EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

03.03.13

Links 3/3/2013: OLPC Comeback, Android 5.0 Details

Posted in News Roundup at 12:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

03.01.13

Links 1/3/2013: Linux 3.9 Plans, Android Expansion

Posted in News Roundup at 10:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • WIth Apps and an OS-Agnostic Attitude, Chromebooks Can Challenge Microsoft

    Slowly but surely, Google is chipping away at advantages that proprietary operating systems have over its still relatively young Chrome OS. Meanwhile, Chromebooks, portable computers based on Chrome OS, have become popular in the market. In fact, Acer’s President recently told Bloomberg that its C7 Chromebook accounted for 5 percent to 10 percent of Acer’s U.S. shipments since being released in November.

  • Which Linux admin tools and tricks would YOU stake your career on?

    Those seeking to enter the rewarding world of Linux system administration can be scared off by the platform’s sometimes outright hostility towards the concept of “administrator friendliness”.

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • 100,000 Facebook Fans Contest Winner: IT Pro Richard Clinker

      The Linux Foundation’s Facebook page surpassed 100,000 fans this month and to celebrate we awarded one of our most loyal fans with a $100 gift certificate to the Linux.com store and a free pass to LinuxCon North America in New Orleans or LinuxCon Europe in Edinburgh, Scotland.

    • Linux Kernel Support Coming For Billions Of Chips

      The Linux 3.9 kernel will likely be introducing support for the line of Synopsys ARC700 processors. More than one billion ARC-based chips are shipped annually by Synopsys licensees and now the mainline Linux kernel can finally begin tapping this hardware.

    • KVM Updates Coming For Linux 3.9 Kernel

      The KVM updates for the Linux 3.9 kernel merge window includes initial support for APICv hardware acceleration, x86 real mode emulation fixes, stronger memory slot interface restrictions, improved handling of large page faults on shadow, and other fixes.

    • Linux 3.8 is NOT a longterm kernel
    • Linux 3.8: Hello 2013, Goodbye 386 Chips
    • The Linux Foundation Sets Speaker Lineup for Collaboration Summit

      The Linux Foundation is holding its annual Collaboration Summit April 15-17 in San Francisco, Calif. And now, the linuep of keynote speakers and other details about the meetup are in place. “Leaders from the Linux developer, industry and end-user communities will gather at the invitation-only Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit to advance the state-of-the-art of Linux and open source software,” the announcement notes. Here are more details on what to expect at the conference, and details on complete video sessions form last year’s Collaboration Summit.

      The Collaboration Summit homepage is here, and you can find a very complete collection of free videos from last year’s event here. According to the Linux Foundation, the following somewhat exhaustive set of topics will be tackled at this year’s summit: automotive engineering, big data, cloud computing, virtualization, mobile and embedded development, filesystems, kernel development, legal topics, the Linux Standard Base, SPDX, parallel processing, Tizen, tools, and tracing.

    • Top Features For The Linux 3.9 Kernel

      The merge window for the Linux 3.9 kernel is coming to a close and most of the major merges have already occurred, so let’s take a look at some of the best new features coming to this next Linux kernel release.

    • What is Linux?

      All of those specific problems have gone, but the questions they raise are just as important today. And despite being used everywhere, from tiny black boxes and Android phones to the multiplicity of servers run by Google, Linux is still difficult to understand.

    • Linux Format 169 On Sale Today – What is Linux?
    • Graphics Stack

      • “Hello” from XBMC on Wayland
      • X.Org: “2013 Will Be The Year Of Mobile Wayland”

        The 2013 State of X.Org Report has been issued by Bart Massey on the behalf of the X.Org Foundation. There isn’t too much new information out of this brief report, but they may be doing less X.Org “katamari” releases or abandon this process all together. The annual report also expresses a belief that 2013 may be the year of “Mobile Wayland.”

        The X.Org Foundation is now a 501(c)3 and they have intended for these annual reports to be, well, annual, but this is their first report since 2010. Their previous report can be found on the X.Org Wiki. When asking Bart about the lack of reports back at XDC2012 in Germany, it was a combination of forgetting / simply not doing the annual reports in time. Fortunately, there’s a report out for this year.

      • Pointer Lock Feature Proposed For Wayland

        Kristian Høgsberg has proposed patches to Wayland and the Weston compositor for implementing pointer locks. Pointer locks allow for applications to lock the pointer so they receive relative inputs, which can improve the handling of some games running on Wayland.

        Pointer locks let an application lock the pointer position and receive relative motion events. As it concerns Phoronix readers, it’s mostly important for gamers in correctly interpreting the mouse position when hitting the edge of the screen, namely first-person shooters. The Wayland pointer lock interface is modelled after the HTML5 pointer lock extension.

      • Intel X.Org Driver Gets Hand-Tuning For SSE4, AVX2

        Chris Wilson at Intel has begun hand-tuning his SNA acceleration architecture within the Intel X.Org driver in order to take advantage of modern CPU instruction set extensions.

        With commits that started getting pushed into the mainline xf86-video-intel driver repository over the night, Chris began making changes to the Intel driver to let it take advantage of more advanced instruction set extensions found on modern CPUs. The CPU capabilities are then checked at run-time so the most appropriate version of the hand-tuned code can be utilized.

      • Running Mesa 9.2-devel + LLVM 3.3 SVN With The R600 Back-End

        The last time I extensively tested the AMD Radeon Gallium3D LLVM shader compiler back-end was last April. Since then the R600 LLVM back-end has matured quite a lot with new features and was merged into upstream LLVM. In the past few days I carried out some new tests on several different graphics cards using Mesa Git master of the R600 Gallium3D open-source graphics driver.

      • Intel Has Good DRM Driver Changes In Linux 3.9

        The Intel DRM graphics driver will feature a number of user-facing improvements within the Linux 3.9 kernel.

        Going back to last month I’ve been talking about Intel DRM driver changes for Linux 3.9 that have been queuing up for this future kernel release. This work includes improved Intel Haswell support and KMS locking.

      • TI OMAP DRM For Linux 3.9 Moves Out Of Staging

        The Texas Instruments’ OMAP DRM pull request for the Linux 3.9 kernel is now known. The OMAP DRM graphics driver will leave the kernel’s staging area while at the same time picking up support for the OMAP5 SoC.

        While Rob Clark has left Texas Instruments to go work on Linux graphics at Red Hat, he still today went through with taking care of the TI OMAP pull request to go into drm-next for Linux 3.9.

      • Freedreno Graphics Driver Approaches Mainline

        The Freedreno graphics driver that supports reverse-engineered Qualcomm ARM graphics is nearing a state of mainline support within Linux.

        Rob Clark, the developer formerly at Texas Instruments and now employed by Red Hat as the original creator of Freedreno, is becoming quite comfortable with the state of this 2D/3D graphics driver stack.

    • Benchmarks

      • Benchmarking Ubuntu 8.04.4 LTS To Ubuntu 13.04
      • Benchmarking Ubuntu Touch Yields Mixed Results

        Performance testing of Ubuntu Linux — in the form of the brand new Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview — on the Google Nexus smart-phones continues to move forward, but so far findings are mixed.

        For those that aren’t caught up in their reading from the weekend, if you haven’t already read about the Phoronix explorations with the Ubuntu testing on the Google Nexus 7/10, see: Ubuntu Touch/Tablet Is Using SurfaceFlinger, My Favorite Command For Ubuntu Touch/Tablet, and Benchmarking The Google Nexus With Ubuntu.

      • Nouveau vs. Radeon 2D Graphics Performance

        Earlier today were the results from a 9-Way Low-End NVIDIA/AMD GPU Comparison On Open-Source Drivers using the open-source Radeon and Nouveau Gallium3D drivers. For those more concerned about the 2D Linux desktop performance, here are some results for reference.

        These 2D benchmarks are coming from a sub-set of the AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards used in the comparison earlier. Curiosity led to running some 2D benchmarks on the Radeon and Nouveau open-source drivers since it’s much less of a focus at Phoronix and among enthusiasts it’s often taken for granted. The 2D motivation also came from delivering new Intel 2D benchmarks with SNA Ivy Bridge and SNA Ironlake results today that showed much promise for the UXA replacement. (Plus the other reason for the uptick in the increased number of articles the past few days is needing to make some advertiser performance goals by month’s end.)

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Listening to music on the Linux desktop with Clementine

        So much music, so many desktop music players, and so little time.

        I’m sure that most Linux users can rattle off the names of a few music players. We’ve all tried a few (sometimes more than a few), in the hopes of finding the right one. I know I have. The closest I came to finding that music player was one called Songbird. Until it stopped working and the developers stopped showing the Linux version any love.

      • elegant plasmoid configuration

        The way Plasmoids currently create user interfaces for configuration is not really what one would hope it to be. We have set out to fix this for Plasma Workspaces 2 and today after some back and forth between Marco and myself, we are edging closer to what could well be a solution as near perfect as one could hope for. Before showing what we’ve come up with, let me explain how it works right now.

      • Talk Of Improving Qt’s Multi-Threading Abilities
      • Ever heard about “ArtiKulate”?

        The project I am talking about is named “ArtiKulate” and is a new kind of language learning application. It shall help students, adults, professionals, etc. to improve their foreign language pronunciation skills. This shall be done as follows: A user gets a text phrase and a corresponding sound file that is recorded by a native speaker. Then the user can play the sound (or if she/he feels lucky, this step can be omitted) and tries to speak that phrase by herself/himself. This trial is recorded by the application and the user can then compare both recordings (for now I only plan to implement a comparison done by the user by listening to both sound files, but surely an automatic highscore that states how similar both recordings are would be nice in the future…)

  • Distributions

    • Every Install Should Be Minimal
    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon 11 Mate Review: Very efficient but stripped down version

        To begin with, Sabayon 11 release is not be missed. At least that is the evidence I got post using the Sabayon 11 XFCE and KDE releases. Hardware support is better than ever with complete EFI/UEFI and UEFI SecureBoot support, greatly improved NVIDIA Optimus support through Bumblebee, a selection of MySQL flavors, including Google MySQL and MariaDB, up to 14000 packages now available in the repositories per architecture, and much, much more. I already reviewed the XFCE and KDE releases and found both to be really really good. Next in line is the Mate version.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat’s Whitehurst lends this advice to business leaders

        Get people to believe what you want them to believe.

        The Raleigh executive was one of 27 leaders whose success advice was compiled by Business Insider.

        “For any business there are three levels of leadership,” Whitehurst says. “One is getting somebody to do what you want them to do. The second is getting people to think what you want them to think; then you don’t have to tell them what to do because they will figure it out. But the best is getting people to believe what you want them to believe, and if people really fundamentally believe what you want them to believe, they will walk through walls.”

        Whitehurst reiterated the advice in a tweet Wednesday, calling it “one of the best lessons I’ve ever learned.”

      • Vmware-EMC’s Pivotal HD: Negative For Redhat, Inc.

        EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) and VMware,Inc. (NYSE: VMW) announced a Hadoop distribution Pivotal HD, which would be a tough competitor to Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT) as early indicators point that the Pivotal has the potential to bring a radical shift the enterprise software market.

        The latest announcement comes after both companies launched a new firm Pivotal Initiative in December to tap the rapidly growing big data and cloud application market.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 7.0 “Wheezy” Installer Release Candidate 1
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Months Ahead of Hardware, ARMv8 Gains Debian/Ubuntu Support

            One of the coolest aspects of Linux is its ability to support hardware long before other OSes – and even well before consumers can even get their hands on the hardware. Take USB 3.0, for example, which hit the kernel months before the first products hit the market, in September of 2009. And then there’s the SSD command TRIM, which was first launched to the kernel in December of 2008 – six months before Windows 7 introduced the same thing as standard.

          • Firefox OS, Ubuntu and Jolla’s Sailfish at MWC
          • Canonical scraps in-person Ubuntu planning, heads for cloud

            Ubuntu Linux maintainer Canonical has canceled its semiannual Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) conferences in favor of a new, more-frequent series of events to be conducted online only.

            In the past, Canonical has organized a new UDS event at a different city around the world every six months, to coincide with the beginning of each new release cycle of the open source OS.

            The purpose of the meetings has been to develop plans and work schedules for the upcoming version, not to mention simply to get the more prominent members of the Ubuntu community together in one room.

          • The Growing Ubuntu Desktop

            We’ve seen some relatively sparse desktops in recent weeks. This week’s featured desktop, a Ubuntu system from Lifehacker reader technofhile, goes in the other direction with a wealth of useful information at the bottom of the screen.

          • Ubuntu joins the touchy, feely Linux shouting match

            It’s touch-driven interface joins a market that is surprisingly well populated, beyond the Android and iOS staples we all know. Yes, yes, and Windows Phone, though you chaps only have 2% globally.

          • No more physical Ubuntu Developer Summits – moving to the cloud

            The six-monthly Ubuntu Developer Summits (UDS) – held in locations such as Brussels, Orlando in Florida, Budapest, Oakland in California, and Copenhagen – will not be taking place in future, according to an announcement by Community Manager Jono Bacon. The meetings will be replaced by online events held every three months. The real world events which saw Ubuntu and Canonical developers from around the world gather at the start of an Ubuntu release cycle to plan the features of that release, are to be replaced by online gatherings using Google+ Hangouts supported by IRC, Etherpad, “Social Media sharing and links to blueprints and specs”.

          • Ubuntu for Tablets Joins Canonical’s Convergence Crusade

            You’ve got to give Microsoft credit for attempting a single OS that bridges PC, phone, and tablet users. What it ended up with, however, was a collection of pseudo-compatible platforms that have left the marketplace confused and largely unimpressed.

          • Benchmarking Ubuntu Linux On The Google Nexus 10

            After spending the better part of the past week running continuous open-source Linux benchmarks on the Exynos5-powered Google Nexus 10, the first extensive benchmark results for the Nexus 10 tablet running the Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview are now available. This performance comparison from Ubuntu on the dual-core ARM Cortex-A15 powered device is compared to numerous other ARMv7 and x86 devices. One of the interesting findings from this new round of ARM Linux testing is that the Google Nexus with its dual-core ARM SoC is competitive with AMD’s first-generation Phenom Quad-Core processor for some demanding workloads.

          • Ubuntu Touch beats Firefox OS to win best of MWC from CNET
          • Ubuntu tablet OS review: First look

            We’re also not sure about the ecosystem – the devices will ship with a handful of apps on launch and the enhasis will be on the developer community to chip in and enhance usefulness. With four core platforms already fighting it out for market share and the upcoming Tizen and Firefox operating systems also set to be launched, it remains to be seen if Ubuntu can be anything other than niche.

          • Should Ubuntu Become A Rolling Release?

            Rick Spencer, the vice president of Ubuntu Engineering, has restarted the discussion on making Ubuntu a rolling release distribution like Arch or Gentoo.

            There are three kinds of Ubuntu users, from what I understand — LTS users, six months upgraders and daily build users. Those users (which includes big enterprise customers like Google) who do a lot of customization or want extremely stable system use the LTS version which is maintained for a longer period.

          • Ubuntu chief says converged platforms are the future

            The convergence of devices and software platforms is being driven by the shift towards cloud computing, which will ultimately become the engine room of all modern applications, according to Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth.

            Speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, following last week’s launch of a developer preview of Canonical’s mobile-friendly version of Ubuntu, Shuttleworth said that one of the key challenges in the mobile space is the fragmentation of the underlying platforms.

          • Ubuntu in the cloud: Getting started with juju

            This excerpt is from the book, Ubuntu Unleashed: 2013 Edition by Matthew Helmke, published by Pearson/SAMS, Dec 2012, ISBN 0672336243; copyright 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc.

          • Elegant Ubuntu Touch OS impresses for phones and tablets (hands-on)

            -Ubuntu is coming to your phone and tablet, and in style. I got my hands on the forthcoming Ubuntu Touch operating system for smartphones and tablets at mobile industry shindig Mobile World Congress, and I’d say on first impression it knocks rivals like Firefox OS and Samsung-backed Tizen into a cocked hat.

            Ubuntu Touch is developed by Canonical and set to be available to the public in October. Manufacturers are yet to be confirmed, but you can try the software right now on selected Google Nexus devices. I tried out the new OS installed on a Google Nexus 4 smartphone, and the tablet version on a Google Nexus 7 slate.

          • MWC 2013: A good showing for HTC, Sony, Ubuntu Touch
          • Mark Shuttleworth: Serious people are saying Ubuntu is better than Windows 8 on tablets

            The Ubuntu OS on smartphones and tablets has been grabbing headlines and gaining support quickly since the plans were formally unveiled at the beginning of 2013. ZDNet met the man behind Ubuntu to see what he had to say about the project.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint brings HTML5 to MDM

              Linux Mint has quickly climbed the ranks in the past few years and has surpassed Ubuntu on Distro Watch as the most popular distribution (conditions apply).

              With the next rendition of Mint they have added yet another personalization feature that is sure to get a lot of attention. The MDM is the default display manager for the login screen in Linux Mint and it now supports HTML5!

            • Bodhi Linux “Friends and Family” Edition

              Bodhi Linux has earned respect and high praise from users and respected journalists all around the Linuxhood. Later Bloathi, more of a good thing, was introduced. Well, Bodhi fans, rejoice because another edition has joined the line-up. Introducing Bodhi “Friends and Family,” or bloated Bodhi.

              Jeff Hoogland introduced the new edition in a blog post today saying it is actually the system he keeps around for those friends’ and families’ computers to save time installing extra software. He said, “Today, I would like to offer a bit more choice for Bodhi users. I think it is finally in a state that I am happy sharing it. It is simply a Bodhi 2.x branch live/install CD powered by a Linux 3.5 kernel and the latest E17.1 Enlightenment desktop. It comes with a bunch of software pre-installed that should keep most people happy.”

            • Chinese Linux Distro Seeks Place in Ubuntu Family
  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • A swan song from this departing open source blogger

    As I sign off from my duties at ZDNet, and more than 20 years following open source, I am struck with the realization that open source has, in many respects, really taken over the world.

  • OSI Board Reaches out to Washington D.C. Organizations week of May 6, 2013

    The OSI board, which meets in person at least twice per annum, has selected Washington D.C. as the location for the Spring 2013 Board of Directors Meeting. The city serves as a central location for gathering the OSI’s geographically diverse board membership. It is also considered a location of open source policy dialog and debate as well as high-profile implementations within US federal government operations.

  • MIT releases open-source software that reveals invisible motion and detail in video
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Intel plays for big data with optimised Hadoop distribution

      Intel has surprised developers by announcing its own distribution of Apache Hadoop, the distributed “big data” framework. The Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop Software is, says the company, optimised for Intel Xeon processors with Intel SSD drives and Intel’s 10GbE networking. Hadoop is a Java framework for scalable distributed systems based around the MapReduce approach and developed by the Apache Software Foundation.

    • Intel Launches Hadoop Distribution

      Intel wants more organisations and people to use the vast amounts of data being generated, collected and stored every day. This is the reason why the chipmaker has announced Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop software. The offering, which includes Intel Manager for Apache Hadoop software, is built from the silicon up to deliver improved security features.

      Hadoop is an open source framework for storing and processing large volumes of diverse data on a scalable cluster of servers that has emerged as the preferred platform for managing big data. With even more information coming from billions of sensors and intelligent systems also on the horizon, the framework must remain open and scalable as well as deliver on the demanding requirements of enterprise-grade performance, security and manageability.

    • Building the Cloud: Notes on Apache CloudStack (incubating)
    • Mesa 3D 9.1 brings OpenGL 3.1 support on Radeon GPUs

      The 3D graphics drivers that are available in Mesa 3D 9.1 offer improved support for current and expected-soon graphics chips and promise enhanced 3D performance. The new version of the graphics library, which is typically used by default by Linux distributions for their 3D drivers, now includes an OpenGL driver that, together with a driver in Linux 3.8, supports the graphics core of Intel’s Haswell processors. These processors are scheduled to be launched as Core i-4000s in a few months and will supersede Intel’s current “Ivy Bridge” generation.

    • Spring for Hadoop simplifies application development

      After almost exactly a year of development, SpringSource has released Spring for Hadoop 1.0 with the goal of making the development of Hadoop applications easier for users of the distributed application framework. VMware engineer Costin Leau said in the release announcement that the company has often seen developers use the out-of-the-box tools that come with Hadoop in ways that lead to a “poorly structured collection of command line utilities, scripts and pieces of code stitched together.” Spring for Hadoop aims to change this by applying the Template API design pattern from Spring to Hadoop.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Michael Meeks about LibreOffice 4.0

      The 4rth major release of our favorite libre office suite has been released, bringing amazing new things and fundamental changes that guarantee a brighter future.

      Michael Meeks, who has always been an important player in the LibreOffice team, explains the technical details of the highlights of this release and shares some future plans and hopes with us in this quick interview.

  • CMS

    • A Guide to Identifying the Right Open Source CMS for You
    • Choosing an open-source CMS, part 3: Why we use WordPress

      In this last installment of our three-part series on finding the best open-source content management system (CMS) for your needs, we asked two organizations — online magazine Quartz.com and Carleton University — to talk about why they chose WordPress over other open-source options and how well that decision has stood the test of time. (Our first installment examined Drupal and the second looked at Joomla.)

      WordPress got its start as a blogging platform in May 2003 and gradually evolved, first into a blogging system that let users add Web pages outside of the blog and then into a full-featured, popular CMS. Of the three most popular open-source CMSs — WordPress, Joomla and Drupal — WordPress is both the most popular and the fastest growing by far, according to Web technology tracker W3Techs.

  • Healthcare

  • BSD

    • NetBSD Is Paying For DRM With KMS/GEM

      When it comes to kernel mode-setting and open-source graphics drivers, the BSD operating system with the best support is presently FreeBSD. For those, however, using NetBSD, improvements are forthcoming with an investment by the NetBSD Foundation.

      FreeBSD 9.1 introduces Intel KMS support after it was an out-of-tree porting project for quite a while. While not yet merged, Radeon KMS is also being ported to FreeBSD. For other BSD platforms, the support level varies but it’s mostly out-of-tree work at this point. For more details see BSDs Struggle With Open-Source Graphics Drivers.

      Taylor Campbell of NetBSD announced on the mailing list earlier this month that the NetBSD Foundation hired him to port the current generation Linux DRM (Direct Rendering Manager) support to NetBSD. This work includes bringing forward KMS (Kernel Mode-Setting) and GEM (Graphics Execution Manager) to this BSD distribution.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Freedom on Buses, Computers and Everywhere

      In the world of computers we have our own Rosa Parks, Richard Stallman, who expanded the concept of freedom to include:

      * running the software,
      * examining the software,
      * modifying the software, and
      * distributing the software.

  • Project Releases

    • QEMU 1.4.0 boosts large storage device performance

      The latest version, 1.4.0, of the open source QEMU emulator and virtualiser has been released and brings with it a new experimental threaded backend to manage direct PCI IO. This new backend is regarded as the highlight of the new release as, in testing, it managed to give a 900% increase in IO performance for a single KVM guest, from 150,000 IOPS (IO operations per second) to 1.33 million IOPS.

    • BIND10 1.0.0 available
    • Ruby 2.0.0-p0 is released
  • Public Services/Government

    • Openforum Europe: Procurement law fails to address discriminatory practices

      Using technical specifications to discriminate ICT solutions continues to be a widespread practice within the EU, says Openforum Europe, advocating the use of open standards in ICT. Publishing the results of its audit of European procurement, OFE yesterday urged for action. “These persisting discriminatory practices are not properly addressed.”

      OFE yesterday shared the results of its most recent inspection of ‘invitations to tender’ published in the Official Journal of the European Union. It studied 785 tender requests from the last quarter of 2012. “Almost one in five, 19 per cent, includes technical specifications with explicit references to trademarks. That is the highest in the last three years.”

    • Local open source firms and university curricula support Italian Udine

      The Italian city of Udine has been using open source solutions wherever possible for years. The city’s IT department can rely on many local IT service providers. It is also supported by the university, where this type of software development is actively used in teaching and research.

    • Download free eBook about the principles of open government
  • Openness/Sharing

    • Self-publishing is an open process

      One man decides to publish his own book—but there’s no road map, no previous information to help him navigate how to do it! How will he sell a copy to people he doesn’t already know?

    • Marking one year since the Inside Government beta

      A year ago today we launched the beta of Inside Government on GOV.UK – a working, public demo of a product which to many people had previously seemed unimaginable.

      The site was a live test of what multiple departments sharing a single platform could look like, with 10 departments actively re-publishing all their content to the beta site over a 6-week period.

      It was the predecessor of today’s Inside Government section which, with DCMS, HMRC and the Office of the Advocate General for Scotland having joined this week, is now the main corporate web presence for 14 departments.

    • Happy Birthday, New UK Government Data Service

      I recommend using Debian GNU/Linux because it works just to save shopping for a distro although that can be fun too. Some schools are set up to allow users to choose a distro and get it on the next reboot. I like to make individual configurations for users. It’s not hard with systems like Sabayon. One could even arrange that users would be able to publish their configurations and have users choose any of them to be theirs. Compare that flexibility with the rigidity of that other OS. To think that people actually pay extra for that other OS is simply sad. It’s like a billion people paying to be locked up.

    • Open Data

      • Contribute to digital cartography with OpenStreetMap
      • Contribute to digital catography with OpenStreetMap

        Maps touch our lives daily. Whether you are trying to find a nearby point of interest or directions to a faraway land, maps help us find our way. In recent years, maps have moved from paper into the digital world of cartography and open source contributors have been in the trenches gathering data for the masses.

        In 2006, a group of map enthusiasts formed the OpenStreetMap Foundation. Registered in the United Kingdom as a not-for-profit organization it quickly grew to become a 400,000 person strong organization. Since the beginning of the project, volunteers from every continent have put their mark on the map showing where everything from roads to bike paths and from fire stations to ice cream stores are located. The information is licensed with copyleft licenses which allows anyone to use the information to build their own maps both paper and digital.

      • Open Data Manchester Special – An Open Data Future

        An Open Data Future is a debate that aims to look under the hood of the open data movement.

        Over the past few years open government data has evolved from a niche concern to one that has been embraced by national government, European Commission and other states and organisations around the globe.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Computer Genius Aaron Swartz’s Suicide Spurrs DePauw to Consider Open-Acess Policy

        Professor Kelsey Kauffman has made efforts to educate DePauw faculty and staff about open-access policies for the past year. But it wasn’t until internationally renowned computer genius Aaron Swartz committed suicide on Jan. 11 that the university began to seriously consider adopting such a policy.
        In light of Swartz’s death, DePauw officials are contemplating adopting an open-access policy, which would give faculty the opportunity to submit their scholarly articles through a DePauw database. These articles would be available for free to anyone in the world — not limited to only students, professors and employees tied to institutions with subscriptions to academic journals, as they currently are.

      • U.S. Moves to Provide Quicker Access to Publicly Financed Scientific Research

        In a memorandum issued on Friday, John P. Holdren, science adviser to President Obama, called for scientific papers that report the results of federally financed research to become freely accessible within a year or so after publication. The findings are typically published in scientific journals, many of which are open only to paying subscribers.

    • Open Hardware

      • GSM Arduino calls in to the cloud

        Cloud service provider Cumulocity is presenting an Arduino board with a GSM module designed for mobile communications at the Embedded World conference in Nuremberg, from 26 to 28 February. A Foca FTDI adapter adds serial access for programming and a light sensor for DIY projects are also included, along with an M2M SIM card from Deutsche Telekom to enable sending data over GSM to the cloud. The Arduino Cumulocity M2M Kit is due out in the second quarter of 2013 and should be able to be pre-ordered for €89 from Deutsche Telekom’s developer web site; details of the ordering process are yet to be announced.

      • Redefining “Cybercrime” After Aaron Swartz. A Roundtable Discussion

        Aaron Swartz, brilliant hacker and political activist, committed suicide in January 2013 in the midst of an aggressive criminal investigation into his downloading of the entire JSTOR archive. Swartz was charged with thirteen counts of felony hacking and wire fraud and faced a possible sentence of decades in prison and millions in fines. In the wake of his suicide, many have called for the reevaluation of the cybercrime laws under which he was prosecuted.

  • Programming

    • Git 1.8.2 Gets New Features, Ported To QNX

      The second point release in the Git 1.8 series will introduce several new end-user features and support for new operating systems.

      Git 1.8.2-rc0 was released on Sunday by Junio Hamano and provides a glimpse at what’s to come with this next release.

    • The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: January 2013

      Although it is now February, almost March, the language ranking numbers below were actually run in January in keeping with our roughly quarterly pace for updates. As we have done since 2011, we’re repeating the analysis originally performed by Drew Conway and John Myles White in December of 2010. Measurement of performance depends, of course, on what you measure. In this case, the rankings are derived from a correlation of programming traction on GitHub and Stack Overflow.

      While there are many approaches to measuring language performance, none perfect, GitHub and Stack Overflow collectively represent statistically significant volumes of data. More importantly for our purposes, their respective communities, while overlapping, remain distinct and thus provide some balance to a measurement of one on a stand alone basis. The statistical correlation between the two properties has remained strong; it was .78 during the first analysis and has never been weaker since – the results below also feature a correlation of .78.

Leftovers

  • Time Tracking

    Since my first Palm PDA I have been using a nifty Palm app, Titrax, to track the time I spend working on projects. It’s simple to use — just tap to start a project, tap again to stop — gives detailed time reports, and lets me add notes each time I start tracking (so that I can describe what specific task I am working on). It works great.

    But, as I’ve traveled less and less, and I’ve used the Palm less and less, I’ve come to realize that the only thing I’m now using the Palm for is Titrax. The Palm sits in its cradle, atop my PC, and I tap projects on and off and scribble short notes. I then download those logs to the PC with Jpilot, and extract the data I need there. The only thing I’m tracking is work I’m doing on the PC, so why not just track my time on the PC?

    A web search for “Linux time tracking” turned up this useful page at LinuxLinks, describing seven tools. Two are web-based, which I specifically do not want, and Kontact is part of the KDE suite, which I’m trying to avoid (and which is overkill for my needs at any rate). Of the remaining four, three seemed overcomplicated for my needs, while Project Hamster looked promising. Perhaps I was also influenced by the LifeHacker article which recommended Hamster as “super simple”. Simple is good — I don’t want a program that tries to record which apps I’m using. (I use three different text editors for a mix of about a dozen projects — good luck tracking that.)

  • IT certifications can’t measure capability

    Governments want to define professionalism through certifications — rather than community reputation built on real work

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Cablegate

  • Finance

    • CNN’s Recipe for Italy: Austerity–No Matter What
    • Democracy Now! Interviews Lisa Graves and John Nichols About Exposing “Fix the Debt” Campaign
    • Conversation with “Fix the Debt,” Help Count the Pinocchios

      Last week, the Center for Media and Democracy and The Nation magazine worked together to publish a package in the Nation and a new online wiki resource on Pete Peterson and the Campaign to Fix the Debt, an entity we consider an “astroturf supergroup” with a huge budget working hard to create the fantasy that Americans care more about national debt and deficits than jobs and the economy. Fix the Debt is currently exploiting the “sequester” debate in Congress to encourage steep cuts to incredibly popular social programs like Medicare and Social Security.

      After the release, Fix the Debt’s press person called to confront me about what he said were “false things” in our exposé.

    • JPMorgan to BofA Get Delay on Rule Isolating Derivatives

      JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and Bank of America Corp. won a delay of Dodd-Frank Act requirements that they wall off some derivatives trades from bank units backed by federal deposit insurance.

      Commercial banks including the Wall Street firms may get as long as an additional two years — until July 2015 — to comply with the rules, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said in a notice yesterday. The so-called pushout provision was included in the 2010 financial-regulation law as a way to limit taxpayer support for risky derivatives trades.

      The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and other regulators need to complete swap rules to allow “federal depository institutions to make well-informed determinations concerning business restructurings that may be necessary,” the OCC said in the notice. Dodd-Frank requires that equity, some commodity and non-cleared credit derivatives be moved into separate affiliates without federal assistance.

      Regulators including Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke had opposed the provision, saying it would drive derivatives to less-regulated entities. In February, the House Financial Services Committee approved with bipartisan support legislation that would let banks keep commodity and equity derivatives in insured units by removing part of the rule.

    • Bill O’Reilly, Big Government and Racism

      It’s not as if Bill O’Reilly has never uttered things reasonable people might consider racist: He wondered when African-Americans would “reject immorality,” compared Al Sharpton to David Duke, used the term “wetbacks” on his show, explained that Africa and “fundamental Islam” were antithetical to “Western reasoning,” joked that “the most unattractive women in the world are probably in the Muslim countries.”

    • European Union agreement to cap bankers’ bonuses is setback for City

      The agreement has still to be approved by EU governments before coming into force next year. While details may still be tweaked, it is expected that the main points will become EU law.

    • Occupy the SEC, Frustrated With Regulatory Defiance of Volcker Rule Implementation Requirements, Sues Fed, SEC, CFTC, FDIC and Treasury
    • Lords of Disorder: Billions For Wall Street, Sacrifice For Everyone Else

      Campaign for America’s Future writer Richard Eskow puts two important headlines together from this week, about the budget cuts which will go into effect on Friday harming average Americans and the poor and the ongoing corporate welfare the U.S. government is handing out to the “too big to fail” banks on a daily basis.

    • On the sequester as austerity policy (Blog)

      Today’s “austerity policies” represent a moment in which the above lessons have been forgotten so the system rushes toward another set of catastrophes which will teach, yet again, why mashing down the bottom 2/3 of the economy is counterproductive for lenders and capitalists. And once again, millions will suffer and vast resources will be wasted as this teaching occurs. And this time it may be stretched out even further as capitalists imagine they can substitute cheap workers abroad for costly workers in Europe and the US without encountering the same old contradictions.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Bombs and Bull-shit

      Heavy water is just water containing hydrogen in the form of a heavier isotope, deuterium, which contains an extra neutron. It is a great moderator for fast neutrons from nuclear fission because of the high probability of a hard collision when a neutron zips through the molecule. In the collision, the energy of the fast neutron is shared well with the deuterium thus slowing the fast neutron so it’s more effective at triggering further collisions in the chain reaction. So, heavy water is not about producing plutonium but about facilitating nuclear chain reactions in fission. Deuterium is also useful in nuclear physics experiments and producing fluxes of really slow neutrons for all kinds of purposes. Plutonium is a by-product of any uranium fisssion reactor where U238 is present. In fact, enriching uranium implies reducing the concentration of U238 in favour of U235 actually reducing the production of plutonium. So, Haretz is just spreading more FUD when it suggests readers should be worried about heavy water.

    • Republican Pals and Their ‘National Security’ Passion

      There’s always a place for a “national security” Republican–no matter how wrong they’ve been.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Deutsche Telekom in the privacy spin zone

      At first sight it’s spin for data protection. The sort of expressions you hope these persons don’t take home from work, and it gets you pleased as a punch. Anyway, what seems to contradict the lobbying from Us corporations in Brussels against data protection makes sense from the perspective of Deutsche Telekom.

    • Whose luggage is it anyway?

      Border Force staff seized 1,147 pieces of luggage as a result of secret baggage searches at Birmingham Airport in the year to September, however serious concerns about whether the powers are being used proportionately

      The report by Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration John Vine, found that staff at Birmingham Airport were not keeping records of how many times they searched luggage and no contraband was found. Guidance to staff was “contradictory and out of date” and managers admitted there had been no checks made to ensure correct procedures were being followed when bags were being searched to protect people’s privacy.

    • NSA’s ‘Ragtime’ domestic spying program detailed in new book

      There are four — maybe five — members of the NSA who make sure that its secret domestic spying program isn’t overstepping its reach according to a new book, Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry.

    • 10 Things You Didn’t Know About The National Security Agency Surveillance Program
    • Ragtime: Code name of NSA’s Secret Domestic Intelligence Program Revealed in New Book
    • Another important privacy vote in the European Parliament
    • RSA: Google Lashes out at Microsoft Over Privacy

      SAN FRANCISCO. In the world of online privacy, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla are all front and center. The chief privacy officers from all four vendors took the stage at the RSA Security conference today to debate what online privacy is all about.

      The most heated moment during the panel discussion came when Keith Enright, Senior Privacy Counsel at Google, challenged Microsoft on privacy claims. Microsoft has been running a marketing campaign called ‘Scroogled’ alleging that Google Gmail is privacy risk.

    • Data Protection Regulation: Key amendments in the JURI Committee

      The Legal Affairs (JURI) Committee in the European Parliament will vote on amendments to the proposed Data Protection Regulation on March 18th-19th. Their opinion will influence the final report from “LIBE”, which is the lead Committee. So what happens in the JURI vote is an important factor in what the final law will look like.

      The JURI Committee will be voting on some specific amendments to the proposed Regulation. Below we detail the top amendments that we think MEPs should support or reject. This is based on a full analysis of the JURI amendments by EDRi, which is available on the campaign site www.privacycampaign.eu

      We have produced a briefing on the Data Protection Regulation, which provides more detail on what the issues are.

      If you live in the North West of England or in Yorkshire and the Humber, your MEPs are involved in this vote. Please write to your MEP and ask them to support a strong Data Protection Regulation. We have some guidance on how on the blog. If you want to go into more detail, here are the top amendments that MEPs will be voting on.

    • Another important privacy vote in the European Parliament

      Members of the European Parliament are in the process of shaping a new Data Protection Regulation, which was proposed by the European Commission last January. A number of Committees in the Parliament are giving their opinions, which will influence what the final law might look like. (Full text of the proposed Regulation (pdf))

      The original proposals from the Commission were very promising, offering much stronger privacy rights and a stricter regime to make sure those that collect and use personal data play by the rules. This sort of update to data protection law is badly needed. We have produced a short guide to the issues.

    • The CISPA Government Access Loophole

      The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act—CIPSA, the so-called “cybersecurity” bill—is back in Congress. As we’ve written before, the bill is plagued with privacy problems and we’re urging concerned users to email their Representatives to oppose it.

      Many of the bill’s problems stem from its vague language. One particularly dangerous provision, designed to enable corporations to obtain and share information, is drafted broadly enough to go beyond just companies, creating a government access loophole.

    • RSA 2013: Hacking Team Defends Its Surveillance Software
  • Civil Rights

    • Rush Limbaugh Denied Service at Mexican Restaurant
    • “Racial Entitlements?” Long-Term Effort to End Voting Rights Act and Affirmative Action May Finally Pay Off

      The U.S. Supreme Court may roll back two pillars of the civil rights era this term — the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and affirmative action — both of which have long been targeted by the right-wing and whose challenges are backed by the same set of deep-pocketed ideological funders.

    • Secret courts threat graver than ever after government overturns Lords amendments to Justice & Security Bill

      Amnesty International, JUSTICE, Liberty and Reprieve have warned that the threat of secret courts is graver than ever after ministers defied the House of Lords and reverted back to the original version of the highly damaging Justice and Security Bill.

      Yesterday – as Westminster and the media concentrated on same-sex marriage – the House of Commons Committee responsible for scrutiny of the Bill passed new government amendments which reverse changes to the Bill made by the Lords in November.

      In November the government suffered several large cross-party defeats on the legislation in the House of Lords, as Peers introduced a series of amendments. Those changes – supported by Labour, Liberal Democrats, Crossbenchers and some Conservatives – improved the likelihood that secret courts would be used only as a genuine “last resort”.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Freedoms Online in France: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back?

      Following an intergovernmental seminar on digital policy [fr], French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault announced a law “on the protection of digital rights and freedoms” for early 2014. While this announcement offers hope for the defense of freedoms online, recent statements made by members of the French government suggest it is not yet ready to break away from the repressive trend initiated by its predecessors.

  • DRM

    • Petition to protect the right to unlock cellphones garners 111,000+ signers; White House must now respond

      On February 13th, we asked you to join in with thousands of others to call on the White House to protect users where the Copyright Office had failed. Because of your actions, the White House now must respond to the call to fix the DMCA anti-circumvention exemptions list in order to protect the right to unlock cell phones. But there is more we should do.

    • Pwn Your Phone

      I’ve owned two different Android phones since they first were released, and I eventually rooted both of them. My Droid (original) was such a popular phone that rooting it was very simple. I used my rooted Droid until it wore out and rebooted every time I slid open the keyboard. My second Android phone, the Samsung Galaxy S2, is the phone I have right now. It actually was quite a bit more challenging to root, but in the end, I couldn’t resist the lure of total control. Sadly, no amount of rooting can supply a hardware keyboard for my S2, but at least I can run whatever ROM I want on it now. Before I go into how to root an Android device, it’s important to discuss why you might want to do so, or why you might not.

      One of the most common questions I get via e-mail or Twitter is how to root an Android phone. As you can see by the size of the following article, that’s not a question easily answered in 140 characters. So, in this article, I talk about rooting an Android device and then describe the process for installing a custom ROM. It’s complex, sometimes frustrating, and it can be dangerous if you don’t do your homework in advance. If that doesn’t scare you off, read on.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • MPAA Revenue Grows, Chris Dodd Gets $2.4 Millio
      • Google Avoids ‘Link Tax’ in Germany, For Now

        Google was handed a small victory in Germany this week when lawmakers there approved a bill that will allow the search giant to freely include headlines and snippets from German publishers on services like Google News.

        Using a larger portion of content, however, will require payment.

      • System Used By New Six Strikes CAS, Falsely Identifies Game Mods As NBC TV Shows

        Reader David Sutherland emailed us this week about a DMCA notice that he received via his MediaFire account. The notice, which we’ve included below (including all of the crappy formatting) claimed that he was using MediaFire to host “one of the following files: Downton Abbey, CONTRABAND (2012), GRIMM (2011), House M.D., MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS, THE, The Office.” The “file” they claimed was one of those TV shows/movies was “Cantha Cartography Made Easy 2009.tpf” which is actually a game mod for Guild Wars. You might possibly be able to argue that ArenaNet, makers of Guild Wars could have a copyright claim (maybe, sorta), but that’s not who sent the notice and it’s not what they claimed it was. Sutherland notes that he set up this MediaFire account solely to host game mods and has never hosted any other content there.

02.27.13

Links 27/2/2013: Firefox Phone Partners, DistroRank

Posted in News Roundup at 11:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • DriveDroid lets you boot Linux on a PC by plugging in your (rooted) Android phone

    Makers of Linux-based operating systems have been letting you boot Fedora, Ubuntu, and other popular software from a removable CD, DVD, or flash drive for years. Now you can use your Android phone instead.

  • Create a hardware encrypting USB with your own Linux OS
  • German federal state switches Linux-based school server

    The governmental IT supplier for schools in the German federal state of Baden-Württemberg has committed to stop development of its in-house Linux-based school server software paedML in favour of a new solutionGerman language link based on Univention’s UCS@schoolGerman language link product. This move was originally announced by the government organisation at the end of 2012; the intention was to reduce the workload on the teachers developing and supporting the software by outsourcing this work to a commercial company. UCS@school is based on version 3.1 of the open source Univention Corporate Server.

  • Two fallacies of choice

    Free Software means nobody can stop you doing whatever you want with the software³, but this also protects the developers’ rights to do whatever they want. Nothing they change (even GNOME 3) can actually infringe that freedom, even if you don’t like it.

    So: there may be legitimate criticisms of new software like pulseaudio or juju (or GNOME 3 or the new anaconda), but any complaint along the lines of “the developers are taking our freedom/choices away!” is 100% rhetorical nonsense.

  • Little Things Make It All Happen

    Reglue is no different. From picking up and diagnosing donated computers to taking care of vehicles, coordinating volunteers and making sure computers get into the hands that need them, sometimes the little things can slip below the horizon.

  • Chromebook wars: Pixel vs. Samsung Series 5 550

    On my test machine table, I have Google’s brand new Chromebook Pixel. Beside it, I have what had been the fastest Chromebook before it, the Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook. Is the Pixel better? Yes. No question about it. But, here’s the real question: Is it $850 better?

  • Key statistics from the 2013 Linux Jobs Survey & Report

    For the first time, both hiring mangers (850) and Linux professionals (2,600) were surveyed in the 2013 Linux Jobs Survey & Report, which forecasts and provides a comprehensive view of the Linux career landscape, including business needs and personal incentives.

    The report also includes insights into why employers are seeking Linux talent now and what the top incentives are for Linux professionals.

  • Desktop

    • Chromebook Pixel can boot into Ubuntu and Linux Mint, just like a real laptop

      There are plenty of reasons to not want to spend $1450 on the Chromebook Pixel, but most of them are an extension of the fact that Chrome OS hasn’t grown up enough to replace a traditional OS. Fortunately, Google’s new BIOS makes it easier to work around the native operating system than any Chrome OS hardware before it.

      The main appeal of the Samsung Chromebook and its ilk has been price. For $250, you could afford to pick one up and see if you were going to like it. You could give one as a gift to that family member who considered it a biological imperative to click on every link they came across, leaving you to scrub the shame off of their hard drive the next time you were over for a visit.

    • The Linux Setup – Dan Gillmor, Journalist

      I’m a huge fan of Dan Gillmor. As a reporter at the San Jose Mercury News, he was on top of a lot of great tech stories. His book, We the Media, was an incredibly accurate prediction of where American journalism was heading in the early part of this century. And he’s been very public about his move to Linux. So I’m pretty psyched to have his participation here.

    • Dances with Laps

      I’ve been searching for a new laptop for a very long time. My old Dell Inspiron 6400 has served me very well for over four years, but about a year ago I decided I needed a refresh. I finally decided upon the Dell XPS but it was a hard journey coming to that decision! Read on for a little bit more background about why I picked this laptop on how Mageia runs on it!

  • Server

    • Private clouds driving up Linux uptake in Australia: IDC

      As enterprises move to adopt private clouds in the backend, Linux will increasingly become the operating system of choice for server infrastructures in Australia, according to IDC research director Matthew Oostveen.

      In financial year 2012, AU$235.35 million was spent on Linux servers, and in the same year, one in four servers shipped in the Australian market was Linux-based. Approximately 29 percent of all the money spent on server infrastructure in Australia went towards Linux servers.

      Based on those figures, IDC believes Linux is now running more enterprise mission and business critical workloads than other OSes such as Windows Server.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • NILFS2: A Slow But Dependable Linux File-System

      Last week when benchmarking the new F2FS file-system from Samsung that was introduced in the Linux 3.8 kernel its performance was compared to Btrfs, EXT3, EXT4, XFS, JFS, and ReiserFS. For those hoping to see file-system performance results of NILFS2, those results are available today.

    • EXT4 File-System Updated For Linux 3.9

      The EXT4 file-system in the forthcoming Linux 3.9 kernel will support using the previously-introduced punch hole functionality for inodes not using extent maps.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • The GUI You Never Knew You Had: The X-Window System
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Roadmap for Kolab 3.1 – iRony included

        A few weeks ago we released a brand new major version of Kolab. The feedback we received was overwhelming and we are truly happy that we see more and more people who are taking control of the cloud and escape the monopoly with Kolab 3. It is great to have such an amazing community that encourages and supports our work while providing helpful and constructive feedback to make Kolab even more awesome.

      • process separation

        When Google Chrome first came out sporting its process separation feature where each tab is in its own process, it was broadly hailed as the best thing ever. The idea was to increase stability and security.

        This was during a time when Plasma Desktop was still facing a number of implementation hurdles that impacted stability. So a number of well-meaning people decided that I should be informed about this revolutionary new idea in Chrome and every component in Plasma Desktop should be put into its own process.

      • KDE from the future #2

        The second episode of KDE from the future, where we briefly talk about what happened this week in the development of Plasma and KWin is online here

      • Cool KDE Users

        Can I thank all the Kubuntu Ninjas for their superlative efforts with Raring (amazingly stable for Alpha 2), KDE SC 4.10 and KDE Telepathy.. it is amazingly smooth and stable, and uses a lot less memory than previous releases.. very impressed..

        I was watching a film about the Pirate Bay last night on BBC’s Storyville, turns out the people who run The Pirate Bay run KDE.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • DistroRank
    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • OpenMandriva Honing in on Logo

        Last month OpenMandriva announced a contest to solicit community contributed logo proposals. The entry deadline has come and gone and the next phase has begun. Once verification is complete, public voting commences. So, let’s take a look at some of the proposals.

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon 11 XFCE Review: Extremely refined and a release not to be missed!

        The name “Sabayon” always rings me of a very refined and extremely polished Linux operating system. As has been my experience with Sabayon 9 and 10, even the Sabayon 11 release doesn’t disappoint. Sabayon 11 is refinement exemplified and is released in four flavors: Gnome 3, KDE, XFCE and LXDE. I start this series of review with my preferred desktop environment, XFCE.

      • Sabayon 11 KDE Review: Great aesthetics and stable performance

        To begin with, Sabayon 11 release is not be missed. At least that is the evidence I got post using the Sabayon 11 XFCE release. Hardware support is better than ever with complete EFI/UEFI and UEFI SecureBoot support, greatly improved NVIDIA Optimus support through Bumblebee, a selection of MySQL flavors, including Google MySQL and MariaDB, up to 14000 packages now available in the repositories per architecture, and much, much more. I already reviewed the XFCE release and found it to be really really good. Next in line is the KDE version.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Symphony In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Minor

        Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 arrives this month as a small but beautifully formed “minor” release with several new components including scale-out data access through parallel NFS (pNFS). To provide this, Red Hat has collaborated with its partners and the upstream community on the parallel Network File System (pNFS) industry standard.

      • Big Data Storage: Five Must-haves for Middle East Enterprises

        DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, 27th February 2013: Big data holds big opportunities for companies here in the Middle East. Correctly leveraged, it can enable the organization to attract and retain new customers, deliver more innovative and profitable products, improve business performance and tap unexpected revenue streams. Oil companies are using real-time data to better manage remote drilling operations. E-commerce websites are using data from their operations to personalize the shopping experience and radically improve customer support. And an ever-growing number of start-up companies are combining innovative cloud services with big data analysis to create highly targeted products and services sold directly to consumers.

        Yet harnessing the power of big data is not without challenges. The same massive volumes of structured and unstructured data that create these opportunities for innovation can confound attempts to cost-effectively contain it, let alone extract value from it. And while the strategic questions surrounding big data are indeed difficult- What data do we actually need? How should we analyze and interpret it? What value will we eventually get from it? Perhaps the most difficult question to answer is the most basic: How will we store it?

      • Red Hat spins, SUSE plays it straight

        Red Hat is the 800-kg gorilla of the commercial Linux space. SUSE is about quarter of that in terms of revenue, yet is the second biggest of the three companies that vie for business attention in the burgeoning Linux market.

        Last week, Red Hat announced its intention to get into the big data business; this week SUSE is trying to woo new businesses in Australia and keep its existing partners in the loop.

        There could not be a bigger contrast in the approach the two companies take.

        Red Hat’s presser was a webcast, with Ranga Rangachari, vice-president and general manager of the company’s storage business unit, making a presentation. I understood it to be a one-hour affair, but it ran for only 32 minutes.

    • Debian Family

      • Kademar 5 preview

        Kademar is Debian-based Linux distribution, with KDE as the default desktop. The first beta of what would be Kademar 5 was released a few days ago. And this beta release is my introduction to this distribution.

        As always, I’m always curious to find out what the installer looks like and if it supports the features that define a feature-complete graphical installation program for a modern Linux distribution.

      • Linux Mint Debian 201303 RC released!
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Touch prepped for 20+ smartphones and tablets

            The developer preview of the Linux-based OS was released for the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 smartphones and Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets last week.

          • Airing of grievances: in which upgrading Ubuntu wreaks havoc
          • Why the Ubuntu Tablet Is a Winner

            At the time of this article, Canonical’s efforts with Ubuntu have done wonders for gaining new adopters for Linux. Sadly however, Canonical’s efforts have yet to make the company profitable.

            Despite their financial shortcomings thus far, Canonical is bullish about their efforts with the Ubuntu phone and the Ubuntu tablet. Recently I was given the opportunity to try both firsthand.

            After spending some time getting to know the interface and understanding the core back-end, I was shocked to find that in many regards the Ubuntu developer preview had a ton going for it. In this article, I will share why I think this could be a winning alternative to Android on the tablet.

          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 305
          • Can Ubuntu ‘Converge’ Across Phones, TVs, PCs and Tablets?
          • Will SurfaceFlinger Replace Compiz In Ubuntu 14.04?

            Canonical has been hard at work on some very interesting projects lately. This new direction started last year when it announced Ubuntu for phones, a fully featured desktop loaded onto an Android device. More recently — and more mysteriously — they’ve been working on the Ubuntu operating system for phones and tablets as a replacement for Android.

          • 7 Impressive Features Expected in Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail)

            Ubuntu 13.04 (codenamed Raring Ringtail), apart from being a long-term release, will bring along some major changes to the Ubuntu operating system. With the proposed improvements in Dash, one of Shuttleworth’s major goals, that is bringing the web and the desktop together, will get a shot in the arm. Undoubtedly, Ubuntu 13.04 marks a crucial release for Canonical.

            Their new project on the other hand, which is bringing Ubuntu to smartphones, is in heavy development. But the busy developers at Canonical are making sure that their core product gets all the attention it deserves. Ubuntu 13.04, apart from bringing new features to the user, will also come with a more polished and refined look that will hopefully put it head-to-head with Microsoft’s convoluted Windows 8 desktop.

          • Ubuntu Developer Summit Reformatted; Is Canonical Starting To Cut Costs?
          • Ubuntu Touch OS heading to slew of smartphones, tablets
          • ‘Ubuntu Touch Port-a-Thon’: 25 devices and counting
          • How Ubuntu Turned Search in the Dash into a PR Crisis

            While Ubuntu’s upcoming phone and tablet dominate the headlines, an existing controversy is threatening to flare up again as the 13.04 release nears. The display of Amazon search results in the dash, which first became an issue in the 12.10 release, is erupting again as Ubuntu plans to extend the feature to dozens of other websites. The company also plans to add direct payments from the dash and more suggestions.

            Ubuntu has been displaying music search results in the dash for several releases. However, the music results were drawn from Ubuntu’s own music store, and those who use the dash to search for applications on their hard drive may have never noticed them.

          • On Moving To An Online Ubuntu Developer Summit

            Some of you may have seen the news about us transitioning to an online Ubuntu Developer Summit and running the event every three months. If you didn’t see the news, you can read it here. I just wanted to share my personal perspective on this change.

            For a long time now I have been attending Ubuntu Developer Summits as part of my work, but for the last event in Copenhagen my wife was about to give birth and so I attended the event remotely. As someone who has been heavily involved in the planning and execution of UDS for the last 10 or so events, I was intimately aware of the remote participation features of the event, but I had never actually utilized them myself. I was excited to dive into the sessions remotely and participate.

          • XDA Developers and Ubuntu Touch
          • No more physical Ubuntu Developer Summits – moving to the cloud

            The six-monthly Ubuntu Developer Summits (UDS) – held in locations such as Brussels, Orlando in Florida, Budapest, Oakland in California, and Copenhagen – will not be taking place in future, according to an announcement by Community Manager Jono Bacon. The meetings will be replaced by online events held every three months. The real world events which saw Ubuntu and Canonical developers from around the world gather at the start of an Ubuntu release cycle to plan the features of that release, are to be replaced by online gatherings using Google+ Hangouts supported by IRC, Etherpad, “Social Media sharing and links to blueprints and specs”.

          • Elegant Ubuntu Touch OS impresses for phones and tablets (hands-on)
          • Ubuntu Developer Summit Is Dead, Long Live Online UDS
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Take that, Chrome OS! Chromebook Pixel runs Ubuntu and Linux Mint

              It’s not easy to shell out $1,450 for a laptop that runs a Web-dependent operating system, especially when it has much, much cheaper counterparts. Why spend that much money on the Chromebook Pixel when you can get an Acer C7 for $200, a Samsung Series 3 for $250, or an HP Pavilion Chromebook for $330? The Chromebook Pixel does have great hardware replete with a display that can rival Apple’s Retina screen – and it does come with an amusing Konami easter egg – but the limitations brought about by Chrome OS might still deter most people from getting the device. Still, if it entices you enough that you actually want to get it, know that you can at least install Ubuntu or Linux Mint on it thanks to an extra BIOS slot.

            • Fuduntu: An Innovative Old Linux Revisited

              Ease of navigation, better battery performance, Fedora-style functionality; how can Linux users not find the fun in Fuduntu? This distro brings the open source goodness to the desktop, and provides workarounds for popular applications like Netflix, but does so in a way that’s almost an homage to classic Linux — right down to the old-school GNOME 2 desktop effects like woobly windows.

            • A Fat Stack of Bodhi Linux

              When I first started preparing Bodhi ISO images almost two and a half years ago I set out with the goal of providing a clutter free operating system powered by the latest Enlightenment desktop. We call what we do “minimalist” meaning it doesn’t come with a whole lot by default. This ideology isn’t for everyone, though. Thankfully, the power of choice is something that greatly empowers free software development.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenGamma’s Kirk Wylie: Open Source Is Busting Out All Over

    “The fact that we are open source is critical to most of our customers. The fact that it is absolutely transparent, that they can inspect the code if they want to, that they can pack up and move to self support is the ultimate alignment of our customers’ interest in our business model. And what they really care about more than anything else is that our business model must remain in radical alignment with theirs .”

  • Open source app can detect text’s authors

    Free whitepaper – Cern and FuseSource Case Study

    A group of Adelaide researchers has released an open-source tool that helps identify document authorship by comparing texts.

    While their own test cases – and therefore the headlines – concentrated on identifying the authors of historical documents, it seems to The Register that any number of modern uses of such a tool might arise.

  • The Open Source Column – You can’t have it until we tell you

    No matter what technology exists, the wrong people seem to be in charge of turning the taps, argues Simon

  • 75 Open Source Replacements for Popular Education Apps

    School budgets never seem to get any larger, but one way educational institutions may be able to cut costs is by deploying open source software. The open source community has developed applications that educators can use directly in the classroom, apps that are great for use at home and tools that administrators can use for school management.

  • DoubleTwist Teams Up With Qualcomm On Open Source AirPlay Alternative, “MagicPlay”

    DoubleTwist, an iTunes alternative for the Android ecosystem, has teamed up with chipmaker Qualcomm on the release of “MagicPlay,” which the two companies are describing as an open-source, media-streaming platform meant to challenge Apple’s AirPlay. The technology is built on Qualcomm’s AllJoyn protocol, a mesh networking platform that has been in development for several years, but which has yet to achieve serious OEM or consumer adoption.

  • Growing the next generation of open source hackers
  • Events

    • Southern California Linux Expo Features 3D Printing, Cloud Computing, Product Demos
    • Open Education Week: March 11-15
    • One for the record books

      The Southern California Linux Expo turned their annual event up to 11 this year in more ways than one.

      SCALE 11X, celebrating its 11th year as the first-of-the-year Linux/Open Source expo in North America, played host to more than 2,300 attendees visiting more than 100 exhibitors and hearing more than 90 speakers giving a wide variety of presentations during the course of the three-day event.

      Many of the sessions had full attendance, and some were in overflow status. A testament to the quality of the presentations during the course of SCALE 11X is that some of the final presentations on Sunday afternoon were also full.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • RMS

      I hear he was here last time in the mid-90ies, but that happened ages ago and very few people know it ever happened, so when Richard Stallman came to Bucharest it was quite an event for the local FOSS community, many traveled long distance to see him talking. For me it was obvious to go there, I never attended one of his talks and it was a perfect opportunity to take some photos.

  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

    • Cloud Foundry, Forking and the Future of Permissively Licensed Open Source Platforms

      With the cost of forking reduced or eliminated entirely, software development is parellelized; much as bacteria evolve more quickly because they iterate in peer to peer fashion, so too can software projects innovate along multiple parallel tracks rather than a single serial development path. DVCS-enabled forking, then, is an enormous step forward for software development.

      What is less clear, however, is the impact of forking on platform compatibility in an age of permissively licensed software. In his counterpoint to Schuller’s original blog post, VMware’s Patrick Chanezon pointed to this timeline of the various Linux forks, saying in part that there would be “No Linux of the Cloud without forking.” This assertion is likely correct; certainly it’s difficult to imagine Linux evolving as quickly or successfully without its decentralized – and fork-friendly – development model. As many are aware, in fact, Git – the most popular DVCS tool in use today – was originally written to manage the Linux kernel.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • DOJ ‘admits’ to targeting Aaron Swartz over his activism
      • DOJ admits Aaron’s prosecution was political

        The DOJ has told Congressional investigators that Aaron’s prosecution was motivated by his political views on copyright.

        I was going to start that last paragraph with “In a stunning turn of events,” but I realized that would be inaccurate — because it’s really not that surprising. Many people speculated throughout the whole ordeal that this was a political prosecution, motivated by anything/everything from Aaron’s effective campaigning against SOPA to his run-ins with the FBI over the PACER database. But Aaron actually didn’t believe it was — he thought it was overreach by some local prosecutors who didn’t really understand the internet and just saw him as a high-profile scalp they could claim, facilitated by a criminal justice system and computer crime laws specifically designed to give prosecutors, however incompetent or malicious, all the wrong incentives and all the power they could ever want.

      • We Paid for the Research, So Let’s See It

        The Obama administration is right to direct federal agencies to make public, without charge, all scientific papers reporting on research financed by the government. In a memorandum issued on Friday, John Holdren, the president’s science adviser, directed federal agencies with more than $100 million in annual research and development expenditures to develop plans for making the published results of almost all the research freely available to everyone within one year of publication.

      • Aaron Swartz Prosecutors Weighed ‘Guerilla’ Manifesto, Justice Official Tells Congressional Committee

        A Justice Department representative told congressional staffers during a recent briefing on the computer fraud prosecution of Internet activist Aaron Swartz that Swartz’s “Guerilla Open Access Manifesto” played a role in the prosecution, sources told The Huffington Post.

        Swartz’s 2008 manifesto said sharing information was a “moral imperative” and advocated for “civil disobedience” against copyright laws pushed by corporations “blinded by greed” that led to the “privatization of knowledge.”

      • Public access to scientific research endorsed by White House

        The White House responded last week to the petition: Increasing Public Access to the Results of Scientific Research. It was posted to the We the People petition site and got 65,704 signatures (the minimum required is 25,000).

  • Programming

    • NetBeans 7.3 helps with web-centric development

      Oracle has released version 7.3 of its NetBeans open source IDE; this is mainly used in Java development, but also works with PHP and C/C++. The new release’s features cater predominantly to the needs of programmers who increasingly need to include HTML5, JavaScript and CSS in their desktop and mobile applications. As a consequence, the majority of new features affect the web development and mobile capabilties of the IDE. The highlight of these enhancements is the new JavaScript editor and debugger that is based on the Nashorn project; Nashorn is the new JavaScript implementation for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).

Leftovers

02.26.13

Links 26/2/2013: Linux Jobs Talking Points, HP Tablet Run Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 10:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Jobs in 2013, a Q&A with Dice’s Alice Hill

    The job market for Linux professionals this year is even better than it was in 2012. Ninety-three percent of hiring managers surveyed said they plan to hire at least one Linux pro in the next six months — up from 89 percent last year, according to the 2013 Linux Jobs Report released last week by Dice and The Linux Foundation. And 75 percent of Linux pros surveyed say at least one recruiter has called them in the last six months in an effort to find talent for positions that are getting harder to fill.

  • SPYRUS® Announces Secure Pocket Drive™ Build Your Own Linux Program
  • Booting desktop Linux on the Chromebook Pixel

    Bill Richardson, a software engineer for Google, has detailed how to boot a conventional Linux distribution on the company’s new Chromebook Pixel. Google released the Chromebook Pixel last week – the device costs £1,049, has a 13″ touchscreen with a resolution of 2560×1700 pixels, a 1.8GHz Core i5 CPU, 4GB RAM and 32GB (64GB for the LTE version) of internal SSD storage. Where previous Chromebooks only supported booting Google’s ChromeOS directly, the Pixel has an added option to support a third-party bootloader which enables it to be relatively easily modified to boot stock Linux desktop distributions.

  • Linux Foundation report: Linux professionals wanted

    The Linux Foundation has surveyed 850 hiring managers at small and medium businesses, larger corporations, government organisations and recruiting agencies, as well as 2,600 Linux professionals worldwide, about the state of the Linux job market for its 2013 Linux Jobs Report. The report was created in conjunction with the Dice.com career web site and concludes that 93% of the surveyed companies are planning to hire at least one Linux professional in the next six months and 90% said it was difficult to find people with the appropriate skill sets for these jobs.

  • Big Data Puts Linux Talent in Hot Demand
  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Sound To Be Improved In 3.9 Kernel

      Takashi Iwai has mailed in the sound updates for the Linux 3.9 kernel. This Git pull has the much anticipated HDA Intel audio re-work.

      The biggest highlight of the sound updates for Linux 3.9 is the unification of the HD Audio codec driver so that there’s now a generic parser that is used by each HDA codec driver. This big fundamental audio change is covered in more detail in the earlier Phoronix article.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Vivaldi tablet in harmony with new vendor

        KDE and Plasma developer Aaron Seigo has given an update on the state of the planned Vivaldi tablet in a video published on his YouTube channel. In the video, Seigo addresses new developments regarding the tablet, which was originally announced at the beginning of 2012. The team has apparently changed its plans and has designed its own, custom tablet hardware which should enter general production in about three months. According to Seigo, the manufacturer has now begun the tooling for the hardware. The last official statement on the project dates from September and cites a major setback.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Arch Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Aims For Big Data
      • Red Hat Embraces Big Data, Contributes Hadoop Plug-In

        Red Hat Inc. on Wednesday announced the contribution of its Hadoop plug-in to the Apache open source community.

        Best known for its enterprise Linux distributions, Red Hat announced the open sourcing of its Red Hat Storage Hadoop plug-in as part of a broader announcement of a shift in direction toward embracing Big Data with an “open hybrid cloud” application platform and infrastructure.

        As explained by company executive Ranga Rangachari in a Webcast, the open hybrid cloud is designed to give companies the ability to create Big Data workloads on a public cloud and move them back and forth between their own private clouds, “without having to reprogram those applications.” Red Hat said in a news release that many companies use public clouds such as Amazon Web Services for developing software, proving concepts and pre-production phases of projects that use Big Data. “Workloads are then moved to their private clouds to scale up the analytics with the larger data set,” the company said.

      • Red Hat Fleshes Out Hadoop-focused Big Data Plans

        In addition to its focus on cloud computing, which will be led by an OpenStack-based distribution and robust support plans taking shape this year, Red Hat is also doublling down on its focus on Big Data. The company has announced that it “will contribute its Red Hat Storage Hadoop plug-in to the ApacheTM Hadoop open community to transform Red Hat Storage into a fully-supported, Hadoop-compatible file system for big data environments.” The goal is to be able to help companies put in place Big Data-crunching environments that work in conjunction with cutting-edge storage strategies.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 18 + MATE – Not bad for the first attempt

          For me, Fedora 18 Spherical Cow was a big disappointment, mostly because Fedora 17 was a big positive surprise. It’s like that woman who keeps smiling at you through the dinner and flirts with you, and then when you take her into your motel room, she suddenly starts crying. I mean what’s up with that.

        • The new Anaconda installer

          It’s no secret that the new Anaconda installer for Fedora 18 has caused a stir. As part of a major internal re-write, the user interface has been completely re-designed which has caused some confusion and there are bugs and missing features. This is why we included an install video in Korora 18, to help walk you through the process.

        • Fedora 18 – A Sysadmin’s view

          At our school we have around 100 desktops, a vast majority of which run Fedora, and somewhere around 900 users. We switched from Windows to Fedora shortly after Fedora 8 was released and we’ve hit 8, 10, 13, 16, and 17 (deploying a local koji instance has made it easier to upgrade).

    • Debian Family

      • Updated Debian 6.0: 6.0.7 released
      • Tails 0.17 is out
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Is Ubuntu Touch Just CyanogenMod With Unity On Top?

            Canonical took the entire IT world by storm with the back-to-back announcements of Ubuntu Phone and then Tablet OS. It’s looks really impressive in the video (since most of it is in developer preview stage and non working, we can’t comment how it will shape up). It was really impressive to see how Canonical managed to do develop Ubuntu Touch from ‘ground-up’.

          • Hey Canonical: I just tested Ubuntu for phones and I’m sold

            There’s a Key Lime Pie-size hole in the Android ecosystem, and Jelly Bean hasn’t filled the gap. Jelly Bean has suited me well for the past five months, but that doesn’t mean I’m not getting bored with it. I’m looking for more quick settings in the notification pull-down bar, an overhaul to the app drawer to add more icons per page, and a maximum CPU-clock speed to negate Project Butter’s battery drain effect.

          • Here’s A Look At Ubuntu For Tablets

            After Mark Shuttleworth kindly demonstrated Ubuntu Mobile for us at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, we’ve all been patiently wondering how different — or similar for that matter — it would look on a tablet. Wonder no longer with this here preview video!

          • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Ixonos Presents Fast Video Streaming and Modern Embedded LINUX BSP at Embedded World 2013
    • Wind River Joins OSADL to Advance Linux in Embedded and Industrial Designs

      Wind River®, a world leader in embedded and mobile software, has joined the Open Source Automation Development Lab (OSADL). With its membership, Wind River will collaborate with other OSADL members to further promote and support Linux solutions for the embedded and industrial markets.

    • Phones

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • China’s Konka Launching ‘Expose’ Android Smartphone In India

          China-based Konka is all set to enter India with a range of Android smartphones. The company, in association with Mak Mobility, is planning to launch Android-powered Expose phone in India. The company said with Expose, it aims to target both photography enthusiasts and discerning smartphone users.

          After launching Expose in the Indian market, the company has plans to come up with a few more handsets including ‘Tuxedo’ for business executives and Tango smartphones for music lovers.

        • Huawei Reveals the World’s Fastest 4G LTE Smartphone
        • CoolShip Android all-in-keyboard computer
        • Slate 7 Is HP’s First Android-Powered Tablet

          Long after giving up on TouchPads and other mobile devices, HP has made a tablet comeback with the announcement of its first Android device, the HP Slate 7. With a starting price of $169, it is likely to be launched in the United States in April this year.

          Talking about the specs, the Slate 7 is a 7-inch tablet that runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS. With a soft-touch rubber exterior, the device sports a dual-core 1.6GHz ARM Cortex-A9 chip, 1024 x 600 resolution FFS+ LCD touchscreen display, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of solid state storage (expandable via microSD), 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 2.1. It has a front-facing VGA webcam and a 3-megapixel rear camera. The speakers have Beats Audio processing with a stainless steel frame.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • HP lets loose Android-based Slate 7 tablet starting at $169

        Hewlett-Packard has reentered the consumer tablet market with the Slate 7, an Android-based device with a 7-inch screen that will start at US$169.

        The Slate 7 will run Android 4.1, also known as Jellybean, and have a dual-core processor based on ARM’s Cortex-A9 design. It will start shipping in the U.S. in April, HP said. It didn’t provide availability details for other countries.

      • And Now, Ubuntu for Tablets – Wait, What?

        “On the one hand, a real Linux tablet is very attractive,” said Google+ blogger Kevin O’Brien. “On the other hand, what will the ecosystem look like? Will there be all of the apps I want? … There is a tendency still for companies to not create Linux clients for popular apps. So will there be Kindle app for Ubuntu? An Evernote app? What about all of the Google apps?”

      • Sony’s Xperia Tablet Z Can Really Make a Splash

        Sony’s Xperia Tablet Z is getting some second looks, with its slim-line design and trove of advanced features — not to mention its ability to take a bathtub dunking in stride. It’s a full-size tablet at 10.1 inches, but it’s only a quarter inch thick and weighs just over a pound. It’s also PlayStation certified.

      • Sony Launches Waterproof Xperia Tablet Z At MWC
      • Should Google Be Worried About Samsung’s Dominance?

        Samsung has turned Android into the leading player in the smartphone segment pushing Apple to the second position. The company is far ahead of the other Android players who have failed to mark any significant presence in the market, whether it be LG, Sony or HTC. This huge gap between Samsung and the rest of the Android players has started to worry Google, the company which created Android.

      • Ubuntu Now Available on Tablets — If You Have a Nexus 7

Free Software/Open Source

  • News: OpenSUSE’s Jos Poortvliet: Collaborate or Die
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla reveals Firefox smartphone launch partners

        The not-for-profit organisation behind the Firefox web browser has announced handsets based on its operating system for mobile phones.

        In a press conference ahead of Mobile World Congress, Mozilla said that 18 operators including Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica, were signed up.

      • Firefox to begin blocking third-party cookies by default

        Firefox is giving people concerned about their online privacy another reason to like the popular browser.

        It will begin blocking cookies from third-party advertisers in an upcoming release. While Firefox users can already use the Do Not Track extension to stave them off, the patch will allow the browser to do it by default. That means sites you’ve visited can leave cookies on your computer but ad networks that don’t already have one on your machine can’t.

      • Firefox Will Soon Block Third-Party Cookies
      • Firefox maker Mozilla to launch smartphone operating system
      • Mozilla Introduces Firefox 19 – Seamless PDF Viewing

        In the World Wide Web, the latest in technology and knowledge base production begets the latest in browsers. And with innovations seemingly limitless, there is no reason why browser development—literally our window into the web—should lag behind.

        With this logic to stay up-to-date and even take the lead probably in mind, Mozilla introduces Firefox 19 for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. This latest and most up-to-date Firefox version features a cross-platform built-in PDF viewer within the latest Firefox browser. This improvement offers a safer and more seamless PDF viewing experience on any desktop and theme support on Google’s Android mobile platform.

      • WebRTC – Ringing A Mobile Phone Near You
      • Mobile operators look to Firefox to beat back Google, Apple

        Jumping into bed with Apple was a mistake for the mobile operators. Firefox is their second attempt at a solution.

        Apple was a mistake because operators gave away all their apps revenue to Cupertino, and that cash would have come in handy as voice and SMS cashflow declined. Instead, Apple was allowed to break all the rules – side loading, its own ecosystem, a share of revenues and many more.

      • MWC: Mozilla Showcases First Firefox OS Phones

        Unlocking the power of the Web on mobile, Mozilla on Sunday announced the first phones powered by its HTML5-focused Firefox mobile operating system (OS) at the Mobile World Congress. The Alcatel One Touch Fire and the ZTE Open are the first Firefox OS phones which, Mozilla said, are coming this summer. These two phones will come with Nokia’s Here Maps application preloaded, along with deep Facebook integration.

      • Firefox OS Has Surprising Support Coming Out of the Gate

        In conjunction with the Mobile World Congress conference, Mozila has officially taken the wraps off of its plans for Firefox OS, the mobile operating system that could represent the future of the company. Firefox OS is a free operating system that puts open web standards first, and the initial telcos that will deliver phones and services for it are known. LG Electronics, ZTE and Alcatel One Touch will all ship Firefox OS phones in the coming months. Chinese company Huawei is on board as well, and ZTE has a strong presence in China. Several analysts have already noted that Firefox OS has more support from hardware makers than Android had early on.

        Sometimes people forget how very young Android is. It was only back in 2009 that we were wondering why HTC was the only committed hardware backer of Android. Fast-forward to today, and Android leads the mobile phone market. Can the same happen to Firefox OS?

      • Mozilla Unlocks the Power of the Web on Mobile with Firefox OS
      • Firefox Launches ‘Nuclear First Strike Against Ad Industry’

        Firefox will now automatically block all third-party cookies, a crucial tool to help advertisers track users, and the ad industry is not happy about it.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • WebDAV Direct
    • The great 4.0 wrap-up

      We had an amazing success with the release of LibreOffice 4.0. New website pages, a flurry of articles (Time Magazine, ZDNet, TechCrunch Ars Technica, Computerworld, Slashdot, just to name a few), and a generally good feedback. We’re collecting as much data as we can to see how far we went in terms of downloads, but empirically we can already say that it was a success. The infra team worked hard to handle a huge load of visits and downloads; a major “Tweetstorm” that lasted for about 9 hours, and web trends that now show that this release was a major milestone in pushing the brand “LibreOffice” across the Internet. One thing is sure: we went out of this release in a different state we entered it.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Hungarian government confirms its plans for an open source resource centre

      The government of Hungary is creating a resource centre to help the country’s public administrations implement free and open source software and open standards. One of the main goals of the centre is to make public administrations aware of the free and open source alternatives to proprietary ICT solutions.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Awards offer €15,000 in prizes for open humanities projects

      We are excited to announce the first ever Open Humanities Awards. There are €15,000 worth of prizes on offer for 3-5 projects that use open content, open data, or open source tools to further humanities teaching and research. Whether you’re interested in patterns of allusion in Aristotle, networks of correspondence in the Jewish Enlightenment, or digitising public domain editions of Dante, we’d love to hear about the kinds of open projects that could support your interest!

    • Open Data

      • Public servants baulk at FOI changes

        The public service is revolting against reforms brought in by the federal government to make it easier and cheaper for people to use freedom-of-information laws.
        Nearly all public service departments have made a submission to a review of the laws saying the changes have created more work than they can handle and question whether the changes are delivering ”value for money” for the government.

        Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/public-servants-baulk-at-foi-changes-20130224-2ezmu.html#ixzz2LvIMrItB

    • Open Access/Content

      • DOJ Admits It Had To Put Aaron Swartz In Jail To Save Face Over The Arrest

        The odd thing is this little tidbit comes at the very, very end of a longer article, most of which focuses on the DOJ telling Congressional staffers that part of the reason they went after Swartz with such zeal was because of his infamous Guerilla Open Access Manifesto. That might explain why they were so eager to arrest him, but it seems like the much bigger deal, considering all the concern about prosecutor discretion, that after they arrested him, they then didn’t want to look bad, which is why they continued to demand jailtime and felony convictions.

        Many people have assumed all along that the Manifesto played a big role in the case — and the Manifesto has certainly been a lightening rod concerning Swartz’s activities. If you read the actual “manifesto” it’s not quite as extreme as some make it out to be — with much of it talking about taking stuff that is public domain, but still hidden behind walls, and making that available again. The controversial bit really is this paragraph, which starts out with legal activities, but gets much more ambiguous at the end:

  • Programming

    • LiveCode is next generation version of HyperCard

      LiveCode is like a next generation version of HyperCard. It is used to create simple one-off apps and utilities to solve day-to-day problems. As a production-quality, natural language hypermedia environment, LiveCode runs on all major operating systems (Linux, Mac, and Windows) and can generate code for all major desktop platforms, as well as all major mobile platforms (Android, iOS). They even got it up and running on the Raspberry Pi recently.

    • Ruby 2.0.0-p0 is released

Leftovers

  • Stunned by the friendliness of a stranger

    I am stunned. And speechless. And can hardly believe the fact that this person actually decided to help me. And that the reason behind it was a reason I try to live myself: helping others where you can so that they help others, to make this blue marble a better place. To actually help someone you never met and most likely will never meet who is living thousands of kilometers away, is a beautiful thing to do. And just gave me a bit more faith in humanity.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Is Your Local Police Department Using Pictures of Pregnant Women and Children for Target Practice?

      What if I told you police in your town could desensitize themselves to the idea of shooting a (armed) child, pregnant woman, or young mother, for just a couple of bucks? The “No More Hesitation” series from Law Enforcement Targets Inc. offers exactly that. For less than 99 cents per target, police can shoot at real-life images “designed to give officers the experience of dealing with deadly force shooting scenarios with subjects that are not the norm during training.”

    • Rennard Conundrum

      I have known of allegations of sexual pestering against Chris Rennard for at least five years, and I find it impossible to believe Nick Clegg has not known for longer.

      But I am baffled as to what the current fuss is about. The allegations of which I know are not of criminal offences, but the sort of inappropriate workplace conduct which should lose you your job. And it was always my understanding that was why Rennard resigned as Lib Dem Chief Executive four years ago. Unless there are new allegations which are actually criminal (and I have still not heard that alleged) what is actually supposed to happen now?

    • US senator says 4,700 killed in drone strikes

      Revelation by Lindsey Graham marks the first time any US official has given a number for drone fatalities.

    • Today’s Headlines and Commentary

      Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti of the Times report on the tussle between the Obama administration and Congress on whether to release the targeted killings memos or more information about the Benghazi attacks in order to get John Brennan confirmed.

    • Afghanistan government accuses US special forces of civilian death and torture

      Hamid Karzai orders US elite force to leave Maidan Wardak province after local reports of disappearance of nine people

    • Stripped of ‘Country of Origin’ Label, US Agrees to Sell Tear Gas to Egypt

      Egypt’s Interior Ministry ordered 140,000 teargas canisters from the United States in January, which the US State Department only allowed to be exported without the company’s name or any indication they were made in the U.S., the Egypt Independent reports Friday.

    • Bradley Manning Marks 1,000 Days in Pre-Trial Detention
    • Bradley Manning 1000 Days in Jail and more Government Crackdown on Transparency
    • How a Washington Global Torture Gulag Was Turned Into the Only Gulag-Free Zone on Earth

      The map tells the story. To illustrate a damning new report, “Globalizing Torture: CIA Secret Detentions and Extraordinary Rendition,” recently published by the Open Society Institute, the Washington Post put together an equally damning graphic: it’s soaked in red, as if with blood, showing that in the years after 9/11, the CIA turned just about the whole world into a gulag archipelago.

      Back in the early twentieth century, a similar red-hued map was used to indicate the global reach of the British Empire, on which, it was said, the sun never set. It seems that, between 9/11 and the day George W. Bush left the White House, CIA-brokered torture never saw a sunset either.

    • The Starbucks View of Al-Qaida

      The United States has set up its first Sahelian drone base, in Niger, in order to carry on the war against “Al-Qaedah in the Islamic Maghreb”. The problem is that there is no such thing as “Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb”. The US seems to confuse Al-Qaeda with Starbucks. Al-Qaeda does not have branches everywhere, a highly organised supply chain, and transfer pricing.

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Military icebreaker arrives to defend Japanese whalers

      Japan has sent a giant military icebreaker to bolster its whaling fleet in the conflict with Sea Shepherd off the Australian Antarctic Territory, anti-whaling activists say.
      The 12,500 tonne Shirase, operated by the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force, has appeared near whalers and Sea Shepherd activists 50 nautical miles off the coast of the territory, the group said.

    • After Attacking Kwanzaa, WI Senator Moves on to Attacking Renewable Energy — with Help from ALEC

      Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman, who made headlines in December for an unprovoked attack on Kwanzaa, has set his sights on another imagined enemy: renewable energy standards. Although Sen. Grothman’s latest move is just as ridiculous as his past efforts, this one is part of a national effort backed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Heartland Institute.

  • Finance

    • US judge freezes Goldman Sachs account over ‘suspicious’ Heinz trading

      A US judge froze a Goldman Sachs account that regulators say was used to make suspicious trades in H J Heinz, after unknown traders failed to appear in court to defend their claims to the assets.

      When the unidentified traders didn’t show up at a hearing on Friday in Manhattan, a US district judge, Jed Rakoff, said he would grant the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) request to freeze the Goldman Sachs account in Zurich until the case was resolved.

      “They can hide, but their assets can’t run,” Mr Rakoff announced, saying he had granted the SEC’s request and signed the freeze order.

      The agency said in its complaint that the trades came a day before Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital announced the US$23 billion (Dh84.4bn) takeover of Pittsburgh-based Heinz. The suspicious trading involved call-option contracts, the SEC said.

      Goldman Sachs told the regulator it doesn’t have “direct access” to information about the beneficial owner behind transactions in the account. The New York-based bank told the agency the account holder is a Zurich private-wealth client, the SEC said. Goldman has said it is co-operating with authorities.

    • Opinion: From Triple A to Triple Dip

      In February 2010, just before the general election, chancellor George Osborne set out his economic objectives “against which I expect to be judged”. High among them was retaining Britain’s AAA credit rating. Now the credit rating agency Moody’s has stripped Britain of its AAA rating. So judging Osborne by his own criterion, he has failed.

      Moody’s explained their decision as due to “continuing weakness in the UK’s medium-term growth outlook, with a period of sluggish growth which it now expects will extend into the second half of the decade”. Put simply, the economy isn’t growing, and isn’t expected to grow, and the implication of that for our debt to GDP ratio is dire.

      In the short term, Moody’s decision is unlikely in itself to change anything, since the markets were expecting it and have factored it into their decisions. But it does signal that the government has failed. In three years we’ve gone from a triple A credit rating to a triple dip recession.

    • George Will’s Stop & Frisk Factcheck

      Stop and frisk is definitely not sexy–and it might be not constitutional either. The practice of stopping people, mostly young men of color, and searching them without probable cause is a lot of things–racist on its face, for one.

      But does it actually have anything to do with a reduction in gun violence? To think so, one would want to show that the stops wind up in weapons arrests. But the evidence is that they overwhelmingly do nothing of the sort.

    • Power Grab at the Fed

      And these are the guys that Dudley wants to save, these self-serving miscreants who’re doing everything in their power to make the system more less safe, more unstable, and more crisis-prone?

      The reason the money markets are so vulnerable is NOT because there’s no fix, but because the big money is blocking even modest changes to the existing system. Wall Street would rather put the whole system at risk, then lose even one-thin dime in profits.

      More from Dudley: “The sheer size of banking functions undertaken outside commercial banking entities – even now, after the crisis – suggests that this issue must not be ignored. Pretending the problem doesn’t exist, or dealing with it only ex post through emergency facilities, cannot be consistent with our financial stability objectives.”

      In other words, the Fed has no idea of how leveraged this gigantic, unregulated shadow banking system really is. All they know is that it poses unseen risks that WILL lead to another disaster. So, rather than implement rules that could improve stability–as one might expect from the nation’s chief regulator–Dudley wants a blank check to spend whatever-it-takes to prop up this ghastly system.

      Unbelievable.

    • Economic Update: Profit, Austerity and Criticizing the System
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Public back privacy law action on Google

      New research published today by Big Brother Watch/ComRes finds that the majority of the British public are concerned about their online privacy (68%) with nearly a quarter (22%) saying that they are very concerned.

      People are more likely to say that consumers are being harmed by big companies gathering large amounts of their personal data for internal use (46%) than they are to say that this enhances consumer experiences (18%).

      As European data protection regulators prepare to take action against Google one year on from its revised privacy policy coming into force, more than 7 in 10 (71%) of the British public say that privacy and data regulators were right to investigate Google’s privacy policy and how it allows Google to collect and combine data on consumers.

  • Civil Rights

    • Notorious hacker Sabu has to help the FBI for another six months

      Why wasn’t Anonymous hacker-turned-FBI-informant Hector “Sabu” Monsegur sentenced as scheduled last week in New York? When I called Judge Preska’s chambers last Thursday to check whether the sentencing would actually take place the following day, the man on the other end of the line told me that it would not—but he couldn’t tell me why, saying only that the reason would probably show up in the federal court’s online PACER system at some point soon.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

02.24.13

Links 24/2/2013: Chromebook Pixel, Liberated Pixel Cup

Posted in News Roundup at 8:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome 25 arrives with speech recognition

        Google has released Chrome 25 to its Stable Channel. Chrome 25.0.1364.97 for Windows and Linux and Chrome 25.0.1364.99 for Mac OS X bring improvements to extension security, support for the JavaScript Web Speech API and fix 22 security vulnerabilities, five of which were fixed as part of Google’s bug bounty program for the browser; the rest were found by employees of the company.

    • Mozilla

      • Director Of Product Blake Ross Is Leaving Facebook

        Facebook Director of Product Blake Ross is leaving the company, he announced in a Facebook post yesterday afternoon.

        For those of you who weren’t reading TechCrunch in 2007, Firefox co-founder Ross and Joe Hewitt came to Facebook through its acquisition of Parakey, a web OS that was still in stealth at the time. Parakey was Facebook’s first acquisition. Hewitt, who spearheaded many Facebook Mobile projects including iOS, left the company in 2011.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • OpenClipart.org in LibreOffice – part 3
    • LibreOffice 4 review – Getting better but …

      Just a few days ago, LibreOffice 4 was released. As you know, this is an important milestone, both technically and historically. Since the split from OpenOffice, managed by Oracle, LibreOffice has quickly grown to become the dominant open-source office suite, and has completely pushed away OpenOffice from the spotlight. Moreover, this latest version brings a whole bunch of good things.

  • Business

    • Hortonworks unveils Stinger Initiative

      Hortonworks’ Alan Gates has announced the Stinger Initiative, a four point plan for making Apache Hive 100 times faster. With other Hadoop distributors already having taken steps to speed up processing of large data volumes (e.g. MapR’s Drill), Hortonworks prefers to rely on existing tools and input from Hadoop’s large community.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Obama White House expands access to federally funded research

        Campaigners herald boost for accessibility of scientific information and say Aaron Swartz case gave momentum

      • Aaron Swartz Prosecutors Weighed ‘Guerilla’ Manifesto, Justice Official Tells Congressional Committee

        A Justice Department representative told congressional staffers during a recent briefing on the computer fraud prosecution of Internet activist Aaron Swartz that Swartz’s “Guerilla Open Access Manifesto” played a role in the prosecution, sources told The Huffington Post.

        Swartz’s 2008 manifesto said sharing information was a “moral imperative” and advocated for “civil disobedience” against copyright laws pushed by corporations “blinded by greed” that led to the “privatization of knowledge.”

        “We need to take information, wherever it is stored, make our copies and share them with the world. We need to take stuff that’s out of copyright and add it to the archive,” Swartz wrote in the manifesto. “We need to buy secret databases and put them on the Web. We need to download scientific journals and upload them to file sharing networks. We need to fight for Guerilla Open Access.”

        The “Manifesto,” Justice Department representatives told congressional staffers, demonstrated Swartz’s malicious intent in downloading documents on a massive scale.

      • U.S. attorney: Criticism of Aaron Swartz prosecution is ‘unfair’
      • White House Open Access Memo Strong, Could Be Stronger

        Today, the White House released a memorandum (PDF) in support of a more robust policy for public access to research, making the results of billions of dollars of taxpayer-funded research freely available online. The memorandum gives government agencies six months to detail plans to ensure the public can read and analyze both research and data, without charge. Both open access and open data are key to promoting innovation, government transparency, and scientific progress.

      • White House says government-funded research should be more public, but critics want more
  • Programming

    • Eclipse 2014 release name chosen
    • Eclipse Foundation starts Long Term Support initiative

      The Foundation has announced the Eclipse Long Term Support (LTS) initiative. With industrial uses of software which expect support and maintenance of the software stack from ten to fifty years, there has long been a desire to address this need. With the new LTS initiative, led by CA Technologies, IBM, EclipseSource and SAP AG, the Foundation will provide the facilities and processes needed to create signed deployable updates for older versions of Eclipse. This should, in turn, enable a new ecosystem of companies and enterprises to share fixes and releases. The initiative will be open to all organisations with an interest in extending the productive life of Eclipse technologies.

    • jQuery Mobile gets responsive with version 1.3

      Responsive web design (RWD) has been the focus for the jQuery Mobile developers as they put together the new version, jQuery Mobile 1.3.0, of the touch-optimised mobile web framework. The developers say that they had been faced with designers asking whether they should use RWD or jQuery Mobile – the answer is “both” say the jQuery Mobile developers, and with 1.3, they have set out to educate users by adding responsive documentation and demos to explain key concepts. They have also added responsive tables, panels and grids to make it easier to build responsive sites and applications.

    • Google App Engine update eases cloudy mobile app development

Leftovers

02.22.13

Links 22/2/2013: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4, Dice Linux Jobs Survey

Posted in News Roundup at 9:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • In Search of Linux’s Greatest Moment

    “One would be hard pressed to argue that Android wasn’t the REAL tipping point when it came to mainstream acceptance,” said Slashdot blogger hairyfeet. “Does anybody think Valve would be making a Linux client if all those Android games didn’t exist already, thus giving them ready games on tap? No question in my mind; the day Android was released trumps them all.”

  • If You Don’t Know Linux, You Better Learn Fast
  • New Computer, Old OS: How To Migrate Linux Between Machines
  • M$ Milks The Cash-Cow Dry -or- Consultant Recommends Migration to GNU/Linux

    GNU/Linux is a “supported OS”, eh? This could be just M$’s attempt to milk the last cent from those truly locked-in to XP. M$ made the cell, applied the barriers and threw away the key, holding thousands of corporations’ computers hostage. One can reinforce one’s cell by migrating to “7″ or one can escape and breathe fresh air with GNU/Linux. It’s seems an easy choice to me. I am sure the consultant thinks going to “7″ is the way but any nitwit can see this will happen all over again when “7″ dies… That’s the Wintel-treadmill, folks. An infinite number of steps forward with no advance.

  • Psst: The Chromebook Pixel can run Linux, too

    Google’s new Chromebook Pixel computer is all about the cloud — but it doesn’t have to be.

    One thing I’ve heard from lots of folks in discussing the Chromebook Pixel is a desire to run a more traditional Linux OS on the system. Google’s Chrome OS certainly has its advantages, but for some users, a dual-boot option is even more appealing.

  • Google’s Pixel Chromebook Is a Distraction at the Wrong Time
  • Desktop

    • Google Launches Touchscreen Chromebook Pixel
    • Is $1,299 Too Much For The Chromebook Pixel?

      These could be executives going for meetings, creative people or even developers. I have seen quite a lot of developers on G+ showing interest in this device.

    • Linux Kernel Patched To Support Chromebook Pixel

      Just hours after the launch of the high-resolution touchscreen laptop – the Chromebook Pixel, Benson Leung from Google is busy patching the Linux kernel to support Pixel’s hardware. These kernel patches provide support for the ISL light sensor, Atmel MXT Touchpad, and Atmel MXT Touchscreen as found on the high-end Chrome OS-powered device.

    • Dell’s XPS 13 laptop running Ubuntu gets a 1080p display
    • Dell’s ‘Sputnik’ Ubuntu Linux laptop gets a key upgrade

      Although it’s oriented primarily towards developers, Dell’s “Project Sputnik” Ubuntu Linux ultrabook has attracted considerable interest from Linux fans.

      When I spoke with Barton George, a Dell director, upon the North American launch last fall of the XPS 13 Developer Edition, he noted two common requests that came up during the testing process: a “big brother version” with beefier specs, and availability outside the United States.

    • Dell’s Linux-Powered XPS 13 Laptop with 1080p Display Runs Ubuntu

      It’s not the first Dell notebook running Ubuntu, but the latest model that Canonical is talking up differs from past Ubuntu laptops in that this is a Dell XPS 13 packed with killer components. All too often, Ubuntu gets plopped onto lower-end notebooks (see: the entire failed netbook craze), but this one rocks an Intel Core i7-3537U chip, 8GB of DDR3-1600MHz RAM, 256GB SSD, and a 13.3-inch full HD (1080p) Gorilla Glass display; Intel HD 4000 graphics is on board, too.

    • The Chromebook Pixel, for what’s next

      Chromebooks were designed to make computing speedy, simple and secure. For many of you, they have become the perfect, additional (and yes, affordable) computer: ideal for catching up on emails, sharing documents and chatting via Hangouts. We’re tremendously grateful to our partners—Samsung, Acer, Lenovo and HP—for their commitment. The momentum has been remarkable: the Samsung Chromebook has been #1 on Amazon’s bestseller list for laptops every day since it launched 125 days ago in the U.S., and Chromebooks now represent more than 10 percent of notebook sales at Currys PC World, the largest electronics retailer in the U.K.

    • Linux kernel patches surface for Chromebook Pixel

      Google’s flagship Chromebook might be a solid piece of hardware, but its prohibitive $1,299-1,449 sticker price left us aching for the ability to dual-boot a more robust operating system. Lucky for us that Google’s Benson Leung has a knack for Linux — he’s already patching the Linux kernel to support Pixel’s hardware.

    • Chromebook With Touchscreen Coming This Year: Wall Street Journal

      Earlier this month, a video was leaked on YouTube which was created by Slinky agency. CEO of Slinky, Victor Koch wrote in his Google+ page, “Our all servers were attacked by hackers, and we apologize for the fact that many projects have been shown previously!” The video demoed a Chromebook with a 2560×1700 resolution touchscreen and an Ivybridge CPU. It certainly got the rumour mill going with the device being dubbed as the Google Link.

  • Kernel Space

    • 2013 Linux Jobs Forecast: Pressing Need for Linux Talent
    • DICE HOLDINGS, INC. : 2013 Linux Jobs Forecast: Pressing Need for Linux Talent
    • Companies are desperately seeking Linux talent, report says

      Here’s even more good news for IT professionals with Linux skills. Last month, we got word from IT careers site Dice that salaries in Linux jobs are going up, and on Wednesday the Linux Foundation and Dice jointly presented a report of more promising findings.

      “The 2013 Linux Jobs Report shows that there is unlimited opportunity for college graduates and technology professionals who want to pursue careers in Linux,” said Amanda McPherson, vice president of marketing and developer programs at the Linux Foundation.

    • Linaro extends Linux ARM to networking gear

      The not-for-profit Linaro plans to offer an open source Linux OS for ARM-based networking equipment

    • Linaro to Accelerate Linux Development for ARM Servers.

      Linaro, the not-for-profit engineering organization developing open source software for the ARM architecture, today announced the formation of the Linaro Networking Group (LNG) with twelve founding member companies including AppliedMicro, ARM, Enea, Freescale, LSI, MontaVista, Nokia Siemens Networks and Texas Instruments (TI) at the Embedded Linux Conference (ELC).

    • 99% Of Hiring Managers Plan To Hire A Linux Pro, Are You The One?

      If the tech skills you now put on your resume fail to impress the hiring manager, you might want to get yourself skilled in Linux. And if you are already immersed in Linux, this one goes out to you. According to the newly released Linux Jobs Report by The Linux Foundation and Dice, there is an increase in demand for Linux talent that is being met by aggressive recruitment strategies.

    • Study Finds Linux Skills Still In High Demand in Job Market
    • Survey: Linux Pros in High Demand Among Employers
    • Which Linux admin tools and tricks would YOU stake your career on?
    • Survey shows companies need Linux talent and they need it bad
    • ARM, Freescale and Texas Instruments form Linux Networking Group

      LINUX PROMOTER Linaro has announced that it formed a Linux Networking Group with ARM, Freescale and Texas Instruments among others to push the development of Linux based networking infrastructure.

      Linaro, which acts as a developer and hub for firms wanting to put Linux in their products, has put together a Linux Networking Group. The group consists mainly of chip vendors, including ARM, Freescale, LSI and Texas Instruments along with network infrastructure vendor Nokia Siemens. Its purpose is to research and develop Linux based network infrastructure equipment.

    • Kernel developer criticises Linux over security

      A senior Linux kernel developer has pointed to an instance of what he calls a lax approach to security in the Linux kernel, citing the case of a serious vulnerability that is now more than a month old and is yet to be fixed.

      Jonathan Corbet (pictured above), who is also the editor of the Linux Weekly News website, described in an article how a flaw in the kernel, which was initially discussed on a private mailing list, had been made public with a posting by a developer named Oleg Nesterov.

    • XFS On Linux 3.9 Takes Care Of Open Issues

      The XFS file-system update for the Linux 3.9 kernel isn’t particularly exciting, but it does address some open bugs and regressions for this still very relevant and competitive Linux file-system.

      The XFS pull request for Linux 3.9 reads, “Please pull these XFS updates for 3.9-rc1. Here there are primarily fixes for regressions and bugs, but there are a few cleanups too. There are fixes for compound buffers, quota asserts, dir v2 block compaction, mount behavior, use-after-free with AIO, swap extents, an unmount hang, speculative preallocation, write verifiers, the allocator stack switch, recursion on xa_lock, an xfs_buf_find oops, and a memory barrier in xfs_ifunlock.”

    • Linux Sound To Be Improved In 3.9 Kernel

      Takashi Iwai has mailed in the sound updates for the Linux 3.9 kernel. This Git pull has the much anticipated HDA Intel audio re-work.

      The biggest highlight of the sound updates for Linux 3.9 is the unification of the HD Audio codec driver so that there’s now a generic parser that is used by each HDA codec driver. This big fundamental audio change is covered in more detail in the earlier Phoronix article.

    • Linux Professionals Receive Higher Salaries: Dice

      Average salaries for Linux pros come in at $90,853, compared with $85,619 for tech pros nationwide, according to a Dice survey.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Sony Pirates KDE Artwork

        Sony, the company who created Audio CDs which installed a rootkit on Windows computer to try to stop people copying music has pirated KDE artwork. The preferences-system.png icon from Oxygen is on their Choose your Vaio webpages (next to configure) but impressively is also on the UEFI firmware should you boot up into Assist mode.

      • A Vision of the Future of FOSS Collaboration

        Participation and open access are key themes in Free software. It encourages dynamic community structures that blur the line between technology consumer and creator. This has been so successful that echoes of it can be found throughout the technology world from mobile app user engagement to game community content creation. Bringing such interaction patterns into the mainstream is perhaps one of Free software’s great social accomplishments. That is not to say that all is well: the topic of user empowerment and participation in Free software is often a contentious one. Depending on the day of the week and whom you ask, you may hear that Free software is an empowering agent for users with low barriers and high levels of interaction with developers .. or that there is a growing disconnect between users and the technology projects. Reality lies somewhere between those two poles, but few doubt that improvements could be made. How to do that is a question that floats in the air without many compelling answers. It turns out that there is another challenge facing Free software which could become a terrific opportunity for improving and even redefining user-developer interaction.

      • A new show in town

        For the next few weeks on mondays we’ll post an hangout-based mini podcast that will cover what to expect from the next iteration of Plasma workspaces, what’s happening in the development of KDE Frameworks 5 and the new Qt5 based goodness that is coming in KDE.

      • KDE Plasma Active Running on Nexus 7 [Video]

        KDE’s Spark Tablet running Plasma Active user interface was quite a phenomenon during CES 2012, though there was no trace of it during the just concluded CES 2013. Only recently, we showcased a video of Ubuntu 13.04 running on a multi-touch device, now here comes a new one featuring KDE Plasma Active running smoothly on a Nexus 7 tablet.

      • PCManFM file manager is ported to Qt?

        It’s just one of my side projects and was an experiment to test how good libfm and Qt are. Since the core library of PCManFM, libfm, is carefully separated from its Gtk+ UI code, theoratically it can be ported to other GUI toolkits. To give it a test, I played with Qt recently. The result is quite satisfactory and impressive. I must admit that working with Qt is quite pleasant.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Taiwan PC industry at a critical moment: An interview with Wistron chairman

      As the PC Industry is having trouble achieving growth, transformation has become a new trend among the industry players, Wistron chairman Simon Lin has told Digitimes in a recent interview. Dell’s privatization is just a start, and PC brand vendors are seemingly driving faster and faster on a steep, narrow, winding mountain road. If Taiwan’s PC supply chain players fail to keep up, they may be left behind or fall off the cliff at a sharp turn trying to catch up; however, such crises may turn out to be new opportunities for the Taiwan players, Lin believes.

    • Phones

      • I.B.M. to Take Big Step Into Mobile

        For I.B.M., mobile computing has come of age. At least, smartphones and tablets may be popular enough to make I.B.M. several billion dollars.

        The company is announcing a major mobile initiative involving software, services and partnerships with other large vendors. I.B.M. plans to deploy consultants to give companies mobile shopping strategies, write mobile apps, crunch mobile data and manage a company’s own mobile assets securely.

        Thousands of employees have been trained in mobile technologies, I.B.M. says, and corporate millions will be spent on research and acquisitions in coming years. I.B.M. also announced a deal with AT&T to offer software developers access to mobile applications from AT&T’s cloud.

      • Tizen mobile OS releases v2.0 code

        The men and women behind the open source Tizen mobile OS platform have stated an early claim to win developer hearts and minds ahead of Mobile World Congress next week with the official release of Tizen 2.0 source code and SDK.

        After a particularly slow start since its launch in by the Linux Foundation in September 2011, the platform received a massive boost when the world’s largest handset maker Samsung confirmed last month that it would launch devices based on the OS.

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • Mobile productivity suite for Microsoft Office on Android

          Accellion, a California based mobile file sharing supplier, has introduced a Mobile Productivity Suite which it says combines mobile content creation and editing with secure file sync and sharing.

        • Video: Hands-on With the Ubuntu Touch Preview Build
        • Ubuntu Linux-based tablet interface offers slick UI

          Canonical has introduced the Ubuntu tablet interface, which will compete with Android, iOS and Windows with its own take on multitasking. The launch is the next step in Canonical’s quest to unify phones, tablets, PCs and TVs.

        • Archos To Soon Launch Its First Android Phones

          Archos is all set to enter the mobile arena with the launch of three new Android-powered smartphones later this year. According to a report by Russian publication Hi-Tech, the French consumer electronics company will soon add a range of Platinum handsets running Android to its portfolio.

          The company recently announced three “Platinum” tablets that come equipped with high-definition IPS displays, 1.2GHz quad-core processors, microSD ports, 2GB of RAM and Android 4.1 at a low price tag.

        • Android wins a point in battle with Apple

          CONFESSION time. We were wrong! And a few readers have taken the trouble to set us straight on the matter of photo file transfer from iPad to computer.

          A couple of weeks ago, we wrote: ”Android tablets are better than Apple iOS devices for this process because when you get home you can connect them to your PC and transfer the photo files without having the torment of iTunes.”

          We were basing our assertion on experience with a first-generation iPad and a Windows PC. It turns out that newer iPads, running iOS 6, can be connected to a PC and they show up in the device list under My Computer.

        • 10 Free Android Apps for Easy Task Management
        • Google shows the world its official Android 4.2.2 changelog

          When Android 4.2.2 quietly debuted last week, most users were left guessing about what exactly had been included in the software update. Helpful community sites like AndroidPolice had put together a thorough listing of some of the new features in Android 4.2.2, but any official listing of updates had yet to be made. Today, Google published its official changelog for its Android 4.2.2 update, along with listing everything else that comes as a part of the Jelly Bean package.

        • Samsung rumored to employ Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 for Galaxy S4
        • ZTE first to offer Tegra 4 powered smartphone
        • Sprint Force LTE handset leaks, due March 1st from ZTE
        • Poor Pathetic HP Way Too Late to Android Tablet Market

          HP has decided to take another hack at tablets, this time using Android as the operating system. I don’t expect the results to be much different from last time.

          For those of you who don’t remember — and HP’s foray into tablets was so brief you would be forgiven if you’ve forgotten — HP bought Palm in April, 2010 for $1.2 billion. The idea at the time was take webOS, Palm’s mobile operating environment and build an HP line of tablets and mobile phones.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Canonical shows Ubuntu Tablet experience

        In the run up to Mobile World Congress next week, Canonical has presented what it plans to offer with its tablet experience. The company’s aim is to have a range of convergent devices, with phones, tablets, desktops and TVs all running the same code base and offering optimised Unity-based user interfaces. Ubuntu for TV was unveiled at CES in January 2012. Next, it launched Ubuntu for Phones at the start of January 2013. But the third of the range of Ubuntu devices, tablets, had yet to be shown – now, Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth has presented the company’s concept for tablets in a video:

      • Canonical is working with a chip vendor to optimise Ubuntu for smartphones
      • Ubuntu for Tablets Will Bring Linux to the Google Nexus
      • The Key for Ubuntu for Tablets Will Be Apps

        Slowly but surely, Ubuntu is heading in many new directions. Last year, Ubuntu TV ramped up, this year Ubuntu phones are upon us, and Canonical is also introducing features in Ubuntu designed for enterprises that may be tired of paying heavy licensing fees for proprietary software. This week, Canonical announced Ubuntu for Tablets (see the video here), which the company says will offer “unique multitasking productivity, effortless navigation and defense-ready security.”

      • Ubuntu Offers One Operating System for Any Device
      • Ubuntu’s battle for relevance

        Long known as the standard-bearer for open source operating system (OS) Linux, Ubuntu today faces an existential crisis. These days, Linux has permeated everywhere in the sense that it still remains as a core layer beneath the Android OS. Unfortunately, Ubuntu does not find itself in that equation. Mostly, smartphones are all locked-down – enthusiast open source does not exist unless drivers are available.

      • Ubuntu for phones delayed until 2014, but on Nexus 4 now
      • Five Ubuntu Touch Facts
      • New Ubuntu Linux-driven tablets at MWC

        If you happen to journey over to the Ubuntu home page these days you see a notice that alerts you to the fact that the Mobile World Congress will be graced by tablets that are driven by Ubuntu’s Linux operating system.

        Under the moniker of Tastefully Tactile it is pushing it as a solid alternative in the post-PC era, a multitasking tool that provides the flexibility and functionality that modern users are seeking in their tablets.

      • Tablet adventures pt. 2

        SmartQ appear to still be trucking, selling rather more polished products these days. However, I learned my lesson last time. For my next venture into the tablet world, I won’t be going with that pretty-much-unknown Chinese box-shipper.

        No, no. I’m going with a completely different pretty-much-unknown Chinese box-shipper!

        After returning the RedEye – yeah, I returned it, after re-configuration the 880 is just working too well to keep fiddling with the RedEye – I had a couple hundred bucks languishing in my Amazon account, and that’s not enough for a new NAS box, so I figured I’d spend it on a Ainol Novo7 Flame (also known as the Fire – apparently they are the same hardware, but sold as the ‘Fire’ in Asia with Chinese-localized firmware, and ‘Flame’ in the rest of the world with English-localized firmware). The last one in stock at amazon.ca in fact, so sorry if anyone else wanted one.

      • Ubuntu on tablets: Who’s on board?
      • Tablets Grow. Legacy PCs decline. Tablets Poised To Overtake PCs.

        Well M$ and many others claimed smart thingies were a “flash in the pan” but it’s not looking that way to me. Huge growth sustained over years is not a fad but a movement to smaller cheaper computers. Apple lost dominance in smartphones last year and look to lose dominance in tablets this year. Meanwhile, M$ rides a sinking ship.

      • Ubuntu Tablet OS Hardware Requirements Revealed

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Groupware checklists

    In the last months and years I had to deal with various requirements people have regarding groupware ecosystems. Open Source solutions have matured in this area and this article highlights some needs, but also some common pitfalls.

  • VMware: Zimbra Boom or Bust, Keep or Sell?

    The VAR Guy has long-respected Zimbra, the open-source email platform that VMware (NYSE: VMW) acquired from Yahoo in 2010. VMware has been pretty silent about Zimbra in recent months, and VMware’s decision in January 2013 to deemphasize certain products has triggered rumors that Zimbra may be in trouble. But is it?

  • Women and free software: bridging the gap

    There are many in the FOSS community who pay lip service to the cause of women’s involvement in technology. It is a nice soapbox from which to grandstand and gain prominence. Raising funds is also easy when one promotes such a cause.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Here Comes New App Launcher For Chrome Web Browser

        Google’s Chrome team has ported a new app launcher to the Chrome browser dev channel on Windows. The new feature enables users to quickly open apps when outside of the browser. As of now, the launcher experience is only available on Windows, but it will soon be coming to OS X and Linux.

      • Chrome gets app launcher on Windows dev preview, OS X and Linux to nab it soon

        Chromebooks have had the luxury of an app launcher for quite a while, but now Windows users can get in on the action too, provided they download the latest version of Chrome from the browser’s dev channel. In order for the launcher to appear in the taskbar, however, those running the fresh release will need to install a Chrome packaged app — an application written in HTML,

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 19 brings PDF viewer and 4 critical security fixes

        The latest release of Mozilla’s Firefox open source web browser, version 19, brings few new features but does close four critical security holes. The release notes list only the arrival of PDF.js, the PDF viewer written in JavaScript, as a new feature. This, it is hoped, should reduce users’ exposure to malicious PDF documents which exploit third party PDF reader plugins to get access to the underlying operating system.

      • Firefox 20 Beta shows off new panel-based Download Manager, redesigned Developer toolbar

        Mozilla has released Firefox Beta 20.0b1, the first public beta of a landmark release.

        Like its predecessor, Firefox 19 FINAL, which debuted the new inline PDF viewer, Firefox Beta 20.0b1 looks set to unveil another major new feature to the Firefox armoury: a redesigned, panel-based download manager.

        Version 20 also includes a major refresh of the Developer toolbar, providing tweaked and redesigned access to all of the major components, plus an option to view the tools in a separate window. A new Javascript benchmarking tool has also been added.

      • Firefox 19 brings PDF viewer and 4 critical security fixes
      • Firefox introduces PDF viewer to browse the Web without interruption

        Firefox for Windows, Mac and Linux introduces a built-in browser PDF viewer that allows you to read PDFs directly within the browser, making reading PDFs easier because you don’t have to download the content or read it in a plugin like Reader. For example, you can use the PDF viewer to check out a menu from your favorite restaurant, view and print concert tickets or read reports without having to interrupt your browsing experience with extra clicks or downloads.

      • Built-in PDF reader for Firefox released

        When surfing a website, encountering a PDF file is one of those minor annoyances I wish I did not have to deal with. That’s because it interrupts the Web experience. With the release of a built-in PDF reader for Firefox by the Mozilla Foundation, such interruptions are now history.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Seagate Joins OpenStack, Provides Cloud Storage Cred

      The OpenStack cloud computing platform, which already has its own foundation and about 150 tech companies–many of them heavy hitters–supporting it, is starting to get support from key infrastructure players. On Wednesday, Seagate said that it will become a new corporate sponsor of both OpenStack and the Open Compute Project. The company announced that it “will help cloud builders to develop more scalable, customizable solutions using open platforms while reducing operating costs and providing benefits for consumers in the marketplace.”

    • OpenStack: Seagate, HP Promote Cloud Platform Ahead of Conference
  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

  • Healthcare

  • Business

    • Open Source Document Management

      I’ve not tried a document management system before, but these videos of LibreOffice checking documents in & out of document management systems via the new CMIS interfaces added in LibreOffice 4.0 make it look really easy. I’d like to try a group collaboration using one of these systems.

  • Funding

    • Open-source search tool Elasticsearch gets $24 million

      Open-source search provider Elasticsearch has secured $24 million in Series B venture funding, showing business demand for free and simple big-data analytics. Mike Volpi of Index Ventures led the funding round, which included contributions from Benchmark Capital and SV Angel.

  • Project Releases

    • Blender 2.66
    • Blender 2.66 Is Here: How to Get Going With It

      The Blender Foundation has announced the release of version 2.66 of the truly awesome 3D graphics and design application Blender. Among new features in this release are: rigid body physics simulation; dynamic topology sculpting; and matcap display. Other new features include Cycles hair rendering, support for high pixel density displays, much better handling of premultiplied and straight alpha transparency, a vertex bevel tool, a mesh cache modifier and a new SPH particle fluid dynamics solver.

    • 3.2.1 Release Announcement
  • Public Services/Government

    • Open States gathers legislative data from all 50 states

      After more than four years of work from volunteers and a full-time team here at Sunlight we’re immensely proud to launch the full Open States site with searchable legislative data for all 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Open States is the only comprehensive database of activities from all state capitols that makes it easy to find your state lawmaker, review their votes, search for legislation, track bills, and much more.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Tom Hulme: ‘Open-source your product to unlock its full potential’
    • Open Access/Content

      • Boundless, the free alternative to textbooks

        Boundless, the company that builds on existing open educational resources to provide free alternatives to traditionally costly college textbooks, has released 18 open textbooks under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA), the same license used by Wikipedia. Schools, students and the general public are free to share and remix these textbooks under this license. The 18 textbooks cover timeless college subjects, such as accounting, biology, chemistry, sociology, and economics. Boundless reports that students at more than half of US colleges have used its resources, and that they expect its number of users to grow.

      • Wyden Statement on White House Policy to Expand Access to Federally Funded Research
      • Increasing Public Access to the Results of Scientific Research

        Thank you for your participation in the We the People platform. The Obama Administration agrees that citizens deserve easy access to the results of research their tax dollars have paid for. As you may know, the Office of Science and Technology Policy has been looking into this issue for some time and has reached out to the public on two occasions for input on the question of how best to achieve this goal of democratizing the results of federally-funded research. Your petition has been important to our discussions of this issue.

    • Open Hardware

Leftovers

  • How is a local Wiki project different than Wikipedia?

    Reid Serozi (@reidserozi), founder of TriangleWiki, explains how the project was created from the structure of LocalWiki, a platform and storage hub for events, people, places, and things in an area. Information like this is put on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook regularly, but only lasts for a few seconds, a few minutes, or if we’re lucky, a few days. LocalWikis are created to capture this content for the longterm.

  • Vatican scandal cited in Pope resignation

    Pope Benedict XVI resigned after an internal investigation informed him about a web of blackmail, corruption and gay sex in the Vatican, Italian media reports say.

  • Let All Of Europe Have A Referendum On The EU
  • SCO Gets to Dispose or Abandon or Destroy its Property, including Business Records ~pj

    I’m sure you will not be surprised to learn that SCO Group, now calling itself TSG, has been granted its wish by its most reliable fairy godmother, the Delaware bankruptcy court, and will be allowed to destroy or dispose of its remaining business records and computers. Nobody cared enough to intervene to block, not that the outcome would have been any different,

  • Science

    • Obama Seeking to Boost Study of Human Brain

      The Obama administration is planning a decade-long scientific effort to examine the workings of the human brain and build a comprehensive map of its activity, seeking to do for the brain what the Human Genome Project did for genetics.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Study Reveals Extensive Seafood Mislabeling in U.S.

      Today the nonprofit ocean protection group Oceana released the results of the largest seafood fraud survey to date. Findings indicated that consumers need to be concerned with more than just horse meat in hamburgers or meat glue in steaks and other products.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • It’s Time for MoveOn to Move and Stop Blocking Change

      New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) task force received ample attention from news and activist organizations alike following its dramatic announcement at last year’s State of the Union Address. The task force was supposed to investigate and prosecute Wall Street fraud that led to the housing bubble and the eventual collapse of the broader economy. FDL alum David Dayen’s recent piece in Salon reminds us that, one year later, the “new” task force has essentially amounted to what the “old” task force always was: “a conduit for press releases about investigative actions already in progress.”

    • Health care IT industry profits from crony capitalism

      It is a little bit interesting that the New York Times never loses its enthusiasm for Big Government. They publish articles lauding proposals by politicians to spend billions in taxpayer money on something that is supposed to do a lot of good. Then a year later the newspaper will publish an article about how great it is that the do-gooding is actually happening. Then a year or two later the newspaper will do a follow-up about how much or most of the money turned out to be wasted, funneled into the pockets of cronies, etc. These cycles continue, usually about 50 of them in parallel, without the Times ever running an article on how government spending tends to be wasteful and to result in the enrichment of cronies.

    • Tom Friedman’s Apple Hunch

      Charles Duhigg and David Kocieniewski (4/12/12) showed how Apple keeps an office in Nevada to avoid millions in California state taxes…

    • When You’re Cutting Social Security, ‘Wealthy’ Begins at $25K

      Now, you can argue about what “wealthy” is, but I think you would find pretty widespread agreement on what wealthy isn’t: $50,000 a year. If you sent the New York Times an op-ed outlining your plan to balance the budget by raising taxes on “wealthy” people who make 50k a year or more, it would be put in the same pile that gets the submissions about Elvis’s UFO diet. But when you’re talking about cutting entitlements, if you want to call those people “wealthy,” that’s perfectly reasonable.

    • Israel Grants Oil Rights in Syria to Murdoch and Rothschild

      Israel has granted oil exploration rights inside Syria, in the occupied Golan Heights, to Genie Energy. Major shareholders of Genie Energy – which also has interests in shale gas in the United States and shale oil in Israel – include Rupert Murdoch and Lord Jacob Rothschild.

    • Two Regulator Directors Are Seeking To Ban Jon Corzine From Trading Futures Ever Again
    • Capitalism Becomes Questionable
    • America’s TBTF Bank Subsidy From Taxpayers: $83 Billion Per Year

      Day after day, whenever anyone challenges the TBTF banks’ scale, they are slammed down with a mutually assured destruction message that limitations would impair profitability and weaken the country’s position in global finance. So what if you were to discover, based on Bloomberg’s calculations,

    • A User’s Guide To Washington Jargon
    • Why Should Taxpayers Give Big Banks $83 Billion a Year?

      On television, in interviews and in meetings with investors, executives of the biggest U.S. banks — notably JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon — make the case that size is a competitive advantage. It helps them lower costs and vie for customers on an international scale. Limiting it, they warn, would impair profitability and weaken the country’s position in global finance.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Chinese Cyberwarfare, Explained

      Last week, Obama issued an executive order on cybersecurity…

    • Pete Peterson’s “Fix the Debt” Astroturf Supergroup Detailed in New Online Resource from the Publishers of ALECexposed.org

      Madison, WI — One of the most hypocritical corporate PR campaigns in decades is advancing inside the beltway, attempting to convince the White House, Congress, and the American people that another cataclysmic economic crisis is around the corner that will destroy our economy unless urgent action is taken. Soon this astroturf supergroup may be coming to a state near you.

    • Peterson’s Puppet Populists

      Fix the Debt is the most hypocritical corporate PR campaign in decades, an ambitious attempt to convince the country that another cataclysmic economic crisis is around the corner and that urgent action is needed. Its strategy is pure astroturf: assemble power players in business and government under an activist banner, then take the message outside the Beltway and give it the appearance of grassroots activism by manufacturing an emergency to infuse a sense of imminent crisis.

      Behind this strategy are no fewer than 127 CEOs and even more “statesmen” pushing for a “grand bargain” to draw up an austerity budget by July 4. With many firms kicking in $1 million each on top of Peterson’s $5 million in seed money, this latest incarnation of the Peterson message machine must be taken seriously.

    • Pete Peterson’s Chorus of Calamity

      Fix the Debt financier Peter G. Peterson knows a thing or two about debt: he’s an expert at creating it. Peterson founded the private equity firm Blackstone Group in 1985 with Stephen Schwarzman (who compared raising taxes to “when Hitler invaded Poland”). Private equity firms don’t contribute much to the economy; they don’t make cars or milk the cows. Too frequently, they buy firms to loot them. After a leveraged buyout, they can
      leave companies so loaded up with debt they are forced to immediately slash their workforce or employees’ retirement security.

    • Citizens United 2.0? Supreme Court Could Further Open Door to Money in Politics

      The U.S. Supreme Court could open the door to even more money in politics than it did in the disastrous 2010 decision Citizens United v FEC as it considers a new case challenging limits on how much wealthy donors can give directly to federal candidates and political parties. If the court sides with the challengers in McCutcheon v FEC, political power and influence in America would be further concentrated in the hands of just a few wealthy donors.

    • Torture, Lies and Hollywood

      I WATCHED “Zero Dark Thirty” not as a former F.B.I. special agent who spent a decade chasing, interrogating and prosecuting top members of Al Qaeda but as someone who enjoys Hollywood movies. As a movie, I enjoyed it. As history, it’s bunk.

      [...]

      [by] A former F.B.I. special agent who interrogated Qaeda detainees and the author of “The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda.”

    • Whistleblower Dismissed for Exposing the National Intelligence Service’s Involvement in the Presidential Election

      The National Intelligence Service (NIS) dismissed an employee for informing the Democratic United Party of allegations that the NIS was manipulating public opinion prior to the presidential election.

      The agency went further and reported the employee to the prosecution on charges of violating the National Intelligence Service Act. Civic organizations are denouncing the NIS for attempting to hide the truth instead of trying to right their wrongs.

  • Censorship

    • HOWTO: EFFECTIVELY ARGUE AGAINST INTERNET CENSORSHIP IDEAS
    • Sean Wilentz: Wrong on ‘Untold History,’ Wrong on History in General

      A quick glance might give you the impression Wilentz’s grudge is all about a seemingly obscure, dusty corner of history (Henry Wallace and the 1948 election) that doesn’t affect anyone’s life today one way or the other. But it’s not. Wilentz is pissed off because he understands Untold History is a damning indictment of an entire worldview – that of his political patrons and all comfortable establishment historians like him. And that worldview is genuinely a matter of life and death for all Americans in 2013. If you’d prefer that the plane you’re taking next week not get hit by an surface-to-air missile liberated by Islamists from Libya’s stockpile, and that you not personally get torn into several large chunks at 7,000 feet, you really should pay attention to this.

  • Privacy

    • Citizens’ Privacy Jeopardized in EU Parliament Committees Again

      One month after the terrible opinion vote of the “Consumers” (IMCO) Committee, MEPs from the “Industry” (ITRE) committee, and to a lesser extent from the “Employment” (EMPL) one, have also voted to weaken protection of EU citizens’ privacy. In the ITRE committee, because of the support of Members of the liberal (ALDE) group, conservatives’ amendments lifting restrictions on the collection, processing and resale of citizens’ personal data by companies have been adopted. Before the “Legal Affairs” (JURI) committee’s opinion vote1 and the main, crucial, “Civil Liberties” (LIBE) committee’s report vote2, citizens should act and urge their MEPs to break away from big corporations’ lobbying and to protect their fundamental right to privacy.

    • RFID Taking the Mickey?
    • As-it-happened: Surveillance-camera briefing at City Hall; West Seattle meeting(s) ahead
    • Unfriending Big Brother

      The shared nightmare of the later 20th century was totalitarian governments taking over under the pretense of offering their citizens security: “Big Brother,” in Orwell’s phrase. Five years ago, Cory Doctorow’s novel “Little Brother” seemed to say that we could stop worrying about all that.

    • Surveillance Technology – Inventing the Future
    • Drone ‘Nightmare Scenario’ Now Has A Name: ARGUS

      The PBS series NOVA, “Rise of the Drones,” recently aired a segment detailing the capabilities of a powerful aerial surveillance system known as ARGUS-IS, which is basically a super-high, 1.8 gigapixel resolution camera that can be mounted on a drone. As demonstrated in this clip, the system is capable of high-resolution monitoring and recording of an entire city. (The clip was written about in DefenseTech and in Slate.)

      In the clip, the developer explains how the technology (which he also refers to with the apt name “Wide Area Persistent Stare”) is “equivalent to having up to a hundred Predators look at an area the size of a medium-sized city at once.”

  • Civil Rights

    • In Conversation → Exclusive interview with Craig Murray

      Craig Murray may be Britain’s most controversial former Ambassador. He was dismissed from his post in Uzbekistan in 2004 amid lurid allegations about his personal life, and medically evacuated from there after becoming dangerously ill. He concludes he was poisoned and suspects CIA involvement.

    • NDAA AND PREPPERS

      “I considered myself very fortunate to be accused of treason and not of terrorism. When The National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA) was signed into law by the President on New Year’s Eve, 2012, it empowered the Armed Forces to engage in civilian law enforcement and to selectively suspend due process and habeas corpus, along with the 1st, 5th, 6th and 14th Amendment rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. In the history of America, this insidious law posed the greatest threat to civil freedoms.

      “The war on terror isn’t a war on a country or a people; it’s a war on a tactical operation. Therefore, it has no restrictions and is endless. Subsequently, anyone alleged to be a threat to the nation’s stability or security, suspected of sympathizing with or supporting a person or group that the U.S. government designates a terrorist organization or an affiliate, may be imprisoned without charge or trial eternally.

    • Fox News ‘Liberal’ Isn’t So Sure About College Rape

      Actually, this time I think it matters more than usual. On the Five (2/19/13), a discussion of rape on college campuses included what you might call a skeptic’s take: Maybe there’s not really any such thing.

    • An Interrogation Center at Yale? Proposed Pentagon Special Ops Training Facility Sparks Protests
    • DAVENPORT: Upholding our anthem

      In our diverse student body, there are voices that have expressed their distaste for the American military and foreign policy. Many argue that America is imperialistic or that it uses its military for personal gain behind a façade of righteousness.

    • IS SENATOR TED CRUZ OUR NEW MCCARTHY?

      Last week, Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s prosecutorial style of questioning Chuck Hagel, President Obama’s nominee for Defense Secretary, came so close to innuendo that it raised eyebrows in Congress, even among his Republican colleagues. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, called Cruz’s inquiry into Hagel’s past associations “out of bounds, quite frankly.” The Times reported that Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, rebuked Cruz for insinuating, without evidence, that Hagel may have collected speaking fees from North Korea. Some Democrats went so far as to liken Cruz, who is a newcomer to the Senate, to a darkly divisive predecessor, Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, whose anti-Communist crusades devolved into infamous witch hunts. Senator Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, stopped short of invoking McCarthy’s name, but there was no mistaking her allusion when she talked about being reminded of “a different time and place, when you said, ‘I have here in my pocket a speech you made on such-and-such a date,’ and of course there was nothing in the pocket.”

    • The Privacy Price To Cross The Border

      It’s rare that we want strangers pawing through our digital devices, giving them the opportunity to peruse emails, private messages, photos, Twitter DMs, Facebook pokes, and all the other myriad bits of our personal life captured by the digital umbilical cords that are our smartphones. And when I say “rare,” I mean that it’s something we hope never, ever happens to us. But if you’re crossing the border, it’s something that could happen to you; it happens to thousands of people each year. It even happens to nominally-famous types.

    • Germany to probe claims of staff abuse

      A German government minister called Sunday for a thorough probe into allegations that foreign seasonal workers hired in Germany by US online retail giant Amazon were harassed and intimidated.

      Labour Minister Ursula von der Leyen told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper that any proof of wrongdoing could result in serious consequences for the temporary employment agency used by Amazon.

    • Angela Merkel wades into Amazon neo-Nazi row
    • Historic oversight corrected: Film ‘Lincoln’ inspires look into slavery vote
  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Your EU rights as a telecoms user

      A few years ago the EU agreed a package of measures for the EU telecoms market. Those delivered important new rules and rights for people who use landlines, mobiles and the Internet – and that means you!

  • DRM

    • DRM Lawsuit Filed By Independent Bookstores Against Amazon, ‘Big Six’ Publishers
    • What’s next for books in the digital age? Outlook unclear

      That qualification reflects the uncertainty of the times. As volumes printed on paper evolve to newer media – at some point, a printed volume seems likely to become a luxury item – we’re obliged to think about what constitutes a book in the digital age. I used to think I knew the answer, but I’m no longer remotely sure. Two recent events have not cleared things up. After listening to smart and well-informed speakers at a “Future of Publishing” panel in California late last year, as well as at last week’s “O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing” conference in New York City, I found myself, if anything, less certain.

      It was easy, not so long ago, to say, “This is a book, and this isn’t.” From the early Codex to hand-penned Bibles (created by “scribes”), Gutenberg’s printing press through the late 20th century, a book was a collection of bound pages. But as has happened with other media forms, digital technology has blurred the lines we once took for granted.

    • Google Adds DRM To HTML5 With WebM Support In Chrome OS?

      DRM, also known as Digital Repression Management, is one of the most dangerous technologies with insecure media company want to use for their ‘works’ such as online movies, games and books. While companies like Apple succeeded in getting rid of DRM from their ‘music’, now HTML5 is heading in the same direction, Google has implemented DRM in its Chrome OS with support for WebM.

      Google pushed an updated for the stable channel of Chrome OS bringing it up to the version 25.0.1364.87 for Samsung Chromebooks. One of the most notable ‘features’ of this update is HTML5 on Chrome OS has been restricted with DRM.

    • HDCP is dead. Long live HDCP. A peek into the curious world of HDMI copy protection…
  • Intellectual Monopolies

02.20.13

Links 20/2/2013: Linux 3.8

Posted in News Roundup at 1:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Spain’s Extremadura publishes tailored Linux distribution

    The government of the Spanish autonomous region of Extremadura published Linex 2013 on Monday last week. This tailored version of the Debian GNU/Linux distribution was unveiled in the city of Mérida by Sergio Velázquez, secretary general for the regions department for Employment, Entrepreneurship and Technological Innovation and Manuel Velardo, director of Cenatic, Spain’s open source resource centre.

  • Hiring managers: “A good Linux-head is hard to find”

    A new report shows Linux experience is in greater demand — and, hiring managers say, harder to find — than in past years.

    The 2013 Linux Jobs Report, released today by the Linux Foundation, surveyed 850 hiring managers and 2,600 Linus pros and found that Linux might be a good area of focus for aspiring techsters.

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • IBM data centre fault enters second day

      IBM’s $80 million data centre in South Auckland has now been down for more than 30 hours and customers say the outage is having a serious impact on their businesses.

      One east Auckland school has been left completely stranded in the same week that it hosts a visit from the Education Review Office (ERO).

      IBM said today from Sydney that it had a team of global experts working on the outage as a high priority.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • control and openness

        Occasionally people ask me what I think about Plasma Active appearing on various devices, knowing that we’re working on a tablet ourselves. It’s a really good question, and gets to one of the core tensions around open culture: the interplay between control and benefit.

        The conventional wisdom is that to maximize benefit, control must also be maximized. Thus the historical emphasis on proprietary technology in the IT industry, something that has been slowly but surely shifting with time but certainly has not fully swung away from proprietary-is-better.

      • The Luminosity of Free Software, episode 4

        It’s that time of the week again already! Yes, the Luminosity of Free Software episode 4 will be broadcast live tomorrow at 20:00 UTC via Google+ Hangouts, and you’re all invited.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 18: Nice Tweaks to the OS, but It’s Haunted by a GNOME

          With a code name like “the Spherical Cow,” the new Fedora 18 software has to be good, right? After all, a better Linux kernel and some added features make the operating system a good choice for busy work environments. A limp GNOME 3 desktop, however, may bring users and that rotund bovine to a screeching halt.

        • Firefox 19 Comes With A Built-in PDF Viewer

          Mozilla Foundation has announced the latest version of Firefox open source Web browser. The release does bring new features including a built-in PDF viewer that allows you to read PDFs directly within the browser.

          According to Mozilla, this feature “makes reading PDFs easier because you don’t have to download the content or read it in a plugin like Reader. For example, you can use the PDF viewer to check out a menu from your favorite restaurant, view and print concert tickets or read reports without having to interrupt your browsing experience with extra clicks or downloads.” This feature is already available in Chrome for more than two years now.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 7 Progressing, Mageia 3 Delayed

        Debian 7.0 is progressing and testers were treated to Release Candidate 1 recently. On the other side of town Mageia has reported a change in the release schedule for upcoming version 3.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu unveils Linux tablet

            The company is developing a united phone, computer, TV and tablet operating system that it hopes will provide a more intuitive interface than that currently offered by Google’s Android.

            It announced a mobile phone interface using the open-source operating system in January, and has since secured a partner to make compatible silicon chips. It claims it will launch to consumers in October. Devices aimed at both the premium and budgets ends of the market will be available.

          • Ubuntu for tablets unveiled: A crazy idea that might just work
          • Ubuntu Linux Primed for Life on Tablets
          • Shuttleworth: Ubuntu tablets won’t be as “jarring” to users as Windows 8

            After today’s announcement that Canonical has created a tablet interface for Ubuntu Linux, company founder Mark Shuttleworth described his ambitions and answered questions from reporters in a conference call.

            He addressed many topics including how Ubuntu for tablets and phones will differ from Windows 8; Canonical’s discussions with hardware makers and carriers; potential release timelines for phones and tablets; whether Ubuntu devices will be “hackable”; and the chances of Canonical finally becoming profitable.

          • Ubuntu Pros and Cons

            Whether more people love Ubuntu or loathe it is an impossible question to answer. I know people who spend most of their free time promoting it as volunteers — and just as many who denounce it as a betrayal of everything free and open source software (FOSS) represents.

            The trouble is, so many hopes have been invested in Ubuntu over the years that it invites extremes. While some still hope that it will live up to its initial promise and bring Linux to the mainstream, others find the compromises for the sake of business a betrayal of those same promises.

            There is ample evidence for both these reactions — and, no doubt, for those in between.

          • Why More People Are Choosing Ubuntu
          • Ubuntu for tablets revealed with split screen multi-tasking, preview for Nexus slates coming this week
          • Ubuntu Linux Primed for Life on Tablets
          • Open Ballot: Are you excited by the Ubuntu tablet?
          • Ubuntu phones won’t ship till 2014, might be locked down by carriers

            Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported that smartphones running Ubuntu Linux would ship in October of this year. Ubuntu boss Mark Shuttleworth says that’s a mistake. Today, the founder clarified that while a smartphone friendly version of the operating system — Ubuntu 13.10 — will be widely available in October with developer preview builds available this week, phones likely still won’t ship until early 2014. Though the OS will be ready for phones this year, he explained that the devices themselves would probably still need months of carrier testing.

          • Canonical to Highlight Ubuntu Cloud, Management Solutions

            As the CeBIT upcoming convention in Germany nears, Canonical has announced what it will be showcasing at the event–which, in turn, provides some clues about where the company behind one of the world’s most popular open source operating systems might be concentrating its efforts in coming months. Alas, Ubuntu tablets are not on the list. But if you’re interested in Ubuntu on servers in and the cloud, there’s going to be a lot to see in Hanover between March 5 and 9.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Tizen 2.0 operating system released to developers

        The Intel and Samsung backed operating system is seen as potential competition to Android in some markets

      • So Who’s Your Daddy? Return of the World’s Most Accurate Forecaster in Mobile. Today? Windows Phone Forecasts and Foibles

        So who’s your daddy in mobile numbers? Lets look at the forecasts made about Windows Phone, after the Nokia-Microsoft partnership was announced. If you remember, I recently examined the accuracy of the Nokia forecasts made (and found that I had once again been the most accurate forecaster in mobile. But will that reputation hold through this, very challenging Windows Phone forecasting conundrum?)

        When the world’s largest computer software company has said that the future of computers is mobile, and then sees its position in software for mobile phones (ie smartphones) fall from 12% and second biggest to 2% and 6th in the market – and at that point, promises to grow back to a ‘third ecosystem’ – it is either being brave with a cunning plan, or being foolish with forlorn hope and hype.

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • HTC One Announced!

          The new flagship phone from HTC has just been announced, and it’s planning to go head to head with the competitor flagship smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S III and the LG Optimus G.

        • Swipe Launches Android-Powered Phone Tablets In India

          After the launch of Fablet F1, Swipe Telecom has come up with two new 5-inch fablets in the Indian market – Swipe Fablet F2 and Swipe Fablet F3. Swipe Fablet F2 is claimed to be India’s first 2G dual SIM smartphone fablet. Swipe Fablet F3, on the other hand, comes with the latest 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system. These devices are set to add another dimension to the market priced at Rs 7,590 and Rs 9,290, respectively.

          Swipe Fablet F3 offers a dual 3G SIM and allows you to use your Skype account and make free video/voice calls to your contacts with the correct hardware support. Moving between home screens and switching between apps feels effortless and the browsing speed is enhanced. The Fablet F3 has a 5-inch enhanced display with 5-point multi touch Screen. It also includes 0.3 MP front facing camera and a 5 MP rear camera. For the first time, Swipe has introduced 360° Camera Technique, a camera technique which will take you to different levels of capturing images.

        • Sony Xperia Z May Get Android 4.2.2 Update In March

          If latest rumours are to be believed, Sony Mobile’s Xperia Z should get a taste of the new Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system by next month. What’s more, a leaked screenshot of the update for the Sony Xperia Z raises hopes that the newest flavour may come by late March.

          According to XperiaBlog, which got the screenshot from an anonymous tipster, the Jelly Bean update will arrive on the handset with firmware version 11.1.A.1.450 inside. “However, we are told this is a beta version, so expect the firmware version number to be in the form of 11.1.A.X.XXX by the time it is released,” the post adds.

        • Control Your Linux PC With Voice Commands: Siri For Linux?

          James McClain has managed to get voice recognition working on GNU/Linux. You can now open sites, ask questions and perform other tasks just by voice. While initially developed for Ubuntu it is distro agnostic and can be used by other distributions as well.

        • Samsung announces Wi-Fi version of GALAXY Camera

          Samsung today announced a Wi-Fi version of the Samsung Galaxy Camera will be offered in the coming weeks. Stopping short of giving a price or exact launch time frame, the hardware maker indicates that the camera is the exact same as the 3G/4G model. This means the same Android 4.1 Jelly Bean experience with 21x Super Long Zoom lens and a super-bright 16M BSI CMOS.

        • 51 Must-Have Android Apps

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • ApacheCon North America 2013 Only a Few Days Away

      ApacheCon North America 2013 (http://na.apachecon.com), the Apache Software Foundation’s (http://www.apache.org/) official conference starts this Sunday. The event will take place at the Hilton Portland and Executive Towers, Portland, OR from 24 February-2 March 2013 (http://na.apachecon.com/venue/).

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Choosing an open-source CMS, part 2: Why we use Joomla

      In this, the second installment of our three-part series on finding the best open-source content management system (CMS) for your needs, we asked two organizations that use Joomla to explain why they felt that Joomla was the best choice for them, how the transition went, and whether they’re happy with the results.

  • Education

    • openStudent replaces traditional student achievement system

      The Saanich school district of British Columbia has banded together and is funding an open source Student Information System (SIS) called openStudent. It has been licensed under the Education Community Source license (modified Apache 2.0) to ensure that they have better control of the code. Yet, the decision didn’t come about easily.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open Source for America awards: Nominate someone today

      Open Source for America (OSFA) announced today the opening of its nomination period for the annual OSFA awards. Each year, the organization recognizes individuals, projects, and deployments that support its mission to encourage free and open source software adoption in the U.S. government.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Web Served 7: Wiki wiki wiki!

      This series is proving a lot more popular than I’d figured. Who would have thought so many people enjoy noodling around with Web servers? By popular demand, “Web Served” now enters the bonus round with two things I didn’t think I was going to be able to get to: MediaWiki in this piece, and Etherpad Lite in the next.

Leftovers

  • Study: All Internet Pages Connected in 19 Clicks or Less

    Hungarian physicist Albert-László Barabási has published a new paper which claims that you can connect any two pages on the Web by 19 or fewer links. That may not seem impressive until you consider that there are more than 14 billion webpages in existence.

    Slate’s Jason Bittel reported, “Everybody is familiar with ‘Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,’ right? Well, according to a Hungarian physicist, the Internet works basically the same way. Despite there being something like 1 trillion pieces of Web out there (websites, hosted images, videos, etc), you can navigate from any one of them to another in 19 clicks or fewer.”

    Smitsonian’s Joseph Stromberg added, “Barabási credits this ‘small world’ of the web to human nature—the fact that we tend to group into communities, whether in real life or the virtual world. The pages of the web aren’t linked randomly, he says: They’re organized in an interconnected hierarchy of organizational themes, including region, country and subject area. Interestingly, this means that no matter how large the web grows, the same interconnectedness will rule. Barabási analyzed the network looking at a variety of levels—examining anywhere from a tiny slice to the full 1 trillion documents—and found that regardless of scale, the same 19-click-or-less rule applied.”

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Friendly Oil–Not the Venezuelan Kind

      With the Keystone climate protests in Washington bringing climate change back into the media, we’re hearing a lot about how the Keystone pipeline will, at the very least, mean that we’ll be getting our oil from a nice country.

  • Finance

    • Michael M. Thomas’ Solution to the Crisis

      Throw in what’s in the “stimulus” package and you’re probably at close to $3 trillion.

      So why not simply distribute $25,000 tax free to every U.S. taxpayer? There are 100 million of us, in round figures, so we’re talking about $2.5 trillion, give or take.

    • Anti-austerity strike to bring Greece to a standstill

      Greek workers walk off the job on Wednesday in a nationwide anti-austerity strike that will disrupt transport, shut public schools and tax offices and leave hospitals working with emergency staff.

  • Privacy

    • EU Parliament: Will Liberals (ALDE) Weaken Privacy in Industry Committee?

      While the “Industry” (ITRE) committee is about to vote on its opinion regarding data protection regulation, it is now clear that the outcome will depend on the Members of the liberal ALDE group. They will have to choose between allowing full-on exploitation of our personal data or imposing tough safeguards to protect our fundamental right to privacy. Citizens must act today 20 February before 4pm and urge their MEPs to defend the general interest by choosing the latter.

    • Southampton Council in the dock

      Southampton Council’s attempt to justify it’s policy of requiring taxis to record audio and video of every journey took another blow yesterday when the ‘First Tier Tribunal’ ruled against it.

    • Application of the DPA to surveillance activities

      The First-Tier Tribunal (“FTT”) has just issued the first ever tribunal decision concerning the application of the Data Protection Act 1998 (“DPA”) to surveillance activities: Southampton City Council v The Information Commissioner EA/2012/0171, 19 February 2013. In this case, the Council’s licensing committee had resolved in 2009 that all taxis it licensed should be fitted with digital cameras, which made a continuous audio-visual recording of passengers. The Information Commissioner (“ICO”) issued an enforcement notice against the Council under the DPA, requiring the Council to stop audio recording, because it was in breach of the Data Protection Principles in the Act (the first Data Protection Principle in particular).

  • Civil Rights

    • Think there’s no alternative? Latin America has a few

      Not only have leaders from Ecuador to Venezuela delivered huge social gains – they keep winning elections too

    • Aaron Swartz’s FBI File

      Two of the 23 pages were not released, according to the FBI, due to; privacy (U.S.C Section 552 (b)(7)(C)), sources and methods (U.S.C Section 552 (b)(7)(E)) and, curiously, putting someone’s life in danger (U.S.C Section 552 (b)(7)(F)). Putting someone’s life in danger? Typically that refers to informants. Did someone close to Swartz provide information to the FBI on him or is the FBI just being really dramatic? Or is this standard justification for not releasing the Special Agent on the case’s name? I am honestly still confused by that box being checked off.

    • Aaron Swartz’s FBI File
  • DRM

    • I Can’t Let You Do That, Dave

      In my new novel, Homeland, the sequel to Little Brother, I explore what happens to people when their computers don’t listen to them anymore. Imagine a world where you tell your computer to copy a file, or to play it, or display it, and it says no, where it looks at you out of the webcam’s unblinking eye and says, “I can’t let you do that, Dave.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Wikimedia and Internet Brands settle travel wiki dispute

        The Wikimedia Foundation has announced a settlement of the legal dispute with Internet Brands, owners of Wikitravel, which began when the Foundation’s alternative travel site, Wikivoyage, was being planned. The settlement requires both parties to post on their sites a statement that they “believe there is enough room for multiple travel sites to co-exist, and for community members to contribute to multiple sites in this area.”

    • Copyrights

02.19.13

Links 19/2/2013: Android Smartwatch, Canonical’s Ubuntu Tablet Effort Unveiled

Posted in News Roundup at 10:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Top 3: Steam, Sabayon and Ubuntu Phones Home
  • Top 10 Linux Networked Storage Systems Under $1,000

    Cloud storage may be on the move, but local network-attached storage (NAS) systems continue to be in hot demand, especially as they integrate cloud backup and mobile access. In the enterprise NAS, unified storage, and SAN (storage area network) world, Linux shares the pie with Unix and Windows. But in the faster-growing small and medium business (SMB), small office and home office (SoHo), and consumer NAS segments, Linux is clearly dominant.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux file permissions and chmod
    • The Kernel Panic

      If you have ever been on one of these types of calls, you know that they are always rather uncomfortable. The manager is upset because something went wrong, and on top of that it was something that they don’t fully understand. During such conversations I’ve found that it is normally best to keep explanations correct, but succinct. I explained that a kernel panic is what happens when the operating system encounters an error that it cannot recover from. That explanation seemed to be enough for him, but as I thought about it later, I found that it was not nearly enough for me.

    • What’s new in Linux 3.8

      Improved graphics drivers and a new filesystem for flash disks are two of the most important changes in Linux 3.8. Kernel developers have also made improvements to btrfs and ext4 and merged a number of new drivers.

    • The Non-Babble Intro to Cloud Computing on Linux
    • Install/Upgrade to Linux Kernel 3.8 (Stable) in Ubuntu/Linux Mint
    • umockdev: record and mock hardware for debugging and testing
    • Xen 4.3 Is Running Heavy On New Features

      Xen 4.3 is expected to be released in June of this year. While the developers working on this virtualization platform are only half-way through its development cycle, they already have an impressive number of features that are coming into this next open-source release.

    • Linux 3.8 released

      Linus Torvalds has released version 3.8 of the Linux kernel, which brings with it full support for the graphic cores in Intel’s upcoming processor generation Haswell and everything a system needs to use the 3D acceleration on all NVIDIA GeForce graphics chipsets. F2FS, a filesystem that is optimised for flash media as used in cameras, tablets, smartphones, USB flash drives and memory cards, is another innovation in Linux 3.8.

    • Linux Foundation Welcomes Members From Android, Embedded and Cloud Communities

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that BORQS, Denx, Gazzang, Genymobile, Mandriva and Seneca College are joining the organization.

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD Radeon 2D Performance On Linux Remains Mixed

        The results in yesterday’s article, AMD Radeon Gallium3D Starting To Out-Run Catalyst In Some Cases, were interesting but limited to OpenGL games. In this article are more test results from the same system configuration and Ubuntu Linux releases but now taking a look at the 2D performance of the open and closed-source AMD Radeon Linux graphics drivers.

      • X.Org Server 1.14 Is Being Readied For Release Soon

        The second release candidate of X.Org Server 1.14 is now available ahead of the official release in a few weeks time.

        RC1 came in mid-December while on Wednesday night was finally RC2 as tagged by Keith Packard. With RC2 being out, only critical bug-fixes will now be accepted ahead of the xorg-server 1.14 release. The final release of X.Org Server 1.14 is expected to happen on 5 March.

      • NVIDIA’s PRIME Helpers Are Ready For Linux 3.9

        Aside from a lot of other exciting DRM driver happenings for the Linux 3.9 kernel, it looks like the DRM “PRIME Helpers” that were conceived by NVIDIA to help them support DMA_BUF in their binary driver will be merged.

        NVIDIA can’t directly utilize the Linux kernel’s DMA_BUF buffer sharing mechanism — a zero-copy way to share buffers between different kernel drivers whether it be DRM or other sub-systems — due to GPL-only kernel symbols and bickering amongst kernel developers.

      • An SDK Is Being Developed For Wayland’s Weston
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • Ubuntu? Fedora? Mint? Debian? We’ll find you the right Linux to swallow

      The third factor in our trio is how well the desktop of your choice is supported. In some ways this is a chicken-and-egg question for newcomers since most won’t know which desktop they want to use.

      Pretty much any Linux application can be installed on any Linux system, at least in theory. That means any desktop can be installed with any distro, but in the real world it doesn’t always work out quite that smoothly. For example, the Cinnamon desktop is a relatively new desktop interface developed by the same people who created Mint Linux, which means Cinnamon is nicely integrated with the rest of Mint. That doesn’t mean you can’t install Cinnamon on Fedora or Arch. You can and people do, but it will most likely be a bit trickier and finding solutions to your problems can be more difficult since fewer users will be using your particular setup. That’s why, to stick with the Cinnamon example, it would make more sense to use Mint if you really want to use Cinnamon.

    • First look at SparkyLinux 2.1 “Ultra” edition
    • Does Rebellin have a Cause?

      When I first test drove Rebellin for a section in an upcoming Linux Format, I reported that basically it seemed like a nice solid Debian respin, but many such are for free. It doesn’t seem that Linux users gravitate towards the projects that require payment before trying. When I explained this to the founder and, currently, the sole developer, he said that there are indeed reasons why folks should want to pay the $5.

      Is $5 too much to spend for a distro that you can’t test-drive first? Utkarsh Sevekar says, “people don’t realize that there are very small players (like me) out there who can’t wait till someone sponsors them or donate money to keep things going. Bills are a big thing.” He says the $5 fee, that will actually be used for broadband costs for the downloads, will also include “email support to all which lasts for the lifetime of the product. There is no monthly/yearly fee here. All included in the initial price. There are no limits to communication either. Customers can bug me as much a they want.”

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Red Hat Family

      • CentOS 5.9 Gnome Desktop Review

        CentOS 5.9 leaves users with a warm fuzzy and familiar feeling offering Gnome 2.16 as the primary desktop which is featured in this review. The desktop prospects for this release are not very impressive, but the server capabilities are endless. Derived from the recently released RHEL 5.9, here is what this version has to offer.

      • Red Hat Updates OpenShift PaaS

        Red Hat is updating its cloud server application technology stack with a new release of OpenShift Enterprise.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • What Does the FOSS Community Need?

    What does the FOSS community really need? We’ve tackled that question from a few different angles here on OStatic. We’ve pondered whether Linux could benefit from a united, community fund and wondered whether the FOSS community simply needs better evangelists.

    On Slashdot today, there is a lively discussion going on about what the FOSS world needs. Some of the ideas from readers are off the cuff, like this one: “Better hygiene. Less beards. More women.” Quite a few of the idea are good, though.

  • GitHub’s Boxen open sourced

    GitHub , the Git-centric project hosting and collaboration company, has announced the open sourcing of Boxen, its management and automation tool used within the company for managing Mac systems. The project, which was originally named “The Setup”, was designed to allow developers to go from a new laptop to a system ready to hack the GitHub.com source within thirty minutes with a single command. They then ditched “The Setup” and wrote Boxen to replace it, so that any company could use it.

  • Events

    • Interview: Roy Sutton

      Roy Sutton is the community manager for HP’s Open webOS. He supports developers in porting Open webOS to new platforms and is a contributor to the Enyo project. Roy too a few minutes for an interview with the SCALE Team about his presentation “From Closed to Open: The Open webOS Story,” which will take place at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24, in room Los Angeles B.

    • SCALE 11X update

      An update on events and happenings at SCALE 11x coming next weekend in Los Angeles.

    • SCALE 11X: Game on

      With more than 100 exhibitors and about 95 speakers at SCALE 11X this weekend, there’s a lot to do and see. But when the sun goes down, the sessions end and the expo hall closes, the fun really begins for the attendees.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Report on the activity of companies in the WebKit project

        Today Bitergia presents the first of a series on analytics for the WebKit project. After the preview we published some weeks ago, we finally have more detailed and accurate numbers about the evolution of the project. In this case, we’re presenting a report on the activity of the companies contributing to WebKit based on the analysis of reviewed commits.

    • Mozilla

      • Download Firefox 19 for Windows, Mac and Linux

        Firefox 19 is slated for an official release on Tuesday, it will be released in few hours. If you can’t wait to grab the download you can do so through the Mozilla FTP servers. Downloads are available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Browse the FTP folder and identify your platform file and download.

      • Mozilla Won’t Join Opera at the WebKit Party

        Last week, Opera Software announced that its browser has reached 300 million active users, and dropped the news that the browser will move away from the longstanding Presto rendering engine and moving to WebKit. As noted here, this means that the number of browsing rendering engines to take seriously moves down to only three players, and WebKit–already legendary in the open source world–gets even more momentum and community involvement. But many observers are noting that the move isolates Mozilla, which remains focused on its Gecko Web rendering engine and SpiderMonkey Javascript engine for the Firefox browser.

      • Chrome OS Was Originally Based On……Firefox?

        Former Google engineer Jeff Nelson has a blog post up that is generating lots of buzz due to the inside details it supplies about the origin of Google’s Chrome OS platform. The cloiud-focused operating system has drawn lots of headlines lately as more individual users, schools and businesses adopt Chromebooks.

        It’s well-known that the Chromium core of Chrome OS was based on Linux, and Canonical even helped Google shape the operating system. But among the details that Nelson recalls, the first versions of Chrome OS were actually based on Mozilla Firefox.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Ernst & Young: Cloud, SaaS dominating tech industry acquisitions
    • Rackspace lands Staples as cloud customer, OpenStack pilots ramp

      During Rackspace’s third quarter, the company had a bevy of high-level conversations with technology executives about OpenStack, an open source cloud operating system. Rackspace CEO Lanham Napier noted the fourth quarter turned many of those OpenStack conversations into pilots.

    • Open source education program, CanDo, handles big data

      In 2005, Arlington Career Center teacher David Welsh had an unmanagable list of 77 Video and Media Technology competencies to evaluate for each student in his classes. A Yorktown High School computer science teacher Jeff Elkner was teaching his students to program in Python and bursting with enthusiam for engaging students and teachers in open source processes. I had a new job leading the SchoolTool project with a charge from entrepreneur and philanthropist Mark Shuttleworth to create open source administrative software for schools around the world.

  • Databases

    • How the co-creator of MySQL came to love databases

      Monty Widenius, the co-creator of the MySQL database, became a multimillionaire when MySQL was sold to Sun Microsystems in 2008. But Monty subsequently left MySQL just before Sun was acquired by Oracle, and hired many of the original developers to work on his fork, MariaDB.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • How to affordably own your office software

      If you take a close look at Microsoft’s new Office licensing, it’s crystal clear: Microsoft no longer wants you to own your office software. They want you to rent it. So, why not get LibreOffice for free instead?

  • CMS

    • Webmaking with trainee teachers

      This year’s programmes now include:

      * Plenty of blogging – we’ve a Drupal powered bespoke blog/portfolio system, so trainees quickly get used to adding links, uploading images and embedding media; we also showcase The 100 Word Challenge and a few sign up for the team.

  • Education

    • Why libraries are intrinsically open and should adopt open source solutions

      Sharing is a fundamental part of the open source philosophy, and the same goes for libraries. Spreading, disseminating, and breaking down barries to gaining knowledge is a core mission of most library systems and their staff.

      That that end, libraries—which are essentially hubs of knowledge and gathering places for learning and continuing daily education—may choose to implement open source tools and software.

      An advocate for “open libraries”, Nicole Engard, is one of our new opensource.com community moderators, a long-time contributor, and a 2013 People’s Choice Award winner. She has a passion for libraries and wants libraries’ core operations to run on open source.

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Gnuplot—the Grandfather of Graphing Utilities

      In these columns, I have covered several different scientific packages for doing calculations in many different areas of research. I also have looked at various packages that handle graphical representation of these calculations. But, one package that I’ve never looked at before is gnuplot (http://www.gnuplot.info). Gnuplot has been around since the mid-1980s, making it one of the oldest graphical plotting programs around. Because it has been around so long, it’s been ported to most of the operating systems that you might conceivably use. This month, I take a look at the basics of gnuplot and show different ways to use it.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Using open data for regional collaboration

        I have a regional, collaborative philosophy of open data initiatives and municipalities. In North Carolina, the cities of Cary, Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill all share the economic engine that is the Research Triangle Park. They also share the innovation engine of five, top universities.

    • Open Access/Content

      • LIVE WEBCAST: Lessig discusses Aaron’s Law

        A long time friend and mentor of Swartz, who helped develop RSS as a teen, co-owned the popular website Reddit, and was a key architect of the Creative Commons, Lessig has written about Swartz on his personal blog and the Huffington Post, and he spoke about Schwartz’s life and achievements on the radio show Democracy Now. Swartz is the inspiration for “Aaron’s Law,” a draft bill, introduced by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), which would limit the scope of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

      • Aaron Swartz files reveal how FBI tracked internet activist
    • Open Hardware

Leftovers

  • Reinstalling — gasp! — Windows

    I love my Compaq Presario 2170CA laptop. It has every peripheral that I use in my multifarious adventures, being one of the last laptops made with both a floppy disk drive and a “real” parallel port. But I’m preparing to travel with it, and its 40 GB hard drive was full. So rather than buy a new laptop, I decided to upgrade the hard drive. I found a new 120 GB drive on eBay, and installed it with no problems.

  • That Mitchell & Webb Crook

    he has now found a way to channel his hatred of the anti-necon movement into “comedy”, by making a sitcom poking fun at me, and making light of our government’s alliance with the Uzbek dictatorship.

    Our Men, commissioned by the BBC, is a hilarious comedy about the drunken and incompetent British Ambassador in Tazbekistan [which the BBC says does not represent Tashkent, Uzbekistan] and the jolly despot President Kairat [No relation, says the BBC, to President Karimov].

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Israeli soldier posts Instagram image of Palestinian child in crosshairs of rifle
    • Georgia Set to Execute Man with IQ of 70 Today

      Warren Hill has an IQ of 70 and placed in the third percentile on his middle-school standardized test. Doctors have found him to be “mildly mentally retarded.” But even though the US Supreme Court in 2002 ruled that executing the mentally handicapped is unconstitutional, Hill will be put to death today, barring a late intervention by the courts.

    • The Undetectable Firearms Act and 3D-printed guns (FAQ)

      They might come for your plastic gun, but they’re not coming for your 3D printer just yet.

    • Warning – Disturbing Images: The Last Hours Of The Son Of Prabhakaran

      A series of photographs taken a few hours apart and on the same camera, show Balachandran Prabhakaran, son of Villupillai Prabhakaran, head of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). One of them shows the boy sitting in a bunker, alive and unharmed, apparently in the custody of Sri Lankan troops. Another, a few hours later, shows the boy’s body lying on the ground, his chest pierced by bullets.

      [...]

      The photographs will place additional pressure on David Cameron to announce whether or not he will attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM), e in Sri Lanka in November. A Downing Street official with Mr Cameron on his visit to India said on Monday that no decision had yet been taken.

      NGOs and organisations, among them the cross-party Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, have called on him to boycott the meeting.

    • An Attempt to Take Tools From Tyrants

      Mr. Muhafdha continues to fight for human rights even though the Bahraini government has clamped down on any opposition, intensifying its electronic surveillance. “No matter how I communicate, they know,” Mr. Muhafdha said in an interview. “The regime has sophisticated electronic surveillance equipment allowing it to spy on everything we do by social media, e-mail and phone.”

    • German Prosecutor Would Have Filed Indictments for CIA Rendition Had US Provided Information

      The German newspaper Spiegel has an interview with a German prosecutor, who ultimately decided not to file indictments in the case of Egyptian Muslim cleric Abu Omar. Omar was kidnapped in a CIA operation in Italy and rendered to Germany and then Egypt, where he was tortured.

      Last week, according to Reuters, a Milan appeals court in Italy sentenced the country’s foreign military intelligence chief, Niccolo Pollari, to 10 years in jail for his role. Pollari’s former deputy, Marco Mancini, was sentenced to 9 years. The sentencing followed a move by the court to sentence the American former CIA station chief to seven years in absentia for his involvement. And the court awarded 1 million Euros in damages to Omar along with one half a million Euros to his wife.

    • Amazon sacks ‘neo-Nazi’ security firm

      Amazon has ended its relationship with a security firm in Germany following accusations that guards in neo-Nazi uniforms were intimidating foreign workers at the online retailer’s distribution centres.

    • Amazon Fires ‘Neo-Nazi’ Guards In Germany
    • German president meets neo-Nazi victims’ families

      German President Joachim Gauck has received the families of Turks who were killed by Neo-Nazis in Germany and said he wanted societal prejudices to be tackled as well as problems within institutions.

    • Terror Tuesday: why kill list courts are not the answer

      If you were surprised to hear one particular rhetorical flourish in the President’s State of the Union address, imagine how Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) felt. For well over a year he and a handful of other Senators had been trying to obtain the government’s legal justification for its targeted killing program without getting any response from the Justice Department.

    • Don’t even think of proposing new gun-control laws, legislator says
    • Carrie Cordero on FISA Court Lessons for a “Drone Court”
    • John Kiriakou Orange Ball | Fresh Juice Party

      Disgruntled Heiress teams up with Code Pink and Fresh Juice Party to throw posh prison send-off for
      CIA Torture Whistleblower John Kiriakou

    • Is the FBI’s Community Outreach Program a Trojan Horse?

      In December 2011, the ACLU released FBI documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, which showed that San Francisco FBI agents were exploiting community outreach programs for intelligence-gathering purposes. Now it appears FBI agents in Minneapolis have adopted this ruse, and may be using it in even more sinister ways.

    • The Softball Question That Wasn’t

      During a Google+ Hangout yesterday, conservative commentator Lee Doren asked President Obama whether he claims the authority to kill a U.S. citizen suspected of being associated with al Qaeda or associated forces on U.S. soil. Notice the question was restricted to only a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil (our concerns are, of course, broader and apply to the White House’s illegitimate claim of authority to kill people it unilaterally deems a threat, even if they are far from any battlefield, abroad).

    • The Lesser Evil

      What the Obama administration isn’t telling you about drones: The standard rule is capture, not kill.

    • The Civil War and World War II: The Worst Guides in the War on Terrorism

      Obama’s defenders keep citing sui generis conflicts to justify his actions in radically different circumstances.

    • Like a Swarm of Lethal Bugs: The Most Terrifying Drone Video Yet
    • Why a `Drone Court’ Won’t Work

      President Barack Obama’s drone war is in danger of becoming an Abu Ghraib-style public-relations nightmare, drawing criticism at home from left and right (and, it seems, even many U.S. troops), spurring angry protests in Pakistan and Yemen, and becoming a recruiting tool for al-Qaeda.

    • Obama, the puppet master

      The results are transformational. With more technology, and fewer resources at many media companies, the balance of power between the White House and press has tipped unmistakably toward the government. This is an arguably dangerous development, and one that the Obama White House — fluent in digital media and no fan of the mainstream press — has exploited cleverly and ruthlessly. And future presidents from both parties will undoubtedly copy and expand on this approach.

    • As Automatic Defense Cuts Near, Defense Contractors Keep Congress At Arm’s Length

      Nearly half of the $1.2 trillion federal budget reduction would come from defense spending.

    • Hubris Isn’t the Half of It

      As our government was making a fraudulent case to attack Iraq in 2002-2003, the MSNBC television network was doing everything it could to help, including booting Phil Donahue and Jeff Cohen off the air. The Donahue Show was deemed likely to be insufficiently war-boosting and was thus removed 10 years ago next week, and 10 days after the largest antiwar (or anything else) demonstrations in the history of the world, as a preemptive strike against the voices of honest peaceful people.

    • Tomgram: Greg Grandin, Why Latin America Didn’t Join Washington’s Counterterrorism Posse

      There was a scarcely noted but classic moment in the Senate hearings on the nomination of John Brennan, the president’s counterterrorism “tsar,” to become the next CIA director. When Senator Carl Levin pressed him repeatedly on whether waterboarding was torture, he ended his reply this way: “I have a personal opinion that waterboarding is reprehensible and should not be done. And again, I am not a lawyer, senator, and I can’t address that question.”

    • Racial Profiling, Islamophobia, and Whistleblowers: Targeting the Unruly Threat
    • The AUMF Fallacy

      All of them claim the Administration is operating exclusively within the AUMF, and based on that assumption conclude certain things about what the Administration has done.

      There is abundant evidence to refute that. After all, the Administration invokes self-defense about as many times as it does AUMF in the white paper. The white paper actually situates the authority to kill an American in “constitutional responsibility to protect the country” — that is, Article II authority — and inherent right to self-defense even before it lists the AUMF.

    • BATRAVILLE AND LEW: DoD plans are shortsighted, unethical
    • Combatant Immunity and the Death of Anwar al-Awlaqi

      The importance of the combatant-civilian distinction was apparent when the Pentagon prepared the latest version of the Manual for Military Commissions [PDF], the rulebook for the trials of some of the alleged unlawful enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay. The 2007 version of the Manual for Military Commissions, which made rules implementing the Military Commissions Act of 2006, said that “[f]or the accused to have been acting in violation of the law of war, the accused must have taken acts as a combatant without having met the requirements for lawful combatancy.” It went on to add that such persons “do not enjoy combatant immunity because they have failed to meet the requirements of lawful combatancy under the law of war.” That language was removed when the current manual was drafted because of concerns among senior US government officials that the language on lawful combatancy and combatant immunity could be viewed as an acknowledgment that CIA civilian drone operators are committing war crimes.

    • UN Committee Criticizes Obama Administration’s Use Of Child Soldiers’ Waivers

      As the conflict in Mali wages on, reports from the frontlines reveal that the al-Qaeda linked Northern Mali rebels have conscripted child soldiers into their ranks. These reports reflect the persistence of a gross human rights violation in military conflict.

      And Mali is not alone. Child soldiers are used by non-state groups and government forces alike. American soldiers around the world have come under attack from forces using child soldiers, a complex challenge for the U.S. military. However, the United States has also provided military assistance to governments using child soldiers within their ranks or within government-supported armed groups. Child Soldiers International (CSI), an international NGO committed to preventing the recruitment and use of child soldiers, has found evidence of child soldiers in government militaries and government supported armed groups with which the US military maintains key military-aid relationships, such as Afghanistan Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Libya, the Philippines, South Sudan, Sudan, Thailand and Yemen.

    • The premises and purposes of American exceptionalism

      …insufficient to claim the mere mantle of Greatest Country on the Planet

    • Don’t Trust the Government on Drones
  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Back To Hurting Clients As Firm Is Targeted In Insider Trading Probe

      Goldman Sachs is apparently back to it’s old tricks despite the $550 million settlement with the SEC over hurting clients in the mortgage securities market. Acting on what may have been inside information (more on that later) the firm decided it wanted to heavily invest in Heinz (HNZ), which later would announce it was in talks to be bought out by Warren Buffet. So Goldman Sachs started buying up shares ahead of the merger.

    • Goldman Sachs says cooperating with Heinz probe

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc is cooperating with a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission probe into insider options trading in H.J. Heinz…

    • DC’s quest to silence Elizabeth Warren

      No, what’s important here is what Politico actually got right in its story: namely, that the assumption in Washington is, indeed, that silence is a virtue – that, in other words, the best thing for a newly elected liberal senator to do is shut her mouth, go along to get along, play by the club’s rules and not make any waves. Summing up that Beltway conventional wisdom, Politico writes that only by “flying under the radar” can a liberal “star” like Warren develop a “reputation as a serious legislator.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Can Police Be Trusted With Drones?

      Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern wants to buy a surveillance drone, or, as he prefers to call it, a “small Unmanned Aerial System.” At a meeting before the county’s Board of Supervisors last week, he claimed that he’d only use the drone for felony cases, not to spy on people or monitor political activists. But a few minutes later he’d seemed to change his mind, adding: “I don’t want to lock myself into just felonies.”

      Catcalls and hisses erupted from a crowd of some 100 anti-drone activists. One man later called the proposal “an assault on my community.”

    • Should drones be used to spy on Americans?

      Drones aren’t just for fighting the war on terror in the Middle East anymore – they might be watching you.

    • Ask the Expert: Is the Government Really Trying to Get Access to Websites for Surveillance Purposes?
    • Washington State Residents Say “No!” to Police Surveillance Drones

      Last February, President Obama signed a bill allowing up to 30,000 police drones to be flown by police departments and the Department of Homeland Security within the United States to keep an eye on “we the people.”

    • Logic of surveillance and problems of the enforcer class

      Ian Welsh’s piece on the “logic of surveillance” makes several good points, but this one really smacked me in the face: “The enforcer class…is paid in large part by practical immunity to many laws and a license to abuse ordinary people.”

    • The Logic of Surveillance
    • Your Own Smart Phone, Turned Against You

      My day starts out normally enough: I drop the kids at school and head to the Starbucks, where I use my Smart Phone to pay for my tall Caffé Mocha soy because that’s how I roll: I save one minute not having to reach into my wallet to physically pull out my credit card, it’s logged into the app.

      After “checking in” with Foursquare, which tells me a couple of moms from the school have already been there this morning, and then my Facebook, which tells me another “friend” is headed there now, I dash to the Safeway, where I get discounts on my feta cheese, avocados, organic yogurt and Fat Bastard chardonnay because I logged it all in the store’s Just for U program. Again, that’s how we roll.

    • First interview in 57 years for chief of Germany’s most secretive spy agency

      The head of the German military’s counterintelligence service, which is widely seen as the country’s most secretive intelligence organization, has given the first public media interview in the agency’s 57-year history. Most readers of this blog will be aware of the Federal Republic of Germany’s two best-known intelligence agencies: the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), tasked with domestic intelligence, and the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), the country’s primary external intelligence agency. Relatively little is known, however, about the Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD), which has historically been much smaller and quieter than its sister agencies. As part of the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces, the MAD is tasked with conducting counterintelligence and detecting what it terms “anti-constitutional activities” within the German armed forces. It is currently thought to consist of around 1,200 staff located throughout Germany and in at least seven countries around the world, including Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Djibouti.

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

« Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts