Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 15/5/2010: 65,000+ Linux-based Google Phones Per Day; English Leadership on F/OSS



GNOME bluefish

Contents





GNU/Linux

  • CERN cranks up its LHC network
    According to HPCWIRE, the LHC doomsday device's network has linked mass data storage sites, such as the Ohio Supercomputer Centre and more than 1,000 international physicists, engineers and technicians.

    Apparently the LHC detectors spew out 1.25GB of data per second. That's about six times the contents of Encyclopedia Britannica including the index every second.




  • Ballnux

    • Nexus One gives the iPhone a run for its money
      Google made a wise decision when it decided to release an open source mobile operating system — it has allowed it to quickly infiltrate the smartphone market because of the business model: it’s free and open source like Linux.

      Despite this, most of the Android devices on the market today are not really true competitors to the iPhone, due to the immaturity, sluggishness and the availability of apps. But with the release of the latest device, the HTC Nexus One running Android v2.1, Android is finally becoming a threat to the iPhone, which has held its own for almost two years as the most desirable mobile device.


    • Nexus One changes in availability
      But, as with every innovation, some parts worked better than others. While the global adoption of the Android platform has exceeded our expectations, the web store has not. It’s remained a niche channel for early adopters, but it’s clear that many customers like a hands-on experience before buying a phone, and they also want a wide range of service plans to chose from.


    • Say Hello to the TELUS HTC Triumph!
      Got to hand it to TELUS as they keep bringing on very strong Android devices. First it was the HTC Hero, followed up with the Motorola Milestone then the very unique Motorola Backflip… now behold the HTC Triumph!


    • Samsung Wave out soon, SDK out now
      As has been widely reported, Samsung's eagerly anticipated Wave handset is due out in the next month or so and is based around the new open-source bada platform. As a result, people eager to start creating apps for the smartphone device can start doing that right now, by downloading the Software Developers Kit directly from bada.com.


    • Ok, For Real Guys… Android 2.1 Available for Samsung Moment


    • US Cellular’s Samsung Acclaim Pic Confirmed
      Engadget is reporting that the handset pictured to the left is the new Samsung Acclaim that US Cellular has recently scored exclusive rights to. Their confidence that this is the Acclaim is high, with their "doubt meter hovering at zero."


    • Is this T-Mobile US’s Galaxy S? UPDATE
      This is another one of those posts that could be way off the mark, but it could be right on. Howard Chui from howardchui.com recently posted a video walkthrough of the Samsung Galaxy S. If you will kindly take note of the icons in the screen shot to the right, you’ll notice there are a couple recognizable icons there, icons that are commonly found on T-Mobile US Android devices. I’ve looked through several Galaxy S videos from CTIA and none of the demos show these icons in the app tray, only this video.


    • Samsung Galaxy S Promotional Video Surfaces








  • Instructionals

    • How To Check URLs You Don't Trust
      There are alternatives which may or may not have their own HTTP engines. Did you know Firefox and Google Chrome have a view-source protocol handler? You can view the source code for my blog at view-source:http://blogs.pcmag.com/securitywatch/.

      And then there's Curl, a free and open source Internet URL retrieval engine. It's most famous for retrieving HTTP URLs, but it handles many other protocols too (HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, FTPS, SCP, SFTP, TFTP, DICT, TELNET, LDAP or FILE).


    • VLC Media Player Download








  • Games

    • Four indie games to go open source
      The developers of the Aquaria, Gish, Lugaru HD and Penumbra Overture have all pledged to release the their code as open source. Wolfire Games, makers of Lugaru HD, have already posted their source code under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and within hours of the release a number of people have created and submitted patches.








  • Distributions



    • New Releases

      • VectorLinux 6.0 Standard Edition
        Ten years after the first release, the VectorLinux team announced a new version of the Standard Edition. The 6th generation of the Linux operating system has an installer with Graphical User Interface for the first time, developed by Moises Henriquez (M0E-lnx) and Uel Archuletta (uelsk8s). We have delivered a stable, clean and fast Operating system, that is easy to install, configure, and use.


      • eBox 1.4-2


      • CentOS 5.5


      • Toorox - Linux Live System: 05.2010
        Content:

        * Kernel 2.6.33-gentoo * KDE 4.4.3 * Xorg-Server 1.7.6 * OpenOffice 3.2.0 * VLC 1.0.6 * IceCat 3.6.3 * Thunderbird 3.04 * K3b 1.91.0_rc2 * Gimp 2.6.8 * Wine 1.1.43 * Amarok 2.2.1 * Audacious 2.3.0.90 * Ardour 2.8.2 * Kino 1.3.3 * Cinelerra 20100320 * ...










  • Devices/Embedded

    • Rocking Out With A Linux Guitar
      By working the LCD screen with one hand and pressing down on virtual strings on the neck of the instrument, you can create synthesized sounds. For guitar geeks, this looks like a great gift, but there isn't any price cited yet.




    • Nokia

      • What does Nokia need to do to become relevant again?
        3) Ditch Symbian for smartphones: Nokia claims that Symbian “democratises the smartphone market”. They’re saying that open source programmes make their phones more customisable and more relevant to a larger audience than, say, an iPhone. But Android is already by some measures outselling the Apple iPhone, it’s already open source and it’s already very good, when HTC design with it at least. Symbian 4 is, by virtue of its arrival later this year, surely not able to be a patch on Android 1.6, never mind the newer 2.1, and equally poor in comparison to iPhone OS3. What’s the point in backing the Symbian horse? Insiders say forthcoming OS Meego will be great. It’s too little, too late, when Android is already streaks ahead and Windows Phone 7 Series is on the way. (I’d love, by the way, to be proved wrong, but “the open source OS” Symbian 4 is currently a secret – you can take a look here at Mashable, however.








    • Android

      • 65,000 Android phones shipping every day: Google
        At least 65,000 mobile phones powered by Google's Android operating system are being shipped every day, Google chief executive Eric Schmidt said Thursday.


      • Android is for real
        As for Android, even if it was helped along by Apple-like advertising campaigns and two-for-one offers, the Linux-based, Apache-licensed mobile OS has undoubtedly made the biggest strides in the modern smartphone market we’ve seen since iPhone. I recall immense skepticism when we indicated in our CAOS report Mobility Matters way back in November 2008 that the first Android phone on the market, the G1, represented an impressive first step and a sign of fast, carrier-supported development and advancement thanks in large part to open source. Regardless of how significant its device maker and carrier support, including two for one deals, Android has done better than expected in the market. It certainly marks the furthest a mobile OS based on Linux has ever gone.


      • Michael Dell Confirms Streak 5 for AT&T This Summer
        Michael Dell, CEO, took to the stage yesterday for a keynote speech at the Citrix Synergy conference where he promptly teased the crowd with a demo of the Streak 5 tablet phone. The 5-inch device features a 5-megapixel camera, a 800X480 touch display with 5 inches viewable screen, and a customized build of Android. We aren't sure what version of Android the Streak 5 will have. Our first glimpse of the device had 1.6 on it but enough time has passed to get 2.1 loaded.


      • NTT DoCoMo’s Best Selling Smart Phone Ever is Probably Sony Ericsson Xperia X10
        We've given the Sony Ericsson Xperia a rough go at things here on the site and on some of our podcasts. To sum things up we'd have to say we're disappointed all around. We wish it was more responsive in their Mediascape and Timescape apps, we wish it had something newer than Android 1.6, we wish it would hit the US at some point, etc... Just a general sense of letdown.


      • DROID Does More Commercials
        Droid Does Augmented reality! Well, technically most Android devices can “do” augmented reality. However, none of the other carriers and/or manufacturers are promoting the sheer amount and variety of Android apps that are available. Even if you think the videos are too industrial or crass, you have to admit that Verizon is helping to gain visibility for our little, green buddy.


      • Android Rips Up Google to Reveal a Nexus One Easter Egg
        Google sure does love its easter eggs, and here in the UK Android fans are treated to a very special sight when "meet Android" is typed and "I'm feeling lucky" hit.








    • Tablets

      • Verizon: We're making a tablet with Google
        Google released a statement: "Android is a free, open source mobile platform. This means that anyone can take the Android platform and add code or download it to create a mobile device without restrictions. The Android smartphone platform was designed from the beginning to scale downward to feature phones and upward to MID and netbook-style devices. We look forward to seeing what contributions are made and how an open platform spurs innovation, but we have nothing to announce at this time."










Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Predicted to Experience High Growth in 2010
    A new survey by one of Europe's specialist pan European headhunting companies in the software space, predicts Open Source will be a good bet to achieve high growth this year.


  • Make Your Own Creative Suite With Free Open Source Software
    When you’re getting started with web design, industry standard software such as Adobe’s Creative Suite is often far out of your budget. Fortunately there are many Open Source alternatives that go a long way towards putting together a solid suite of design tools.

    Alternative To Photoshop: GIMP

    GIMP or GNU Image Manipulation Program started in 1995 and is probably the best known Open Source image editor. It has powerful painting tools, layers and channels support, multiple undo/redo, editable text layers. There is a huge supportive community around GIMP with many plug-ins to allow easy extension of it’s functionality. Gimp can import native Photoshop files and can read scalable vector graphics (SVG) files.




  • Events







  • SaaS

    • Yahoo! to open source floating Google-Amazon crossbreed
      Known simply as "Cloud" within the company, the platform is that piece of Yahoo! infrastructure that serves up its online applications. In short, it provides the company's internal developers with on-demand access to computing resources. But rather than offering raw virtual machines as Amazon EC2 does, it spins up "containers" of server power that are pre-configured for things like load-balancing and security. That way, developers needn't handle the load-balancing on their own.








  • Databases







  • Healthcare

    • IAC to VA: Modernize VistA
      The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) should commit to and announce as a matter of strategic policy a plan to move to an open source, open standards model for the re-engineering of the next generation of the department’s integrated health information system, VistA, according to a new report from the Industry Advisory Council (IAC). The 100-page report from the Washington, D.C.-based IAC provided recommendations to VA on how to modernize VistA (VA Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture).


    • A Look Into the Mind: WiseWindow Leverages Open Source, Cloud Computing to Gauge Opinions
      I understand Rajiv has been named advisor and architect for a new open source project funded by the National Institute of Health and executed by Caltech. What is the goal of this effort and what exactly does it have to do with open source?

      Dulepet: The goal of this effort is to provide scientists an open platform for bio-medical research where they can share analytical applications and data with their colleagues.








  • Business







  • Government

    • Whitehall's new IT minister, who's it gonna be?
      Whomever is handed the government’s IT portfolio will, among other duties, be responsible for overseeing the Cabinet Office’s open source and open standards software procurement policy, which the previous Labour administration rejigged under then IT minister Angela Smith in January this year.


    • UK hot-swaps leaders - Brown out, Cameron in
      The Tories also look like following many European and US authorities on open source and open standards. The party has promised to make government data available upon request in open-standard formats.


    • Tories and Lib Dems form coalition government
      The Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties, both of which opposed ID cards and favour open source, have formed a coalition government.

      [...]

      Both parties are keen on open-source software. The Tories have backed the use of open standards in major government IT projects, which they say will create a "level playing field" for open source, and the Lib Dems have sung the praises of open source's cost benefits.


    • New Government: Tory-Lib Dem Coalition Will Agree On Most Public Sector ICT Issues


    • Goodbye Gordon: The Labour Tech Legacy
      7. Open source government

      Brown’s government was one of the first to use open source tech to help the public sector cut IT costs during the economic downturn. The decision to encourage greater use of open source was based on the need for greater support for community development by IT vendors, and some commentators claimed savings could be as much as €£600 million a year.

      However, Britain has been found to be lagging behind many other countries when it comes to open source, and many open source vendors have criticised the policy as toothless. Meanwhile, the European Commission has warned that any progress in using open source and open standards will have to be tempered against the possibility that the software could have downsides in terms of security.


    • European Commission Releases New Version of Open e-PRIOR To Push eProcurement Across EU
      The Directorate-General for Informatics (DIGIT) has recently announced that a new version of Open e-PRIOR, the open-source version of the e-PRIOR (electronic PRocurement, Invoicing and Ordering) platform has been published on the Open Source Observatory and Repository for European public administrations (OSOR.eu).








  • Open Data

    • Cory Doctorow, geek culture icon (Q&A)
      From his home in England, the Canadian-born Doctorow, a Hugo Award nominee, is one of the most prolific writers going, constantly turning out blog posts, magazine articles, novels, and everything in between. And he travels more in a year than most people will in a lifetime.

      His Boing Boing posts can cover issues from the fact that there are now at least 13 open-source hardware companies making $1 million or more annually, to anything related to Net neutrality, to the current battle over the U.S. Federal Communications Committee's decision to give Hollywood permission to activate the so-called "Selective Output Control" technologies in consumers' set-top boxes.






  • Open Hardware





  • Open Access/Content







  • Programming







  • Standards/Consortia

    • Technology: Beautifully Rendered Music Notation With HTML5
      An anonymous reader writes "This is incredible. This guy has built a music notation engraver entirely in JavaScript, allowing for real-time music editing right in the browser. Here's a demo. The library has no external dependencies, and all the glyphs, scores, beams, ties, etc. are positioned and rendered entirely in JavaScript."








Leftovers

  • Feds to examine ways to jam prisoners' illicit cell phone calls
    Federal regulators are now seeking input on ways they can jam signals or otherwise crack down on prisoners who smuggle and use cell phones in federal jails.


  • Successful Businesses Focus On Innovating
    Anyone working at a small company has likely experienced the time distractions of playing phone tag and chasing down late payments. These diversions can drain enthusiasm and energy that could otherwise be put to better use. Given this common problem, we're on the lookout for how others in small businesses are creating innovative projects. Software as a service offerings are often cited as examples for saving time -- allowing small companies to focus on their own tasks, rather than dealing with maintaining IT resources and installing software packages.




  • Science

    • NASA’s moon program gets a boost from Congress
      Two Republican lawmakers today moved to block White House efforts to kill NASA’s Constellation program, adding an amendment to a broad budget bill that prohibits NASA from taking steps to terminate efforts to return astronauts to the moon.

      The provision, inserted in an emergency spending bill aimed at funding military operations in Afghanistan, is the latest salvo in a months-long battle between Congress and the White House on what to do with NASA after the agency retires the space shuttle fleet at the end of the year.








  • Security/Aggression

    • Inside Sourcefire's Vulnerability Research Team
      In many IT security shops, administrators rely on open-source tools to keep up with the malware bad guys continue to toss their way. One industry favorite is Sourcefire, parent of the Snort IDS tool and ClamAV.


    • Friday Funnies


    • Single group did 66% of world's phishing
      A single criminal operation was responsible for two-thirds of all phishing attacks in the second half of 2009 and is responsible for a two-fold increase in the crime, a report published this week said.


    • Report reveals DNA sample failings by police in London
      Failings in the way police officers in London dealt with DNA samples linked to violent crime, rape and murder have been highlighted in a report.

      The inspection found samples had been left in a freezer at two police stations in Hackney, east London, instead of being sent for analysis.








  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Defending "Hot News" Claim in New York Court
      From DarkReading.com, a story about a federal lawsuit against Goldman Sachs and several unknown Goldman Sachs employees who allegedly logged into, and stole thousands of records from, the plaintiff's database of investor contact information. The database was protected by a restrictive license and by passwords.

      The lawsuit has several aspects that make it worth watching. First, the plaintiffs claim that Goldman Sachs should be liable for its employees' violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Few cases discuss the circumstances under which an employer can be held liable for an employee's CFAA violations. Cases like Butera & Andrews v. IBM Inc., No. 1:06-CV-647 (D.D.C. Oct. 18, 2006), create a high hurdle for plaintiffs, stating that intentional conduct on the part of the company must be proven to create CFAA liability.








  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Facebook founder called trusting users dumb f*cks
      Loveable Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg called his first few thousand users "dumb fucks" for trusting him with their data, published IM transcripts show. Facebook hasn't disputed the authenticity of the transcript.


    • Facebook Should Follow Its Own Principles
      About a year ago, Facebook suffered a tremendous consumer backlash over its changes to the Terms of Service. To quell the uproar, Facebook introduced a set of Principles. Through a "Facebook site governance" vote, users voted on whether these Principles should serve as the foundation for governing the site." At the time, the company trumpeted the success of the vote, by which about 75% of voters selected the new Facebook Principles: "We strongly believe that our proposed documents satisfied the concerns raised in February." As Facebook explains, the Principles are "the foundation of the rights and responsibilities of those within the Facebook Service." A year later, the foundation is cracking.

      Now Facebook flatly contradicts its own stated Principles. The contradictions are clearly shown in Facebook's widely panned ([1][2][3][4][5]) response to New York Times readers' questions on the social network's brave new privacy practices. A reader asked Elliot Schrage, Facebook's vice president for public policy, the key question: "Why can’t I control my own information anymore?"


    • Why Open Alternatives Are Bound To Challenge Facebook
      Still, as we've noted before, both Facebook and Twitter suffer from the fundamental problem that they are closed systems. They harken back to the early days of email, when you had to be on, say, MCI Mail, or CompuServe, to send another computer user a message. Facebook and Twitter are walled gardens that don't allow users enough control over their interaction with others. Diaspora is unlikely to ever threaten Facebook's dominance, but the welcome it has received in such a short time shows how fed up people are with Facebook's policies. In the long run, Facebook will likely face more serious challenges from open alternatives to its service.


    • Facebook ID theft Mr Big just a sprat, says social network


    • VA Continues Its Annual Tradition Of Losing Laptop With Unencrypted Sensitive Data
      When we last checked in with the Veterans Administration (VA) it was to suggest that it rename itself the "Ministry of Data Leaks." That's because every year or so they admit that they've lost a computer that happens to contain unencrypted personal data on VA members. And, each report seems to get worse than the previous one. So you would think that, by now, the VA would have at least put in place some system to encrypt and protect the data it stores. That would be wishful thinking. It's now come out that the VA has had two major data breaches in just the last month -- both involving laptops that had unencrypted data.


    • Google Admits It Was Accidentally Collecting Some Open WiFi Data
      There's no way around the fact that Google should not have done this, and in doing so, it's just handed years worth of "evidence" of Google's evil nature to the company's critics. In context, however, it's still not clear that what Google did was really that bad. Anyone using a WiFi network can similarly see unencrypted data used by others on that same access point. It happens all the time -- which is why if you are using a shared network, you should always encrypt your traffic -- and most sensitive websites (webmail, banks, etc.) automatically encrypt the traffic. On top of that, as Google notes, since the data collected came from cars driving around, they were not connected to any particular WiFi network for very long at all.








  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Hollywood backs Viacom in Google legal fight
      Ever since Viacom first filed a lawsuit accusing Google's YouTube of violating copyright law, most of Hollywood has appeared determined to stay neutral. That seems to be changing.


    • Subway To Everyone Else: Stop Selling 'Footlong' Sandwiches
      Last week, the restaurant got a letter from a lawyer representing Subway, which, as you may have heard, sells 12-inch sandwiches for five bucks.

      After explaining that Subway "has applied for the trademark FOOTLONG (TM) in association with sandwiches," the letter says:
      You are hereby put on notice to cease and desist from using FOOTLONG (TM) association with sandwiches. You must immediately remove all references to FOOTLONG (TM) in association with sandwiches.


    • Viacom Still Not Getting It -- Files Bogus Takedown And Kills Some Free Transformers Buzz
      Yes, it appears Paramount promptly filed a DMCA takedown -- which seems like a fantastic way to kill excitement for the movie. According to the takedown, Brown's video "matched third party content," which, of course, is impossible since Transformers 3 has yet to be finished (let alone released) and obviously Brown took the video himself. The filming took place in a public alley, so anyone around is totally free to take pictures or video and share them.

      Now, not only is it ridiculous to claim that these videos are covered under Paramount's copyright, it's hard to fathom why Paramount would want to bother quashing these videos at all. After Brown and Krimmel posted their videos, entertainment blogs picked the story up and started to build buzz about the movie. Isn't that a good thing?




    • Copyrights

      • Public Knowledge Proposes Changes To Copyright Technical Protection Law
        In the second part of its Copyright Reform Act project, Public Knowledge (PK) today suggested critical changes to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to correct crucial flaws in the law’s section that covers permissible circumvention of technological protection measures.

        The latest PK report about Section 1201 of the DMCA found that the law “fails to appropriately distinguish between circumvention for lawful purposes and circumvention for unlawful purposes, causing a range of harmful effects to befall creators, consumers, researchers, innovators, and competitors.” At the same time, the report found, that the “anti-circumvention provisions have failed to provide copyright owners adequate relief from large-scale infringement.”


      • Shepard Fairey: OBEY my lawyers
        What do you do if you're a street artist turned marketing phenom who uses other people's images when someone uses one of your designs? If you're Shepard Fairey, apparently, you call your lawyers.

        Fairey, of Obama HOPE poster fame, is defending himself against charges he infringed on an Associated Press copyrighted photo in making the poster. He's also been criticized by artists for using others' work without attribution (see background here and here). His lawyers claim in the AP case that he is protected by fair use provisions of the copyright law.


      • Has Shepard Fairey Learned That He's Been Hypocritical When It Comes To Others Appropriating His Works?
        But there's another part of Fairey's actions that has been equally troubling: he's been known to aggressively go after others for copying his work, despite the fact that the entire basis of his work is appropriation art. Fairey has used his lawyers in a manner not unlike the recent case we wrote about involving the estate of appropriation artist Roy Lichtenstein threatening a band for using an image that was copied not from Lichtenstein's painting, but from the same original source material.


      • The Music Industry Needs Fair and Open Markets, Not Regulation
        This is the ORG website; you are not likely to find here the usual complaints about freeloading filesharers destroying opportunities for artists and blighting the creative industries' digital future. Instead here's a much more pro-business and pro-artist agenda for the five year coalition to consider, and it is one which does not need mass surveillance, consumer 'education' campaigns, and regulation. Nor does it require Ofcom to spend millions of pounds of public money studying how close Sisyphus is to the top of the mountain.












Clip of the Day



NASA Connect - AATC - Future NASA Technology (2001)

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