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Links 28/10/2009: Endian Firewall 2.3 and SeaMonkey 2.0 Released



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Contents





GNU/Linux

  • 1-2-1VIEW's Playscreen - the First Integrated Digital Signage & Audience Measurement Platform Launches
    1-2-1VIEW (121view.com) is a provider of digital signage systems with integrated viewership counting technology that is based on Linux and are built on proven consumer electronics platforms.


  • Surviving and thriving in the embedded software industry.
    For example, while anyone can download Linux, Green Hills enables any flavor of Linux to be deployed alongside real time and/or security critical applications using state of the art virtualisation technology. Innovation and integration enables customers to reduce cost and time to market over what they can cobble together themselves.


  • GNU/Linux: Not Just DIY Computing
    There was a time, not long ago, when GNU/Linux was only for hardcore geeks. Whatever distro one used (or made from scratch), a fair amount of programming knowledge was required. Linux was almost exclusively a "back end" server system. Of course it's still very popular for servers, but there are more and more desktop distros available that are ready "off the shelf."




  • Desktop

    • Scareware launched from tech blog
      A statement on the Gizmodo website admits that it was tricked into running Suzuki adverts which were in fact from hackers.

      [...]

      Blaming the fact that staff used Linux operating systems on their production machines for "not noticing sooner", it advised concerned users to load some up-to-date antivirus software and "make sure your system is clean".


    • Unofficial iPhone and iPod touch Sync Coming to Linux
      While Apple made a Windows version of iTunes years ago, they still haven’t seen fit to roll out any official syncing solution for our Linux friends.


    • iPhone and iPod Touch Unofficial Sync coming to Linux


    • Dual-Booting Linux And Windows: Easier Said than Done
      Not normally being a huge fan of Windows software, I do have a different view of Acronis Disk Director Suite. For those individuals that simply must dual-boot Windows and Linux, this is my recommended approach.

      Even though it is not deemed as necessary since it is possible to dual-boot without it, inexperienced users will find this is vastly safer to use than rolling the dice and hoping you remember which partition is which when installing that second OS.


    • 10 easy steps to secure your Linux machine
      Whether you use a single desktop or manage a lab full of servers, with the various threats we all face from hackers these days you simply have to make sure you're running a secure ship.

      Running Linux gives you some inherent protection from attack, but you still need to take adequate steps to thwart any attempts that people might make to compromise your system.


    • Salting the Bones...
      Also, the per-platform download breakdown was pretty surprising, with Windows accounting for 65%, and Mac and Linux pretty much splitting the remainder evenly...








  • Server







  • Kernel Space

    • Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 Enters Beta
      After a three month development period following the release of Phoronix Test Suite 2.0, the first beta release of Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 "Bardu" is now available for all of your testing needs on Linux, Mac OS X, OpenSolaris, and BSD platforms. Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 Beta 1 carries more than 200 changes since the release of 2.0 Sandtorg with many new prominent features being introduced, new test profiles added, and greater usability enhancements. In this article, we will go over some of the key improvements to be found in Phoronix Test Suite 2.2.




    • Graphics

      • Nvidia 190.42 Linux Display Driver Has Support for OpenGL 3.2
        After quite a long development period, Nvidia finally decided to make Linux users happy again, by releasing a few minutes ago a brand-new and improved version of its graphics driver, Nvidia 190.42. As you see in the title, the big news is that Nvidia 190.42 now supports OpenGL 3.2. But, it also introduces support for the following video cards: GeForce G102M, GeForce GT 220, GeForce G210, GeForce G210M, GeForce GT 230M, GeForce GT 240M, GeForce GTS 250M and GeForce GTS 260M.


      • S3 Graphics Launches GPU with Native OpenCL Support
        Linux kernel 2.6.xx with support for RedHat, SuSE, Ubuntu, Fedora Core, Debian, and other Linux distributions are supported by the 5400E drivers.


      • ATI Catalyst Linux Display Driver 9.10
        AMD has released a new driver for ATI Radeon-chipsets, version 9.10. This driver is suitable for 32bit, or 64bit Linux versions.












  • Graphics Applications







  • Entertainment







  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Marketing Hackfest
      Three weeks from today members of the GNOME Marketing team will converge on Chicago for two days of work, brainstorming and fun.

      With thanks to Google for hosting us and Novell for sponsoring us, we’ll set aside two days to work on:

      * GNOME Presentation materials. We want to make it easy for for volunteers to represent GNOME at conferences, including presentations, booth materials such as banners and brochures for the GNOME Event Box and more. * Writing and reviewing content for the new www.gnome.org * GNOME 3.0 planning * …and more!




    • KDE

      • Gluon Sprint Wrap-Up
        On October 9 through 11, a dozen developers gathered in the Nokia Offices in Munich to bring the vision outlined in Dan Leinir's blog about the "Future of Game Development in KDE" to life. After three days of hard work, the developers joined hundreds of other Qt developers for the Qt Developer Days 2009 (thanks to free tickets provided by Nokia).


      • KDE 4, please integrate 10 Administrative tools!


      • E17 vs KDE 4.3.1
        Recently, I have started using KDE 4.3.1 after it came in Gentoo stable tree. I have been using E17 svn versions for quite some time now. I found that with E17 the cpu is relatively cooler. Of course, my benchmarking is not precise yet it shall provide you an overall view. My system is Thinkpad R60.

        [...]

        However, E17 proved better once more by starting at about 45 degrees and cooling down to even lower temperatures after that.


      • Konqueror tips and tricks


      • KDE 4.3.2 now official in Slackware
        Some time back we had reported a way to have KDE 4.3 on Slackware Current using vbatt's packages, since KDE 4.3 was still not official on Slackware. Now, you no longer have to depend on third-party packages for KDE 4.3.2 on Slcakware. It has become official.


      • Phonon backends












  • Distributions

    • Endian Firewall 2.3 Includes Lots of New Features
      On October 27th, Christian Graffer from the Endian team proudly announced the immediate availability of the Endian Firewall Community 2.3 Linux-based operating system. The new version includes a lot of bug fixes, improvements and many new and breathtaking features. We, at the Softpedia Labs, took the 2.3 release for a test drive and, among the new features, we noticed the support for backups, a dashbord, the VPN support, the SNMP support, e-mail notifications, policy routing, QoS, intrusion prevention, and many more.


    • Review: Sabayon Linux 5.0
      I like the new Sabayon. It's more user friendly, it's faster, and yet it keeps all the cool stuff that make it such a great distribution for new users, without alienating those who are more experienced and want a distribution with a little bit of everything and “just works” right out of the box. I'd certainly recommend this distribution to all your friends and family. It's not for really old machines, but it should now work just fine on machines up to five to seven years old.




    • Red Hat Family

      • With eye on Oracle and MySQL, Red Hat invests in EnterpriseDB
        Red Hat Inc. has invested an unspecified amount in open-source database vendor EnterpriseDB Inc., a sign that the Linux vendor may be worried about the implications of Oracle Corp.'s takeover of MySQL through its pending acquisition of Sun Microsystems Inc.


      • Target audience
        In our Thursday meeting[1], the Board talked at length about the lengthy discussions that have been happening on this list, which have been both spirited and, as always, very helpful. Continuing to make the best possible Fedora distribution is a top priority to everyone who works on it. We all want to see the Fedora Project succeed as the leader in advancing free and open source software, and the Fedora distribution is how we put our best work in front of a wide audience twice a year (and at all times in between!). And of course we want the Fedora Project to continue to be a vibrant community where contributors pursue a variety of goals, sharing our core values of Friends, Freedom, Features, and First.








    • Debian Family

      • Building a 15W Debian GNU/Linux system
        After all I'm satisfied with the system. Without any fan the CPU constantly runs at 55€°C, which is okay, given that it must operate within 0 and 90 €°C according to the tech specs. The system and the disk are somewhat lower (47 and 39€°C). The power of this system is more then enough. Its booting quick and working with it works without latencies, even when the system is doing something. What I haven't yet tested is weither the power consumption actually fulfills the expactations. I will do so, once I got a wattmeter.


      • Review: Ubuntu 9.10 v Windows 7
        Verdict: Ubuntu wins this hands down with a huge range of free software packages ready to download.


      • Ubuntu Karmic Koala Climbs Into the Ring
        Canonical plans to release Ubuntu 9.10, aka Karmic Koala, on Thursday. The open source operating system for both desktops and servers touches down around the same time as Windows 7. Code writers gave special attention to the core server product and kernel in this latest edition. They also asked the user community to list minor annoyances they had with the previous version so they could be tweaked and fixed.


      • An Interview With lisati
        An interest in Linux, and Ubuntu in particular, came many years later. This was initially out of curiosity but later as an alternative to Windows for everyday use (email, surfing, basic wordprocessing etc). I started using Ubuntu regularly in 2007 with the 7.04 release (”Feisty Fawn”) and have had at least one machine with it installed ever since. The purists might wince, but I keep Windows around because I’ve paid good money for some Windows software with a feature set I like to help with video editing.


      • Meet Francis Lacoste
        Francis Lacoste recently started on a six-month stint of running the Canonical Launchpad team. It seemed like a good time to find out a little more about him.

        Matthew: How did you get into free software?

        Francis: It was 1996, with a few friends at university, we started an online cinema magazine and) I developed the first generation of the content management system for the site. I was looking to develop this as a “free for non-commercial use” software. Since my Mac at the time kept crashing (Internet and Apple didn’t worked well), I looked into mklinux which was a Linux variant for Powermac. And then I stumbled upon the GNU Manifesto. This made so much sense to me, that I ditched the “free for non-commercial use” and became a GNU head.


      • Screenshots: Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala Camera icon
        Rather than show the dmesg information during boot-up, Ubuntu 9.10 displays this minimal boot screen based on the Ubuntu logo. The same logo is used during installation, and later on when booting into Ubuntu 9.10 from the hard drive.


      • Get A Free Ubuntu 9.10 CD Through The Post
        If the details of Ubuntu 9.10 have you salivating to give it a whirl but you don’t fancy chewing up your download limit, don’t forget that Ubuntu does offer an option to get a CD shipped for free.


      • Q & A: Defragmenting a Linux System
        Q. I recently bought a netbook with Ubuntu as its operating system and would like to know if there is any simple way to defragment the drive. The help manual for the system only talks about a complete start-over with reinstalling the OS, rather than defragmenting it.

        A. Ubuntu Linux uses a different file system — or method of storing and organizing data — than other operating systems do. Most Ubuntu systems use the ext3 file system, which does not need regular defragmentation like a Windows system does.


      • Ubuntu Ready for Another Crack at Netbooks
        The Ubuntu founder says that the new Ubuntu 9.1 Netbook Remix will support 25 different netbooks out of the box and offers a simpler, more user friendly interface, quicker boot and log-in times, a better audio framework, improved 3G connectivity and the new Empathy instant messaging (IM) program integrated into the OS.


      • 10 reasons Ubuntu 9.10 will be a game changer for business
        October 29, 2009. Mark your calendars, people, because that is the day the Linux landscape will shift, and the bar will be raised. Why do I say this? Ubuntu Karmic Koala is released that day and, even without reading between any lines, you can easily see where Canonical is taking its flagship operating system: Business and enterprise.


      • Yes, Ubuntu can absolutely be the default Windows alternative
        If Ubuntu can work well on every device users encounter (including non-Intel smartbooks and other new classes of portable devices that will be emerging in the next couple of years, displacing notebooks for many consumers), then name recognition will follow.

        Obviously, the PC space is dominated by Windows. Yet no matter how spiffy Windows 7 is (and even Shuttleworth acknowledged that it was a good OS, worthy of competing with Ubuntu), Vista taught us all a lesson (consumers and techies alike). There are alternatives to the latest and greatest from Microsoft, even if that’s Windows XP. We don’t have to upgrade.

        This “PC space” is changing, though. Windows Mobile stinks. Microsoft has no plans to develop Windows on ARM platforms.


      • Ubuntu 9.10 for desktops heeds user complaints
        Canonical Ltd. has shown users some love with Ubuntu desktop release 9.10; the new version will be officially available on Thursday with more than 50 fixes that users have requested.


      • Leaked links to Ubuntu koala


      • Select fastest mirror for your ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic) Upgrade


      • Great themes for Ubuntu9.10 Karmic koala
        Good news for the funs of Bisigi themes , the themes actually are available also for Ubuntu 9.10 karmic koala , and you can install them by adding repositories to your karmic koala repositories, to see the complete collection and the installation steps, please see our previous tutorial :

        Great themes for Ubuntu 9.04 and ubuntu9.10 Karmic Koala


      • Download Karmic Nights Theme


      • Running Ubuntu 9.10 With Older PC Hardware
        Ubuntu 9.10 offers a number of new features to Linux desktop and server users along with other core improvements to this incredibly popular Linux distribution. In a number of our tests today with an older ThinkPad notebook, Ubuntu 9.10 also provided the best performance when compared to earlier Ubuntu releases from the past 18 months. However, in six of the eighteen tests that were run, there were notable performance regressions involving Ubuntu 9.10. Many performance improvements can be attributed to the switch from the EXT3 to EXT4 file-system by default, but in the tests that did not benefit from this newer file-system, it ended up degrading the performance. The ioquake3 performance with the open-source ATI R300 driver is another troubling area with Ubuntu 9.10. Fortunately though when using newer hardware we have not encountered as many performance drops, and even still, most users will find Ubuntu 9.10 worth the upgrade.


      • Ubuntu 9.10: confidence riding high at Canonical
        Recent moves by Shuttleworth to market Ubuntu through IBM are again an indication of his cleverness at trying to embed Ubuntu in the desktop space. His competitors under-estimate him at their peril.

        He must be more than encouraged by Microsoft's growing, often clumsy, attempts to gain traction in the open source space. The latest indication of Microsoft's realisation that lock-in may just do more harm than good to itself is the announcement that it will be releasing documentation on Outlook Personal Folders.

        This must be music to Shuttleworth's ears. Five years ago, one could not imagine an 800-pound gorilla practising anything but total lock-in.


      • What’s New In Ubuntu 9.10 “Karmic Koala”
        I have to say that this has been a very solid release so far. With so many improvements both under the hood and on the user interface, you’ll be hard pressed to find someone that doesn’t find something new and exciting about Ubuntu 9.10. The best part though? All of these improvements are merely leading up to the powerhouse that will be Ubuntu 10.04, the next Ubuntu Long Term Support (LTS) release. With goals of 10 second boot times, improvements in the new Ubuntu Software Center, improved Artwork, as well as a long list of other improvements, Ubuntu 10.04 is sure to blow you away!


      • Eucalyptus Powers the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud in Ubuntu 9.10
        Eucalyptus Systems, Inc., creators of the leading open source private cloud platform, today announced that Eucalyptus software is the engine behind the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC), a new cloud computing solution packaged in the latest version of the popular Ubuntu distribution. UEC including Eucalyptus will ship with every copy of Ubuntu 9.10 Server Edition (announced today), which is fully supported by Canonical, the commercial sponsor of the Ubuntu project. Ubuntu 9.10 Server Edition with the UEC (powered by Eucalyptus) will be available for free download at www.ubuntu.com starting October 29.


      • Amazon Web Services: The Big MSP Disconnect
        Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth (the guy behind Ubuntu Linux) said Amazon Web Services has emerged as a de facto cloud standard until open, vendor-neutral cloud standards can be developed.


      • Ubuntu 9.10 Server Edition launches with cloud integration
        Canonical launched Ubuntu 9.10 Server Edition featuring Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC) this week, on the heels of Microsoft's Windows Server 2008 R2 release.

        UEC is an open source cloud computing environment based on software from Eucalyptus Systems, providing an infrastructure for creating on-premise (private) cloud computing environments. It uses the same application programming interfaces (APIs) as Amazon EC2.


      • Canonical Prepares Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud Training for VARs
        As Canonical prepares for Ubuntu 9.10’s October 29 launch, the company’s channel and partner management team is developing an Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud training course for VARs, partners and IT managers. Here’s the scoop.










  • Devices/Embedded

    • MontaVista Announces Additional Platform Support with MontaVista Linux 6
      MontaVista€® Software, Inc., the leader in embedded Linux€® commercialization, today announced more new Market Specific Distributions (MSDs) for MontaVista Linux 6. The new MSDs continue to expand the market specific focus of MVL6, delivering support for industrial automation, automotive, Android, portable multimedia devices, and multicore networking applications. All the new MSDs will be available this quarter and support processors from Cavium, Freescale, Intel, and Texas Instruments.


    • New company promises 100 core CPUs by next year
      Perhaps a Linux distribution (Ubuntu?) will at least get some code for the new CPUs. If the chips are as powerful as Tilera is promising, they should be able to handle anything Linux could throw at them. They would serve well for a server of some sort, or an ultra-powerful Linux desktop as of right now. If nothing else, hopefully this will push Intel into getting their 80-core prototype CPU out as soon as possible.


    • 100-Core Processor on Tap
      But all those cores won't do much good without applications to exercise them, right? So Tilera also offers Multicore Development Environment, a simplified multi-core Eclipse-based IDE that can target SMP Linux 2.6, Zero Overhead Linux, Bare Metal Environment and hybrid systems. The package includes an ANSI C/C++ compiler, system simulator, GNU command line tools and graphical multi-core application debugging and profiling.


    • Linux development framework targets FPGA soft cores
      Timesys announced that its LinuxLink development framework now supports Altera's Nios II 32-bit soft RISC processor cores, which are available for Altera's FPGAs. LinuxLink for Nios II includes a board support package (BSP) for Altera's Nios II Embedded Evaluation Kit and Embedded Systems Development Kit, Cyclone III Edition, says Timesys.


    • Qseven module targets device prototyping
      The Swedish company Hectronic announced a Qseven COM (computer on module) and a carrier board to go with it. The H6049 module and H4103 carrier provide an Intel Atom Z5xx processor, up to 1GB of RAM, a SSD (solid state disk), four PCI Express x1 slots, and a Linux BSP (board support package), says Hectronic.




    • Phones

      • Analyst: Nokia planning Maemo iPhone competitor
        Nokia plans to release a mass-market, Linux-based Maemo smartphone to compete with Apple's iPhone in the second half of 2010, according to UBS analyst Maynard Um. Although the move appears to signal an increasing reliance by Nokia on Maemo at the expense of Symbian, a Nokia spokesman said the company still considers the Symbian platform its main smartphone operating system.


      • PC makers are looking to smartphones
        This is only expected to continue, with smartphones expected to account for about 37 per cent of global handset sales by 2012, up from the 14 per cent stake they currently hold.




      • Android

        • Droid Steps Out of the Shadows
          Motorola is crossing its fingers and holding its breath -- the handset manufacturer desperately needs a winner. Droid, the Android smartphone that Verizon is positioning as the strongest challenger yet to the iPhone, will be available for purchase on Nov. 6. Droid is the first smartphone to run on Android 2.0, which includes access to mobile navigation functionality provided by Google Maps.


        • Big Cellphone Makers Shifting to Android System
          Since 1996, Microsoft has been writing operating systems for little computers to carry in your pocket. It was a lonely business until the company’s perennial rival, Apple, introduced the Web-browsing, music-playing iPhone. But now that smartphones are popular, Microsoft’s operating system, Windows Mobile, is foundering.


        • Congratulations B&N, you've built my Kindroid. So now what?
          It never occurred to me that the Kindroid might actually become reality in the near future, and that the theoretical device would be introduced by Barnes & Noble, Amazon’s prime competition in the brick and mortar space. Still, I am impressed and somewhat vindicated that the Kindroid or a similar device that resembled my proposed configuration came into existence as the Nook.


        • Microsoft, Google and the Bear
          “We believe Android is an insurance policy against any potential collusion from carriers, manufacturers and competitors to either block or downgrade Google services,” he wrote. “Google is hoping to further fragment the OS market to avoid any concentration of power in the hands of one or two competitors.”

          In other words, Android doesn’t have to beat the iPhone. It just has to be better than Windows Mobile.


        • Google Sweetens Pot For Android Developers With Eclair SDK
          What's creamy, loaded with carbs and sinfully delicious? Google would have us believe it's the new Android 2.0 software development kit (SDK) released this week.


        • Android 2.0 pumps up sync, contact APIs
          The Google-sponsored Android project has released version 2.0 of Android, featuring new APIs for sync, the account manager, and contacts. Among other enhancements, Android 2.0 (Eclair) features a "Quick Contact" feature that lets users tap a contact photo to call, SMS, or e-mail the person, says a story in eWEEK.


        • Android and Symbian on the same phone? Yes it's true
          Now, OK Labs reckons it is the world leader in "mobile virtualisation" and that in a short time, we'll be able to have it all. If, for example, the best way of running communications is through a BREW application (normally, exclusive to Qualcomm-based phones) but the best phone directory is Android, then you'll have them both. You may never even know, or need to know.


        • Android ported to PowerPC
          Freescale Semiconductor says it is now accepting orders for a hardware/software platform for developing Android applications on Power Architecture PowerQUICC and QorIQ processors. The initial MPC8536E-ADK Android platform, which combines an Android runtime developed by Mentor Graphics and a board based on the PowerQUICC III MPC8536E, appears to be the first Android port to the PowerPC.


        • Mot, Verizon announce Android phone
          Verizon Wireless announced its first Android phone, built by Motorola. Due to ship Nov. 6 for $200, the slider-based "Droid" offers a 550MHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor, a 3.7-inch touchscreen, a five-megapixel camera, voice recognition, and Google Maps Navigation with turn-by-turn voice guidance.


        • Google Steps Into Another Market: GPS for Phones
          In a move that is likely to be seen as an attack on yet another industry, Google on Wednesday said it would release a free navigation system for mobile phones that offers turn-by-turn directions.












    • Sub-notebooks

      • More on Poulsbo (GMA500), Intel, and the Community
        I've never done a follow up post on a topic before, but I think this is a topic worth further discussion. Yesterday I posted a rather pointed article focused on Intel and what I consider to be a very poor business decision regarding the GMA500 GPU. There were great comments, and even a responsive post over at Moblinzone.












Free Software/Open Source

  • StatusNet (Of Identi.ca Fame) Raises $875,000 To Become The WordPress Of Microblogging
    Montreal-based StatusNet, the company behind the open-source microblogging service identi.ca, is closing an $875,000 seed round today. Investors include Montreal Startup, iNovia Capital, Fotolia co-founder Oleg Tscheltzoff, and Xavier Niel. The startup, which changed its name a few weeks ago from Control Yourself, raised a previous seed round of $150,000 from Montreal Startup in January, 2009.


  • Open source grammar and spell checker – After The Deadline
    After The Deadline aims to help writers write better articles while spending less time editing them. It uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to find your spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, poor style and misused words and then offers smart suggestions to correct your mistakes.


  • In Industry First, Voting Machine Company to Publish Source Code
    Sequoia Voting Systems plans to publicly release the source code for its new optical scan voting system, the company announced Tuesday — a remarkable reversal for a voting machine maker long criticized for resisting public examination of its proprietary systems.


  • Glyn Moody Op-Eds



    • How Proprietary JAWS Bites the Blind
      And the reason it can, of course, is because it is proprietary software, which means that nobody can route around the problem.

      This episode shows once again why it is vital for such software to be open source so that there is no gatekeeper, and so that the community's needs come first, not the desire of a company to make as much money as possible regardless of the plight of the people it affects.


    • Head in the Clouds, Feet on the Ground
      This is a no-brainer for two reasons. First, most startups – and probably 99% of the big, successful ones – turn to MySQL for the database element of their software stack; its appearance here simply confirms that popularity. But the other reason is rather different.


    • Mozilla Gets the Message
      [P]erhaps even more significantly, it represents an attempt to re-think email. I'm a big fan of Thunderbird, but there's no denying that it is tied to an older email-based model that is increasingly deprecated, at least by younger Net users. Mozilla is right to explore ways of re-inventing this important area. There may well be a new kind of program that is needed to pull together the increasingly frayed thread of messaging. Whether Raindrop is that program is not the point: it's a start. It's shows that Mozilla has got the message about messaging.








  • Mozilla

    • Firefox gains 30 million users in eight weeks
      Mozilla's open-source Firefox browser has gained 30 million users over the past eight weeks, as it continues to gain on Internet Explorer.


    • Mozilla releases SeaMonkey 2.0
      The Mozilla developers have announced the availability of version 2.0 of their SeaMonkey "all-in-one internet application suite". The "completely refurbished next generation" successor to the old Netscape Communicator and Mozilla Application suites includes a web browser with advanced email and newsgroup support, an IRC chat client and HTML editing support.






  • Europe







  • FSF/GNU

    • GRUB 1.97 released
      GNU GRUB is upgraded to version 1.97. GRUB, also known as the GRand Unified Bootloader, is a modular, portable bootloader that supports a number of platforms & is included in many Linux distributions.


    • FSF Speech by Richard M. Stallman
      Global Conference on Open Source has been finalized successfully. It's time to talk about Free Software and the commitee is proudly present a fully free seminar (as in beer and in speech) by The President of Free Software Foundation: Mr. Richard M. Stallman.


    • Evereybody Loves Windows 7 - Part 2 (RMS Error)








  • Government

    • Finally! SecDef signs Clarifying Guidance Regarding Open Source Software
      It is official! As of the 16th of October 2009, the United States Department of Defense recognizes Open Source software at Commodity, Off the Shelf (COTS) software, eligible for purchase, read implementation, under the purchasing rules of the Department.


    • New DoD memo on Open Source Software
      The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has just released Clarifying Guidance Regarding Open Source Software (OSS), a new official memo about open source software (OSS). This 2009 memo should soon be posted on the list of ASD(NII)/DoD CIO memorandums. This 2009 memo is important for anyone who works with the DoD (including contractors) on software and systems that include software... and I suspect it will influence many other organizations as well. Let me explain why this new memo exists, and what it says.


    • Indonesian Government Urged to Move to Open Source Software
      Minister of Communication and Information Technology Tifatul Sembiring said open source software offered unlimited opportunities for local businesses and human resources in the information and communications industry.

      Delivering the opening address of the Global Conference on Open Source on Monday, Tifatul said the government must focus on developing open source software domestically. He added that the use of open source could significant reduce government spending on software, without providing an exact figure.








  • Openness

    • HP, UMich deal means a "real" future for scanned books
      HP and the University of Michigan have inked a deal that will see HP reprinting rare and out-of-print books from Michigan's library via the printer maker's print-on-demand service. Here's why this is potentially as important as anything Google Books is doing.


    • Biophysical Economics: A Different View
      One of the things that I have felt for a while is that mainstream economics isn't really the best way to look at free software, or any of the other intellectual commons or - even more importantly - the environmental commons, since economics is really about consumption.


    • Open data on cities: an international round up
      Over the last few months there have been lots of exciting announcements about open data from cities around the world. We decided to take a look at what is currently out there - in particular taking note of:
      1. Whether datasets are open as in the Open Knowledge Definition - i.e. whether they explicitly say that they can be used by anyone, for any purpose, without restriction (except perhaps attribution, integrity or sharealike requirements).








  • Standards/Consortia

    • another top 20 website supports Theora
      Earlier this week, Automattic, the company behind wordpress.com and WordPress (the software this weblog runs on) announced that they would be supporting Theora along with MPEG-4 as part of their VideoPress platform.


    • The Constantine Code and the Missing Standard!
      The long-unrealized standards secret that I am about to share is this: even the most mundane dynamic and procedural feature of the modern, global process of developing, maintaining, branding and certifying standards has been in existence for almost 1700 years. Moreover, it can trace its lineage to the master plan of a powerful Emperor who invoked the standards process to protect the very existence of his empire from the threat posed by a rogue bishop and his clamoring followers bent upon igniting a standards war.








Leftovers

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger's coded F-bomb in veto


  • Ex-boss of AMD linked to Galleon fraud probe
    The ex-boss of AMD Hector Ruiz could face charges relating to the Galleon insider trading case.

    Ruiz - former chief executive of AMD and now chairman of Globalfoundries - is accused of passing information on to hedge fund manager Danielle Chiesi, not of profiting personally.


  • Schoolboy's bedroom raided after TV aerial interferes with air traffic control
    A schoolboy, Nickie Chamberlain, was surprised when Government officials arrived at his bedroom and confiscated his television aerial because it was interfering with planes landing at a nearby airport.


  • DNA Profiling: You May Be Next
    But as it celebrates its 25th anniversary, the question of how DNA evidence is being used and how samples are being extracted, have come under fire from civil rights activists and many criminal justice experts.


  • More than 5 million people now on DNA database
    The estimated number of people whose DNA profile is stored by the government has broken the five million mark for the first time.


  • ID Card scheme banking on 28 million volunteers
    Government claims that the ID Card scheme will be self-financing are "completely deluded", the Tories have claimed today.


  • Councils get ‘Al Capone’ power to seize assets over minor offences
    Draconian police powers designed to deprive crime barons of luxury lifestyles are being extended to councils, quangos and agencies to use against the public, The Times has learnt.

    The right to search homes, seize cash, freeze bank accounts and confiscate property will be given to town hall officials and civilian investigators employed by organisations as diverse as Royal Mail, the Rural Payments Agency and Transport for London.


  • Bulgarian State Security Agency (DANS) high-level corruption report, 2008
    Classified Bulgarian State Security Agency (DANS/SANS) intelligence report into high-level corruption. The report was allegedly went missing from the office of the Prime Minister, Sergey Stanishev last year.

    The theft of the report, allegedly a copy marked "N2", and its re-discovery is at the center of a scandal currently rocking the Bulgarian political and business classes.




  • Finance

    • Goldman Lobbies Senate, Says Full Transparency Sucks
      Instead, the bank argues that an over-the-counter market in which big traders like Goldman get to do deals in the shadows in “dark pools” without the retail investor having any knowledge of what the hell is going on is somehow better for everybody, that this somehow produces better prices. Of course the reality is that the two-tiered system creates one pool of fools whose every movement is visible to every animal on the Serengeti, and another pool of giant bloodthirsty carnivores who get to walk around invisible, picking off the dik-diks one by one.


    • AIG Only Wanted to Give Goldman Sachs 40 60 Cents on the Dollar, Then Geithner Stepped In
      Thanks to Bloomberg News, we now have a good idea how much of that $13 billion pass-through bailout Goldman Sachs got from AIG last year was pure taxpayer-financed gravy: $5.2 billion, courtesy Tim Geithner.

      AIG collapsed last year in part because it had written insurance policies on billions of dollars in stupid bets made by Goldman, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and others. Since it was functionally bankrupt, last September AIG thought it would be able to convince those banks to accept significantly less than face value on the credit default swaps it had sold them. How much less?


    • Lost paper trail allows borrower to ignore $460,000 mortgage debt
      A White Plains, NY federal court eliminated a woman's $460,000 mortgage debt because the paper trail was so messy that the mortgage lender couldn't prove that it actually owned the debt.








  • AstroTurf







  • Internet/Censorship/Web Abuse/Rights

    • We will defend you all from Cuffaro
      We are talking about a denunciation (Cuffaro’s) that has no respect whatsoever for the Procura, that will have to verify 4,609 comments on the above-mentioned video, most of which have no juridical relevance, and that seems to be a pure exhibition of arrogance.


    • TMZ's Harvey Levin: Sheriff's use of his phone records in Mel Gibson case 'disgusting' [Updated]
      Harvey Levin, the founder of TMZ, expressed outrage over revelations in The Times earlier this month that the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department had obtained his telephone records as part of an investigation involving the leak of information about Mel Gibson's arrest.


    • European Union adopting regulations that will penalize Internet users
      Reporters Without Borders is very concerned about the consequences that the European Union’s adoption of the so-called Telecoms Package will have for bloggers and other Internet users.

      “This Telecoms Package undermines the right to equal Internet access,” said Reporters Without Borders, which last month joined more than 80 organisations from 15 EU member countries in signing an open letter voicing concern. “The European Union should have sent a strong signal by refusing to create a two-speed Internet.”


    • EFF Launches Takedown Hall Of Shame
      With so many organizations trying to use copyright and trademark law to take content offline, the EFF is announcing the launch of its new Takedown Hall Of Shame, highlighting "the most egregious examples of takedown abuse."


    • China accuses Google of censorship
      THE CHINESE Communist Party's main newspaper has accused Google of keeping searchers away from its website after it reported on a copyright dispute.

      The People's Daily had reported on a Chinese group's complaint that Google's planned online library of digitised books might violate Chinese authors' copyrights.


    • Lisbon Treaty will usher in 'European surveillance state'
      Open Europe, which opposes greater European integration, said that the ratification of the controversial treaty will see powers over home affairs and justice policy “almost totally shifted to the EU level.”


    • My life as 'suspect A'
      The 'domestic extremist' label brings with it police harassment – from violent arrest to being photographed breastfeeding

      I am suspect A on the spotter card printed by the Guardian, and I am, in the eyes of the police force, a "domestic extremist". This comes as no surprise to me nor did it come as any surprise to my friends, family or colleagues. I made a difficult decision to go public with the Kingsnorth story – when video footage showing me being violently arrested made the front pages – and so it didn't make much difference to my life to be splashed across the national media labelled as a "domestic extremist."








  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • ABA Asks Department of Justice to Investigate Bestseller Price Wars
      The Board of Directors of the American Booksellers Association today sent the following letter to the U.S. Department of Justice requesting that it investigate practices by Amazon.com, Wal-Mart, and Target that it believes constitute illegal predatory pricing that is damaging to the book industry and harmful to consumers.


    • An Olympic city's delicate fight against ambush marketing
      That is what Vancouver has found out in recent weeks as it navigates the minefield between providing protection from ambush marketing by businesses that are not Olympics sponsors and guaranteeing the right to freedom of expression.


    • Olympics Trademark Law Insanity: Officials Can Enter Homes, Issue $10,000 Fines


    • MI5 comes out against cutting off internet pirates
      A source involved in drafting the Bill said that the intelligence agencies, MI5 and MI6, had also voiced concerns about disconnection. “The spooks hate it,” the source said. “They think it is only going to make monitoring more difficult.”


    • Net pirates to be 'disconnected'
      He confirmed that it would become government policy, following months of speculation.


    • Medical Researchers Resort To File Sharing To Get Access To Journal Research
      When you hear about file sharing and unauthorized access to information online, the view pushed by many copyright maximalists is that it's just a bunch of morally corrupt kids who don't want to pay for stuff gleefully "stealing" music and movies from those hard working entertainment industry employees. Of course, the real picture is a lot more complex. For example, apparently there's a growing community of medical researchers using file sharing to exchange information and research reports that they have trouble accessing otherwise.


    • Mandelson gives go ahead to ‘three strikes’
      Listening to Lord Mandelson today at C&binet was very unpleasant.

      Mandelson announced one substantial policy: a ‘clampdown’ on detectable file sharing.

      Even MI5 disagree with him – they are convinced we will see a rise of a ‘Dark Net’ of infringers.


    • ‘Explosive’ UK singles music market
      It used to be when someone bought an album, they expected to perhaps get two or three decent songs out of it. The rest would be garbage.

      The arrival of the net fixed that. Today, people can, and do, access single tracks, completely by-passing corporate filler dross.

      Now, the Guardian has Martin Talbot, managing director of the Official Charts Company, saying, “The explosion in the singles market has been nothing short of astonishing this year”.

      Some 117 million singles have already been sold so far in 2009, surpassing the previous record of 115.1 million set in 2008, says the story, noting:

      “The total has been reached with 10 weeks of trading, including the vital Christmas period, still to run this year, which also marks the 60th anniversary of the single.”

      And the trend looks likely to continue, says Talbot.


    • Prosecutors Take P2P Dev To The Supreme Court
      Kaneko is the creator of the anonymous P2P software, Winny, and prosecutors tried to hold him responsible for the infringements of others who used it, saying that he was aware that his program would be put to illicit uses.










LF Collaboration Summit 2009: The Linux Kernel: What's Next?



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