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07.24.10

Links 24/7/2010: Dell Betrays, Linux.conf.au 2011 Wants Papers

Posted in News Roundup at 4:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Jailbreaker GeoHot decides to withdraw from the web, goes invite only

    GeoHot, or George Hotz to use his real name, has built up quite a following and reputation online. This is mainly due to his antics jailbreaking the iPhone and iPad, and working to re-enable PS3 Linux after Sony removed it with a firmware update.

  • Freedom in an Open OS

    I know, I know… Linux is a “4 letter word” to all of the Mac/Windows users out there that like their pretty GUI’s (Graphical User Interfaces). But I want to take a minute or two to show you some of the things that you can do with Linux without diving in head first. Basically there are two popular methods to try Linux without having to change your existing OS. They are “CD/DVD Live” or “USB Pen Drive Live”. First, let me begin my discussion by explaining why you should care.

  • You Get What You Pay For

    A guy has a nice report of a construction project, a PC he built for $200 and a bit of his time. It uses an AMD64 X2 CPU and 1 gB of fast RAM on a minimal motherboard. He was under budget and if the construction and installation time cost $50/h, this project cost less than $250. He then benchmarked it against a $300 box with “7″ installed in the factory. He got what he paid for and it is faster in every test compared to that other OS on similar hardware.

  • Dell Grows Darker

    Since Dell has recently been caught out boycotting AMD and accepting payments for the boycott from Intel, is it not very likely that Dell would boycott Ubuntu upon payments from M$? What do you think?

    “Intel made exclusivity payments to Dell in order for Dell to not use CPUs manufactured by its rival — Advance Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD). These exclusivity payments grew from 10 percent of Dell’s operating income in FY 2003 to 38 percent in FY 2006, and peaked at 76 percent in the first quarter of FY 2007. The SEC alleges that Dell Inc., Michael Dell, Rollins, and Schneider failed to disclose the basis for the company’s sharp drop in its operating results in its second quarter of FY 2007 as Intel cut its payments after Dell announced its intention to begin using AMD CPUs. In dollar terms, the reduction in Intel exclusivity payments was equivalent to 75 percent of the decline in Dell’s operating income. Michael Dell, Rollins, and Schneider had been warned in the past that Intel would cut its funding if Dell added AMD as a vendor. Nevertheless, in Dell’s second quarter FY 2007 earnings call, they told investors that the sharp drop in the company’s operating results was attributable to Dell pricing too aggressively in the face of slowing demand and to component costs declining less than expected.”

  • Human Services, super next on list for SBR

    While the SBR scheme – flagged in the Ahead of the Game: Blueprint for Reform of Australian Government Administration report on public service reform – purports to simplify business-to-government reporting, Linux users have cried foul over the lack of AUSkey compatibility with the platform, while the ATO has told some businesses that the software “doesn’t like Macs”.

    “There’s some more discussions we’ve got to have with AUSkey about Linux,” Madden said. “If we get through the Linux process where Linux themselves would like to provide support for some of these facilities, those facilities will get published the same way as the rest of the Linux things do, in an open source way.”

  • Kernel Space

    • New Arrivals in the Linux.com Store

      We are announcing some new arrivals today in the Linux.com Store– hats, hats and more hats! To be more specific, we’ve added four new baseball caps, each with a different choice of a Linux-related graphic. My favorite is the “Green Fresh Kernels.”

  • Instructionals

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • CentOS Is Now The Most Popular Linux Distro For Web Servers

        CentOS is a Red Hat based free operating system which enjoys widespread use among servers. It does not have the recognition of Ubuntu, Fedora etc. since it focuses entirely on servers not on desktops.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora retrofit & retrofeel

          There’s a new virtual machine on my block, for the purposes of creating crisp and squeaking clean screencasts. And the VM goes by the name of Fedora 13, my chance to dip my toes in alternative Linux distro waters, away from the familiar shores of Ubuntu.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • HawkBoard development platform combines ARM processor and a DSP, with Linux

      The HawkBoard is available for global shipping today from Farnell. Offering portability and diversity in its small, 9×10-cm form factor, the HawkBoard, based on the OMAP-L138 processor from TI, enables Linux developers to harness the power of floating-point DSP to design unique open source applications. Developers can utilize ARM without DSP with TI’s pin-for-pin compatible AM1808 microprocessor from the Sitara family of processors. This low-power board requires only a five-volt power supply, allowing portability by connecting to a laptop.

    • Android

      • ARM tools up for Android design and debug

        ARM has announced commercial availability of ARM Development Studio 5 (DS-5) Application Edition.

        According to ARM, the software development tool is intended to “simplify the development of Linux and Android native applications for ARM-based systems”.

      • Android and PHP development

        Since not everyone may wish to get to grips with Java, the main Android development language, PHP fans have now developed an extension for Android which allows developers to create programs using the PHP scripting language.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • linux.conf.au 2011 CFP opens

      The linux.conf.au 2011 organisers now welcome proposals of papers from all areas of the open source community. linux.conf.au is a fun, informal, seriously technical conference. In 2011 it will also cater to a range of end users including those new to the open source community.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle releases Sun Ray Software 5

      New features include support for Oracle Enterprise Linux, an enhanced virtual desktop client, and a Sun Ray connector for VMware View 4, the virtualisation vendor’s virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) product.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Announcing the world’s fastest VP8 decoder: ffvp8

      Back when I originally reviewed VP8, I noted that the official decoder, libvpx, was rather slow. While there was no particular reason that it should be much faster than a good H.264 decoder, it shouldn’t have been that much slower either! So, I set out with Ronald Bultje and David Conrad to make a better one in FFmpeg. This one would be community-developed and free from the beginning, rather than the proprietary code-dump that was libvpx. A few weeks ago the decoder was complete enough to be bit-exact with libvpx, making it the first independent free implementation of a VP8 decoder. Now, with the first round of optimizations complete, it should be ready for primetime. I’ll go into some detail about the development process, but first, let’s get to the real meat of this post: the benchmarks.

Leftovers

  • Rupee sign to invade software lexicon, computer keyboards, mobiles

    “Having a symbol for the rupee will take up less memory,” said Satish Mohan, director of software engineering at Red Hat (India), which distributes the Linux OS.

  • Livel Law Abuse

    • Trafigura-esque Tangents, or A very progressive digital agency.

      Whether you’ve heard of Tangent Labs is a way of separating the political geek goats from the sheep, but if you’ve ever been on a Labour Party site you’ve probably come across something they’ve designed and built.

      My views about their products are a matter of record. This is from March:

      When I commented on the Political Scrapbook story, I referred to Labour’s favourite digital agency, Tangent Labs, who have been responsible for monstrosities such as this (which is vastly improved from its state at launch) and this. If such sites were free, that would be one thing – but Labour paid handsomely for them.

      Someone else who’s apparently less than enamoured of their work is Luke Bozier, a Labour supporting communications consultant, who took the time to give a more detailed comment on the subject earlier today, explaining why he felt the Labour party’s relationship with Tangent Labs resulted in an array of very similar, and not very attractive, sites.

    • Instant Corporate Karma

      How is it possible to stop someone from expressing an opinion? In a society that cherishes free speech as a fundamental principle, there are no legal lengths that a person or organisation can go to by way of imposing such a limit. That’s obvious, isn’t it? Well not exactly…

      British libel laws are some of the most abused in the world. Libel reformists have long been campaigning for an end to laws which, amongst their many faults, leave the burden of proof on the defendant. This is a principle that condemns that accused as guilty until such a time as they can prove their innocence.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Clip of the Day

Reinstalling GRUB


Links 24/7/2010: More Free Software News, Misc. Topics

Posted in Free/Libre Software, News Roundup at 12:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

Free Software/Open Source

  • Free alternatives to Adobe Photoshop

    Although GIMP is often compared to Adobe Photoshop, the people in charge of the project do not consider their graphic manipulation tool to be a replacement for Photoshop. There is a great deal of controversy about whether or not the GIMP is a truly professional-quality image manipulation tool, at or exceeding the quality level of Photoshop. It is generally held that it is not, although it is usually recognized as the best free alternative to Photoshop, which is usually considered to be the ultimate professional tool of the trade.

  • Open Information Security Foundation Releases Suricata 1.0

    Available immediately for download under the Open Source GPL (GNU General Public License) version 2, Suricata includes new features that will enable it to identify and prevent more of the pressing security concerns faced by organizations.

  • MZmine 2: Modular framework for processing, visualizing, and analyzing mass spectrometry-based molecular profile data

    Conclusions: MZmine 2 is freely available under a GNU GPL license and can be obtained from the project website at: http://mzmine.sourceforge.net/. The current version of MZmine 2 is suitable for processing large batches of data and has been applied to both targeted and non-targeted metabolomic analyses.

  • Events

  • Mozilla

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Sun

    • OpenOffice.org Download: Petition to Authorities to Remove Bait-and-Switch Advertising
    • Oracle Commits to Further NetBeans IDE Development

      As Oracle continues to consolidate the assets of Sun Microsystems, questions about which technologies will go and which ones will stay are still being asked. One such technology that could be at risk is the open source NetBeans IDE , which competes against the Eclipse IDE and its ecosystem, which Oracle also supports.

    • ForgeRock releases version 9.5 of OpenAM

      Discussing the announcement, ForgeRock chief strategy officer and former Chief Open Source Officer at Sun Microsystems Simon Phipps said, “This is an important milestone for the OpenAM community”, adding that, “This achievement marks the first fully community-sourced release of OpenAM. We’re very pleased that users of OpenSSO Enterprise 8 can easily and freely migrate to OpenAM 9.5 now that the updates have been made.”

  • CMS

    • Drupal and the enterprise

      This leaves Drupal and Acquia, the company Buytaert founded to offer Drupal support, caught between the Moon and New York City. WordPress is hammering it in the mass market, among people who just want to build blog sites, and Acquia’s enterprise footprint remains minimal.

  • Project Releases

    • Blender 2.53 Beta

      The Blender Foundation and online developer community is proud to present Blender 2.53 Beta. This release is the first official beta release of the Blender 2.5 series, representing the culmination of many years of redesign and development work.

  • Licensing

    • GPLv3 now dominates at Google Code #oscon

      From the ‘Open Source Licensing” files:

      Google’s open source programs manager Chris DiBona (pic left) took the stage at OSCON today and he had some interesting things to say, about licensing.

      I’ve heard DiBona speak on open source licensing several times over the years. This time his talk wasn’t about licensing specifics, but rather about adoption.

      According to data presented by DiBona, the GPLv3 license now represents more than half of the GPL licensed code that Google hosts on its Google Code site.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Eight free open source books

      It doesn’t matter if you’re new to open source or a long-time user, there is always more to learn about. We scoured the Web for the best open source books. All of these are free books that can be downloaded and shared.

    • Vimeo integrates Creative Commons licences

      Online video service Vimeo started allowing its users to release videos under a Creative Commons licence. The company says that the feature was introduced because a number of users specifically asked for it. The settings dialogue of each video now contains an added “Licence” section in which users can choose from one of six Creative Commons licences. This allows users to determine the sharing conditions for their videos. While searching specifically for videos released under CC licences is not yet possible, Vimeo says it’s working to provide this functionality.

  • Programming

    • D.P.H.

      I owe a whole lot to Perl. So does the practice of computing in general, and the construction of the Web in particular. Perl’s situation is not terribly happy; I wouldn’t go so far as to say “desperate”, but certainly these are not its glory days.

    • Ruby 1.9.2 gets a second release candidate
  • Standards/Consortia

    • Breaking Open the Video Frontier, Despite MPEG-LA

      Did you know that nearly every video produced for Web viewing has been, at one point or another, in MPEG format no matter in what format the video is ultimately saved?

      According to Chris “Monty” Montgomery, nearly every consumer device outputs video in MPEG format. Which means that every software video decoder has to have MPEG-licensed technology in order to process/edit video.

      [...]

      Which circles us back to where Montgomery is today: preparing that army of mages. Looking forward to a landscape where MPEG-LA is not quite so powerful, Montgomery anticipates that video, now that it’s no longer as expensive, could become a real source of innovation in the FOSS community.

Leftovers

  • Hot News Showing Up Everywhere: Costco Sued For ‘Violating’ Hot News In Publishing Market Data

    It seems like every few days or so we’re seeing lawsuits attempting to stretch the hot news doctrine further and further. News organizations who support hot news as a concept really have no idea what sort of can of worms they’ve opened up. Since the infamous (and ongoing) theflyonthewall case, we’re seeing hot news pop up in all sorts of weird places. The latest, as sent over by Eric Goldman, is that Costco is being sued by “Banxcorp” for hot news violations (along with copyright violations and a bunch of other things) for republishing Banxcorp’s data showing national average money market and CD rates.

  • Benchmarking performance in a virtualized world

    One problem with positing that a high-end Unix system will be used for a single transaction-processing application is that it leads to some pretty silly results. Take the leading TPC-C result on the Transaction Processing Council’s Web site, for example. Consider what this 6 million transactions-per-minute figure means in the context of the TPC-C benchmark, a widely used metric for comparing system performance.

  • Science

    • Saturn’s Moon Spawning Moonlets
    • Earth as an Extrasolar Planet

      Somewhere in the Milky Way, astronomers have found a world that sports crucial ingredients for life. When they trained a high-resolution spectrograph on starlight reflected from the planet’s moon, they picked up traces of ozone, oxygen, sodium, and nitrogen. Alas, the planet is Earth. But the researchers say a similar technique could be used to find signatures of life on planets orbiting other stars.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Enterprise filters block political Sex Party website

      Corporate web filters at organisations like Shell and the National Australia Bank (NAB) are blocking web access to the AEC-registered Australian Sex Party.

      The party is contesting the August 21 Federal Election with seven candidates in Victoria, including convenor Fiona Patten, who challenges Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

Clip of the Day

KDE SC 4.5 RC1 – The Desktop part 1


Links: GNU/Linux in China, India, Many Other Places

Posted in News Roundup at 11:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rice terrace in China

Summary: Some catch-up with news from the past week or two

GNU/Linux

  • Why I still hate Windows

    I’ve posted many times over that I used to be an avid Windows and Microsoft supporter, mainly around the Windows 95/98 days. However, after being introduced to Linux, I soon realized that Linux surpasses Windows in many ways, especially system reliability.

  • Kids get free computers

    Learners with very little prior computer exposure were taught programming languages in a primarily Linux environment at the Centre for High Performance Computing in Cape Town and the course organisers feel that they will have the tools to begin further studies in computer programming.

    [...]

    He explained the choice to teach using the Linux platform.

    “Linux is a free OS (Operating System) and is also virtually virus free. Unlike Windows, it comes with a variety of useful applications which are also free and all the PCs the kids have has (Linux) Ubuntu installed,” he said.

  • Operating systems: all about personal preference

    - Linux users: Many have used Windows and Linux at some point. Windows/DOS was around before Linux, so there are even some that used Microsoft’s earlier products. But for some reason they have chosen to dump Windows and stick with Linux. I know very few within the past 3-4 years or so, that know Linux in and out, and have chosen to use Windows as their primary operating system. I would be happy to hear from somebody that has done this, to find out why they took the path they did. Personally, I made this move myself in 2002 (about 8 years ago) when I attempted to migrate to Linux from Windows for my personal workstation, and I ended up back on Windows XP. I didn’t like Windows, but there were too many things that didn’t work in Linux at the time. However, within the past 3-4 years, things have changed significantly; Linux is now capable of handling Windows software with ease, as well as its own catalog of software growing exponentially. In 2008 I finally made my migration from Windows XP to Fedora Linux on my personal PC plus two other PCs in our home used by my family, and I will never use Windows as my primary operating system again.

  • Low-cost Computing

  • India

    • India’s $35 Tablet- The Everything Killer

      On July 22 a $35 (or 1500 INR) hand-held Linux computing device was unveiled by Shri Kapil Sibal, the Union Minister for Human Resource Development of India. The goal of the project is to lower the price to around $20 in time and eventually reaching the amazing price of $10.

      In a tablet form-factor and using an unspecified variant of Linux (that some have said might be Android), the cost should remain low while offering a wide range of functionality. The Sakshat descendant is said to be capable of supporting video conferencing, viewing a wide selection of video and image files, word processing, de/compressing files, printing with CUPS, full Internet browsing with Javascript and Flash, wireless communications, and remote device management.

    • Missions impossible for now

      Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi doesn’t mind following the Marxists when it comes to providing cheaper IT education in schools. On learning that the Kerala government used the open-source free software, Linux, for its schools, he has decided to do the same in 3,650 schools in his state. Though his babus objected, Modi saw he could save Rs 100 crore by installing Linux in schools. Before opting for Linux, his aides tried to negotiate to install the Microsoft Windows operating system at a cheaper rate. But the talks failed.

  • China

    • Taobao initiates Chinese open source revolution

      So three years later, Taobao, a user of Linux and FOSS, sets a precedent by not only admitting to be using Linux (OMG!) but also launching their own open source repositories, hosting their own projects and sharing them with the world–yes, the world! Its objectives are for the message not to only be constrained within the Chinese borders but as with any other corporation, to extend across the globe. Here’s the blog post announcement from a member of the Taobao Technical Committee, Coly Li.

    • China finally getting the open source message

      Muller calls this “a dream come true for those of us who have been advocating openness and contribution from those Chinese companies using FOSS.” His hope is that other companies will join the effort, and “admit” to using open source. He thinks it could boost the quality of open source worldwide.

      Which is the important point. Taobao isn’t doing this out of the goodness of its heart, although the company may have a very good heart indeed. But companies create forges and open their code to scrutiny to improve it, and in hopes a community will form they can benefit from.

  • Server

    • IBM Launches 5000 MIPS Hybrid Mainframe

      IBM’s zEnterprise server pushes mainframe performance on, and converges mainframe technology with blade servers

    • Vietnam Banks On Linux

      Vietnam Joint Stock Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank), one of the largest banking institutions in Vietnam, has selected an IBM System z10 mainframe to support the expansion of its banking businesses.

    • What is Web 2.0 anyway?

      This is important to counter the entire “2.0″ stupidity and media brainwashing. Linux runs the internet. Almost totally. There are several factors in play, not the least of which are security, lack of viruses on linux, useability, accessibility, and cost. All these factors weigh heavily in favor of non-Microsoft products. It costs anywhere from TEN to a HUNDRED times less to operate an internet service using Linux. Why? Support is cheaper, the initial software is FREE, and there are no licensing or patent issues to fight over!

    • Q&A: Carl Meadows of The Planet, on its New Server Cloud

      According to the launch announcement, key to The Planet’s server cloud is transparency into the systems running behind the interface. The offering is built on high-end physical infrastructure, from Dell, Intel, Juniper, Cisco and Sun, along with the Canonical Ubuntu Linux OS and virtualization using Kernel-based Virtual Machine.

    • Cutting Edge and Leading GIS Company Esri Announce New Linux Servers with ArcGIS Server 10

      Cutting Edge Networked Storage (www.cuttedge.com) and Esri (www.Esri.com) are pleased to announce new Linux Server Solutions with ArcGIS Server Enterprise 10 preinstalled to the U.S. Geographic Information Systems community. Esri has selected Cutting Edge Networked Storage to manufacture and deliver the new Linux Servers with ArcGIS Server 10 based on the popular Redhat Enterprise operating system to its customer base.

  • VoIP

    • Designing a VoIP Media Phone Framework

      Linux-based VoIP for Intel architectures

    • Is your business ready for VoIP?

      Alternatively, many Linux aficionados have taken the Asterisk freeware to create a Linux PBX appliance with excellent results.

    • Teo launches single-server unified comms system

      Teo Technologies today announced a unified communications (UC) platform that relies on a Linux-based server to provide multiple applications, including voice mail, across a variety of devices.

    • Teo Delivers Linux Based UC Solution

      Teo’s system relies on a single Linux server, a single administrator’s portal, and a single user interface to track calls, emails, and voice mails. The company claims that the Teo UC could cost customers 30% less than conventional approaches, which tend to rely on multiple servers, each supporting a different communications function.

  • Kernel Space

    • Careers Q&A: Happen Business’ Paul Berger

      Happen Business’ technical director, Paul Berger, has had a fairly meaty history in IT. Entering the industry with an electronic background, he is responsible for building a popular kit computer in the mid-1980s – the Applix 1616 – and the partner he built it with is now a co-maintainer of both the ext3 file system and the Linux kernel.

    • Re: ARM defconfig files

      I’m willing to try my solution, some others on the linux-arm-kernel lists considered it worth trying, too.

    • Kernel prepatch 2.6.35-rc5
  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Specialised

      • Security: Disposable VMs For Tighter Security

        A new flavor of the Linux Operating System is now available that might prove to be one of the strongest defenses put up against malware. The new Operating System is called Qubes, and it is a combination of Linux with the Xen Virtual machine. Qubes is the invention of Joanna Rutkowska, a Polish researcher of malware and exploits. Rutkowska is famous for a paper she authored and presented at a Black Hat conference in 2006 that described a technique called ‘Blue Pill’ for moving a running OS into a virtual machine using hardware virtualization.

      • SingleOS Improves Management Of High Availability And Load-balancing Services In Fuscan Linux Cloud

        The new functionality enables Fuscan Linux Cloud based web hosts to better control the load-balanced and High Availability services on the Cloud.

      • SystemRescueCd 1.5.6

        Although SystemRescueCD offers a desktop, it can be complicated to use and requires a some basic computer knowledge. However, it doesn’t require much Linux specific knowledge to operate most of the tools, so I would be happy to recommend it to a Windows guru. Besides, people who don’t understand the basics shouldn’t be operating partition managers and file recovery utilities anyway.

    • Reviews

      • Linux Distro Review: Mandriva Spring 2010.1

        It has been many years since I spent much time with Mandriva. I did try the last release for a bit when writing up the Linux.com 2010 Distro Scorecard, but haven’t used Mandriva as a primary distro in many years. Actually, it might be more accurate to say that I’ve never used Mandriva as a primary distro. The last time I used the distro consistently, it was called Mandrake.

        I still prefer the old name, but I like Mandriva 2010.1 much more than I liked the last Mandrake release I used. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Mandriva 2010.1 to any user looking for a solid, user-friendly Linux desktop. It’s not the only distro that I’d recommend, but it’d be one of a handful that I’d be comfortable recommending.

    • New Releases

      • SystemRescueCd 1.5.8 Fixes a Couple of Critical Bugs in GParted

        SystemRescueCd has been updated bringing newer Linux kernels and a newer GParted. With SystemRescueCd 1.5.8, both kernel lines offered have been updated to Linux kernel 2.6.32.16 and Linux kernels 2.6.34.1 respectively. A newer version of GParted, the graphical partitioning tool, has been included which fixes a couple of critical bugs from the previous release.

      • Reverse Engineer Releases Linux Distro for Malware Research

        A reputed security expert named Lenny Zeltser, who specializes in reverse-engineering malicious software has put together a special Linux distribution tailored to the specific needs of malware researchers. Called REMnux, the distro contains a wide variety of tools for analyzing malicious traffic and inspecting various threats.

      • Zencafe 2.2: Zenwalk Linux for Internet cafés

        The Zencafe developers have released version 2.2 of their Linux distribution designed specifically for internet cafés. Zencafe includes a built-in, “Deep Freeze like” auto-recovery tool and various specialised internet café applications, such as software for billing and system management.

      • Zenwalk Internet Cafe Edition 2.2 Released
    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Fund Buys Software Stake

        Russia-backed fund NGI acquired a stake in Mandriva, a French maker of software based on the Linux operating system, as part of a program to develop a Russian operating system, Kommersant reported Thursday.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • DebConf10: the Debian Project

        This operating system that we have been creating is called Debian GNU/Linux, or simply Debian for short. Every year, DebConf allows new and existing Debian project participants from around the world to assemble, share knowledge and ideas, make collaborative contributions to Debian, build tighter community bonds and improve communication within the project.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Google’s China rival to create Android-like OS

      Google’s biggest search rival in China – homegrown market leader Baidu, is to develop a Linux-based smartphone to rival the Californian search giant’s Android-based devices.

    • ARM

      • ARM Lines Up a Warp Speed Future For Mobile Processors

        ARM has solidified its position today as master of the mobile processor universe, announcing a deal with TSMC that will take smartphone chips all the way down to a 20nm process. That means: faster, better, more efficient.

      • Linux: New Distribution for the ARM mobile processing

        A group of hardware companies that produce ARM-powered mobile devices have gotten together to create a consortium called Linaro. ARM produces ultra-low-power consumption chips for mobile devices, like for the iPhone, and is available at a relatively low unit price. ARM has been successfully attacking the low end of the chip, a game-plan similar to Intel’s from a couple of decades back, and now ARM is capturing market share that would normally have belonged to Intel. About 98 percent of mobile phones use ARM chips and the chips are also used heavily in other consumer electronic products. It is expected that Linaro should help speed the time to market for new mobile devices.

    • Wind River (Intel)

    • Caanoo

    • iRiver

    • Nokia/MeeGo

    • Android

      • Android’s ascent in China might not elevate Google

        As the sole arbiter of Android’s dominant application delivery channel, Google has enormous control over the platform and how it is used. This is an extremely effective tool for preventing platform-level fragmentation and discouraging vendors from building forks that deviate from upstream Android in ways that might diminish application compatibility across devices.

      • Motorola Droid X Gets Rooted

        Hardcore Android fans have been leery of the Motorola Droid X because of the chip and bootloader combination in the device that could potentially brick it if custom versions of the Android operating system are loaded on it.

      • Droid 2 being prepared for launch, set to arrive August 23rd?

        The Droid 2′s been leaking out all over the place in the past few weeks, but it looks like it’ll be another month before it officially hits shelves — we just got these shots from a packaging facility that’s handling the phone, which puts it right on schedule for that rumored August 23rd launch. We’re also told that the phone will definitely ship with an 8GB microSD card, and that pricing appears to be $199 on contract and $599 standalone, although those numbers could change. Just a few short weeks left, we suppose — although give the rate at which this thing is leaking, we’re thinking Motorola and Verizon might do well to push that date up a couple weeks. We’ll see.

      • Graffiti for Android scribbles Palm OS memories all over Google’s platform
      • New Google tool lets anyone become an Android developer

        Google’s launched a new software tool that it says allows anybody to become an Android developer.

      • New Java IDE: Google App Inventor for Android

        Google has released App Inventor for Android, a new Java development environment aimed at the recently oft-targeted non-coder developer who wants to build an app for the Android operating system.

    • WebOS

      • HP PalmPad trademark foretells WebOS slate

        The United States Patent and Trademark Office granted Hewlett-Packard a trademark for the term “PalmPad” late last week.

        HP hasn’t released specific details on what it plans to do with the trademark; however, the application form confirms that HP will limit its use to “Computers, computer hardware, computer software, computer peripherals, portable computers, handheld and mobile computers, PDAs, electronic notepads, mobile digital electronic devices.”

      • Will HP Create PalmPad To Fight iPad

        According to reports, a PalmPad is on its way — at least is in consideration. HP has been granted a trademark for name ‘PalmPad’ by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

      • What the Palm webOS Platform Has to Offer Developers
      • HP Using Own Software in Phone Wars with Apple, Google

        In its bid to take on Apple and Google in smartphones, Hewlett-Packard won’t use Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 software.

    • Tablets

      • Lenovo to launch Android tablet by year’s end

        Lenovo is launching its own tablet to debut in China by the end of this year.

        Dubbed “LePad,” the tablet will run Google’s Android operating system, according to comments made by Liu Jun, senior vice president for Lenovo Group, as reported by TradingMarkets.com and other sources. Details are few so far, and there’s no word from Lenovo or other sources on whether the tablet will venture abroad after its initial debut in China.

Links 24/7/2010: Rights, Copyrights, and How to Install WebM (Video)

Posted in News Roundup at 3:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

Leftovers

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • EFF Urges Court to Block Dragnet Subpoenas Targeting Online Commenters

      New York – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) this week served a motion to quash dragnet subpoenas that put privacy and anonymity at risk for the operators of dozens of Internet blogs and potentially hundreds of commenters.

    • EU Authorities: Implementation of Net Surveillance Directive Is Unlawful

      In a landmark announcement issued today, the data protection officials across the European Union found that the way that EU Member States have implemented the data retention obligations in the 2006 EU Data Retention Directive is unlawful. The highly controversial 2006 EU Data Retention Directive compels all ISPs and telecommunications service providers operating in Europe to retain telecom and internet traffic data about all of their customers’ communications for a period of at least 6 months and up to 2 years.

    • U.S. Senate passes ‘libel tourism’ bill

      This week, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill shielding journalists and publishers from “libel tourism.” The vote on Monday slipped past the Washington press corps largely unnoticed. Maybe it was the title that strove chunkily for a memorable acronym: the Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage (SPEECH) Act. Journalists and press freedom defenders outside the United States did, however, pay attention to the legislation, which they hope will spur libel law reform in their countries.

    • No Minister: 90% of web snoop document censored to stop ‘premature unnecessary debate’

      The federal government has censored approximately 90 per cent of a secret document outlining its controversial plans to snoop on Australians’ web surfing, obtained under freedom of information (FoI) laws, out of fear the document could cause “premature unnecessary debate”.

    • Court Fails to Protect Privacy of Whistleblower’s Email

      Today the Eleventh Circuit issued an unfortunate amended decision in Rehberg v. Hodges. The case arose from an egregious situation in which, among other misconduct, a prosecutor used a sham grand jury subpoena to obtain the private emails of whistleblower Charles Rehberg after he brought attention to systematic mismanagement of funds at a Georgia public hospital.

    • Ofcom’s code does not comply with Digital Economy Act

      Ofcom’s proposal denies us the ability to check whether the methods of collecting of the evidence are trustworthy. Instead, copyright holders and Internet Service Providers will just self-certify that everything’s ok. If they get it wrong, there’s no penalty.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • UltraViolet video streaming DRM to launch this Fall

      The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) has branded their system of “Universal DRM”, which was first announced at CES 2010, calling the technology UltraViolet. The system is designed to allow consumers the ability to view purchased movies wherever, whenever, over multiple platforms and formats.

  • Copyrights

    • US could learn from Brazilian penalty for hindering fair use

      Brazil has proposed a broad update to its copyright law (Portuguese) and it contains a surprising idea: penalize anyone who “hinders or impedes” fair use rights or obstructs the use of work that has already fallen into the public domain.

    • Against Monopoly

      The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has launched a campaign to raise money from its members to hire lobbyists to protect them against the dangers of “Copyleft.” Groups such as Creative Commons, Public Knowledge, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation are “mobilizing,” ASCAP describes in a letter to its members, “to promote ‘Copyleft’ in order to undermine our ‘Copyright.’” “[O]ur opponents are influencing Congress against the interests of music creators,” ASCAP warns. Indeed, as the letter ominously predicts, this is ASCAP’s “biggest challenge ever.” (Historians of BMI might be a bit surprised about that claim in particular.)

    • Lawsuit Dropped; Claimed That Copyright-Filtering Violates Copyright

Clip of the Day

How to Install WebM in Ubuntu


Links: NASA and Free Software, Implantable Medical Devices Need Software Freedom

Posted in Free/Libre Software, News Roundup at 2:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Data storage

Summary: Free software news roundup

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why NASA uses Open Source

    In order to save the data from distant spacecraft, satellites and other scientific endeavors, NASA is leveraging open source tech (including Ubuntu Linux) and regular enterprise networking components to meet their mission.

    I had the privilege of speaking with NASA’s CTO for IT Chris Kemp this week around the OpenStack project in which NASA is participating. Kemp told me that NASA’s Nebula cloud IT environment was built for science and research and has been optimized for low cost and massive scalability.

  • 5 Open and Free Help Desk Ticketing Systems

    The Linux and open source community provides countless user and server applications. They also provide solutions to help support these and other applications, even to support non-technical departments. You’ll find many help desk or customer service trouble ticketing systems in the FOSS (free and open source software) world. Right now we’ll review 5 different solutions.

  • Puppet 2.6 Expands Open Source System Configuration

    It’s starting off to be a good week for open source configuration management vendor Puppet Labs. The startup announced today that it has raised an additional $5 million in venture funding, bringing total funding to $7 million to date. Those new funds come on the same day that a major new release of the open source Puppet framework is being made generally available.

  • Why I’m Reinventing Disqus

    Why am I reinventing Disqus? That is the question I’ve been getting asked since I “announced” on Identi.ca that I’d be replacing Disqus with a free (AGPL) comment system that I was to write. Well, I am not the inventor of Disqus, so technically I can’t reinvent something I didn’t forehand invent. And because I’m not about to run a service for millions of people, my comment system won’t have accounts (though it will have the possibility of setting a password so that only certain persons can post with their certain names.)

  • Speech Recognition: There Actually Is An Open Source Solution

    As the commenters on Slashdot note, one of the most robust open source speech recognition solutions comes from Carnegie Mellon University. It’s called Sphinx, and we covered it here. You can use Sphinx for straight speech recognition, or integrate it with applications. To find out more about Sphinx, check out this post from Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Women in free software: Recommendations from the Women’s Caucus

      Nearly a year ago the FSF held a mini-summit for women in free software to investigate practical ways to increase the number of women involved in the free software community.

      Those that attended the summit formed the Women’s Caucus, and have been working to develop practical policy to recommend to the FSF and the wider free software community. Today, we are publishing the Caucus’s initial findings and recommendations.

    • 3rd and 4th meeting of FSFE Fellowship group Slovenia

      The 3rd meeting our Fellowship group was on the 4th of March and was mainly about organizing the DFD. You can read the full minutes (in Slovenian) on the wiki.

    • Killed by Code: Software Transparency in Implantable Medical Devices

      This paper demonstrates why increased transparency in the field of medical device software is in the public’s interest. It unifies various research into the privacy and security risks of medical device software and the benefits of published systems over closed, proprietary alternatives. Our intention is to demonstrate that auditable medical device software would mitigate the privacy and security risks in IMDs by reducing the occurrence of source code bugs and the potential for malicious device hacking in the long-term. Although there is no way to eliminate software vulnerabilities entirely, this paper demonstrates that free and open source medical device software would improve the safety of patients with IMDs, increase the accountability of device manufacturers, and address some of the legal and regulatory constraints of the current regime.

  • Project Releases

  • Government

  • Licensing

    • Resources for Open Source Compliance

      Open source is everywhere today and there is growing awareness that companies have to meet certain obligations when distributing open source software. Here are some useful resources to learn more about open source compliance.

  • Open Data

    • Open Data: A typical furore over when data should be published

      The following recent story in the Times Higher Educational Supplement (the “mainstream” magazine for HE in the UK) shows why we desperately need a clear basis for discussing data. I’ll comment inline, but initially just to make it clear that the fuss and hyperbole is because there is no communal framework for understanding and addressing the problem. Also to remind readers of this blog that the UK has a Freedom Of Information Act (FoI) which allows any citizen to make a request to a public body (government, local government, universities, public research establishments) for information, It is the law, and a reply must be delivered within 20 working days and there are only a few grounds for refusal.

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • WS-I Transitions to OASIS

      Today the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I; http://www.ws-i.org) announced its decision to transition its assets, operations, and mission into a Member Section of OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards; http://www.oasis-open.org/). The transition is expected to take place over the next few months.

Links: KDevelop 4.0.1, GNOME 3…

Posted in News Roundup at 2:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hardware

Summary: GNU/Linux news roundup

GNU/Linux

  • Rewards Of Using Linux Running Program on Playstation 3

    The Playstation 3 slim is not just a gaming console, but also a powerful PC besides the styled layout that the playstation 3 has. Everybody generally use the console for it?s main objective, to perform video games, with out realizing how significantly more the console can offer them . With Linux on Playstation 3 you can do almost everything a computer can do and then some with your Ps3. Not to mention installing Linux system on a Playstation 3 is very effortless. Here are some of the benefits linked with setting up Linux system on a Playstation 3 slim.

  • Revolutionary Desktop Switching: An Analysis

    This is an old favorite of mine. Here is the problem, switching desktops on a Linux machine with or without compiz is not intuitive. Why? because it is related to some window keys Ctrl+Alt+Right or Left Arrow, it is a secondary menu, or it depends on the mouse being at the corner of the window.

  • Is your PC slowing down?

    Defragmenting the hard drive. It’s hard to believe that even Windows 7, the latest operating system from Microsoft, is still prone to this problem. The NTFS filesystem (used by Windows NT and up) has other quirks, but it seems to slowly get fragmented and requires defragmenting from time to time. This process can take a long time depending on your hardware, and no doubtedly has to happen when you are not using your computer. It’s more like a band-aid to the problem, whereas Linux solves the problem up front by not even allowing fragmenting to happen at all. This has been the case since the ext3 filesystem was first used for Linux, and is still the case today with the ext4 filesystem. To quote the Linux System Administrator Guide: “Modern Linux filesystem(s) keep fragmentation at a minimum by keeping all blocks in a file close together, even if they can’t be stored in consecutive sectors. Some filesystems, like ext3, effectively allocate the free block that is nearest to other blocks in a file. Therefore it is not necessary to worry about fragmentation in a Linux system.”. Again, this is brilliant.

  • Rebooting is for Windows

    So let’s look at two of the most common operating systems used today used in datacenters and on server systems. On one hand, Windows and the other Linux.

    Windows by nature has more downtime per system, because Microsoft releases patches that require frequent rebooting. Windows patches are scheduled to be released on the second Tuesday of each month, so at a minimum once per month Windows systems will need to reboot. Sometimes, patches are released even more frequently, depending on the severity. Windows just can’t activate a majority of software updates without rebooting the entire system.

  • Server

    • Well over half of the most reliable hosting companies run on Linux

      - Over two thirds (29 out of 42) of the most reliable hosting companies use Linux (would they use GNU along with it?)
      - 14.2% use BSD (FreeBSD to be more precise)
      - A little less than 10% use Windows
      - 3 out of 42 are a big question mark

    • IBM’s New Mainframe: The Key Is the Core

      The z196 can be configured to include up to 80 specialty engines to further reduce costs and increase performance including the System z Application Assist Processor (zAAP) for integrating Java workloads with core business applications, the System z Integrated Information Processor (zIIP) designed to help free-up computing capacity and lower IT costs, and the Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) to optimize Linux workloads running on the mainframe, IBM said in its press release.

  • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDevelop 4.0.1 released

        I’m happy to announce the availability of our first patch level release for KDevelop 4.

      • A revolutionary road to get around.

        Well, here comes a good one I think. As I was talking to some people on the KDE IRC channel yesterday, there was a comment made about a possible way to orient new KDE users on how to use the desktop. However, I believe that users should be left clues to discover their desktop on their own. There should not be an intro popup or anything like that. Ponder about this for a moment.

      • KPresenter Invites Creative Minds to Template Contest

        Today, the KOffice team presents a contest to create great KPresenter slide templates, offering t-shirts for the winners and of course inclusion in the next KPresenter releases for all good submissions. Read on for information on the contest!

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 3: The Future of the Desktop

        This September, a new desktop will be unveiled to the world in the form of GNOME 3. This desktop will change the way people view, work with, and think of the desktop. It’s different, it’s intuitive, and it follows the current evolution of what the desktop should be. But best of all, it’s all about Linux.

  • Distributions

    • Victorinox “Swiss Army” USB Flash Drives

      I have owned a Victorinox USB flash drive for several years now – long enough that it is only a 512MB unit, and it was considered “typical” at the time that I got it. I recently decided it was time to get a new one with a capacity more typical by today’s standards. My basic selection criteria was very simple – besides the capacity, it must not have any knife or scissors which would cause me problems when taking it in my backpack on commercial flights.

    • Reviews

      • Screenshot Tour Of Parted Magic 5.0

        Parted Magic is a Slackware-based Linux distro which is made for the sole purpose of partitioning hard disks. Parted Magic comes with tools like GParted, TestDisk, fdisk etc. The latest release, Parted Magic 0.5 was released yesterday and it includes Linux kernel 2.6.34.1, GParted 0.6.1 etc.

    • New Releases

      • T2 System Development Environment 8.0 arrives

        After several years of development, German T2 creator Rene Rebe has announced the release of version 8.0 of his cross compiling Linux distribution System Development Environment (SDE), T2 SDE. According to Rebe, the latest release includes more than 10,000 Subversion revisions, hundreds of new packages, performance improvements and several new features.

      • Sabayon Linux 5.3 XFCE and LXDE Spins Are Now Availble

        The Sabayon Linux team has now released two new flavours of the Gentoo-based Linux distro packed with alternative desktop environments for those who prefer them or have slower computers. The Sabayon 5.3 XFCE and Sabayon 5.3 LXDE ‘spins’ are more experimental in nature than the regular release though they are considered stable enough for regular use. This is just the first step, more spins are planned, and these two will continue to evolve until they reach a more mature state.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      Flavours and Variants

      • Xubuntu Artwork

        Some love Gnome, others love KDE, for me it’s XFCE all the way. When I jumped on the Ubuntu bandwagon several years ago it was only natural that I’d use Xubuntu.

      • Linux Mint 9 (KDE Edition): The Kubuntu Killer

        If you’re looking for a great KDE distribution built on Ubuntu packages, Linux Mint KDE is the one to get. Forget Kubuntu, Mint does everything it does and more. In fact, it’s everything Kubuntu used to be. By itself, Mint’s KDE edition shines with custom tools, a customized appearance, and attention to detail at just about every turn. Distributions like this one make it harder for me to choose a single distro to stick with, as there are many great ones out there to try out.

        [...]

        Overall: 5/5 (Great!)

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Why open source doesn’t always mean open on smartphones [OSCON2010]

        I caught an excellent presentation by Aaron Williamson from the Software Freedom Law center here at OSCON yesterday examining why smartphones built on open source software aren’t as open as they possibly could be. What Williams talked about was often eye opening, though there were a few points I found myself disagreeing with him on.

        He started the presentation by talking about Motorola’s Droid X and the controversy that was stirred up when hacking enthusiasts discovered that Motorola had implemented an encrypted boot loader that forced the device to boot into a “recovery” mode in the event a custom ROM was detected on the device. While this was shocking (and even infuriating) to some, The only thing setting Motorola apart from the other Android OEMS in this case is that they’re actually enforcing the restrictions mandated by the OS maker.

      • FCam adds RAW and HDR capture to Nokia N900

        Mobile photography could get a shot in the arm thanks to the combined efforts of Stanford University researchers and Nokia Research, who have pushed a new open-source digital photography platform out the door. FCam – or “Frankencamera” – is initially available for the Nokia N900, and unlocks high-end functionality like RAW image capture, full manual controls and low-light imagery through combining multiple shots of varying ISO and exposure settings.

    • Android

      • Google to open Android NDK?

        In two reports filed from this week’s OSCON conference, The Register says that Google will open Android’s internal development kit to contributors, and that Linux maintainers are holding tough in negotiating with the search giant regarding Android’s readmission to the kernel. Meanwhile, Linux 2.6.35 RC6 was released, featuring enhancements to network scalability, memory management, and sleep-wait detection.

      • Linux Syncs Great With Droids

        Interest levels in syncing music collections have notched up a bit of late with the introduction of a plethora of new Android-based super phones. That is, unless you happen to be one of those owners with a large quantity of digital music encumbered by digital rights management (DRM) better known as copy protection. In that case, you might want to do some research into converting said digital files into a more portable format. Meanwhile, for the rest, with media ready to load up on a new cool phone, we’ll take a look at Linux options.

      • The Android Mobile Development Platform: A Reference Guide

07.23.10

Links 23/7/2010: Bank Fraud in Retrospect, Wikileaks Hunt

Posted in News Roundup at 3:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Leftovers

  • The background to the Gray and Hilton libel case

    At about 2pm this afternoon the High Court will rule on whether the libel claim against Labour bloggers John Gray and Alex Hilton can be struck out for abuse of process.

    My friend Robert Dougans, who of course acted for Simon Singh, is formally representing Alex Hilton, and I am in turn one of the lawyers helping Robert Dougans.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Can’t Say It Dodged This F-Bomb: Jonathan Weil

      While the Securities and Exchange Commission’s fraud lawsuit against Goldman Sachs may be over, the myths about what’s contained in the settlement agreement seem to have taken on a life of their own.

      There’s been so much misinformation floating around on this subject that it’s time to set the record straight. Contrary to many reports over the past week, the SEC didn’t back off any of its fraud allegations. Nor will Goldman be allowed to deny the SEC’s harshest accusations. Yet over and over, articles and analyst reports keep popping up asserting otherwise.

    • Did Goldman Sachs Get Off Easy? NYT Editorial

      Next is the more disturbing question: Did the S.E.C. let Goldman off too easy? As has been widely noted, the $550 million settlement, which has been approved by a federal judge, is chump change compared with Goldman’s bonus pool, and less even than Goldman’s depressed second-quarter profits.

    • Goldman to sell benchmark-size 5-year notes – IFR

      Benchmark offerings are typically at least $500 million in size. No timing was given for the deal.

    • Goldman Sachs reaches $60 million securities settlement with Missouri

      The investment firm of Goldman Sachs will repurchase up to $60 million in auction rate securities from Missouri investors who were caught up in the market meltdown in early 2008.

      The settlement was announced Wednesday by Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan. This marks the 15th auction rate settlement in Missouri leading to the reimbursement of more than $1.5 billion for investors.

    • Morgan Stanley’s Pay Set-Aside Climbs as Goldman Sachs’s Falls

      Morgan Stanley, buoyed by rising revenue, set aside 37 percent more money to pay employees in the first half of 2010 even as rivals Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s investment bank lowered their compensation expenses.

    • Pay Czar to Cite Goldman, JPMorgan, Citi: Report

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Citigroup Inc are among those Obama administration pay czar Kenneth Feinberg will cite for having made “ill-advised” payments, the Wall Street Journal reported on its web site on Thursday.

    • Goldman Sachs Spends 40 Percent More On Lobbying In Second Quarter

      As Goldman Sachs faced arguably one of its most challenging quarter in decades — on several fronts, from SEC charges and lagging profits to financial regulatory reform and renewed scrutiny of all its activities — the firm increased its spending on lobbying by almost 40% in the second quarter of 2010 and has already spent almost as much in the first half of this year as it did in all of 2009.

      In its most recent lobbying report filed last night, Goldman spent $1.58 million to influence Congress and the White House on a host of issues including Wall Street reform — specifically derivatives regulation, bank tax and financial risk management — the much-debated unemployment benefits extension, municipal finance, small business funding, climate change legislation and transportation funding.

    • Who Really Won in Goldman Sachs’ Settlement With the SEC?
    • Daniel Dravot, Goldman Sachs, and the SEC

      Goldman is not a mere mortal king but has been viewed in some circles as a god on Wall Street. Unfortunately, when Goldman kissed Paulson, the latter bit and the former bled; and now Goldman is astride the rope bridge, bejeweled and crowned but imperiled as the SEC hacks away.

    • Goldman’s Go-Round

      When Goldman Sachs released its first-quarter results in April, its strong profits were overshadowed by news of a lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission accusing the firm of fraud in a sale of mortgage-related securities. When it released its second-quarter results on Tuesday, its plunging profits — down 82 percent from the same period a year earlier — overshadowed the $550 million it paid to settle the S.E.C. case last week.

    • Federal Report Faults Banks on Huge Bonuses

      With the financial system on the verge of collapse in late 2008, a group of troubled banks doled out more than $2 billion in bonuses and other payments to their highest earners. Now, the federal authority on banker pay says that nearly 80 percent of that sum was unmerited.

    • Goldman Sachs Said to Give AIG-Hedging List to Investigators

      The list was sought by panels reviewing the beneficiaries of New York-based AIG’s $182.3 billion government bailout, said the people, who declined to be identified because the information is private. Goldman Sachs, which received $12.9 billion after the 2008 rescue tied to contracts with the insurer, has said it didn’t need AIG to be rescued because it was hedged against the firm’s failure.

    • SEC Inspector General Expands Probe to Include Goldman Sachs Settlement

      The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s internal watchdog said he will expand his probe into whether politics drove an agency lawsuit against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to include the timing behind a $550 million settlement with the company.

    • Pimco Hires Goldman Sachs’s Gordon in Emerging Stocks

      Pacific Investment Management Co., the bond-fund firm that last year began a push into equities, hired Maria Gordon from Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s asset- management unit to start an emerging-market stocks group.

      Gordon was head of the emerging-markets equity team at Goldman Sachs Asset Management in London, where she oversaw about $8 billion in assets, the Newport Beach, California-based firm said in a statement. Gordon, who plans to join in October, will eventually run a group of four to six people and will be based in London.

    • Fairfield, Madoff, Goldman, BP, UBS in Court News

      Fairfield Greenwich Group co-founder Walter Noel was sued by the trustee overseeing the liquidation of Bernard Madoff’s firm as part of an amended lawsuit that names 43 new defendants.

      Noel and the other defendants worked with Madoff and his firm “to commit, and exponentially expand, the single largest financial fraud in history,” trustee Irving Picard said in the complaint filed yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. “Every dollar the defendants purportedly ‘earned,’ and every dollar they kept to unjustly enrich themselves, was stolen money.”

    • Goldman Sachs Resort & Casino

      Goldman Sachs is proud to announce a consumer-enriching expansion from the hallowed halls of Wall Street to the glittering neon of Las Vegas. In addition to continuing our world-class wealth-friendly Private Wealth Management and Personal Banking services; our internationally-recognized client-focused Global Investment Research services; our award-winning, growth-facilitating Debt Financing teams, we are excited to unveil plans for the globally diversified, entertainment-enhanced, Goldman Sachs Lounge & Casino, perfect for both the high roller, and the high-net-worth individual, financial institution, corporation and/or government.

    • The Food Bubble: How Wall Street Starved Millions and Got Away With It

      While Goldman Sachs agreed to pay $550 million to resolve a civil fraud lawsuit filed by the SEC, Goldman has not been held accountable for many of its other questionable investment practices. A new article in Harper’s Magazine examines the role Goldman played in the food crisis of 2008 when the ranks of the world’s hungry increased by 250 million. We speak to Harper’s contributing editor Frederick Kaufman.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Assange No-Show at Hacker Conference

      Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was a no-show at the annual New York City hacker conference HOPE, after five Homeland Security agents turned up the day before he scheduled to speak.

      After an army intelligence analyst blew the whistle and leaked 150,000 State Department classified diplomatic cables and an aerial attack video to Wikileaks, conference organizers warned in June that Assange, a scheduled keynote speaker, might not turn up if hew wanted to avoid detention.

    • Top earning Tory: ban protests to save money

      In the past controversial plays have had to be shut down because the police did not want to bear the costs of policing the protests.

      With Boris increasingly displaying authoritarianism – banning Democracy village and threatening motorcycle protesters – it looks increasingly like the Tories aren’t as enthusiastic about civil liberties as they’ve claimed.

    • Comment: Labour must repent on civil liberties

      The term ‘progressive’ is a pernicious and treacherous thing. It is not a belief system. It doesn’t denote a series of beliefs or policies. It is a sentiment, a vague allusion. It translates as ‘leftish’. Its political usefulness lies in this absence of meaning, allowing right-wingers to attract moderates without actually committing to any specific proposals.

  • Net Neutrality

    • No need for net neutrality action, says UK regulator

      SNIPPET: While US telcos, politicians, user rights activists and big media companies have spent the past three years wrangling, tussling, lobbying and shouting about net neutrality, the issue has never caused much trouble elsewhere.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • P2PU Call for Courses

      The Peer 2 Peer University is gearing up to launch its third cycle of courses this coming September, and we’re looking for new faces to join the community. Do you have an idea for a six week course? Whether it’s Physics 101 or Poker and Strategic Thinking, all ideas are welcome. You can propose a course at http://wiki.p2pu.org/Create-a-Course (deadline is August 6, 2010).

    • Copyrights

      • Barry Sookman Works For The Canadian Recording Industry Association

        For the last six months I’ve been calling on Barry Sookman to disclose who he was working for. Barry claims that his blog is his personal thoughts. I claim that everyone is affected by their friends and relatives, their work, and other contacts, and that therefore his employer has an affect on his blog, and must be disclosed.

        Barry has avoided the issue. He knows that I know who he is working for. He knows that if I can get him to publicly state who he is working for, I can do damage to his cause, and therefore his best option was to say nothing (which is an oddity in it’s own right – Barry is ever more verbose than I am), while I continue to pretend that I don’t know who he’s working for, and that I can’t find out who he’s working for.

        But the cat is now out of the bag. A comment was made on the blog, and I decided to let it stand. Barry Sookman works for the Canadian Recording Industry Association.

Links: Free Software Grows in Europe

Posted in Free/Libre Software, News Roundup at 3:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

British passport

Summary: This week’s news about Free software

Free Software/Open Source

  • Silicos NV ports proprietary software into open source domain

    On June 22, 2010, the Belgium-based computational chemistry company Silicos NV has made a strategic decision to port the majority of its proprietary software into the open source arena. The decision has been made to port all of these tools and the corresponding C/C++ API’s into the Open Babel environment under a GNU GPL licensing scheme. This strategic decision will position Silicos NV as one of the leading computational chemistry services companies to support the open source business model. According to Hans De Winter, Silicos’ CSO, “the decision will allow Silicos to move forward rapidly on the expanding wave of open source software tools, and will significantly expand its possibilities of providing services to customers in the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industry.”

  • TrueCrypt levels up: Hardware acceleration, convenience improvements

    There’s no killer feature update to TrueCrypt 7 as there was in version 6. Still, the latest revision to the popular open-source and free encryption program for Windows, Mac, and Linux debuts some new features and security enhancements that make it worth the upgrade.

  • Why Does FOSS Development Lag the Innovation Curve?

    Are open source developers on the ball about delivering alternatives to cutting-edge proprietary products and services, or do they lag the proprietary innovators? That topic came up at this week’s OSCON conference in Portland, and there is a case to be made for the idea that open source developers don’t deliver key products in key categories fast enough.

  • Libre Graphics Magazine #0 [PDF}
  • Events

    • O’Reilly Open Source Awards announced

      At the OSCON 2010 open source convention taking place in Portland, Oregon, O’Reilly Media’s Edd Dumbill has announced the winners of this years O’Reilly Open Source Awards. The awards have been presented each year since 2005 to individuals for their “dedication, innovation, leadership and outstanding contribution to open source”.

  • Oracle

    • Woah, It Looks Like Oracle Will Stand Behind OpenSolaris

      As the first email of its kind in months, Alan Coopersmith who is a known X.Org contributor and longtime Sun Microsystems employee now working for Oracle, has written a new email entitled “IPS distro-import changes needed for X packages for nv_145.” Alan immediately began this public email by saying, “Just when you thought you’d never see another one of these biweekly mails….”

      The rest of Alan’s email goes on to talk about the X.Org packages in Nevada build 145 that need to be updated. Beyond the technical details for the X IPS package changes needed, no details were given about when we may actually see an OpenSolaris Nevada Build 145 released publicly or the stable release of OpenSolaris 2010.XX. Unless Oracle is just misguiding their employees about the future of Sun’s OS or letting them waste more resources on the OS while knowing it will be killed off, it looks like we may see Oracle starting to get behind OpenSolaris.

      For now we can only hope Oracle issues an official statement shortly, which would ideally be backed by the long-awaited Oracle OpenSolaris 2010 release.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Who You Gonna Call? Q&A With Software Freedom Law Center’s Eben Moglen

      The Software Freedom Law Center provides free legal representation and other law-related services to open source software developers. The organization began in 2005 under the direction of Eben Moglen, a professor of law and legal history at Columbia University Law School.

      His law center represents many of the most important and well-established free software and open source projects. The SFLC’s goal is to help non-profit FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) projects succeed.

      [...]

      LIN: How is your office organized?

      Moglen: We are an actual nonprofit entity with lawyers on staff. I have six lawyers working in New York City and two lawyers working in India. These people are salaried, working full time on behalf of our clients within the structure of the organization.

  • Project Releases

  • Europe

    • The increasing importance of open source for the EU

      An interesting video message from Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for Digital Agenda, was published last week. The message was recorded in support for GNOME and its events, such as the upcoming GNOME Users’ And Developers’ European Conference.

      [...]

      Additionally, Kroes stresses the importance of strong communities and the role they play in shaping Europe’s digital future. And now the EU commission has the opportunity to put the money where their mouth is, as it recently announced to fund projects worth 1.2 billion Euros to be launched in 2011. This is a genuine opportunity to invest in open source software and in open source companies to make sure that the open source offering can compete better with companies that offer proprietary alternatives.

    • IT: Bolzano region begins discussion on open source strategy

      The administration of the Bolzano region in Italy will discuss its IT strategy with advocates of free and open source. The director of the IT department has accepted an invitation by the regional Linux user group (Lugbz) and the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE).

    • Idea of her Majesty’s Treasury: Switch to Free Software

      What ideas does her Majesty’s Treasury follow in those days to reduce costs? First they asked 600000 people working for the government about that, got 60000 ideas out of it (that equals one idea per 10 people asked), processed them and put that into 31 proposals. Two of them deal with Free Sofware…

  • Openness/Sharing

    • An Uncommon Commons in Linz

      As its name suggests, a commons is an outgrowth of things held in common, like common land. This has been extended to the digital sphere with great success – notably in the world of free software. But here’s an interesting move that takes the commons back to its common-land roots: the Austrian city of Linz is creating an “open commons region”…

    • Move Commons: Moving Beyond Creative Commons

      Talking of commons, I was reading David Bollier’s Viral Spiral recently, probably the best book about the rise of the commons as a new force (and I want to emphasise that I am not at all bitter about the fact that he didn’t mention Rebel Code once in his description of the early days of free software – nope, not bitter in the slightest.)

      I bought a dead tree version, but it’s freely available online under a CC licence (sadly not an option when Rebel Code came out…for the simple reason Creative Commons was being formulated at the same time I was writing it.) That’s appropriate, since the book is largely about the evolution of the CC licences – and a fascinating tale it is, too.

  • Programming

    • Perl Creator Hints at Imminent Perl 6 Release

      In his annual “State of the Onion” speech at the O’Reilly Open Source Conference (OSCON), Perl creator Larry Wall hinted that the long-awaited version 6 of the Perl programming language might finally be released soon. He also ruminated about the effect that Perl 6 would have, once it is released.

    • PHP 5.3.3 and 5.2.14 Officially Released

      The PHP Development Team just announced today the availability of PHP 5.3.3 and PHP 5.2.14. The PHP 5.3.3 comes on improving the stability and security of the 5.3.x branch with more than 100 bug fixes, some of which are security related so all users are highly encouraged to upgrade to this release.

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