Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 4/3/2010: Korea's “Red Star” (“붉은별”), New OOo Logo

GNOME bluefish



  • New York Linux Users Group
    For a little over a year now I've been attending events and gatherings of the New York Linux Users Group (NYLUG). It's been an interesting experience, and I'd like to share briefly a little about it.

  • Desktop

    • Oh Linux, how shall I count thy installs?
      So the question here is. If marketing and research companies want accurate statistics (assuming they do) then how can they count the real number of Linux installations? Quite simply they can't. This means that 93.4% of the statistics recorded only show less than 9.8% of the true number of Linux installations (where did those numbers come from I wonder :).

    • The Zero Dollar Laptop
      The Zero Dollar Laptop is a recycled computer, running Free Open Source Software (FOSS) that is fast and effective- now and long into the future.

      Clients of St Mungo’s charity for homeless people are recycling hardware, breaking Windows and installing FOSS to build fully customised media laptops and to create music, graphics and video for distribution over the Internet.

  • Kernel Space

    • Release notes
      Stable kernel update announcements posted on LWN have a certain tendency to be followed by complaints about the amount of information which is made available. It seems that there is a desire for a description of the changes which is more accessible than the patches themselves, and for attention to be drawn to the security-relevant fixes. As an exercise in determining what kind of effort is being asked of the kernel maintainers, your editor decided to make a pass through the proposed update and attempt to describe the impact of each of the changes - all 93 of them. The results can be found below.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • My search for the best KDE Linux distribution
      As some of you already know, I am a big fan of the KDE desktop environment (or KDE Workspaces or whatever they’re calling it these days). In my search to reach Linux KDE perfection I have tested out a number of different distributions. First there was Fedora, which I happily ran throughout the length of the experiment. Once that was finished I attempted to install and try both Kubuntu and openSUSE. Unfortunately I was unable to do so after openSUSE decided not to play nice. However my search did not stop there, and once the community edition was ready I jumped over to Linux Mint KDE CE. Finally I decided to once again try openSUSE, this time installing from a USB drive. This somehow resolved all of my installation issues.

    • KDE 4.4.1
      Just updated my laptop at work to kde 4.4.1… and I have to say, that was refreshingly painless.

    • KDE in North Korea
      I just saw an article about North Korean Linux distro, named "붉은별" from Russian blog. Although I don't know anything about distro's base, who developed and translated, who packaged, etc. The interesting part is that this distribution is using KDE, release 3.x. Also it is translated in "North" Korean standard, which is different from "South" Korean standard, especially in technological terms. North uses loanwords from Russian language, while South uses them from English. North try to keep pure Korean terms, South widely adopted foreign loanwords. As of linguistic and real world, maybe also political difference(south and north can't communicate), we can't mix and match the translation.

    • Report: North Korea Develops Own Linux Distribution
      North Korea has reportedly developed its own version of the Linux operating with a graphical user interface that closely resembles Microsoft Windows.

      A copy of the North Korean Linux distribution, called Red Star, was purchased in Pyongyang for US$5 by a Russian student named Mikhail, who then posted a brief review of it on his blog using the Russian embassy's Internet connection, according to the English-language Web site of Russia Today, a Russian television news channel.

    • N. Korea develops own OS
      North Korea's self-developed software operating system named the "Red Star" was brought to light for the first time by a Russian satellite broadcaster yesterday.

  • Distributions

    • The Three Giants of Linux
      The Linux ecosystem is a complex entity. On one hand everyone gets along and benefits from work done by others, while on the other there’s often animosity and conflict between distributions and their communities (remember when Ubuntu came along?).

      People often complain that there is simply too much choice in the Linux world and that we’d all be better off if there was just one, or two. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

    • The perfect linux distribution(for the desktop)
      I recently read a slashdot entry about Why Linux is not yet ready(there has been tons of those i know) and reading the comments i saw a lot of people arguing about different stuff, for example guys comparing the desktop and the server as if they were the same OS, in practicality is not, there are Linux distros for the server and power users and there are distros aimed at the Desktop.

    • Red Hat Family

      • RHCS: an Introduction
        RHCS offers a well thought out framework for managing a cluster, especially when it comes to service failover. Using RHCS makes securing your mission-critical systems easy, and makes them highly available with standard hardware.

        The R in RHCS implies that this method only runs on RHEL machines - but this is not the case, as we will demonstrate in one of our upcoming articles.

      • Red Hat announces 2010 innovation awards
        Red Hat Linux has announced that its annual innovations awards will be presented at the company's 2010 summit and JBoss World conference which will be jointly held in Boston from June 22 to 25.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu 10.04: Canonical Makes ISV Push
        And so it begins. As Canonical puts the finishing touches on Ubuntu 10.04 — a long term support (LTS) release — the company also is reaching out to potential Linux server and desktop software partners. In fact, Canonical says there are at least 10 reasons why ISVs should embrace Ubuntu Desktop Edition, and nine reasons why developers should embrace Ubuntu Server Edition. Will partners embrace Canonical’s Ubuntu pitch? Here are some thoughts.

        First, a little background. Canonical views Ubuntu 10.04 (code named Lucid Lynx) a prime opportunity for application developers to build long-term business and customer relationships on Ubuntu Linux.

      • Ubuntu One Music Store vs Amazon
        I have to say I have been very under excited by the news of the Ubuntu One Music store - Im not convinced we need another music store unless they are going to give us something that other stores dont - like flac support or something.

        Ive just been reading Popeys blog about how to use the Ubuntu One Music Store and I have to say, unless Im missing something - what a massive FAF!

      • Canonical betas Ubuntu music store
        According to an Ubuntu wiki FAQ, the Ubuntu One Music Store will offer DRM-free and watermark-free MP3s provided by the London-based online music outfit 7digital. The store will integrate with the existing Ubuntu RhythmBox music player, and at some point, it will also be available as a plug-in for Banshee, Amarok, and "a few other" third-party applications.

      • Ubuntu Desktop in the Cloud
        For the past few releases, Canonical has put quite a bit of energy into making Ubuntu a first-class OS for use in the cloud. Ubuntu now has cloud support for Amazon’s EC2 and Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (a “private cloud” system based on Eucalyptus). This means that it’s easy to spin up Ubuntu instances on EC2 or to make your own private cloud with Ubuntu … where you can spin up more instances of Ubuntu … there’s a lot of “cloud” going on here!

      • Getting Ready for Ubuntu One Music Store Beta

      • Bye Bye Brown
        The new style of Ubuntu is driven by the theme “Light”. We’ve developed a comprehensive set of visual guidelines and treatments that reflect that style, and are updating key assets like the logo accordingly. The new theme takes effect in 10.04 LTS and will define our look and feel for several years.

      • Refreshing The Ubuntu Brand
        The new style of Ubuntu is driven by the theme “Light”. We’ve developed a comprehensive set of visual guidelines and treatments that reflect that style, and are updating key assets like the logo accordingly. The new theme takes effect in 10.04 LTS and will define our look and feel for several years.

        Ubuntu has seen a tremendous amount of growth and change since it was conceived in 2004. Back then it was a small project with strong ambitions and a handful of developers passionate about delivering a world class Linux Operating System that can compete on every level with Microsoft and Apple. We adopted a style based on the tagline “Linux for Human Beings”, and called it “Human”. Six years on we have made incredible progress. Ubuntu is a global phenomenon: we have carved out a pervasive culture of quality and design, thoughtful usability and great technology all fused together in a project that maintains the same commitment to community and collaborative development that we embraced back in 2004.

      • New Ubuntu Theme(s), Boot Splash, Logo Revealed (And More!)

      • Ubuntu Gets a New Look: What a Mess

      • Ubuntu's New Look, a Pale Imitation of Mac OS X?

      • The Ubuntu One Music Store is Over-Engineered and Will Fail

      • Variants

        • Lubuntu Gets a New Look
          Finally, the Lubuntu developers have created a special interface for netbooks. I haven’t had much time to explore it yet, but hope to do so soon. Briefly, though, here’s what it looks like:

        • My New Linux Laptop
          Then, Linux Mint caught my eye. Linux Mint 8 KDE Community Edition, to be precise. Just released, with a 2.6.31 kernel, and KDE 4.3.4. I downloaded the iso, and gave it a spin. It recognized all my hardware, including the Atheros wifi card. A very nice implementation of KDE 4.3.4. I played with it for a couple of hours, and decided to take the plunge.

          Installation was as smooth and easy as it should be. Select the entire windows partition, wipe it clean, and divide it up for Linux. Answer a few simple questions, and very shortly thereafter, it was telling me to remove the DVD and reboot. I spent a little time putting up the plasma widgets I like, and in little over half an hour I had my desktop installed and looking like I wanted. Mint KDE is a very usable system, easy to use (if you like KDE4, like I do), and beautiful to look at. I turned on a bunch of eye candy I don’t usually, just because I could, and the system hardly noticed.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Freescale chip built to power sub-$99 e-readers
      Feeding the e-book craze, a new hardware controller chip from Freescale aims to lower the cost of e-readers below the magic $98 price point while extending battery life to weeks.

    • ARM9-based Android tablets to sell for under $200
      Archos announced two low-cost, WiFi-enabled tablets that run Android on a 600MHz ARM9 processor. The Archos 7 Home Tablet offers a seven-inch touchscreen and is designed for mobile use, while the eight-inch Archos 8 Home Tablet is designed for fixed kitchen-computer and digital picture frame (DPF) duties, says the company.

    • Linux-ready ARM SoCs target diverse markets
      STMicroelectronics says it is now shipping four Linux-ready SoCs (system on chips), based on similar ARM926EJ-S cores but targeting different market segments. The SPEAr300, 310, 320, and 600 have single or dual cores, run at up to 400MHz, and sell for as little as $7 in production quantities, the company says.

    • Android comes to landline phones
      At CeBIT this week, Motorola demonstrated an Android-based "HS1001" cordless IP phone manufactured by Binatone and built around the DSP Group's DECT-compatible XpandR chipset. Meanwhile, DSP Group showed its own Android-based IP phone reference design based on the XpandR II chipset.

      For much of the last decade, Linux-based landline-based IP phones made regular appearances on LinuxDevices, but with the rise of mobile phones, such announcements have become fewer and farther between. The few IP phones we've covered recently are typically multimedia tablet/kitchen-computer designs, such as the already defunct, Linux-based Verizon Hub, built by OpenPeak, OpenPeak's Linux-based OpenFrame IP phone, or the Android-based Glass reference platform from Cloud Telecomputers. Typically, in these designs, IP telephony is just one feature among many other multimedia and Web browsing capabilities.

    • Android

Free Software/Open Source

  • Disney Offers Ptex on New Open-Source Site
    “Ptex from Disney Animation is one of those premiere technologies that can only reach its full potential by releasing it as open source,” said Andy Hendrickson, chief technology officer. “It is a revolutionary idea, and though some would characterize it as a Disney competitive advantage, it has more value to the corporation as an industry standard in solving the time-consuming computer graphics problem of assigning textures to geometry. Setting a new standard is best accomplished by giving technology away for free.”

  • Open source, priceless resource
    I was told once about someone called a “cyber hippie.” They dual boot with Linux and Mac OSX or Windows. They use open source browsers, instant messengers and office suites. They write their own code. They essentially live on Slashdot in lieu of professional news sites. The sinking realization that this idea may be true brought a certain horror to my thoughts, as I have a generally low opinion of anyone who claims to be a “hippie,” probably from too much South Park during my formative years.

    It created an interesting dichotomy in my mind: Are the users of open source software the hippies of the Internet underworld and the users of closed-source software (MacOS, Windows) the conservatives?


    We’ve ended up with a lot of great things from open source development in forms of freeware clones: Pidgin Instant Messenger, Cinelerra (video editing software), the Ogg Vorbis media format for audio and video, and, of course, Mozilla Firefox.

  • Get started with Blender
    You can’t learn Blender overnight, unfortunately, even if you only need to use a sub-set of its tools, such as producing static 3-D images. But that’s because, for most people, thinking in three dimensions is hard, and drawing in three dimensions (on a two-dimensional screen) is even harder. All of the techniques Blender offers to build 3-D models — meshes, skins, NURBs, extrusion — are just shortcuts to help you get from the design you can picture in your head to a concrete, well-defined model inside the computer. They take some getting used to, and more than that, they take practice. But there’s no reason to feel intimidated by them.

  • Five Open Source Feed Readers to Keep You Organized
    If you're like most Internet-connected people these days, the amount of information you take in from your favorite news sites, tech blogs, and the like is just staggering. The only way to stay on top of everything is with a solid feed reader to help aggregate everything you want to read. Of course, many folks rely on Google Reader to get the job done but if you're looking for an open source option, here are five of our favorites.

  • Murphy's Law: This Too Shall Not Pass
    Open source might not be about the money, but the financial interests (and stubbornness) of prevailing content providers have led to the creation of a draconian system for content distribution. This shouldn't be news to you. What is baffling, however, is that companies are simply unwilling to see the tangible benefits of community-driven development for their assets--a concept that has proven out time and time again in open systems of all kinds. And if they aren't busy sticking it to themselves, the system too greatly rewards their ill attempts at poisoning others' livelihoods with their copyright-preservation anxieties.

  • NICTA offers free elefant
    The research organisation has built the system under the Mozilla Public License and hopes some of the 3700 downloads will result in feedback about the software.

  • - Every Question About Open Source Answered
    OSQA is a specialized questions and answers website. It deals with Open Source and its every ramification. The site is absolutely free to join, and it can be entirely used at no cost too.

  • View From The Top: Rivet Logic
    Over the past few years, enterprise-grade, commercially-supported open source content management and portal software has seen an increase in adoption by major enterprises worldwide. As these open source platforms have matured over the years, organizations are beginning to realize the benefits that can be gained, and the demand continues to grow as more organizations are working to achieve an Enterprise 2.0 environment in a cost effective manner.

  • Open source network monitoring tools
    As virtualized infrastructure and cloud computing force businesses to reevaluate the broader issue of acceptable network service levels, open source network monitoring tools are attracting heightened interest.

    Both network administrators and open source advocates say the flexibility these tools promise at a relatively reasonable cost has made them a viable alternative to software offered by some of the largest enterprise technology companies.

  • NexentaStor Adds Primary Deduplication
    Nexenta Systems is updating its NexentaStor open-source storage software with in-line deduplication, which increases the amount of data that can be stored on a server by storing it more efficiently, and support for three popular hypervisors.

  • Technology spending can be saved by ‘open source data integration software’
    Mr Mero said: “Open source data integration software allows you to integrate a company’s legacy system with other applications, enabling businesses coming out of the recession to benefit from efficient and cost effective upgrades as well as greater flexibility to develop data management techniques.”

  • Disaster

  • Events

    • OSBC 2010

    • FOSS4G 2010 Workshops ready for inscriptions
      The Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial (FOSS4G) is a conference for Open Source Geospatial Software. It will be presented at Barcelona (Spain), from 6th to 9th September 2010 and is an opportunity to unite behind the many successful geospatial products, standards and protocols.

    • CeBIT

      • CeBIT 2010 Prevue: Sparks, Smouldering
        Open Source has an enormous following in the EU, and there's not only an Open Source Pavilion, but it's not just a gathering of 10x10 booths with geek-speakers-- far more interesting than that.

      • CeBIT 2010: IPFire open source firewall
        The H spoke with IPFire's Project Leader and Developer Michael Tremer at this year's CeBIT IT trade show in Hannover, Germany about his open source firewall. IPFire is a Linux distribution that can be booted from a CD or USB drive, or installed to a computer's hard disk drive.

      • CeBIT 2010: German police to use open source Navit navigation
        According to Martin Schaller, the Navit Project Leader, the German district of Brandenburg is trialling the Navit car navigation system for its Police System. Schaller spoke to The H at CeBIT 2010 about the trial. Navit is an open source, cross-platform car navigation suite that includes a built-in routing engine. Schaller says that, while the system is still considered to be in development, the district will be testing Navit this month with at least three of its cars.

  • Asia

    • First open-source company starts operation
      The Vietnam Open Source Development Joint Stock Company (VINADES., JSC), the first firm operating in the field of open source in the country, made its debut on February 25.

    • Facebook becoming more active for Open Source
      Future of Web Apps (FOWA) event saw major companies like Facebook participating. But what was surprising to see was that Facebook focused a lot on open source this year. Facebook recently hired David Recordon to be more active at the open source side of the business. Recordon, who spearheaded the launch of the Open Web Foundation, is Facebook's first really prominent open-source guru, and when it comes to Facebook's marketing pitches, the open-source guys have taken a little more coaxing than the iPhone developers or widget-builders, reports Caroline McCarthy of CNET.

  • Web Browsers

    • Web Browser Grand Prix: The Top Five, Tested And Ranked

    • 'Select your browser' - which browser to choose in Microsoft's browser ballot?

    • Tech Weekly: Opera on the browser ballot, and open source offices

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla issues new Firefox test release
        The software is based on version 1.9.3 of the Gecko browser engine that underlies Firefox. The current Firefox 3.6, and an update called Lorentz, are based on 1.9.2.

        The headline feature of the new preview release is the same for Lorentz, though: out-of-process plug-ins, which means that Adobe Systems Flash Player and the like run in a separate memory compartment to protect the browser overall when they crash. Mozilla hopes people will see how well it works on an OOPP testing page.

      • Researchers Develop 3D Graphics Capability for Firefox
        A group of researchers plans to release a version of the Firefox browser that includes the built-in ability to view 3D graphics, a capability that could open the door for more interactive Web pages from developers.

        Some gaming companies have created plug-ins that allow 3D graphics to be viewed, but the latest method does not require one, which potentially would allow the capability to be used by more people, said Philipp Slusallek, a professor at Saarland University, at the Cebit trade show on Wednesday.

      • Chris Blizzard: Life in the Browser
        Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier, speaks with Chris Blizzard, director of Developer Relations at Mozilla.

      • UK Government Gives Green Light To Use Of Firefox Across Public Sector
        In the light of the recent phishing attack that compromised Twitter accounts of several prominent politicians, the UK government has announced that all its departments will have the freedom to opt for other web browsers as there is no rule about only using the Internet Explorer (IE) web browser.

      • Government departments allowed to use Firefox
        The government has said its departments are free to consider any browser, and should consider open-source software including Firefox.

        According to a parliamentary written answer from Cabinet Office minister Angela Smith, there is no rule that says government departments must use Microsoft's Internet Explorer, even though it is the browser most widely used within Whitehall.

      • A Public Funded "Microsoft Shop?"
        "I work at a public hospital in the computer / technical department and (amongst others) was recently outraged by an email that was sent around our department: '(XXXX) District Health Board — Information Services is strategically a Microsoft shop and when talking to staff / customers we are to support this strategy. I no longer want to see comments promoting other Operating Systems.' We have also been told to remove Firefox found on anyone's computer unless they have specific authorisation from management to have it installed under special circumstances. Now, I could somewhat understand this if I was working in a company that sold and promoted the use of Microsoft software for financial gain, but I work in the publicly / government funded health system. Several of the IT big-wigs at the DHB are seemingly blindly pro-Microsoft and seem all too quick to shrug off other, perhaps more efficient alternatives. As a taxpayer, I want nothing more than to see our health systems improve and run more efficiently. I am not foolish enough to say all our problems would be solved overnight by changing away from Microsoft's infrastructure, but I am convinced that if we took less than half the money we spend on licensing Microsoft's software alone and invested that in training users for an open source system, we would be far better off in the long run. I would very much like to hear Slashdot's ideas / opinions on this 'Strategic Direction' and the silencing of our technical opinions."

      • Mozilla orders Jäger shot for Firefox engine

  • Documents

    • A Brand Refresh for
      During the last 10 years OpenOffice.orgâ„¢ has evolved to a quite large project in the FLOSS world and a successful product in the office productivity suite market. Together with our product the brand spread over the world. This brand has a tradition of quality and it remains faithful to its origins. Instead of a complete new design we started a refresh. It points out the key components and improves the overall impression to gain even more strength and confidence.

    • Supporting Document Freedom Day
      The details for Document Freedom Day 2010 have been announced – it’s on March 31st and there will be events all over the world. This should be a year of celebration as well as campaigning, as we have made enormous strides in promoting liberty.

    • Working with Graphics Text in

  • Health

  • Databases

    • PostgreSQL Agenda 2010
      2010 will see PostgreSQL release its first major new version for a long time: version 9.0. The release of version 9.0 is an important milestone in the evolution of PostgreSQL. Integral to this release are new features such as the operation of standby servers in read-only mode (hot standby) and an integrated replication solution.

    • What now for MySQL?
      Some of the biggest names on the web use MySQL, including Wikipedia, Facebook, Google and Twitter as well as other technology giants such as Dell and Cisco. Steve Shine from Ingres was also keen to play up the company’s influence in the banking sector and other mission critical applications. “We have major banks in our installed customer base and about 25% of all financial transactions go through an open source platform. One customer uses Ingres for flight and maintenance scheduling,” he says.


    • Open source ECM platforms bring mobility to market
      Zia Consulting extends and supports ECM applications and has frequently used Alfresco, an open source ECM product, for client applications. The company keeps its own content in an Alfresco repository as well, and wanted to be able to connect to it via smartphones. “We use an Alfresco solution that’s in the cloud, which is very convenient,” says Mike Mahon, president of Zia Consulting, “but we did not want to rely solely on laptops for connectivity when we were on the road. In addition, we wanted to give something back to the Alfresco community. So we decided to develop an app, Fresh Docs for Alfresco, for mobile platforms so that users could access content in Alfresco repositories.”

    • Alfresco and VDEL GmbH Partner to Deliver Open Source ECM Solutions to Eastern Europe, Russia, and CIS
      Alfresco is the leading open source alternative for ECM.

    • Drupal Founder Critical of SaaS and its Proprietary Nature
      Drupal's founder is calling for open source in the enterprise and in the cloud. This should be no surprise, coming from someone like Dries Buytaert. But it is still interesting, considering the source and the point he makes about the actual lack of open source in cloud computing.



      "....they might allow you to export your data, but they usually don't allow you to export their underlying code. While a lot of these services might be built on Open Source components, they have a lot more in common with proprietary software vendors than Open Source projects or companies."

      It's in Dries view that this model can be disrupted by open source. For example, he says, the Drupal Gardens community improves the overall platform by contributing to it. The goal, as Dries says, is for people to export their Drupal Garden site in their entirety " the code, the theme and data -- and move the platform to any Drupal hosting environment."

    • Is SaaS a friend or foe of open source?
      Even where SaaS companies let customers take back their data, they often don’t let them take the code underlying it, he wrote in a blog post. Data without software is useless.

    • Cloud and open source delivers the goods for publishing services provider
      A Melbourne-based publishing services company is using open source and honest-to-goodness cloud computing for a custom, core business application.

  • Business

    • Calling All SMEs Who Need Help Understanding Their Business Assets
      Open source software is now much more widely available than ever before, and many of the tools are robust and reliable. Names such as Apache, Protégé and Linux are well known and respected in the industry. There are, however, a couple of points to be aware of before going down the open source route.

      Firstly, open source does not necessarily mean free of charge. Open source means that you are free to use the software and change and redistribute the source code under certain license conditions. So, to coin a phrase often used by the open source community, open source software is free as in speech, not as in beer! However, many open source software packages are also free of charge, but it is worth checking this as some require a fee and some only provide a basic version free of charge, with useful add-ons requiring a fee.

    • The perfect open-source task scheduler
      This last point is where you see the real problem with a cron-based solution. Cron and Task Scheduler were only designed to run regular housekeeping tasks on a single machine, but when you’re providing a service from a collection of machines then every single machine is a single point of failure.

    • Intel and Yahoo! spawn open-source 'Tashi' cluster
      Backed by Yahoo!, HP, and Intel, the computer science mavens at Carnegie Mellon University have added a new compute cluster to the worldwide Open Cirrus test bed, a collection of clusters designed to explorer the frontiers of interwebs-scale distributed computing.

  • BSD

    • BSD Magazine (2010-03) available: BSD as a desktop (free)
      Experienced users or administrators responsible for several machines or environments, know the difficult demands and challenges of maintaining such an infrastructure. The article outlines the steps involved in creating an internal FreeBSD Update Server.

    • BSD Mag

  • Licensing

    • A Big, Linuxy 'Thank You' to Matthew Katzer
      Matthew Katzer probably didn't realize that he'd be doing FOSS a favor when he appropriated Robert Jacobsen's model railroad interface code without attribution. After years of litigation, Katzer agreed to pay $100,000 to settle the case, establishing that free software has actual monetary value.

  • Openness

    • Open-source hardware takes baby steps toward the gadget mainstream
      While there are numerous open-source computer and electronics components available today, only a handful of complete tech gadgets are being developed under an open-source philosophy. However, what exactly defines a hardware project as being open source remains ... well, open.

    • Open Source Energy Savings
      Now, following the path of so many other open source projects, companies including Red Hat and Cycle Computing are transforming Condor into a product. Condor allows large numbers of computers, whether servers, desktops or engineering workstations, to be used as a massive high-performance or high-throughput computing facility.

      "Condor enables open and cost-effective high throughput computing to environments scaling up to 30,000 processors," says Jason Stowe, CEO of Cycle Computing, which offers support and management tools for Condor.


  • Security

    • Terror Begins at Home
      Fearmongering politicians are scoring cheap political points at the expense of the American people.

  • Environment

    • Number of bugs in Britain's soil rises by nearly 50% in 10 years
      Unnoticed by the people of Britain, a transformation has been happening beneath our feet. In the first study of its kind, scientists have analysed the soil the country depends on.

      In just the top 8cm (3in) of dirt, soil scientists estimate there are 12.8 quadrillion (12,800 million million) living organisms, weighing 10m tonnes, and, incredibly, that the number of these invertebrates – some just a hair's breadth across – which in effect make the soil has increased by nearly 50% in a decade. At the same time, however, the diversity of life in the earth appears to have reduced.

    • Yemen threatens to chew itself to death over thirst for narcotic qat plant
      Most experts predict Sana'a, the fastest-growing capital in the world at 7% a year, will run out of economically viable water supplies by 2017. That is the same year the World Bank says Yemen will cease earning income from its oil, which currently accounts for three-quarters of the state's revenues.

  • Finance

    • Citi Warns of Withdrawal Gate
      Seen on a recent Citibank (C) statement: "Effective April 1, 2010, we reserve the right to require (7) days advance notice before permitting a withdrawal from all checking accounts. While we do not currently exercise this right and have not exercised it in the past, we are required by law to notify you of this change."

    • JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) Says Buy Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC)
      Basing their recommendation on government support being removed from some types of deposits, JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) says investors should look at Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) options because they should do better than their weaker competitors as a result.

    • Opinion: Former JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) Partner Malcom Calvert Battling Insider Trading Charges
      The battle by Malcolm Calvert over charges he was involved with insider trading at the Cazenove unit of JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) continues in London, as his lawyer communicated to a jury in London that there wasn’t any evidence concerning Calvert partaking in insider trading.

    • JPMorgan continues to bite the hand that feeds it
      For the biggest banks, 2009 was a year of humility. In the U.S., top executives and millionaire traders were denounced by the Obama administration, Congress and the media for refusing to give up their bonuses.

    • Striking Greeks fight back against austerity plan
      Tens of thousands of striking Greek workers took to the streets today, some throwing stones at police, in a defiant show of protest against austerity measures aimed at averting the debt-plagued country's economic collapse.

      Riot police responded with teargas when, in sporadic bursts, masked youths charged them in Athens city centre. The violence coincided with a general strike that shut down public services and closed off Greece to the outside world.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • DMCA Amendment Proposed For UK
      "During today's debate in the UK's House of Lords on the much-criticized Digital Economy Bill, the unpopular Clause 17 (which would have allowed the government to alter copyright law much more easily than it currently can) was voted out in favor of a DMCA-style take-down system for websites and ISPs. The new amendment known as 120A sets up a system whereby a copyright owner could force an ISP to block certain websites who allegedly host or link to infringing material or face being taken before the High Court and made to pay the copyright owner's legal fees. This amendment was tabled by the Liberal Democrat party, which had so far been seen as the defenders of the internet and with the Conservative party supporting them. The UK's Pirate Party and Open Rights Group have both strongly criticized this new amendment."

    • Audiobook DRM versus the patrons of the Cleveland Library
      This installment of the Brads webcomic shows the 22 steps a reader has to take in order to borrow a DRM-crippled audiobook from the public library. A compelling argument for libraries to boycott this stuff.

    • The Brads – Why DRM Doesn’t Work

    • Confirmed: Lib Dems and Conservatives force web blocking into the Digital Economy Bill
      Despite firm warnings from ourselves, Consumer Focus and others, Liberal Democrat and Tory peers Lord Clement Jones and Howard pushed through an amendment allowing the courts to order web blocking for ‘substantially infringing’ websites.

    • The UK's DMCA; Clause 17 falls, but at what cost?
      During another intense session in the House of Lords this afternoon a vote was finally held on the controversial Clause 17 of the UK's Digital Economy Bill. This clause would have allowed the Secretary of State to amend the UK's copyright law with a lot less oversight from parliament than usual. The government did not hide the fact that this provision would be used to clamp down on unlicensed file-sharers in various ways as the industry demanded. However, there was a bright side; the clause would have permitted Lord Mandelson (or more likely his successor) to do as he promised back in October and relax the UK's copyright law by bringing in the 'fair use' exemptions it so desperately needs.

    • Brits: tell the LibDem Peers not to bring web-censorship to Britain!

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • JASRAC wants to charge YOU for tweeting song lyrics!
      In a completely boneheaded move, the Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC) announced that they want to set up a system to charge people who tweet any part of song lyric.

      As reported (in the Japanese language) on J-cast news, they haven't decided on the details yet, but JASRAC insists it's the law and everyone has to obey with their decree.

    • Movie rental kiosks hit with legal threats
      A Southern Indiana prosecutor has threatened criminal charges unless stores with DVD rental kiosks remove R-rated movies and other material considered harmful to children.

    • Dear Macmillan, You Don't Embrace The New By Trying To Protect The Old
      One of the reasons why economic forces work the way that they do, and the reason why infinite goods with zero marginal cost get pushed in price towards zero, is that buyers implicitly understand the difference between scarce goods and abundant goods. They implicitly recognize the marginal cost of making another good, and they mentally price products accordingly. Pretending that consumers don't do that is assuming that consumers are stupid. And that's an even bigger mistake than looking backwards instead of forward.

    • RealNetworks Agrees To Pay $4.5 Million In Legal Fees To Hollywood Over RealDVD; Gives Up
      So what did Hollywood accomplish here? It shut down a software product that allows people to backup the DVDs they legally own -- not to distribute them. In the meantime, of course, there are a bunch of DVD ripping programs out there that have no such restrictions. In other words, Hollywood's brilliant legal strategists just pushed anyone who wants to back up their movies to use solutions that make it easier for them to share those movies with others.

    • ACTA

      • Danish Politicians Questioning Why Denmark Is So Against ACTA Transparency
        One of the really amazing things in witnessing the reactions among various politicians to the ACTA negotiations is realizing how out of the loop they are as well. They're often just as angry that things are being done in the name of their country that they have no visibility into. Of course, this adds to the impression that this whole process is not about figuring out what's best for the people of each country, but an end run around the democratic lawmaking process, pushed mainly by big industries (led by the entertainment and pharmaceutical industries).

      • The ACTA Transparency Scorecard

      • By Its Fruit
        When the time comes, the apologists for ACTA will then be able to claim that it is not a wave of new legislation designed to shore up the business models of 20th century corporations at the expense of 21st century innovation and third-world needs. Instead they will claim ACTA merely “harmonises existing law globally”.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Seiya Maeda, open source service provider, Japan 01 (2004)

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

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