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Links 16/10/2010: GNU/Linux at Alcatel-Lucent, Android 4.0 Rumours



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Contents





GNU/Linux



Free Software/Open Source



  • How to Get Support for Open Source Software
    One of the most persistent myths surrounding Linux and other open source software is that there's no easy way to get good support. Just this week, for instance, we saw this claim used in Microsoft's anti-OpenOffice.org video, obviously with the hope of striking fear into business users' hearts.


  • Nordic Free Software Award 2010 – 7 days left to nominate


  • Open Source Security Camera
    Panasonic39s security cameras at ASIS show innovation in i-PRO. ZoneMinder: Linux Home CCTV and Video Camera Security with Motion . ZoneMinder is a free video camera security application suite, designed for low cost DIY video security including commercial or home CCTV, theft prevention and child or family . WV-SP305 Megapixel Fixed Network Camera, an i -PRO SmartHD productPanasonic System Networks Company of America showcases its expanding line of i -PRO SmartHD products at ASIS 2010, highlighting. . Emphasising open systems interoperability at ASIS 2010, Panasonic will re-launch the expanded and enhanced Panasonic Solution Developer Network PSDN, which now covers a wider array of product lines and provides additional resources including a larger, more responsive .


  • Open Sourcing Your Company
    Innovative, rapid and cost-effective development and market share expansion are leading an increasing number of software vendors to incorporate open source, both as a technology and a business strategy, into their organizations.


  • The question of Why?
    One question that I am often asked is “Why does a big software company like Adobe (or any other) release technologies to open source?”

    The reasons for open source are widespread, but the basic reasons that a software company gets involved are:

    1. Making revenue from selling a product or service that relies on OSS in some way 2. Reducing the cost of technology and time to market 3. Providing a community benefit 4. Enabling customer led innovation


  • What’s the Return on Investment for Open?
    One of the collaborative projects I’ve worked the most on is Subversion (a system for tracking changes — ”versions” — made to files and folders; hence the name). Subversion was started by my employer, CollabNet. They needed a better version control system for their customers, as part of a larger hosted online collaboration service, and realized that ubiquity and clear lack of lock-in would be strong assets. So CollabNet decided to release Subversion as open source software from the very beginning, and they knew, from past experience with open source projects, that they’d need to put some effort into drawing a community around the code and making it easy to collaborate on the project.


  • Firm creates ‘open source’ tech portal in Dayton region
    Open Source Ohio, which recently went live, is an effort to connect displaced workers, students and recent graduates in programming and software development — and those who want to change careers — with companies and organizations that need work performed on smaller, unfunded projects.

    Here’s how it works: companies submit their needs to see if they meet certain criteria, then those projects are posted at opensourceohio.net. Those displaced workers and other developers volunteer to tailor open source software to complete the projects.


  • Events icon set released


  • Events

    • Diversity, Freedom and Education at the Open World Forum
      I have to confess that I went to the Open World Forum expecting to find some pompous, self-referential, corporate driven marketing show. Luckily, that wasn't the case, and this is what I'll try to show here. The pounding, rave-style music at the beginning of each session was really depressing. A few talks by some politicians were not among the highest moments of the Forum (Glyn already explained why and I agree with him). This said, the Forum agenda was quite balanced and diverse. Personally I found it an interesting, useful event, one I would have been glad to attend even if I had not had to present my work. The Forum explored many sides of openness, not just the commercial one of Open Source software. Here are just a couple of examples.


    • EU-funded Projects and Open Source
      Open Source sustainability is rare at best among EU-funded projects, basically because projects’ partners tend to loose any interest in the project when funds are over. As a matter of fact most of them close their websites hosting software, documentation, etc.




  • Web Browsers

    • Google Chrome OS is coming
      When Google first announced Chrome OS, a cloud-focused operating system back in July last year, it all seemed a little too vague. Everyone knew that Google could do exactly this, if it wanted to, but the question was why they would want to. The company also said it was aiming to release Chrome OS by the end of 2010.

      Now it looks as if this could indeed be happening. According to Chrome developer forums the current version of Chrome OS is labelled as a release candidate and a final version looks likely to be released by year-end.

      In a statement published on the TechCrunch site Google said: "We are very happy with the progress of Google Chrome OS and expect devices will be available later this year. We'll have more details to share at launch."


    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 4 falling behind schedule?
        Mozilla has missed the scheduled date for releasing Firefox 4 Beta 7. The update was originally due in the last two weeks of September, but did not appear then or later. At Mozilla's most recent developer meeting, there were 17 blockers, problems which could be a reason for delaying a release, for the beta 7 release and an overall total of 901 blockers in the queue for the eventual Firefox 4 release.






  • SaaS

    • Fog Aims to Advance Ruby in the Cloud
      From a technical implementation perspective, Fog is a Ruby library that can be used by any Ruby project or Ruby on Rails application. Beary noted that some of the API decisions for Fog were made to make it feel familiar with the way that Ruby on Rails applications are written.


    • Engine Yard Announces Formal Support for 'fog' to Ensure Application Portability in the Cloud
      Engine Yard now formally supports fog, the leading cloud computing library for Ruby applications and a component in the Engine Yard application platform. Specifically, Wesley Beary the creator of fog and engineer at Engine Yard has transitioned to a new role where he will lead the project and manage its community of contributors full-time.




  • Databases

    • OpenTSDB: A Distributed, Scalable Monitoring System on Top of HBase
      Tracking this based on Hadoop world in tweets. StumbleUpon plans to open source ☞ OpenTSDB: a scalable time series database built on top of HBase.


    • SkySQL Delivers an Alternative Source of Software, Services, and Support for the MySQL€® Database
      SkySQL Ab, the alternative source for software, services and support for the MySQL database, today formally launched operations with the release of SkySQLâ„¢ Enterprise. The company, which is founded by former MySQL AB executives, personnel, and investors, is committed to furthering the future development of MySQL database technologies, while delivering cost-effective database solutions and exceptional customer service.


    • SGI Announces Support and Record Benchmarks for VoltDB Database


    • Cassandra gets performance tuning options
      The open source NoSQL and Big Data database Apache Cassandra has been updated to version 0.6.6 and now allows users to tune performance. The changes that have been made are based on real world experience with customers and users. They include the ability to adjust Cassandras's indexing interval to make it more memory efficient with large amounts of small rows with "cold data" and the ability to control when the JVM should trigger garbage collection to avoid the database being paused for several seconds.




  • Oracle

    • Microsoft-Oracle: Unlikely Alliance Against Android


    • Is this a text file, or an Excel file?
      http://blogs.sun.com/GullFOSS/entry/is_this_a_text_file


    • Microsoft's fake validation of OpenOffice.org
      A recently released OpenOffice.org marketing video from Microsoft tries to highlight prospective issues for companies considering alternatives to Microsoft Office. Although the video suggests OpenOffice.org is increasingly becoming a viable alternative to Microsoft Office, the video also presents insights into Microsoft's business growth strategy.

      The title of the video, "A few perspectives on OpenOffice.org," might suggest a balanced view from OpenOffice.org users. However, the quotes are far from balanced and indicate a subtle attempt to dismiss OpenOffice in the guise of a fair discussion.


    • OpenOffice.org 10th Anniversary: 8 Years in Retrospective
      Promoting OpenOffice.org nationally was hard in 2003. Lobbing with some Italian free software organizations - namely Assoli and the Italian chapter of the FSFE - I brought the Director of the information system of our Minister of Education to think that Italian schools needed to know more also about OpenOffice.org.


    • Split JCP: a compromise proposal


    • JCP - Pragmatism or Bust


    • Java 8 Vote


    • Java 7 Vote
      Stephen Colebourne correctly pointed out in his blog this morning that when the Java 7 JSR is proposed to the JCP Executive Committee, that the Eclipse Foundation will vote “yes”. I think that it would be helpful to explain why that is the case.




  • Education

    • FOSS in Indian Schools - A Serious Concern & a Request to Unite.
      I am writing this letter to all for a request to create a task force to advocate FOSS in schools. If we fail to advocate Linux in schools then we will be failed everywhere. Most of the computer users like me are using computer from Last 5-6 year or less. They learned everything in college only. Also at our time computer was a costly device. We have not faced much difficult in migrating from Windows to Linux. Now we love Linux based distro and advocate for open curriculum, content , no-patents, no-DRM etc.




  • Healthcare

    • VA will use open source model for health records system
      The Veterans Affairs Department will adopt an open source model to modernize its legacy electronic health records system, the department's chief information officer said at a Senate hearing Oct. 6.

      The Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) runs on an archaic program language called MUMPS, which experts said must be modernized to properly serve the 8 million veterans who receive care at VA health facilities.




  • Business



  • Project Releases

    • coreutils-8.6 released [stable]


    • Gnuaccounting 0.7.8 released
      The Gnuaccounting developers have released version 0.7.8 of their free open-source Java accounting application that embeds OpenOffice and utilises MySQL or OpenOffice's HSQLDB to create and administrate invoices, credit memos, delivery notes, bills etc. The program is intended for use by small and medium-sized companies and now for the first time supports the deferment of VAT prepayment in countries where VAT is estimated and collected in advance.




  • Openness/Sharing



    • Open Data

      • Closed bibliography on the Cambridge train
        I came back from the British Library and Imperial War Museum (I’ll tell you why later) on Thursday on the 1615. One of the privilege of the 1615 is that if you get there after 1605 you have to stand or sit on the floor among the folding bicycles. Because I wanted to hack I sat on the floor. I overheard a conversation between two hackers and have caught most of it. They were talking about a book, which I think was about software but I couldn’t see it.

        She: “That looks an interesting book”

        He: “Yes, it’s written by one of the great software gurus”

        She: “What’s it’s called?”

        He: “I can’t tell you?”

        She: “Why not?”

        He: “It’s copyright”

        She: “Yes, I know the book is copyright, but I just want to know the title”

        He: “Sorry I can’t tell you. It’s copyright”








Leftovers

  • The Amazing Contribution Of Telecentres To Our Digital Society
    If you would rather look at the full text of my message to the amazing staff of Telecentre Europe, for their summit in Budapest this week, then read on.


  • The Equality Act is a dangerous joke
    On 1 October the Equality Act 2010 became law. Its stated intention is to end discrimination in the workplace. The likely result is it will poison relationships between colleagues and employer-employee. It urges us all to view ourselves as victims in need of state intervention to police our working lives.


  • OEMs are Reluctant Customers
    Still the OEMs are forced to ship Wintel. They are reluctant customers. Why can they not be allowed to produce what the consumer wants, small cheap computers?


  • Health/Nutrition

    • Global Hydro and Nuclear Power in Perspective
      At the recent ASPO conference in Washington, DC I found myself in a lunchtime conversation discussing the contributions Nuclear and Hydro were making to world energy supply. It’s worth noting that Hydropower did experience an uptick in global use in the past five years. Nuclear meanwhile, which has seen a slowing rate of consumption since the 1980′s, leveled off and fell during the same period. While these two energy sources are worth discussing, they pale in comparison to oil and coal use globally, as the second chart shows.






  • Finance

    • Foreclosure Fraud: Megabanks At Risk As Analyst Identifies New Problems With Mortgages
      Pension funds and other investors who have suffered losses on mortgage-backed securities could have a "strong legal basis" to call into question the very securitized mortgages they purchased stakes in, increasing the pressure facing large Wall Street firms that packaged these securities during the housing boom, a prominent mortgage bond analyst said Thursday.


    • Settlement May Be Near in Countrywide Case
      In June 2009, the S.E.C. filed civil fraud and insider trading charges against Angelo Mozilo, the former chief executive of Countrywide. The agency also sued two of his top lieutenants: David Sambol, the company’s former president, and Eric Sieracki, the former chief financial officer.


    • Why Is It So Acceptable to Lie to Cut Social Security Benefits?


      We aren't supposed to use the word "lie" in Washington, probably because the practice is so common, but let's just use normal English for a moment. NYT Roger Cohen devotes his column to a tirade against the French for their opposition to raising the retirement age. This opposition has taken the form of a general strike that has seriously disrupted the economy.


    • Mortgage Mess May Cost Big Banks Billions
      After scratching their heads for weeks over how much the foreclosure mess will hurt banks’ bottom lines, investors got out their calculators Thursday to tally the potential costs — and sent bank stocks plunging.

      Analyst estimates of the possible toll varied widely, but the fear was evident in the stock market. The share price of Bank of America fell 5.2 percent, while shares of JPMorgan Chase sank almost 2.8 percent.


    • Government reports $1.3 trillion budget deficit
      The Obama administration said Friday the federal deficit hit a near-record $1.3 trillion for the just-completed budget year.


    • House to vote on bonus payment for Social Security
      The House will vote in November on a bill to provide $250 payments to Social Security recipients to make up for the lack of a cost-of-living increase for next year, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday.

      The Social Security Administration is expected to announce Friday that more than 58 million retirees and disabled Americans will go a second consecutive year without an increase in benefits.


    • It's speed vs. skepticism for Fla. judges facing avalanche of foreclosure cases
      Judges in Florida are under pressure to clear their foreclosure dockets; the state's crippled real estate market and its lagging economy cannot recover until cases work their way through the courts. Earlier this year, Florida's legislature allocated $9.6 million to help speed up the processing of foreclosures. Much of that money went to pay retired judges and case managers to help shoulder the load and quickly dispose of cases in special foreclosure courts.


    • Cohen Says Preconditions in Place for Stocks Rally: Tom Keene




  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • 'Scrapers' Dig Deep for Data on Web
      PatientsLikeMe managed to block and identify the intruder: Nielsen Co., the privately held New York media-research firm. Nielsen monitors online "buzz" for clients, including major drug makers, which buy data gleaned from the Web to get insight from consumers about their products, Nielsen says.

      "I felt totally violated," says Bilal Ahmed, a 33-year-old resident of Sydney, Australia, who used PatientsLikeMe to connect with other people suffering from depression. He used a pseudonym on the message boards, but his PatientsLikeMe profile linked to his blog, which contains his real name.


    • Who cares about medical privacy
      On this evidence teenagers also have a much clearer understanding of the meaning of privacy than government policy makers, who have just decided that the NHS Summary Care Records system can continue to be built by the sort of inertia selling that would be illegal for a commercial organisation. In future they will put an opt-out form in the envelope. Big deal. You will still be assumed irrevocably to have consented, regardless of your understanding of what you are being asked, if you fail to use it - on behalf of yourself and your children.




  • Intellectual Monopolies



    • Copyrights

      • Did The RIAA Really Just Come Out In Support Of 'Opt-In' Copyright? [Updated]
        Of course, the MPAA and the BSA apparently disagreed, with the BSA saying copyright should definitely be opt-out rather than opt-in. That said, it is nice to see the MPAA come out in favor of flexible fair use policies, though I'm sure that's as an alternative to actually improving copyright law.

        I've asked the RIAA for comment (updated below) on whether or not this represents a change of position for them, and whether the group would now support an opt-in copyright system that only gives copyright to works that are formally registered (as we had for many, many years). If true, this would really be a huge deal. While an opt-in system has many problems, if set up properly, it's a lot better than the current opt-out system, which obliterated the public domain. An opt-in system at least makes it much easier to feed the public domain.

        Update: The RIAA responded to my request as to whether or not this was a policy change, in response, I was told:
        His basic point (and I'm quoting from his remarks) was that "we need better ways to distinguish when copyright is a beneficial property right, and when copyright is a meaningless and unwanted right." He was later asked what he meant by this, and he responded that it may be time for creators to affirmatively assert copyright, rather than have it automatically granted to them whether they want it or not. He also explained that this was a personal view, not an RIAA position.


      • ACTA

        • More Countries React To ACTA; Brazil Says ACTA Is Illegitimate
          We've already covered how the EU Parliament is skeptical of ACTA. Ditto the Mexican Senate. In the US, which will undoubtedly sign the agreement, at least some politicians are asking questions about the document. Now news is coming out in a few other countries as well. Down in Australia, unlike in the US, they're planning to go through a full scrutiny process involving the Parliament and the public. On the flipside, it sounds like Singapore can't sign the document fast enough.


        • ACTA in the UK
          The final draft of the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has been released to the public (unlike previous drafts, which were leaked). Previously we had looked at the possible changes that the agreement would bring to UK copyright law. I am happy to say that at least the worst case scenario did not materialise, but there is still some room for concern.


        • Alvaro asks 9 questions to the Commission about ACTA, including 3 strikes and transparency
          Alexander Alvaro (ALDE) has asked 9 questions about ACTA, including 3 strikes and transparency, or the access by the INTA committee to the drafts documents. He is also asking about changes to substantive patent law (read software patents here).












Clip of the Day



Update: Lehman Bankruptcy



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