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Links 27/5/2010: Fedora 13 Reviews, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Run Linux

GNOME bluefish



  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 98
    €· Announced Distro: Arch Linux 2010.05 €· Announced Distro: Linux Mint 9 €· Announced Distro: Slackware 13.1 RC2 €· Announced Distro: SystemRescueCd 1.5.4 €· Announced Distro: Mandriva Linux 2010.1 RC1

  • TTE Wrappers protect system operations
    If intending to use an off-the-shelf processor running Linux or another standard OS in the embedded system, it can be challenging to ensure that the system will operate safely at all times.

  • Desktop

    • Growth in Mobile PCs and “No OS”
      Coincidence? I don’t think so. HP and the others are not big on “No OS”. I think “No OS” may be working for folks who hate that other OS and want to pick their own OS, such as GNU/Linux. I think about 10% of PC users are able/willing to install an OS so a large part of the growth of ASUS and Acer could be due to this plus the fact that they push low-end mobile PCs.

    • Students can turn to free alternatives for necessary software
      Most computers that you may purchase will come with an operating such as Microsoft Windows or a Macintosh OS. However, not all manufacturers include an operating system on their computers and if you need to purchase an operating system it can cost you several hundred dollars, depending on what you need.

      Linux is a term used to refer to operating systems based on the Linux Kernel and is generally free and open source. Linux is made of different distributions or “distros.” Each distro has its own features and uses, so it is up to the user to decide which is best for them. A distro can be made by a single individual or a collaborate group of dozens.

      However, because Linux is the way it is, there is no paid support for most distros and help comes from online forums normally. Linux is usually considered fairly advanced and requires the computer user to be fairly computer literate.

      Usually considered one of the most user friendly distros, Ubuntu is very popular among new Linux users and would be a good place to start. Download at

    • Downloads of MEDUSA4 Personal up by 38% for free 2D/3D CAD on Linux€® and Windows€®
      About a third of all users are on Linux.

  • Server

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • The Linux Foundation Announces LinuxCon 2010 Program and Schedule
      The Linux Foundation (LF), the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced new keynote speakers and its full conference schedule for North America's premier annual conference LinuxCon taking place in Boston August 10-12, 2010.

    • LinuxCon Program Announced: This Year’s Themes

    • The People Who Support Linux: Driving 4,000 Miles to LinuxCon

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intro to CUDA
        General Purpose computing on Graphics Processing Units, or GPGPU, is one of the hottest up-and-coming trends in software development. By writing code specifically to run on the massively parallel stream processors found on today’s high-end 3-D graphics cards, programmers can speed up an array of algorithms — and not just in high-performance computing (HPC) applications. One of the most popular GPGPU architectures available for Linux is NVIDIA’s “Compute Unified Device Architecture” (CUDA). If you are looking to get started, CUDA allows you to write GPU-optimized code in C, using only a few language extensions.

  • Applications

    • Spirit iPhone Jailbreak for Linux gets User Interface

    • Spirit Jailbreak for Linux now Available

    • Spirit Jailbreak for iPhone 3.1.3, iPad 3.2, iPod touch 3G Ported to Linux
      The developer behind Greenpois0n, p0sixninja has managed to port “Spirit” jailbreak tool to Linux. Spirit is an all-in-one untethered iDevice jailbreak for iPhone 3.1.3, iPad 3.2 and iPod touch 2G/3G. It was released earlier this month for both Windows and Mac OS X.

    • Nautilus Elementary Simplifies File Browsing in Linux
      Linux only: While lots of people like advanced file browsers like previously mentioned Total Commander or Path Finder, sometimes the explorer can get overwhelmingly complicated. Nautilus Elementary is a mod that compacts and streamlines Nautilus in GNOME to make file browsing easier.

    • Proprietary/Middle Ground

      • Wine 1.2 gets a first release candidate
        The Wine developers have announced the availability of the first release candidate (RC1) for version 1.2 of their Windows API implementation, marking the beginning of the code freeze period. Wine, which is an acronym for Wine Is Not an Emulator, is free open source software that allows users to run Windows applications on Linux and Unix by providing its own native versions of Windows DLLs.

      • Google releases Chrome for Mac and Linux
        Google has officially released Chrome for the Apple and Linux operating systems, taking the software out of beta.

      • Google Chrome grows up: Out of beta on Mac/Linux
        Although I’m perfectly happy clicking away in Opera, Firefox, or Chrome/Chromium, the speed/stability improvements in this cross-platform release make for a pretty compelling argument to stick with Chrome, especially for those of us who spend a lot of time in Google Apps and AJAX-heavy sites.

      • Interesting times for Linux Flash support
        Although many proponents of free software and an open web don't like Flash, the multimedia platform has become so ubiquitous that it is difficult to imagine the web without it. However, Flash support has always been a challenge for Linux distributions. Adobe has had a proprietary Linux release of its Flash player software for years now, but only for the x86 processor architecture. Meanwhile, open source projects trying to recreate Flash functionality are lagging behind and struggling with lack of manpower. Luckily, there are also some interesting new technical developments in the open source Flash world. One that sparked our interest recently is Lightspark, which was written from scratch based on the SWF documentation Adobe published in June 2009 as part of the Open Screen Project.


        But x86 and preliminary x86_64 support for Flash obviously isn't enough in the open source world. Granted, Adobe is or has been working with some mobile phone manufacturers to offer a version for ARM (for example on MeeGo or Android), but people running a Linux desktop system on a non-Intel processor are left in the cold. Until last year, your author was in exactly this position, running Debian on a PowerMac G5. If non-Intel users want to run the official Flash player they have to use ugly solutions such as running Flash in an x86 emulator.

        Luckily there are some open source programs recreating Flash functionality, of which the most well-known is Gnash ("GNU Flash"), which also runs on PowerPC, ARM and MIPS processors. It's not even limited to Linux: Gnash also supports FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD, so it pleases a lot of people that don't want to run proprietary software on their open source operating system but have to be able to see Flash content. In March we looked at the current state of affairs of Gnash when project lead Rob Savoye talked about the project at SCALE 8x.

    • Instructionals

    • Games

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Exploring Lilliput: Is the Cloud Replacing Tiny Linuxes?
      In case anyone wondered why I haven't been offering any of my highly-opinionated pieces on Linux Planet lately, it's because I've been exploring Lilliput: sampling for myself a few of the better known small-footprint distros that offer an astonishing amount of computing power packed into a mere handful of megabytes. And though I haven't been at this long enough to try out more than a small fraction of the available ones, some overall characteristics of the breed are beginning to appear. The most interesting feature to me is that there seem to be two main branches of small distros: the Tools and the Products.

    • Red Hat Family

      • 3PAR adds could support with Red Hat server virtualisation
        3PAR has announced support for Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation for Servers, a server virtualisation offering that includes a standalone Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor and server management tools.

        The company said that 3PAR InServ Storage Server customers can choose the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation Hypervisor to build and deploy a virtualisation environment on a scale necessary for public or private cloud datacentres.

      • 200Day Might Become a Great Reference Point for Red Hat

      • Fedora

        • Fedora's Paul Frields: Leadership, trust, fail early and often
          Paul works for Red Hat and is currently the Fedora Project Leader and chairman of the Fedora Project Board. It's no coincidence that our chat with Paul was posted on the day that Fedora 13 was released. But I can't express how excited I was when I saw his responses to the interview questions drop into my inbox. Then I read the email. Twice. When Paul started talking about overcoming failure, curating leadership, and fostering community participation, I was ecstatic. I think you will be too.

        • Fedora 13 update revamps virtualisation

        • Fedora 13 gets utility for tracing code

        • Fedora 13 brims with updates

        • Fedora 13 Released

        • Fedora 13 Released

        • Fedora Linux 13 released
          For developers Python 3 can be installed in parallel with an existing Python stack and there is support for the Java EE 6 specification in Netbeans 6.8.

        • Fedora 13 released

        • Rock it
          Known as "Goddard", Fedora 13 not only boasts a current software selection and a modernised design, it also offers an extensive range of technological improvements. As usual, the distribution demonstrates its pioneering role in this area and many of its advanced features are likely to appear soon in other Linux distributions.

        • Fedora 13 (Goddard) Hits the Waves
          I have loaded the Gnome 64-bit version on my Lifebook S6510 (Intel Core2 Duo and 965 graphics) and HP Pavillion dv2-1010ez (AMD Athlon Neo and AMD Radeon graphics), and the Gnome 32-bit version on my HP 2133 Mini (VIA C7-M and Chrome9 graphics). All loaded easily and without significant problems. The 2133 has a small (10") relatively high resolution (1280x768) screen, and I thought the default font size was much too large, but it took just a few mouse clicks to reduce that, and it looks fine now.

          Here are a few of the significant changes and improvements that I have noticed personally.

        • Fedora 13 released with open 3D drivers and Python 3 stack
          I tested Fedora 13 myself to see how it compares to the previous version. It's a fairly solid release, certainly one of the better offerings from Fedora that I've seen in a while. The improvements relative to version 12 are somewhat modest, but compelling enough to motivate an upgrade. The general level of fit and finish has increased since the previous version. After spending several hours with Fedora 13, my conclusion is that the new hat is a good fit.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS: Lucid Lynx Benchmarked And Reviewed
        Ubuntu 10.04 LTS comes with a video editor pre-installed--a widely perceived weak point in desktop Linux distributions. PiTiVi is probably the best choice to bundle with Ubuntu. It is one of the easiest-to-use video editors out there, yet still robust enough to keep most users from seeking an upgrade. Throw in the best GTK conformity, and PiTiVi is the obvious choice for Ubuntu. With a minimalist interface and a focus on drag-and-drop interaction, this app finally brings Linux users a video editor that can seriously compete with Windows Movie Maker for user-friendliness.

      • Ubuntu Live CD As A Forensics Too
        Ubuntu is one of the best open source computer operating system based on the Debian GNU/Linux distribution. Ubuntu provides an up-to-date, stable operating system for the average user, with a strong focus on usability and ease of installation. The Ubiquity installer allows Ubuntu to be installed to the hard disk directly from the Live CD, without requiring the computer to be restarted prior to installation.

      • Canonical Releases Landscape 1.5, the Ubuntu System Management Tool
        Ubuntu has taken the Linux world by storm on the desktop, but, for the enterprise market, it is still an up-and-comer. The open-source operating system is evolving to meet the requirements of this market as well and has proven especially popular for cloud applications. The Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud version is an interesting option for those looking to deploy an Amazon EC2-compatible private cloud. Now, Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, has released an updated version of its Landscape management tool for enterprises.

      • Canonical updates Landscape manager

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Open-Source Gaming Console is Just About Ready to Play
      The OpenPandora project has created a Linux-based hand-held intended for hacking, gaming, and for use as an ultra-portable desktop. The ARM-based OpenPandora platform features OpenGL ES--the mobile version of the OpenGL 3D graphics API--and is capable of powering real-time 3D games similar to what might be found on the Nintendo DS or Playstation Portable.

    • Pandora open-source handheld gaming console finally ships
      The Pandora packs a 600MHz CPU, PowerVR SGX OpenGL 2.0 ES compliant 3D hardware, analogue and digital gaming controls, and a host of other features. It's basically a little Linux OS computer made for portable gaming and with an app store.

    • Cute Qbot aims to be Model T of robots
      Where's the robot revolution already? It's 2010! Aren't we supposed to be hip-deep in droids by now? Well, Spanish robot developer Francisco Paz thinks he's got the makings of a proverbial Ford Model T for robots, a cute little number called Qbot.

    • StrandVision Offers Preconfigured Linux Point-of-Display Digital Signage Player
      StrandVision LLC recently introduced an optional preconfigured, point-of-display Linux player for use with its digital signage system. The compact appliance can be mounted at or behind a flat screen digital signage display to ease deployment and administration.

    • Readying Linux for today's embedded devices
      Linux is making rapid strides into the embedded world. There are several factors that are driving this trend. Many devices such as netbooks, set-top boxes, mobile devices, assorted gadgets, media players, etc, are Linux powered. Cutting down Linux's boot time is one of the final hurdles that's left to be conquered.

    • How Linux-powered helicopters are taking off
      Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) today are becoming smarter and are able to perform ever more difficult tasks. They can help find people in remote environments, or explore dangerous places.

      Nicolas Roy, from the Robust Robotics Group at MIT, leads a team that designed a quadcopter that won the International Aerial Robotics Competition last year. And guess what? It runs on Linux.

    • Phones

      • Nokia

        • Researchers track eyeballs
          Researchers at Dartmouth College have developed an advanced iris recognition algorithm that they have cleverly christened the Eyephone. The algorithm runs on Nokia's 810 tablet, which runs Linux.

        • Nokia N900 Review
          Nokia may lead the pack in the mobile handset race but when it comes to their smartphone market share, it’s totally a different story to tell. Nokia has evidently struggled to keep pace with the growing competition in the smartphone space but is trying their best to gain some lost ground.

          It has the aging Symbian OS that currently powers few Nokia smartphones like N97, N97 mini, 5800XM and they’ve Maemo, a linux-based platform that has often been undermined by the Finnish giant. Maemo OS is responsible to produce some decent tablet devices in the past but it’s the N900 that is the first device from Nokia to marry the internet tablet with cellular capabilities. But does N900 deliver? We delve to check out.

        • Nokia N900: The Smartphone That Runs Linux-Based Maemo OS
          Maemo is backed up by a superscalar ARM Cortex-A8 processor to deliver a PC-like multitasking experience and a super-fast, fully interactive, Mozilla-powered browser that has to be seen to be appreciated.

        • No MeeGo Upgrade for the N900, Says Nokia

        • Nokia Releases PR 1.2 Firmware Update for N900
          In the next few weeks, we will be coming to you with a review of the N900 featuring the new PR 1.2 firmware which we will extensively explore. In the meantime, we will give you a short summary of the features that have been added by Nokia with the PR 1.2 firmware update.

        • MeeGo, the new netbook Linux, arrives
          Take one part Intel's Moblin, mix with Nokia's Maemo, bake for three months in the Linux Foundation oven, and you get MeeGo. Linux Foundation executive director, Jim Zemlin has called this new embedded Linux, the open-source uber-platform for the next generation of computing devices: tablets, pocketable computers, netbooks, automotive IVI (In-Vehicle Infotainment) and more."

        • MeeGo 1.0 For Netbooks And Nokia N900, Now Available For Download
          MeeGo is an open source Linux Project which integrates the Moblin project headed by Intel and Maemo headed by Nokia, into a single open source platform. MeeGo platform delievers no-compromise web standards and rich web experience to the Netbooks and mobile devices. MeeGo’s immense popularity is based on the fact that it includes flexible and powerful app development environment based on Qt.

      • Android

        • Android 2.2 Headed to OEMs in Coming Weeks
          Sending Android 2.2 to OEMs and open source community in the coming weeks is a good thing, right? Definitely. (Hello 2.2 ROM anyone?) Continuing to expect the Motorola Droid or Droid Incredible to receive the update sometime in June? Probably a reach.

        • Google: Guess what, Apple, we've discovered the internet
          The war of words between Google and Apple – in public at least – has never raged more fiercely. On stage, as the search company announced the new generation of its Android mobile phone operating system, Vice President Vic Gundotra repeatedly referred disparagingly to the closed ecosystem that Apple uses for its products.

        • Turf war heats up as Google accuses Apple of forgetting its roots and stifling innovation
          "He said it was critically important to provide a free mobile operating system, an open-source operating system, that would enable innovations at every level of the stack," Mr Gundotra started.

        • Google: Android fragmentation isn't fragmentation
          "Some of the press has called it fragmentation, but that's probably the wrong word for it," he told reporters last week at Google I/O, the company annual developer conference. "The better word for it is 'legacy.' With these phones and devices, the iteration cycle is incredibly fast. It used to be that every 18 months, a new device would reach the market. But we're seeing it happen every three or four months. The software obviously has to keep up and I don't think anyone is harmed by it.

        • Try Out Android on Older iPhones
          Want to see what all the Android fuss is about? You can if you have an older iPhone 3G or 2G. 3GS owners need not bother; it won’t work yet. For details you’ll need to head on over to Linux on the iPhone and read about the process. There is a version of Android that has been hacked to install and run on older iPhones.

        • A Step into the World of Google’s Android
          Since Google first announced that they were working on a Linux based open source mobile platform, many people were already on board with the Android operating system. The establishment of the Open Handset Alliance already saw many major figures in the mobile industry moving to support Google’s project.

        • Why the Android Brings Sales to Smart Phones
          Reports are stating that Google’s Android operating system is bringing a bigger boost to the already growing number of smart phone sales. The big plus factor comes from people finally seeing the point of owning a smart phone over a conventional handset –thanks to the many practical and useful features of the Android OS.

        • Can Google TV Win Where Apple and Microsoft Haven't?
          Leveraging Linux - Many home electronics already run embedded Linux, and Linux is at the core of Android. Manufacturers know how to integrate Linux, so commercializing Google’s platform should not require dramatically new skills. Additionally, these same hardware companies are also delivering Android mobile devices today.

        • Flash on Android 2.2: Slow loading, but smooth running
          eWEEK evaluated a Nexus One running Android 2.2 and a beta Flash Player 10.1, and found Flash to be slow loading, but surprisingly smooth and power efficient. Meanwhile, HTC vows that most of its Android phones will move to version 2.2 later this year, and a 4Q release for Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) has been tipped.

        • An Updated Android OS History: from Android 1.5 Cupcake to Android 2.2 (Froyo)

    • Sub-notebooks

      • What's next for the future of the netbook?
        New platforms hint at new directions too. ARM's recently-released Cortex A9 processor claims far greater computing power per watt than the Atom, but doesn't offer the x86 compatibility required to run Windows. ARM could thus bring Linux-based netbooks back into play, perhaps providing a boost for Google's web-based Chrome OS.

    • Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why We Still Need OSI
    For reasons best left to the reader to uncover, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) has often been at loggerheads with the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and particularly with its more excitable supporters.

    In the words of one trollish commentator:

    The (Free Software) world doesn't need a worthless ORG like the OSI.


    I beg to differ. I have been (and in plenty of ways still am) a critic of OSI, as well as a firm supporter and advocate of the FSF. I believe OSI should be a member organisation with a representative leadership.

    I believe it should strive for the inclusion to its community critics, ending the perceived divide. Most of all, I believe that its stewardship role for pragmatic software freedom should be broader than just licence approvals.

  • FOSS Yellow Pages Is Now On Web!
    For those looking for a cost-effective solution for maintaining their company's IT infrastructure, here's some good news. FOSS Yellow Pages, the brain child of LINUX For You magazine, is now available on the web to cater to enterprises looking for experts to deploy and support various Linux and Open Source Solutions. lists all companies that support and provide Open Source and will be of great help to users in finding category-wise information on Free and Open Source Software.

  • Champion Man Wins Top It Prize
    The award which was the first of its kind by the Free and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA) and Deutsche Welle (DW), under FOSSWAY project, was presented to Mr. Nweke in Accra, Ghana, last week by the Director, Deutsche Welle Online, Mr. Thomas Bastian, in company of FOSSFA chairperson, Ms. Nnenna Nwakanma, as part of the weeklong fourth Idlelo Conference, organized at the Banquet Hall, State House, Accra.

  • Open-source services show signs of growth in Africa
    Changing procurement rules and regulations, increased uptake of open-source-based certification and growth in the software and hardware markets has led to the rise of businesses that were previously ignored.


    Most open-source software service companies were considered too small to get big contracts and did not have the capital to invest in technical support compared to established proprietary software companies.

  • SabreDAV PHP framework becomes calendar server
    Most calendar clients are able to use the CalDAV protocol which allows remote swapping of appointments – however, there is a shortage of open source CalDAV servers. Version 1.2 of open source PHP framework SabreDAV now includes the requisite functionality.

  • BitTorrent open sources €µTP protocol
    BiTtorrent has open sourced an update to its popular peer-to-peer file-sharing protocol.

  • Digital Parallels Embraces Zenoss for Managed Services
    Zenoss, maker of open source monitoring software, has added another managed services adopter: Digital Parallels, a master MSP in the United Kingdom. Although most MSPmentor 100 companies seem to be using traditional closed-source software, there are niches where open source alternatives are gaining momentum. Here’s a closer look at Zenoss and open source in the MSP ecosystem

  • Zombies, Open Source, and Bad Analogies
    I guess Vernon has not spent a lot of time watching zombie movies. Generally, at best, humans find a bit of respite from the zombies but they're still there. Usually waiting for George Romero to work on a sequel. But the point is, zombies generally win. While I'm not crazy about the zombie analogy, the same is true of open source. It's not really possible to kill off an open source project or the movement permanently. The licenses ensure that the code will always be there for someone else to pick it up. The community may suffer setbacks, but over time it will adapt to solve not only technical problems but also solve the business, legal, and social issues. Maybe more slowly than some of us would like, but like the undead, we have time. Maybe that zombie analogy isn't quite as bad as I thought.

  • FOSS Community Member Launches Documentation Project for Blind Linux User
    During a recent interview at technology blog The Stop, OSS community member Tony Baechler raised the issue of how difficult it is for visually-impaired Linux users to access documentation. He says that he would like to point other vision-impaired friends to Linux and open source software but custom audio tutorials designed specifically for the blind are almost non-existent.

  • Events

  • Guradian

  • Mozilla

    • Experiments with audio, part X
      I’m working with an ever growing group of web, audio, and Mozilla developers on a project to expose audio data to JavaScript from Firefox’s audio and video elements. Today we show you how much JavaScript can really do.

  • Databases

  • Oracle

    • Red Hat Denies Oracle as the Largest Open Source Company

    • O JavaFX, What Art Thou?
      Partly. As described in the section above on licensing, there is a portion of JavaFX that is open source, but significant portions are not. The openjfx site now forwards one to the site.

      Again, I'm not the first to wonder about the degree of "open sourcedness" of JavaFX. Others have posted questions on this topic in posts such as JavaFX: Open source or not? and the JavaFX forum thread Is JavaFX open-source? I particularly like the latter (the forum thread) because it nicely covers the intricacies of making a product like JavaFX open source.

  • CMS

    • Refresh Uses Open Source, Cloud
      The refreshed site, like other federal Web sites, takes advantage of open source components. It was developed on the open-source platform Drupal, which also powers the site that was relaunched late last year.

  • Education

    • Harley From PTFS-LibLime: What It Is—and Isn’t
      While the LibLime Koha Community offering is available both as a SaaS or hosted service and for local installation, Enterprise Koha is limited to SaaS because the General Public License, which all those participating in Koha development must accept, requires that any enhancements made to open source software must be "distributed" by free download to any interested party.

    • Open source code software saves schools money on licence fees
      When seventh grader Joonas Puuska switches on the computer in his school library, it’s not the familiar Windows that appears. Instead, it is the big Ubuntu logo, under which Puuska types in his name and password.

      Puuska, a pupil at the Lauritsala School in Lappeenranta, shows the software on the computer, which includes word processing, picture modification, a web browser, a spread sheet, and various teaching programmes.

      The appearance of the desktop on the screen is similar to the traditional one, but the computer uses the Ubuntu operating system. Puuska dies not really like Ubuntu, because the computer tends to crash.

  • BI

  • Openness

    • Open Your World forum preview: Q&A on music and Creative Commons
      Daniel James is the director of 64 Studio Ltd, a company developing custom GNU/Linux multimedia products for OEMs. He was the founder of the consortium, which promotes the use of GNU/Linux and Free Software in the professional audio field.

      Daniel is also the author of Crafting Digital Media: Audacity, Blender, Drupal, GIMP, Scribus, and other Open Source Tools (Apress). The book is a foundation course in photographic manipulation, illustration, animation, 3D modelling, publishing, recording audio and making music, DJ’ing, mixing and mastering audio CDs, video editing, and web content delivery with open source tools.

    • Beatfly: The open source blimp
      While he has no immediate plans to mass produce this blimp, Mr. Yoshimoto has kindly open sourced his work, making his software, materials, mechanical drawings, and circuit diagrams readily available on this page (Japanese only) for anyone who would like to take to the air with Beatfly. It uses an Arduino chip and the free software Pure Data was used as the programming environment.

    • The Open Source Approach to Feeding the Hungry
      Now a Florida-based engineer has come up with an open source design to help feed the hungry.

    • Glaxo Tries a Linux Approach
      A decade ago, the Linux operating system helped spark a revolution in how software is developed. A move by GlaxoSmithKline PLC could test how well similar open-source principles work for developing new drugs.


      In software, the approach has spawned the Linux operating system, MySQL database and an array of other programs. Those community-born technologies now compete with products from Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp. and other traditional, commercial software makers. Open-source developers share programming instructions called source code that software companies traditionally kept confidential.

    • Open Data

      • Cut high textbook costs
        I see the high costs for textbooks and wonder why. What about open-source e-textbooks? Set up an online community that can develop e-textbooks.

      • Open education vs. Texas Board of Education
        The best way to get around this would either be some coordination between states in order to increase their leverage against the publishers, or for more states to begin opting out of the for-profit textbook industry altogether and moving toward an open-source curriculum / open-source textbook model.

        Indeed, even in Texas the open-source textbook movement may prove to be a bit of a thorn in the Board of Education’s side. Of course, open-source has its share of problems also, and if implemented badly these could be just as worrisome as anything the Texas reformists are doing. But done properly, open-source can connect education communities nationally without a national mandate; they can save states lots of money to spend on things like teachers and school supplies; and they can get around bad education reforms like those passed in Texas. Furthermore, open-source can combine the best parts of local autonomy and the best parts of national connectivity, and the material will constantly evolving to meet the needs of modern students and educators.

    • Open Access/Content


  • IBM's Moffat, Chiesi Were `Intimate,' U.S. Says
    Robert Moffat, the former International Business Machines Corp. executive who pleaded guilty in the Galleon Group LLC insider-trading scheme, had an “intimate relationship” with accused tipster Danielle Chiesi, prosecutors said in court.

    Moffat admitted to securities fraud and conspiracy in March and is scheduled to be sentenced in July. He faces six months in prison at most. Today at the sentencing of Mark Kurland, a co- founder of New Castle Funds LLC and Chiesi’s former boss, a defense lawyer said Kurland deserved no more prison time than Moffat.

  • ☞ WebM Data Points
    IBM’s Moffat, Chiesi Were `Intimate,’ U.S. Says So Sun’s secrets were gifted to an insider trader as pillow talk? Great, that makes it so much better. Can’t say I instantly feel “Moffat is the least culpable person charged” on that basis. (tags: IBM Sun Insider Corruption Acquisition)

  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

    • Application Security - Who Is Responsible?
      When companies pay such a lot of money for software, it should be possible, somewhere in the development cycle, to put the investment in to make the software properly secure. The problem at the moment is that there is no incentive to make that investment.

      When software fails or is insecure, the developer, producer and seller rarely suffer. The small print of any contract protects them.

      If there was some sort of accreditation for secure software, then at least vendors could get extra revenue. If we could build up trust in the security kitemark, then users would pay a premium for accredited software, and it would actually be worth their while making secure software.

    • War on whistle-blowers intensifies
      The Obama administration's war on whistleblowers -- whose disclosures are one of the very few remaining avenues for learning what our government actually does -- continues to intensify. Last month, the DOJ announced it had obtained an indictment against NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake, who exposed serious waste, abuse and possible illegality. Then, the DOJ re-issued a Bush era subpoena to Jim Risen of The New York Times, demanding the identity of his source who revealed an extremely inept and damaging CIA effort to infiltrate the Iranian nuclear program. And now, as Politico's Josh Gerstein reports, an FBI linguist who leaked what he believed to be evidence of lawbreaking is to receive a prison term that is "likely to become the longest ever served by a government employee accused of passing national security secrets to a member of the media."

  • Environment

    • Researchers race to produce 3D models of BP oil spill
      NSF approves supercomputing time as researchers apply storm surge models to oil spread

    • Time for industry to end its war on regulation
      The biggest oil spill ever. The biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. The deadliest mine disaster in 25 years. One recall after another of toys from China, of vehicles from Toyota, of hamburgers from roach-infested processing plants. The whole Vioxx fiasco. And let's not forget the biggest climate threat since the Ice Age.

    • CALL TO ACTION: Let’s stop the spill the open source way
      So let's do it. Let’s show the world how the open source way can help solve the world’s most pressing issue and let's do it in the next week. May the “best ideas win” and always remember that none of us is as smart as all of us.

  • Finance

    • Doubts on European Central Bank Amid Crisis
      The euro stops with the European Central Bank — or does it?

    • Tighter Credit in Europe Tied to Turmoil in Stock Markets
      As fears grow that Europe could face a full-blown financial crisis, potentially damaging the economy in the United States, investors are abandoning risky bets in the financial markets and rushing for safety instead.

    • 10 Most Corrupt US Capitalists
      America’s Ten Most Corrupt Capitalists

      1. Robert Rubin 2. Alan Greenspan 3. Larry Summers 4. Phil and Wendy Gramm 5. Jamie Dimon 6. Stephen Friedman 7. Robert Steel 8. Henry Paulson 9. Warren Buffett

    • Lights, Camera … Derivative Trading!
      Max Keiser is unhappy. “I feel like Robert Oppenheimer. I invented something and it destroyed civilization.”

      Keiser, unlike Oppenheimer, didn’t have access to atomic bombs. His lethal weapon is more the financial kind, and after a long hibernation it has become the root of this year’s biggest controversy in Tinseltown: an exchange on which traders could bet on the performance of movies. What Keiser created along with Michael Burns in 1996 was the Hollywood Stock Exchange, a virtual technology where over 350,000 registered players traded shares of movies and celebrities using fake dollars. If Congress approves the idea, real trading should go live on exchange as soon as June 28—with real money.

      For much of its life, the HSX has functioned as a prediction market, and pretty accurately; in 1999, its users correctly called 82 percent of the major Oscar nominees. Keiser’s technology eventually got acquired by Wall Street bond trading firm Cantor Fitzgerald, then warehoused in favor of different technology created by Cantor itself—although the name and idea of his creation have lived on for the past 12 years.

    • Regulators Seek Global Capital Rule
      Capital is the body fat of banking: too much is debilitating, too little is fatal. During the financial crisis, as large banks burned through their capital reserves, governments were forced to add padding at public expense.

    • Price of single-family homes drops for sixth straight month
      Home prices remained weak through the early months of this year, according to a closely watched housing index released Tuesday, an indication that the housing market continues to struggle despite recent improvements.

    • Senators appointed to hammer out differences with House on financial overhaul
      Senate leaders on Tuesday appointed seven Democrats and five Republicans to meet with counterparts from the House in coming weeks to hammer out differences between new financial rules approved by each chamber.

    • U.S., Europe fall out of step on global financial reform
      The global campaign to harmonize rules for financial firms is swerving off course, threatening efforts to curb the risky bets that rocked the world economy two years ago. This Story

      * Lawmakers to work out final financial overhaul * Nations go own way on global financial reform

      As U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner lands in Europe on Wednesday, differences are growing among world leaders over how to keep the promise they made at the height of the financial crisis: that they would work together to reshape how finance is governed. Their aim was to avoid another upheaval by making financial rules consistent across borders and closing loopholes.

    • The FinReg battle: The next two years
      A lot could still happen in either direction this week, but let's talk about the medium term in this fight for financial reform. Given where progressives are, I think it is best to think in terms of specific battles where it is likely they'll both win and where they'll be able to do the most in terms of serious reforms of the financial sector. I see three battles in the next two years that will happen regardless of a double-dip financial crisis.

    • Wall Street 'Popping Champagne' Over Watered-Down Financial Reform Bill (VIDEO)
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    • 4 Easy Ways to Improve Financial Reform

    • SEC proposing uniform 'audit trail' for orders
      Federal regulators moved Wednesday toward requiring a uniform system for tracking all securities orders on U.S. exchanges, in hopes of making it easier to investigate market disruptions like the May 6 plunge.

    • Banks, credit unions face tough fight on swipe fees
      As part of the 1,500-page effort to overhaul Wall Street regulations, the Senate adopted a seven-page amendment with major implications for debit card issuers, merchants and consumers. The legislation aims to limit fees paid by merchants to debit card issuers.

    • The debate over GSE reform is beginning
      I can already hear you saying, "Whatever, I'm never going to be a homeowner in the bleak 21st-century job market," but remember that all this liquidity and stabilization handles the rental market, too. Where you live. (Or your parents' mortgage or rental, if you live with them.) So there's no getting outside of this question.

    • Treasury: AIG in better shape to repay bailout
      Insurance giant American International Group Inc. is better positioned to pay back all of its $182 billion federal bailout, a key Treasury official testified Wednesday.

    • Ex-execs charged in $60M stock scam in NYC
      A former bank director built himself a financial fiefdom out of automotive-chemical companies, then plundered it through a series of stock frauds that let him live lavishly even though he'd declared bankruptcy, prosecutors said Tuesday.

    • Fed boss: Fed must be free from political meddling
      The Federal Reserve and other central banks must protect their ability to make key economic decisions free from political interference, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said Wednesday.

    • With credit scores, it should be equal access for all
      The proposal, included as an amendment to the financial reform legislation recently passed by the Senate, isn't far-reaching enough. There's still time to fix this during the reconciliation process, but you should let your congressman and senators know that when it comes to something as important as credit scores, half a loaf isn't enough.

    • The Manufactured Deficit Crisis
      Harold Meyerson wants Washington to quit the Deficit hawkery and focus on creating Jobs: Of all the gaps between elite and mass opinion in America today, perhaps the greatest is this: The elites don’t really believe we’re still in Recession. Or maybe, they just don’t care.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Digital Economy Bill

    • BCS EGM
      The British Computer Society is in the process of being transformed into The Chartered Institute of IT. This is the wrong direction – it’s becoming a club for the Pointy Haired Boss instead of an association to support Dilbert and Alice. The consequence? It’s full of talk of outsourcing real computer jobs abroad and wants to serve the people who are doing it. It failed to take any public leadership position over the Digital Economy Bill and rejects attempts to embrace open source. It has no connection to the interests of actual computer professionals any more. For me (a Fellow, for now) it has come to symbolise all that’s worst in British IT.


      Thanks for the reply, David. The BCS did indeed show up a little in the DeBill debate, but it was not in the way most of the computer professionals I know would want.

      The BCS appears to support 3-strikes/graduated response kangaroo-courts-without-the-court, according to where I also see BCS supporting the fallacy that “the creative industries” need defending from the internet (rather than recognising the benefits of adapting to it). BCS concerns I have read are rarely about fundamental liberties or software freedom; they are about the cost of implementing the legislation.

      From my vantage point as a branch committee member, I see none of the vitality I would want from my professional association; just PHB-speak and core governance that gives lip-service to inclusion of technologists. The bCS voice I read in turns me off, I’m afraid.

      Maybe the BCS doesn’t need people like me as Fellows? That seems to be the message I’m hearing.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect - VE - Representation (10/16/2003)

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