed) ties to the Pentagon. The tricky thing about this is that it may very well be true that these folks are the most knowledgeable about military strategy. What better way to become an expert than to work in the military for decades? But at the same time, if you want impartial analysis of current policy, you don’t want all of your experts to be people with close ties to the people running that policy.

    • Liz Cheney Steals a Page from McCarthyism

      Innocent until proven guilty is a founding principle of our criminal justice system. This principle has also been codified in the U.S. Constitution via the 6th Amendment, providing the right to adequate counsel to all individuals accused of a crime. Last week, Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol launched an attack on individuals who undertook the enormously difficult task of upholding justice when they represented Guantanamo detainees. In the advertisement by a new entity named “Keep America Safe,” Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol question the loyalty of Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyers who had previously represented Guantanamo detainees in order to defend U.S. legal obligations under the Constitution and treaties we have ratified.

    • Restaurant boss put in prison for stopping yobs

      Sal Miah, 35, heard a noise in the cellar and when he investigated he saw two teenagers who fled but he pursued them to a park and dragged them back to the restaurant.

    • Knowledge Was Power in Vietnam

      In the last few posts in my Vietnam series, I argued that American foreign policy was crippled by the fact that senior officials were fed a steady stream of misinformation. Positive news about the war flowed easily up the chain of command and reached the Secretary of Defense and the President. Negative information, in contrast, was systematically filtered out by the official reporting channels. As a consequence, senior officials were working with a limited and distorted view of the “facts on the ground.”

    • Council bans ice cream vans from trading outside schools because they ‘encourage unhealthy eating’

      The jingle of the ice cream van tells schoolchildren summer is on the way.

      But the traditional treat has been banned by one council, which claims they encourage unhealthy eating.

    • As Body Scanners are introduced, more and more issues arise

      Body scan Our position on body scanners has been made clear on this site several times. They’re an intrusive and unnecessary over-reaction to a threat (the Christmas Bomber) which could and should have been picked up using the intelligence available at the time – competent use of existing resources, not throwing money at new ones to be run by the same people whose incompetence led to the problem in the first place.

    • Free yourself from the Database

      I thoroughly recoomend you all opt out of the NHS Summary Care Record Database.

    • Clarence Page: Expanding the DNA database is a bad idea

      As if President Barack Obama didn’t have enough on his platter, he’s calling for people accused of crimes to have their DNA samples collected and stored in a national database, whether they’re convicted or not. He’s a brave man to open that can of worms.

  • Finance

    • Financial Titans ‘Tweaked’ Business Models to Buoy Recession

      Analysts from the world over agree that today’s economic instability and resulting write-downs proved the most serious threat to the financial services organizations, and is by far the most prolonged crisis since the 1930s. The downturn continues to contaminate more sections of the markets, driving most companies to re-evaluate their strategic moves or risk bankruptcy. Equity values have become more volatile. Financial products and services are falling back in its demand amid the accelerating slowdown in the global economy leading to a dip in the business and consumer confidence.

    • Dodd’s Financial Overhaul Plan Said to Transform Fed Powers

      Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd will unveil financial-regulation legislation that may create a consumer division at the Federal Reserve with power to write rules that could be overturned by a systemic-risk council, according to a Senate aide with knowledge of the plan.

    • When the Patina Fades… The Rise and Fall of Goldman Sachs???

      I have warned my readers about following myths and legends versus reality and facts several times in the past, particularly as it applies to Goldman Sachs and what I have coined “Name Brand Investing”.

    • Goldman loses bid to exclude pay from proxy vote

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) has lost its bid to exclude a proposal on executive pay from its upcoming annual proxy filing, according to a response from U.S. securities regulators.

    • Mario Draghi and Goldman Sachs, Again

      We agree that he joined Goldman only in January 2002 (this was in our original post). But the latest revelations regarding the Goldman-Greece relationship (on the Senate floor, no less) clearly indicate that Goldman was a lead manager of Greek debt issues in spring 2002, i.e., when Mr. Draghi was on board.

    • What happened to the global economy and what we can do about it

      In its previous response to us, the the Bank of Italy pointed out that Mario Draghi (its current governor) did not join the management of Goldman Sachs until 2002 – hence he was not there when the controversial Greek “debt swaps” were arranged.

    • Feldstein and Goldman Sachs: Making a case for the euro

      The Sunday Telegraph also reported the European Union (EU) nations were preparing a “bailout package” for Greece that could exceed $34.4 billion as early as Monday the 15th, with Germany and France the main cash backers.

    • Financial reform–Real or fanciful?

      Two articles in the New York Times today point up the need for financial sector reform and the problems doing it.

    • At Lehman, Watchdogs Saw It All

      Lehman Brothers executives weren’t the only ones in the building when they were moving billions of dollars in liabilities off their books at the end of each quarter with magic accounting. So were the Feds, The New York Times’s Andrew Ross Sorkin writes in his latest DealBook column.

    • Update on UK Gov’s Institutional Profligacy
    • U.S. Chamber Plans $3M Ad Blitz Vs. Dodd Bill

      Congress Daily reported today that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said it would spend at least $3 million in a multi-state TV ad buy opposing Senate Banking Chairman Christopher Dodd’s (D-CN) bill to revamp the financial regulatory system. David Hirschmann, President of the Chamber’s Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness, said his organization would spend the money as the bill gets ready to be marked up and voted upon in the Senate Banking Committee next week.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Google.cn No Longer Filtered?

      Though Google is denying anything about its processes have changed, MSNBC.com reported Tuesday that searches on subjects that had been blocked as objectionable are yielding results. For example, searches on “Tiananmen Square massacre,” “Xinijang independence,” and “Tibet Information Network” all returned results. They would not have returned results before.

    • Australia on internet watchlist with Iran, North Korea

      Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has said he plans to introduce legislation by the end of next week that would require ISPs to block a blacklist of “refused classification” websites for all Australians.

    • Social media privacy: Insurance companies want access to your Facebook

      Any town U.S.A. You walk into a store and notice someone you recognize, from Facebook. But you really don’t know the individual; only online have you “met” that person. You have shared a note, or played a game on Facebook, Myspace, or other media website. You can choose to say hello or ignore them. That choice is up to you.

    • Eleventh Circuit Decision Largely Eliminates Fourth Amendment Protection in E-Mail

      Last Thursday, the Eleventh Circuit handed down a Fourth Amendment case, Rehberg v. Paulk, that takes a very narrow view of how the Fourth Amendment applies to e-mail. The Eleventh Circuit held that constitutional protection in stored copies of e-mail held by third parties disappears as soon as any copy of the communication is delivered. Under this new decision, if the government wants get your e-mails, the Fourth Amendment lets the government go to your ISP, wait the seconds it normally takes for the e-mail to be delivered, and then run off copies of your messages.

    • Wikileaks leaks classified intelligence report about itself

      Wikileaks, a website that aims to boost government transparency and accountability by publishing sensitive documents, has released a classified military counterintelligence analysis report that discusses the “threat posed to the US Army” by Wikileaks itself.

    • Apparently, Citizens United doesn’t believe in free speech for the anti-corporate side

      Citizens United, fresh from its Supreme Court victory giving corporations the right to bankroll election campaigns, has sent a trademark demand letter to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, complaining that a Facebook page entitled “Citizens United Against Citizens United” infringes its trademark. Apparently, Citizens United is worried that members of the public might come to the page and think that the organization “Citizens United” is attacking Citizens United, the landmark Supreme Court decision that it won.

    • Queens accountant sues Craiglist for allowing poster to insult him

      An angry Queens accountant has done the math: Craigslist plus an insult equals $1 million.

      Leo Kehoe, 43, is suing the online bulletin board for allowing someone to call him a nasty name.

    • Reporting On Someone Claiming An Opponent ‘Lies’ In A Heated Debate Is Not Libel

      Reporter Amy Wallace wrote an article late last year for Wired Magazine about the extremely heated and somewhat controversial debate over child vaccinations. In the course of the article, she quotes people from both sides. At one point, when one of the main doctors who supports vaccinations discusses the woman who has become the face (and voice) of the anti-vaccination crew, he responds to some of her claims by noting “she lies.” Apparently, those two words resulted in her filing a defamation lawsuit against the doctor and the reporter, Amy Wallace.

  • DRM

    • Support Of Bigpond Music Wma Downloads & Drm Licence Keys To Be Discontinued

      This means you will no longer be able to download replacement Digital Rights Management (DRM) ‘unlock’ licence keys for the WMA files you’ve bought from us is in the past – so you should back up your music and DRM licence keys now.

      Any MP3 files you’ve downloaded from BigPond Music will not be affected.

    • How to get DRM-free PC games: Just wait

      Gamers have long known that patience is rewarded with cheaper, less-buggy games. But does that adage hold true for the inclusion of digital rights management as well? Not always, but history does show us that time makes even the strictest of DRM less sucky.

    • DRM: Or temporary DRM

      I’ve always thought that in a copyright free world (and de facto that is our online world now – whatever they law may proclaim) DRM had a role to play. Not the role of permanently putting content under lock and key – that isn’t feasible. But it is possible to use DRM on a short-term basis for new releases to give some short-term monopoly power – and this might provide some useful incentive for creation, while being largely self-limiting. By unlocking the content after a brief period of initial sales the incentive to crack the DRM is greatly reduced, while from a revenue point of view, most of the money is from the initial sales anyway.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • How The Concept of Free Can Work For Small Publishers

      Much of the talk by the big 6 publishers has been stress over cannibalization of print sales, or the idea of replacement sales, by ebooks. For midlist publishers such as ourselves, I believe we fight against substitution. We capture the “browser” market. If our title is not available or visible, a customer will simply substitute for another one in the genre. Free gave us the visibility that we could not purchase.

    • UK’s Times Online Starts Blocking Aggregators Hours After Aggregators Win Copyright Tribunal Ruling Against Newspapers

      There’s been something of a battle going on in the UK over news aggregators. Obviously, we’ve all heard about the various threats by companies like News Corp. in the US to sue Google over its Google News product, but a lot of this has already been playing out on a smaller scale in the UK. Last year we wrote about newspapers in the UK threatening aggregators like NewsNow, leading some to start blocking NewsNow crawlers. This is silly in the extreme. These aggregators offer links to the news. The “issue” with NewsNow is that it sells this as a service to companies — and the newspapers claim they deserve a cut. Note that NewsNow provides just a link and a headline and the tiniest of blurbs. It’s much less than even Google News provides. The newspapers seem to think that no one can profit from advertising their own stories unless they get a direct cut.

    • Steve Albini Explains Why Royalties Don’t Make Sense

      Albini recently made at a conference about the music business, with a great quote about the focus of so many on royalties:

      “Royalties are a means to pay producers in the future — and in perpetuity — based on record sales,” said Albini, who is also a music journalist. “If a band does a show, blows a whole bunch of minds and a bunch of people become fans and go out and buy millions of records, the producer gets paid. I think that’s ethically unsustainable.

      “I don’t think you should pay a doctor extra because a patient doesn’t die. I think the doctor should be busting his ass for every patient. I don’t think I should get paid for someone else’s success.”

    • As Expected, Ridiculous, Wrong, Exaggerating And Misleading Report Claims That ‘Piracy’ Is Killing Jobs

      As was leaked earlier this week, a study paid for by the International Chamber of Commerce has come out with ridiculously misleading and misguided report about how “piracy” is killing jobs all through Europe. The tagline is that it’s “costing” 1.2 million jobs and about $330 million. And, of course, that sort of report is the kind that the press loves, and so we get a series of headlines:

      * Net piracy puts 1.2m EU jobs in peril, study shows
      * Internet piracy taking big toll on jobs
      * Illegal-file sharing could ‘cost billions’ by 2015
      * Piracy threatens Europe’s creative industries
      * EU must take ‘urgent’ action on piracy, report warns

      And on and on and on and on. Of course, it’s not even close to true. The real story is that for certain companies who refuse to adapt and refuse to embrace what consumers want and what technology allows, modern technology will cause them to fail. However, at the same time, it has already opened up new opportunities and created new jobs while making it easier and more efficient to create, promote, distribute and consume content. Somehow, however, none of that seems to show up in these studies.

    • Interview: Nina Paley (author of “Sita Sings the Blues” and the two “Minute Meme” animations)

      Her current project — recently funded — has been to produce “Minute Memes.” These are short animated films which promote free culture ways of thinking about copyright, specifically intended to counter propaganda from industry copyright maximalists like the MPAA and the RIAA.

    • Angus Introducing Private Copying Levy Bill, Flexible Fair Dealing Motion

      Second, the bill expands the levy to audio recording devices, defined in C-499 as “a device that contains a permanently embedded data storage medium, including solid state or hard disk, designed, manufactured and advertised for the purpose of copying sound recordings, excluding any prescribed kind of recording device.” This covers everything – iPods, iPhones, Blackberries, Androids, iPads, personal computers. While the CPCC (the private copying collective) may not target all of these devices, there is nothing in the bill that prevents them from doing so.

      Third, the bill deals solely with sound recordings, but there have already been calls to extend to video and other forms of content. Expanding the levy in this manner without addressing those issues leaves open the prospect of an even bigger levy in the future.

    • Gorillaz dropped into Time Warp, says Eddy Grant

      The reggae artist is outraged over alleged similarities between his 80s song and Gorillaz’ new single, Stylo

      [...]

      Curious listeners can compare the songs for themselves (see below) – paying particular attention to Stylo’s drowsy three-note synth riff, 40 seconds in. In comments to the NME, Grant suggested Gorillaz’ publishers already visited a musicologist to evaluate this similarity. “[Normally] I would have gotten a call from EMI to say, ‘Damon [Albarn] wants to use Time Warp. What arrangement can you guys come to? Would you claim 100%, would you claim 60%, or 70% of whatever it is?’ That phone call never came. Instead what happened is somebody went straight to a musicologist, implying that there was some kind of pre-knowledge of some kind of infringement.”

    • Google slams Viacom for secret YouTube uploads

      Google Inc accused Viacom Inc of secretly uploading its videos to YouTube even as the media conglomerate publicly denounced the online video site for copyright infringement, according to court documents made public on Thursday.

    • Broadcast Yourself

      For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately “roughed up” the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko’s to upload clips from computers that couldn’t be traced to Viacom. And in an effort to promote its own shows, as a matter of company policy Viacom routinely left up clips from shows that had been uploaded to YouTube by ordinary users. Executives as high up as the president of Comedy Central and the head of MTV Networks felt “very strongly” that clips from shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report should remain on YouTube.

    • Analysis Of Google And Viacom’s Arguments Over YouTube: A Lot Of He Said/She Said
    • ACS:Law Keeps Sending Out More Threat Letters — Condemned By Politicians, ISPs And General Common Sense

      Just as Davenport Lyons lawyers are being sent for disciplinary action over the firm’s practice of sending large numbers of “pay up or we sue” pre-settlement letters, ACS:Law, the shady firm that effectively spun out of Davenport Lyons to do the same thing is ramping up its efforts. This isn’t a huge surprise. Late last year, the firm said it was preparing to send out 30,000 letters, despite numerous studies showing that these letters regularly target innocent people, but scare many people into just paying to avoid a lawsuit.

    • O2 condemns lawyers targeting alleged file-sharers

      Mobile firm O2 has stepped into the row over thousands of controversial letters that are being sent to alleged illegal file-sharers in the UK.

      It condemned the attempts “by rights holders and their lawyers to bully or threaten our customers”.

    • ACTA/Digital Economy Bill

      • EU proposes ACTA require criminal sanctions for inciting, aiding and abetting infringements

        KEI has learned that the European Union has proposed language in the ACTA negotiations to require criminal penalties for “inciting, aiding and abetting” certain offenses, including “at least in cases of willful trademark counterfeiting and copyright or related rights piracy on a commercial scale.”

      • Secrecy Around Trade Agreement Causes Stir

        There’s a reason you don’t hear much about international trade agreements. They are kind of dull, and they’re usually not very controversial. But the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is different.

        “One feels that you’re almost in a bit of a twilight zone,” says Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa. “I mean, we’re talking about a copyright treaty. And it’s being treated as akin to nuclear secrets.”

        For several years, the United States and other developed countries have been quietly working on ACTA. Geist has been one of the loudest critics of the proposed pact. He says it’s a counterfeiting agreement in name only, and he thinks the treaty would actually change some of the fundamental rules governing the Internet. But what makes Geist really angry is the way it’s been negotiated.

        “Virtually none of it has been open to the public,” Geist says. “Even the early meetings were actually held in secret locations, so no one even knew where they were taking place.”

      • ACTA – The NZ Official Information Requests

        We’ve written about the unhealthy secrecy around the ACTA treaty negotiations. As New Zealanders we believe we have a right to know what our government is doing on our behalf.

        We wrote to the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to ask them some questions about ACTA under the Official Information Act. We just got our answers back (scanned PDFs of the MED letter – 3MB, MFAT letter – 3MB, and cabinet paper – 6MB) and we have to admit that we weren’t very surprised to see more excuses not to release official information than we saw information.

      • Australia comes clean on ACTA role

        The Australian Government has no intention of changing its domestic laws to harmonise with an international treaty on copyright, according to a spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Scottish Parliamentarian Patrick Harvey 01 (2004)


Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

Links 18/3/2010: Many IBM Headlines, Mandriva Enterprise Server 5.1

Posted in News Roundup at 6:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 88

    · Announced Distro: PCLinuxOS 2010 Beta 1 Has KDE SC 4.4.1 and Plymouth
    · Announced Distro: Frugalware 1.2 Comes with KDE 4
    · Announced Distro: SME Server 7.5 RC1 and 8.0 Beta 5 Are Ready for Testing
    · Announced Distro: Fedora 13 Alpha Released
    · Announced Distro: Available Now: VortexBox 1.2
    · Announced Distro: PC/OS 10.1 OpenWorkstation Final Released
    · Announced Distro: Mandriva Linux 2010.1 Alpha 3 Is Here

  • Will The Linux Desktop Soon Be Irrelevant?

    Some of us are still waiting for the year of the Linux desktop. Some think it’s already here. One thing is certain however, Linux does not have a majority desktop market share. By the time we get there, perhaps the entire idea of what a Desktop is will have been re-defined, thanks to “The Cloud”.

  • Cloudy Times
  • LPI partners with Portuguese government agency on Linux certification and training

    The Linux Professional Institute (LPI), the world’s premier Linux certification organization (http://www.lpi.org), announced that its affiliate organization LPI-Portugal (http://www.lpi.com.pt) has signed an agreement with UMIC (http://www.umic.pt/), the Knowledge Society Agency of Portugal’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Education to promote training and certification of professional skills in the use of Linux, open source technologies and free software in higher education institutions in Portugal.

  • LinuxCertified Announces its next Linux System and Network Administration BootCamp
  • Thoughts on Mainstream Linux Acceptance

    What I do see being good for Linux is the growing size of the Linux community. Eventually, a software vendor will decide to start releasing its software for the Linux platform as well as x86-64 Mac and Win32. A company such as Adobe or Microsoft would then be dictating which distribution became dominant, but you would see other vendors follow that lead, and Linux would come screaming into the mainstream rather quickly, and I would talk to my boss, and I would start recommending Linux machines. I have a feeling that others in my position would do the same. The money to be made would be in keeping these commercial applications running. As an update broke the app, I would be called upon to fix things so that the application would once again run. I can see that being very lucrative indeed. How often is that cry of distress heard by Ubuntu users?

  • Health

    • Panel PC has antimicrobial case

      Datalux announced an 19-inch panel PC intended for medical applications that runs Ubuntu Linux.

    • Share your experiences with FLOSS in health care

      Are you a practice, clinic or any other health care institution that is using medical open source software in daily routine? And wasn’t it quite hard for you to find the right software, to get it up and running and to finally customize it to your needs without having any experienced users or reference sites at hand?

      Even a high number of downloads or a strong ‘activity percentile’ of an open source software project doesn’t tell you anything about the suitability for your purposes and in general about the stability and efficiency that are required for successful clinical practice.

  • Desktop

    • Why we love the HP Mini?

      The HP 2133 Mini-Note PC also features a choice of 4GB SSD (Solid State Drive) flash module with Linux as well as standard hard disk drives for a superior computing experience.

    • Laptop rental hits record

      The library purchased 50 laptops with a Linux operating system. He said library officials are deciding whether the check out duration will be three days, seven days or a month.

      “Right now [laptops] go out for four hours and you can’t check them out over night, which is not because we don’t want to, but the campus Microsoft license restricts how it can be used,” Tyckoson said. “Linux is an open source competitor to Microsoft.”

  • Server

  • Graphics Stack

    • NVIDIA Pre-Releases Its 195.xx Linux Driver

      While NVIDIA has been working on the 195.xx Linux driver since before last November, they have yet to officially release a stable driver in this series as of yet. Betas have been available and they even had to recall their recent drivers over a fan speed issue that could damage the system, but now they are finally getting ready to push out a stable release.

  • Applications

  • GNOME Desktop

    • The GNOME Census project

      We will be launching a survey this week asking GNOME developers who they work for, and whether they have worked for other companies previously – because of the widespread use of gnome.org email addresses in GNOME, unfortunately it has not always been easy to identify companies behind the people. We also want qualitative information on projects you work on, whether you work on GNOME in your free time, and more. We are be breaking down GNOME development by core platform, external dependencies, GNOME desktop, GNOME hosted applications and other GNOME applications. Vanessa will be sending out a very short survey to everyone who has committed to GNOME, and we need your help to make the census as useful as possible to the GNOME project.

    • Deconstructing Nautilus and rebuilding it better

      Well, if you follow the active development of GNOME as much as I do, you may have heard of two recent technologies actively being developed. They are Zeitgeist and the GNOME Activity Journal. What are they? Well, Zeitgeist is a little, unobtrusive daemon that ticks quietly away in the background and records every file you access, every image you edit, essentially every event you perform on your computer and keeps a chronological Journal of this information for other applications to use. This is the core engine that runs quietly in the background. The frontend to this is the GNOME Activity Journal – an application that allows you to browse and search through Zeitgeist’s recordings of your activities and interact with that information. One of the developers of the GNOME Activity Journal posted a very handy video showing it in action. I use it myself and it is very handy. I also use Docky2 on my desktop that has Zeitgeist interaction. One of the options when you right-click on a launcher in Docky2 is the Journal entry, that allows you to browse through recent events and files accessed in that particular application. A stroke of genius. Again here’s a handy little video demonstrating Docky2 with Zeitgeist integration.

  • Distributions

    • The State of the Distributions

      There is usually no distribution that will perfectly fit everyones needs. Each one has its own strengths and weaknesses which will vary from person to person. This article covers all the major advantages (and disadvantages) each of these distributions have to offer and will hopefully give you enough information to help guide you in choosing which Linux Distribution is right for your computer.

    • Ebox platform – A powerful linux server that act as gateway, infrastructure manager, unified threat manager, office server and more

      The latest release is eBox Platform 1.4-1, the new release fixed a lot of bug and comes with some small improvements since.

    • New Releases

      • Mandriva Enterprise Server 5.1 released

        Mandriva has announced the availability of the first point update to version 5 of its Enterprise Server commercial Linux distribution. Mandriva Enterprise Server 5.1 includes all of the distributions previous updates and a number of improvements.

      • GeeXboX 2.0 Alpha 2 released

        The GeeXboX developers have announced the availability of the second alpha of version 2.0 of their small embedded Linux distribution aimed at Home Theatre PCs (HTPC) and media centres. The latest development release addresses a number of bugs from last month’s first alpha and includes several changes.

      • Announcing Linux Mint 8 RC1 LXDE Edition

        After the announcements of KDE, KDE64 and Fluxbox editions of the current Linux Mint 8 (Helena) operating system, Clement Lefebvre and the Linux Mint community are once again proud to present today the first release candidate of the upcoming Linux Mint 8 LXDE Community Edition. Being powered by Linux kernel 2.6.31, the new edition includes X.Org 7.4, Openbox 3.4.7.2 and PCManFM 0.5.2. The Linux Mint 8 RC1 LXDE Edition has been created for people who want a fast, lightweight and good-looking operating system, for their antique hardware.

      • Berry Linux 1.01 Is Based on Fedora 12

        Berry Linux is a Live CD Linux distribution based on Fedora and aimed mostly at the Japanese market.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Symbian taps Red Hat for developer server

        THE SYMBIAN FOUNDATION has turned to the open source outfit Red Hat as the basis for a new private, cloud-based developer website and server.

      • Symbian Foundation Builds Cloud Platform on Red Hat Enterprise Linux

        Red Hat, Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!rht/quotes/nls/rht (RHT 30.72, +0.05, +0.16%) , the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that the Symbian Foundation, a global non-profit organization formed to foster an open source community around its mobile device software, has adopted Red Hat Enterprise Linux to provide a scalable, high-performance base for its private, cloud-based developer website and server.

      • IBM announces test and development cloud

        The company has surprised some commentators with the decision to base the system on virtualisation software from enterprise open source vendor Red Hat, rather than the more commonly used Xen open source hypervisor.

      • Red Hat KVM underpins IBM test-and-dev cloud

        Red Hat’s implementation of KVM is the virtualization underpinning of the new software test and development service for the IBM Cloud. Red Hat hopes that vote of confidence will persuade enterprises to try KVM in their own IT shops.

      • Red Hat announces EMEA partner summit details

        Open source solutions outfit Red Hat will host its third annual EMEA partner summit in Valencia, Spain from May 2nd to 5th 2010. This year’s event will focus on open source middleware, cloud computing and virtualisation, while highlighting the strength of the Red Hat partner ecosystems and its potential for growth in the EMEA market.

        “The technology landscape is constantly evolving. With the introduction of cloud computing and virtualisation coupled with a full portfolio of open source middleware, we want to ensure that our partners are equipped with the latest training and information on these offerings to help them deliver better solutions and higher value to their customers,” said Petra Heinrich, senior director, partners and alliances EMEA region at Red Hat. “The Red Hat and JBoss EMEA partner summit will address these current market trends.”

      • Red Hat CEO: Open-source economics key to innovation

        At the inaugural Open Source Business Conference in 2004, the discussion centered on how to fund open source’s survival. Just six years later, the OSBC conversation has taken a 180-degree shift to focus on whether proprietary software’s shelf life is nearing its end as open-source software economics increasingly drive technology innovation.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project Pleased with Ten Times Faster Build Server

        The Debian project was given a new server from Thomas Krenn AG, Intel and Adaptec for its image building. With the Dual-Xeon computer the build process was reduced from 20 to two hours.

        New in Debian’s infrastructure is the SC846 server with a 4-unit height and two Intel Xeon E5540 processors. While the previous five-year-old system took 20 hours for a build, the new one took less than two hours, according to the project and its benefactor, Thomas Krenn AG, in a joint press release.

      • RC3 Brings SimplyMEPIS 8.5 Close to Final Release

        MEPIS has released SimplyMEPIS 8.5.00, RC3 of MEPIS 8.5, now available from MEPIS and public mirrors. The ISO files for 32 and 64 bit processors are SimplyMEPIS-CD_8.5.00-rc3_32.iso and SimplyMEPIS-CD_8.5.00-rc3_64.iso respectively. Deltas are also available.

      • Ubuntu

        • Lucid Community Progress

          One thing that we have been really keen to facilitate in Ubuntu is an ethos of just do it. I really believe our community should feel engaged to be creative in their ideas and be able to get out there and do it, with plenty of support resources so others can help them achieve their goals. I am keen that we don’t have a bottleneck where creativity is limited. Of course, this happens from time to time, but we are always keen to resolve it where possible.

        • Ubuntu Lucid (10.04) daily build for March 15, 2010 runs with nomodeset on Intel 830m video!!!

          I thought Linux in general and Xorg in particular were throwing those of us with “older” Intel video chips under the virtual bus. I couldn’t even get Ubuntu Lucid Lynx (10.04) Alpha 3 to boot on my Intel 830m (aka i830m and in my case Intel 82830 CGC)-equipped laptops, where my old standby of dropping i915.modeset=0 or nomodeset on the boot line would clear things up.

        • Variants

          • Linux Mint 8 LXDE CE Review: LXDE Done Right

            Trent and I were both looking forward to the release of the Linux Mint LXDE Community Edition for various reasons. Luckily for us, Kendall (maintainer of the Linux Mint Fluxbox CE) pointed us to the .iso for RC1, which is what we’re using as the basis for this review. Since we both have feedback on this CE, we’re trying a Trent Says/Joe Says model. Enjoy!

            [...]

            The installer was the familiar Ubiquity installer used by Ubuntu and Linux Mint alike, which was not an issue on my hardware — though Ubiquity can be an issue if you’re running less than 256 Mb of RAM. While you may scoff at that, some people are looking to lighter weight releases like this one as an option for resurrecting old hardware, so keep that in mind if you’re thinking about giving this or any other distro which uses the Ubiquity installer a try.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • More Details Leak Out About Google’s Plans For The Set-Top Box

      The NYT says the service—with the apropos name ‘Google TV’—is being developed in conjunction with Sony (NYSE: SNE) and Intel; (NSDQ: INTC) the testing, meanwhile, is being done with the Dish Network.

    • Cool: smallest Linux desktop PC, smaller than an apple (fruit)

      Measuring at just 2 x 2 x 2.2 inches this is the smallest Desktop PC. And it’s running Linux, one more point for Linux coolness.

    • NAS reference platform builds on Pineview Atoms

      Intel announced a SOHO-oriented network-attached storage (NAS) reference platform based on its D410 and dual-core D510 “Pineview” Atom processors and 82801R I/O controller. NAS vendors LaCie, LG Electronics, Qnap, Synology, and Thecus will incorporate the Linux-compatible platform in upcoming NAS devices, starting with the Blu-ray burner-equipped LG N4B2, says Intel.

    • DIN-rail PC runs Linux on 150MHz SoC
    • IP set-top features secure USB key

      AccessKey IP is shipping a Linux-based IP set-top box (STB) and related secure USB key for viewing encrypted IPTC broadcasts. The AccessKey Home STB offers a security-enabled HD IPTV service that can be combined with digital terrestrial, satellite, or cable reception, while the USB key can bring the same secure IPTV service to PCs, the company says.

    • 6WIND boosts packet-processing on Intel’s new Xeon 7-10X

      The “6WINDGate SDS” profile is optimized for platforms in which the networking Fast Path runs on dedicated cores without the overhead of a Linux-based Slow Path.

      Carmes said 6WINDGate’s architecture removes the complexity of integrating high-performance packet processing with the Linux environment, because it fully synchronizes the Fast Path and Linux, while preserving Linux APIs.

    • MathWorks aims tools at embedded Linux

      The MathWorks has announced the latest release of its MATLAB and Simulink product families, writes Richard Wilson, which include new streaming capabilities for signal processing and video processing in MATLAB and nonlinear solvers for standard and large-scale optimisation.

    • Carrier-grade distro supports HP BladeSystem

      Wind River announced that its Carrier Grade Linux (CGL) operating system, development tools, and build system now supports HP BladeSystem carrier-grade and enterprise server blades. Wind River Linux 3.0 is the first registered CGL 4.0 distribution supported on HP ProLiant server blades for the HP BladeSystem, claims Intel subsidiary Wind River.

    • Networking appliance taps Freescale’s QorIQ processor

      The CAK-2000 supports Linux, and is available with an optional copy of Freescale’s Vortiqa, a Linux-based software development platform for optimizing firewall, IPSec-VPN, IPS, anti-virus, and anti-spam software for multi-core QorIQ and PowerQUICC SoCs. The network appliance is said to comply with FCC/CE, UL, and RoHS/WEEE.

    • Conceptronic Grab’n’go CH3MNAS early review: Compact home for your data

      If you’re a really hardcore techie, you’ll be able to use the ‘Fun Plug’ system to install apps on your NAS to add functionality. Be warned though, this isn’t a beginner feature and requires at least some technical understanding of Linux.

    • Configurable RISC controller offers Linux-ready MMU

      Standard controllers for dataplane applications, including one Linux-optimized model. Based on Tensilica’s configurable, 32-bit RISC “Xtensa” architecture, the five upward-compatible processor cores include a Diamond Standard 233L processor with a Linux-optimized MMU, and are claimed to be 15 percent faster and more power efficient than earlier models.

    • ATCA blade cranks it up with six-core Xeon

      GE Intelligent Platforms announced a Linux-ready AdvancedTCA single board computer with an option for Intel’s new Xeon 5600 processors. The dual-Xeon A10200 offers up to six cores clocked to 2GHz, plus 12MB of L3 cache per CPU, and offers dual 10 gigabit Ethernet interfaces and four gigabit Ethernet interfaces, says the company.

    • MIPS-based networking processor gains Linux support

      Timesys announced that its LinuxLink commercial software development framework for building custom embedded Linux based products now supports the latest networking processor from Wintegra. Now shipping in volume, the dual MIPS 34K core “WinPath 3″ IP packet processor is designed for 2G, 3G, and 4G mobile and fixed wireless base stations, says the company.

    • MontaVista

      • MontaVista’s Alexander Kaliadin on the instant shutdown of a Linux OS

        I had a great interview with the architects of MontaVista Software’s 1-second boot-time real-time Linux. After the interview went to press it occurred to me to ask Alexander Kaliadin a related question. If smart people like him can figure out how to boot a computer in less than a second, is it also possible to turn the computer off in a short time? His answer was that you could possibly just flip the power switch, if the hardware was designed to allow this. His response and elaboration are below.

        [...]

        I mentioned to Alex that I would like to publish the above comments in my blog and he was nice enough to elaborate on them in the following communication:

        In a typical desktop box, the proper Linux shutdown process will involve flushing disk caches, closing multiple files and un-mounting drives (local or networked). Depending on the use case, certain daemons or processes may wait for various operations to complete in order to proceed with the shutdown process.

      • MontaVista Software is Elected to the GENIVI Alliance Board of Directors

        MontaVista® Software, LLC, the leader in embedded Linux® commercialization announced it has been elected to the Board of Directors of the GENIVI Alliance, an automotive and consumer electronics industry association driving the development and adoption of an open In-vehicle Infotainment (IVI) reference platform. MontaVista was a Core member of GENIVI in it’s inaugural year, and now assumes a seat on the board as GENIVI enters it’s second year. Dan Cauchy, vice president of Marketing at MontaVista will sit on the GENIVI board.

    • NanoNote

    • Phones

      • IP phone runs Linux on ARM SoC

        STMicroelectronics announced a design win for its new ARM-based SPEAr 300 SoC, which it says drives the Linux-based Snom 870 VoIP phone. The Snom 870 offers a 4.3-inch color touchscreen, gigabit Ethernet and USB connectivity, plus an integrated XML browser, says Snom.

      • Nokia

        • Nokia Unsure on N900 Software Upgrade

          Following the release of MeeGo, a software platform resultant from the partnership between Intel and Nokia, and also the successor to the Linux-based Maemo operating system, Nokia seems to be undecided on whether its flagship smartphone N900 will receive the upgrade.

        • N900 gains VoIP service — and will soon offer MeeGo

          VoX Communications announced it will resell Nokia’s Maemo Linux-based N900 smartphone with a mobile VoIP plan offering unlimited data and voice service. Meanwhile, Nokia confirmed that the N900 will be the first smartphone to run the Moblin/Maemo mashup, MeeGo, when a preliminary version of the operating system debuts at the end of the month.

      • Android

        • Google spins new Nexus One model

          Google has released an unlocked version of its Android-based Nexus One phone that’s compatible with the 3G networks of AT&T and Roger Wireless. Meanwhile, a Flurry report claims that the Nexus One sold far fewer units in its first two months than the iPhone and the Motorola Droid did in theirs, says eWEEK.

        • How the Google-China conflict could hit open source

          Google insists its pull-out won’t impact Android, but can we really be certain? Can Google really be certain?

          Hassling HTC, quietly putting out the word to others not to support Android, could delay Google considerably. If China wanted it could tell its courts to encourage Apple to file suit there, saying it was only seeking to protect patent rights. It could tell Taiwan that Android is provocative.

        • Google expects Android to ‘flourish’ in China: CFO

          Google expects its Android mobile operating system to “flourish” in China, Google’s chief financial officer said Monday amid a two-month standoff with Beijing over Web censorship and cyberattacks.

        • What Is the Top Mobile Platform for Open Source Developers?

          Mobile platforms like Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android have become a key focus for open source developers. And the trend is only increasing, though new research has found that over the course of the last year, there has been a shift in which mobile platform has the most open source development activity.

        • Motorola Droid’s Android 2.1 update to be rolled out OTA starting Thursday

          And just like that, we now have the date for the official Motorola Droid’s Android 2.1 update. It was just approved today and will be rolled out in batches of 250,000 starting this Thursday, March 18, at high noon (EDT). So if you don’t get it in the first batch, hang on for a little bit. Or, even better, once we have the download link it should be no problem to apply the update manually, just as we did for Android 2.0.1.

    • Tablets

      • iPad jailbreak for OS 3.2 coming soon with GreenPois0n

        The iPad isn’t even out yet, and a jailbreak is already in the works for its OS version 3.2 by Joshua Hill, member of the Chronic Dev team. According to BlogsDNA, Joshua has tweeted some images of the GreenPois0n (running on Linux) and asked for donations from those who are interested in the iPad jailbreak.

Free Software/Open Source

  • OSGEO Approves Geomajas As Incubation Project

    The Open Source Geospatial Foundation, or OSGeo, is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support and promote the collaborative development of open geospatial technologies and data. OSGeo also serves as an outreach and advocacy organization for the open source geospatial community, and provides a common forum and shared infrastructure for improving cross-project collaboration.

  • WANdisco to Play Key Role in TortoiseSVN Open Source Project

    WANdisco, a leading provider of infrastructure software for replication, scalability, high availability and commercial sponsor of the Subversion open source project, today announced that Stefan Küng, the lead developer for TortoiseSVN has joined the company. Mr. Küng, who has been working on TortoiseSVN since its inception, will lead WANdisco’s efforts to support and enhance this popular Subversion client for Windows as part of its sponsorship and support of the Subversion open source project.

  • Open Source Collaboration: The Right Solution in a Tight Economy?

    So, like investing, one must weigh risk versus monetary reward. Though these- and other- open source software providers can offer many of the same services as the higher priced options, you will likely have to pay something and must make an educated estimate of the level of risk associated with use.

  • Should You Customize Open Source ERP?

    When I first found out about open source software, I felt the sky was the limit — with the source code, I could do anything now! But after working on open source ERP for the last seven years, I’ve come to realize that customizing software, even open source software, should not be taken lightly. I recently spoke with Phil Simon, long-time enterprise software veteran and author of The Next Wave of Technologies and Why New Systems Fail, and asked him for his thoughts on when you should customize open source software such as ERP and CRM.

  • Google

  • Servers

    • Rackspace Launches Media Services Solution

      This Enterprise-level solution will provide an open source, direct-to-consumer (D2C) web infrastructure for music recording labels and other media segments that need to accelerate content delivery online, scale rapidly to respond to fan demand, and create new revenue streams.

    • Weekly Poll: What Companies Will Be at the Top of the Cloud in the Next 5 Years

      This past week, we had 93 people respond to the question:
      ‘Is There A Place For Open-Source in the Data Center?” The respondents were pretty much in full support of the open approach. Of the 93 people who responded, 83 said, yes, there is a place for open-source. But we wonder what it will take to get such a movement to a pace of note. We do have faith in the open-source way but how will this effort transfer to the data center?

    • Seeding the Cloud with Open Source, Standing Cloud Makes It Easy

      By the end of April, Standing Cloud will be offering its “community edition” which will allow you to install and operate open source apps permanently for a very reasonable fee. Standing Cloud will be offering other cloud based, open source packages throughout the year.

  • Education

    • Cloud-Based, Open-Source Future For Teachers?

      A computing device for every teacher and student so they can access the Internet at school or at home? That, along with an embrace of cloud computing, Creative Commons, and open-source technologies is part of a new set of recommendations from the U.S. Department of Education.

    • Becta’s Home Access Scheme…not really a scam

      We have long complained that Becta’s very public conversion to the virtues of Open Source software is a little longer on words than it is on action.

      The suspicion is that they are playing ‘lip-service’ to FOSS while the edu-world continues to spend millions of pounds of money they no longer have (sacking staff as a result..oh the crocodile tears) on expensive proprietary products… exactly as before.

  • Events

    • Flourish Conference 2010 is This Weekend!

      Welcome to the Flourish 2010 Open Source Conference site! Our goal is to promote the use of open source and provide a gathering place for open source enthusiasts in the Chicagoland area. This will be our fourth Flourish Conference, and although times are tough, this year we’re working even harder to make this conference the best one yet!

    • Free tables available for embedded open source showcase

      The CE Linux Forum (CELF) is once again sponsoring a free technical demonstration room for embedded open source projects at this year’s Embedded Linux Conference (ELC) on Apr. 13 in San Francisco. Demonstrations should cover embedded technology that offers software available under GPL or LGPL compatible licenses, says CELF.

    • rSmart Champions Open Education Agenda at The Chair Academy’s 19th Annual International Conference

      rSmart, the provider of enterprise support for open source application software in education, today announced its participation in The Chair Academy’s 19th Annual International Conference for Post-Secondary Leaders being held this March 15-18, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    • HUBzero Workshop to Unveil Open Source Release of Core Software

      The workshop will include three hands-on breakout sessions, one aimed at new users interested in starting a hub with the open source release, as well as current users who want to learn more about the hub technology. The other two breakout sessions will focus on research software developers and on Web developers working with hubs.

    • Ingres to Share How Open Source Drives a $1.2 Billion Market

      Ingres Vice President Deb Woods to Discuss How Appliances are Changing the Face of Software and Technical Account Manager Tyler McGraw to Shed Light on New Partnership

  • Open-Xchange

    • Hosted Unified Communications Meets Open Source

      Now, Open-Xchange, the open source email specialist, is making a similar move. Open-Xchange expects more than 15 million users to run its software by the end of 2010. At the same time, Open-Xchange is partnering up with 4PSA to introduce a unified communications bundle.

    • Open-Xchange Adds Integration With VoIP

      Open-source collaboration software vendor Open-Xchange has integrated VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) and social networking sites in the latest version of its e-mail server and client.

    • Latest Open-Xchange Groupware Offers Integrated VoIP

      Open-Xchange, a provider of business-class open source collaboration software, today announced enhancements that give users telephone and fax integrated with e-mail, contacts, calendar and task information.

    • Open-Xchange, 4PSA Team on Open-Source UC

      Open-source e-mail and collaboration software vendor Open-Xchange has done a little collaborating itself to offer an enhanced unified communications product set that includes telephone and fax integrated with e-mail, contacts, calendar and task information.

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox 3.0 approaches end-of-life

      Firefox Logo Mozilla has confirmed that version 3.0 of its popular open source Firefox web browser is approaching its end-of-life (EOL).

    • Firefox, Gecko, HTML5 and more: An (Email) Interview with Mozilla’s Asa Dotzler

      If it were not for Mozilla and its numerous open source projects that saved us from the IE Dark Ages, the browser market today would definitely be very different. In 2010, the Firefox browser is facing some pretty tough competition from the likes of Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 8 (v9 is actually good), Safari and Opera, all modern and feature-packed web browsers. With Windows’ new ballot screen, things might become even more interesting.

      The Web Browser is evolving at a mind-bogglingly rapid pace, and the changes it went through in 2009 only are incredible. That is why I was really happy for a chance to talk to Asa Dotzler, community coordinator for Firefox marketing projects, who has been with Mozilla for 12 years. This is my first interview and I hope you’ll enjoy reading Mr Dotzler’s answers as much as I did. We cover Firefox, Mozilla and the new Web. Don’t forget to check out Asa’s blog for even more on the topic.

    • Internet Explorer 9 vs Firefox 3.7 : Open beats Closed

      Currently Mozilla has a Firefox 3.7 developer preview available, testing all kinds of new features including out-of-process plugins (something that IE 9 isn’t currently testing). It’s a real browser with back button, tabs and address bar and it resembles the real world modern browser. It enables developers to actually see how the browser will work and doesn’t try to hide its flaws by limiting critical functions.

  • Databases

    • SXSW: When it Comes to Web Scale Go Cheap, Go Custom or Go Home

      Dealing with the terabytes of data generated by users online and serving up relationships tied to that data quickly are forcing web-scale sites like Twitter, Reddit and Facebook to investigate a variety of home-built, open sourced and hardware solutions, and reject as many closed-source software (such as Oracle) and specialized hardware solutions as possible.

  • Sun

    • An example of the awesomeness of the open source community

      OpenSSO is one of the best (if it isn’t the best one) open source web Single Sign On projects out there. Sun Microsystems on 2008 open-sourced one of their products called Access Manager, and rebranded it as OpenSSO. But it’s sad to see how Oracle after Sun acquisition, is slowly shutting down this amazing open source project, marking it as “not strategic” and dismembering the few parts they think are worth for their own SSO product. They started on December by freezing the next express release, and during the last few weeks they have slowly started to remove all the open source downloads from OpenSSO website. Last but not least, they have also started to remove content from the wiki. Now, the only download available is the enterprise version, which is buried very deeply at Oracle’s website (it took me like 15 minutes to find it, it isn’t even listed as an Oracle product),and the patch sets that also were free to download, are now only available to paying customers with a valid support contract.

      [...]

      But here it comes the awesomeness of the open source community: A Norwegian company called ForgeRock has stepped up to give OpenSSO a new home and continue developing OpenSSO under a new name: OpenAM (because of copyright issues with the name). They claim they will conitnue with Sun’s original roadmap for the product, and they have started to make available again all of the express builds, including agents, that were removed from OpenSSO’s site, and a new wiki with all the content that once was available at dev.java.net.

    • Open source SSO lands in spotlight

      Last week was a really big week — perhaps the biggest ever — for open source simplified sign-Ope on in general and OpenID in particular.

      [...]

      Not quite as momentous, and having nothing to do with OpenID, another SSO service was released into the wild as open source. I was really amazed by MetaPass SSO when I saw it two years ago (“MetaPass’ single sign-on package enables administrators to create scripts visually”) and now it’s open source. Windows, Mac, and Linux executables and source-code of MetaPass SSO are available for download on the MetaPass Web site and on major open source Web sites (such as SourceForge). MetaPass is definitely an enterprise (not a consumer, or “user-centric”) SSO solution. If you are friendly with “roll your own” software for your organization it’s definitely worth a look.

    • Non-Profit Open Wonderland Launches

      With the news last month that Oracle would be shutting down development resources for Project Wonderland, the open-source virtual world platform originally supported by Sun Microsystems, associated developers began looking for alternatives. Last week saw the launch of the Open Wonderland Foundation, a non-profit devoted to providing a free and open-source platform for virtual worlds based on Project Wonderland.

  • CMS

    • WordPress: A Web Developer’s Tutorial

      I chose WordPress as my general-purpose framework, even though it’s theoretically a blogging platform, for a number of reasons. First of all, it’s backed by a company, yet still has a large number of independent contributors. This is probably the best way of keeping code up to date and viable commercially, while still using the Open Source model. New features, bug fixes, and security patches are thus released relatively often, and it doesn’t hurt that you can now update WordPress with a single click. Secondly, there are a phenomenal number of freely available, high quality themes and plugins that allow you to easily customize not only the look and feel, but also the functionality of your WordPress site. Finally, the total interoperability of WordPress with other platforms is second to none, so your site will be able to handle everything from Google Maps to SEO to AdSense to iPhone capability from day one. Don’t believe it? That’s why I’m here to teach you how to do it all.

    • Matt Mullenweg, WordPress founder: Why it pays to stay faithful to open source

      As an open source project, WordPress is licensed under the General Public License (GPL). The code for WordPress is created both by Automattic developers as well as a community of hundreds of third-party developers. The open source nature of the product means it can be used by anyone and for anything without paying a licence fee.

    • Worldly wealth

      A little later Matt Mullenweg took to the stage. Matt is the charismatic and high-profile founder of Automattic Inc and WordPress, the world’s most successful open-source blogging software, powering over 200 million websites.

      He chatted intimately with the audience about the founding of his company and the driving philosophies behind its success. He also shared his views on the future of blogging and open-source software development. One interesting story was that he founded Automattic with three other people from around the world, including another Irish developer. These four people had never met physically but knew each other via their web-based interactions. This created enough of a bond for them to start a company together, one that has been very successful.

    • Open Source Delivers Enterprise-Class Website on Shoestring Budget

      We also use open source throughout our production and testing environments. The Verical Marketplace is deployed on servers running the Linux operating system. This open source operating system is of high-quality and performs better than most of the operating systems available for purchase. In addition, we were able to use commodity hardware that further reduces our cost of deployment. Testing is aided using open source products including JUnit and Apache JMeter.

    • Hosted Drupal CMS Planned for Midyear

      The service, called Drupal Gardens, is in beta testing now with a “couple of thousand” users, said Dries Buytaert, who created Drupal and cofounded Acquia to build a commercial business around it. The service will be based on Drupal 7, an upgrade to the CMS software that will be released at about the same time, Buytaert said at the Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.

      Drupal is a software platform for publishing Web sites and managing text, images and other content on those sites. It has been used by individuals to publish blogs and by larger organizations, including the White House and NASA, to run their Web sites.

  • Funding

    • Magento Scores $22.5 Million For Open Source E-commerce Platform Play

      Magento currently has over 60,000 merchants using its software, which was downloaded about 1.5 million times as of January 2010. The company also says they’ve registered over $15 billion in transactions to date. The roadmap for the future is apparently paved with additional products, with a number of “Mobile Commerce, Saas offering and other products/services” coming later this year.

  • Security

    • Firewall Configurations Can Be Hard To Manage, Sounds Like A Job For Open Source

      For many people network security starts and stops with firewalls. The foundational technology of perimeter based security, firewalls have grown more complex and sophisticated over the years. Today keeping your firewall rule set tuned and managing complex firewall configurations is a job often best left to experts. A new open source tool, Flint offers help though.

    • Commtouch to present Open-source Email security

      Open-source security infrastructure can be taken to the next step by augmenting it with commercial solutions, according to Gabriel Mizrahi, vice president technologies at Commtouch.

    • Indian Security Startup Offers Free Software

      The UTM (unified threat management) offering, called Ubiq-Freedom, is available under an open-source license, and includes popular open-source software such as Squid caching proxy for the Web and IP tables for the firewall, said Debasheesh Bagchi [CQ], Wep’s program head for Ubiq-Freedom.

  • Releases

  • Government

    • More than 100 candidates to Italian regional elections support Free Software

      At least on paper, thanks to CaroCandidato, Free Software may have a voice this year in many of the regional councils assisting the governors. As of March 17th, the 2010 edition of the campaign has already enlisted more than 100 candidates from all parties. Citizens visiting the website can easily find, sorted by party or electoral district, which regional candidates have signed the Pact for these elections.

  • Licensing

    • The need for an Open Source license

      You DO NOT need permission to access it, modify it and/or distribute it. However, depends on the open source license, commercializing it may or may not be restricted.

      Without a defining open source license that the government can slap on each software project, there is no option but to revert back to the old ways of protecting intellectual property.

      The problem is this – the government can claim that the software source code is freely available to the public, but you need permission. Here’s the twist, there is NO guarantee that permission will be granted.

  • Openness

    • Applying Best Practices to Open Data

      Some of that is already going on. In a follow-up, Torkington links to a few posts from the Open Knowledge Foundation, which has come up with a Open Knowledge Definition (OKD) taken from the Open Source Initiative’s Open Source Definition. This includes everything from content like movies and books to government info, and sets 11 criteria that a work has to meet to be considered “open.”

    • SXSW: Bug Labs Says Content Will Drive Open Source Hardware

      That’s the viewpoint of Peter Semmelhack, founder and CEO of Bug Labs, whose modular, open source hardware company aims to fix that shortcoming by making it easier for people and companies to create their own electronics products using a Linux processor module, a camera module, a touchscreen LCD module and so on.

    • Open source: the way forward in the search for new treatments for the infectious diseases of poverty?

      Probably the best known open-source software is the Linux operating system but this is only one example. The mountain of software that open-source developers have created is robust enough to be used by big corporations and cutting-edge enough to have become incorporated into the latest mobile phones and laptops. But importantly, it has saved on development costs. It has been estimated that producing the open-source software we have today, using traditional means, would cost $387 billion and take 2.1 million people-years of development.

  • Programming

    • Benchmark of Python Web Servers

      The above results show that as a Python web developer we have lots of different methods to deploy our applications. Some of these seem to perform better than others but by focussing only on server performance I will not justify most of the tested servers as they differ greatly in functionality. Also, if you are going to take some stock web framework and won’t do any optimizations or caching the performance of your webserver is not going to matter as this will not be the bottleneck. If there is one thing which made this benchmark clear is that most Python Web servers offer great performance and if you feel things are slow the first thing to look at is really your own application.

Leftovers

  • Playboy accidentally played out on children’s TV

    TV bosses in the US have apologised after preview clips of the Playboy channel were accidentally played out on two children’s channels.

  • Science

    • U.S. sits on rare supply of tech-crucial minerals

      China supplies most of the rare earth minerals found in technologies such as hybrid cars, wind turbines, computer hard drives and cell phones, but the U.S. has its own largely untapped reserves that could safeguard future tech innovation.

    • Planck sees tapestry of cold dust

      Giant filaments of cold dust stretching through our Galaxy are revealed in a new image from ESA’s Planck satellite. Analysing these structures could help to determine the forces that shape our Galaxy and trigger star formation.

    • NASA finds shrimp dinner on ice beneath Antarctica

      In a surprising discovery about where higher life can thrive, scientists for the first time found a shrimp-like creature and a jellyfish frolicking beneath a massive Antarctic ice sheet.

  • Security

    • 7 Cool, Free Security Applications

      Encrypt or create a hidden OS with TrueCrypt

      Even if Windows is password protected, thieves can still access all your files, for example, with a Linux-based LiveCD. To protect your documents and privacy, you can encrypt your data. TrueCrypt is a great open source solution.

    • U.S. Civil Liberties Group Questions ‘Legal Basis’ Of Using Drones To Kill

      The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit Tuesday demanding that the government disclose the legal basis for its use of unmanned drones to conduct targeted killings overseas.

      In particular, the lawsuit asks for information on when, where and against whom drone strikes can be authorized, the number and rate of civilian casualties and other basic information essential for assessing the wisdom and legality of using armed drones to conduct targeted killings.

    • Hacker Disables More Than 100 Cars Remotely

      More than 100 drivers in Austin, Texas found their cars disabled or the horns honking out of control, after an intruder ran amok in a web-based vehicle-immobilization system normally used to get the attention of consumers delinquent in their auto payments.

  • Environment

    • ‘Milestone’ for wave energy plans

      Ten sites on the seabed off the north coast of Scotland have been leased out to power companies in an effort to generate wave and tidal energy.

      In the first project of its kind in the world, areas in the Pentland Firth and around Orkney have been leased to seven companies by the Crown Estate.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Jim Gettys, HP computer scientist (2004)


Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

03.17.10

Links 17/3/2010: KDE 4.5 Proposals, Benchmark of Distros in Development

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Becrypt avoids security resellers for Trusted Client

    When questioned about Becrypt’s decision to choose Ubuntu, Jones said the popular Linux distribution worked well with a diverse range of hardware.

    “One reason we chose Ubuntu is because it is a very powerful OS and is very up to date – it has got lots and lots of drivers,” he said.

    Administrators can assign a portion of the Trusted Client USB stick to store documents or applications. Alternatively, if internet connectivity is guaranteed, everything can be stored in the cloud.

  • Audiocasts

    • Full Circle Podcast #2: The Full Circle of Light (Brown)

      The podcast is in MP3 and OGG formats. You can either play the podcast in-browser if you have Flash and/or Java, or you can download the podcast with the link underneath the player.

    • Going Linux Podcast

      Scott’s question about a Mac-like dock for Linux generated a lot of feedback. We read and answer other questions as well.

    • The Software Freedom Law Show

      Aaron, Karen and Bradley discuss issues around the public domain and how it relates to copyright in general and copyrights on software in particular.

  • Events

    • Desktop Summit 2011 – Call for Hosts

      The KDE and GNOME communities are looking for a host for the Desktop Summit 2011, the combined annual conference featuring KDE’s Akademy and GNOME’s GUADEC events. Following up on the successful Gran Canaria Desktop Summit, the second edition of the combined event in 2011 will be the premier place to learn about, discuss, and work on free software on the desktop.

      The goal of the desktop summit will be to present and discuss the state of the art of free software for end users, do community building, enable cross-community collaboration, and enable partners from industry and other communities as well as individuals to get informed and involved.

    • In the Hearts of the South – Two great conferences

      Austin, Texas! Home to live music, great food, a world-class University (U of T) and the longhorns!) and IBM’s Linux Technology Center is a great place to have a Linux Fest, and that is what is happening on April 10th, 2010.

      For just one day the Linux Faithful are going to descend on Austin with a packed program that ranges from beginner subjects to those that would teach the experts in FOSS. After forty years in computer science (and most of those years using what most people would call today “Open Source”), I still find it is impossible to keep up with every aspect of it, so you will probably see me slip into a few of these talks to both learn what is going on and to talk face to face with some of the developers and people advocating their software’s use.

  • Desktop

    • No Apple computers for me

      I had been a apple computer user for the past 5 years and immensely enjoyed the hardware and the software. But, all good things come at a price. Apple’s price for a polished user experience has lately turned out to be user freedom.

      [...]

      All said, in the end, there is only one thing to do for me. Stick with Freedom and give up Apple. So, as of yesterday night, I have migrated all music from iTunes to Ubuntu (Rhythmbox player).

    • Open one way or another

      We’ve covered our concerns about Apple’s control issues, and we’ve also highlighted how the company is creating opportunity for more open alternatives to capture developers, mindshare and yes, believe it or not, consumers. This is the picture we foresaw in our 2008 report, Mobility Matters, where we described the first Android phone, the G1, not as an Apple iPhone killer, but an impressive first step and a sign of an oncoming onslaught of iPhone alternatives, all with openness advantages for hardware manufacturers and wireless carriers that can maintain or create their own brands, and also openness advantages for developers and users in the software available for the devices.

    • Windows Versus Ubuntu

      My home Ubuntu machine is also set up to periodically check for updates to all the installed software. It works as easily as automatic updates in Windows.
      One of the things I am amazed about for the above software is that all the Linux software is free and open-source. I see very little difference in performance from a user’s perspective, and using free open-source software has saved me several thousand Patacas by not having to pay software licensing fees.
      I am convinced that Ubuntu is a viable alternative for most work computers and can save businesses and other organizations considerable amounts of money. I also believe that it is an excellent alternative for children and parents for home computers.

  • Server

    • Linux on the cloud: IBM, Novell & Red Hat

      As proof of the Linux-powered cloud’s advantages, IBM points to eBay’s online payments division, PayPal, where developers are creating and testing payments applications for smartphones in IBM’s cloud. In the above statement, Osama Bedier, PayPal’s VP of product development, said, “We want to provide a very simple way to make payments available on all platforms, including mobile applications,” and IBM’s cloud delivers the goods.

    • Resonate Global Dispatch adds native support for RedHat Enterprise Linux and Novell SUSE

      Resonate Inc., the leading provider of award winning traffic management and load balancing solutions, today announced that it is shipping the latest version of Resonate Global Dispatch™ for RedHat Enterprise Linux and Novell SUSE.

  • Applications

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • Five Improvements for KDE 4.5 (Part 2)

      In my opinion, the KDE4 desktop is the most revolutionary piece of Linux software since the Linux kernel itself, and I appreciate how it strives to challenge old desktop paradigms and introduce new ones.

  • Distributions

    • Benchmarks: Mandriva 2010.1, PCLinuxOS 2010, Ubuntu 10.04, openSUSE 11.3

      On the testing block this week was Mandriva 2010.1 Alpha 3, Ubuntu 10.04 post-Alpha 3 development snapshot from 2010-03-11, PCLinuxOS 2010 Beta, and openSUSE 11.3 Milestone 3. The latest development release of Mandriva 2010.1 is packing the Linux 2.6.33-desktop kernel, GNOME 2.29.91, X.Org Server 1.7.5, xf86-video-radeon 6.12.191, Mesa 7.7, GCC 4.4.3, and an EXT4 file-system. Ubuntu 10.04 is carrying the Linux 2.6.32 kernel, GNOME 2.29.92, X Server 1.7.5, xf86-video-radeon 6.12.191, Mesa 7.7, GCC 4.4.3, and an EXT4 file-system. PCLinuxOS meanwhile is based off the Linux 2.6.32 kernel with the Brain Fuck Scheduler (BFS) and other patches, KDE 4.4.1, X Server 1.6.5, xf86-video-radeon 6.12.4, Mesa 7.5.2, GCC 4.4.1, and an EXT4 file-system. Lastly, Novell’s openSUSE 11.3 Milestone 3 is built with the Linux 2.6.33 kernel, KDE 4.4.0, X Server 1.7.5, xf86-video-radeon 6.12.4, Mesa 7.7, a snapshot of GCC 4.5, and an EXT4 file-system.

    • Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS 2010 Beta2 Release Information

        Kernel updated to 2.6.32.10bfs – Updates, bugs fixes and suggestions based on community feedback over the past week were implemented on the LiveCD. In addition to the KDE 4.4.1 SC version we now have Gnome, Phoenix XFCE, PCLXDE and Gnome Zen Mini isos available which showcase the various desktops available on PCLinuxOS. An Enlightenment desktop iso is also in the works and should be available sometime this week. PCLinuxOS 2010 was built from the ground up using the packages in our repository.

      • Living with ALT Linux Sisyphus

        I will stay on Sisyphus and enjoy the best of this distributions from Russia.There is no harm in paying back to my former commies friends by staying on so called ‘unstable” but still stable Sisyphus!

    • Gentoo Family

      • Council Meeting Summary

        Ideas seemed to converge on how to vote by email but it was noted that this would constitute a change of GLEP39 which the council can’t modify without an all-developers vote. Since there were already other changes planned or suggested to GLEP 39 it was decided that the council would work on a new text and submit it to a vote when ready. Calchan has volunteered to gather all ideas and work on the text.

      • Pardus: A Linux distribution for the end user

        Of course when I say leopard, with regards to anything computer, you think Mac OS X. Not this time. This time we’re talking about a different flavor of Linux – Pardus.Pardus is developed in Turkey and named after the Anatolian leopard. It’s goal is to be a complete distribution that new users can use with little introduction to Linux. It takes advantage of KDE 4 and offers a very user-centric experience.

        Pardus has a few features that most will have never heard of or seen before. In this article I will introduce you to some of these features as I introduce you to Pardus Linux.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Trading Idea – Is Red Hat close to Resistance?

        Shares of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) are trading very close to calculated resistance at $30.90 with the current price action closing at just $30.76 placing the stock near levels that make it difficult to buy.

    • Debian Family

      • New cdbuilder server improves Debian infrastructure

        Today, the Debian project administrators are activating a new cdbuilder server. The server computes the official Debian ISO images once all software packages are ready for a new Debian release. While the old system needed 20 hours to build the ISOs, the new server needs less than two hours for the same job.

      • A Debian first: female candidate in running for leader

        For the first time in its 16-year history, the Debian GNU/Linux project has a woman in the running to become leader of the project when voting for the post takes place between April 2 and April 15.

        Margarita Manterola, a software developer from Argentina, mostly Python, teaches programming at a university. She has been involved with Debian since 2003, became a developer in 2005 and has been part of the Debian Women project since it kicked off in 2004.

      • Ubuntu

        • A Brief History of Brown: Ubuntu Feature Timeline

          The current stable release, as of this writing, and soon to be replaced by Lucid Lynx. Karmic brought us ext4 as the default filesystem, the first look at the Ubuntu Software Center, and the somewhat controversial GRUB2. Not to be left out of the cloud computing craze, Karmic shipped with Ubuntu One personal cloud service, and the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud Images.

        • If Dreams Were Real: Convergence of Distro and Kernel Versions

          In a lengthy 2008 blog (as we reported), Mark Shuttleworth outlined a plan for the most commonly used Linux distros (Debian, Ubuntu, Red Hat and SUSE) to agree to a two-to-three-year major release cycle. The sting: if they were to agree to a common version numbering, it would immensely simply the software and especially the driver development process. According to Shuttleworth, it would lead to a definite positive effect for all distros.

        • Project: Getting Ready For Ubuntu 10.04 – Part 2

          In this installment we are going to cover the planning phase of the upgrade process. Good planning is often the difference between a good upgrade experience experience and a bad one. As a computing environment becomes more complex, planning becomes more essential. My environment is fairly complex so I have to plan.

        • Those pesky buttons
        • Why Window Button Placement Doesn’t Matter by

          The default positioning of window-management buttons in Ubuntu 10.04 has generated a lot of controversy. But given the decreasing importance of these buttons in modern desktop environments, I’m left wondering if the issue is really so important. In a year or two, after all, window titlebars may be a thing of the past.

        • Ubuntu 10.04 Radiance and Ambiance Themes for Google Chrome

          But those already employing the upcoming Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx are in luck, as they now have a couple of Google Chrome themes for both the “light” and the “dark” versions of Ubuntu’s visual revamp. And the best part is that they’re both available in Google’s own online gallery.

        • The Bizarre Cathedral – 69
        • Ubuntu Koala food console gets its cron on

          Scalr – the open source admin console for Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud and its Eucalyptus doppelganger – has added a cron job task manager to its arsenal, giving you more freedom to write and schedule scripts on sky-high virtual servers.

          Like RightScale, Scalr provides web-based management console for so-called infrastructure clouds, services like Amazon’s EC2 that provide on-demand access to scalable compute resources. Amazon now offers its own web interface, but services like Scalr and RightScale provide a few extras, and they dovetail with other, similar services, including Eucalyptus, the open source project that lets you mimic Amazon’s setup in your own data center.

        • Ubuntu Q&A

          Asay: There is much that we can do on the design side. It’s telling that Mark has stepped down as CEO so that he can focus on product design. He has an eye for design and should be a great addition to the Linux community’s efforts to improve Linux’s usability on the desktop.

          But the other side of it is that we work very closely with OEMs like Dell to ensure a seamless customer experience. If a customer buys an Ubuntu-based machine from Dell, it’s going to “just work.” Every time.

        • BitNami Releases Ubuntu-based Virtual Appliances, Makes Open Source Applications Easy to Deploy

          BitNami, the project that simplifies the process of deploying web applications natively, virtually and in the cloud, has released Ubuntu-based virtual appliances for all of the BitNami-packaged applications. Using the new, freely-available appliances, BitNami users can deploy ready-to-run virtual machine images of applications for CRM, bug tracking, document management, business intelligence and more in minutes.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Qi Hardware’s tiny, hackable Ben NanoNote now shipping

      That will get you a bare bones device that can simply be used as a Linux-based “handheld laptop” out of the box or, as the company hopes, be turned into anything from a PMP to an offline Wikipedia device. Something along those lines would seem to be the most practical, considering the device only has a 3-inch 320 x 240 display, along with some similarly basic specs including a 336 MHz XBurst Jz4720 CPU, 32MB of RAM, 2GB of flash storage, and a microSD card slot for expansion. Head on past the break for a look under the lid.

    • Android

      • Google Says There Are Now 30,000 Apps In Android Market

        At the most recent Mobile World Congress, Google CEO Eric Schmidt revealed that the company’s partners are now selling over 60,000 Android handsets on a daily basis. With that kind of growth rate, it’s no wonder that the size of the Android Market is increasing in its slipstream.

      • Where Are All the Open Source Mobile Apps?

        Android is great in principle: after all, having millions of mobiles running Linux at the bottom of the stack is pretty good news. But we have a big problem at the top: there are very few free software apps, so you are almost forced to run closed source code on top of the open source Android (ironic or what?).

        [...]

        While it’s great news that the Android platform is attracting developers more than the iPhone, and far more than Windows Mobile, these are still small numbers: 224 new projects in a year is pretty footling compared to the 30,000 apps that are out there for the Android.

    • Sub-notebooks

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Against E-Waste

    There has always been the suspicion that the hardware manufacturers (especially Intel) teamed up with software vendors (especially Microsoft) to release software applications and operating systems increasingly heavy, forcing a constant process of updating, not only processors, but memory and hard disks too.

    This process of constant update went well until a certain point. Until they reached a sufficient computing power to run several applications in elaborate graphical environments .

    [...]

    With Open Source operating systems and applications, you can recycle old computers, from 2004, 2005, 2006, so they are able to run the latest applications such as Firefox, Audacity, Open Office, and with a little more powerful video hardware, to run the 3D effects of Compiz desktop and KDE 4.

  • Going Free

    • Skype publishes SILK audio codec source code

      Skype has announced that it has published the source code for its SILK audio codec, introduced last year, which the company uses in its internet telephony applications for Windows and Mac OS X. Daniel Berg, Skype’s Chief Technology Officer said “This represents a key step in the development of an international standard for a wideband codec for use on the Internet,”. The release of the source code comes as part of Skype’s recent submission of an an Internet Draft to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

    • Squeak 4.0 released – now under MIT/Apache license

      Squeak, the open source implementation of the Smalltalk language and environment, has been updated to version 4.0 and re-licensed under a combination of the MIT and Apache licences. Version 4.0 of the code is functionally identical to the previous 3.10.2 release of Squeak, only varying in the licensing terms, but the developers will release Squeak 4.1 as soon as possible to include current development work.

  • Graphics

    • Review: GIMP 2.6.7 – Free Gnu Image Manipulation Program

      I have grown to love the GIMP as I don’t have the money or want to illegally download Photoshop and soon after watching and reading tutorials online I learnt all I needed to know and begun sharing my knowledge with the rest of the GIMP community. GIMP, like Photoshop is available on most operating systems, and has a free portable version available to put on a flash drive for when GIMP isn’t installed.

      4½/5 – Great features and closely resembles Photoshop for free!

    • Shapeways switches to Blender for on-line rendering

      3D printing community Shapeways allows their members to upload 3D models, preview them on the website and have them 3D printed in a variety of materials. Until recently, the previews were rendered in OpenGL and were rather bland looking. I was involved in the implementation of Blender on their webservers, in order to generate better quality previews. Here’s a look behind the scenes of this project.

      Before I begin: this was an awesome project. I had a chance to work together with some great Blender designers and developers. The Shapeways team loved the concept but wasn’t easy to satisfy – a great combination for arriving at a fantastic final product.

  • Business

  • Licensing

    • Ex-Sun open source honcho: Sorry about that TCK license, Apache!

      Among the many high-level Sun people leaving the merged Oracle-Sun conglomerate is Chief Open Source Officer Simon Phipps, who announced his departure on his blog last week. (Side note: Is Chief X Officer the new Vice President? They sure seem to be proliferating!) It was the sort of expected combo of pride and wistful regrets, and (as is probably the intent) it’s not that easy to tell whether he’s leaving voluntarily or not. Still, the most interesting bit, as one might expect, was one of his regrets, offered in passing: “I’m sad that Apache did not get the TCK license they requested.”

    • On the fall and rise of the GNU GPL

      If we assume that Web applications and cloud computing played a significant role in the proportional decline of the GPLv2, we would expect to see a significant rise in the use of the AGPLv3. While the use of the AGPLv3 has indeed risen 16% between June 2009 and today, in real terms the rise is from 198 projects to 231 – still an insignificant amount compared to the GPLv2.

    • Is Your Support of Copyleft Logically Consistent?

      Obviously, I don’t believe in angels myself. But, Clarence’s (admittedly naïve) logic is actually impeccable: Either you believe in angels or you don’t. If you believe in angels, then you shouldn’t be surprised to (at least occasionally) see one.

      This film quote came to my mind in reference to a concept in GPL enforcement. Many people give lip service to the idea that the GPL, and copyleft generally, is a unique force that democratizes software and ensures that FLOSS cannot be exploited by proprietary software interests. Many of these same people, though, oppose GPL enforcement when companies exploit GPL’d code and don’t give the source code and take away users’ rights to modify and share that software.

  • Openness

    • SXSW: Shirky’s New Opportunities in Public Sharing

      Today social technology theorist Clay Shirky delivered a fitting counterpoint to Danah Boyd’s keynote on privacy at SXSW the day before. Where Boyd spoke of the danger of making information more public than users intended it, Shirky talked about new opportunities for sharing information online and elsewhere.

    • Shirky: Napster tapped into our primate instincts

      New York University professor Clay Shirky thinks he’s getting old, or in other words, “my average age has been going up at the alarming rate of about one year per year.” Recently, he said, he had to explain Napster to a class of his students because they were too young to have known much about the groundbreaking music-sharing service in its heyday.

    • estimating ullage

      Ullage, the word for the empty space at the top of a wine bottle, is Peter Suber’s term for the gap between a library’s actual holdings and its patrons’ access needs. That’s a difficult thing to measure, but I might have found a way to estimate it with reference not to patron needs but to all published journals, as follows.

    • Making Public Information Available Online: Rep. Israel Introduces the Public Online Information Act

      Today, Representative Steve Israel introduced the Public Online Information Act, which if enacted would free a vast treasure trove of government information. All too often, information that the law requires be publicly available is hidden behind stone walls and paper barriers. POIA tears down these walls by:

      * Requiring Executive Branch agencies to publish publicly available information on the Internet in a timely fashion and in user-friendly formats.
      * Creating a multi-branch advisory committee to develop government-wide Internet publication guidelines.

    • Transparency Is Trending

      This week is Sunshine Week, a lot of people are very excited and are taking the time to write about why open government is important to them. Here are just a few of the great posts people are writing, explaining why transparency is important.

    • Battle of the Opens

      So here—free, gratis, libre, and open—is a brief, simplistic guide to several flavors of open, organized around the following questions:

      * What is the target of this movement? What is being made open? As compared to what?
      * What legal regimes are implicated?
      * How does openness happen? What are the major variants of open works of this type?

    • Open Sourcing A Disease Diagnosis

      If you follow Larry Lessig on Twitter, you noticed that all day Monday he was putting messages on Twitter about how “JZ” was sick and was trying to “open source” his diagnosis.

  • Programming

    • GCC 4.5 Is Still Not Ready For Release

      With GCC 4.5 the MPC library has been integrated to evaluate complex arithmetic at compile time more accurately, a new link-time optimizer has been added, automatic parallelization can be enabled as part of Graphite, improved experimental support for C++0x, Windows improvements with Cygwin and MinGW, and many other changes.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Public review of “The State of ODF Interoperability”

      The initial “State of ODF Interoperability” report has now gone out for public review. It is a baseline report, surveying the context of document interoperability, the sources of interoperability problems as well the ways in which these problems are being addressed. Although it explicitly deals with ODF interoperability, much of the report is equally relevant to any other office document format, XML-based or binary.

    • Time to Learn from China on Open Standards?

      One of the major battles under way in Europe is over open standards. As its name suggests, an open standard is one that is open to all, without restrictions or obstacles; anything less than that is just window-dressing.

      In particular, if any part of the standard is encumbered with patents, these must be available on a royalty-free basis: “Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory (RAND)” is not good enough, since RAND licences with non-zero fees, however minute, *do* discriminate against open source using licences like the GNU GPL.

Leftovers

  • AirStash brings the WiFi, neglects the storage, for a cent under $100

    When we last saw the AirStash, it was keeping its mystique about it and refusing to disclose any salient details beyond the fact that it’ll function as a wireless SD/SDHC card reader. Today, the fog of war is lifted with the news that the AirStash is now officially on sale for $99.99, and will come with a battery good for five hours of continuous data streaming.

  • New York Cabs Gouged Riders Out of Millions

    About 3,000 New York City taxi drivers routinely overcharged riders over two years by surreptitiously fixing their meters to charge rates that would normally apply only to trips outside the five boroughs, according to the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission.

  • NSFW: ‘Tis Pity We Called Her A Whore – And Other Ineffectual Digital Apologies

    A few days later, another UK paper – The Daily Mail – ran a story headlined “I posed as a girl of 14 on Facebook. What followed will sicken you …” The story was indeed sickening; written by a former police detective, it revealed how after signing up to Facebook as a young girl, he was immediately contacted by middle-aged men looking for sex. There was just one problem with the story: it wasn’t true.

    For a start the story was ghost-written by a Mail journalist, loosely based on a phone interview with the detective. More importantly, the detective had made clear – repeatedly – that the social network in question wasn’t Facebook. In fact he’d actually praised Facebook for having put in place measures to protect young users against ‘grooming’ by adults. Unfortunately, the Mail seems to have a beef with Facebook – they previously accused the site of causing cancer – and so decided to name and shame it both in the article, and in the headline and – yup – in the URL. As with Zoe’s story, the headline was changed after a few hours (having already been widely syndicated) but the libellous URL remained uncorrected for more than a day.

  • Over half your news is spin

    Today Crikey launches an investigation six months in the making. Spinning the Media is an investigation in conjunction with the University of Technology (UTS) Sydney into the role PR plays in making the media.

  • Science

    • It is time to geek the vote

      There has been a huge push to put “the s word” – science – at the heart of political debate in the run-up to the UK general election.

  • Security

    • The amazing true story of Zeitoun

      Abdulrahman Zeitoun is the real-life hero of Dave Eggers’s new book. In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina he paddled from house to house in a canoe, offering help to his neighbours. For his trouble, he was arrested as a suspected terrorist

    • Dear People For Supporter,

      Progressives and conservatives alike are slamming one of the most blatantly McCarthyist attacks yet. People For the American Way released a report several months ago on the rise of what we called the New McCarthyism. Clearly, that trend is growing.

      An attack ad by Liz Cheney, archconservative daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, and Bill Kristol, Head Cheerleader for the Iraq War, brands Eric Holder’s DOJ the “Department of Jihad” for employing nine lawyers who represented detainees and asks of these lawyers: “whose values do they share?” The ad, produced by Cheney and Kristol’s new Swift Boat-style front group, “Keep America Safe,” labels seven then-unidentified DOJ lawyers “The Al Qaeda 7.”

    • Jihad Jamie: Racial profiling under scrutiny after second white Islamist arrested

      Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, 31, a nursing student from Colorado, was detained in Ireland in connection with an alleged conspiracy to kill a Swedish cartoonist. News of her arrest came days after Colleen LaRose, 46, of suburban Philadelphia, was named in a federal indictment for her alleged role in the plot against Lars Vilks, who had offended many Muslims with his portrayal of the prophet Muhammad as a dog.

    • UK ‘ignoring’ systemic evidence of torture among asylum seekers

      Torture survivors seeking sanctuary in Britain are being wrongly held in government detention centres, despite independent medical evidence supporting claims of brutal violence against them in their home countries.

    • ID cards have three databases, says minister

      Following reports that the IPS had scrapped plans to store biographical information on the Department for Work and Pensions’ database, Hillier said that the controversial scheme has three databases. “There is the one that holds the fingerprints and facial image, the biometric data, and then the other information which is broadly what is on your passport already and the third bit is the one that links the two,” she said.

  • Environment

    • Waiter, There Is Toxic Sludge in my Organic Soup!

      Fifteen years ago, the Center for Media and Democracy in my book Toxic Sludge Is Good for You first exposed the deceptive PR campaign by the municipal sewage industry that has renamed toxic sewage sludge as “biosolids” to be spread on farms and gardens. Unfortunately, the scam continues to fool more people than ever, even in San Francisco which is often dubbed the country’s greenest city.

    • The five-year race to save India’s vanishing tigers

      It is always the same, says Dharmendra Khandal, toying with a heavy iron skinning knife as he recounts the story. Khandal is sitting in the offices of Tiger Watch on the edge of the national park, one of the most popular tiger reserves in India. He spreads his palms in frustration. The government’s forestry department is always the last to act, he says, though it is its job to protect the tigers.

    • Save the Elephants: STOP BLOODY IVORY
    • When Crime Pays: How the EU subsidises illegal fishing

      Fishsubsidy.org today publishes a list of 42 convictions of fishing vessel owners that have also received EU subsidies under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). The study, which focuses on two major EU fishing nations, Spain and France, involves matching records of court convictions with data on EU fisheries subsidy payments. Between them, the 36 law-breaking vessels received 13,510,418 euro in EU subsidies between 1994 and 2006.

    • Marking World Water Day, March 22, 2010

      World Water Day 2010 is Monday, March 22nd. This year’s theme is “Communicating Water Quality Challenges and Opportunities,” and is aimed at increasing awareness of the importance of water quality. One way to help stand up for clean water is to sign on to Food & Water Watch’s petition aimed at strengthening America’s public water supply. You can also help “take back the tap,” if you have not done so already, and learn more about the environmental and economic impact of choosing tap water over bottled water.

    • China defends detention of lead poisoning victims who sought medical help

      Children at a village near the Wugang manganese smelting plant in Hunan province on 22 August, 2009. Hundreds of children in the province are suffering from suspected lead poisoning caused by the local factory. Photograph: Frederic J. Brown/AFP

  • Finance

    • Billions at stake as derivatives debate splits US and European regulators

      To European officials, financial derivatives are dangerous weapons that worsened its debt crisis and should be curbed.

    • The Good the Bad and the Ugly in the Dodd Bill

      Usually a draft like this sets the high water mark. With 1,500 bank lobbyists on the hill and $390 billion spent on finance industry lobbying in 2009, the public will need to weigh in to fix the problems that do exist in the bill and hold off provisions that will make the bill worse.

    • Financial Podcast Buys A Toxic Asset To See How It Works

      Literally, the four reporters on the team, along with their producer, each pooled about $200 of their own money, in order to buy $1,000 worth of toxic asset. They’ll be tracking whether or not they make their money back, and if they make anything on top of that as well (any profits will be donated to charity). The podcast itself is fascinating, as two of the reporters spend a couple days with a company called Mission Peak Capital, based out in Kansas, which has been analyzing and buying up toxic assets. They go through the whole process of analyzing and bidding on a few of these things until they find the one they wanted. Mission Peak bought the whole asset for $36,000, marked down from $2.7 million, and then sold a $1,000 sliver to the team at Planet Money.

    • In Hard Times, Lured Into Trade School and Debt

      One fast-growing American industry has become a conspicuous beneficiary of the recession: for-profit colleges and trade schools.

    • Lewis Faults ‘Short-Term Greedy,’ Cites Goldman: Interview

      Michael Lewis made a name for himself on Wall Street by writing about it. His 1989 book, “Liar’s Poker,” exposed the inner workings of Salomon Brothers, a firm then at the peak of its power, and described his improbable run as a bond salesman there.

    • Goldies, Greece and Lehman’s Repo 105

      A standard repo, or repurchase agreement, is a form of secured loan. They’re fairly straightforward affairs. In exchange for a financial asset – usually a highly secure government or state government bond – one party will make a cash loan to another party (with the financial asset as security).

      That means the lender’s exposure is not directly to the borrower, but to the issuer of the underlying security. So the associated interest rate on the loan is lower than it would be if the money were lent on an unsecured basis to the borrower.

      [...]

      As Michael Lewitt, an astute bond fund manager and commentator, observed in the latest edition of The HCM Market Letter, “Goldman Sachs entered damage control mode and dispatched the highly respected Gerald Corrigan, a former President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Chairman of Goldman Sachs Bank USA, to tell a UK parliamentary committee that ‘with the benefit of hindsight … the standards of transparency could have been and probably should have been higher’.”

    • Tweeting against Goldman Sachs

      The real Lucas van Praag is renowned throughout the financial press as arrogant, caustic, and in possession of a very large vocabulary — traits that normally aren’t considered desirable public relations attributes. But this is Goldman Sachs we’re talking about, so until recently, van Praag may have seemed like a good fit for a company whose CEO seems convinced that earning billions of dollars while helping to engineer the greatest financial collapse in the history of humanity is equivalent to doing “God’s work.”

      The fake Lucas van Praag is just funny. To wit:

      @thattwerptaibbi. Stop hounding me! Yes, it’s true. $GS funded Kate Gosselin’s makeover AND bought CDS against her performance on DWTS.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Ari Emanuel: Did he mention lobbying the President or the Vice President?

      According to Josh Gerstein of Politico, Ari Emanuel claims he was misquoted, and was in fact referring to the “vice President.” KEI’s first take: Ari Emanuel’s quote was widely discussed on twitter and blogs, and Ari was embarrassed at his indiscretion, which suggests Rahm Emanuel’s brother is lobbying the president directly.

    • 2010: The Year of the Corporate Candidate?

      After the Supreme Court declared that corporations have the same rights as individuals when it comes to funding political campaigns, the self-described progressive firm, Murray Hill, Inc., took what it considers the next logical step: running for office in Maryland’s 8th Congressional District.

    • Millions Spent to Sway Democrats on Health Care

      The yearlong legislative fight over health care is drawing to a frenzied close as a multimillion-dollar wave of advertising that rivals the ferocity of a presidential campaign takes aim at about 40 House Democrats whose votes will help determine the fate of President Obama’s top domestic priority.

      The coalition of groups opposing the legislation, led by the United States Chamber of Commerce, is singling out 27 Democrats who supported the health care bill last year and 13 who opposed it. The organizations have already spent $11 million this month focusing on these lawmakers, with more spending to come before an expected vote next weekend.

    • “Texas Tea” Party: Dick Armey Distorts History, Again

      It is no liberal college professor conspiracy; it is a fact. Hamilton strongly favored a strong federal government with almost king-like powers for the president — that’s why Hamilton has often been cited by Bush lawyer, John Yoo, as his inspiration for virtually unlimited powers for the national executive.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Judge rules in satirical Web site’s favor

      A Web site that satirizes news can run a fictional story about a giraffe attack at Global Wildlife Center in Folsom, a state district judge ruled Monday.

      After a two-hour hearing, state District Judge Beth Wolfe struck down a temporary restraining order signed March 2 that had called for the removal of the story from the site, Hammond Action News.

    • Encyclopedia Dramatica Owner May Face Charges Down Under… Despite Not Being In Australia

      But it turns out that the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission (HREOC) is upset about a “deliberately offensive article about Aborigines,” and is threatening to take the site’s operator, Joseph Evers, to court. The thing is, the stuff on Encyclopedia Dramatica are deliberately offensive to pretty much everyone. That’s the point. But the nice thing about the internet is that if you don’t like that sort of thing, you can avoid it. Furthermore, Evers is in the US and isn’t breaking any US laws.

    • Joshua Newton: Variety’s Tim Gray Is ‘Lying Through His Nose’

      Joshua Newton, the producer and director of “Iron Cross,” has sued Variety for fraud and breach of contract over a negative review of his film that he claims undermined a $400,000 advertising campaign orchestrated by the trade. Grilled by Sharon Waxman, he accuses Variety editor Tim Gray of lying, and says publisher Neil Stiles told him he planned to end all reviews in 2010. Asked for a response, Gray had no comment and Stiles did not respond to an email.

  • China

    • Full Text of Human Rights Record of the United States in 2009

      China’s Information Office of the State Council published a report titled “The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2009″ here Friday. Following is the full text:

      The State Department of the United States released its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2009 on March 11, 2010, posing as “the world judge of human rights” again. As in previous years, the reports are full of accusations of the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions including China, but turn a blind eye to, or dodge and even cover up rampant human rights abuses on its own territory. The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2009 is prepared to help people around the world understand the real situation of human rights in the United States.

    • The US is turning human rights into a farce

      No country in this world has impeccable records on human rights. Therefore, it should be healthy for governments of different countries to exchange ideas on human rights if the intention of these exchanges is to improve human rights performance in this world.However, the routine US reports on different country’s human rights records are gradually turning the noble concept of human rights into a big farce as it engaged two deadly wars, causing lives of innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    • Letter Offers Glimpse Into Fall-Out If Google Goes

      China’s state-run broadcaster, China Central Television, published on its Web site Tuesday the text of a letter, claiming it was sent from a group of 27 Google advertising resellers to John Liu, who leads Google’s sales team and oversees the company’s business operations in greater China. (Read the WSJ’s translation of the full text of the letter here.)

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Charlie Angus Set To Propose Canadian MP3 Player Levy

      Music industry sources say Canadian Member of Parliament Charlie Angus, the NDP’s digital issues critic, is preparing to enter a private member’s bill next week proposing the country’s private copying levy should be extended to MP3 players.

      The levy is currently in place on other blank media, but attempts to extend it to MP3 players have failed in the past. The discussion of the levy came at the same time Canadian music industry insiders at Canadian Music Week were focused on the possibility of a new Copyright Act for Canada, after support for intellectual property was referenced in the Conservative government’s throne speech last week.

    • Want To Link To Royal Mail? You Better Not Be In A Hurry

      If you ever read terms of use pages for websites, you know that they are mostly boilerplate. Unfortunately whatever template all these businesses seem to be sharing makes some ridiculous assertions, perhaps the worst of which is a provision against hyperlinking to the site without written permission.

    • Postal service chief: Our business model as outdated as the newspaper industry’s

      The head of the U.S. Postal Service said Thursday that his organization’s business model is as outdated as the newspaper industry’s.

    • Jaron Lanier Says That Musicians Using Free To Succeed Are Lying

      What a bizarre statement, considering just how many real life examples we see every day of musicians successfully embracing an understanding of basic economics (which Lanier apparently lacks). I was trying to better understand how Lanier could make such an easily debunked statement with a straight face, and it’s not clear at all. It appears that Lanier is the one who is pretending here.

    • In Defense Of 1,000 True Fans – Part VII – Ellis Paul – 300 Fans = $100,000 in Contributions The Ultimate Testament to Fan Loyalty

      Ellis Paul is an American singer-songwriter and folk musician. To date, he has released 16 albums and has been the recipient of 14 Boston Music Awards. He has published a book of original lyrics, poems, and drawings, and released a DVD that includes a live performance, guitar instruction, and a road-trip documentary. As a touring musician, Ellis plays close to 150 dates each year and his extensive club and coffeehouse touring, together with radio airplay, has brought him a solid national following.

    • Heroes Producer: Honored To Be The Most Unauthorized Downloaded Show

      This talk was given by Tim Kring, creator of the popular TV show Heroes, and he made some interesting points — noting that he’s “honored” that Heroes is the most “illegally” downloaded TV show out there, because “we’ll take audience anywhere we can get it.” But he’s not just sitting back.

    • Dan Bull Recaps How Home Taping Killed Music With His Latest Song
    • Linking to P2P content declared legal in Spain

      This is an important and interesting ruling. I tend to agree with the linking part of the reasoning, but I completely disagree with the argument presented by the judge with regards to P2P networks. The judge uses some paper-thin arguments here to imply that P2P networks are not illegal, that they are here to stay anyway so what is the problem, and that almost nothing taking place in those networks can be enforced. I would be surprised if SGAE does not appeal the ruling.

    • File-Sharing and Link Sites Declared Legal in Spain

      After early calls to shut down a Spanish file-sharing site were dismissed, music group SGAE pinned its hopes on success at the full trial. But, the outcome for them was nothing short of a disaster. The judge declared that both non-commercial file-sharing link sites and non-profit use of P2P networks are legal in Spain.

    • Vive Le Rapidshare – Is A New French Revolution Afoot?

      Now half a year old, a study from the University of Rennes researched 2,000 users in Brittany about their downloading habits before and after Hadopi’s launch. The report found that P2P service use fell from 17.1 percent to 14.6 percent, but the piracy level in general actually went up 3 percent.

    • Music fans will sidestep filesharing clampdown says TalkTalk

      The majority of music fans will switch to alternative ways of accessing copyright-protected content for free if using peer-to-peer (P2P) services leaves them vulnerable to disconnection, rendering futile the Government’s attempts to stop copyright infringement.
      That’s according to new research from TalkTalk, the biggest provider of broadband to Britain’s homes.

    • Spotifies Mean Online Now Filling UK’s CD Royalty Gap

      One part of the music business has finally reached the fabled tipping point at which digital income offsets declining physical sales.

    • Two solicitors accused over file-sharing ‘bully tactics’

      The Solicitors Regulation Authority has referred two solicitors from London firm Davenport Lyons to the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal over claims that the firm sent ‘bullying’ letters accusing hundreds of people of illegal file-sharing.

      Consumer group Which? complained to the SRA in 2008 that Davenport Lyons partner David Gore and former partner Brian Miller had engaged in ‘bullying’ and ‘excessive’ conduct, while acting on behalf of client copyright holders.

    • ACTA/Digital Economy Bill

      • Why I Bother Acting on ACTA

        Well, the fact that two years ago very few had heard of ACTA, whereas today many people know and care about it, is sufficient reason to carry on: it does make a difference, and people are starting to realise how serious this is. Moreover, hints like this suggest that making noise, even in that notorious echo-chamber that is the blogosphere, gets noticed in rarefied and exalted regions of power:

        Recent informations have revealed to me that the worldwide anti-ACTA campaign is having an impact on EU officials, a number of which are following closely the highlights of the most well-known blogs and webs. This is a sign of the success of an effective public campaign that has forced the EU out of its bunker and into the open battlefield over the content of this important international agreement.

      • Written Declaration 12/2010 signatories list
      • UK copyright law to be changed ‘without scrutiny’

        A major change to UK copyright law is likely to be introduced and debated within the space of one hour on the last day of the current parliament, according to Labour MP Tom Watson.

        Watson said the lack of time available for parliamentary discussion before the general election — expected to be on 6 May — means the Digital Economy Bill will skip the weeks of scrutiny usually given to complex legislation.

        “This is a fiendishly complex piece of legislation, and it therefore requires proper and adequate scrutiny,” Watson said to ZDNet UK on Tuesday. “At the moment, it looks like it will get a day’s second reading where [MPs] talk about the general principles of the bill, then it’ll be banged through in an hour on the last day of Parliament.”

      • Fight to Save the Net by UK Liberal Democrats

        Even if you are not in the UK, the UK LibDems fight to Save the Net matters. A LibDem emergency motion opposing copyright measures to block the Internet which are currently going through the UK Parliament is to be debated at their conference tomorrow.

        [...]

        A UK LibDems Save the Net Facebook page has been started to gather support. It is open to all, even non-Party members, and non-UK residents. The point of it is to let the UK government – and other EU governments – know how much people want to keep the Internet open, and how much they oppose blocking it:

        “This group needs proof that millions of people like you care about the Net so that they can convince the UK Government, or indeed any government, not to block websites or disconnect people from the Net by law. Wherever you are in the world, become a fan and show that the Net matters to you. ”

        And they explain that they have set up the page because: “The UK’s Labour Government thinks people in the UK wants them to control the Net. It’s trying to push through Lord Mandelson’s Digital Economy Bill before the UK elections in May/June. The UK’s Conservative Opposition seems to agree with them. The UK Lib Dems are the only mainstream party which is trying to stop them. ”

      • Well done Lib Dems: now ask what your candidates think

        Not a single speaker made any comment against the text – and Liberal Democrats reiterated their opposition to the closed ACTA negotiations. They emphasised the huge social, educational and economic value of the net today.

      • Third Reading DEB

        Very happy to note that the Liberal Democrats, with some input from lobby groups including independent academics such as myself, Francis Davey and Simon Bradshaw, have tabled amendments today which alleviate the worst excesses of amendment 120a. Good to see that even in the time-compressed framework of the run up to the general election, a party can still speedily take account both of external criticisms and its own grassroots and party concerns. I would still rather see both am 120a and clause 17 (now 18) go, since both raise dangers of fundamentally interfering with due process, proper scrutiny and civil liberties; but if not that, this is a step forward. Now let’s see what happens today.

      • The Day Democracy Died: DEB

        The Lib Dem amendments I mentioned in my previous posts – alongside some equally sensible amendments designed in particular to stop every search engine being blocked under clause 18 – were rejected by the Government this afternoon in the Lords, on what appeared to be legally spurious grounds, to the clear dismay and disquiet of the Lords.

        Shortly thereafter it appears some kind of deal was done whereby the Government announced they would bring forward unspecified changes to the disputed clause 18 at “wash up” – the pre election stage where legislation is pushed through with no opportunity for MPs to propose amendments or even , perhaps, make comments in debate, let alone scrutinise. It seems all opportunity for democratic amendment to the Bill has now come to an end.

        [...]

        There is one way forward for here for democratic scrutiny to be restored, and that is for MPs to demand a debate at the Commons stage of the Bill and refuse to allow this messed up mockery of legislation to pass on the nod. Write to your MP and demand this. Go on one of the rallies and flash mobs planned for next week by ORG. Write to the BPI and tell then that you did not vote for them to run the country. Make your voice heard.

      • Yesterday in the Lords: DEB
      • UK Lords Pass Digital Economy Bill, Now Look To Rush It Through Commons

Clip of the Day

Home Taping is Killing Music

03.16.10

Links 16/3/2010: Amarok 2.3.0, SimplyMEPIS 8.5 Preview

Posted in News Roundup at 3:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Fluendo Launches the Ultimate Media Center for Linux Operating Systems

    Fluendo has announced the release of its Media Center, a software application developed by the Spanish company. Fluendo Media Center’s versatility was evident from the off when it was used for reproducing a whole manner of multimedia in a variety of devices using completely different platforms. Whether on Windows or Linux; on netbooks, mobile internet devices (MIDs), notebooks or set-top boxes, Fluendo Media Center demonstrated not only its outstanding adaptability, but also its multiple features, attractive graphics and user-friendly interface. This first release will only be operational on Linux distributions but it is expected to get the application running on Windows in the near future.

  • Linux desktop innovations to look forward to

    These are testing times: if you want to experience the latest advances on the Linux desktop, you have to be prepared to test things and accept that stability is a secondary feature.

    The continued development of KDE 4 is the perfect example. Many of its users have felt like guinea pigs over the last couple of years, while its developers have filled in the missing blanks on the path to a fully operational desktop.

  • Security

    • Multi-user Security in Linux

      There are certainly ways to prevent users from running downloaded programs, but in the end, the multi-user security of a system will depend on security of every piece of software installed. Preventing the exploits from being successful, a la SELinux, adds the most viable method of protection. Coupled with a frequently updated system, additional restrictions such as rbash aren’t generally necessary.

    • Collection of security checks for Linux

      The aim of Buck Security is, to allow you to get a quick overview of the security status of your system. As a Linux system administrator – but also as a normal Linux user – you often wonder if your system is secure. In this situation it is useful to get an overview of the security status of the system immediately. Buck Security was designed exactly for this. It runs important tests and returns the results to you after a couple of minutes.

    • Got Security? You’re in Denial
  • Desktop

    • An adventure with an HP printer/scanner and Ubuntu

      Now smug with the ease with which that had worked I started installing the HP driver software on a popular proprietary operating system so I could use it to configure the printer’s WiFi feature (something I assumed I couldn’t do from within Ubuntu – an assumption that turns out to have been wrong). Ten minutes later it was still finishing off the install process, but eventually I did get the printer hooked up to our wireless network.

      Back to the Lucid machine, I told it to add a new printer, it immediately saw the HP announcing itself on the network and let me quickly add that and I could print over wifi. Pretty nifty stuff.

      [...]

      So there we have it, out of the box I was up and running within 10 seconds of plugging the device in, and if I’d known to just install hp-toolbox I would have had everything running wirelessly a few minutes later.

    • Donate Your Old Hardware
    • Dell Still pricing Linux higher than Windows on same hardware

      We, my partner and I receive a regular advertising newsletter from Dell, because our company is on their mailing list, apparently although we have never purchased a single Dell, we are one of their best customers (the deal is offered to quote “our best customers”). The latest one was pushing a special rate on Dell Laptops and desktops with Windows 7, around $1750. So I rang the up and asked for a price with Linux.

  • Africa

    • Linux in the developing world – Can the community help spread it?

      If you live in a “well to do” country for instance, downloading 600MB of data might be a matter of minutes, but to those of us who only have 1GB of bandwidth for a whole month, it generally is out of the question. This first bottleneck alone puts Linux out of the use of most people in developing parts of the world.

    • XO Laptops Have Transformed Ntugi Mixed Day School

      On my own behalf and on behalf of Ntugi Mixed Day School let me thank Upper Canada College and Mark Battley in particular for helping the school to get XO laptops. The laptops have boosted the morale of both students and teachers in the school.

      Some parents have transferred their kids from the neighbouring schools to our school because we are the only secondary school connected to Internet. This has raised the school enrollment from 4 classes to 6 classes. Students are using them, especially in Science and Geography. In the 2009 Science Congress, two projects scooped the best 2 positions in the District and were ranked No. 9 and 10 out of 102 in the Provincials. Previously, no Ntugi student had participated in Science Congress.

      [...]

      The Kenya National Examination Council has started registering students for the National exams online. Schools without Internet facilities are greatly challenged. As the Head of Ntugi Secondary School, I feel very humbled for this donation (laptops) as it has made my work very easy when registering students for the National exams. (K.C.S.E).

  • Server

    • Supercomputers run open source software

      ACCORDING TO Novell nine out of ten of the most powerful supercomputers in the world run open source software.

      The numbers come from the Top 500 supercomputers list, which shows that Linux powers nine of the top ten, and in total eighty five percent of the whole 500. In case you are wondering what this has to do with Novell, Novell’s SuSE Linux Enterprise Server runs on six of the top ten.

  • Kernel Space

    • More ATI Radeon KMS Power Management Fun

      Power management support within the Linux kernel for the ATI Radeon DRM driver has been in development for months and gone through several revisions, but with the forthcoming Linux 2.6.34 kernel there is initial ATI KMS power management support. For making the power management situation even better, over the weekend Alex Deucher of AMD has been working on another set of patches.

    • Linus Torvalds- The future of Linux

      In fifteen years, I expect somebody else to come along and say, hey, I can do everything that Linux can do but I can be lean and mean about it because my system won’t have twenty years of baggage holding it back. They’ll say Linux was designed for the 386 and the new CPUs are doing the really interesting things differently. Let’s drop this old Linux stuff. This is essentially what I did when creating Linux. And in the future, they’ll be able to look at our code, and use our interfaces, and provide binary compatibility, and if all that happens I’ll be happy.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Amarok 2.3.0 “Clear Light” Released

        The Amarok team just released Amarok 2.3.0. It comes with many bugfixes and improvements such as a new funky toolbar and a rewritten file browser featuring much better integration with the rest of Amarok. Read the release notes and enjoy rediscovering your music!

      • Second Krita Sprint Ends With Tea

        It’s Sunday now in Deventer and, except for Lukas Tvrdy, all Krita hackers have gone home — or, in the case of your author, stayed home. Time for tea and writing a recap of the whole sprint and hackfest!

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst to Open 2010 Open Source Business Conference with Keynote Address on Why Open Source is More Critical Than Ever

        Red Hat, Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!rht/quotes/nls/rht (RHT 30.76, 0.00, 0.00%) , the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that President and CEO, Jim Whitehurst, will deliver the opening keynote address at Open Source Business Conference (OSBC) 2010. OSBC brings together open source vendors, customers, partners and community members to share strategies and hear the most current thinking on open source from the top experts in the field.

      • Opinion: RHEL 5 turns 3, Suggestions for Red Hat

        Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (Tikanga) was released on March 14, 2007 and yesterday was RHEL 5′s 3rd birthday. Since then we have gotten 4 update releases.

        Given the fact that Red Hat’s original plan was to have a new RHEL release every 18 – 24 months, one has to wonder where RHEL 6 is and why it is so late. My best guess is that RHEL 6 (which so far has had a non-public alpha release within Red Hat as witnessed in some Bugzilla reports) will come out sometime this summer… possibly in time for the Red Hat Summit in Boston (June 22-25, 2010). For that to happen I would expect a public beta for RHEL 6 to be released in the not too distant future. We’ll see how that pans out.

    • Debian Family

      • First Glance at SimplyMEPIS 8.5

        All Linux users have their own vision of the ideal distribution. Some people crave stability, others want new and exciting features, some people are very security focused and others are concerned about licensing. Warren Woodford has his own vision and he’s made it accessible to the world via MEPIS. This week he was willing to take a few minutes to talk about his creation.

      • Ubuntu

        • And The Reason Why The Metacity Window Buttons Are On The Left In Ubuntu 10.04 Is…
        • Ubuntu forgets to add new system sounds for Lucid…
        • Dynamic Ubuntu Sun- Theme that changes depending on the time day
        • Shuttleworth says progress made on distribution cadence

          Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical, says some progress has been made towards what he calls cadence, an alignment of versions and release schedules, between distributions, even though his earlier proposals of a formal alignment between Debian and Ubuntu were not taken up. He points to an informal synchronisation between Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and Debian Squeeze on the Kernel, GCC, Python, OpenOffice.org, Perl and Boost versions, as an example of progress.

        • Adventures with Ubuntu Karmic Koala

          My laptop is an HP Pavilion dv6 2020ax and the Ubuntu version I tried to install was Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala.

        • Running Alpha Lucid on the Dell T7500

          The T7500 is just stupid fast, and Lucid’s a nice interface for the hardware. I don’t have enough up and running yet to do any legitimate comparative benchmarking versus my usual hardware, but it’s impressive even on trivial applications. The disk usage analyzer, for example, scans the entire filesystem in less than ten seconds; with either of my old machines, runtime was a minute to two, depending on what else was running.

        • Ubuntu 10.04: Waiting for the Lucid Lynx

          I’m particularly interested in this particular release of Ubuntu since I’ve been using the previous Ubuntu LTS 8.04 Hardy Heron and am looking forward to upgrading. For those of you in the same boat, if you want to keep current on the moment-by-moment (almost, anyway) changes to Lucid, you can sign up to receive email notifications.

          Waiting for something can be difficult and, after all, in the world of technology, six-weeks is almost an eternity. If patience is your virtue though, April 29th is right around the corner.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-based tool simplifies Cell processor programming

      Codeplay’s Offload programming tool suite is available for the development of software for Cell Broadband Engine powered devices running under Linux.

      The Offload tool suite provides a Windows-based GCC SDK so that code can be offloaded to the SPUs on the Cell Broadband Engine.

      It uses the Eclipse CDT and the Offload Player Debugger for executing and debugging code on the target Cell Broadband Engine hardware.

    • Phones

      • Desktop Linux without the desk.

        Now all we need is a Maemo 5 port of Gnumeric for spreadsheets. Since there’s already a version for previous-gen tablets that shouldn’t be too hard, should it?

        As stated off the top of the post, this is but a taste of the wondrous FLOSS apps available for the N900. If there’s something specific that you’re looking for leave me a comment below and I’ll see if it’s available…

      • Android

        • 10 Android Apps You Need To Download NOW!

          Have you ever seen one of those lists on a tech site giving you this list of apps that they claim are the end-all-be-all of lists? The type of article that swears up and down that what they are telling you is for your own good, and that the author knows everything about all of the apps in the Market? Yes? Great! Here’s another one!

        • BlackBerry Users Pine for Android

          A recent Crowd Science study indicates that BlackBerry users have wandering eyes and are considering other platforms for their next handset. Roughly 1/3rd of BlackBerry owners would switch to an Android phone, specifically the Nexus One. According to Crowd Science CEO John Martin, this indicates a restlessness with the current brand and allure of other platforms. On the other hand, Android users are very loyal to their handsets. Roughly 90% of those surveyed planned to stay with green robot-powered phones.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Banish boring terminal windows with Bashish

    Swedish student Thomas Eriksson says a lot of advanced computer usage is still best done from the terminal. Given that, he’s developed Bashish to provide a more useful and beautiful terminal environment.

    Bashish is a theme engine for the console, providing themes with different colors, fonts, and cool-looking graphics. The name Bashish is a play on bash (the Bourne Again SHell), the hash symbol (# – the root indicator in bash and tcsh), and hashish. Think of it as an addictive terminal theme utility. But it’s not just eye candy – Bashish can also provide useful visual feedback. For instance, it can change colors, font, transparency, and background image on a per-application basis.

  • Open source enables innovation without lawyers or fees

    Committed to freely providing software code back to developers and customers, open source followers often passionately evangelise its benefits over the licensed software model.

    However, Mr Burkhardt — previously chief technology officer at the New York Stock Exchange, where he established an open-source IT shop — rejects the fervent approach, saying open source is a “pragmatic decision”.

    He says proprietary software innovation is driven by commercial return and legal protection, which is supported by costly, ongoing licensing fees.

  • the_source Episode 11 “Open Source Around The House” Released

    Join me on a tour of my house as I show how I use open source software in nearly every room. This episode also is the first to use my new intro. This episode is NOT sponsored by the Apple iPad.

  • Alfresco Continues Open Source Partner Momentum

    Alfresco Software, which specializes in open source enterprise content management, says it more than doubled its partner network in 2009. But here’s the really interesting part: Alfresco partners are earning $10 to $15 worth of services for every dollar of Alfresco Enterprise subscriptions sold. Here are the details.

  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla Launches Firefox Mobile Add-On Challenge

      Mozilla has launched a contest to spur on development of add-ons for its recently-released Firefox for Mobile browser. Between now and April 12, developers are encouraged to create extensions or other add-ons tailored for the mobile browser. The top ten submissions (as judged by Mozilla’s Add-ons and Mobile teams) will each be awarded a package containing a Mozilla t-shirt, phone case, and a brand-new Nokia N900 phone — which runs the Maemo mobile Linux operating system and was the very first device to support Firefox for Mobile.

      The goal of the contest is to extend Firefox in innovative ways that take special advantage of the fact that the browser is mobile: the small screen size, the touch-screen interface, and the out-and-about nature carrying the browser in your pocket. Complete rules for the contest are available on developer.mozilla.org and specify compatibility and UI style guidelines. The contest is for add-ons which in Mozilla parlance includes both extensions and media plugins, though most of the discussion centers on extensions. The judges indicate three areas which they are most interested in seeing add-ons break new ground: using native device APIs, photo / media / social sharing tools, and session- and file-saving tools.

  • Programming

    • Introducing the PyPy 1.2 release

      We are pleased to announce PyPy’s 1.2 release. This version 1.2 is a major milestone and it is the first release to ship a Just-in-Time compiler that is known to be faster than CPython (and unladen swallow) on some real-world applications (or the best benchmarks we could get for them). The main theme for the 1.2 release is speed.

Leftovers

  • Celebrity death match: HTML5 Vs Flash

    So, Steve Jobs’ grunting about CPU hoggage don’t quite hold water apparently. Then again, did anyone really expect his aversion to Adobe’s flash to come down to anything less than politics?

  • Comcast CEO defends NBC deal, unsure on Hulu

    Comcast CEO Brian Roberts headed back to Capitol Hill on Thursday to defend his company’s proposed merger with NBC Universal, offering what by now are familiar assurances that the combined company won’t use its market power to bully smaller cable competitors, raise prices for consumers or restrict access to Internet video.

  • Dot Com Turns 25: How Failure Turned to Success

    The very first dot com domain symbolics.com was registered 25 years ago today on March 15, 1985. From that event a quarter century ago, there are now over 192 million total domain name registrations, with some 96.7 million domain names that are registered as dot com or dot net.

  • Walmart fires employee with inoperable brain tumor for legally using marijuana outside of work

    Joseph Casias has sinus cancer and an inoperable brain tumor and takes medical marijuana, which is legal in Michigan. He was fired from the Michigan Walmart where he had been working for the last five years after he failed a drug screening test there.

  • Science

    • SETI at 50

      Are we alone in the universe? That’s the big question the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) seeks to answer, and so far the answer appears to be yes. In the half-century since Frank Drake first used a radio telescope to begin searching for alien radio signals, there has been no message from ET—indeed no artificial radio traffic of any description.

  • Security

    • Iran hacks US spy sites, arrests 30 activists

      Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps hacked into 29 websites affiliated with US espionage networks, Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency reported on Sunday.

    • Car dealer alleges Carrollton police roughed him up; incident reports differ

      Staten’s attorneys said their client was racially profiled by Carrollton police when they spotted him in a shopping center one afternoon after he changed the license plates, as required by law, on a blue 1997 Geo Prizm. Staten was waiting to deliver the car to a client who was getting a cashier’s check at a nearby bank.

    • DNSSEC Moving Ahead at .Org and ICANN

      Since at least the summer of 2008, when security researcher Dan Kaminksy disclosed a critical vulnerability in DNS, the global Internet domain routing ecosystem has been moving to implement DNSSEC, which provides is a digitally signed mechanism to authenticate the integrity of DNS information, secure the system and prevent attacks.

    • The Future of Botnets

      A lot of people in the security industry are paid to think like attackers: pen testers, security consultants, software security experts. But some of these people have never met an actual black hat, so much of their work is necessarily based on what they think attackers might do in a given situation.

      Considering the stakes in today’s security game, gleaning intelligence from professional attackers is an invaluable experience for researchers on the other side of the ball. Robert Hansen, a security researcher and CEO of SecTheory, has been doing just that in recent months, having a series of off-the-record conversations with spammers and malicious hackers in an effort to gain insight into their tactics, mindset and motivation.

    • Conversations With a Blackhat

      So let’s say I’m badguy1 who wants to break into one or more companies of interest. Sure, I could work for days or weeks and maybe get into one or both of them, but at the risk of tipping my hand to the companies and there’s always a chance I’ll fail entirely. Or I could work with badguy2 who has a botnet. I could simply give a list of IPs, domains or email addresses of known targets to the bot herder and say that instead of paying a few cents to rent some arbitrary machine for a day, I’ll pay thousands of dollars to get a bot within the company I’m actually interested in.

    • Crooks plant fake payment card terminals at multiple stores

      Crooks planted bogus payment card processing terminals at multiple locations operated by the Hancock Fabrics chain store that allowed for the theft of sensitive financial data from customers, the company warned.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • US Intelligence Planned To Destroy WikiLeaks

      This document is a classified (SECRET/NOFORN), 32-page US counterintelligence investigation into WikiLeaks (PDF). ‘The possibility that current employees or moles within DoD or elsewhere in the US government are providing sensitive or classified information to Wikileaks.org cannot be ruled out.’ It concocts a plan to fatally marginalize the organization. Since WikiLeaks uses ‘trust as a center of gravity by protecting the anonymity and identity of the insiders, leakers or whistleblowers,’ the report recommends ‘The identification, exposure, termination of employment, criminal prosecution, legal action against current or former insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers could potentially damage or destroy this center of gravity and deter others considering similar actions from using the Wikileaks.org Web site.’ [As two years have passed since the date of the report, with no WikiLeaks' source exposed, it appears that this plan was ineffective.] As an odd justification for the plan, the report claims that ‘Several foreign countries including China, Israel, North Korea, Russia, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe have denounced or blocked access to the Wikileaks.org website.’ The report provides further justification by enumerating embarrassing stories broken by WikiLeaks — US equipment expenditure in Iraq, probable US violations of the Chemical Warfare Convention Treaty in Iraq, the battle over the Iraqi town of Fallujah and human rights violations at Guantanamo Bay.

    • US spooks plotted to destroy Wikileaks

      In this two-year-old classified Army Counterintelligence Center report (hosted on wikileaks.org, where else?), American spooks set out to destroy Wikileaks by intimidating its sources. They cite as justification for this the fact that Wikileaks has outed American embarrassments and crimes including “US equipment expenditure in Iraq, probable US violations of the Chemical Warfare Convention Treaty in Iraq, the battle over the Iraqi town of Fallujah and human rights violations at Guantanamo Bay.”

    • China warns Google to obey rules even if it pulls out

      Google should obey Chinese government rules even if it decides to retreat from the country over hacking and censorship complaints, a Chinese government spokesman said on Tuesday.

    • Facebook users warned over stalk-my-profile scam

      A bogus application that lures Facebook users by falsely offering to show who has been viewing their profile has been exposed as a scam.

    • Facebook removing stalker applications

      Facebook says it is “aggressively disabling” applications that claim to allow users to see who is viewing their profile.

    • While Facebook & Twitter Sit on Sidelines, MySpace Jumps Into Bulk User Data Sales

      Those updates will now be available for bulk analysis.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Tell the copyright czar how US enforcement should work: 9 days left!

      You’ve got nine days left to file comments for Victoria Espinel, the Obama administration’s new copyright enforcement czar, and her department’s inquiry on how the US should best enforce copyrights. Given that the president himself has spoken out in favor of the secret and sinister Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (AKA ACTA — a punishing copyright treaty that seeks to expand the American DMCA and push it around the world), and that he plans to bring it down by executive order, without an act of Congress, this is especially urgent.

    • IFPI says labels DO invest in music

      It sounds like an obvious thing to say, right? Of course labels invest in music and the artists who make it: that’s the definition of a record label.

    • Film Review at Heart of Suit Against Variety

      In a step that is unusual even for litigation-heavy Hollywood, the maker of “Iron Cross,” a small independent film that has yet to find a distributor, charged in a complaint filed on Tuesday that the trade paper Variety had damaged the movie.

    • Pirate Bay legal action dropped in Norway

      Copyright holders have given up legal efforts to force Norwegian ISP Telenor to block filesharing site The Pirate Bay, one of the parties to the case said.

      The copyright holders, led by Norway’s performing rights society TONO and by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry Norway (IFPI Norge) Norway have lost two rounds in the Norwegian court system, and have now decided against appealing the case to Norway’s supreme court, the organisations said.

    • A Barcelona judge confirms the legality of P2P in Spain

Clip of the Day

Episode 11 – “Open Source Around The House”


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