Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 5/8/2010: Amadeus Systems Moving to GNU/Linux, Intel Can’t Use Threats Anymore

GNOME bluefish



  • Not Having Linux Skills is IT Malpractice
    The Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field is famous, but the Microsoft Reality Distortion Field is much, much bigger and more pervasive. How else to explain so much devotion to a malware-ridden, inefficient, overpriced under-performing computing platform? Oh I know, those license fees don't really matter, and Windows 7 is really good and really secure any day now! World wide botnet? Don't be silly, when Linux gets popular it too will be riddled with malware.

    Yes, many people really do believe that stuff, even in the face of years of overwhelming data to the contrary.

    Should Linux admins also know Apple and Windows? Yes. Because, again, the real world is mixed environments. Running mixed networks, making a good business case for Linux adoption, making a migration plan, and performing migrations requires knowledge. It also makes you appreciate Linux more.

  • Amadeus systems to sit on Linux by 2012
    Airline IT systems and transactions business company Amadeus yesterday announced it will completely migrate its commercial airline transaction processing systems onto Linux by 2012, saying proprietary platforms were "very limiting" and criticised the lack of open standards in the industry.

  • Desktop

    • What Does Your Desktop Look Like?
      Driven by an urge to move out of my old, stale (to me, anyhow: I've been using KDE for years) KDE desktop environment, I went on an install binge, successively slapping Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.04 (UNE), plain ol' Ubuntu 10.04, and Linux Mint 9 onto unsuspecting hardware that I had laying around. Yes, I know these are all Debian-based distros. I've served my RPM time with Mandrake/Mandriva, RHEL, CENTOS, and Fedora. It's Debian-based distros for me from now on, if I have a choice.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Sub-notebooks

      • OLPC and FOSS@RIT--Education innovation the open source way
        An initiative within the Laboratory for Technological Literacy caught our eye since it focuses on free and open source issues--FOSS@RIT. The FOSS@RIT group officially began in January 2009, as an offshoot of RIT’s Department of Interactive Games and Media. A course in Interactive Games and Media generated interest in open game development for the One Laptop Per Child project (OLPC), and led to the creation of FOSS@RIT. Though the group still does lots of work with OLPC development and education projects, it also has a broader purpose that includes general educational efforts around open source tools and processes, particularly in education.

      • Give Your Netbook an OS Makeover with Jolicloud

      • Jolicloud 1.0 netbook operating system now available for download
        Jolicloud is available as a free download. Founder Tariq Krim says premium features will be available later this year.

      • Netbook operating system Jolicloud launches
        Setup for Jolicloud is simple: Simply download and run the tiny installer, and follow the on-screen instructions to create a dual-boot installation of Jolicloud and Windows. Alternatively, you can download an image file to create an installation CD, or create a bootable USB flash drive.

      • Netbooks in name only?

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source initiative will help the disabled
    THE OPEN AJAX ALLIANCE (OAA) is using open source web 2.0 initiatives to improve Internet access for the elderly and disabled.

    The OAA announced the open source tooling technology to help developers create accessible web 2.0 enabled sites that meet online accessibility standards. The guidelines followed are the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, version 2.0 (WCAG 2.0), considered as the industry-wide global standard for accessibility.


  • Intel Can't Use Threats, Bundled Prices Under Accord, FTC Says
    Intel Corp., the world’s largest computer chipmaker, can’t use threats, retaliation or exclusive deals to block customers from buying competitors’ products under a settlement of antitrust charges, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said.

    The settlement covers graphics chips, central processors and chipsets, the FTC said.

  • Science

    • Astronauts To Repair Cooling System On ISS

      The cooling system is essential for maintaining the temperature inside the station. There are two "loops" in the system, one that uses water and draws heat from the inside of the station and one that dumps the heat into space, which uses ammonia as the fluid. Ammonia is used because it freezes at a much lower temperature than water.

    • Gamers beat algorithms at finding protein structures
      The Nature article makes it clear that researchers in other fields, including astronomy, are starting to try similar approaches to getting the public to contribute something other than spare processor time to scientific research. As long as the human brain continues to outperform computers on some tasks, researchers who can harness these differences should get a big jump in performance.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Finance

    • Defining Prosperity Down
      Yes, growth is slowing, and the odds are that unemployment will rise, not fall, in the months ahead. That’s bad. But what’s worse is the growing evidence that our governing elite just doesn’t care — that a once-unthinkable level of economic distress is in the process of becoming the new normal.

      And I worry that those in power, rather than taking responsibility for job creation, will soon declare that high unemployment is “structural,” a permanent part of the economic landscape — and that by condemning large numbers of Americans to long-term joblessness, they’ll turn that excuse into dismal reality.

    • Consumer Spending, Incomes Flat in June; Saving Up
      U.S. consumer spending and incomes were unexpectedly flat in June while personal savings were the highest in a year, implying an anemic economic recovery for the remainder of this year.

    • Foreclosure activity up across most US metro areas
      Households across a majority of large U.S. cities received more foreclosure warnings in the first six months of this year than in the first half of 2009, new data shows.

    • Arizona, California, Nevada and Florida Have Highest Foreclosure Rates in the United States – Las Vegas Leads with 6.6% Filings

    • Homeownership Drops to Near 50-Year Lows
      Despite months-long speculation that the nation is primed for a housing recovery, homeownership -- a tenet of the quintessential American life -- is far from making a comeback.

    • Superman Comic Saves Family Home From Foreclosure
      While many businesses have been hurt by the recession, the comic book collection industry has received a boost. It all started in the spring of 2009, in the bleakest days of current downturn, when ComicConnect sold a copy of Action Comics No. 1 for $317,200 – a record at the time.

    • Commodity ETFs: Toxic, deadly, evil
      The warning screams at you: "Do Not Buy Commodity ETFs!" Yes, this Bloomberg BusinessWeek cover reads like National Enquirer or a flashing neon sign on the Vegas Strip.

      And just in case you didn't get the warning, B/W repeats it twice more, on the cover: "Do Not Buy Commodity ETFs ... Do Not Buy Commodity ETFs." Then, as if afraid you still won't get it, they scream even louder: Commodity ETFs are "America's worst investment."

      Worst? Add toxic, deadly, evil. Commodity ETFs are rapidly becoming a malicious virus breeding chaos in the global markets pricing all commodities: food, farm lands, metals, oil, natural gas, livestock, water and other natural resources are the assets under commodity derivatives and their ETFs, pricing that's now controlled more by Wall Street speculators than the weather, adding wild swings in volatility and trillions in global derivative risks.

      And once again the usual suspects, the Goldman Conspiracy of Wall Street Banksters, are in the lead.

    • Can you have a middle class without middle-class jobs?

    • What do Republicans believe on state aid?
      he basic idea behind Brown's bill is that state aid should be funded using preexisting stimulus dollars. That's what he talks about in the video. He doesn't say anything about conditions. And to double-check, I read the bill. Still nothing.

    • More Workers Face Pay Cuts, Not Furloughs
      A new report on Tuesday showed a slight dip in overall wages and salaries in June, caused partly by employees working fewer hours.

    • Gov't OKs $600M in housing aid for 5 states
      The Obama administration plans to send $600 million to help unemployed homeowners avoid foreclosure in five states.

    • Market Data Firm Spots the Tracks of Bizarre Robot Traders
      The trading bots visualized in the stock charts in this story aren't doing anything that could be construed to help the market. Unknown entities for unknown reasons are sending thousands of orders a second through the electronic stock exchanges with no intent to actually trade. Often, the buy or sell prices that they are offering are so far from the market price that there's no way they'd ever be part of a trade. The bots sketch out odd patterns with their orders, leaving patterns in the data that are largely invisible to market participants.

      In fact, it's hard to figure out exactly what they're up to or gauge their impact. Are they doing something illicit? If so, what? Or do the patterns emerge spontaneously, a kind of mechanical accident? If so, why? No matter what the answers to these questions turn out to be, we're witnessing a market phenomenon that is not easily explained. And it's really bizarre.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • 'I've Got Nothing to Hide' and Other Misunderstandings of Privacy
      In this short essay, written for a symposium in the San Diego Law Review, Professor Daniel Solove examines the nothing to hide argument. When asked about government surveillance and data mining, many people respond by declaring: "I've got nothing to hide." According to the nothing to hide argument, there is no threat to privacy unless the government uncovers unlawful activity, in which case a person has no legitimate justification to claim that it remain private. The nothing to hide argument and its variants are quite prevalent, and thus are worth addressing. In this essay, Solove critiques the nothing to hide argument and exposes its faulty underpinnings.

    • Most Consumers Support Government Cyber-Spying
      Sixty-three percent of people believe that it is acceptable for their government to spy on another country's computer systems

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • FBI asks Wikimedia Foundation to remove seal from websites, Wikimedia declines
      The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has asked the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), host of Wikinews and its sister projects, to take down its image of the FBI seal from its websites. However, the WMF declined, saying that FBI lawyers had misinterpreted the relevant federal law.

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • Nokia Criticizes ACTA Substance and Process
          Nokia's global director of brand protection has published a critical column on ACTA in the World Trademark Review (sub required). The column says that ACTA is unnecessarily broad and that by excluding key countries from the negotiations, those countries "are practically forced into a position of opposition."

Clip of the Day

Stallman in the program Dissertation of Channel Andalusia

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