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04.22.11

Links 22/4/2011: Planning for GNOME 3.2

Posted in News Roundup at 5:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Ubuntu Linux boosted by 10,000 seat PC win

    Canonical has taken the wraps off a morale-boosting deal that has seen German insurance giant LVM Versicherungen convert 10,000 PCs to use Ubuntu Linux across the company’s operations.

    [...]

    The official release made no mention of the operating system being displaced but Techworld understands these were running older versions of Windows in recent years.

  • The Commodore 64 Lives Again

    The new iteration of the classic computer won’t run Windows (although the company claims you’ll be able to install it if you so choose). Instead, the Commodore 64 runs a version of the Linux operating system on an Intel processor, and boasts 2GB of memory and a modern Blu-ray or rewritable DVD optical drive.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • New Nvidia Linux Driver Supports Ubuntu 11.04

        On April 20th, Nvidia launched version 270.41.06 of its graphics driver, which brought initial support for Xorg Server 1.10 and support for the upcoming Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) operating system.

  • Applications

    • Glipper Gets Ubuntu AppIndicator Support
    • Mobile Media Converter, Cross-Platform Audio, Video Conversion Software

      You encounter so many different video and audio formats both on your computer and on the Internet that you often need a software to convert media to make it compatible with your preferred software or hardware media players. The sheer amount of formats available sometimes makes this a difficulty process, considering that you need to find software that supports all the formats on your computer.

    • Geany – A Great Lightweight Code Editor For Linux

      Surprisingly, Linux doesn’t offer that many good IDE’s (Integrated Development Environments). I believe this is because back in the day most Linux programmers took out good old Notepad (or gedit in this case), and started coding from that.

    • More Of The Best Linux Screenlets

      Many users are already familiar with the advantages that Screenlets can offer, so I decided to seek out which ones were essential to the productivity and aesthetics of any desktop. Screenlets are small community created Python applications that can add style and functionality to your Linux desktop. Screenlets are easy to use, easy to create, and there are hundreds available to download. After extensive testing I found this select bunch of Screenlets particularly useful, many are included by default. More information about Screenlets and coming updates can be found at the bottom of this post.

    • 6 of the Best Free Linux Web Caches

      Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is considered to be the fundamental protocol of the web. This simple request/response protocol is used for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. The web consumes a large portion of internet traffic.

      With HTTP, a client makes a request for a resource to a server, and the server delivers messages with additional content such as images, style sheets and JavaScripts. HTTP dictates how these messages are displayed and transmitted, and how web servers and browsers should respond to various commands.

    • Audacious 2.5.0 Released With Option To Dock Plugins Into The GTK Interface, Configurable Columns, More [PPA]
    • Proprietary

      • Opera Browser: Strong Enough to Sing the Big Boys Off the Stage?

        Coke or Pepsi? Kirk or Picard? Betty or Veronica? The great battles of the marketplace tend to be duels, and few people gripe if you leave out RC, Sisko, or Cheryl Blossom. The “Browser Wars” are no different, with “IE vs. Firefox” having replaced “Netscape vs. IE” long ago, and other options are often forgotten. Opera has been one of the strongest alternate browsers for a long time, and it was my browser of choice prior to Firefox. Opera 11 (free) continues the Opera tradition of doing something different instead of a minor reskin of someone else’s codebase, and delivers a plethora of features that are actually designed to be usable, not to pad out a checklist.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Vi: An Introduction
      • Gnome 2. Anonymous browsing with Tor

        I wanted to experience the thrill of browsing anonymously, or to a navigation system that does not easily reveal the information on the connection you use. The choice of which software to use is gone on Tor, but only because it is the most famous. Personally, I proceeded to download the latest version of TOR available for my GNU/Linux directly from its site.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE 4.6.1

        A few weeks ago, I upgraded to KDE 4.6.1 in Fedora 14 from KDE 4.5. The first login after reboot dumped me into Gnome. What the heck was going on? Apparently, in GDM, the entry had changed from KDE4 to KDE Plasma Desktop. Once I logged in that way, I was able to see the new KDE. The biggest change I saw was that notifications looked much nicer. It’s hard to quantify in what way they looked nicer, but something they changed about the appearance is makes it more appealing to my eyes. Also, the way it animates really helps a lot. For example, when two of my contacts sign into IM networks at the same time, the second notification is smaller so that my desktop is not overwhelmed with notifications. If I mouse over the second one, it grows and the first one shrinks.

      • KWin and Plasma Active

        Plasma Active is an extremely awesome project and I am really looking forward to work on it and have my first own Plasma powered tablet. Of course KWin will be the Compositor and Window Manager in Plasma Active. And this is pretty awesome and very interesting for our future development.

      • Marble desktop globe adds map creation wizard

        The Marble development team has released version 1.1 of the KDE Education Project’s virtual globe application, which is similar to Google’s Earth application. According to the developers, the update is special as a number of the new features were developed as part of Google Code-in (GCI), leading the developers to decide to “get it out between the usual KDE application releases” – KDE 4.6 includes Marble 1.0 by default.

        Marble 1.1 features the addition of a new map creation wizard that supports three different kinds of map themes; maps made from one large source image, maps which are accessible from tile servers like OpenStreetMap, Google Maps or Ovi Maps, or those accessible via Web Map Service (WMS) servers. However, the developers consider the map creation wizard to be a “technical preview”, noting that it version 1.2 of Marble will improve its usability and include “additional features that could not be introduced in Marble 1.1 while keeping the library binary compatible at the same time.”

      • First ownCloud Sprint

        For four days, starting on Friday April 15th, about half a dozen souls gathered in the hive01 headquarters in Stuttgart. The goal of this very first ownCloud sprint was to discuss, plan and of course hack on the web services project.

        To kickoff we had a brainstorming session and discussion of the topics that were to be dealt with over the following days. We extensively debated fundamental things concerning the future directions of ownCloud.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Gnome’s new makeover upsets traditional users

        It was a movement started by the KDE group around 3 years ago — radically redesigning how the Linux desktop looks. Since then, Ubuntu — the most popular flavor of Linux out there — latched on and announced it too will radically alter how the computer interface will look.

        Through all the retching changes, the ‘conservative’ linux user always had the predictable and most popular ‘skin’ of Linux — Gnome — to fall back on. It was the default on most flavors (distributions) of Linux — till this week.

      • Planning for GNOME 3.2 underway
  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Some screenshots of Mandriva 2011 Beta 2

        Ms. Susan Linton described her impressions on the second beta release of Mandriva 2011 here. There are some additional comments here. Can you guess what the common denominator is? :-P
        In my case, I don’t like the Rosa launcher, either. I’m also a bit sad because the netdrake seems to be gone, along with the desktop cube effect.
        However, I’d like to focus this entry on the new features…

    • Red Hat Family

      • [Luc de Louw] I got employed by Red Hat

        I’ll continue to work at Siemens IT Solutions and Services AG until approx. mid of June and start working at Red Hat at 1st of July.

      • Fedora

        • Sanity saver: Fedora 15 answers Ubuntu’s Unity

          The Fedora 15 beta from the Red-Hat sponsored Fedora Project has dropped squarely into a moment of uncertainty and upheaval for the Linux desktop.

          The planned new Unity interface for Ubuntu 11.04, that replaces GNOME, is rough start. And while GNOME 3 – Fedora’s new default desktop – is considerably more mature than Unity, it’s still a radical break with the past that’s already bringing out the dissenters.

          It’s enough to make even the most diehard of GNOME fans retreat to the stable, if somewhat foreign, world of KDE. But not Fedora. Fedora is bravely diving into the GNOME 3 waters, even serving as one of the GNOME 3 live demos. Indeed most users will likely get their first taste of GNOME 3 from Fedora, which looks to be the first major distro to ship a final release with GNOME 3.

    • Debian Family

      • Try 2 Non-Debian Grandchildren this Summer

        April is raining Ubuntu and its family and open source world seems over loaded on Debian distros, what with Canonical adopting a bi-annual release this month forwards. Debian and its derivatives appear to be the flavour of the month but there are far too many Linux distros that are apt for Summer.

        Let us look at three distros that are non-Debian Grandchildren. First is the Xange, a true blue blood Fedora with the elegance of KDE. Fusion Linux distro, which runs every application, meant for desktops without requiring new installations is a Fedora that retains its popularity rating for its high-compatibility capability. Third, fuddle around with the Fuduntu on your lappie or netbook and enjoy a summer of flashy, elegance and fuddly distros.

      • People behind Debian: Meike Reichle, member of Debian Women

        Meike Reichle is a Debian developer since 2008 but has been involved for longer than that, in particular in Debian Women. She’s a great speaker and shared her experience in a Debconf talk.

        She’s also part of the Debian publicity team and managed the live coverage of the last release on identi.ca. Enough introduction, learn more about her by reading the interview. My questions are in bold, the rest is by Meike.

        [...]

        Debian press work is mainly about providing an official and coordinated point of contact to anyone wanting information from or about Debian. The press team answers all sorts of inquiries (the most popular one is is of course always the next release date) and makes sure all important events and developments within Debian receive the attention and recognition they deserve. Debian is a diverse project where every sort of contributor is free to voice his or her opinion in any way. We don’t have NDAs or prescribed terminology. That’s one of the things I love about Debian but also something that makes us difficult to handle for conventional media. They want official statements, in generally understandable terms, at appointed times. That’s what the press team takes care of. Almost all of the press work is done in the publicity team, which coordinates using IRC, Mail and SVN. The publicity team also publishes the Debian Project News, which are very popular among our users and developers. Press work is also an area of work that offers lots of possibilities for non-technical contribution. http://wiki.debian.org/Teams/Publicity lists a number of possibilities for contribution and, like most Debian Teams, we’d be more than grateful to get some more helping hands and happy to introduce interested newcomers to our work.

      • Special mention for Special purpose Debain-Med distro
      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Canonical takes another step against the Community

          In a posting to the Sounder mailing list earlier today, Ubuntu Linux maker Canonical announced that the long running mailing list would be shuttered. The decision followed a recent heated political discussion on the list and a proposal to close the list the Community Council by Alan Pope.

          Even though the Sounder list might seem like an insignificant (and out of place) part of the community, I see this as yet another step that Canonical is taking against the very community that’s made Ubuntu so successful. With the debacle that is Ubuntu’s switch to Unity already polarizing users and driving many away and now the closing of a social list, it’s slowly becoming obvious that Canonical is taking a step away from the happy community project that could take over the desktop and taking one towards corporatism. The community, unless it tows the corporate line, doesn’t really matter to them anymore and that’s truly sad since it’s that very community that helped put the company where it is today.

        • Ubuntu is Shutting Down Off-Topic Mailing List
        • Ubuntu Natty in Virtualbox with Unity

          I have found myself explaining multiple times over the past few weeks how to get Ubuntu Natty with Unity working in Virtualbox virtual machines, there seems to be a common misconception that it doesn’t work (it does) and a common perception that it is not obvious how to do it (perfectly valid). So this is how. Firstly install a fairly new version of Oracle VirtualBox on your host operating system (I am using Ubuntu 10.10, I expect others including Windows would also work). The open source edition of Virtualbox might also work, but I am using the Oracle edition, not the OSE edition from the repositories.

          [...]

          Set up a new virtual machine, give it say a gig of ram and 32MB video ram

        • Ubuntu 11.04 UI Takes Inspiration From Smartphones

          Canonical has released details of the new version of its Linux-based Ubuntu operating system which has taken design inspirations from tablet and smartphone interfaces and brings the new Unity interface to all platforms.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 is ready for release

          A big change in the server update is the addition of the Cactus distribution of OpenStack. The open-source cloud platform has been incorporated alongside Eucalyptus into the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC). The move, revealed alongside the release of OpenStack’s Bexar version in February, puts a rival to Eucalpytus into the heart of UEC.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Stick a Fork in Flock: Why it Failed

        You might think that Flock failed simply because the idea, or execution, wasn’t good enough. I’ve written about Flock a number of times since 2005, and it might be hard to remember now — but there was a time when a “social browser” seemed like it might be a good idea. Flock tried to simplify interacting with social tools like Flickr, del.icio.us, and WordPress. This was long before Facebook and Twitter, which helped speed Flock’s demise.

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • I like OpenOffice disinvestment spin

      I like the ReadWriteWeb spin a lot but of course Oracle disinvests. Apparently they also axed their upcoming Cloud Office offering. As a computer users I just want to use my word processor (with a nice interface) and LibreOffice suits me best. It all about choice after all. My colleague Charles-H. Schulz wrote on behalf of the document foundation:

      The development of TDF community and LibreOffice is going forward as planned, and we are always willing to include new members and partners. We will provide as many information as we can with the progress of the situation. We are currently making every possible effort to offer a smooth transition to the project.

    • Red Hat’s Ceylon language is an unneeded tempest in a teapot

      Red Hat can’t be serious. The leading Linux vendor can’t really be planning to develop a brand-new programming language and SDK to compete with Java — can it?

  • CMS

    • Drupal 8 Design Initiative

      Way back in September 2010 I launched the Design 4 Drupal Core (D4DC) project – the initial goal was to define a better process for adding new themes to Drupal core. This grew out of the Drupal 7 process which was essentially a code race between Bartik and Corolla. It was clear to me this process could be improved. In the commercial world we always select the design first (as opposed to an entire theme), so I started making the argument that any new core theme would have to be selected based on the design – then coded into theme.

  • Project Releases

    • Firewall Builder Version 4.2 Released

      With today’s release of Firewall Builder V4.2, NetCitadel continues to demonstrate its leadership in the firewall configuration management market.

      Unlike many firewall analysis applications that only allow users to view and analyze firewall rules, Firewall Builder actually generates configuration files that can be loaded onto the firewall using the built-in installer. Even the most complex firewall rules are simple to configure in Firewall Builder letting organizations focus on their security policies instead of searching for commands.

  • Government

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Death of The Document

      The document as we know it — static and one-sided — has disappeared.

      Documents today are no longer stand-still and no longer offer only one view. The old model doesn’t work for today’s social and always-connected business. Business communication has evolved to become more fluid, dynamic and collaborative and is now an integral part of business processes. And the concept of a document (whether that be text, spreadsheet, presentation or a hybrid approach) is still one of the critical outputs of many businesses.

Leftovers

  • Copyrights

    • IMSLP Under Attack

      Today, the registrar of our domain, a division of Go-Daddy, froze our domain name (imslp.org) due to a complaint issued by the Music Publisher’s Association of the UK, who made two assertions in their complaint:

Clip of the Day

IRC Numbers Explanation


Credit: TinyOgg

Links 22/4/2011: Linux References in Portal 2, Preview of Fedora 15

Posted in News Roundup at 3:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Doesn’t Need To Kiss Anyone’s Ass

    I’m tired of everybody cringing in the corner apologizing for GNU/Linux and FOSS. I’m tired of these submissive little floor-kissers scurrying around to rush to the frat-hazing list of demands presented by the troll community. I’m tired of Linux being the only platform that is always under attack.

  • Server

    • System z Gets Extra Linux Support, Customer Win

      IBM continued to build momentum around its mainframe hardware, as Novell introduced extended Linux support for the big iron platform while Big Blue itself said it had snagged a significant competitive win for System z from Hewlett-Packard and Oracle.

      Novell said it would for the first time add SUSE Linux on System z to its Long Term Service Pack Support program. Under LTSS, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server customers get three years of additional support, mostly covering access to new service and security packs, in addition to seven years of general support.

  • Google

    • Exclusive: Chrome notebooks confirmed to be released June/July

      You may or may not have seen the news about the Google Chrome production notebooks floating around the web today. Ariotech reports that “Google product manager Sundar Pichai said, Google were still fixing some bugs and improving compatibility with devices such as digital cameras on Chrome OS.” and that they expected the company to release the devices during “Summer 2011.”

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • A Gnome Refugee’s Guide to Enlightenment

      The third major installment of the Gnome desktop released earlier this month and I am sure many users found themselves shell shocked with more than a few of the changes. Some will adjust, some will stick with Gnome 2 (or the classic desktop), and I am sure more than a few will go looking for something else to use as their desktop of choice. Bruce Byfield recently did an overview of seven alternatives to the Gnome 3 desktop and the second one he lists is the Enlightenment desktop.

    • A failure of logic

      Unity, KDE 4.6, Gnome 3 … are they all improvements, if they’re requiring the same amount of time, but more powerful hardware?

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Active Edge Screen Actions in KDE 4.6

        What actions can be configured? Any of the following:

        * No Action.
        * Show Dashboard.
        * Show Desktop.
        * Lock Screen.
        * Prevent Screen Locking.
        * Present Windows — All Desktops.
        * Present Windows — Current Desktop.
        * Desktop Grid.
        * Desktop Cube.
        * Desktop Cylinder.
        * Desktop Sphere.
        * Flip Switch — All Desktops.
        * Flip Switch — Current Desktop.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 3

        I have been using Fedora 15 for several weeks now and while I normally use Xmonad as my main desktop environment I have been using GNOME 3 so that I can work on Fedora Docs with a better understanding of the new system.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Scientific Linux 6 – Another great distro, but

        There are several critical questions we need to answer now. Is Scientific Linux any good? Yes, it is. It is a very robust, very decent, very capable desktop distro, with lots of great things. However, it requires some extra work to get fully configured.

      • Fedora

        • Preview of Fedora 15

          I haven’t had time to poke around with all the new features yet. I’ve only been running the Beta for a few hours. I don’t have any complaints so far.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty) Beta 2 Review

          Ubuntu Natty Beta 2 is out and this is the last Ubuntu Natty beta before the official release on April 28th. So what’s new in this beta? Well compared to the previous beta 1 there aren’t many visible changes except for lots of bug fixes and improvement in the stability of unity.

        • If You Are Going To Try Natty, Go All The Way. Otherwise Don’t Even Start

          Moving to Natty is not mere upgrading some code or some software packages. Moving to Natty needs us to change, to learn and to de-learn. You can’t move to Natty unless and until you ‘quit’ the Ubuntu you knew. Otherwise you will continue to struggle with trying to drag and drop applications on the top menu. Quit Ubuntu, if you want to move to Natty! Like it or not, that’s true.

        • Canonical confirms Apr. 28 release for Ubuntu 11.04, online trial version

          Canonical confirmed that it will ship Ubuntu 11.04 (“Natty Narwhal”) on April 28, and announced a new online trial version of the Linux operating system. The U.K.-based company also announced some new details of its server edition, including easier provisioning and a fully certified J2EE stack.

        • Ubuntu Linux 11.04′s Target Audience: Casual Windows Users

          Do you use Windows not because you like it or there’s some specific Windows-only application that you must use but because it’s what came on your PC? If that’s you, Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, wants you to try their soon to be out Ubuntu 11.04 Linux desktop.

          When I talked with Canonical marketing manager Gerry Carr, I hadn’t expected him to say that. Over the last few years, Linux desktop vendors haven’t really tried to take on Windows head-on. Oh, to be certain, I think the Linux desktop is great. I’m writing this story on Mint 10, an Ubuntu variant, and I use openSUSE 11.4, Fedora 14, and MEPIS 8.0 on other PCs and laptops. But, I know most people are content to use Windows because that’s what comes on their PCs. Carr thinks though that with Ubuntu 11.04’s new desktop interface and a few other tricks up Canonical’s sleeve, Ubuntu can win over “casual Windows users.”

        • Not Loch Ness, But An Ubuntu Sighting in Scotland

          I just returned from a trip to the Scottish Highlands in search of the Loch Ness Monster and the Bonnie Prince. While I’m sad to report that both remain elusive, I did spot Ubuntu in use by a small business where I least expected it. Here are the details.

          I took advantage of a few free days after a conference in London last week to travel up to Scotland, a gorgeous country which I’d never seen. After stops in different parts of the Lowlands, I made my way to Inverness, the rugged Highlands’ only real city. It’s a short drive from Loch Ness, which needs no introduction, and from Culloden, where the last attempt of the lawful sovereigns of Great Britain to recapture the throne from usurping foreigners ended in disaster in 1746.

        • Ubuntu Server 11.04: Fully baked in 7 days

          If you have nothing better to do next Thursday after stuffing yourself full of Easter lamb or ham on Sunday, you might want to wander over to Canonical, get a slice of “Natty Narwhal”, and chew on a bit of Ubuntu Server 11.04.

          The Natty Narwhal release is based on the Linux 2.6.38 kernel, which came out in mid-March with lots of interesting performance enhancements. One of the important ones is transparent huge pages (THPs), which boost the memory page size from 4KB to 2MB and considerably speed up database, virtual machine hypervisor, and guest operating system performance.

        • Meet Ubuntu 11.04 ‘Natty Narwhal’… Linux just got cool

          When Canonical releases the latest version of its Ubuntu Linux operating system on 28 April, it’s ready to take on Windows. At least that’s what Director of Communications Gerry Carr told PC Advisor in an exclusive interview to promote Ubuntu 11.04 ‘Natty Narwhal’.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 ‘Natty Narwhal’: A First Look at the OS

          The April 28 release of the open-source operating system update may be the most exciting yet for Ubuntu Linux. Here’s an advance tour of the features, including the Unity desktop and the Compiz window manager.

        • Ubuntu Transforms Your PC Experience
        • Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 2 Natty Narwhal Quick Look | Screenshots
        • Ubuntu 11.04 Doesn’t Play With Nouveau Gallium3D
        • Ubuntu 11.04: The desktop Linux you’ve been waiting for?

          Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu version of Linux, is making a new push for a larger slice of the PC market with a series of changes in the next version of the operating system, scheduled for release next week. The upgrade, Ubuntu 11.04, comes with a new interface that takes its cues from the worlds of smartphones and web search.

          The company plans seize the opportunity to promote Ubuntu 11.04 as a viable alternative for existing Windows PC users. PCWorld calls it “perhaps the most widely anticipated Linux release ever.”

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-based FROG-I robot thinks its a dinosaur

      The Chinese Academy of Sciences demonstrated a quadruped robot intended to test gait control and locomotion — and eventually mimic the movement of a triceratops. The flexibly jointed, 3.1-foot FROG-I robot runs Linux on an Intel Xscale PXA270 processor, communicating via Wi-Fi with a host computer, while lower-level functions are controlled by two Texas Instruments DSPs.

    • Enea integrates Timesys’ LinuxLink in new multicore dev platform

      Enea announced a major upgrade to its embedded Linux development environment, incorporating Timesys’ LinuxLink development software. The newly renamed Enea Linux PlatformBuilder is initially available in a “ELPB-NE” version for NetLogic Microsystems’ MIPS-based multicore XLP, XLR, and XLS processors and combines Enea’s former Eclipse-based framework with the LinuxLink configuration and build system, says the company.

    • Desktop Computing with ARM

      So, I don’t see any problem with small, cheap computers running Linux and ARM moving into the desktop space. Maybe it won’t be a tidal wave this year, but next year when Cortex A15 is out, watch out!

    • Tablets

      • Toshiba launches Regza AT300 into uncertain Honeycomb tablet market

        Toshiba announced that its 10.1-inch Android 3.0 tablet will ship in Japan in June for $723 under the name “Regza AT300.” But despite rosy long-term projections for Android tablets, early problems — high cost requirements, an unstable Android 3.0, and Japanese component shortages — some vendors are delaying or sticking with with Android 2.x, say industry reports.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • Better Software 2011, Florence 27-28 June 2011

      The conference will bring together experts in the fields of agile project management, open source, web2.0, and all the elements which contribute to the production of a stable and marketable product.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox developer to open San Francisco office

        Mozilla, the developer of the popular Firefox web browser, will open its first San Francisco office this summer, bolstering the city’s growing renown as a technology hub.

        Mayor Edwin Lee will announce this afternoon that the Mountain View nonprofit has signed a 15,000-square-foot lease at 2 Harrison St. in the South of Market district, providing space for up to 125 staff members and volunteers.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office and OpenOffice compared

      Kaminsky and Dormann only offer conservative interpretations of their results. Kaminsky says that, in his view, the situation has improved considerably. Neither of the researchers makes a statement about the potential reasons for their findings. With Microsoft, the introduction of the Software Development Lifecycle is likely to have played a major role, as the vendor has established specific processes and tools for increasing its product security in this context.

    • The Document Foundation is open for members

      With the last months the community around LibreOffice and The Document Foundation worked hard to establish policies, processes, infrastructure and all the things you need to deliver a high quality software. One of our basic principles is that we will acknowledge this merit and allow all the contributors to become official members of our community. All members will have the right to run for a seat in the Foundation’s Board of Directors, elect the board and drive the future of our projects.

  • Government

    • Alternative, open source mail server improves MEPs’ email access

      Policy staffers at the Greens/European Free Alliance are offering MEPs and their staff better access to their email, using a server built with free and open source software. The staffers want the EP to increase its use of free and open source software solutions, saying the EP should rid itself of vendor lock-in.

      The alternative server synchronises with the proprietary system currently in use at the EP, yet allows MEPs to access their email using more than a single proprietary email client, more than just one proprietary web browser and access their email using more than one proprietary smart phone system.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Google Invites You to Edit the U.S. Map

        Google has invited “citizen cartographers” to refine the U.S. map for Google Maps and Google Earth.

      • Geek of the Week: Yaw Anokwa: UW Ph.D. student, Open Data Kit and Change

        One of the goals of GeekWire’s “Geek of the Week” feature is to shine a light on extraordinary people in the Pacific Northwest technology community. Yaw Anokwa, a Ph.D. candidate in computer science at the University of Washington, certainly fits that profile — from his Open Data Kit research project to his work as a co-founder of the group Change at the UW.

        Continue reading for more details through his answers to our questionnaire — including some great advice for better efficiency in work and life, and a particularly interesting answer to the question of what he would do if someone gave him $1 million to launch a startup.

  • Programming

    • Rails To Support HTTP Streaming

      The Rails project has announced that Rails 3.1 is going to support HTTP streaming, aka chunked responses. fxn has posted a detailed blog about this. fx starts off with explaining what is HTTP streaming, which you can read here.

Leftovers

  • Finance

    • FEC Probes Obama’s 2008 Campaign Finances

      Barack Obama raised a record-shattering $750 million on his way to winning the 2008 presidential election. But that stunning flood of cash has triggered an investigation by the Federal Election Commission, which is taking a detailed look at the campaign’s records and transactions.

    • FEC Launches Audit of Obama’s 2008 Campaign
    • Startup America: New Commitments Fueling America’s Entrepreneurs

      This afternoon at Facebook headquarters in Silicon Valley, following the President’s national town hall on Shared Responsibility and Shared Prosperity, I’ll join a group of entrepreneurs for a livestreamed panel on Startup America, the White House-led initiative to encourage and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship across the country.

      This initiative is a top priority for President Obama. Entrepreneurship is a key ingredient to economic growth. Startups all across the country play a crucial role in job creation, since these companies generate the lion’s share of net new jobs. Startups are also responsible for developing breakthroughs in industries such as information technology, biotechnology, and clean energy that will allow the United States to compete and win in the global economy.

  • Censorship

    • Freedom on the Net 2011

      Freedom House’s Sanjay Kelly and Sarah Cook just released a new report: Freedom on the Net 2011: A Global Assessment of Internet and Digital Media. According to the report, two electoral democracies – Turkey and South Korea – engage in substantial political censorship.

  • DRM

    • PS3 hack case: graf_chokolo closes blog after threats from Sony

      PS3Crunch, which apparently has ties to Egorenkov, detailed the page’s closure: “If you are wondering why some of the pages have been removed at grafchokolo.com, then you need to know how Sony Computer Entertainment Europe are forcing us to remove them or graf_chokolo will be fined 250,000 Euros or worse, 6 months time in prison.”

      The closure extended to all development blogging, documentation and Git repositories, though the site maintains they hold back-ups to everything. The only thing still live is Egorenkov’s legal donation page, which was set up in March.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Clip of the Day

Hackers part18


Credit: TinyOgg

04.21.11

Links 21/4/2011: Choqok 1.1 Released, Fedora 15 Beta and GNOME 3

Posted in News Roundup at 10:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • SCO Sells Out, Oracle Stops Selling

    Another week and another interesting set of events on the Linux Planet. Once again, SCO made headlines and Oracle finally threw in the towel on OpenOffice.org.

  • Kernel Space

    • Working Sessions at Collaboration Summit 2011 Focus on Operationalizing Compliance

      Open source compliance garnered its fair share of attention at the recently-completed Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit April 6-8 in San Francisco. There were great presentations in a compliance track and a legal track, as well as working group sessions for the SPDXTM technical and business workstreams. And there was a great turnout for the Linux Foundation’s offering of the full-day compliance training course immediately after Collaboration Summit. Most of all, attendees reinforced their commitment to compliance as the way to do business and focused their attention on ways to operationalize compliance activities and make them more efficient and ingrained in everyday business practices.

    • LF Collaboration Summit Preview: TI’s Bill Mills on Yocto Project

      The Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit is just two days away, and we were excited to be able to reach Texas Instrument’s Bill Mills, chief technologist for open Linux solutions. Mills is participating in a highly-anticiapted panel on Wednesday titled, “Introducing the Yocto Project: What it Means for the Embedded Linux Industry,” and shared a few thoughts with us before he prepares to arrive at Hotel Kabuki, including his idea of the state of embedded Linux.

    • Meet the Guru: Interview with Ultimate Linux Guru Matthew Fillpot
    • TI Introduces Open Source Drivers Through OpenLink

      Texas Instruments has announced a mobile-grade, battery-optimized Wi-Fi solution to the open source Linux community as part of the OpenLink project. The project is focused on providing a wide range of wireless connectivity solutions for native Linux.

    • Yahoo! Joins Linux Foundation

      Search pioneer and premier digital media company powers its business with Linux, supports ongoing development and initiatives

      SAN FRANCISCO April 20, 2011 – The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that Yahoo! is its newest member.

      [...]

      By joining The Linux Foundation, the company can maximize its investment in Linux while directly supporting the Linux community’s developer and legal efforts.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva 2011 Beta 2 – The Return of XKill

        This beta does have a new desktop background as well. It’s a simple aqua background with white puffs. I doubt this will be their final choice.

        But that’s all that jumps out at me this time. Tune in next time for As the Penguin Turns.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Portugal Telecom Expands Use Of Red Hat Solutions

        Recognizing the benefits of Red Hat technology, Portugal Telecom has expanded its use of Red Hat Enterprise Linux in order to benefit from innovations in open source technology and to leverage the platform’s comprehensive certification and support across its robust ecosystem of certified hardware and software platforms.

      • New York Stock Exchange UK data centre concerns rife following fresh NASDAQ bid

        Concerns are rife about the fate of a 315,000 square foot New York Stock Exchange data centre in Basildon, Essex, after NASDAQ launched a bid for the exchange that vowed to rationalise servers.

        The Basildon data centre was recently built by NYSE Euronext at an estimated costs of hundreds of millions of pounds in order to serve European share traders, and employs technical staff with extensive Red Hat Enterprise Linux and trading technology expertise. Alongside a data centre in Mahwah, New Jersey, which serves US markets, NYSE spent around £300 million on infrastructure.

      • Red Hat Partners Rochester Institute of Technology to Arm Next Generation of Workers with Necessary Skills
      • Red Hat’s New Java Alternative: From Coffee to Tea

        When a FOSS company gets to be the size of Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), pretty much every move it makes is of interest to those of us here in the Linux community.

        So when said company unveils plans to create an alternative to none other than Java, well, let’s just say everyone sits up and starts listening.

      • Red Hat (RHT) Showing Bullish Technicals But Could Fall Through $45.71 Support
      • Fedora

        • Fedora and GNOME branding drama: Missing the big picture

          Some of the folks on the Fedora marketing list are in a tizzy over the amount of Fedora branding present, or not, in the upcoming Fedora 15 release.

          While I applaud the Fedora folks for being concerned about marketing, I think that they’re losing sight of the big picture — the actual impact of GNOME or Fedora “branding,” in the Fedora desktop is minimal at best.

          [...]

          The actual danger of that, however, is incredibly small.

        • Fedora 15 beta released as GNOME 3 backlash grows

          The Fedora Project announced the beta release of its Fedora 15 “Lovelock” Linux distribution, featuring the new GNOME 3 desktop, the Systemd initialization system, and a new dynamic firewall feature. Meanwhile, though, GNOME 3 has received mixed reviews from the GNOME faithful, many claiming the project went too far in simplifying the interface.

        • Fedora 15 Beta Has GNOME 3

          The Fedora Project, through Dennis Gilmore, proudly announced yesterday (April 19th) the immediate availability for testing of the Beta version of the upcoming Fedora 15 operating system, due for release at the end of May 2011.

        • Fedora 15 Beta is here | With screenshots Tours
    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Canonical Changes Ubuntu Wiki License To Creative Commons BY SA 3.0

          Ubuntu Wiki had an ambiguous license till date. Few months ago a decision was made to change the license to a creative commons one.

          Today David Planella has blogged that Ubuntu Wiki has been relicensed to Creative Commons Share Alike 3.o license.

        • We Are An Ubuntu Family

          When I was in college and most of my friends were using pirated versions of Windows, I picked Ubuntu. They always complain about reformatting their PCs because of viruses. We remember every time someone PC had to be formatted it was a festival as he had to run around looking for CDs of drivers.

        • Switching from Windows to Ubuntu my perspective

          The only area where Ubuntu lags behind Windows is games, but this does not matter if you’re not a serious gamer. There are few commercial games available for Ubuntu. Fortunately there are hundreds of free games of every category available for Ubuntu, as well as emulators for popular gaming consoles like NES and Sega Genesis. All in all I think Ubuntu is an excellent operating system and worth considering by anyone wanting an alternative to Windows.

        • My journey updating to natty

          Much better now…. Now I’m able to reboot with the natty kernel and we are fine. And let me tell you that graphics are much better now… I have noticed a couple of things so far (I have to restart squid3 after I reboot in order to make it work, when the screensaver starts, sometimes it kills the whole kde session) but I’ll look around to see if updates arrive that solve this problems or if there are easy fixes for them (besides not using them, of course).

        • Ubuntu 6.06 Dapper Drake Reaches End of Life

          Ubuntu 6.06 LTS server release is nearing the end of its support life; Mark Shuttleworth, Founder of Ubuntu, and Jono Bacon, Ubuntu Community Manager, summarize what this milestone release meant to the Ubuntu project and community.

        • Ubuntu Eassy

          And that’s where Ubuntu excels, it has the really great technical aspects of Debian (like the package manager), without the bureaucracy and boorishness of it. Also, it just looks good. And is one hell of a lot easier to use. It’s like and Apple product, except more customizable, more stable, and less expensive. Canonical really did a great job with it.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Sony Brings PlayStation Games To Android Phones

          Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY, which is claimed to be the the world’s first PlayStation certified smartphone, is now on sale in shops.

          The Xperia PLAY launches with more than 60 games from the industry’s biggest content providers including Sony Computer Entertainment, Gameloft, Electronic Arts and Glu Mobile.

        • Intel Targets Android Market With Oak Trail

          Intel has announced that the Intel Atom platform, formerly codenamed “Oak Trail,” is now available and will be in devices starting in May and throughout 2011.

          The Intel Atom processor Z670, part of the “Oak Trail” platform, allows applications to run on various operating systems, including Google Android and MeeGo.

        • Intel CEO: ‘We’re porting Android 3.0 for tablets this year’

          A month’s free trial on Rackspace Cloud Hosting during April, just Quote FREE1

          Intel’s president and chief executive Paul Otellini says his company is hard at work porting Google’s tablet-specific Android 3.0, aka Honeycomb, to the x86 architecture.

          “We’ve received the Android code – the Honeycomb version of Android source code – from Google, and we’re actively doing the port on that,” Otellini told reporters and analysts during a conference call on Tuesday announcing Intel’s first-quarter 2011 financial results.

        • Intel Confirms It’s Working With Android Honeycomb for Tablets

          On Tuesday of this week, Intel announced record financial results–a good sign that fortunes are improving in the technology industry, and possibly in Silicon Valley. Historically, when Intel has done very well, given the fact that its chips and technologies are central to many other technologies, the tech industry has also done well. On its earnings call, though, another interesting bit of news came out: Intel President and Chief Executive Paul Otellini confirmed that Intel is working with Google’s Honeycomb 3.0 version of the Android mobile OS, with an eye toward enabling tablet devices that run it. As we’ve reported, Honeycomb is in development with only select partners of Google at this point, but the fact that Intel is on top of it bodes well for Honeycomb and tablets.

    • Tablets

      • Amazon selling T-Mobile’s 3D-enabled G-Slate

        Following in the footsteps of the Motorola Xoom, the G-Slate becomes the second Android tablet to run the Honeycomb operating system. It also differs from rival tablets in a number of ways.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Gaming Major SEGA Uses Open Source Blender

    Muktware* or Free and Open Source animation software Blender is being used by Japanese gaming major SEGA.

  • 70 Open Source Replacements for Small Business Software
  • Why collaboration and free software make sense in the enterprise
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Mandriva 2011 Beta 2 Switches to LibreOffice 3.3

      Mandriva, through Eugeni Dodonov, announced a couple of days ago, April 18th, the immediate availability for testing of the second and last Beta version of the upcoming Mandriva 2011 Linux operating system. This version is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures (see download link at the end of the article).

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Hardware Devices that Support GNU/Linux

      Knowing which hardware devices support GNU/Linux is important not only for practical reasons — you want your hardware to work with the software that you want to use — but also for ethical and political reasons.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • What Happened to Real Open Source Phones?

        The vast majority of the phone-buying public has never heard of the FreeRunner, let alone OpenMoko as a company. But they’ve certainly heard of Android and Google, and the different ways the OpenMoko bombed make for a good case in how open too often comes at the expense of useful and complete.

  • Programming

    • NetBeans IDE 7.0 Now Available for Download

      NetBeans IDE 7.0 introduces language support for coding to the proposed Java SE 7 specification with the JDK 7 developer preview. Developers can now take advantage of the new language features from Project Coin /JSR 334, with editor support for code completion, hints, and in specific cases converting existing Java SE 6 based code to use the new Java SE 7 based syntax.

    • Zend Advances PHP Development for the Cloud

      Deploying PHP to the cloud is about to get easier thanks to a new partnership between commercial PHP vendor Zend and cloud management firm RightScale.

      The new RightScale Zend PHP Solution Pack integrates RightScale’s Cloud Management Platform with Zend Server for scalable cloud PHP deployments. The new effort is part of Zend’s overall move to advance PHP in the emerging Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) marketplace.

    • Keeping Code
    • Cloud Foundry Full of Promise and Possible Pitfalls

      VMware shocked a few people last week when it released Cloud Foundry, which appears to provide enterprises with an open Platform as a Service (PaaS) option. This approach has to be very attractive to enterprise IT departments reluctant to lock into something like Microsoft Azure, but just because VMware has built it, will the developers come, and how can you be sure it’s the right way to go?

    • Introducing C++11

      This past week in Madrid, Spain; the next iteration of the C++ programming language, C++11, passed review by the technical standards committee. Barring unforeseen delays the official standard will be approved in the fall.

    • The TCK Trap

      You want to fork the OpenJDK. You look at the license, see that it is GPLv2, say “woot!” and start hacking. You add the important optimization to your fork which you need, and now want to release it.

      If you don’t care about calling it Java, you can, under copyright law and the GPLv2, just cut the release, publish it, and go about your business. The catch is that there are tons of patents all over the JVM, and the GPLv2 does not include any patent protections. So, while you are clear from a copyright point of view, anyone that has contributed intellectual property to the JVM/JDK, ever, is free to sue both you and anyone using your distribution for infringing any patents they hold on their contributions. Aside from breaking the law, getting yourself, and your users, sued is not generally a good thing, so we look at option number two, passing the TCK.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Save Google Video before it goes dark!

    Google Video is shutting down and all the video uploaded to it will go dark.

  • Cisco accused of orchestrating engineer’s arrest

    Cisco Systems orchestrated the arrest of Multiven founder Peter Alfred-Adekeye last year in order to force a settlement of Multiven’s antitrust lawsuit against Cisco, a Multiven executive said on Wednesday.

  • Despite strong 1Q11 performance, partners concerned about Intel impact from tablet PC

    As for Intel’s plans to reportedly subsidize its partners with US$10 for producing each Intel tablet PC, the sources pointed out that Intel should be helping its partners to re-energize the whole PC ecosystem. Since its notebook and netbook partners are all facing a crisis by being squeezed out of the market, if its downstream partners are all severely impacted, Intel may not stay out of the damage forever.

  • Finance

    • Walker Says Wisconsin’s Broke, But the Facts Say Otherwise

      The Institute for One Wisconsin, a non-partisan organization, released a report (pdf) last week that says that “despite claims from Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin is not ‘broke.’” Their research found that the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has risen in the past twenty years, and though the state is overall quite wealthy, the bulk of that wealth has shifted to the richest people of the state, while Wisconsin’s tax structure “is built around the middle class.”

    • Can Bitcoin Really Succeed Long Term?

      For quite some time, I’ve been interested in the general concept of currencies and how money works in general. I remember an early episode of NPR’s Planet Money podcast, in which they tried to answer the simple question: what is money? They quickly discovered it’s not an easy question to answer (and, in fact, those working on the podcast have revisited the question many times in many interesting ways — including a fascinating episode a few months back looking at the Island of Stone Money. That episode discussed the island of Yap in the South Pacific, that for many years used massive limestone discs as money. And, by massive, I mean sometimes weighing upwards of a ton. In other words, it didn’t have one of the key features that many normally associate with “money,” which is that it’s a “currency of exchange.” In theory, you can’t easily “exchange” a giant rock.

  • Privacy

  • DRM

    • Digital Locks Emerge As Election Issue in Battleground Riding

      Digital locks emerged as one of the first issues discussed last night in one of Canada’s most hotly contested ridings. An all-candidates debate in Kitchener -Waterloo, home of RIM and one of the closest ridings in the 2008 election, moved quickly to a discussion of digital locks and the “PlayBook tax” during one of the first questions on the most pressing issues in the riding.

    • Kindle Library Lending: ePub Is Dead

      Kindle Library Lending and OverDrive – What it means for libraries and schools

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • Commissioner De Gucht refuses to publish ACTA preparatory documents

          In a response to a written question presented by French MEP Françoise Castex the European Commission has refused to make public the preparatory documents of ACTA, as required by the Vienna Convention in its article 32 when certain issues in an international treaty remain “ambiguous or obscure”. The EC states that it fulfills its obligations with the Vienna Convention by simply answering parliamentary questions presented by Members of the European Parliament and instead of publishing the documents the EC proposes to offer private debriefing sessions with individual MEPs on ACTA.

Clip of the Day

Steve Jobs on privacy, Steve Jobs at the D8 Conference (Video)


For context, see the “Privacy” links at the top. How foolish he must look now.

Credit: TinyOgg

04.20.11

Links 20/4/2011: Fedora 15 Beta, Linux 2.6.39 RC4, Igalia Joins Linux Foundation

Posted in News Roundup at 3:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Future Timeline

    GNU/Linux becomes dominant OS

  • Server

  • Ballnux

    • Samsung will build a 2GHz dual core smartphone

      KOREAN ELECTRONICS GIANT Samsung will build a smartphone with a 2GHz dual core processor by the end of the year.

      Speaking to the Korean website daum.net, a spokesperson for Samsung said, “We are planning to release a 2GHz dual core CPU-equipped smartphone by next year.” This is an improvement of 800MHz on the 1.2GHz dual core processor that’s found in the Galaxy S II smartphone, which is currently the fastest chip in a phone.

    • Echo is Android phone with intriguing tablet twist, says review

      Sprint’s Kyocera Echo smartphone is a unique Android 2.2 gadget that converts from a standard smartphone to a 4.7-inch tablet formed from dual 3.5-inch displays. If the abysmal battery life doesn’t faze you, the Echo is an enjoyable phone that may give you all the tablet you really need, says this eWEEK review.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linaro Aims To Unify Linux Memory Management

      Last month I noted some of the problems facing embedded Linux on ARM SoCs in terms of graphics drivers with regard to the variety of memory management APIs available (for graphics there’s primarily TTM and GEM within the kernel but also there’s other options: HWMEM, UMP, CMA, VCM, CMEM, and PMEM). There’s also other graphics driver problems in the ARM world, but the Linaro group has announced they’ve taken up the issue of embedded Linux memory management for graphics and other areas. They’re forming a working group to hopefully work towards resolving this issue for their next six-month development cycle.

    • Linux-based sensor gateway gets database support

      Libelium announced an updated version of its Debian Linux-based multi-protocol mesh router and sensor network gateway, now including dual database servers. The Meshlium Xtreme includes Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, and GPRS, offers local or external database options, and enables the transmission of SMS alarms to GSM-enabled mobile phones, says the company.

    • Test Driving The QEMU-KVM KMS Driver

      Just hours ago a new Linux KMS driver entered the world for the Cirrus GPU.

    • Linux 2.6.39-rc4

      So things have sadly not continued to calm down even further. We had more commits in -rc4 than we had in -rc3, and I sincerely hope that
      upward trend doesn’t continue.

    • Igalia Joins Linux Foundation

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that Igalia is its newest member.

      Igalia is an open source development company that offers consultancy services for desktop, mobile and web technologies. Igalia developers maintain and contribute code to a variety of open source projects, including GNOME, WebKit, MeeGo, the Linux kernel, freedesktop.org, Gstreamer and Qt. Igalia has experience helping other companies contribute to upstream projects and take advantage of the open source development process.

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD Open-Sources Tapper

        AMD has announced today they have open-sourced Tapper from their Operating System Research Center.

        What is Tapper? It’s basically their version of the Phoronix Test Suite and Phoromatic. “Tapper is an open source infrastructure originating at AMD for all aspects of testing including Operating Systems and Virtualization. Its goal is to help QA departments to maintain a complete test life cycle from planning to execution and reporting. It provides independent modules to adapt to different levels of QA requirements, from simple tracking and presenting test results to complete automation of machine pools multiplexing complex virtualization use-cases with detailed data evaluation.”

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Cairo Dock 2.3.0 Released With New Applets, Better Compiz And Kwin Integration

      Cairo Dock (also known as GLX Dock) is a launcher / task manager like Avant Window Navigator or Docky and its major advantage is the huge list of applets it comes with: menus (MintMenu, Cardapio, etc.), Drop to Share applet, Ubuntu Me Menu and Messaging Menu applets, keyboard indicator, netspeed, network monitor, notification area, power manager, stacks, terminal, weather, weblets, system monitor and many many more. Also, unlike other docks, Cairo Dock also comes with stand-alone applets meaning the applets don’t have to be attached to the dock and you can use them like Screenlets / Desklets.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Desktop Summit T-shirt Design Competition

        The T-shirt Design Competition for the Desktop Summit has just opened. We are looking for designs that go beyond your typical conference shirt which finds its final resting place in the closet or drawer once you have returned home. The winning design should reflect the passion and energy of the Free Desktop communities that The Desktop Summit represents.

      • Why Blur Does Not Work in Kubuntu Natty With Intel

        Over the last week we received quite some complaints about blur not working after an upgrade to the latest beta of Kubuntu Natty. So far we could not make anything out of it. All users had already been using Plasma Workspaces 4.6.2 in Maverick and were often using the Xorg Edgers drivers. So you would assume that they had more or less the same software versions like before the upgrade.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME Shell Atolm – Another Beautiful GNOME Shell Theme By Half-left

        Half-left (who has created the amazing Smooth Inset Gnome Shell theme) has created yet another beautiful theme for Gnome Shell called Atolm (based on Atolm by SkiesOfAzel).

      • Taking my release manager hat off

        Back in June 2005, I noticed that we were lacking some “tarballs due” mails for the GNOME 2.11 release cycle and I sent a small mail to get this fixed. This is how I got trapped: after this mail got read by Mark McLoughlin, he suggested I could replace him on the GNOME release team. A few years later, in September 2007, Elijah chose to pass his GNOME release manager hat to me. And now, in April 2011, it’s time for me to pass the baton: Luca Ferretti is replacing me on the release team (he joined as a trainee in the past few months), and my good friend Frédéric Péters becomes the new GNOME release manager.

      • Seven Alternatives to GNOME 3

        KDE 4 and Trinity KDE

        Traditionally, KDE has been the first choice for those who are looking for an alternative to GNOME. That remains broadly true, but the KDE 4 release series has a set of innovations that, if anything, are even more radical than GNOME 3′s, including such things as containments (shells for a workspace) and Folder Views (collections of icons that can be swapped in and out).

        By setting a Folder View to cover the entire screen, you get a desktop experience very similar to that of the GNOME 2 series. However, I suspect that anyone impatient with GNOME 3 is unlikely to satisfied with the latest KDE.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Pardus Kurumsal on the ARTiGO A1100

        Pardus Kurumsal 2 was a rather interesting respin of a great distribution. I decided I would give it a try on the VIA ARTiGO A1100. Overall, it’s a great experience. If you own an ARTiGO, this would be a distribution to try on it.

      • Find Your chakra Linux 2011.04 | With screenshots Tour

        Phil Miller proudly announced the last milestone for Chakra the GNU/2011.04 a powerful Arch Linux distro last week. The Chakra Project, today, remains a milestone for Arch Linux and is as important as Ubuntu has become for Debian. It was born out of need for an Arch Linux distribution but with simple project principles combing the

      • LDR 1.06 Screenshots
    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva 2011 beta2

        Despite the last-minute problems discovered last week which resulted in a 1-week delay, Mandriva 2011 beta2 should finally be hitting the mirrors in some hours. Make sure to check the devel/iso/2011 directory on your favorite mirror for the latest .iso images.

        [...]

        Besides the UI and KDE changes, Mandriva 2011 beta2 features LibreOffice 3.3.0, and comes with the latest kernel 2.6.38.3, systemd 24, gcc 4.6.0, besides smaller package versions updates.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Announcing the release of Fedora 15 Beta!!
        • Beta version of Fedora 15 includes GNOME 3 and systemd

          The Fedora Project has made the first and only beta of Fedora 15 available for download. This should signal the end to major changes for the Linux distribution, which is scheduled for release in late May. The focus is now on rounding off any rough edges and bug fixing.

          Fedora 15 will be the first major Linux distribution to include GNOME 3, which was released two weeks ago. Fedora 15 will not include GNOME 2; the KDE Plasma Desktop will be a member of the 4.6 series. The Fedora Project has also undertaken a major behind the scenes change, so that Fedora 15 will see a switch from Upstart to the sysvinit and Upstart alternative systemd, which was first introduced just under a year ago. The kernel in the beta is based on Linux version 2.6.38. LibreOffice will fill the office suite shoes and the C and C++-Compiler will be the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) 4.6.

        • Fedora Needs Your Help Testing GNOME 3.0

          With Canonical ditching the GNOME 3.0 Shell in favor of their custom-developed Unity Desktop, one of the first Linux distributions where you’ll see GNOME 3.0 shipping in full “out of the box” is Fedora 15. Fedora 15 is set to be released at the end of May, but a beta release happens to be coming out today. Additionally, this Thursday they’re looking for your help in testing out GNOME 3.0.

          [...]

          The Fedora developers are particularly interested if you use multiple displays, many storage devices, optical media, WiFi/Bluetooth adapters, and various other non-standard configurations.

        • Test Day:2011-04-21 GNOME3 Final
    • Debian Family

      • Status update of GNOME 3 in Debian experimental

        But first let me reiterate this: GNOME 3 is in Debian experimental because it’s a work in progress. You should not install it if you can’t live with problems and glitches. Beware: once you upgraded to GNOME 3 it will be next to impossible to go back to GNOME 2.32 (you can try it, but it’s not officially supported by Debian). Even with the fallback mode, you won’t get the same experience than what you had with GNOME 2.32. Many applets are not yet ported to the newest gnome-panel API.

      • Debian Project News – April 18th, 2011

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

        [...]

        Neil McGovern sent some bits from the Release Team calling for feedback on the recent release. He also addresses various subjects that are currently under discussion: time-based freezes, transitions, release goals, sprint organisation and 0-day NMU policy.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • No Ubuntu Default Extras Install

          The Ubuntu Technical Board has voted not to install the non-free extras package by default during a standard Ubuntu Install. This an option that, if selected, installs proprietary software including hardware drivers, media codecs and the Flash player. It has been opt-in rather than opt out since its first appearance.

          When considering the issue, bear in mind that the fact that many proprietary technologies “just work” is often cited as a superiority of distributions such as Mint. Also bear in mind that Ubuntu targets the “typical desktop user” who needs things like DVD and YouTube playback. However, it’s arguable that a user who is sufficiently clued up to carry out an operating system install would be able to decide if he or she needed to tick the box.

        • Ubuntu 11.04: Can Canonical Propel Partners Into the Cloud?

          Also of note: Canonical VP Neil Levine in March 2011 provided some deeper perspectives on where Ubuntu was heading in the cloud. Now here’s the twist: Assuming Ubuntu 11.04′s software works as advertised, Canonical should be well-positioned for cloud computing. But the real challenge for Canonical resides in the company’s channel partner and service provider relationships. Generally speaking, Ubuntu is widely used within cloud environments. Rackspace sources, for instance, tell me Ubuntu is among the most widely deployed operating systems in the Rackspace Cloud.

        • Thoughts on the Unity Desktop

          Ubuntu’s 11.04 release is now on the horizon and unless you have been living under a rock then you know that their big change is going to be the move to the Unity desktop. Personally I found this move to be odd when I first heard it, I mean after all it was Ubuntu that allowed the Gnome desktop to initially take off and beat out the KDE desktop. There have been piles of different articles about Unity, so I’m not going to bore you with the same details you can find lots of other places.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • 9 Steps To Happiness in Linux Mint XFCE

            This is a nice system. I would say it is best then any other Mint system I’ve ever seen before. It is not overloaded with Mint specifics like Mint menu. It is quick and responsive. It is easily customizable, although not all the options are obvious.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

      • Android

        • Sony Ericsson still making money, to some surprise

          The explosion of Android handsets has kept Sony Ericsson in profit, to the surprise of the markets, which were expecting a significant loss for the first quarter of 2011.

        • Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: Google’s Honeycomb blunder

          I don’t say this very often, but some days Google is stupid. Until recently, Google’s biggest blunder was Google Wave. But now Google has announced that it won’t release Android 3.0, the tablet version of its mobile operating system, until it has made it “better.”

          In a statement, Andy Rubin, head of Google’s Android group, said, “Android 3.0, Honeycomb, was designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes and improves on Android favorites. … While we’re excited to offer these new features to Android tablets, we have more work to do before we can deliver them to other device types, including phones.” In other words, Google will release the Honeycomb source code as soon as it’s ready. Just don’t ask when that will be.

        • What Does Google Owe FOSS?

          The delay in releasing the code has some mobile product developers worried that Google might recant and keep Honeycomb out of the open source inventory altogether. A more likely outcome could be a rift in the Android ranks. That scenario would see newer products running a restricted or closed source Android OS with better functionality than the existing open source Android devices.

          So far, Google has remained tight lipped about how it views its obligations to the FOSS community. This silence could raise more questions about what the company’s expectations are for a continued free access relationship with mobile device makers.

        • For paranoid Androids, Guardian Project offers smartphone security

          The Guardian Project is an open source initiative which aims to take advantage of Google’s Android operating system to bring smartphones the same sort of security and privacy that savvy users have come to expect from laptops and desktops. Featuring capabilities like full-disk encryption, secure instant messaging, and anonymous Web browsing, the project hopes to give people better control of their personal information on mobile devices.

        • Sonos adds Android app, Apple AirPlay

          Sonos today released several enhancements to its Linux-powered streaming audio player devices. The new capabilities, all delivered via free apps and software upgrades, include the first Android app for remote control of Sonos gear, new support for Apple AirPlay audio sources, and the introduction of iOS 4 multitasking capabilities into the remote control apps.

    • Tablets

      • Asus Eee Pad Transformer is sold out in the UK

        The Asus Eee Pad Transformer won the race to be the first tablet on sale in the UK to run Android 3.0 Honeycomb on 6 April. Asus has said that the initial batches of stock that were shipped to the UK are now entirely sold out.

      • 8 Android Tablets for 2011 to be Excited About

        Motorola Xoom is probably the first ‘real’ Android tablet to be released since it was the first to come pre loaded with tablet optimized Android 3.0 Honeycomb OS. Motorola Xoom comes with a 10.1 inch display with 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, 3G/4G/Wi-Fi connectivity, 1080p video playback, dual-core 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, 2 MP front facing camera, a rear facing 5 MP camera, 1GB RAM, and 32GB on board storage[SD card slot is a plus]. Amazon US price for Motorola Xoom hovers around $800.00(based on service type you select).

Free Software/Open Source

  • Shout out to Zoneminder Project

    For the first ten years of my open source life, I spent tens of thousands of hours pouring over hundreds of thousands of lines of source code across perhaps a dozen or fewer projects, mostly GCC, G++, GDB, and various other parts of the GNU toolchain. If there were a PhD in open source software, I was definitely specialist enough to have earned one. I was vaguely aware of the mountains of source code in the BSD distribution, and obviously Linux, but didn’t really pay much attention to that until I joined Red Hat.

  • Events

    • SELF pimping.

      Once again this year I’ll be traveling down to the Southeast Linux Fest for a weekend full of informative talks, social fun, and exceptional collaboration opportunities with fellow Linux geeks from around the region and the nation. SELF has been an enormous hit since its inaugural outing in 2009. I’ll be joined by fabulous people from across the Fedora friendsphere, and of course there will be lots of free goodies at the Fedora booth for everyone. I hear tell of a tasty grilling event that will honor our favorite meaty champion of free software, and I expect to catch up with wonderful friends from all around the open source world.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Groupon: The Latest Hot Company to Implement Hadoop/Cloudera for Big Data Tasks

      We’ve covered the open source Apache project Hadoop before from many angles, and it continues to make its way into many enterprises and smaller businesses who want to sift and analyze large data sets. We’ve also covered Cloudera, a startup that focuses on support and services surrounding Hadoop. Now, Cloudera has announced that Groupon–the hot daily deals site–is using its Cloudera Distribution for Apache Hadoop (CDH) to get more value out of the massive data sets it maintains. It’s yet another sign of Hadoop’s success as a cutting-edge, sophisticated open source phenomenon.

    • The future of cloud computing is the future for open source

      Given our most recent efforts to track open source software in the enterprise, it is relevant to note that we see a continued, symbiotic relationship between open source and cloud computing. In fact, in many ways, the future of open source depends on the future of cloud computing and vice-versa. One of the symbiotic relationships between open source software and cloud computing is also one of the main reasons I believe both will continue to be a big part of enterprise IT and a big opportunity for vendors and investors: customer enablement. The lessons, practices and community of today’s enterprise IT that have been ushered in by open source – more transparency on the plans for products and code, more flexibility in working with both legacy products and software as well as newer open components, add-ons and combinations, faster development and fewer dead ends via vendor death, acquisition or strategy shift — are being applied to cloud computing. We also see evidence of this customer enablement in the makeup of today’s communities, both open source and non, which include both developes and users/customers.

    • DevOps and PaaS, yes, but now No-Ops?
  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Changed behavior of AutoFill when there are filtered rows

      OOo 3.4 Beta includes a much-requested change to the way AutoFill works if there are filtered rows. The new behavior, based on a patch from the IBM Symphony team, is illustrated by the following three screenshots…

    • Oracle is not to blame for Sun’s open source failings

      Oracle announced on Friday that it is to discontinue its commercial interest in the OpenOffice.org project, prompting a barrage of criticism from the open source faithful with regards to its approach to the open source applications project, and community in general.

      The company was accused of being community-hostile, for example, and comparisons were also made to Colonel Gadhafi, while a translation of the press release into “plain English” apparently shed new light on the announcement.

    • Oracle’s OpenOffice Move May Be Too Little, Too Late

      Either way, the question now appears to be who, if anyone, will really want to pick up OpenOffice and continue working on it at this stage in the game.

      Now that the community has fairly unanimously moved on to LibreOffice, in other words, Oracle’s move could well be too little, too late for the software suite. In a conversation this morning, for instance, Canonical spokesman Gerry Carr told me that, while OpenOffice is still available through its repositories, Ubuntu will continue to offer LibreOffice by default for the foreseeable future.

      So, while it may be nice to see Oracle turn the software over to the community–whatever its motivations–it’s going to be interesting to see where it goes from here. Now that we have LibreOffice, I’m just not sure there’s a place for OpenOffice anymore.

  • Education

    • Educating with free software

      Frederic Muller, president of Software Freedom International, was flaunting two things at the Gnome Asia Summit in Bangalore — his passion for free software, and his newly acquired beard. We try to capture both in this interview. Frederic has lots of hands-on experience of promoting free software in education and offers wonderful advice for others who want to do the same.

  • Healthcare

    • Are Seniors Paying Attention to Paul Ryan’s Medicare Plan?

      Tea Party members who railed against health care reform because of the spin they were sold about how “Obamacare” would affect Medicare played a big role in returning the House of Representatives to Republican control.

      I’m betting that many of them, if they’re paying attention to what Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) wants to do to the Medicare program, are having some serious buyer’s remorse. If Democrats are wise, they’re already drafting a strategy to remind Medicare beneficiaries, including card-carrying Tea Party members, just how fooled they were into thinking that Republicans were the protectors of the government-run program they hold so dear.

    • Soda Companies vs. Soda Taxes: Breathtaking Creativity
  • Business

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Government

    • ES: Asturias region adopts open source technology for local government

      The enterprise portal technology product that CAST has used for this project combines the benefits of Open Source software with guaranteed support services, which offers greater assurances. These services are currently being offered by the company’s engineering team in Spain.

    • DE: Parliamentarians ask government to support free software

      The German political party Alliance ’90/The Green wants the Federal government to do more to support the use of free software. The parliamentariens disapprove that the ministry of Foreign Affairs is moving back to proprietary desktop software and proprietary office applications.

      The party sent a list of 39 questions to the government. Some of their questions are general, the MPs for instance are asking for the Federal policies on open source, open standards and vendor-independence. Yet they also want specified the estimated costs involved in developing open source drivers for specific hardware use by the Foreign ministry, and want to know in detail the costs involved in writing proprietary modules for fingerprint readers used by that ministry.

    • DK: Political agreement reached on Open standards

      Since 1 April 2011, there have been no mandatory requirements for the format in which public authorities shall provide editable documents.

      This is the conclusion of a meeting between Danish Science Minister Ms. Charlotte Sahl-Madsen and the Danish Parliament’s spokesperson for IT on 30 March 2011.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • ThingSpeak: Open Source Platform for Connected Products and Services

      ioBridge, Inc. (http://www.iobridge.com) releases ThingSpeak, the first open source solution for “Internet of Things” products and services. Much like WordPress allows people to create blogs easily, ThingSpeak (http://www.thingspeak.com) allows developers to interact with devices using standard Web technologies. ThingSpeak can be run via its free hosted service or on personal servers.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Electric car makers fight over plug standard

      A tussle between different designs of plugs used in prototype electric cars has derailed an attempt to create a common European standard, highlighting industrial jealousy as the sector attempts to go mainstream.

Leftovers

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Boost Aquaculture, But at What Cost?

      In keeping with this pro-business tone, NOAA’s draft policy fails to acknowledge that the marine environment is a public commons that should be managed and regulated for the overall public good. The policies don’t mention that aquaculture should not restrict public access to the oceans, or a require that aquaculture businesses submit an Environmental Impact Statement prior to obtaining an aquaculture permit. The policy fails to define or describe what constitutes “sustainable” aquaculture — a term now so overused that it has lost clear meaning in many contexts. In fact, the draft policies assume all aquaculture will be of benefit regardless of the circumstances, and doesn’t acknowledge any responsibility to assure that aquaculture products — including genetically-engineered seafood — don’t pose a threat to human health.

    • Portland and Energy Transition

      Portland, Oregon is now far enough along in its transition away from oil that by 2015 one can imagine this city being able to market and sell its own example to the rest of the world. Most of Portland’s longstanding initiatives, from public transport and the integration of the bicycle, to city agriculture, water and waste management, and use of technology are solutions that will be seen not as discretionary but necessary by mid-decade.

    • Fish worth £4m seized in EU crackdown on illegal fishing

      European authorities have impounded 5m portions of fish destined for tables across the continent following allegations they were caught by illegal “pirate fishing” off west Africa using child labour.

      The block on catches of octopus, squid, sole, shrimp and grouper landed in the Spanish port of Las Palmas in the Canary Islands represents the biggest action yet against the landing of illegally caught fish in the European Union following the introduction of new Brussels regulations last year that ban the practice.

  • Finance

    • NAB eyes Goldman lawsuit

      NATIONAL Australia Bank is believed to be considering legal action against its one-time house broker Goldman Sachs after a US Senate report found the bank was apparently misled when it was sold an exotic security that quickly turned toxic.

      Senior NAB executives yesterday were reviewing the bank’s legal position following a wave of revelations contained in a report on the financial crisis by the US Senate that draws on internal documents and private communications of bank executives and regulators.

    • Who Would Miss Goldman Sachs If It Weren’t Around?

      It makes my blood boil when I read an opinion article like the one Robert Lenzner (Streettalk, Forbes) wrote entitled, “There Can’t Be A Criminal Prosecution Of Goldman Sachs.” Oh, yes, there can be; there just isn’t the will to follow the rule of law and prosecute where corruption occurs. To my mind, it is corrupt not to prosecute.

      According to Mr Lenzner, a criminal prosecution of Goldman Sachs would threaten Goldman Sachs’s status as a dealer in government securities. To which I reply, GSs’s status already threatens the work of the government, and in the future that may include securities. We still do not know what the end will look like.

    • The Derivative Project – Change is Up to You

      The Derivative Project is a non-partisan taxpayer advocacy organization that seeks to ensure the long-term growth and stability of the U.S. economy through equitable enforcement, for both individuals and corporations, of financial laws and regulations.

    • Few Heard at WI Budget “Hearing” in Milwaukee, but School Choice Advocate Denounces Walker’s Subsidy for Rich

      At Monday’s public hearing in Milwaukee on Governor Walker’s budget, Wisconsin Republicans once again resorted to anti-participatory tactics to avoid criticism of their far-right agenda. Despite these efforts, strong criticisms were squeezed-in by longtime Milwaukee school choice advocate Howard Fuller, calling GOP efforts to lift income limits on school vouchers an “outrageous” program “that subsidizes rich people.”

    • WHOOPS: AP Falls For Hoax Press Release Saying That GE Will Repay Government $3.8 Billion Tax Break

      The AP just fell for a hoax press release, which claimed that GE would repay the government the $3.8 billion tax loss carryforward it received. The hoax was designed to correspond with last month’s controversy originated by the New York Times about how GE, despite its huge profits, was paying no taxes.

    • Taxpayers Demand Chase Bank Pay its Fair Share

      At a rally held in front of Chase Bank on Capitol Square in Madison, Wisconsin today, a few dozen people gathered to air their grievances against Chase and other U.S. corporations who will pay no taxes for 2010. Jeff Kravat of MoveOn hosted the rally along with Gene Lundergan, who gathered a group of four or five people to present a tax bill of almost $2 billion to the branch bank manager. This bill, for $1.988 billion, was drawn up using Chase’s 2010 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and a December 2008 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report (pdf). When Lundergan, Steve Hughes of Young Progressives and several others approached the front entrance of the bank, they were refused admission by the security guard, so they left the bill propped in the front window.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Sally Brown and BioCycle Magazine, Supporters of Growing Food in Sewage Sludge, Call Organic Food Advocates “Ecoterrorists”

      Leading organic gardening and food safety advocates who oppose growing food in sewage sludge are attending the national BioCycle magazine conference Tuesday, April 12, 2011 in San Diego to demand an apology and retraction from Sally Brown, a columnist and editorial board member of BioCycle magazine, and from Nora Goldstein, the executive editor of BioCycle.

    • Koch-Fueled Controversy Lands in Washington

      On April 14 the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, chaired by Darrell Issa (R-California), held a hearing on state and municipal debt where the key question was State Budget Cuts: Choice or Necessity?

      Chairman Issa started off by framing the issue in a manner that was thrilling to Wall Street barons and corporate big wigs. He said that states will face a shortfall of $112 billion in 2012 and the reasons for this were “obvious.” The primary reasons, according to Issa, are reckless spending and unfunded or underfunded pension funds. The 2008 Wall Street financial crisis and the staggering job loss, which caused state and federal tax revenues to tank, were not mentioned.

    • Walker’s Illegal Campaign Contributor is Verified “Sugar Daddy”
    • Sarah Palin: The Koch Brother’s Union Maid
    • Don’t “Misunderestimate” Wisconsin

      Sarah Palin graced Wisconsin with her maverickness on a cold, wet Saturday where counter-protesters outnumbered Tea Party supporters. Wisconsin Wave held an early rally on the opposite side of the capitol, giving progressives a platform for the day but ending in time for attendees to march in opposition to Palin’s speech.

  • Censorship

    • Free Speech for Terry Jones!

      Terry Jones, the crackpot Christian cultist with the Lemmy Kilmister mustache, was “hateful” and “intolerant” when he burned the Muslim holy book last month, said Gen. David Petraeus, commander of American forces in Afghanistan. Mark Sedwill, NATO’s ambassador to Afghanistan, denounced Jones’s stunt as “an act of disrespect to the Muslim faith and to all peoples of faith.” Faced with crowds of braying and baying religious fanatics, it’s doubtless true that countless soldiers and diplomats feel the same.

  • Privacy

    • “At Dropbox, Even We Can’t See Your Dat– Er, Nevermind” [Update]

      Dropbox, the online backup and file sharing service claims to have hit 25 million users in a single year. Big news for any start-up. A change in its terms and conditions received a lot less attention because it seemed like adding a common term for online services.

    • iPhone keeps record of everywhere you go

      Security researchers have discovered that Apple’s iPhone keeps track of where you go – and saves every detail of it to a secret file on the device which is then copied to the owner’s computer when the two are synchronised.

      The file contains the latitude and longitude of the phone’s recorded coordinates along with a timestamp, meaning that anyone who stole the phone or the computer could discover details about the owner’s movements using a simple program.

  • Civil Rights

    • Internet Freedom Threatened By New Restrictions

      Freedom on the worldwide Internet is in danger, according to a new report by Freedom House.

      In a survey of 37 countries, only 8 qualified as having completely “Free” Internets, while 11 were designated “Not Free” and the remainder were “Partly Free.” The survey measured Internet freedom by studying obstacles to access, such as governmental efforts to block technologies or control over Internet access providers, limits on content, including the blocking of websites and other forms of censorship, as well as violations of user rights including privacy, online surveillance and real world repercussions for online activity. The U.S. scored second on the list as ranked by most to least free, with Estonia taking the lead as the nation where the Internet was most free. Germany, Australia and the UK were ranked just behind the U.S.

    • The Nanny State Can’t Last

      Last week, Congress and the administration refused to seriously consider the problem of government spending. Despite the fear-mongering, a government shutdown would not have been as bad as claimed.

      It is encouraging that some in Washington seem to be insisting on reduced spending, which is definitely a step in the right direction, but only one step. We have miles to go before we can even come close to a solution, and it will involve completely redefining the role of government in our lives and on the world stage. A compromise was struck at the last minute, but until Democrats agree to rein in entitlement spending, and Republicans back off the blank checks to the military industrial complex, it all amounts to political gamesmanship.

    • TSA security looks at people who complain about … TSA security

      Don’t like the way airport screeners are doing their job? You might not want to complain too much while standing in line.

      Arrogant complaining about airport security is one indicator Transportation Security Administration officers consider when looking for possible criminals and terrorists, CNN has learned exclusively. And, when combined with other behavioral indicators, it could result in a traveler facing additional scrutiny.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • Digital Agenda: Commission underlines commitment to ensure open internet principles applied in practice

      The need to ensure that citizens and businesses are easily able to access an open and neutral internet has been underlined by the European Commission in a report adopted today. The Commission will be vigilant that new EU telecoms rules on transparency, quality of service and the ability to switch operator, due to enter into force on 25th May 2011, are applied in a way that ensures that these open and neutral internet principles are respected in practice. For example, the Commission will pay close attention to the existence of generalised restrictions of lawful services and applications and to EU citizens’ and businesses’ broadband connections being as fast as indicated by Internet Service Providers’ advertising. The Commission has asked the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) to undertake a rigorous fact-finding exercise on issues crucial to ensuring an open and neutral internet, including barriers to changing operators, blocking or throttling internet traffic (e.g. voice over internet services), transparency and quality of service. The Commission will publish, by the end of the year, evidence from BEREC’s investigation, including any instances of blocking or throttling certain types of traffic. If BEREC’s findings and other feedback indicate outstanding problems, the Commission will assess the need for more stringent measures.

    • Jimmy Wales: What should I put on the agenda at the upcoming e-G8?

      Bobbie Johnson at Gigaom worries: Is France Plotting to Kill the Free Internet?, and “can’t help be concerned at what the summit might mean, given it’s essentially a closed shop of governments and corporations discussing how best to carve up the online world for us.”

  • DRM

    • $10,000 to the EFF

      As promised, all left over legal defense money, plus a little to bump it to a nice number, has been sent to the EFF. Thank you all so much for your support, without it, things could have been much worse.

      This money goes to the EFF in hopes that America can one day again be a shining example of freedom, free of the DMCA and ACTA, and that private interest will never trump the ideas laid out in the constitution of privacy, ownership, and free speech.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Stop Copyright Extension Now

        Once again a move to extend copyright is making its way through the European Parliament. The move to extend the copyright on sound recordings (and other “neighbouring rights”) began in April 2009 when, under intense pressure from the music publishing lobby, the European Parliament agreed to increase the duration of this copyright from 50 years to 70 years (compromising on the Commission’s and lobbyists’ demand of 95 years). However, before this could be implemented, elections were called and a new Parliament was voted in, including one member from the Pirate movement. Now, nearly two years later, this process has been resurrected following a change of heart within the Danish government.

      • Copyright hurdle for fast internet

        New copyright law could hinder the uptake and use of ultra-fast broadband networks, says an international industry analyst.

        Ericsson’s director of government and industry relations, Rene Summer, said the enforcement of copyright does not encourage the growth of markets that will drive the demand for high-speed internet.

        “We have done three global studies [over the last four years] – the bottom line of it is that media regulation and copyright impact the prospect of take-up on new ultra-fast broadband services,” he said.

      • Brazil’s Copyright Reform – an update

        Last March 22 Brazil’s Ministry of Culture made public the “March 2011 Copyright Draft Bill” (PDF file, in Portuguese), an amended version of the 2010 Draft Bill, after it was sent by the former administration, i.e. in late 2010, to the Inter-Ministerial Group on Intellectual Property (GIPI, under the Portuguese acronym).

Clip of the Day

Parsix 3.6r0 RC Linux (u virtual boxu)


Credit: TinyOgg

04.19.11

Links 19/4/2011: GIMP 2.8 Schedule, Boxee GPL Violations

Posted in News Roundup at 11:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Linux vs. Microsoft war is over

    Fans will tell you that Linux is one of the most dominant operating systems in the world and is showing signs of being a clear winner.

  • Kernel Space

    • [ANNOUNCE] Linux 2.6.34.9 has been released
    • Storage Highlights in 2.6.38

      Kernel development has lots of aspects – performance, stability, transparency, modularity, etc. Each of these aspects is addressed at one time or another while the kernel evolves. However, there are a group of us that are more performance oriented than others. Sometimes we are referred to as “performance junkies” or what I like to think of as “performance challenged”, but regardless of our label, we like to see more storage performance from Linux, particularly the kernel. The 2.6.38 kernel introduced some changes that helped performance making all of us performance challenged people very happy.

      [...]

      In addition to the VFS patches, there were a number of file systems improvements in the 2.6.38 kernel.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • The Extinct Species of My GNU/Linux & BSD Logo Zoo (A Tribute to Discontinued Distros)

      What about the distros that could have been in my zoo but are not there because they were discontinued before I got the chance to know about them?

    • LDR | Not just yet another Arch Linux Fork ?

      Release of new linux distributions based upon existing major and well known distributions is a common day happening in the linux world today . Ubuntu is known for having countless forks . Recently Arch Linux has gathered lot of spotlight and some distributions based upon Arch Linux have come forwards . LDR is one of those Arch Linux based distributions which was added to the “Distributions on the Waiting List” of DistroWatch.com on 2011-04-11.

      [...]

      As LDR is in the early stages of development…

    • Debian Family

      • Debian on a 1995 Sparcstation 20 in 2011 – Part 1: Prelude

        I chose the “desktop” software selection, and that meant 700+ packages. They continued installing into the night. It looked like there were both GNOME and KDE in the mix.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Default Desktop Experience for 11.04 – User testing results
        • Ubuntu’s Unity in 11.04 – Not All That Bad

          With all the upheaval around Unity and Gnome Shell and not having used Ubuntu since ‘Breezy Badger’ (that was 5.10) I thought I take a fresh look at the upcoming version and the new desktop. Well, it’s not that bad, and at least to me seems more accessible than the new Gnome because it works in a more traditional manner.

          Also, Unity actually got up and running where Gnome 3 via the Fedora live CD just dropped me into fallback mode every time, with barely functional panels and no right click shell menu. I only got ATI cards here, but it is a huge blunder to get such an impression right from the start. I can only assess Gnome Shell from what I’ve seen in desktop recordings, but Unity for me has already won here.

        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Home surveillance camera offers night vision

      D-Link announced a Linux-based surveillance camera for homes and small offices that offers VGA-quality video streaming at 20fps plus infrared video for night vision. The $150 Wireless N Day/Night Network Camera (DCS-932L) offers Ethernet and 802.11n connections, and enables video streaming to LAN or web-connected PCs as well as Android and Apple iOS mobile devices, says the company.

    • Boxee GPLv3 violation alleged

      Here’s a web site with a lengthy sermon on how D-Link’s Boxee Box device is allegedly violating the GPL. Such violations are not generally noteworthy, but this one, if true, is interesting in that it involves GPLv3-licensed software and a user’s ability to install new versions.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Real Ipad competitors finally appearing

          Second up is the Shenzhen GS30, a Chinese designed and built IPad 1 clone. It claims to use the same processor, screen, battery, and a bunch of other components as the original IPad, which is good. That translates to the Samsung S5PC11o running at 1Ghz. It will be running Google’s Android operating system, but here’s where we hit a problem. We don’t know which Android. The reported price is 2000 Yuan ($306.00 US) to OEMs. Volume pricing would be lower, so we might see them on the North American market for as little as $400.00 in the shops, or on Amazon. We hope these guys did their cold weather testing unlike the first Iphone clones that died in northern China.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Sourcefire Adds FirePOWER to IPS
  • SaaS

    • OpenStack Cactus Advances Open Source Cloud Computing

      The open source OpenStack cloud project is out with a new release this week codenamed ‘Cactus.’

      The Cactus release follows the Bexar release which debuted in February. In the new Cactus release, OpenStack is now taking the Glance image creation service, which debuted in Bexar and renaming it the OpenStack Image Service.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle says it’s done, sticks a second fork in OpenOffice

      Fast forward to today, and Oracle has decided to wash its hands of OpenOffice (mostly). Control will be handed over to a community group, and Chief Corporate Architect Edward Screven says Oracle will work with supporters in order “to further the continued success of Open Office.”

      As Ars Technica points out, it’s little more than a symbolic gesture at this point since the bulk of the OOo community has already moved on and pledged support to the LibreOffice fork. There’s no word yet on whether Oracle will give up the OpenOffice.org branding, though it seems unlikely given that it refused to let the LibreOffice crew have it once already.

    • OpenOffice and LibreOffice Won’t Be Kissing and Making Up

      Today The Document Foundation published an announcement putting that speculation to rest. In a short but firm statement Charles-H. Schulz said that the foundation would be continuing on as planned. He further stated, “The Document Foundation is an independent self-governing meritocratic Foundation, created by leading members of the OpenOffice.org Community and we are always willing to include new members and partners.”

      Also included in the statement was the key points that The Document Foundation “continues to build on the foundation of ten years’ dedicated work by the OpenOffice.org Community.” It “was created in the belief that the culture born out of an independent Foundation brings the best in contributors and will deliver the best software for the marketplace.”

    • Faenza Icon Theme Gets New LibreOffice and Workspace-Switcher Icons, Natty PPA Updated

      Latest Faenza Icon Theme 0.9.2 update brings in a new set of icons for LibreOffice, Workspace-Switcher, Wine Notepad, Winetricks, Stellarium and Mypaint. Faenza PPA now works with Ubuntu 11.04 as well.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Good Citizenship in Open Data

        We must work to understand what good citizenship and ethical behavior means in open data projects. The nature of communication, copying and competition in the space of open data is very complex. Yes, it’s not just about Google, but about raising the awareness of these issues among the people organizing open data projects, and especially the communities where we want to have an impact. The best idea I’ve heard this week (in a week of amazing ideas in Cambridge) was from Jeffrey Warren. We need a clear set of principles and ethics to guide the practice of open data initiatives in new communities. Open data collection should have: open and clear explanations of the purpose of data collection and the license of data; effort to find existing sources of data, rather than replicating and resurveying, and lobbying for the sharing of that data; effort to give the communities that collect data every opportunity to use that data in their own work, however they see fit; etc…

      • Add your local knowledge to the map with Google Map Maker for the United States
  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Larry Page takes over as Google CEO

    Having served an appropriate 7 years apprenticeship at the hip of former Novell chief Eric Schmidt, Google co-founder Larry Page has taken the helm of the SS Google. It is thought that Page will be able to supply the much needed entrepreneurial energy that Google has been unable to muster over the last few years.

  • Bullshit Blocker

    Orlowski is a thoroughly nasty piece of work, who sneers at anything even remotely virtuous. He hates Wikileaks with a passion, and environmentalists, and Free Software advocates (or “Freetards” as he likes to call us), and … well, pretty much anything else on the “us” side of the “them and us” argument. Astute El Reg readers will note that Orlowski’s articles are the only ones on the site with comments disabled, and with good reason, given his right-wing extremist views.

    So on the one hand I want to keep reading El Reg, but on the other I don’t want to get even the vaguest whiff of Orlowski’s sick propaganda. Well surely the answer is simple, I hear you say, just don’t read his articles. But that’s easier said than done, given that it’s not always obvious who’s written an article until after I’ve already started reading it. Even if I don’t immediately notice the attribution line, the tone of an Orlowski article is unmistakable. I’d easily know one of his articles even if he submitted it anonymously, just by reading it. But frankly I’d rather not. Ever. Not if I can help it.

  • Privacy

    • The swan song of EU data retention

      European Commissioner Cecilia Malmström finally presented her devastating evaluation of the data retention directive transposition in the European member states. She wants to move on with a review of the directive via stakeholder consultation, a move to win time.

    • Data retention: given whitewash by EU Commission

      In 2006, the EU passed a Directive requiring traffic details* of our phone calls, text messages, internet (IP) addresses and emails to be recorded and stored across Europe. Today, that Directive is being officially reviewed, in a widely leaked report expected to whitewash concerns about its basic incompatibility with human rights.

      This Directive – the “Data Retention Directive” – was pushed by the UK at the height of New Labour’s push for intrusive surveillance and lack of respect for fundamental rights, in the wake of the 2005 London bombings. The UK persuaded the EU that data retention was necessary and had to be applied across the EU to combat terrorism and serious crime.

  • Civil Rights

    • Commissioner Malmström delays revocation of EU data retention directive

      Today the European Commission adopted an evaluation report of the data retention directive. EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström presented the report at a Brussels press conference.

      “Cecilia Malmström artificially delays an overdue revocation of the data retention directive and only presents an evaluation report instead”, comments FFII network expert Stephan Uhlmann.

    • EU activities to improve the conditions of disabled citizens

      MEP Kósa Ádám prepares a report on Mobility and inclusion of people with disabilities and the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 Have a look at the draft report, you don’t find it on OEIL.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • Net Neutrality: The European Commission Gives Up on Users and Innovators

      The European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, has submitted her long-due report on Net neutrality to the EU Parliament. This extremely disappointing document rules out any immediate measures against telecoms operators who continually restrict EU citizens’ access to the Internet. Hiding behind false free-market arguments, Mrs Kroes gives way to anti-competitive practices harmful to freedom of communication and innovation in the digital environment.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • FOSS Trademarks are Probably OK

        The protection that projects have from trademarks can often seem to be a weapon used to remove the freedom of hackers to change the source code and redistribute.

        Examples include the Firefox trademark agreement, where Mozilla will not allow a re-distributor to call their package ‘Firefox’ unless all code has first gone upstream. This policy is used to make sure everybody get’s Mozilla’s Firefox and not someone else’s Firefox that they couldn’t control the quality for.

Clip of the Day

Programmer under oath admits computers rig elections


Credit: TinyOgg

04.18.11

Links 18/4/2011: X.Org Server 1.10.1, Wind River Backing Android, Trinity KDE Reviewed, Lucas Rocha Moves on

Posted in News Roundup at 4:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Alas, Groklaw, We Hardly Knew Ye

    Here in the world of technology, it’s an everyday occurrence to see new companies and organizations spring up out of nowhere and begin to play an active role.

    What’s far less common, however, is to see one disappear — particularly one that has been an extremely productive and well-respected part of the community for years upon years.

    That, however, is essentially what happened a week ago, if a blog post over at Groklaw is anything to go by.

  • Server

    • 1 billion computing core-hours for researchers to tackle huge scientific challenges

      Computing is an invaluable resource for advancement of scientific breakthroughs. Today we’re announcing an academic research grant program called Google Exacycle for Visiting Faculty, which provides 1 billion hours of computational core capacity to researchers. That’s orders of magnitude larger than the computational resources most scientists normally have access to.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • In the beginning: Linux circa 1991

      It was also to Linux’s advantage that its license, the Gnu General Public License version 2 (GPLv2) made it possible both to share the efforts of many programmers without letting their work disappear into proprietary projects. That, as I see it, was one of the problems with the BSD Unix family–FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, etc.–and its BSD License.

    • Graphics Stack

      • X.Org Server 1.10.1 Released

        Jeremy Huddleston has tagged the first point release in the X.Org Server 1.10 series.

        X.Org Server 1.10 was released in late February after RandR 1.4 was pulled from the release. X Server point releases don’t add in any new features, however, but just correct outstanding bugs.

        The xorg-server 1.10.1 release has bug-fixes for XQuartz, X Input, XKB, and various other areas, but no single change jumps out as being too prominent.

      • Apple Mac OS X 10.7 Lion DP2 Battles Ubuntu 10.10

        When running the Warsow game at 1920 x 1080, its frame-rate is slightly up from the first Lion developer preview and Mac OS X 10.6.6, while the NVIDIA blob on Ubuntu 10.10 was the slowest of the bunch. Of course, if using the open-source Nouveau driver on Gallium3D its performance would even be worse for Linux.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Trinity KDE – An alternative to KDE4, Gnome 3?

        Trinity KDE is mostly nostalgia. While KDE3 had its merits, with the latest version of KDE4, it’s really hard to argue against the technological and ergonomic advancement introduced into the desktop environment.

      • KDE Commit Digest for 10 April 2011
      • Plasma Active: A Box of Crayons

        One of the results of the UX sprint in Berlin which I’m really happy with is that it helped me frame some of the bigger ideas behind in my mind behind Plasma Active, and make it digestable for someone who hasn’t spent a lot of time yet thinking about it, and digesting these ideas.

      • Marble 1.1 released

        The Marble Team has just released Marble 1.1. This release is special! With many new features being developed during Google Code-in, the Marble Team decided to get it out between the usual KDE application releases. The new version provides several new features and improvements…

    • GNOME Desktop

      • [Lucas Rocha] Leaving GNOME Release Team

        This is the team that set the general plan for the GNOME 3 release and I feel very proud of having been part of it. I especially remember a couple of very long conversations with my evil twin about GNOME 3 and the team discussions during our meetings at GUADEC and FOSDEM…

        Leaving the release team means that I now have no official roles in GNOME anymore. I’ve left a few other positions recently—among others that I haven’t really announced. This is actually an explicit decision of mine to gradually free some of my (rare) spare time for other personal projects. You probably know one of them. But there’s probably more coming, stay tuned!

      • Privacy settings are coming to Zeitgeist

        Writing on his blog, Zeitgeist developer Stefano Candori has shown off the beginnings of a feature addition to the semantic-tracking engine which allows users to specify what Zeitgeist can log – and what it shouldn’t.

  • Distributions

    • Visit My GNU/Linux (& BSD) Logo Zoo and See How Many Distros You can Name!

      Some people think that GNU/Linux is only one Operating System. Others think that “Linux” is the only UNIX Operating System derivative but BSD must not be forgotten. Both GNU/Linux and BSD include a lot of different OSs in their respective families. While Linux has Tux (a penguin) as its mascot, BSD has Daemon (a little devil). Interestingly, many of the OSs in both families are identified by logos representing animals. Thus, I made this little zoo with the logos of as many distros as I could find to illustrate the great variety of Operating Systems available to choose.

    • Reviews: Puppy Linux 5.2.5 – taking a bite out of bloat

      After a full week of usage, I can’t say that Puppy Linux 5.2.5 Lucid is quite ready to compete with industrial-strength distros such as Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora or openSUSE. It does come very close and I was able to get most of my work done, but the collection of PET packages is still insufficient to meet my heavy demands. The addition of the Ubuntu repository is potentially a solution, but the package collection is far from complete, and the issue of “dependency hell” is a source of frustration.

      Furthermore, the wisdom of running as root continues to haunt Puppy. In this era of online shopping and online banking, users expect ironclad security, and it should not require command-line hacks to get it. Discussion of this issue often gets heated, even rabid, turning into an all-consuming flamefest at times. I wish people wouldn’t get so emotional about it, but it is what it is. I don’t expect the raging debate to end any time soon.

      On the other hand, perhaps I’m barking up the wrong tree. Is Puppy meant to be blockbuster OS, built to withstand attacks like a server farm? Or is it just a lightweight fun OS that we can use to revive old hardware, or run from a USB stick when we need portability? A lot of people like Puppy – it’s in the top 10 of the DistroWatch page-hit ranking. I enjoy Puppy too, and it’s what I run exclusively on my netbook. Maybe the only thing wrong with Puppy is that users’ expectations tend to exceed the developer’s intentions.

    • Red Hat Family

      • The state sees Red and likes it

        I confess that when I read some weeks back about the state’s giving Raleigh-based Red Hat almost $17 million in incentives not to move, I was predictably agitated. After all, for over 15 years as a judge, candidate and lawyer, I have criticized and opposed this type of corporate welfare. My change of heart when it comes to Red Hat has nothing to do with our governor’s donning a red fedora set at a jaunty angle to announce the giveaway. Nor do I own any Red Hat stock. It’s really all about the fact that local businesses have finally figured out how the game is played.

      • Fedora

        • Top Five Fedora Derivatives

          One of the other “big names” in the Linux world is Red Hat’s community driven Fedora. Beyond Fedora itself, there are also a small number of derivatives out there based off of this Yum+RPM powered distribution. The following is a round up of some of the better ones.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project Leader Election 2011 Results

        The winner of the election is Stefano Zacchiroli.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Sorry Mate, But I Can’t Use Ubuntu Anymore: Goodbye Meerkat

          I liked Meerkat, in fact I loved it. But, its existence in my life has reduced to a couple of DVDs which are laying in some dark corners of the drawers of my office desk. They will never be put in CD drives again, they will never be used to install anything again. They might remain there as memories or be thrown in trash to be taken care by Brussels waste management department.

        • Unity vs GNOME 3 – Ubuntu 11.04

          This blog posting is strictly my opinion of the two interfaces in Ubuntu 11.04.

          I tried both of these interfaces when that I upgraded to Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 2. Unity did not stay installed very long. This interface has matured to a stable state however the interface did not appeal to me. Unity is plagued with overly large icons and lots of blandly bright colors. It’s like the screen was designed by Crayola and not Canonical.

        • The Bizarre Cathedral – 97
        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Wind River opens Android development center

          In yet another sign Intel is moving quickly into Android, its embedded Linux software subsidiary Wind River launched a new mobile technology development center in Stockholm focused on Android. Meanwhile, the Intel-backed MeeGo project appears to be gaining some new life for its handset development, with LG Electronics, ZTE, and China Mobile filling the gap left by Nokia, says an industry report.

          Wind River’s addition of an engineering team in Stockholm, Sweden, represents its “concentrated effort to grow its Android expertise for a wider range of Android-based devices including tablets, media phones and other device classes,” says the

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open-Source Web-Sites, Memories Of The Past

    The forum discussion surrounding TransGaming’s GameTree Linux and Cedega Technology continues, with some Linux gamers regretting that they ever even supported TransGaming. One user also brings up the past from when — back in 2000~2001 — TransGaming had pledged to open up their code-base once they reached 20,000 subscribers. They believed in an open-source philosophy at that time, but they never ended up opening up their code once hitting that milestone. Even though Cedega as we know it is now dead, this former fork of the X11-licensed Wine is still closed.

  • The Folly of Business Use of Non-Free Software

    With FLOSS, the licence usually costs $0 so business running on FLOSS could save all of that $12billion and it would only take a small effort to migrate to FLOSS. Business has made mistakes along the way by not migrating sooner and buying licences instead of making their own software but it is never too late and $12billion annually saved forever will pay the total cost of migration in a few months or years, leaving all of eternity to spend the money on other things that bring value.

  • Open source programming tools on the rise

    The reason is clear: Open source licenses are designed to allow users to revise, fix, and extend their code. The barber or cop may not be familiar enough with code to contribute, but programmers sure know how to fiddle with their tools.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • AES encryption for OpenOffice.org

      The ODF 1.2 specification allows for stronger encryption algorithms, and Blowfish is declared as the legacy encryption algorithm.

      The new version of the standard allows the encryption algorithms listed in §5.2 of xmlenc-core.

    • LibreOffice 3.4 Beta 1 Available, Oracle Unchains OpenOffice

      April 15 brought some interesting developments in the office suite front. Oracle’s press release announcing its intention of halting commercial interest in OpenOffice.org came hours before The Document Foundation announced the release of LibreOffice 3.4 Beta 1.

      [...]

      LibreOffice 3.4 Beta 1 received lots of bug fixes and a few new additions. Some include:

      + added navigation buttons to writer
      + Replaced unhide text button by icon buttons
      + Mouse wheel scrolls whole slides
      + Updated slide sorter icons
      + allow ‘select as you type’ aka ‘quick selection’
      + new ‘animated images’ for Throbber controls
      + enable human icon theme

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • C-SPAN Radio’s Historic Supreme Court Oral Argument: Lotus Development Corporation v. Borland International, Inc. (1996)

    The Supreme Court took up a case involving ownership of computer technology in this 1996 case.

    Lotus Development Corporation copyrighted a computer spreadsheet program called “Lotus 1-2-3.” Borland International, a competing software company, released a similar program called “Quattro,” that contained a program called “key reader.”

  • Youth engagement will make the Digital Agenda a reality

    On Tuesday I held an exciting meeting with a dozen high-flying young Europeans involved in science, start ups, government and civil society, whose insights are can really help us with the Digital Agenda.

    I was very impressed with their clear views and with what they’ve achieved using technology in their careers.

  • Science

    • Scientists teleport Schrodinger’s cat

      Researchers from Australia and Japan have successfully teleported wave packets of light, potentially revolutionising quantum communications and computing.

  • Security

    • Former Internet Vigilante Gets Two Years For DDoS Attack

      A computer programmer who once volunteered for Perverted Justice, the producers of “To Catch a Predator,” was sentenced Friday to two years in prison for launching a botnet that attacked the organization’s web site.

  • Censorship

    • YouTube: Fair Use is Why Conan Can Make Fun of Rebecca Black

      Yesterday, YouTube redesigned its copyright help center to help educate its users about the ins and outs of copyright law. Copyright law can be complicated and, in light of that, the site now sends offenders to the YouTube Copyright School where they can watch explanatory cartoons in an experience that our own Audrey Watters isn’t too sure arrives at education.

      If you agree, then you might want to get in on YouTube’s next effort – a Q&A with legal experts it will be holding on the video site at the beginning of May.

      Fair use, YouTube explains, “is a legal term that grants creators an exception to the strict copyright that the original content owner controls — in layman’s terms, it’s the idea that as long as the use is ‘fair,’ someone can reference part of someone else’s work for parody, scholarly reasons, or more.”

  • Privacy

    • Facebook looks to cash in on user data

      Julee Morrison has been obsessed with Bon Jovi since she was a teenager.

      So when paid ads for fan sites started popping up on the 41-year-old Salt Lake City blogger’s Facebook page, she was thrilled. She described herself as a “clicking fool,” perusing videos and photos of the New Jersey rockers.

      Then it dawned on Morrison why all those Bon Jovi ads appeared every time she logged on to the social networking site.

      “Facebook is reading my profile, my interests, the people and pages I am ‘friends’ with, and targeting me,” Morrison said. “It’s brilliant social media but it’s absolutely creepy.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • Terence Corcoran: CanCon, the Opera

      The professional shakedown artists otherwise known as Canada’s cultural industries — telecoms, broadcasters, TV networks, filmmakers — are gearing up for another operatic hit on Canadians. They want the Internet controlled through new rules and new charges that would expand their existing protection racket that now funnels billions into their hands and limits the freedom of Canadians.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The iPod tax is an expensive gamble

        In theory, those engaged online would be the most concerned by an iPod tax. It’s an unproven theory since I can’t say for sure the folks contributing to election chatter on Twitter are also the most likely to have iPods or be affected by the controversial (and possibly non-existent) iPod tax. However, since it’ll make this post more interesting, I’m going to make the assumption Tweeters are also most likely to be worked up into a frenzy (cue ass-u-me jokes now). Let’s call this campaign a safe bet with an expectation of a good ROI.

Clip of the Day

HTC Sensation Promo Video


Credit: TinyOgg

04.17.11

Links 17/4/2011: MIPS and Android

Posted in News Roundup at 12:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Zorin Unveils New Linux-Based PC

      According to Zorin, its PC has a rotatable touch screen display that is optimized for electronic note taking and drawing. Zorin tailored the hardware and software to work 100 percent with Linux and is available in three editions: Home, Educational, and Business.

    • MultiSystem: Live USB MultiBoot

      I was directed to this great program from a random stranger on identi.ca. I had posted a dent asking thoughts on a good Linux OS to run on a live USB. One of the replies asked, “Why run just one? Check out MultiSystem.” A quick search revealed the MultiSystem web page. The page http://liveusb.info happens to be in French, but fortunately for me there is a Google translator gadget.

    • Is Linux Antivirus Worth It? Part 2

      A few weeks ago I mentioned friends-in-the-biz who don’t put anti-virus software on their PCs.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux’s Twenty years of Achievement and Success

      If you think about it, most of us have grown up using Linux. Linux was not how software was done, 20 years ago. There was only paid software, as Stallman so famously said in 1983 and went on to lay the foundation of the Free Software Foundation with the GNU Project that was compatible with all available software. However, the GNU took its time to evolve and had basic structures-compilers, text, Unix shell etc. but elements daemons, device drivers including the kernel were stuttering to completion.

    • Linux 2.6.38.3
    • Graphics Stack

      • Where The Open-Source AMD Driver Is At For Modern GPUs

        Earlier this week Sapphire launched the Radeon HD 5830 Extreme using the well-supported “Cypress LE” graphics processor at a very competitive price relative to the NVIDIA competition and the Radeon HD 5830 graphics cards from other AMD partners. With it being part of the HD 5000 series and not one of the newer HD 6000 series graphics processors, the Linux support is already spot-on for both the official Catalyst Linux driver and within the open-source stack. In this article are the open-source Gallium3D benchmarks for the Radeon HD 5830 along with other recent ATI/AMD GPUs to show where the latest Mesa/Gallium3D code is at today.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • First Calligra Sprint

        Over the April 1st – 3rd weekend, the first Calligra sprint took place at the KDAB office in Berlin. With a total of 31 people from 14 nations, the room was crowded to the bursting point! It was a very successful sprint, and the first KDE sprint for many of the attendees.

        While hacking continued unabated at all times, a sprint is primarily an opportunity to meet face to face, create new bonds, and discuss current and future issues. As usual, Friday was free-form, with hacking and chatting until it was time to go out to dinner. After dinner we crashed the breakfast room of the hotel because the lobby was too small, and continued hacking.

      • New KDE project aims at tablets, mixed UIs

        The new Plasma Active and Contour projects were developed for a new user experience for tablets, smartphones and set top boxes.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Clonezilla’s Multi-casts, Overcasts Norton Ghost

      Would you believe that at NCHC 41 computers cloned 5.6 GB simultaneously in 10 minutes? Multicasting or what? Clonezilla is a new age multicasting and unicasting solution from OpenSource Clone system for massive and large-scale cloning.
      Cloning content is an essential process of computing where contents from one computer hard disk need to be transferred/imaged/cloned to another or multiple computer hard disks. Rebooting, restoring, new computer provisioning, hard disk upgrades, full system backup , system recovery and transfer to other users are some of the main areas/reasons where cloning is used.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • CentOS 5.6 Screenshots
      • Red Hat Submits New Data Caching Spec to Java EE 7

        Red Hat thinks so, and today submitted a new request to the Java Community Process (JCP) to push their data caching ideas forward into Java EE 7. The JCP approved JSR 342 last month, getting the ball rolling for the full creation of the Java EE 7 specifications.

        “The themes of Java EE 7 are all about continuing to ease development and making Java cloud ready,” Craig Muzilla, vice president of Red Hat’s Middleware Business Unit told InternetNews.com.

        Muzilla noted that the new data caching specification is being submitted in the same spirit of cloud enablement that is at the core of Java EE 7. He exp

      • The rationale for Ceylon, Red Hat’s new programming language

        Red Hat engineer Gavin King, the creator of Hibernate, is developing a new programming language for enterprise software development. His team at Red Hat has apparently been working on the grammar in secrecy for two years and is finally opening it up for scrutiny.

        The new language, which is called Ceylon, is intended to remedy what King views as fundamental shortcomings of the Java programming language. It’s more succinct and expressive but is designed to be easy to read and learn. It will run on existing Java virtual machines and draws on many of Java strengths while addressing some key limitations.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • MontaVista registered for Carrier Grade Linux 5.0 spec

      MontaVista Software announced that MontaVista Linux Carrier Grade Edition (CGE) 6.0 has been registered as compliant to the Linux Foundation’s Carrier Grade Linux (CGL) 5.0 specification. MontaVista appears to be the first Linux distro to have registered for CGL 5.0, which was announced at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit last week, offering advancements in everything from streaming media to security.

    • Texas Instruments Announces OpenLink Project

      Texas Instruments (TI) announces the OpenLink project which focuses on providing a wide range of wireless connectivity solutions for Linux.

    • EPIC module powers robotic shadow plays

      Habey announced an EPIC-format SBC (single board computer) that features a 1.1GHz Intel Atom Z510P processor, 512MB of onboard memory, plus PC/104, PCI, and Mini PCI expansion. The EMB-4650 also includes CompactFlash and SD slots, dual video outputs, and eight USB 2.0 ports, according to the company.

    • Electric vehicle offers Android tablet as dashboard IVI system

      T3 Motion announced a two-passenger electric vehicle that comes complete with a detachable Android-based Samsung Galaxy Tab tablet in its dashboard. The Galaxy Tab will act as the in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) computer for the three-wheeled R3 series plug-ins, offering navigation, entertainment, and vehicle diagnostic monitoring, says the company.

    • MIPS launches developer site for Android and Linux

      MIPS Technologies has launched a developer community website designed for Android and Linux developers working on MIPS-based hardware, including handsets and tablets. Developer.mips.com features open access to MIPS-tailored Android and Linux source code, an Android native development kit, debug and development tools including MIPS Navigator, plus resources including tutorials and support forums, says the company.

    • MIPS creates community for Android developers

      MIPS Technologies has launched a developer community for software developers working with the Android platform.

      The online community will also be relevant for anyone developing Linux operating system based applications on MIPS-based hardware.

      “This new community demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the vibrant open source effort around the MIPS cores and architecture,” said Art Swift, v-p of marketing and business development at MIPS Technologies.

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

      • Android

        • Google holds back Android Honeycomb; Asus releases the source code

          As if to back up the contention by Google’s Android boss that the tablet version of Android isn’t being penned in so Google can keep control, PC-maker Asus released part of the source code yesterday.

          Asus posted a link on the product page for its Eee Pad Transformer tablet that lets readers download a 97MB file with the source code for v8.2.2.6 of the Android kernel.

          Google released the software developers kit for Android v3 in February, but only to a few OEMs and selected other partners.

        • 50 Android Apps to Manage Your Phone (and Your Life)
        • CyanogenMod 7 brings Gingerbread to 28 phones, two tablets

          Doing its part to fight Android fragmentation, Cyanogen and his band of mobile hackers have released a modified version of Android 2.3.3 optimized for some 30 devices still awaiting carrier updates. CyanogenMod 7 (CM7) adds to Gingerbread with power-user features found in the previous Froyo version (CM6), and supports its first two tablets: the ViewSonic G-Tablet and Barnes & Noble Nook Color.

        • Android tablets tipped from Motorola, Archos

          Motorola is reportedly preparing a ruggedized, seven-inch Android tablet, while an Archos division in China has tipped the Archos 7c Home Tablet and an updated capacitive version of the Archos Arnova 10 — both running Android on the ARM Cortex-A8 Rockhip RK2918 processor. Meanwhile, Amazon is offering a 10-inch, $500 Viewsonic gTablet in a “deal of the day.”

        • Intel paying bounty to favor Android on Oak Trail tablets?
          B

          Intel is planning to pay a $10-per-device subsidy to encourage the creation of Android tablets using its “Oak Trail” Atom processor, a DigiTimes report has claimed. And a relevant port of Android 3.0 (“Honeycomb”) will be available later this year, a company executive has been quoted as saying.

          The Apr. 14 DigiTimes report by Monica Chen and Joseph Tsai says Intel wil “pay a subsidy of $10 for each Intel CPU-based tablet PC to attract first-tier notebook vendors.” It will promote the Android 3.0 platform “to save costs from Windows licensing fees for downstream vendors,” the story further adds.

        • [Release] Android Gingerbread 2.3.3 — N11 “Vostok” For the N900

          You can download the latest build from here and follow these installation instructions to get it running on your phone.

Free Software/Open Source

  • VMware Launches Open Source Cloud Foundry

    VMware is accelerating its cloud efforts today with the announcement of its new Cloud Foundry project. Cloud Foundry is an open source application platform for the cloud.

    “Cloud Foundry is about expanding a PaaS engine across multiple clouds, frameworks and application services,” Jerry Chen and his title is Senior Director of Cloud and Application Services at VMware told InternetNews.com.

    Chen noted that with Cloud Foundry, VMware (NYSE: VMW) is aiming to lower the barriers to adoption for the cloud.

  • Is Cloud Foundry something we need?
  • MIPS launches developer site for Android and Linux

    The new Turnkey Linux Hub 1.0 web service provides flexible Amazon cloud hosting and backup capabilities for web application software appliances, says this eWEEK review. The Ubuntu-based software is said to offer an “excellent” backup and restore utility that makes it easy to migrate appliance instances.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Flock ‘Social Media’ Browser is No More

        Flock Web Browser was once a darling of the web. It was among my favorite web browsers out there until a few years ago. But then Google Chrome happened which raised the bar much higher eventually changing the whole internet space once and for all. Mozilla Firefox suddenly became *old* and had to re invent itself to survive[read Firefox 4.0]. Unfortunately, that was not the case with Flock ‘Social Media’ Browser.

  • SaaS

    • Open Cubed: Meet the New Cloud Stack

      The recent announcements of Facebook’s Open Compute and VMware’s Cloud Foundry address the hardware architecture and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) layers, respectively.

  • Databases

    • SkySQL Builds MySQL Reference Architecture

      Deploying a MySQL database today to meet modern infrastructure demands isn’t as easy as it used to be.

      In an effort to help enterprises deploy the open source database, MySQL services vendor SkySQL is launching a new MySQL reference architecture that includes services and components. A decade ago, MySQL was typically deployed as part of the LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) stack, but that’s not enough anymore.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • Instructure Canvas LMS: Go open source, get serious investment capital

      Back in February, I wrote about Instructure’s risky move open-sourcing their Canvas LMS. The product was great, an easy-to-use, robust LMS with solid social features and a spectacular user interface. It was highly scalable and suddenly anybody (or at least anyone with a bit of Ruby on Rails experience) could fire it up on their own server. The question was, would anybody pay for Instructure’s hosting and support when they could host the LMS themselves?

      The answer turned out to be an overwhelming yes. As Devin Knighton, Instructure PR Director told me, “Instead of the hundreds of leads their sales team was expecting from the announcement, we received thousands.” See, Oracle? You can make money from open source!

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Farewell, Groklaw, and thanks!

      You can read the announcement on Groklaw. I personally read the site regularly to help keep abreast of legal news related to free software. PJ’s especially good about posting articles that may not directly discuss the latest issue, but provide useful context for the more focused material. And the site’s collaborative research has been so helpful to free software developers that Groklaw won the FSF’s Award for Projects of Social Benefit in 2007.

  • Project Releases

    • First stable Blender 2.5 series arrives

      After several years of redesign and development work, the Blender Foundation and its associated online developer community have announced the arrival of version 2.57 of their open source 3D content creation suite, the first stable release in the 2.5 series. According to the developers, this major milestone is not only stable because it’s “mostly feature complete, but especially thanks to the 1,000s of fixes and feature updates we did since the 2.5 beta versions were published.”

    • GIMP 2.7.2 Arrives, But Still Far From Belated GIMP 2.8
    • [Audacity 1.3.13 released]
  • Programming

    • Optimizing Your Development Process

      In my last blog entry, How Effective Is Your Software Development, I discussed the three pillars of development effectiveness: Process Optimization, Quality Optimization and Technology Optimization, including architecture, leveraging the cloud, social media, smart devices, etc. This post will focus on Process Optimization.

Leftovers

  • Mainstream Failure

    The media’s telling of the Japan story has been inexcusably bad. I can’t count the number of pieces about confinement breaches and radiation surges; where they are not information-free they are wrong, and where they are not wrong, they bypass what matters. Here are a few specifics.

    * The real story in Japan, by any objective measure, is the sustained post-tsunami desperation among those whose lives were swept away, and the narrative about the rescue and cleanup workers all over the Northeast. Read much of that? Me neither.
    * Bloggers and other flavors of lone wolf are publishing heart-wrenching photo-essays from the front line of the recovery effort. Newspapers and TV networks? They’re writing about the temperature of the water in some part (they don’t specify which) of some damaged reactor, illustrating it with video screen grabs of machinery they don’t understand enough to explain.
    * People across oceans from Japan should fear radiation? Um, what was the half-life of 131I again?

  • Finance

    • BRICS credit: Local currencies to replace dollar

      Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – the BRICS group of fastest growing economies – Thursday signed an agreement to use their own currencies instead of the predominant US dollar in issuing credit or grants to each other.

      The agreement, the first-of-its-kind, was signed at the 3rd BRICS summit here attended by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, China’s Hu Jintao, Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff, Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev and South Africa’s Jacob Zuma.

    • Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. goes on an anti-tech rant, blames the iPad for U.S. job losses

      Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. appears to think technology gadgets — including tablet computers like the iPad — are the reason this country is shedding jobs. Really? The Illinois Congressman went on one of the more outrageous anti-technology rants on Friday on the floor of Congress. We transcribed the remarks below, since we couldn’t really believe what we were hearing.

  • DRM

    • The biggest PR clanger in history of the WWF

      With a list of controversies like that you start to wonder how they survived. Well, very easy: by having a very good PR department. Whenever a controversy pops up WWF acts like a turtle. It minimizes communication as much as possible and hopes the whole thing blows over. It tries to silence, marginalize or intimidate its critics, but in such a clever way that it doesn’t make too many waves. Disputes between its chapters are kept indoors as much as possible. Bluntly lying – if required – is an accepted practice.

      Being one of the opponents in their latest controversy – the infamous WWF format – I experienced these tactics first hand. This is my story.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Monopoly Lawyers Shouldn’t Write Monopoly Laws

        A problem with monopoly laws, such as the copyright monopoly and patent monopoly, is that their text is usually written by the lawyers that maintain them. This creates a vicious circle with circular proof that the laws work as intended.

      • Why Google Should Buy the Music Industry

        On a rational basis, the music industry’s concerns would be dwarfed by those of the computer world, which is not just far larger, but vastly more important in strategic terms. But instead, the former gets to make all kinds of hyperbolic claims about the alleged “damage” inflicted by piracy on its income, even though these simply don’t stand up to analysis.

        But that throwaway comment also raises another interesting idea: how about if Google *did* buy the music industry? That would solve its licensing problems at a stroke. Of course, the anti-trust authorities around the world would definitely have something to say about this, so it might be necessary to tweak the idea a little.

        How about if a consortium of leading Internet companies – Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Baidu, Amazon etc. – jointly bought the entire music industry, and promised to license its content to anyone on a non-discriminatory basis?

      • Righthaven’s Secret Contract Revealed: Will Its Strategy Collapse?

        Angered at Righthaven’s behavior, a Las Vegas federal judge unsealed the company’s heretofore confidential agreement with the Las Vegas Review-Journal late on Friday. The contract reveals that the controversial copyright-enforcement company and LV R-J parent company Stephens Media are splitting their net earnings from suing hundreds of bloggers on a 50-50 basis. It also shows that the LV R-J is still largely in control of Righthaven’s litigation strategy—a fact that could end up being ruinous for Righthaven’s campaign of copyright lawsuits.

Clip of the Day

Penguin being tickled


Credit: TinyOgg

04.16.11

Links 16/4/2011: Humble Bundle, Kubuntu 11.04 Raves

Posted in News Roundup at 6:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Growth of Linux Visiting Wikipedia

    Linux

    * February 2011 – 2.47%
    * February 2010 – 1.65%

    Change = +.82% Rate of growth = +50%

  • Google

    • How to make Google good again

      One of the key aspects of the latter has been its support for open source, which has been at the heart of Google’s infrastructure from the earliest days. Its adoption of free software played an important part in allowing the company to offer a range of free services – search, email, video content etc. – that could scale globally, Something that would have been much harder for a startup to achieve with traditional licensed software, where costs would have risen far more steeply.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Plasma Active: Vendor Interaction

        This is the final entry in a series of five posts covering the various tracks in the Plasma Active initiative. In this closing article, we look at the track that aims to help bring out work to actual hardware.

        On Monday, I will be writing a quick overview of some of the “big picture” goals and aspirations represented in Plasma Active, and on Friday of next week I will be sharing a preview of a new interaction feature that I’ve only referred to cryptically as “SLC” so far. Today, however, I hope you enjoy the outline of the fifth track in Plasma Active: Vendor Interaction.

      • Contour brings a context-sensitive interface to KDE Plasma Active

        As KDE developers continue to build the device-independent Plasma Active Linux environment, other pieces of the UI puzzle are falling into place as well. Pieces like Contour, which the team bills as a “context-sensitive user interface that adapts to…current activities and behavioral patterns of the user.”

        As you can see in the screenshot, part of what Contour does is recommend additional actions based upon what it thinks you’re doing at any given time. By taking a look at a number of different sources of data — like GPS coordinates, accelerometer data, time and date, ambient sound and light, recently accessed files, and recent user actions, Contour will attempt to adjust the device’s UI to automatically meet a user’s needs.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • SimplyMepis Shaping Up – 11.0 RC 2 Released

        SimplyMepis 11.0 RC 2 was released last week and the annoying thing about that project is that their release announcements say nothing about the release. So, if one wants to keep up they have to download each developmental release and test it. So, I did.

        The basic look and feel hasn’t changed since my last test. It’s possible it could receive an update before final. What I did notice soon after boot was that the graphic driver setup assistant is gone. It was inoperative my last test, but it’s completely gone now. Instructions in the Mepis Manual have the user going back to the old-fashioned manual procedure. This isn’t a big deal for most of us old goats, but for a distribution known for being “user-friendly,” this isn’t a plus. Will it be back before final?

        Fortunately, I didn’t have to play around with any settings or boot flags to get a graphical desktop. The boot to blank locked-up screen was somewhat fixed last test, but I did have to talk it into a graphical interface.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu: The Gateway Linux

          Yesterday I upgraded my personal laptop (well, one of them) from Ubuntu 10.10 to Ubuntu 11.4 beta 2. I have a knack for finding bugs, but this time the upgrade was smooth sailing. I was reminded of what my friend said when I first installed Ubuntu for her: This feels like a really expensive system.

        • An Ubuntu Adventure: The DELL Latitude 2120
        • The New Look of the Ubuntu 11.04 Server Installer!

          With Natty Beta2, the Ubuntu 11.04 Server Installer received a little bit of the same aubergine love that the Ubuntu Desktop has enjoyed now for the last few releases. Moving away from that 1980s MSDOS/PCDOS VGA blue look, the our Server installer now sports a distinctively Ubuntu color scheme!

        • An Ubuntu Adventure: The DELL Latitude 2120

          In a previous post I described the certification release of Ubuntu pre-install for the Dell Latitude 2120. This post seems to have drawn some interest on the process from both internally in Canonical and externally. I decided that I needed to experience myself what a user buying a Certified “Pre-Installed only” system would go through from buying the system to getting the bespoke image from the manufacturer and ultimately upgrading to the latest “stock” Ubuntu release. The Dell Latitude 2120 seemed like a good companion for this adventure.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • An Arch User Trying Out Kubuntu 11.04

            Hopefully the final release of Kubuntu 11.04 is as good as it is in its current beta. Since I used to be a huge fan of Kubuntu before its downward spiral that caused it to become bland, I’m actually quite happy to say that this release is shaping up to be the best in over two and a half years. Considering that all of my hardware is detected and works great, the developers must have tweaked something to make this happen. I would really like to know what it was they did, though my guess is they probably included the next generation of Intel drivers into the current kernel. Good job!

          • My Kubuntu Natty Opinions

            Like I said, overall I am really impressed with what I am seeing here.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

    • Tablets

      • Tablets are changing the way consumers engage with content

        In order to better understand how people are using tablets we ran a survey of over 1,400 tablet users and found that:

        * 68% of tablet users spend at least 1 hour a day on their tablet
        * 77% of respondents report that their desktop/laptop usage decreased after they started using a tablet
        * 82% of respondents said they primarily use their tablet at home

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Improved CSV file compatibility in OOo 3.4 Beta

      CSV (plain text) files are a popular way of exchanging data with a broad range different programs. But whereever different programs are involved, there’s some disagreement about the details. One such detail is the presence of quotes (text delimiter character) around fields. The usual consensus (spelled out, for example, in RFC 4180) is that fields “may or may not” be enclosed in quotes.

      As long as the field delimiter doesn’t occur in numbers (for example as decimal separator), it can be useful to quote all text content, so the distinction between text and numbers is preserved. See issue 37856 for an example. This is what Calc CSV export has always done, and with the new import options in 3.3, we can optionally make use of that distinction when importing.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • 56% of Peoples’ 1st Wikipedia Edits Are Good

    If you thought Wikipedia had seen its heyday, you’d have thought wrong. A small study performed by Wikipedia staff and published today found that new Editors are signing up and making edits to the site at a far greater rate than they were years ago. A slight majority of their first edits are acceptable or better.

  • Finance

  • Privacy

    • Well-Meaning “Privacy Bill of Rights” Wouldn’t Stop Online Tracking

      On Tuesday, Senators John McCain and John Kerry introduced the long-awaited Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights, a sweeping bill that covers online and offline data collection, retention, use, and dissemination practices. Unfortunately, the bill may fall short of what’s needed to protect our privacy.

      This bill fails to address many of the issues surrounding pervasive online tracking that have been raised by privacy advocates, explored in the Wall Street Journal’s What They Know series, and highlighted by the FTC’s recent Privacy Report. The bill’s most glaring defect is its emphasis on regulation of information use and sharing, rather than on the collection of data in the first place. For example, the bill would allow a user to opt out of third-party ad targeting based on tracking – but not third-party tracking. The consumer choice provisions in Section 202 apply only to data use—not collection—unless that data is both “sensitive” and “personally identifiable.” Moreover, Part III of the bill, which imposes lax limits on collection, cannot be enforced by state Attorneys General. This is backwards: the privacy risk is not in consumers seeing targeted advertisements, but in the unchecked accumulation and storage of data about consumers’ online activities. Collecting and retaining data on consumers can create a rich repository of information – which leaves consumer data vulnerable to a data breach as well as creating an unnecessary enticement for government investigators, civil litigants and even malicious hackers.

  • Civil Rights

    • When fund-raising is a crime

      IN THE odd way these things work in China, word has trickled out that on April 7th an appeal court in Zhejiang, a famously entrepreneurial coastal province, conducted a five-hour hearing on a death sentence handed down to Wu Ying, a prominent 29-year-old businesswoman, on fraud charges. Before her arrest Ms Wu had seemed to personify the miraculous business success that could be achieved by people from even the most humble background in modern China.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • Osama bin Laden Getting Faster Internet Than You Have: Pakistan’s 50Mbps Future

      While America’s heartland is being wired for 3Mbps DSL service, residents in Pakistan are getting ready for speeds up to 50Mbps thanks to a major broadband expansion in the country.

      Pakistan’s PTCL, the country’s state-controlled phone company, is working on a major upgrade to bonded VDSL2, the next generation of DSL, which can deliver more than five times the top speed of the country’s highest level of service, at a construction cost of just $200-300 per home passed.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Facebook Sues FriendFinder, Peeved Over FacebookOfSex.com Website

      Facebook has filed a few different trademark lawsuits against sites it doesn’t approve of, like Teachbook and humor site Lamebook. Some of those cases might be considered close calls legally, and both of those sites are still up. But now a much bigger company is messing with Facebook’s name: adult social networking company FriendFinder Networks, which has launched a (very NSFW) website called FacebookOfSex.com.

    • Copyrights

      • EU copyright extention

        Remember the Cliff Richard directive proposal for a copyright extention of sound recordings also known as 2008/0157(COD)? The extention was fiercely debated in the European Parliament and by consumer groups. Our MEPs adopted a plenary report and then… Then our EU-Council with all the member states at the table went into wait-and-see mode. They noticed that the Commission proposition was quite a bit over the top. Meanwhile we have a new parliament, the Lisbon Treaty regime, a new Council. Now it’s back on the agenda, just before the children born when the Commission started to draft its proposal enter school, rumours say Hungary suddenly changed its mind in the Council, we learn from an alarmist Boingboing call to action, that we, the people are asked by science fiction writer Cory Doctorow to

        1. Phone our MEP

        2. MEP does for us ???

        3. Win!

      • YouTube to require ‘tutorials’ for copyright offenders

        Google Inc.’s online video behemoth YouTube toughened its enforcement of copyright laws, requiring violators to attend “copyright school” and pass a test before they can resume uploading videos to the site.

        The changes come amid calls — both in Hollywood and in Congress — that YouTube do more to combat piracy. Google General Counsel Kent Walker recently defended the search giant’s commitment to content protection in testimony this month before the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on intellectual property.

      • Spotify: Not so free as it was

        It seems that the original licensing deals which enabled Spotify to get off the ground a couple of years ago are coming to an end – and some of the labels in some European countries are getting restless about how much of their content is being given away for free, with minimal fees in return. Yes, 15% of Spotify’s users are now paying customers, but as the service grows, millions of tracks are being played for nothing.

      • Scottish election: Pirate Party UK profile

        With no known founder, the Pirate Party UK is rather more unconventional than traditional electoral offerings.

        The UK group is part of an international movement of Pirate Parties, which lobbies against copyright and software patent laws.

        The very first party was founded in Sweden in 2006.

Clip of the Day

Doctor Who: 47 Years in 6 Minutes


Credit: TinyOgg

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