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Links 25/3/2010: Free Software Award Winners, Red Hat’s Results Analysed

Posted in News Roundup at 4:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • LB – Episode 52 – Podcatching an Asterisk by Linux Basement
  • Linux is a Better Teacher

    I learned a little from my dalliances with Apple products. I learned a lot from PCs running DOS and Windows. I’ve learned the most about computers from Linux.

  • Desktop

    • Compaq Presario 2175us Ubuntu Graphics Driver

      For the average IT consumer the term Operating System equals with Windows. Few of them are aware that there is life beyond Windows. There are many open source operating system out there, the majority are Linux based. Lately the most popular Linux distribution is Ubuntu (current version is 9.10, codenamed Karmic Koala). Of course for those of us who were “born into Windows” it could be hard to make the switch to Linux. There are pros and cons about Linux systems. The most important pro is that it is completely free! One of the major drawbacks would be the fact that sometimes it is hard to find the right drivers for your machine.

    • My Mom Runs Ubuntu – Update for Ada Lovelace Day

      So this is not about a single heroine in technology – it is about a general movement: I am convinced, especially Ubuntu with it’s focus on an intuitive interface seems to keep the entry level very low and therefore attracts user groups that might be a suprprise for a lot of people. I know dozens of techie people stating that free operating systems are way too complicated to use for them. When telling about “My Mom Runs Ubuntu” they run out of reasons. At least there is nothing more convincing on using free software than people that are just using it on a daily basis without the need of telling everybody as they just take it as normal.

    • Women In, Near, and Around Ubuntu – Celebrating Ada Lovelace Day – Part 1

      Mackenzie Morgan – (maco) – I met Mackenzie at SELF in 2009. Mackenzie is one of the first folks who offered me feedback on my blog posts, tips on how to be a better Ubuntu User, and how to navigate the community better. Mackenzie recently became an Ubuntu MOTU, and is active in several areas of the Ubuntu Community.

    • AVG kills Windows viruses with Linux and emergency rescue CD

      If your Windows PC has been infected with some net nasty, be it malware, viruses or that fake Facebook password reset slimeware, and you can’t boot up your Windows PC or are stuck with ransomware pop-ups that are popping you out of your mind and stopping your from working, AVG’s new Linux-based emergency boot CD, DVD or USB stick is freely downloadable and ready to help you thrash threatware and get you back to a working PC!

  • Server

    • Supporting The HPC Hero

      Of course, this being Linux Magazine, I’m not going to spend much time discussing Microsoft’s HPC value proposition, but there are real reasons why Windows, and Mac OS X for that matter, don’t have a big foothold in HPC. I covered this five years ago when I wrote Why Linux On Clusters? and what was true then is true today. I’ll save you the detailed reading. Clusters are about building machines around problem sets. To achieve an efficient design you need flexibility and choice. Open source and the Linux OS provide the best flexibility an choice.

  • Kernel Space

    • Open source deduplication software released for Linux

      A new open source project, dubbed Opendedup, has appeared with the goal of creating a deduplication-based file system for Linux called SDFS.

      The project’s developer Sam Silverberg says today’s deduplication solutions only solve the problem of storing deduplicated data, not reading and writing inline data.

    • Now Hear This

      Now, because I’ve given you this tip, you’ll probably never need to use it. Still, it’s good to know USB audio is very supported under Linux, and the devices are fairly standard. Plus, it’s easy to add multiple audio devices with USB audio, which makes things like podcasting much easier!

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

    • Xfce

      • March Xfce desktop

        Shook up my Xfce desktop a bit. I’ve always been a fan of darker environments, especially those with blue tones. This one’s mysterious and fantastic. I did keep the same icon theme as last month, as I don’t have anything more suitable installed at the moment. I’m still looking for something a bit more suited to my current setup.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Based Linux Distributions

        I am somewhat surprised with the number of Linux distributions with Debian roots. A total of 129. This list doesn’t even include all the Ubuntu variations like Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Edubuntu, etc.

      • Ubuntu

        • Its beauty is in its potential

          I spent most of this week in various shades of the new Ubuntu, with everything from pure command-line installations to full-blown Gnome desktops, and just about anything in between. I don’t pretend to know all the ins and outs, but it was nice to get back to the system that started me out, so to speak.

        • The Awesome Wallpapers of pr09studio

          Well the pantheon of win is about to be joined by another digital artist who’s wallpaper collection of consistently impressive standards has really wowed me.

        • Ubuntu 10.04 Installation Slideshow Gets Updated

          We’ve blogged previously about the new-look installation slideshow (designed by Dylan McCall, Michael Forrest and Otto Greenslade) that will greet all users installing of Ubuntu 10.04 – but today finally saw it get pushed into actual being with plenty of changes – most of which fix issues readers expressed during the initial designs.

          The ever-so-slightly misaligned Ubuntu logo of before is now almost perfectly centred with its frame.

        • Ubuntu 10.04 Proposed Ubiquity Slideshow Goes Live

          The new Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Ubiquity Slideshow which we were telling you about ~2 weeks ago is now live and you should be able to take a look for yourself by downloading an Ubuntu 10.04 daily build starting tomorrow (or by updating the installer but that didn’t work for me – the package is probably not in the repositories yet).

        • Sneak Preview: Ubuntu Lucid Lynx 10.04 LTS

          In an unusual decision and what could be considered an unwelcome change for the user interface, Canonical has also chosen the default configuration of the Metacity window manager to use a reverse positioning of the maximize/minimize icons on the upper left of each window.

          This is a departure from the conventional Microsoft Windows-like positioning on the upper right of each window used in previous releases, which may take getting some used to by new Linux users. It certainly annoys this one and I hope Canonical considers returning to the previous default setting it had for release, although the company has said publicly that its design changes were not up for debate.


          Additionally, I was surprised by the use of Yahoo! as the new default home page for Ubuntu in Firefox, although this can easily be changed.

        • Variants

          • Trisquel- Ubuntu habla espagnol

            Trisquel GNU/Linux 3.5 is released, it is an opensource linux distribution based on Ubuntu: “Trisquel GNU/Linux 3.5, code name ‘Awen’, is ready. This release is a fully free Ubuntu 9.10 derivative that includes extra software, better multimedia support, more translations and faster configuration. For this release ext4 is used for the root file system and XFS for the home one, to have a balance between speed and usability. Some important features include a much faster boot process and the ability to encrypt the home directory. All packages were updated, including: Linux-libre kernel 2.6.31, X.Org 7.4, GNOME 2.28, OpenOffice.org 3.1.1, a Mozilla-based web browser 3.5.

          • Distro Hoppin`: Gosalia BETA

            Gosalia (codename Mad Monkey) is based on the latest stable release of Ubuntu, which is 9.10. Unlike Ubuntu though, Gosalia takes up a hefty 2 GBs out of your DVD. There’s only one direct link to the ISO (32-bit only) but I didn’t encounter any connection problems. The speed wasn’t all that great, but neither was it painful. Again, a torrent would have been a speedier choice.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Hack your Samsung TV, linux guy

      Interestingly enough, the official Samsung firmware for several different models is based off the Linux kernel.

    • Phones

      • Great Debate: In 5 Years, Will You Own 1 or 20 Computers?

        A strong argument can be made for or against a future with Pervasive Computing. Some people will argue the middle – the devices that make sense to become smarter and Internet aware will happen naturally over time. This is perhaps a more realistic argument and that having a smart toaster isn’t worth the extra dollars, energy and growing landfills full of obsolete ones.

      • Nokia N900 Gets SDK Version 1.2 Update

        SDK version 1.2 also makes it possible to turn screen rotation on and off in the browser, according to Phonesreview, with an updated rendering engine to speed up the system and keep things as smooth as possible.

      • Android

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Jolicloud gets HTML5 ready; releases web app source code

        Jolicloud has released its new web application platform today that is based on Google Chrome rather than the Mozilla Prism of old. Current users need simply to update the system for the new platform to be installed. The new system should be faster with a smaller memory footprint and enables HTML5-ready browsing.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Exchange Alternatives

    The candidates mentioned in those two articles are Open-Xchange, Scalix, Zimbra, Zarafa, Citadel, and OpenGroupware. I also found OpenChange directly from my Google search.

  • Interview: Ethan Galstad – The Nagios future

    Recently, Nagios, an open source application for network, server and application monitoring, has been the subject of a dispute. The operators of the French Nagios site nagios-fr.org claimed that Nagios Enterprises was forcing them to give up the domain because of postings about ICINGA, a fork of Nagios. At the centre of the dispute is Ethan Galstad, creator of Nagios and CEO of Nagios Enterprises. The H talked to him about what had happened and asked how he plans to take the Nagios community forward.


    Even before then, as a 19 year old student, Galstad had run into issues with a program to crack the password of Trumpet WinSock software. He named the program TrumpCrack and gained his first experience of a threat of legal action from Trumpet’s lawyers. “It was a scary thing for me back then”. Those experiences led Galstad, when approaching trademark issues with the community, not to use attorneys to send a letter but make personal contact, either himself or Mary Starr (Nagios Enterprise’s Vice President); “It lets people know that there’s a real person on the other end”. Galstad has gone as far as having told the company’s lawyers to only send letters when there’s “a real serious problem that we’ve brought to their attention”. Concerning the trademark policy itself “not everyone is going to agree, nor everyone is going to understand, but the guidelines are there for very specific reasons”. Galstad feels he is being as fair as possible with the trademark policy.

  • 6 Open Source Resources To Help You Get More Done

    Among open source applications, there are an increasing number that focus on boosting productivity. Pervasive themes throughout the world of technology–such as collaboration online–are heavily influencing that. Open source tools focused on productivity include useful Firefox extensions such as iMacros (which lets you record repetitive, multi-step tasks and then execute them with one click) and full-blown collaboration platforms. Here, you’ll find our updated list of six productivity enhancement tools. Everything found here is free.

  • Carving a Ruby red road ahead

    IBM does because they hire people to do Eclipse. Most people actually get a pay-cheque. So there isn’t a business model for Open Source. And so this is the challenge for us. How do you create hybrid models that still give you revenue? That’s part of the reason why we’ve started the Innovation and Technology Trust. The intention is to support Open Source and emerging technologies that need endorsement and visibility in the IT eco-system in India. If there are other communities out there that need the support and backing, the trust is there for this.

  • Third Annual OSC (Open Source eCommerce) Industry Awards Results

    Each year for the past three years I have conducted an annual survey of users of Open Source eCommerce programs to help encourage and foster professionalism and improvement in the OSC industry. Each year there have been some surprises and insights, and this year is no exception.

  • New Release of OrangeHRM’s Open Source HRM Software
  • Open Text CM debuts on BlackBerry

    Hospitality solutions provider GuestCentric has integrated its booking engine Joomla, says Travolution.

  • Interviews

    • Parallels CEO backs down

      Parallels Logo Serguei Beloussov, CEO of Parallels, has now clarified his position on open source. In a brief memo to the open source community, he says “In a recent interview I jokingly tried to buck the trend of common perception and play devil’s advocate regarding open source and the community”.

    • WordPress Founder: Open Source Is About People, Not Technology

      We’ve discovered a lot of great ideas here at The Economist Innovation Conference in Berkeley, California. Pixar’s President spoke on how the company creates great films and Paola Antonelli of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) discussed the history of the @ symbol, among other presentations and workshops.

      Now one of the biggest forces in social media, founder of WordPress Matt Mullenweg, has taken the stage to speak about the open source movement, the origins of WordPress (WordPress), and how it has fostered innovation.

  • Education

    • A Teachable Moment: Open Source Platforms for Online Testing

      The Educational Testing Service contracted with Grunwald Associates LLC to conduct a study of educators around the nation, “An Open Source Platform for Internet-based Assessment: A Report on Education Leaders’ Perceptions of Online Testing in an Open Source Environment,” which was released today.

    • Update: Report: School Leaders Interested in Learning About Open Source Platform for Internet-Based Testing

      An Open Source Platform for Internet-based Assessment: A Report on Education Leaders’ Perceptions of Online Testing in an Open Source Environment synthesizes the findings from over 80 interviews with state assessment and technology leaders (representing 27 states) and national education opinion leaders (representing both public and private organizations). The study found that more and more states are rapidly moving toward Internet-based high-stakes testing, and that there was interest in understanding how an open source platform might work in an online assessment environment.

      “Open source software is being used in both higher education and K-12 today, though not for high-stakes assessments. Given the right circumstances, as revealed in this study, we believe it is an option for the future and could be used in the K-12 education community to a great advantage,” ETS Senior Vice President and General Manager, K-12 Assessment Programs, John Oswald, explains. “Not just for assessment, although this research is specifically around that idea, but as an innovative way of using technology — we are aware of open source technology and naturally wanted to explore its benefits.”

  • Events

    • Software conference planned for April

      The Palmetto Open Source Software Conference will be held at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center and USC from April 15-17.

    • GigaOM Bunker Session Coming Up: On the Cloud and Open Source

      In an intimate, upcoming Bunker Session event taking place in San Francisco, staffers from OStatic parent GigaOM will discuss the convergence of cloud computing and open source. The event is Wednesday, March 31st, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 pm., and speakers are seen below.

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox Mobile: Where it stands now

      Mozilla continues to actively develop for Nokia’s Maemo/MeeGo platform, the host of the first-ever Firefox for Mobile 1.0. The problem is that Firefox is far from being widely available in its cell phone-friendly form, extensions and all. The Nokia platform’s short reach makes up just a fraction of the mobile market, and Firefox is only available on two devices–the Nokia N900 and the N810 Internet Tablet.

  • SaaS

    • The Next Wave Of SaaS

      Right now if you think about the way software-as-a-service is delivered, Salesforce.com, NetSuite and Google are the most commonly cited examples. All these companies deliver their software using what is known as the multitenant model. Just as multitenant software knocked on-premise vendors for a loop, new distributed, open-source models for delivery of SaaS software will have a powerful impact.

    • Open-source SaaS to expand software capability

      The development of open-source SaaS software will result in an increased availability of software that provides great flexibility for enterprise and personal use, according to Forbes.

    • Open Source Alternative To Google Earth?

      Today, I fired up Google Earth to find that the ‘points of interest’ category had been removed, and a single checkbox is in its place. Certain layers are now entirely inaccessible. Google triggered a user revolt, but admitted fault, and promised to restore full functionality someday. In the meantime, I’ve found a lack of plausible alternatives.

  • Databases

    • Rackspace Cloud ‘Drizzles’ Into Open-Source Software

      As Oracle continues to shed the former open-source software personnel of Sun Microsystems, other companies are benefiting from the transition. Among those is cloud computing and hosting vendor Rackspace, which recently hired four of the key open source developers behind the Drizzle database effort, a spin-off from the Sun-owned MySQL database.

      Rackspace uses MySQL today in its infrastructure but has said that it sees its limitations when it comes to cloud deployments. That’s the reason behind the company’s interest in Drizzle. In some ways, Drizzle is an enhanced version of MySQL, providing additional cloud scalability features, but Rackspace said the project is not quite ready for prime time yet — but with its investment, it’s hoping to help get it there.

    • Terracotta and EnterpriseDB Partner to Deliver Unmatched Price and Performance Advantages for Private Cloud Data Management

      As organizations seek to move applications to private cloud environments, they are also reassessing the technical and economic viability of their current IT platforms. As a result, organizations are seeking open source-based solutions that are cost effective and can provide the scalability and elasticity to meet the demands of a cloud computing environment.

  • Oracle

    • Does Oracle mean end for MySQL?

      Basically it means that Oracle does see a future for the open-source version of MySQL, as long as it does not conflict with the roadmap for its own proprietary database tools. How Oracle handles this remains to be seen. When contacted, Oracle refused to make any comments, though in an earlier analyst call, Oracle CEO – Larry Ellison, had said that ‘Oracle will make MySQL better’, with Edward Screven, Oracle’s chief open-source architect, promising that Oracle will continue to support the open-source MySQL database.

    • Oracle-Sun: An Insider’s View for Sun Partners

      I continue to be impressed with Oracle’s commitment to partners and extremely excited by the new business opportunities the acquisition can provide to Sun’s value added partner community.

      Sun’s channel partners are some of the best companies in the industry. As they move from the Sun Partner Advantage Program to Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Specialized, I think they will be impressed with what OPN Specialized can offer — providing their business with the ability to differentiate themselves across the Oracle product portfolio, including Sun servers and storage.

  • Business

    • Can Marten Mickos Build Another $100 Million Company?

      Can Marten Mickos capture open source lightning in a bottle — twice? He previously built MySQL into an estimated $100 million open source database company that Sun ultimately acquired for $1 billion. Now, Mickos is stepping into the CEO role at Eucalyptus Systems, the open-source cloud platform provider. Here’s what Mickos has to say about his new position, and the implications for the channel.


    • FSF announces Free Software Awards winners

      John Gilmore, one of the founders of Cygnus Solutions and a co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), won this year’s award for the Advancement of Free Software. Gilmore, who also gave a presentation at the conference on the future goals of the free software movement, said that, “Free software has been very good to me, and I’m glad that I have been good to it.”

  • Releases

    • Scribus 1.3.6 Released

      The Scribus Team is pleased to announce the release of Scribus 1.3.6. This version is another major step on the way to the next stable release 1.4.

      Compared to the work on Scribus 1.3.5, the development of Scribus 1.3.6 was focussed on stabilising the code base, and especially on weeding out issues that were mostly due to the porting of the code from Qt3 to Qt4.

  • Government

    • Right to reply: Brown’s digital future needs to be open source

      Last week’s speech by Gordon Brown outlined Labour’s vision for building Britain’s digital future. In this Right to Reply article, Steve Shine, executive vice president of worldwide operations, Ingres, the open source database provider, looks at why any future strategy needs to be based on open source technology, rather than tied to specific vendors.

    • Kundra Outlines Open Government Progress

      While the idea of open government is still an abstract one to many, the Obama administration is already seeing real results from its efforts to be more transparent in its activities, Obama’s chief information officer said this week.

      In testimony Tuesday before the U.S. subcommittee on federal financial management, government information, federal services, and international security, federal CIO Vivek Kundra attempted to shed light on how the administration’s Open Government Initiative is already fostering innovation and improving the performance of the U.S. government.

    • Korea Struggles in Developing Open Software

      Korea’s lackluster performance in open-source software continues to hit the country both at home and abroad.

      The state-run National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA) disclosed Thursday the results of research regarding the international open-source software industry. Korea chalked up rather disappointing results.

      Out of the four categories assessed, Korea ranked fourth when it came to national policies for open-source software, sixth in overall environment and seventh for usage of the programs.

  • Openness

    • Finding God Through Open Source

      Regardless of your own feelings, there are people who find that this open source religion to be more reasonable and in line with their own spiritual and world outlook. From my investigation, a large number of these people are somewhat “geeky” in nature and have been exposed to open source principles through the open source software movement. But that doesn’t make it any less real for them.

    • Mapping software developed by Idaho State University, USU is international hit

      This free, open-source software is so popular that the ISU geosciences department will host the 1st International MapWindow GIS Users and Developers Conference March 31-April 2 at Disney World in Orlando, Fla. At least 60 users and developers from around the world are expected to attend the conference. Attendees include representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and several private companies and universities.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • BT: Canvas will create open market

      Young said all of the ISPs involved in Project Canvas were promising to make IPTV work like TV all of the time. Fundamentally based on an open source standard, Canvas would create the mass market needed to engage with consumers.


  • Jack Straw unveils plan to curb libel tourism

    Overseas claimants will be discouraged from launching libel cases in UK courts and a “public interest” defence may be introduced to protect investigative journalism, under legal changes unveiled today.

  • Bogus DMCA Takedown Is Not Copyright Infringement And Not Libel

    We’ve had a few discussions concerning the available damages awards for bogus DMCA takedown notices. Unfortunately, if you’ve had your content taken down incorrectly, the damages you can get from those who sent the takedown, are greatly limited. This is a big problem, because bogus takedowns are regularly sent for a variety of reasons, including attempts to silence speech and because a copyright holder is taking a machine gun approach to dealing with infringing content. The case that’s received the most attention on this has been the Lenz vs. Universal Music case, involving Universal Music’s failure to take fair use into account in taking down a short video of a baby dancing to music.

  • DMCA ‘Interference’ With Copyright Is Not Copyright Infringement
  • With cheap food imports, Haiti can’t feed itself

    The earthquake not only smashed markets, collapsed warehouses and left more than 2.5 million people without enough to eat. It may also have shaken up the way the developing world gets food.

  • “Haitian NGOs Decry Total Exclusion from Donors’ Conferences on Haitian Reconstruction”

    47 local and international NGOs and civil society groups held a meeting last week to comment on the upcoming donor conference in New York. Afterwards 26 groups signed a statement that decried the absense of local input in the reconstruction plans that are being put forward. The statement is available online here (in Spanish).

  • Science

    • Branson’s SpaceShipTwo rocketplane gets off ground

      Beardy biz kingpin Richard Branson was overjoyed yesterday to announce that his passenger-carrying suborbital “SpaceShipTwo” rocket thrillride craft has left the ground for the first time. However it remained attached to its jet-powered “mothership” for the entire flight: independent operations aren’t expected for some time.

  • Security

    • The Spy in the Middle

      A decade ago, I observed that commercial certificate authorities protect you from anyone from whom they are unwilling to take money. That turns out to be wrong; they don’t even do that much.

    • Behind the Scenes, Crafting the US No-Fly List

      It starts with a tip, a scrap of intelligence, a fingerprint lifted from a suspected terrorist’s home.

    • Acrobatic thieves hit N.J. Best Buy avoiding cameras, motion sensors, alarms in daring heist

      They never touched the floor — that would have set off an alarm.

      They didn’t appear on store security cameras. They cut a hole in the roof and came in at a spot where the cameras were obscured by advertising banners.

    • Lawmakers Eyeing National ID Card

      Lawmakers are proposing a national identification card — what they’re calling “high-tech, fraud-proof Social Security cards” — that would be required for all employees in the United States.

    • Secret Service Paid TJX Hacker $75,000 a Year

      Convicted TJX hacker Albert Gonzalez earned $75,000 a year working undercover for the U.S. Secret Service, informing on bank card thieves before he was arrested in 2008 for running his own multimillion-dollar card-hacking operation.

    • Terrorists ‘could use exploding breast implants to blow up jet’

      Radical Islamist plastic surgeons could be carrying out the implant operations in lawless areas of Pakistan, security sources are said to warned.

      Explosives experts have reportedly said just five ounces of Pentaerythritol Tetrabitrate packed into a breast implant would be enough to blow a “considerable” hole in the side of a jumbo jet.

    • Oh, the irony

      There needs to be much more thought given to the privacy and health concerns – how are those employed being trained and vetted and how dangerous is the radiation these machines produce?

    • Get full body scanners in all airports now or face terror attacks, warns damning report
    • Lollipop ladies to be given CCTV on sticks

      The women launched a campaign after becoming concerned at motorists jumping red lights, talking on their mobile phones or drinking coffee while driving near two schools in Reddish, Greater Manchester.

      They say inconsiderate drivers are creating chaos and causing dangerous jams while pupils try to cross the road.

    • Anti-terror police seek help from internet cafes

      Police battling the threat of terrorism have unveiled a new tactic – they are targeting internet cafes.

      As evidence suggests that several people convicted with terrorism acts have visited internet cafes while plotting their crimes, the Metropolitan Police are trialling a new initiative in which owners agree to monitor what customers are looking at, and report any suspect activity to police.

    • Bad Things Happen When Politicians Think They Understand Technology

      This is one of those bills that sounds good for the headlines (cybercrime is bad, we need to stop it), but has the opposite effect in reality: setting up needless “standards” that actually prevent good security practices. It’s bills like both of these that remind us that technologically illiterate politicians making technology policy will do funky things, assuming that technology works with some sort of magic.

    • India Continues to Imprison Human Rights Activist Dr. Binayak Sen

      Last week marked the second anniversary of the detention of the internationally recognized award-winning human rights activist Dr. Binayak Sen, who’s worked as a public health professional in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh for twenty-five years.

  • Health

    • Ban on “Pay for Delay” Patent Settlements Cut from Health Care Bill

      Generic drug makers are applauding the latest change to the health care bill – eliminating the ban on patent settlements.

    • Pay-For-Delay Ban Dropped From Health Care Reform

      Basically, big pharma companies threaten (and often sue) the makers of generic drugs, just before a drug is about to go off patent. There is no actual patent infringement as the basis of the lawsuit, but the lawsuit acts as a negotiating ploy, with part of the “settlement” being an agreement from the generic drug maker not to enter the market. It’s a blatantly anti-competitive move. Basically, the pharma companies leverage their gov’t granted monopoly to build up a bunch of cash, which they can then use to pay off potential competitors in order to keep that monopoly for years past the expiration of the patent.

    • Michael Moore: Healthcare Bill “A Victory for Capitalism”
    • What President Obama Didn’t Say

      My decision came last Tuesday morning. There’s a place where I go in the Capitol, just to kind of reflect — before I have to make very important decisions. It’s in the rotunda — right next to Lincoln’s statue. It’s just a bench. And I went over there early Tuesday morning, about seven in the morning when the sun was just coming up, and no one else was around — there wasn’t a sound in the Capitol at that moment in the morning. And I just sat down there in a quiet place and thought about this decision. And that’s literally where I made up my mind that, notwithstanding how much there was in the bill that I didn’t like, that I had a higher responsibility to my constituents, to the nation, to my president and his presidency, to step forward and say, “We must pass this bill. And we must use this bill as an opening toward a renewed effort for a more comprehensive approach to health care reform.”

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • All Your Browsing History Are Belong to Us

      For several years, it has been a poorly kept secret that any Web site you went to could secretly search your browser’s history file to see what sites you had previously visited. All the site owner had to do was ask. And while browser history “sniffing” has been around for a long time, companies are finally starting to actively take advantage of it. The time to act to prevent this clear threat to personal privacy is now.

    • Google fine for uncensored dirty jokes

      A BRAZILIAN court today fined US internet giant Google for not blocking pages of dirty jokes on its social networking site Orkut.

    • Police given powers to enter homes and tear down anti-Olympics posters during 2012 Games

      Police have been handed ‘Chinese-style’ powers to enter private homes and seize political posters during the London 2012 Olympics.

      Little-noticed measures passed by the Government will allow officers and Olympics officials to enter homes and shops near official venues to confiscate any protest material.

    • Google co-founder Sergey Brin urges US to act over China web censorship

      Google co-founder Sergey Brin has called on Washington to take a stand against China’s censorship of the internet, urging the US to make the issue a “high priority”.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Better Homes and Copyrights
    • Response To The White House’s Request For Feedback On IP Enforcement

      The central tenet of copyright law has been, “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts,” and the mechanism for this is both copyright and patents, or more specifically, “securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.” Unfortunately, over the years, all too often we’ve lost sight of the beginning of that sentence, in the assumption that any increase in those “exclusive rights” must surely “promote the progress.” And, yet, as we have expanded and stretched copyright law time and time again — and almost never contracted it — no one ever seems to ask for any actual evidence that stronger and lengthier copyright law leads to promoting more progress.

    • ICANN Threatened by Olympic Committee Over Intellectual Property Concerns

      The International Olympic Committee appears to think it has the rights to all sport, given a recent letter to ICANN that raises concerns on the .SPORT gTLD proposal in particular, and new gTLDs in general.

    • Filmmakers Fake Piracy Threat to Boost Sales

      In a desperate cry for media attention, the filmmakers behind the flopped Danish movie Winnie & Karina have accused Piratgruppen of stealing their film. In two libelous press releases they fabricated a piracy threat from the local group of copyright critics, hoping to draw attention to the upcoming DVD-release.

    • Digital Economy Bill

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Prof. David Eisenberg volunteers at a Lindependence 2008 Intalllfest 01 (2008)

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


Links 24/3/2010: SystemTap 1.2, Strong Red Hat Results

Posted in Boycott Novell, News Roundup at 7:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Penguins converge on Austin Texas

      Let’s see … Softlayer, Zenoss, Canonical, Red Hat, Fedora, HP, IBM, Rackspace, Novell, and The Linux Fund are our commercial sponsors. Most of them had people submit session proposals, which was nice (and by that I mean they submitted talks independently of (usually before) being sponsors. We’ve also had several nonprofits lend us support in one way or another, like GNOME, Mozilla, the Linux Foundation. And the media sponsors have done a terrific job just helping us get the word out, which is vitally important when you’re an event that no one has heard of before. That includes the Linux Journal (which is based out of Houston), LWN, Linux Magazine and Ubuntu User, LXer. They’ve not only allowed us to advertise, but have run our announcements and written blog entries to help spread the word.

    • ZaReason Teo

      The ZaReason Teo, that I just discovered on Amazon.com, looks like the successor of the Terra A20, which was the first netbook by ZaReason, who build laptops, desktops, and servers running Ubuntu Linux or derivatives.

    • ZaReason Teo: Pine Trail netbook with an Ubuntu Linux twist

      Linux system builder ZaReason appears to have launched a new Linux netbook. While there’s no information about the new Teo netbook on the ZaReason web site, you can already order one from Amazon for $460.

      The Teo bears a more than passing resemblance to the original MSI Wind U100 10 inch netbook, and I wouldn’t be surprised if ZaReason was working with MSI to supply the chassis and possibly some other components. Spec-wise, the netbook has a 10 inch. 1024 x 600 non-glare display, a 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 Pine Trail processor and 160GB hard drive.Amazon says it should get 8 hours of battery life.

  • Kernel Space

    • SystemTap 1.2 released

      The systemtap team announces release 1.2.

      prototype perf event and hw-breakpoint probing, security fixes, error tolerance script language extensions, optimizations, tapsets, interesting new sample scripts, kernel versions 2.6.9 through 2.6.34-rc

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Gnome And KDE Might Collaborate Into Creating A FLOSS Alternative To Dropbox

      There is an ongoing discussion on a Gnome mailing list which points out that Gnome and KDE might collaborate for a new project: a FLOSS alternative to Dropbox.

      One might think: well, we have Ubuntu One – but that’s only for Ubuntu (even though work is done to port it to other Linux distributions too – or it was done at some point) and also it’s KDE integration is still experimental (and not official as far as I know). And finally: many will agree that Ubuntu One is not the best implementation of this great idea so there is room for some competition. And also, the Ubuntu One server is not open source (only the client is) and it seems there are no plans to open-source it.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Arista – Multimedia Transcoder for GNOME

        Arista is an easy-to-use multimedia transcoder for the GNOME desktop. It focuses on the goal of transcoding media, namely the devices you wish to play the media on. It is designed for use by people who are not familiar with audio and video encoding and want an easy way to get multimedia to their devices. It supports input from DVD and V4L devices as well as regular files.

      • Five Things To Fix In Gnome Shell
  • Distributions

    • Parted Magic 4.9: New Device Names

      Parted Magic, a Live Linux with programs for partitioning and data rescue, is available in version 4.9. Apart from bug fixes, it includes a few new features.

    • Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • A real distro-hopper-stopper

        Above is the screenshot of the new PCLinuxOS with LXDE as native desktop environment. This baby is still in beta stage but compared to its predecessor, this version is almost complete. Having Firefox 3.6 with built-in flash as browser – watching videos via youtube and the likes is a breeze out-of-the-box.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Recession? What Recession? Red Hat Continues to Grow

        For many in the IT world, the last twelve months are likely ones that they’d rather forget as companies laid off employees and struggled to deal with the ravages of the recession. But for Linux vendor Red Hat (NYSE:RHT), the past year has been a pretty good one financially: Red Hat is set to report its fourth-quarter fiscal 2010 revenues after the market close today and the forecast is positive.

      • Building on a Linux brand

        Red Hat owns the brand and the quality assurance that goes with the Red Hat trademark, but does not “own” the software it sells. For this reason CentOS and Oracle are able to provide rebranded versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux which provide “complete upstream compatibility” with Red Hat’s product without fear of legal approbation.

    • Ubuntu

      • Lucid starts to get some updated icons

        I’ve held off from mentioning last nights arrival of some new (albeit WIP) icons for Lucid simply because I know how such‘minor’ posts irritate some of you.Sods law then that I wake up to an inbox full of people asking why I haven’t mentioned them already!

      • Ubuntu shops prefer the bleeding edge

        In preparation for the rollout of Ubuntu Server 10.04 Long Term Support next month, Canonical, the commercial sponsor of the Linux variant, and the Ubuntu community polled Ubuntu users to see how they use the operating system.

        Canonical is also keen on finding out what Ubuntu shops think of the focus on cloud computing and how relevant it is to them today as well as in the future. In the wake of the delivering of the Ubuntu 9.10 release late last year, the company solicited responses to an online survey of Ubuntu users through the Ubuntu forums and a variety of Web sites and other channels; a total of 2,650 finished the survey, although as you can see from the report, quite a number of people did not respond to important questions that Canonical asked.

      • Ubuntu One Music Store – first pics!!!

        I immediately went to purchase it, by clicking the checkout and signed in to my Ubuntu One account. Although it threw a wobbly when I refused to add my Lucid beta 1 desktop to my One account, I re-ran the purchasing process and it took me straight to billing. Thanks to Rhythmbox and Ubuntu, iTunes – and very probably my Windows dual boot – won’t be darkening my desktop again.

      • 75 Top Open Source Security Apps

        This year, we’ve once again updated our list of top open source security apps. While the list isn’t exhaustive by any means, we tried to include many of the best tools in a variety of categories. We dropped a few projects from last year’s list that have gone inactive or closed source, and we’ve added a few newcomers that are worth your consideration.

      • Variants

        • Mint 9: An overview of the new features

          It’s too soon to talk about what’s going on upstream but you can expect faster boot, the release will be an LTS release, there’s going to be many little improvements in Gnome itself and of course we’re getting a new kernel. I saw the controversy about the position of the window buttons in Ubuntu 10.04. There’s no plan to change anything in Linux Mint, we’re happy with the buttons staying on the right-hand side and away from the File, Edit, View menus.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Cool Linux powered robot boat

      The Roboat is an autonomous robotic sailboat powered by Linux.

    • Fast-boot tech claims to load Android or Linux in one second

      Tokyo-based Ubiquitous Corp. announced the availability of an ARM-focused technology claimed to load Android or Linux in one second. QuickBoot Release 1.0 preferentially restores memory areas necessary for booting from nonvolatile storage to RAM, says the company.

    • Phones

      • Educating the carriers on being open.

        Many thanks to Smart Mobs for bringing this to my attention…

        If somebody writes a book with “open” and “mobile” in the title I pretty much have to read it. Though you can buy a paper copy of Open | Mobile on Amazon you can also download a free PDF from the authors’ site — which is what I did.

      • Those Pesky Migration Issues

        Based on those requirements, it would seem I am leaning towards an Android-based unit. Not because I can hack it if I feel like it (I do not have that much free time) but because it meets my requirements. Would I like to have a Pré? Of course.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Episode 136: Shrinking a Bass Player

    I got the planned episode 136 nearly ready – a photography trip to Hamburg. But then came an urgent job from Chicago and overturned the schedule. (No, John, it wasn’t urgent, it was convenient to have a bit more time to edit the Hamburg show).

  • credativ pre-paid Open Source Support Card leads the market

    credativ UK joins its German counterpart in offering the Open Source Support Card for Linux distributions.

    Today, credativ is launching its unique pre-paid Open Source Support Card. Businesses using Linux distributions such as Debian and CentOS stand to benefit from expert support without being tied into a contract, in contrast to other commercial Linux support vendors.

  • AbiWord: Like MS Word but Without the Junk

    Choices for word processing applications abound for Linux users, but many of them are little more than glorified rich-text editors. AbiWord has the look and feel of a polished application like Microsoft Word but without the unneeded complexities that can bog some writers down.

  • Open Source DNS Enters Next Gen with BIND 10 Y1

    The first public release of the BIND 10 open source DNS server is now out. But don’t rush to update your servers just yet — it’s still years away from being ready for production use.

    The ISC (Internet Systems Consortium) has been talking about BIND 10 since at least 2007 when the BIND 9.4 release came out. Last year, the ISC told me that work had actually started on development of BIND 10 and now here we are a year later and the first public milestone.

  • Mozilla

  • SaaS

    • Suddenly the native app is cool again

      Running applications in the cloud is an ambitious dream, but one that keeps stumbling against the reality of dedicated, native applications, particularly those running on mobile devices.

  • Oracle

  • CMS

  • Business

    • Thoughts from OSBC: What’s driving open source acceptance?

      Recently I was in the audience for the Open Source Business Conference (OSBC) keynote panel on the future of open source, and part of the discussion was about the rapidly increasing use of open source in both the public and private sector. No one seemed surprised by this fact, but there was some disagreement on the cause. The one thing all the panelists agreed on was this: IT departments are suddenly much more accepting of open source. One of the panelists asked the question, “What is driving IT’s acceptance of open source?”

    • Top 10 Quotes from OSBC 2010 and What It Means for Open Source Developers

      “Open source isn’t about saving money, it’s about doing more stuff, and getting incremental innovation with the finite budget you have.” – Jim Whitehurst, CEO, Red Hat

      In his keynote remarks on Wed., Jim emphasized what many other speakers at OSBC re-iterated. Business units are demanding more innovation through technology, and they need to get it done without getting more budget. With the low acquisition costs of open source software, and easy access to information from open source communities, it’s enabling IT departments to innovate faster and be a hero in their businesses.


    • Dru Lavigne made me do it: I killed Debian, installed an unbootable Ubuntu, now I’m running FreeBSD 8.0 with GNOME

      Did I mention speed? This GNOME 2.26 desktop just flies. It’s a pleasure to use, and if I can manage to install FreeBSD 7.2-release and get the same speed with working Java and Totem, I’ll be very, very happy. Working Flash, should I manage it, will be an added bonus.

      And thanks, Dru, for the inspiration to do my first serious FreeBSD test.

    • Evi Nemeth (an Ada Lovelace day tribute)

      These days, Evi lists her office as being “my sailboat, Wonderland, somewhere in the Caribbean.” She has a relatively low profile in the Linux community, despite being one of the authors of (and the inspiration behind) the Linux Administration Handbook, but the USENIX crowd knows her well. Her time at CU launched a whole generation of hackers who are in the field for the joy of it, and every one of them thinks back fondly to one of the people who got them started. Well done, Evi; you helped make all this happen.

  • Openness

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Groups in eleven EU member states participate in Document Freedom Day

      In at least eleven EU member states, groups promoting the use of open standards and open source software, are preparing for Document Freedom Day, 31 March. With workshops, presentations and demonstrations, they aim to make computer users aware of open formats for electronic documents. Many groups will focus on public administrations and governments.

    • Introduction to Document Freedom Day

      This year on March 31, along with more than 200 groups in 60 countries, we will observe the third Document Freedom Day. This grassroots effort aims to educate the public about the importance of open formats and open standards.


  • Robber Barons
  • Security

    • Ferocious hot chili pepper to make nasty weapons

      According to the SIFY news site: When deployed, the grenade showers the targets with a dust so spicy that in trials subjects were blinded for hours and left with breathing problems.

    • Wikileaks Receiving Gestapo Treatment?

      “Wikileaks announced on Mar 21 (via its twitter account) its intentions ‘to reveal Pentagon murder-coverup at US National Press Club, Apr 5, 9am.’ It appears that during the last 24 hours someone from the State Department/CIA decided to visit them, by ‘following/photographing/filming/detaining’ an editor for 22 hours. Apparently, the offending leak is a video footage of a US airstrike.”

    • The battle for Internet freedom

      In Italy, the government of neo-Fascist Silvio Berlusconi, the media magnate who detests the very idea of having anyone else in control of any news media, has drafted legislation to impose government examination of all videos before they can be uploaded to the Web. In a related case, an Italian judge convicted Google executives of violating a child’s privacy rights because someone posted an abusive video on Google Video and Google staff didn’t remove it fast enough to suit the judge.

      In contrast, in Iceland, the Wikileaks organization, devoted to open publication of information about government malfeasance, is receiving support from legislators.

  • Environment

    • Open Biodiesel

      During my time with OpenNMS I was migrating toward biodiesel. Biodiesel is a cleaner-burning renewable fuel that is made from fats, oils, and greases. I was making the stuff in my backyard and signed up for the fledgling Bio Fuels program at Central Carolina Community College.

    • Designing Open Source Washing Machines for Underdeveloped Nations

      Aside from being eco-friendly, this smart little machine could change the way people in under-developed nations tackle the challenge of having clean clothes to wear. The Open Source Washing Machine Project got underway in the spring of 2008 during a workshop examining ways to implement open source hardware to improve the quality of life in impoverished nations.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Ricardo Mireles, Free Open Source Software advocate in Los Angeles 03 (2004)

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

Links 24/3/2010: Linux 2.6.34 Preview, Parted Magic 4.9 is Here

Posted in News Roundup at 12:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Total PC Gaming staff jobs safe

    Previous editor Russell Barnes confirmed to MCV that he is moving across to Imagine Publishing’s Linux User, where he will take the role of editor.

  • Team Seattle Raises Almost $400,000 for Seattle Children’s Hospital, with Support from Pogo Linux, at Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona

    Pogo Linux (www.pogolinux.com), a Seattle computer-hardware company focusing on the open-source Linux operating system, was proud to support Team Seattle and the team’s fundraising efforts for Seattle Children’s Hospital and its Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) at this year’s Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona 24-hour endurance race.

  • Linux support à la carte

    Credativ has launched a pre-paid Linux Support Card in Britain, Germany, USA and Canada, which gives holders access to case-based Linux support for Debian and CentOS with no contractual commitment. The support is available for all servers and desktops within an enterprise and is carried out over email, telephone and remote access.

  • [LCA] Talk Slides

    This page is simply a place to collect links to presenters’ slides.

  • Server

    • Linux Wins Again for HPC

      The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) has announced that the much anticipated Blue Waters supercomputer will be using Linux as its operating system.

    • FAI: Automated Install, Management and Customization for Linux

      FAI (Fully Automatic Installation) is a non-interactive system to avoid the boring and repeating task of installing, customizing and managing Linux systems manually. Nowadays FAI is used for maintaining chroot environments, virtual machines as well as physical boxes in setups ranging from a few single systems up to deployments of large-scale infrastructures and clusters with several thousands of systems.

  • Virtualisation

    • Virtual PC

      Many server-side applications are available in virtual-appliance versions. These are VM images that include an OS (Linux, typically) and a copy of the application pre-loaded, so the whole thing can be deployed and run by simply booting the virtual PC and connecting to it over the network. WordPress, SugarCRM, Joomla! and Drupal, just to name a few such apps, all exist in virtual-appliance editions.

    • Tool Time: Run VMs and More with VMware Player 3.0

      Browser Appliance is a Ubuntu Linux-based VM installed with Mozilla Firefox. It lets you securely browse the Internet without leaving a trace on the physical computer. This is a good VM to test drive initially as well as use later on.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • Proprietary

      • The First Opera 10.51 Snapshot for Linux Is Here

        Opera 10.50 has been available for a couple of weeks on Windows and Opera 10.51 has just been released, but Linux fans are still stuck at Opera 10.10. Hopefully, this won’t be for much longer, as the new browser is packing some serious punch and is coming with an impressive feature list. The final release isn’t here, but Linux users can finally get to testing Opera’s latest creation as the first snapshot builds of Opera 10.51 6252 for Linux have been made available by the development team.

      • AVG Rescue CD: Free toolset for repair of infected machines

        The AVG Rescue CD is essentially a portable version of AVG Anti-Virus supplied through Linux distribution.

      • Coraid offers EtherDrive storage arrays and HBAs

        Coraid’s EtherDrive storage platform has organically amassed over 1,100 customers, including large enterprise and government organizations, since its 2005 launch into the Linux market.

    • Instructionals

      • Best of both worlds

        If you don’t wish to tamper with your system, there are ways to run Linux with USB sticks. The easiest way to go about is to take the help of http://www.unetbootin.com UNetbootin allows you to create bootable Live USB drives for a variety of Linux distributions from Windows or Linux. You can let unetbootin download a distribution or use your own Linux.iso file if you have one.

      • Bitdefender: Linux antivirus made simple
      • Replace a failed drive in Linux RAID
  • Distributions

    • Parted Magic 4.9 arrives

      Parted Magic developer Patrick Verner has announced the release of version 4.9 of the open source Parted Magic, multi-platform partitioning tool. Parted Magic can be used to create, move, delete and resize drive partitions and will run on a machine with as little as 64MB of RAM. File systems supported include NTFS, FAT, ReiserFS, Reiser4 and HFS+, LVM and RAID are also supported. The latest 4.9 release is based on the Linux kernel and includes several bug fixes, updates and changes.

    • Red Hat founder aims for another IPO home run

      Robert Young, author of one of the hottest IPOs markets have ever seen, is out to prove that he’s got another bestseller up his sleeve.

      The founder of software firm Red Hat Inc. is in the midst of an initial public offering for Lulu Ltd., a book publishing company with a premise no less revolutionary than Amazon.com.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu 10.4 beta is bloody brilliant

        I’ve been playing with the Ubuntu 10.4 beta for the past two days, and it’s bloody brilliant.


        Thankfully, the wealth of free software that’s always been such an integral part of Linux’s allure can now be accessed through the Ubuntu Software Centre, which is essentially an open-source app store, complete with a “Featured Applications” section that provides a handy stepping off point for software experimentation.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 in Beta, Stable Release in April

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

  • Devices/Embedded

    • PI launches motion controller for PILine motors

      The software package includes the user program PIMikromove, Labview drivers, DLLs and support of Linux operating systems.

    • i.MX51 board initialization and memory mapping using the Linux target image builder (LTIB)

      This application note provides general information regarding the board initialisation process and the memory mapping implementation of the Linux kernel using the LTIB in an i.MX51 board support package (BSP).

    • JetBox 9532 Linux-ready VPN Router allows users to connect and remotely manage card readers, cameras and speakers

      Equipped with 4 additional RS232/422/485 serial ports, the JetBox 9532 Linux-based embedded platform allows users to connect and remotely manage card readers, cameras, speakers and other access and security control devices via Ethernet.

    • VIVOTEK’s first IP surveillance road show is a grand success

      The introduction of Linux-related technology, such as video recorders, storage, video management, video analytics, I/O controls, and embedded systems were also introduced in the road show for the first time.

    • Stretch S6000 Family Processors Power New NVR Server From Exacq

      Stretch Inc., the pioneer and leader in software configurable processors, today announced that Exacq Technologies, Inc., developers of the exacqVision VMS software and systems for video surveillance applications, is using Stretch S6000 family processors to power its new exacqVision EL-S embedded Linux NVR appliance.

    • Opera and Ocean Blue launch HbbTV solution

      This solution combines the Opera Devices SDK for Linux, Opera’s fully compliant HbbTV framework and Ocean Blue’s DVB middleware, which incorporates HbbTV extensions. The resulting package gives full flexibility to OEMs, enabling them to implement HbbTV portals and services, such as ARD/ ZDF Mediathek, Tagesschau and Arte.

    • Loewe selects Opera to deliver premium Web technology to connected TVs

      Opera Software today announced that its Opera Devices SDK 10.15 for Linux was selected by Loewe, the premium European brand in-home entertainment. Opera will help Loewe fulfill its promise to deliver “innovation for the senses” by providing Web browsing, widgets and HbbTV implementation on Loewe connected TVs.

    • Control Issues: Reviewing the Behringer BCF2000 and FCB1010

      That’s it for this week’s report. If you’ve been hesitating over the purchase of either the BCF/BCR or the FCB, hesitate no longer. The units are well-supported by Linux, they work beautifully, and software editors are available that can help you design more creative and effective configurations.

    • Multi-Tech Systems Announces Cellular Development Platform for M2M Applications and Products

      Set to be available in May 2010, the Platform enables developers to bridge multiple interfaces and create gateway access to the cellular network by leveraging Linux-based open source software and field-tested, globally approved hardware.

    • Ubiquitous Corporation Launches “Ubiquitous QuickBoot”, as a Break-Through Booting Innovation for Various Embedded Devices

      By using the epoch-making Ubiquitous QuickBoot on ARM platform, Android or Linux can boot in 1 second, after turning on the power as a “cold” boot.

    • Marvell Moby Tablet – the Linux factor

      It’s going to be running Linux. Now I love Linux. I use it for my web servers, all of my thin clients have a light Linux OS, and whenever I can get someone to give it a shot on their own computers, I hand them a live CD. Ubuntu will be the only way that these little tablets will be able to run on the Marvell chipset and the only way to hit that $99 pricepoint (or, for that matter, a sub-$200 pricepoint). The Flash implementation that Rachel King reported rules out Windows 7 Mobile as well.

      So Linux it is (and I say Ubuntu because that has been well-developed for embedded applications and runs the Tonido Plug quite handily). The problem with Linux is two-fold: 1) Most people don’t like it as much as I do and teachers will be put off by “something different.” 2) Development efforts in interactive ebooks are favoring the iPad and Microsoft slates, not Linux-based devices.

      While most folks don’t realize that their Kindles and other e-readers are running Linux, they expect these devices to be “different.” Over and over, though, I’ve encountered users who expect a computer-like device to either look like Windows or look like OS X.

    • Phones

      • The new ZTE smartphone is a must-have.

        With features including new operation systems like OMS and Linux giving high quality functionality, and an assortment of different options, the ZTE is sure to be a very sought after phone once it’s released to the public.

      • bphone flipscreen smartphone runs linux, java

        If you’re thinking about getting your hands on one, head on over to Chinagrabber, where it retails for $569 (USD).

      • Nokia

        • Maemo 5 SDK Update 5 Now Available

          A new version of the Maemo 5 SDK is now available for download, yet it seems that it comes only as an early access version of the SDK update 5, and that it includes a series of known issues, which are expected to be fixed as soon as the final update 5 release is delivered. The new version comes with a wide range of additions, updates and more, as well as with the Qt4.6 library.

      • Android

        • Android – From the Beginning to World Domination

          Android’s co-founders Andy Rubin, Nick Sears, and Chris White went to work for Google. Rubin is also the co-founder of Danger, Sears is a former Vice President of Product Marketing at T-Mobile USA, and White headed design and interface development at WebTV. Android Inc was an unknown company that made software for mobile phones. Then rumors were circulating that Google was planning to enter the mobile phone market. At Google, a team lead by Rubin developed a mobile platform powered by the Linux kernel which they marketed to headset makers and wireless carriers on the premise of providing a customizable and upgradeable system.

        • DropBox cloud syncing app for Android on the way

          File syncing service DropBox is set to get an Android app very soon, which means that another swathe of smartphone users will be able to access their Desktop files via the cloud.

    • Tablets

      • WePad is an Android tablet from Germany

        Another product is joining the tablet wars. It’s WePad, which comes from the German company Neofonie. Specs wise, we’re talking about the device that’s more powerful than the Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) iPad, but as you know, it’s not the specs that win the consumers’ hearts, minds and ultimately wallets.

      • Apple iPad? How about a little German innovation instead

        The Neofonie WePad has similar form and function as the wet dreams of our Crunchgear editors, but facts are that the German Android device has a bigger multitouch screen and a faster CPU than the iPad. Also it runs Flash, has USB ports, an inbuilt card reader and expandable memory. Additionally it allows complete multitasking and has a webcam. Beat that baby.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Are Linux and FSF complementary?

    What is Free Software Foundation then? Free Software Foundation (FSF) happens to be a non-profit corporation founded at the behest of Richard Stallman on 4 October 1985 and the main intention was to support the free software movement, a copyleft-based movement with the sole objective to encourage the universal freedom to forge, disseminate and change computer software. The FSF is incorporated in Massachusetts, USA.

    Ever since its foundation in the mid 80s, the organization has been working relentlessly based on its sole dedication to the cause. It should also be noted that in agreement with its goals, only free software is used on FSF’s computers.

    What do we get from all these? The descriptions of these two entities indicate self-confident software scenario. However there is also a question and this is rising gradually. What is that? Many have started to enquire whether the advocacy group has been solely responsible behind the exponential success of Linux.

  • How Thunderbird 3 works on Mac OS X: Better than Apple Mail?

    The one place where Thunderbird blows Mail out of the water is with the add-ons. Using the add-ons, you can GPG sign mail using the Enigmail add-on; you can sync contacts with Gmail or Zimbra using the Zindus add-on; and expand tiny URLs (via URL shortening services) using TheRealURL. Looking at the Thunderbird add-ons page, there truly is something for everyone: with over 640 “miscellaneous” add-ons alone, how could there not be?

  • Richard Stallman on SaaS

    At Saturday on Libre Planet, Richard Stallman announced the publication of an essay on software as a service (SaaS). By my count, it is his first published piece on the subject since Stallman’s controversial comments on GMail a year and a half ago. Readers of this blog will all be interested in reading the new essay if they haven’t already already done so.

    In his article, Stallman defines SaaS as, “a network server that does certain computing tasks … then invites users to do their computing on that server.” His basic message is simple: users should reject SaaS network services because SaaS users are inherently disempowered and out of control. Indeed, users should reject SaaS even if a service is implemented using free so

  • Free Software Awards Announced

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced the winners of the annual free software awards at a ceremony on Saturday March 20, held during the LibrePlanet conference at Harvard Science Center in Cambridge, MA.

    The award for the Advancement of Free Software was won by John Gilmore. The award for Project of Social Benefit was won by the Internet Archive. The awards were presented by FSF president and founder Richard M. Stallman.

  • Openness

    • Eyes wide shut?

      A debate is underway among the proponents and gainsayers of open access about the reality of whether OA leads to more citations. I am not over-concerned with citations as they are not the sole indicators of the usage of research output. As one of the contributors has said, there is an ‘invisible college’ within which data, methodology, ideas are shared among researchers via conferences, coffee-breaks, workshops, emails, reports, social networking and other communication devices. While this ‘college’ informs, it is seldom cited.

      Another statement made in these exchanges was that ‘open access is a solution looking for a problem’. This stopped me in my tracks, since over the last decade, evidence has been accumulating showing the high level of information imbalance and paucity, especially – but by no means only – in the developing world. And it was for this reason that the EPT and many other initiatives were formed to help resolve the problem. It is indisputable that access to all necessary research findings had not been met in pre-web days. Researchers, we had a problem.

    • Sharing Ideas about Open Philanthropy

      As regular readers of this blog will know, for the last five years or so I have been tracking the diffusion of the ideas behind open source into other spheres. I’m particularly interested to see what does and does not translate easily to other domains.

      Here’s another application: open philanthropy.

    • How to Spark a Snowcrash, & What the Web Really Does

      In order to understand the implications of the shift and to internalize it, you need to experience it firsthand. You can’t tell your organization that you’re going to be implementing “social media” and everyone is going to start “collaborating,” and assume that waving a magic wand is going to make this happen. My experience has been that I had to learn what trusting and sharing means on my own.


      What does society reward? Cheating. Stealing. Exploitation. Fame. Big houses. Fancy cars. Executive titles. Material stuff. All these things are attached to something else. Something has to be sacrificed to get these things. And they often don’t make you happy in the end. They’re not who you really are, or what you really care about, but you do them because that’s how it’s set up, and we’re just operating within the framework that exists.

      But, there’s this other way.

      In this experimental society in which you can participate, if you want – people are a little more “real.” People will give you advice, pass along a link they think might interest you, offer to collaborate on a real project, or exchange some information with you, for no other reason besides that it’s “how THIS system works.”

      The precondition is trust. You can’t buy trust. You can’t force trust.

      You earn trust.

    • Open Notebook Science

      Open notebook science (ONS) is the practice of making the primary record of a research project publicly available online as it is generated. This involves placing the personal, or laboratory, notebook of the researcher(s) online along with all raw and processed data, and any associated material. The approach can be summed up by the slogan “no insider information”.


  • Texts Without Context

    Mr. Shields’s book consists of 618 fragments, including hundreds of quotations taken from other writers like Philip Roth, Joan Didion and Saul Bellow — quotations that Mr. Shields, 53, has taken out of context and in some cases, he says, “also revised, at least a little — for the sake of compression, consistency or whim.” He only acknowledges the source of these quotations in an appendix, which he says his publishers’ lawyers insisted he add.

  • Libel reform bill to tackle ‘libel tourism’

    Foreign claimants will find it more difficult to initiate libel cases in UK courts and a “public interest” defence should be introduced to protect investigative journalism, under reforms unveiled by the government today.

  • Crime novelist sued for setting plot around Paris landmark

    When Lalie Walker set about using the Marché Saint Pierre as the setting for her latest crime thriller she thought she was paying a nostalgic tribute to a much-loved Parisian landmark.

    But, after reading her tale of a crazed killer who sews fear and loathing among the rolls of taffeta, the owners of the much-loved Montmartre fabric store have signalled that they do not appreciate her gesture.

  • Student Punished for Facebook Group Starts $10-Million Lawsuit

    Chris Avenir faced 147 charges of academic misconduct two years ago for his Facebook group, which let engineering students “discuss/post solutions” to homework problems. The course stipulated that students had to conduct independent work. Mr. Avenir faced expulsion, but a faculty committee ruled he should instead receive a zero for one assignment and a disciplinary note in his file.

  • Science

    • Will reclusive mathematician accept $1 million prize?

      A million-dollar prize for solving one of toughest problems in mathematics has been awarded to a Russian mathematician, but the real puzzle is whether he’ll accept it.

      The reclusive Grigori Perelman has been recognised for his proof of the Poincaré conjecture, one of seven Millennium prize problems selected by the Clay Mathematics Institute (CMI) in 2000 as the most important unsolved problems in mathematics.

  • Security

    • Policeman who hit G20 protester with baton mistook drink carton for weapon, court hears

      Opening the case, Nicholas Paul, prosecuting, said Smellie had “lost his self control” during an “excessive and unjustified” attack on Fisher. “He went from level one to level five without considering the intervening steps,” said Paul.

    • Author found guilty of Blue Water Bridge assault

      Toronto author Peter Watts was found guilty Friday of assaulting, resisting and obstructing a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at the Blue Water Bridge.

      Jurors returned the verdict about in St. Clair County Circuit Judge James Adair’s courtroom. He will be sentenced April 26. Watts, 52, faces up to two or three years in prison.

    • New Amnesty briefing urges full inquiry to end secrecy over UK abuse involvement

      Amnesty International today (23 March) released a new briefing outlining its call for a full, independent and impartial inquiry into UK involvement in human rights abuses overseas post-11 September 2001. The briefing outlines ten key questions that an inquiry should seek to answer.


      1. What have been the UK government’s policies and practices in response to grave violations of human rights such as torture or other ill-treatment, enforced disappearances, renditions and unlawful detentions perpetrated by the USA and other states against people, including UK nationals, held overseas since 11 September 2001? Have they changed since then? If so, when, how and why?

  • Environment

    • Tories criticise UK for failing to support 20-year ban on African ivory sales

      The Conservatives today criticised the government for failing to support proposals from a number of African countries to impose a 20-year ban on any legal sales of ivory.

    • Bye-Bye Bluefin Tuna

      So, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) rejected international trade restrictions on northern bluefin tuna, thus probably consigning it to extinction, and removing a key predator from the oceans, with who knows what knock-on effects.

    • Politics and Peak Energy

      Below the fold is a guest post by John Howe, an engineer who invented the solar tractor. In this post, John says, “Our only hope for a drastic course correction is to support grass-roots movements to elect leaders who clearly understand energy and the growing tension between an economic system based on continued growth (especially population) and declining energy.”

    • Institute for Energy Research Admits It Was Behind Anti-Wind Study

      Danish journalists have confirmed that The Institute for Energy Research commissioned and paid for the anti-wind energy study released last year by a Danish think tank that claimed Denmark exaggerates the amount of wind energy it produces (it doesn’t), questioned whether wind energy reduces carbon emissions (it does), and asserted that the U.S. should choose coal over wind because it’s cheaper (it’s not when you count the true costs of coal).


      IER has railed against green jobs, arguing that oil and gas are better job creators, despite the fact that investment in clean energy technology creates four times as many jobs as investment in oil and gas. IER continues its campaign against wind energy as well, asserting recently that the Obama administration had been “caught red-handed working with Big Wind energy lobbyists.”

      Yes, those scary “Big Wind energy lobbyists” pose a real threat to America. You can’t make this stuff up folks. Unless, of course, you work at the oil-and-coal-funded Institute for Energy Research.

    • Harper Government Stifles the Truth

      The scandal is growing at Environment Canada of how Canadian climate researchers are being “muzzled” by draconian policies of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

      This week the Montreal Gazette reported on a leaked document showing that the information restrictions brought in by the Harper government have severely restricted the media’s access to government researchers.

      “Scientists have noticed a major reduction in the number of requests, particularly from high-profile media, who often have same-day deadlines,” said the Environment Canada document. “Media coverage of climate change science, our most high-profile issue, has been reduced by over 80%.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • NCAA games coming to Syracuse, but businesses can’t mention it

      But the NCAA and its trademarks, restrictions and sponsor partners are putting the lid on any sanctioned events — rallies, parties and the like — for the Syracuse community and the other three cities hosting what’s come to be known as the Sweet 16.

    • China

      • What Chinese Censors Don’t Want You to Know

        Following are excerpts from media guidelines that the Communist Party propaganda department and the government Bureau of Internet Affairs, conveyed to top editors before this month’s annual sessions of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

        The sessions are often referred to here as “the two meetings.” Such internal guidelines are typically circulated weekly, and the list issued before this year’s sessions was described as considerably lengthier than the norm.


        10. During the two meetings, do not feature or sensationalize news about petitioners.

        11. Do not report on the hunger strike by Ai Weiwei and other artists. [There was no hunger strike, but Beijing artists are protesting being forced to relocate their studios without fair compensation.]

      • Chinese netizens’ open letter to the Chinese Government and Google

        The letter concludes with several statements about censorship. “We support necessary censorship of Internet content and communications, whether it is on Google or any other foreign or domestic company,” the authors write.

      • Google’s unwise move to Hong Kong

        You know things are getting serious when Chinese editorial writers start invoking the specter of the infamous Brtish East India Company in the context of Google’s decision to withdraw its search engine services from China. As a symbol of oppressive imperialism, the British East India Co. is hard to beat in a nation where the scars from the Opium Wars still linger, raw and tender.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Stop BBC “Digital Rights Management” from disabling your HD TV

      The BBC want an offshore consortium of entertainment companies called the “Digital Transmission Licensing Administrator” to decide how your high definition TV and video can work.

      The American courts rejected these draconian restrictions, so the DTLA has chosen to pick on British TV viewers instead.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Happy Birthday, Gnutella: Pioneering P2P Protocol Turns Ten

      Still, Gnutella captured the imagination of many, one of them being Mark Gorton, founder of the New York-based Lime Group. Gorton was at the time pursuing a vision of automating businesses through structured data, and Gnutella, as something that could, for example, distribute real estate listings wrapped in XML, seemed to fit that image quite nicely. Early versions of the Gnutella client of Gorton’s LimeWire venture were still written with this vision in mind, hoping to build a P2P network that could eventually be used to do all kinds of things with which we’re now familiar on the web, thanks to web services.

    • Why Google Made BitTorrent a Success

      BitTorrent is undoubtedly the most efficient way to share large files on the Internet. The key to BitTorrent’s widespread adoption can nevertheless not be exclusively attributed to its technical superiority. Much of BitTorrent’s success lies in the fact that it is web-based, easy to monetize and indexed by Google.

    • UK Anti-Piracy Lawyers Threaten File-Sharing Forum

      ACS:Law have been making news headlines damaging to their reputation ever since they started sending out thousands of threatening letters to alleged file-sharers in the UK. Now they are threatening to sue Slyck.com, one of the Internet’s oldest file-sharing forums, because they don’t like what members have written about them.

    • Spanish Gov’t Moves Forward On New Law To Make File Sharing And Links

      The news of the approval sparked an immediate wave of protest on the Internet. Several Web sites that offer unauthorized links, such as Cinetube.es, Series Yonkis.com and Divxonline.com shut themselves down until midnight, showing only the message “For freedom in the Web. No to the closure of Web [sites],” with a black background.

    • MGMT’s Congratulations Leaked Like Watergate

      Most Americans were too busy tweeting about health care to notice, but MGMT’s forthcoming album Congratulations leaked over the weekend. The band is now streaming the whole thing from their website. Full disclosure: I listened to about five seconds of the first song, and it totally justifies that insane cover art.

    • More And More Musicians Embracing Free Music With Subscriptions For Support

      In many ways, all of this business model experimentation is similar to the kind of experimentation these musicians do in the music itself. That is, they take ideas they have themselves, combine it with ideas inspired from others, and come out with something wholly unique and creative, which best matches with their own community. It’s improvisational business modeling.

    • Why ‘TV Everywhere’ Will Fail

      Taking away choice.
      While Comcast pitches Xfinity as giving users more control over content by being able to watch what they want when they want, the reality is that Comcast is locking people into their menu of offerings for cable TV. And, most importantly, they are giving people the chance to watch content on other platforms — laptops, smartphones, etc. — only if they keep paying their cable bills. There is still no choice for people who want to pay less for just the shows they want. The ultimate in customization comes from the Internet, where you watch what you want and aren’t usually forced into bundles of content and channels.

    • Kulula Responds To FIFA Legal Threats With Hilarious Clarifying Ad
    • EMI pawns its pop stars in £400m rescue bid

      EMI is in talks to mortgage its back catalogue of music recordings in a last-ditch attempt to solve its mounting cash crisis.

      The group is offering rival labels the chance to manage its North American catalogue business, which includes tracks by The Beatles and Blondie, for a five-year period.

    • ACTA

      • [ACTA leak]
      • ACTA and the European Commission: The great escape

        Members of Act Up-Paris and La Quadrature du Net attended this morning a « stakeholders meeting » on ACTA hosted by the European Commission. Questions asked by the public faced a wall of condescendence and disdain. Luc Devigne’s answers did not reassure us. On the contrary, they strenghtened Act Up-Paris, April and La Quadrature’s concerns that ACTA could endanger access to medicine, Free Software and freedom of expression on the Net, while circumventing democratic processes.

      • ACTA – Stakeholders’ Consultation Meeting
      • ACTA New Zealand meeting agenda
      • ACTA: an unseen treaty in the making

        Le Monde diplomatique has just obtained a copy of section 2 of the ACTA treaty project, titled “Border Measures” and consisting of a dozen pages outlining, in very detailed practical terms, the future of customs practices with respect to “goods suspected of infringing intellectual property rights”.

      • EU defends itself from attack on ACTA

        At a public hearing in Brussels today, the EU executive tried to reassure business and civil liberties groups that the EU would impose criminal sanctions only on counterfeit goods “on a commercial scale,” but not on “proverbial housewife file-sharing,” meaning by private individuals.

      • EU Negotiators Insist That ACTA Will Move Forward And There’s Nothing To Worry About

        The talking points from ACTA negotiators seem clear. When accused of being secretive, deny it and insist that you’re being open. If really pushed on the matter, blame mysterious, nameless “others” for keeping the documents secret. Then, when specific items in the text are brought up, insist that these are being misrepresented, and if only you could see the real text (which you can’t, because it’s a secret) you’d know that it was all blown out of proportion. Then, finally, insist that ACTA won’t change any laws. Of course, if that were the case, there would be no need for ACTA at all.

      • To: EC’s Directorate General for Trade

        Without much fanfare, the European Commission has arranged an “ACTA Stakeholders’ Consultation Meeting”. Of course, the big problem is that it’s in Brussels, and few of us can afford to take a day off work to attend – unless we are professional lobbyists, of course, who get *paid* huge sums to attend.

      • Big ACTA Leak: Full Consolidated Text

        La Quadrature du Net has obtained another ACTA document – and it’s a biggie, but at the moment only a 56-page PDF. You can help convert it into text.

      • ACTA’s De Minimis Provision: Countering the iPod Searching Border Guard Fears

        The E.U. version:

        Where a traveler’s personal baggage contains goods of a non-commercial nature within the limits of the duty-free allowance and there are no material indications to suggest the goods are part of commercial traffic, each Party may consider to leave such goods, or part of such goods, outside the scope of this section.]

        Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Singapore support alternative wording:

        Where a traveler’s personal baggage contains trademark goods or copyright materials of a non-commercial nature within the limits of the duty-free allowance {Aus: or where copyright materials or trademark goods are sent in small consignments} and there are no material indiciations to suggest the goods are part of commercial traffic, Parties may consider such goods to be outside the scope of this Agreement.]

        Japan favours the following:

        Where a Party excludes from the application of the provisions in this Section small quantities of goods of a non-commercial nature contained in traveler’s personal luggage, the Party shall ensure that the quantitites of goods eligible for such exclusion shall be limited to the minimum allowed within its available resources.]

        And Canada, New Zealand, and the U.S. would also support this approach:

        Where a traveler’s personal baggage contains goods of non-commerical nature in quantities reasonably attributable to the personal use of the traveler there are no material indications to suggest the goods are part of commercial traffic, each Party may consider that such goods are outside the scope of this section]

    • Digital Economy Bill

      • A state-sponsored book-burning parade.

        For months, my head has been jammed with anger and ideas about the Digital Economy Bill that’s in the last stages of being rushed through parliament. I keep meaning to discuss it on this blog, and I haven’t. Not because I don’t care – actually, this piece of legislation offends me personally and politically more than anything Labour have done since they took us into Iraq – but because I care so profoundly that I don’t think anything I can say can really do it justice. Pathetically, I’m also a bit intimidated by the volume of clever stuff that’s been already been said about corporate copyright protection, and I’m scared that if I try to express how I feel I’ll reveal myself as a Stupid Shouty Girl who Doesn’t Understand. But I’ve got to at least acknowledge that this matters to me. It matters because the Digital Economy Bill is one of the most significant assaults on human rights that Labour has managed to execute in its twelve-year trigger-happy showdown with British civil liberties.

      • Debate: Will The Digital Economy Bill Undermine Our Basic Rights?
      • The Digital Economy Bill: A wise move?

        In one corner, we have the major record labels saying filesharing is theft that has “cost” billions; in the other we have the rest of the market showing that they don’t agree. That cost includes the death of a retail market, which would seem an inevitable part of all downloading, not just illegal downloading. Music is downloaded (legally and illegally) on a scale that record sales never matched and there is evidence to show that consumers who download and share the most music are also the people who are buying it. Some companies want to grasp the opportunities the internet gives, but not adjust to its challenges.

      • Brits: last chance to demand debate on Digital Economy Bill — act now!

        We’re in the final days for the British Digital Economy Bill. This Thursday, the House of Commons will decide whether to subject the bill to line-by-line debate (which will probably kill it or at least delay it until after the election), or whether to pass it without any real scrutiny or debate. Given that the DEB will touch every part of British life, from education to civic engagement to health to law enforcement to justice, it’s insane to think that Parliament might pass it without even examining what it says.

      • BPI Boycott
      • BPI lobbyist Mollett tries for parliament

        What does the Parliamentary candidacy of the BPI’s main spokesperson tell us about the links between the BPI (the four major record labels) and the Labour party?


        Mollett is unlikely to be elected. In fact, Mollett stands a greater chance of scaling the north face of the Eiger than he does of winning leafy Farnham under a Labour banner. But his candidacy tell us more about the close ties between the organisation he lobbies for – the BPI – and the Labour party. The BPI, for which Mollett is head of corporate communications, has lobbied extensively for the Digital Economy Bill, and wrote at least one amendment. The BPI is currently trying to get the bill through Parliament without a debate, before the election. It is lobbying for the bill to either be voted through by lazy and uncaring MPs, or that in the so-called ‘wash-up’ before the election, a deal will be done which ensures it goes through. A leaked email recently exposed the BPI’s attitude (see also my previous article on the BPI email).

      • The Pirate Party UK Launches its 2010 Election Manifesto
      • U.K. Anti-Piracy Law To Allow Appeals

        The U.K. government says it will add measures to the Digital Economy Bill that will create an appeals procedure for those accused of online copyright infringement.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Ricardo Mireles, Free Open Source Software advocate in Los Angeles 02 (2004)

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


Links 23/3/2010: MySQL Does Fine, Many GNU/Linux Releases

Posted in News Roundup at 8:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • 50 Places Linux is Running That You Might Not Expect

    It was not long ago when Microsoft Windows had a tight stranglehold on the operating system market. Walk into a Circuit City or Staples, it seemed, and virtually any computer you took home would be running the most current flavor of Windows. Ditto for computers ordered direct from a manufacturer. In the last decade, though, the operating system market has begun to change. Slightly more than 5% of all computers now run Mac, according to NetMarketShare.com. Linux is hovering just beneath 1% of the overall market share in operating systems. And although that might sound like a small number, Linux is far more than just a fringe OS. In fact, it’s running in quite a few more places than you probably suspect. Below are fifty places Linux is running today in place of Windows or Mac. For easy reading, they are divided amongst government, home, business, and educational usage.

  • Kernel Space

    • Compressed File Systems on Linux

      Perhaps the title should have been; ‘the lack of a suitable compressed file system on linux’. A compressed file system in this case refers to a setup where the files are saved on the disk in a predefined compressed format (such as gzip or bzip2). When you read from those files they will be automatically decompressed by the file system. Similarly when you attempt to create a new file or modify an old file, it should be automatically compressed before saving. Such a file system is sure to be very slow for random access but for sequential access it wouldn’t matter so much. It might even be faster than an uncompressed file system because hard drives continues to be the real bottleneck in most computers today.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Testing AMD’s New FirePro Linux Driver With The FirePro V8750

        Earlier this month AMD rolled out a new workstation graphics card driver, which is effectively the same Catalyst driver used by the consumer-oriented Radeon graphics cards but with greater testing and certification for the ATI workstation offerings. The press release announcing this new driver was titled “Application Performance Increases By Up To 20 Percent with Latest ATI FirePro Graphics Driver,” so we decided to see if this proprietary driver really lives up to its claims under Linux.

      • X.Org Server 1.8 Release Candidate 2

        X Server 1.8 may be the first X.Org release in recent times where it’s released on time or at least close to being on schedule. Back in October, X Server 1.8 was given a release date of the 31st of March. This is just a little over a week away, but it looks like this next major update to the X Server that brings udev input handling, DRI2 updates, xorg.conf.d support, and other changes.

      • Mesa 7.8 Release Imminent: RC2 Pushed
  • Applications

    • Interaction With Proprietary

      • iPhone/iPod Linux Library Hits Version 1.0

        While Apple provides support for the iPod and iPhones on Mac OS X (of course) and even Windows, complete with iTunes support, they provide no such love for those wishing to use their gadgets on Linux. This has led the Linux community to reverse-engineering Apple’s USB protocol for the iPod/iPhone devices, developing different hacks, and in some cases even needing to “jail break” the product in order to use it fully under Linux. There’s a few different projects around that seek to implement iPhone/iPod support on Linux, but one of them that takes an entirely free software approach and does not depend upon any DRM or proprietary libraries is libimobiledevice. This week the libimobiledeviceproject is celebrating their version 1.0 release after being in development for nearly three years.

      • ANGLE wined3d in reverse

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

    • Instructionals

    • Games

      • Indie Gamers See The Linux Market

        It hasn’t been that long ago that we brought you news of 2d boy World of Goo and the Frictional Games trilogy Penumbra. Since then, things have been pretty quiet on the Linux Game Front…at least to my ear, but then again, I’m not much of a gamer.

        Sure, I’ve played all the repository shooters…bloody chunks flying and monsters galore. I have a short attention span…mostly because I suck at shooter games. I just don’t play them often.

      • Welcome to Xonotic!

        We would like to formally announce the arrival of Xonotic – A free (GPL), fast-paced first-person shooter that works on Microsoft Windows, Mac OSX and Linux. Xonotic is a direct successor of the Nexuiz Project.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDE in the Google Summer of Code 2010

        This summer the KDE project will once again participate in Google Summer of Code! Summer of Code will allow KDE to grow and bring in new developers to the community.

      • The Tokamak4 Files: Solid

        This is the first article in a series of articles that wrap up achievements, work in progress and some background of what happened during Tokamak4, the Oxygen, KWin and Plasma sprint. Tokamak4 took place from 19th to 26th February 2010 in Nürnberg, Germany in the openSUSE premises and was kindly made possible by Novell and KDE e.V. During the sprint, 26 hackers gathered to work on various aspects of the KDE user experience. The combined sprint of the workspace and window manager teams and the Oxygen artwork team made cross-collaboration possible across these KDE software components.

        In this article, we actually start off with a side-track of Tokamak4 which was hardware integration. It turned out that many people working on this were actually participating in Tokamak4, so the team took the opportunity to sit together and hack some on different aspects of hardware integration in KDE SC and specifically Plasma.

      • KDE Partying Around the World for New Release

        KDE’s Plasma Team took the opportunity of their Tokamak 4 get-together to also celebrate the release of KDE SC 4.4. The team went out for dinner and then headed straight into a Karaoke bar, where various performers brought real culture to this part of Frankonia. One highlight was Chani performing the German 80s anthem “99 Luftballons” and making everybody in the audience be in awe of her mad language skills. Previously, Sebas had taken the stage to present a KDE version of The Man in Black (Johnny Cash) performing Ring of Fire. After a good couple of hours of Karaoke, the team decided to move on and conquer a 70s-style bar in the heart of Nuremberg to lift the glasses on a great KDE SC 4.4 and a successful Tokamak 4.

      • semi-random thoughts for the day

        We also need to learn how to define ourselves by our successes and see our failures as interesting, expected and required by-products of the road to those successes. There are people in the community who look at our success in countries around the world and discount it all as being “not relevant” because it isn’t in the country they live in, and therefore conclude Free software has failed generally. Similarly when we talk about using KDE (or other F/OSS) software in production usage, instead of defining our successes and positioning ourselves in line with them we too often discount all possible usage of that software because of failures that affect only a portion of the market. This leads to us eliminating ourselves from entire market segments that we are perfect for just because we aren’t (yet? :) universally perfect.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Testing the Gnome 2.30 Release Candidate

        If Gnome developers are to be believed, the desktop of the future arrived last week when the release candidate for Gnome 2.30–which could become Gnome 3.0–was made available. My CPU needed a workout, so I recently compiled the new desktop and gave it a run. Here’s a look at the desktop environment that–like it or not–may soon be coming to a computer near you.

      • Mailing lists are parties. Or they should be.

        Bottom line: Software can’t save a mailing list full of people who actively dislike each other. Maybe I’m crazy, though, but it seems like software that helped mailing lists function more like parties could really help mailing lists cope better with anti-social people.

      • GNOME Shell 2.29.1 released

        GNOME Shell provides core user interface functions for the GNOME 3 desktop, like switching to windows and launching applications. GNOME Shell takes advantage of the capabilities of modern graphics hardware and introduces innovative user interface concepts to provide a visually attractive and easy to use experience.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Trisquel 3.5 Awen release announcement

        Trisquel GNU/Linux 3.5, codename Awen is ready. Click on the player below to see the video announcement (HD version) we made for the LibrePlanet 2010 conference. More info after the jump.

      • Tiny Core Linux 2.10 released

        Tiny Core lead developer Robert Shingledecker has announced the availability of version 2.10 of Tiny Core Linux. Tiny Core is a minimal Linux distribution that is based on the Linux kernel and is only 10.6 MB in size. In addition to the usual bug fixes, the latest update includes several changes and updates.

      • Changes to PC/OS 10.1.1

        The interface changes. We were planning to release these with PC/OS 11, but since we have to do an update to PC/OS 10.1 we figured what the hey. There isnt much change to the panels, just the theme. We now use the PC/OS Daylight theme, derived from Light X as the standard theme.

        Up…date Manager is now included with PC/OS 10.1.1. This just delivers critical system updates and will not allow you to update to a later Ubuntu system. But for critical updates its a must have.

      • MoLinux 2.0 (Zero)
      • Clonezilla Live 1.2.4-28
      • Absolute 13.1.0 released

        Should be 14.0 due to new kernel, new Xorg, new GCC, new GTK… but we follow Slackware versioning for compatability. Kernel is 2.6.33, Xorg is 1.7.5.

      • SystemRescueCd 1.5.0
      • Parted Magic 4.9
      • Owl Current-20100323
    • Red Hat Family

      • IBM Implements Red Hat Technology in Development and Test Cloud Solution

        Red Hat, Inc., a provider of open source solutions, announced that IBM has selected Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization as a platform in its new cloud computing service for development and test.

      • Will Red Hat Stay Red Hot?

        Shares of Red Hat (RHT) have been red hot this past year.

      • Earnings Preview: Red Hat

        Shares of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) are trading higher by +0.17% ahead of its quarterly earnings release. Red Hat, world’s leading open source technology solutions provider is expected to release its quarterly results on March 24th.

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

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

      • Red Hat ramps up SOA in the cloud with JBoss 5.0

        JBoss Enterprise SOA Platform 5.0 is the latest major upgrade to Red Hat’s middleware platform. Along with the improvements to web services integration, Red Hat said the product includes an updated enterprise services bus with enhanced protocol listeners, management consoles and a new rules engine that can be managed by JBoss Enterprise BRMS (Business Rules Management System). The enhanced platform enables enterprises to deploy new applications and services more rapidly.

      • Red Hat Delivers New JBoss Tools, SOA Platform at EclipseCon

        Red Hat announces new Java development tools as well as a new version of its service-oriented architecture (SOA) platform at EclipseCon 2010.

        Red Hat has announced new Java development tools as well as a new version of its service-oriented architecture platform.

      • Tokyo Stock Exchange Executes Millisecond Trading with New System Based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Red Hat Enterprise Linux was selected by Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) as the standard operating platform for its next-generation “arrowhead” trading system. Developed by TSE and Red Hat strategic partner FUJITSU LIMITED (Fujitsu), the “arrowhead” platform was designed to accelerate TSE’s order response and information distribution speeds to bring a new level of execution to the Tokyo stock market.

    • Debian Family

      • Loving Squeeze

        Squeeze works well enough as it is for production use here. Where are they hiding those bugs?

      • Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu, Buttons, and Democracy

          When Ubuntu drinks, the free and open source software (FOSS) community gets a hangover. The distribution is so influential that its every development sends echoes rippling through the greater community. How else to explain how a simple change in desktop themes should spark not only debates about usability, but about how decisions are made in FOSS?

        • Lucid vision

          Still, the Lucid beta is pretty enough as it is out of the box. With its speed and performance improvements, users can look forward to an exciting, and even ground-breaking release when the final version becomes available next month.

        • Ubuntu One Music Store Now Available For All
        • Hands-on: Ubuntu One music store will rock in Lucid Lynx

          After downloading a few tracks myself, my overall impression is positive. Canonical has largely succeeded in making the music store feel like a convenient and well-integrated part of the Ubuntu user experience. Although it’s impressive, the software is still in the beta stage of development and isn’t entirely stable yet. It functions properly, but I experienced several crashes during my tests, primarily during the checkout stage of the purchasing process. There are also some minor bugs in the HTML user interface, like links that accidentally cause it to load the regular 7digital Web site instead of the one that is customized for Rhythmbox.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • ARM Helps Bridge the Gap between Consumer Products and Automotive Infotainment

      ARM and its extensive Partner ecosystem can now leverage its considerable knowledge and experience working with a wide range of these elements, together with many years of Linux-based open source collaborations, to deliver innovation and diversity to enhance the end-user automotive experience.

    • Cool: Or Hot? Linux really making your coffee, live a linux coffee machine

      Too bad it’s only for professional use the HGZ Linux based coffee machine. I’d love to have on of these. A Dream come true. The Linux coffee maker.

    • 3D-ready IPTV SoC sports three app processors

      ViXS says each of the XCode 4210′s application processors runs its own RTOS (real time operating system) simultaneously. However, the MIPS core runs Linux 2.6.28, with support for the Linux DVB driver subsystem.

    • HD video chip gains Linux development framework support

      Timesys announced that its LinuxLink development framework for custom embedded Linux devices supports the Texas Instruments (TI) TMS320DM365 DaVinci video processor. The LinuxLink for DM365 service offers Linux development tools and a pre-integrated build environment for the ARM-based chip, says Timesys.

    • Wind River extends support for MIPS64 SoCs

      Wind River and Cavium launched their original partnership to support the Octeon processors back in 2007. In September of last year, after Wind River was acquired by Intel, the company signaled that it would continue to work with Cavium when it announced that Wind River Linux 3.0 for MIPS complied with the Carrier Grade Linux (CGL) 4.0 networking equipment specification, thereby extending CGL 4.0 support for Cavium’s Octeon processors. The support was also extended to MIPS64-based multi-core processors from RMI Corp., which has been acquired by NetLogic Microsystems.

    • Android

      • Push-to-talk phone runs Android

        Motorola announced what it says is the first push-to-talk phone to run Android. The rugged Motorola i1 runs on Sprint’s iDEN-ready Nextel Direct Connect service, and offers a 3.1-inch, 480 x 320 touchscreen, up to 32GB of flash, WiFi, a five-megapixel camera, plus the Opera Mini 5 browser running on Android 1.5.

      • Fast-boot tech claims to load Android or Linux in one second

        Tokyo-based Ubiquitous Corp. announced the availability of an ARM-focused technology claimed to load Android or Linux in one second. QuickBoot Release 1.0 preferentially restores memory areas necessary for booting from nonvolatile storage to RAM, says the company.

        QuickBoot, which is available in a Linux SDK (see below), is aimed at TVs, STBs, automotive infotainment systems, smartbooks, and smartphones, says Ubiquitous. QuickBoot 1.0 supports ARM9, ARM11, and Cortex-A series processors, says the company, which develops “compact, efficient and high-speed network and database software” for embedded devices.

      • Nexus One on Android 2.1

        But right now, the N1/Android 2.1 combo is in a really sweet spot.

      • Life at Google

        At 7:45 AM on Monday the 15th, I and a bunch of really nervous-looking new employees stood together in a lobby at the Googleplex, waiting to be led in. Here are some random first-week notes while my eyes are still fresh.

        This might turn into a series, because I recognize that my current employer is sort of a technology tourist attraction and people might want to read about it. On the other hand, it has a culture of very cautious communication, so I’ll have to be careful.

      • Dell Aero – Android Never Looked So Good

        This phone is announced along side the first pair of GSM webOS smartphones, Palm Pre and Palm Pixi, to make it to the United States. It also marks the second Android phone to come to AT&T since the Motorola Backflip. We can only hope that the Dell Aero does not follow in the Backflip’s disastrous footsteps. No release date known yet.

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

        With the addition of the three new phones, AT&T is the only U.S. carrier to offer devices representing all major OSes, says the company. Two weeks ago, AT&T added Motorola’s Backflip to its lineup in a so-far exclusive arrangement, thereby making the carrier’s Android debut. In October, the company began selling the GarminAsus Nuvifone G60, which runs a custom Linux OS.

      • Sprint to announce ‘groundbreaking new device’ (HTC Supersonic?) tomorrow
      • MoSync Comes Closer to “One Tool for All Mobile Platforms” by Adding Android Support

        Swedish software company MoSync AB today announced support for Android devices in its cross-platform mobile development SDK.

      • Moto, Sprint to Offer Push-To-Talk Android i1

        Motorola (NYSE: MOT) and Sprint (NYSE: S) today released details of a new push-to-talk, Android-powered smartphone, the Motorola i1, combining the popular ruggedized form of the iDen device family with the features typically found in smartphones.

        The curtain was raised on the i1 at CTIA 2010, being held this week in Las Vegas, and is expected to be available this summer. While pricing details were not disclosed, the two companies had plenty to share in terms of features and specifications.

Free Software/Open Source

  • OggCamp 10
  • Open Source from a European Perspective

    Miguel: We are in Grenoble in the Alps, 3 hours from Paris and also pretty close to Switzerland and Italy. The Bonita Open Source project was created in 2001 at INRIA labs. Then, in 2003 Bull was interested in building a middleware stack based on Open Source and Bonita became one of the key pieces of this stack. Bull supported Bonita development between 2003 and 2008 and by the end of 2008 we had released version 4. We got quite good momentum from a community point of view, with thousands of downloads. And we started to sign some big customers, mostly in Europe.

  • O’Reilly at OSBC: The future’s in the data

    Tim asked a question to the audience: “Could anyone in the Open Source community build the infrastructure to deliver Google Voice Search?” The response: a stony silence. The implication? Vendor lock-in is lo longer about proprietary source code. It’s about massive, hard-to-replicate data sets — making Google a potential Microsoft of the next decade. The corollary? The future will be about who has the most data, and who is able to extract meaning from it and deliver it in real time.

  • Working with Open Source Software Vendors

    IBM executive Bob Sutor had a message for attendees at the Open Source Business Conference (OSBC) in San Francisco last week: “Ask the hard questions.”

    Sutor, despite himself being an open source software enthusiast (his full title is vice president of Open Source and Linux in IBM’s Software group) said, compared to traditional software vendors, too many companies give open source a pass when it comes to due diligence and scrutiny. And while he said open source has matured quite a bit to where it’s now a proven enterprise asset, that doesn’t mean it should get a rubber-stamp approval.

  • Athena Offers Free, Open Source Network Tool

    Athena Security’s Firewall Browser offers network admins a number of options for troubleshooting on firewalls. According to the company in its press release on The Open Press, Firewall Browser was developed in the spirit of other free and open source network tools like Nessus or Snort, based on the value that functionally-rich non-commercial alternatives should exist for practitioners.

  • Open source and the Morevna project

    Konstatin Dmitriev’s Morevna Project is to 2-D animation what the Blender Foundation’s Open movie projects have been for 3-D. The goal is to produce a production-quality, full-length animated feature, using only open source software, and license the source content and final product under free, re-use-friendly terms. Along the way, the work provides stress-testing, feedback, and development help to the open source software used, while raising awareness of the quality of the code.

  • BIND 10: The First Year
  • Ada Lovelace Day – My Heroines

    “Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging (videologging, podcasting, comic drawing etc.!) to draw attention to the achievements of women in technology and science.Women’s contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised. We want you to tell the world about these unsung heroines, whatever they do. It doesn’t matter how new or old your blog is, what gender you are, what language you blog in, or what you normally blog about – everyone is invited. Just sign the pledge and publish your blog post any time on Wednesday 24th March 2010.”

    I have many heroes that inspired me to go ahead. Valorie Aurora, Telsa Gwynne, Pia Waugh, Akkanna Peck, Carla Schroeder, so many… but today I would like to talk about two women, who were the most inspiring for me from the beginning. One is a historical figure, other you may not know.

  • SaaS

    • Lock-in, One Way or Another

      Fortunately we know FLOSS thrives on servers and will continue to do so in the cloud or on a thick client or terminal server. My servers dance and provide a much better environment for users than that other OS.

      The question remains whether the big guys can lock us in on the cloud so that the monopoly moves from the thick client to the cloud and nothing really changes regarding the cash-flow of the big guys.

    • NorthScale launches data infrastructure tools; announces Zynga as first customer

      A new company is launching today to helped popular web applications handle their growing data management needs. NorthScale built its tools around the open source memcached technology, and it has already enlisted some high-profile venture firms and customers.

    • Open Source and the PaaS Paradox

      People with an open source background prefer this solution because they instinctively distrust the idea of proprietary platforms controlled by a single vendor. The open source movement has demonstrated the ability of software to move ahead at a rapid pace of innovation when many top developers all have a stake in moving the code forward.

  • Oracle

    • OpenOffice.org Italian Association Thanks Tax Payers!

      The Italian revenue agency has just released the list of ONLUS and volunteer organizations that are eligible for tax payers’ donations (5 per mille), and PLIO, the Italian OpenOffice.org association born in 2007 ,is among them!

    • Oracle/Sun Enforces Pay-For-Security-Updates Plan

      An anonymous reader writes “Recently, the Oracle/Sun conglomerate has denied public download access to all service packs for Solaris unless you have a support contract. Now, paying a premium for gold-class service is nothing new in the industry, but withholding critical security updates smacks of extortion. While this pay-for-play model may be de rigueur for enterprise database systems, it is certainly not the norm for OS manufactures. What may be more interesting is how Oracle/Sun is able to sidestep GNU licensing requirements since several of the Solaris cluster packs contain patches to GNU utilities and applications.”

    • Free software’s second era: The rise and fall of MySQL
    • Where did all of the MySQL Developers Go?

      The vast majority are still at Oracle, some have left, but plenty are still there. This got me thinking about “who wrote what”. Innodb is a sizable piece of code and it continues to be at Oracle. Without Innodb, you don’t really have a database that is 24/7. Innodb has been there for years.

    • Russia approves Oracle, Sun merger with conditions

      Russia’s anti-monopoly regulator (FAS) said on Friday it had approved a $7 billion takeover of Sun Microsystems JAVA.O by Oracle (ORCL.O) on condition that Oracle continues to develop Sun’s MySQL database.

    • MySQL’s new best friend forever? Oracle

      MySQL still has one major ally, however, and it’s the one that most people thought was its biggest enemy:


    • Time flies (one year of MariaDB)

      It is now one year since a few colleagues and I left Sun to start our own company, Monty Program Ab (after which more have joined). A lot has changed during the year. For instance we ended up producing a full fork of MySQL rather than focusing on the Maria engine as I planned a year ago.

      This February we released the first stable version of MariaDB, version 5.1.42, which is our enhanced and backwards compatible MySQL branch/fork. You can download it from the askmonty.org website. Please test it out and comment upon it here or on Launchpad, the code host for the MariaDB project.

    • Kiss your MySQL website goodbye

      The fact is that if you run a business website, you need to perform proper backups, and not just the stuff that gets put on a tape and thrown in a closet each evening.

      I am writing this article specifically for those beginning Linux web administrators who need to know how to properly backup their website. Just because you’re new to Linux and web serving does not mean it is difficult or that you should try to avoid performing proper website backups.

  • Business

  • Releases

    • Google releases web security scanner

      Google has released an open source scanner that allows web application developers to test their applications for security holes. The application, called Skipfish, offers a similar functionality to that of tools such as Nmap or Nessus, but it’s said to be much faster. Using fully automated heuristics, it detects code that is vulnerable to cross-site scripting attacks (XSS), SQL and XML injection attacks and many other attack types. The tool’s comprehensive post-processing of the individual test results is designed to help with the interpretation of the final report.

  • Government

    • Pirate Party UK launches manifesto

      That shouldn’t affect too many people, though, if there are any photographers still left with a business. The Party believes that “in this fast moving world [sic] 10 years of copyright protection is long enough”. The creator would need to re-apply after five years, however, or the work would fall into the public domain.

      “An exception will be made for software, where a 5 year term will apply to closed source software, and a 10 year term to open source, in recognition of the extra rights given to the public by open source licences.”

    • Gordon Brown: superfast broadband vital to prevent ‘digital divide’

      The speech is a clear sign of the parties’ maneouvring ahead of the election, expected to be called on 6 April to be held on 6 May. In the past month the Tories and Labour have been jockeying for position over their commitment to creating more accessible online government services, broadband and also public access to non-personal government data, with the Tories saying they would introduce a “right to public data” bill to let people request and receive public datasets, publishing details of government contracts worth more than £25,000 online, encouraging use of free open-source software in government development, and encouraging telecoms companies to offer superfast broadband.

    • What Was Gordon Brown Thinking this Morning?

      Not only do we have the key words “open” and “open source” in there, but the UK government is talking about “the will and willingness of the centre to give up control” (and if you believe that last part, then I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.) And yet there is something deeply disturbing about this speech that makes me wonder what on earth Gordon Brown was thinking when he uttered it.

    • Gordon Brown proposes personalised MyGov web services

      Instead of civil servants or politicians being the sole authors of government information, he claimed that open source information will allow citizens to shape information for their own needs.

    • Gordon Brown slammed for supporting Oracle, Microsoft

      Open source technology was cited as the ethos on which Digital Britain will be built. The PM used the shared services centre in the Department for Work and Pensions (the Dole), which already supports 140,000 staff in three departments and plans to take on four more in the next year, as an example of what he wanted.

      Needless to say the Open Source companies are thrilled. Steve Shine, executive vice president of worldwide operations, Ingres, the world’s largest open source database provider released a statement saying that this was just the beginning.

    • Tech Companies Play the Franco-Israeli Nexus

      Until now, businesses and government agencies in Israel have been heavy users of Microsoft software, but the open source movement is gaining traction thanks in part to the help and encouragement of the French tech community, says Stolar. “We hope HaCantina will create the necessary ground for collaboration and development and new innovation,” he says. HaCantina doesn’t yet have a physical home, but Kesos and Stolar hope to find a location soon.

  • Licensing

    • A small and unscientific exploration of OSS license use

      I was intrigued by an excellent (as usual) post by Matthew Aslett of 451 group, titled “On the fall and rise of the GNU GPL“, where Matthew muses on the impact of cloud computing and other factors in the decreasing role of the GPLv2 versus other type of licenses. Simon Phipps twitted “you only consider number of projects and not volume of deployed code.

  • Openness

  • Programming

    • EclipseRT Community Continues to Grow with New Projects and Contributors

      Our goal is to create the EclipseRT community for runtime technology similar to what Eclipse has done for developer tools. The foundation of EclipseRT is based on the OSGi standard, supporting a wide spectrum of contributing organizations/individuals. EclipseRT delivers the ability for organizations and developers to build customizable runtime solutions from existing open source technologies.

    • Sonatype Introduces Maven Studio for Eclipse

      Sonatype, caretaker of the Maven project and leading provider of enterprise software development infrastructure, today announced Sonatype Maven Studio for Eclipse. The Studio is the only Eclipse Integrated Development Environment specifically optimized for Maven, the de facto standard for Java project and build management used by more than 3 million Java developers worldwide.

  • Applications

    • Linux Arpeggiators

      There are a host of smaller tools (QJackCtl is indispensable and worth special mention) that help round out a project studio, but the biggest shift in thinking was from running one program, to connecting multiple ones together via Jack.

      It’s funny because in that sense even GUI-heavy big applications mirror the “do one thing and do it well” Unix philosophy.


  • Briton sacked for eating colleague’s snacks

    A British worker on night shift was arrested and later sacked after he helped himself to a few biscuits from a colleague’s desk, a media report said on Tuesday.


    Pamela Harrison said that taking biscuits from her desk on December 9 had invaded her privacy, adding: “I’m disappointed that someone who is working as a work colleague finds the need to prowl around people’s personal space and take items which, though of low value, can make someone feel insecure.”

    After the hearing, Campbell said he couldn’t believe that he was being prosecuted.

  • How I blew up the duck house: Heather Brooke on lighting the fuse on the biggest political scandal of our time

    She was a young American journalist living in East London – and she was fed up the secrecy of officialdom. Then Heather Brooke decided to ask for MPs’ expenses receipts. In her new book she tells how she changed Parliament forever…

  • A judge may google to confirm intuition: court

    A federal appeals court said it can be acceptable for a judge to conduct an Internet search to confirm an intuition about a matter of common knowledge.

  • Science

    • Areva plans new reactors that make nuclear waste disappear

      A new type of nuclear reactor that could permanently “destroy” atomic waste is being developed by French scientists, according to the chief executive of Areva, the world’s largest nuclear energy company.

      Anne Lauvergeon told The Times that the French group was developing a technology to burn up actinides — highly radioactive uranium isotopes that are the waste products of nuclear fission inside a reactor. The technology could be critical in winning greater global public support for nuclear energy and cutting emissions of carbon dioxide.

  • China

    • China denounces Google ‘US ties’

      China’s state media has attacked Google for having what it said were “intricate ties” with the US government.

      Google provides US intelligence agencies with a record of its search engine results, the state-run news agency Xinhua said.

    • Academic Paper in China Sets Off Alarms in U.S.

      It came as a surprise this month to Wang Jianwei, a graduate engineering student in Liaoning, China, that he had been described as a potential cyberwarrior before the United States Congress.

  • Security

    • 58% of software vulnerable to Google-style security breaches

      Research just released claims to show that 58% of business software is vulnerable to the same security breaches as a seen on Google, the US Department of Defense, and other sites.

    • IRS security faults leave taxpayer information at risk

      In this the heavy tax season where billions of dollars and tons of personal information is relayed to and from the government, it’s more disconcerting to hear that the Internal Revenue Service is still struggling to keep private information secure.

    • House moves to limit use of full-body scanners

      Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, has some serious concerns about the use of whole-body imaging machines, which are becoming more common in airports and government building. Thursday, lawmakers approved Hart’sbill to restrict use of the machines in Idaho.

    • Westminster Lifestyle Survey

      But the overall impression one gets reading this survey is that it is all about building a profile for each person in the area, so that they can be targeted and sold-to at every opportunity. The state wants to know what we eat, drink, smoke and feel because it already knows where we go, how much we spend and what our interests are.

  • Environment

    • I’m not the messiah, says food activist – but his many worshippers do not believe him

      Patel’s career – spent at Oxford, LSE, the World Bank and with thinktank Food First – has been spent trying to understand the inequalities and problems caused by free market economics, particularly as it relates to the developing world.

    • World water day 2010

      Activists around the world marked World Water Day 2010 by highlighting the growing presence of industrial hazardous chemicals in the world’s water supplies.

    • Alaska’s Climate Change Double Agent

      Murkowski, who once seemed to represent a pro-environment voice among Republicans, is now among the most effective forces obstructing legislation to help the environment.

    • Secrets of the Tea Party

      As chairman of FreedomWorks, the group credited with mobilizing the Tea Party movement, Armey is the movement’s de facto leader. Yet Armey’s years spent lobbying for a group recognized by the State Department as being a terrorist organization—should give Tea Partiers pause.

      In the weeks before April 15, 2009, local newspapers began reporting that groups calling themselves TEA, or Taxed Enough Already, were planning rallies to protest wasteful government spending. By the time Tax Day rolled around, over 300 protests were under way in all 50 states. More than 100,000 people took to the streets, gathered in parks and city centers with signs, slogans and costumes evoking America’s revolutionary past.

    • Bill would define tire burning as renewable energy

      With just five words quietly slipped into legislation, Illinois lawmakers are moving to include tire burning in the state’s definition of renewable energy, a change that would benefit a south suburban incinerator with a long history of pollution problems.

  • Finance

    • No comment needed
    • Headline stock news delayed to the benefit of big traders

      In another of those court decisions that infuriate critics of intellectual property, Judge Denise Cote, of the United States District Court in New York, ruled in favor of Barclays, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley. The banks claimed that the website, theflyonthewall.com, violated their copyright when it published headline news like changes in stock ratings link here. The site must now wait until 10 a.m. to publish news about research that was issued before the 9:30 a.m. opening bell or if issued during the day, by a full two hours.

    • Dodd Move Blocks Progressive Reforms

      With over 400 amendments readied for the committee debate on Senator Chris Dodd’s financial reform package, Banking Chairman Dodd decided to ditch the democratic process and vote his own version of the bill out of committee. This moves the real debate to the Senate floor and worsens progressive’s chance of improving the bill.

    • Lehman Scandal: Where’s the Follow Up?

      In the banking world, there are generally four types of risk; liquidity risk, credit risk, operational risk and reputational risk. Of these, only reputational risk failures threaten the entire value of the business and its goodwill. If our questions remain unanswered, the entire financial system will remain dangerously exposed.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Attorney-General Michael Atkinson quits front bench

      TROUBLE-plagued Attorney-General Michael Atkinson has fallen on his sword to make way for fresh blood in a new Labor ministry.


      He has been dogged by a string of controversies – think internet censorship, stashed cash, Ashbourne-Clarke and the senior magistrate defamation case.

      He also has attracted national criticism over his refusal to allow an R18+ rating for video games.

      His humiliating backflip over internet censorship laws on the night of Februrary 2 came after a furious reaction on AdelaideNow to The Advertiser’s exclusive report on the new law.

    • Anonymous Comments: Are They Good or Evil?

      In a nutshell, Howard said that anonymous comments were an abomination (I’m paraphrasing somewhat) and were in fact unethical, since commenters on a news site had a “fundamental right” to know the identity of the other people commenting. I tried to make a number of points, including the fact that anonymity is a red herring, and that the more important thing in encouraging a strong and healthy community conversation is standards of behaviour, regardless of anonymity. I also tried to make the point that anonymity has its benefits, and that many people — some of whom might have valuable contributions to make — would never comment if they had to use real names (Howard made the point that allowing anonymity excludes other people).

    • Egypt regulator enforces Internet voice call ban

      Egypt has begun enforcing a ban on international calls made through mobile internet connections, the head of the telcoms regulator told Reuters on Tuesday, potentially boosting voice revenues at landline monopoly Telecom Egypt.

    • DOJ Might Be Facebook-Stalking You

      With the help of the University of California Berkeley’s Samuelson Clinic, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents from the government about how they monitor and use social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn to gather information for investigations. The EFF struck gold with this request, as both the IRS and the Department of Justice released training presentations on social networking sites. While this may seem benign, the training material from the DOJ suggests that feds go undercover on sites such as Facebook to gather information on crime.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • BBC Link Policy: We Want To Send A Lot Of Traffic To Other Sites

      It then goes into a list of specific policies, which pretty much all focus on adding lots of external links to stories. Of course, given how UK newspapers are suddenly working hard to block links from others, you have to wonder if those same papers are going to start blocking the BBC as well…

    • Cablevision Buying Blogs… Will It Lock Them Up Behind A Paywall Too?

      True to form, Cablevision decided the best thing to do with Newsday was to spend $4 million redesigning and putting up a paywall that drove away some writers and convinced 35 people to sign up in its first three months. Yes, 35. Of course, Cablevision insisted that the goal was really about reducing churn by offering the newspaper website to Cablevision cable TV and broadband subscribers, but it still seems like a pretty big failure all around.

    • Frost & Sullivan Analyst Apparently Has Never Heard Of Network TV: Says Video Can’t Be Free To Consumers

      Basically, there’s proof that free-to-the-consumer video has worked in the past, and can work again.

    • Beware of Default Judgments: Captcha Gotcha Spammers Under Digital Millenium Copyright Act

      Craiglist was told by the spammer that he’d sold about $40,000 worth of the autoposter software. Craigslist pursued both Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §§ 1201 (“DMCA”) and the TOU (Contract) claims.

      The spammer did not hire a lawyer to defend the lawsuit and failed to respond to pleadings and court notices.

      Craiglist obtained default judgments pursuant to Rule 55 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure under both the DMCA for statutory damages of $470,000 and under the TOU (Contract) for $840,000. The court found the liquidated damages clause of $200 per unauthorized post to be enforceable. The court accepted Craigslist’s lowest estimate of unauthorized posts. The spammer, Igor Gasov was held personally liable.

    • Viacom’s Real Intent? To Pretend The DMCA Requires Filtering

      So please pay careful attention to the actual arguments being made here. No one is saying that copyright infringement should be allowed on YouTube. The only question is whether or not it should be YouTube’s responsibility to proactively monitor that content and stop it from being uploaded. The law is pretty clear that this is not required — and, as Google’s filing makes clear, even if it were required, given Viacom’s own actions, this would be impossible.

    • Hollywood Continues To Make Up Facts; AP Continues To Parrot Them

      With these big professional reporters, you might think they would try to fact check a claim like “90% of all “pirated” DVDs come from camcorded movies.” They might have trouble doing that, because the actual research suggests something quite different. A study that we wrote about a few years ago found otherwise. Specifically, it found that “77% appear to have been leaked originally by industry insiders.”

      But, of course, we need to save the AP, because they do real fact checking, right?

    • Don’t Call Them “Pirates”

      I agree. Copyright infringers should not be called pirates. A pirate is a robber, plunderor, predator. The term much better describes the patent and copyright lobbies, which use state monopoly grants to plunder and rob the masses.

    • Can The Government Use The Term ‘Music Piracy’ In A Criminal Copyright Trial?

      Via Michael Scott, we learn that there was recently a debate over whether or not the government could use the phrase “music piracy” to describe the actions of an individual who had been charged with criminal copyright infringement.

    • A Supersized Custody Battle Over Marvel Superheroes

      WHEN the Walt Disney Company agreed in August to pay $4 billion to acquire Marvel Entertainment, the comic book publisher and movie studio, it snared a company with a library that includes some of the world’s best-known superheroes, including Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Incredible Hulk and the Fantastic Four.

    • ACTA/Digital Economy Bill

      • ACTA Set To Cover Not Just Copyrights & Trademarks, But Seven Areas Of IP

        1. Copyright and Related Rights
        2. Trademarks
        3. Geographical Indications
        4. Industrial Designs
        5. Patents
        6. Layout-Designs (Topographies) of Integrated Circuits
        7. Protection of Undisclosed Information

      • ACTA to cover seven catagories of intellectual property

        The ten defined terms include:

        * days
        * intellectual property (See below)
        * Council (ACTA Oversight Council)
        * measure
        * person (natural or juridical)
        * right owner (includes federation or assicaitons that have legal standing or authoirty to assert rights)
        * territory
        * TRIPS Agreement
        * WTO
        * WTO Agreement

      • I Feel Like I’m Taking Crazy Pills: EU’s Latest ACTA Proposal Outlaws the Internet

        Sometimes a story is so insane that you can’t help but wonder if someone has slipped you some crazy pills. See, for example, the Google prosecution in Italy. I honestly thought that story could not be topped. But lo and behold, it appears that the EU has proposed to add third-party CRIMINAL liability to the Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement (ACTA). This essentially outlaws the entire Internet. Insanity.

        Background: Third party civil liability for copyright infringement is an emerging, but still controversial, doctrine as applied to the Internet. A site may be liable if it has incited and/or facilitated the violation of copyright, see Grokster. The limits of this doctrine are still being tested: it is not clear what level of hosting or facilitating actually triggers liability. For an example of this endemic uncertainty, the § 512 of the DMCA creates a safe harbor for ISPs, provided that the ISP expeditiously removes infringing content after the ISP is put on notice. However, it is unclear what material is so obviously infringing that its very presence should put the ISP on notice (this is the controversial “red flag” test).

      • The broad threats of ACTA


        ACTA aims to create a new model of global governance that bypasses the normal procedures of multilateral international institutions, the European Parliament and national legislatures.


        ACTA is a vast protectionist initiative to defend a few economic interests of the richest countries and to limit access to knowledge and other socially essential goods like medicines in the developing nations. Poorer countries will be forced to agree to ACTA’s unfair provisions as a condition for free trade agreements and other bilateral accords.


        ACTA willfully confuses fake, fraudulant drugs with legal, generic drugs under the same suspicion and same possible confiscation. Draconian border measures and criminal enforcement imposed on third countries will create barriers to trade in essential, life-saving medication and other goods.

      • The EU ACTA Consultation: European Commission vs. European Parliament

        The European Commission hosted a fascinating consultation on ACTA today. Luc Devigne, the lead European negotiator, opened with a brief presentation and proceeded to field questions for over an hour. The full consultation video is available online. The discussion touched on many issues including Devigne arguing that the WTO consistently blocked any attempt to address IP enforcement issues and stating that the treaty is limited to enforcement and not new substantive provisions (this assumes that anti-circumvention rules are a matter of enforcement, not substance).

      • 10,000 people call for proper debate on the Digital Economy Bill

        So far, over 10,000 people have written to their MPs demanding that the government does its job and holds a proper debate on the Digital Economy Bill. If you haven’t done so already, send a letter to your MP now, and ask your friends to do the same. It’s a simple, quick and easy process. You can either email the standard letter provided on that site, or write your own.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Ricardo Mireles, Free Open Source Software advocate in Los Angeles 01 (2004)

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

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

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

GNOME bluefish



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

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

  • Using Ubuntu Linux to Rescue Windows

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

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

  • XtreemOS 2.1: Linux for the Grid

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

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

    • Linux: A Platform for the Cloud

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

    • The Linux of stock markets

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

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

    • Open source finds its way into CFD trading

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

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

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • New brush in Krita: Softbrush

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

      • muscle memory

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


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

  • Distributions

    • Elive 2.0 – Distro Review

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

    • KDE 4.4.1 available for Mandriva 2010 !!

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

    • Epidemic GNU/Linux

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

    • Red Hat Inc. Call Buying Spikes Ahead of Earnings

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

    • Ubuntu

      • Lucid Lynx beta boasts social networking features

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

      • Free Software is a democracy, Mark Shuttleworth!

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

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

      • Ubuntu users, Shuttleworth doesn’t owe you anything

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

      • Unleashing The Ubuntu LoCo Directory

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

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

      • Two Ubuntu Community Team Intern Opportunities Available

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

      • Ubuntu’s Latest Should Scare Microsoft

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

      • The UbuntuOne Music Store Now Open

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

      • Ubuntu 10.04 in Beta, Stable Release in April

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

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

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

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Dual-core SOC for thin clients runs Android locally

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

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

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

Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenSSO becomes OpenAM

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

  • Mario Goes Open-Source with Arduino

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

  • Why Community Projects Need CRM Too

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

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

  • Google Summer of Code 2010 Mentors Announced

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

  • Why Webscale Companies Need open Source

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

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

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

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

  • Skills

    • Need for Open Source Developers Continues to Increase

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

    • Demand grows for SQL and Linux skills

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

  • Oracle

    • OpenOffice in Afrikaans

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

  • CMS

    • Vosao: CMS for Google App Engine

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

  • Programming

    • New Python versions released

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

    • The Difficulties of Unwritten Community Standards

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


  • Web

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

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

    • H.264 – A sting in the tail

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

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

    • An Overview of HTML5 and Its Anticipated Features

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

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

    • Kaltura Brings Video Services to Higher Education

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

  • Security

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

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

      It’s about obedience.

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

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

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

  • Finance

    • Bernanke Asked by Towns on Friedman’s Goldman Stake

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

    • Goldman Sachs: Need… More… Evil!

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

    • Who Needs Wall Street?

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

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

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

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

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

    • The Perks of Being a Goldman Kid

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

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

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

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

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

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Command & Conquer 4 requires constant online connection

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

  • ACTA

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

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

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


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

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

GNOME bluefish



  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 89

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

  • ‘Revolution OS’ at Darress Theatre

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

  • Well, what else could it have been?

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

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


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

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

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

  • Solid-State Drives From a Developer’s Perspective

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

  • Desktop

  • Google

    • Google extends ARM to browser natives

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

  • Kernel Space

    • Systems Management Innovator rPath Joins Linux Foundation

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

    • Linux 2.6.34-rc2 Kernel Released

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

    • Linux adds router denial-of-service prevention

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

    • HostV Deploys Ksplice Rebootless Solution to Boost Server Uptime

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

    • Revisited: ZFS, Btrfs and Oracle.

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

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa Receives Some OpenGL 3 Love

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

      • GPU Offloading PRIME May Get Improvements

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

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

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

      • Radeon 3D Performance: Gallium3D vs. Classic Mesa

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

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

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

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KOffice 2.2 Beta 1

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

      • KOffice 2.2 Beta 1 Released

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

      • KDE 4.3.4 is lighter than Gnome: Linux2u

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

      • Lancleot Part applet is dead…

        There were two main problems with the Lancelot Part applet.

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

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Build a lighter Gnome in Ubuntu

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


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

  • Distributions

    • System rescue and virus scanning with Dr.Web LiveCD

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

    • New Releases

      • SystemRescueCd 1.5.0 released

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

    • Red Hat Family

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

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

      • Fedora

        • Fedora edges closer to Debian development process

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

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

    • Debian Family

      • Interview: CrunchBang Creator Explains Switch to Debian Sources

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

      • SimplyMEPIS 8.5 RC3 Is Here, the Final Release Candidate

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

      • Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu drifting away from open source?

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

        • Build a lightweight graphical system in Ubuntu

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

        • Ubuntu Linux- In need of a unique identity

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

        • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS “Lucid Lynx” Preview

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

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

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 185

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

        • Ubuntu loses the human aspect

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

        • TestDrive Virtualizes Brand-New Ubuntu Builds for Easy Testing

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

        • First Look at Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Beta

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

  • Devices/Embedded

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

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

    • Datalight Simplifies Reliable Data Storage for Linux-based Devices

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

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

      • Kindles Come to Classroom in Ghana

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

      • Atom-based tablet runs Android, targets publishers

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

      • Alex eReader set to ship two weeks after iPad

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

      • Introducing the enTourage eDGe™
    • Phones

      • Nokia

        • Nokia N900 Top 20 Free Games

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

      • Android

        • Reasons for Root: Report

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


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

        • DailyTech: “HTC Incredible Arriving in 2 Weeks”

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

    • Tablets

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

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

      • Eric Schmidt confirms Android (Marketplace?) for Tablets

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

Free Software/Open Source

  • Google Releases Free Web Security Scanner

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

  • STMicroelectronics speaker at SHARE on-line event

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

  • Health

    • HealthAlliance restarts open-source desktop project

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

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


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

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

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

  • Asia

    • A fresh way to conduct meetings

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

    • National Free Software coalition formed

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

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

  • Media

    • Listen To Online Radio While Browsing The Web

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

    • 5 Open Source music sharing sites worth knowing

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

    • Ubuntu One Music Store

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

  • SaaS

    • Open Source in the Cloud

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

    • Why Open Source and Operations Matter in Cloud Computing

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

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

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

  • CMS

    • Is this the year the proprietary CMS dies?

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

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

    • How Open Source Led the Blogging Revolution

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

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

  • Business

    • Mitre 10 taps open source for fast BI win

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

    • Why Standards and Open Source Will Save You Money

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

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


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

    • NYSE Euronext and Bloomberg bring open symbology to data feeds

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

  • Releases

    • GDB 7.1 released

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

    • Version 6 of the PHProjekt project management software released

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

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

    • Better Portland government through open source apps?

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

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

  • Openness

    • Is Open Source the Answer to Residential Demand Response?

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

    • GoAhead Software shifts to open source business model

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

    • Voting for trust

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

    • Open Source Washing Machine Project Rethinks Clothes-Washing

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

    • The Open Source Washing Machine Project

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

    • Cusat to join OSDD programme

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

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

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

  • Programming

    • Software development – a lot more than coding

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

  • Standards/Consortia

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

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


  • Security

    • Undercover Feds on Social Networking Sites Raise Questions

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

    • US school spy case sparks fight over money

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

    • Political activists call for inquiry after revelations about undercover police

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

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

  • Environment

    • Methane May Be Building Under Antarctic Ice

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

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

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

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Sued for Not Divulging Madoff Ban to Investor

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

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

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Justice’s wife launches ‘tea party’ group

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

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

    • Chemicals in Plastic Linked to Low IQs in Kids

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

    • MPs targeted in undercover sting over cash for influence

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

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

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Oz Internet Censorship gets noticed in China

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

    • Court: Cyberbullying Threats Are Not Protected Speech

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

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

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

    • Kit Kat spat goes viral despite Nestlé’s efforts

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

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

    • Weil Wins Injunction Against Fly on the Wall

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

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

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

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

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

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

    • Hotel music charges case referred to ECJ

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

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

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

    • Confidentiality Issues Mushroom in the Tribune Bankruptcy

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

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

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


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

    • Making a copyright system that works

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

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

    • “Piracy” sounds too sexy, say rightsholders

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

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

    • ACTA/Digital Economy Bill

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

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

      • ACTA: the new institution

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

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

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

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

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


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

      • Don’t rush through extreme web laws

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

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

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

      • Rush to pass digital bill will ‘sidestep democracy’

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

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

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Scottish Parliamentarian Patrick Harvey_05 (2004)

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


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

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

GNOME bluefish



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

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

  • Flipping out with Linux.

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

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

  • Kernel Space

    • Studying kernel bugs
    • NVIDIA Releases OpenGL 3.3 Linux Driver

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

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • LXDE accepted for Google Summer of Code

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

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

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

    • KDE at Solutions Linux 2010

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

  • Distributions

    • [notice] ArchBang website is now online!

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

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

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

    • Fedora

      • Our Top 10 Reasons To Use Fedora

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

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

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

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

    • Debian Family

      • Easy (and amazing) Debian for the N900.

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

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

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

      • Ubuntu

        • Nerd alert: first Lucid Lynx Ubuntu beta fun

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

        • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Beta 1 Out for Testing

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

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

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

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

        • Lucid Lynx Review: New features since Ubuntu 9.10

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

        • The new Ubuntu Linux’s five best features

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • Ubuntu Dropbox

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

        • Variants

          • Lubuntu 10.04 Beta 1 Released; Visual overview

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

          • Xubuntu 10.04 (Lucid) Beta 1 Screenshots Tour

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

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android

      • Motorola Roi video demo

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

      • Gesture Search now available for Android 1.6

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

      • Android Market Push Threatens BlackBerry and iPhone

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

      • Google Maps for Android Gets Improved User Interface

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

    • Sub-notebooks

      • SOS Pupils Get 150 Laptops

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

    • Tablets

      • Marvell announces $99 Moby Tablet to Revolutionize Education

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

Free Software/Open Source

  • GParted is such sweet software

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

  • Ten ways our world is becoming more Shareable

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

  • Why Open Source and Operations Matter in Cloud Computing

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

  • Open source makes another move on Wall Street

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

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

  • Comcast Rolls Out Open Source Tech for IPv6

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

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

  • Ex-MySQL Chief Marten Mickos Lands New CEO Job

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

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

  • Open season

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

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

  • GIMP 2.8 development still under control

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

  • Audiocasts

  • OSBC

  • Browsers

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

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

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

    • Google Gets Into The 3D Driver Game

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

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla ditches support for aged SeaMonkey 1.0

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

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

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

      • Firefox 3.7 Alpha 3 Released

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

  • Oracle

    • Reviewed: OpenOffice.org 3.2

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

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

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


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

  • CMS

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

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

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

  • Government

    • Berners-Lee says rate countries by data sharing

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

  • Standards/Consortia


  • Thailand: Blood symbolically spilled at protests

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

  • “Rebuilding Haiti” — the Sweatshop Hoax

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

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

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

  • Science

    • LHC boffins crank beams to 3.5 TeV redline

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

  • Security

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

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

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

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

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

    • Peter Watts found guilty

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

  • Environment

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

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

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

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

    • Plan to ban items from bins to boost recycling

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

    • Ad industry OKs climate porn

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

  • Finance

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

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

    • Madoff geeks charged for writing book-cooking code

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

    • Lehman whistleblower lost his job weeks after raising alarm

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

    • Celebrating Sen. Ted Kaufman, Accidental Leader

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

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

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

    • Bernanke Asked by Towns on Friedman’s Goldman Stake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Marking World Water Day, March 22, 2010

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

    • Texas Spins History, Again

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


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

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

    • Dennis Kucinich Will Vote ‘Yes’ on Health Care

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

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • FBI using Facebook in fight against crime

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

    • Mafia don suspect tracked down via Facebook

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

    • Apple, Facebook Get Into Geolocation

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

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Valve dishes DRM dirt

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

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

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Historian warns against copyright-fight heavy hitting

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

  • Digital Economy Bill

    • Let’s kill the Digital Economy Bill

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

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

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Scottish Parliamentarian Patrick Harvey 04 (2004)

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


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

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

GNOME bluefish



  • Quality over time in Munich

    LiMux has a long-term agenda

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

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

  • LiMux project management, “We were naïve”

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

  • Audiocasts

  • Desktop

    • Crazy Linux Fans Are Messing up Departmental Store Computers

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

  • Server

    • Rethinking Failsafes for Critical Linux Systems

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

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

  • Kernel Space

    • ATI Radeon KMS vs. UMS Performance With Ubuntu 10.04

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

    • AMD RS780/SB700 CoreBoot Support Released

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

    • Bam! Phoromatic 1.0 Unleashed & Ubuntu Joins The Party

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

    • Graphics Stack

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

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

  • Applications

    • Shaving megabytes: cplay and mcplay

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

    • 5 of the Best Free Linux Medical Practice Management Software

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

    • Audio

      • Linux Arpeggiators, Part 2

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

      • What’s been going on with Ardour?

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

    • Proprietary

      • 10 Windows applications that should be ported to Linux

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

    • Instructionals

    • Games

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

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

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

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME and KDE to co-locate 2011 Desktop Summit

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

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Testing the Gnome 3 Release Candidate

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

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

      • Mutter 2.29.1 Brings Dependence On Clutter 1.2

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

  • Distributions

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

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

    • Debian Family

      • ROSE Blog Interviews: Margarita Manterola, Debian Developer

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

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

        Q: Who are you?

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

      • Ubuntu

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

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

        • Difference Between Ubuntu and Linux

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

        • Testing The Power Management Of Ubuntu 10.04

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

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

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


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

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

        • Variants

          • Kubuntu is not Ubuntu

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

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

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

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

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Marvell promises $100 tablet for students

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

    • Google’s TV Project

      • Google and Linux are coming to your TV

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Nokia

      • Nokia asks the Internet to help design a phone

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

    • Tablets

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

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

Free Software/Open Source

  • Building a better Firewall Builder

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

  • SpringSource Launches TomcatExpert.com

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

  • The Tortoise And The Hare


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

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

    ‘Slow but steady wins the race’.

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

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

    ‘It is better to be fast and reliable’.

    But, this is not the end of the story.

  • Mozilla

    • getting faster at getting faster

      Two things of note:

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

  • Oracle

    • Ten Years of OpenOffice.org

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

  • OSBC

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

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

    • 2010 Open Source Business Conference – Day One

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

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

      Both were shot down.

    • OSBC 2010 – Age of open source enablement

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

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

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

  • Releases

    • Introducing the ANGLE Project

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

  • Government

    • Open Source Gets Political

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

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

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


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

    • Web inventor calls for government data transparency

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

  • Openness

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

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

    • ONS Solubility Book: Edition 3 with Notebook Archive

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

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

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

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


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

    • An Approach to Open Access Author Payment

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

    • No Panaceas! A Q&A with Elinor Ostrom

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

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

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

      Fran: Why relieved?

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

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Wikipedia plans to offer open source video

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

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

    • Let’s get video on Wikipedia

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

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

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

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

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

    • W3C to Microsoft – follow the process

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

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


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

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

  • Is There a Google News Blacklist?

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

  • Science

    • [LHC] 19 Mar, New record beam energy

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

  • Security

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

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

    • Confidential report on Summary Care Records finds database is inaccurate

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

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

    • Senators push Obama for biometric national ID card

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Town Council hit for CCTV debt

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

    • CCTV bungle causes more delays

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

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

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

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

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

    • Peter Watts found guilty

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

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

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

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

    • Climate Action: Burning Forests to Avoid Megafires

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

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

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

    • How to make a snake

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

    • Need a break? So does the rainforest

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

    • Bye bye, bluefin: bid for trade ban fails

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

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • End government pre-snoop on stats

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

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

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

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

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


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

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

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

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

    • Indie Artists Discuss Dealing With File Sharing

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

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

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

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

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

    • Is Copyright the Buggy Whip of the Digital Age?

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

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

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

    • The 94 Percent Solution

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

    • DIY icon Albini addresses music industry issues

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

    • ACTA/Digital Economy Bill

      • Why the ICC Report Makes Me Ick

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

      • About that Internet piracy study…

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • UK IP Minister Lammy Backs EU Release Of ACTA Text

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Scottish Parliamentarian Patrick Harvey 03 (2004)

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

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