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Links 8/5/2011: Many New Linux Devices and ODF 1.2 Facts

GNOME bluefish



  • Server

    • PSN was running on unpatched Apache server with no firewall
      Few gamers will be feeling sorry for Sony and the mess caused with this PSN hacking debacle. But if you were just annoyed by what has happened, be prepared to now start getting a bit angry.

      Dr. Gene Spafford, CERIAS Fellow and professor of Computer Science at Purdue University, has been talking at a hearing about the PSN security breach held by the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade. He explained that independent security experts monitor Sony’s systems such as PSN, Qriocity, and SOE and report in an open forum Sony employees view about anything they find.

  • Ballnux

    • Samsung Android phone features 4G, 4.5-inch screen
      Samsung and AT&T announced new details on their 4.5-inch Android 2.2 smartphone, said to be just over a third of an inch thick. The Samsung Infuse 4G will be available May 15 for $200 plus contract, and features a 1.2GHz Hummingbird processor, HSPA+, an eight-megapixel camera, and (possibly) the ability to load apps from third-parties.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux File Systems in the Cloud @ Linux Collaboration Summit 2011
      As tech lead of the Google Linux Storage Team I get to see how Linux runs on tens of thousands machines in Google's cloud. Over the last year our team migrated this super system from ext2 to ext4, an educational and exciting experience to say the least. We learned a lot about the impact of the Linux file system on Google.

      Our team is often bombarded with questions from both within and outside of Google about why we chose ext4, and if the local file system even matters. The Linux Collaboration Summit with its audience of both kernel hackers and business folks interested in Linux deployments seemed like a good forum at which to present on this topic.

    • LinuxCon Japan keynote speakers announced
      The Linux Foundation has announced the keynote speakers for its LinuxCon Japan 2011 conference taking place from 1 to 3 June 2011 at the Pacifico Yokohama in Yokohama, Japan. The welcoming remarks will be presented by Noriaki Fukuyasu, Director at Linux Foundation Japan, and followed by a keynote from Linux creator Linus Torvalds, who will discuss the 20th anniversary of the Linux operating system.

      The premier Linux conference in Asia will also include presentations by Jim Zemlin, Linux Foundation Executive Director; James Bottomley, Linux SCSI subsystem maintainer and Distinguished Engineer at Novell; and Mark Charlebois, Director of Open Source Strategy at Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC), who will discuss the role of Linux in mobile development and innovation.

    • Linux 2.6.39 -rc6

    • Filesystem hierarchy standard 3.0 process begins

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.39 (Part 3) - Architecture and infrastructure
      In 2.6.39, the Big Kernel Lock (BKL) disappears for good. The kernel can now process interrupts, which reduces latency. The Xen code now has a network backend needed for Dom0 operation, but it doesn't look like the storage backend will be coming anytime soon.

    • Sapphire Pure Black P67 Hydra

    • Linux-ready MIPS64 SoC targets LTE infrastructure
      NetLogic Microsystems announced a new scaled-down member of its MIPS64-based XLP family, aimed at LTE mobile infrastructure. The XLP316 system-on-chip (SoC) offers four cores clocked to up to 2.0GHz, features a 16-issue, 16-threaded, superscalar processor architecture with out-of-order execution, and supplies 4MB of L3 cache and over 6MB of fully coherent on-chip cache for demanding control-plane processing, says the company.

    • More Ways to Get to LinuxCon: Submit Your Video
      We need you! And, we want you to join us at LinuxCon. That's why today we're announcing that we will give away one free LinuxCon pass per 20th Anniversary of Linux Video Contest entry.

      Our annual Video Contest is one of the only ways that individuals can promote Linux as they see fit and enter it to be considered for high-level visibility and promotion as the annual winner. And, with this year's focus on the 20th Anniversary and with Linus judging, that visibility should be bigger than ever.

    • Graphics Stack

      • There's An X.Org Driver For Nested X Servers
        Announced just hours ago on the X.Org development mailing list is recent work to create the xf86-video-nested driver. As implied by the name of the driver and the title of this news post, this is an X.Org video driver designed to run nested X.Org servers. In other words, X.Org on top of X.Org.

        When using the xf86-video-nested driver, it's possible to run a new X.Org Server within a program window, similar to running a xorg-server nested within Wayland, but this is still on top of pure X.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Process RAW Files in digiKam
        digiKam usually does a decent job of decoding RAW files using the default settings. But if you prefer to have complete control of how the application processes RAW files, choose Settings €» Configure digiKam, switch to the RAW Decoding section, and enable the Always open the Raw Import Tool to customize settings option.

      • KDE SC 4.6.3 Is Available for Download
        The KDE team has just announced a few minutes ago the third maintenance release for KDE Software Compilation 4.6. This is a minor update, focusing on bug fixing and translation updates.

        KDE Software Compilation 4.6.3 is the third in a series of monthly bug fixing releases to the KDE Software Compilation 4.6 series, which brings various translation updates and improvements. Everyone should update their existing KDE SC machines running version 4.6.1 or earlier (see a short tutorial below).

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Summit and JBoss World Slated for June 2012

      • Red Hat looks to stand out with open APIs
        The ability to scale out to third-party vendors without worrying about vendor lock-in, as well as the ability to move virtual workloads between different environments, are benefits of open application programming interfaces (APIs) that Red Hat has been espousing for a while now.

        Dirk Peter van Leeuwen, the open source software vendor's Asia-Pacific vice president of sales, shared that Red Hat's Linux-based systems currently power the cloud platforms of vendors such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), NTT, Fujitsu and IBM. With APIs that straddle these cloud infrastructure providers, van Leeuwen said customers need not worry about finding compatible cloud vendors to scale out to when they run out of resources.

      • Red Hat Debuts CloudForms and OpenShift for Cloud Deployment
        Red Hat is moving beyond its Cloud Foundations effort to deliver new Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions.

      • Cloud schmoud: Red Hat fans just want to lose Windows

        For all the sales pitches on CloudForm and OpenShift “open” cloud initiatives, Red Hat Summit attendees were far more interested in more prosaic (ie useful) things. First and foremost, they love that the next release of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) will rid them of the much-derided Windows Server requirement for managing their VMs.

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1 Ships to Key Partners

      • Red Hat Expands Technology Partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison
        Red Hat (News - Alert), the world's leading provider of open source solutions, announced the expansion of its technology partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) to establish the Center for High Throughput Computing (CHTC) as the first Red Hat Center of Excellence Development Partner. Moreover, Red Hat unveiled that it has considered the UW-Madison CHTC as the first recipient of its Red Hat Cloud Leadership Award for its advancements in cloud computing based on the open source Condor project and Red Hat technologies.

      • Red Hat Inc. (RHT) EVP, CFO Charles E Jr Peters sells 26,352 Shares

      • Videos: Red Hat Summit 2011
        Red Hat held their annual Red Hat Summit and JBoss World conferences in Boston from May 3-6, 2011. I've yet to be able to attend a Red Hat Summit but I do search the web for information and videos from it.

        Red Hat announced a number of new developments including OpenShift (Platform as a Service) and CloudForms (Infrastructure as a Service). Basically Red Hat continues to sponsor development on a large number of open source projects and bundles them together into more comprehensive solutions. I haven't yet done enough reading to speak intelligently about either of those... but give me some time... although they do seem primarily oriented towards the "enterprisey" folks.

      • Red Hat Summit: The panel highlights
        For those who joined our panel at the Red Hat Summit this morning, below are the promised links to the things we talked about. (And for those who weren't there, consider this a nice pointer to some of our favorite stories.)

      • Red Hat Summit recap: RHEL 6.1, cloud platforms, and a new openness

      • Open Virtualization Advances into the Enterprise with Red Hat And IBM

      • Red Hat Introduces JBoss Enterprise Data Grid

      • Red Hat Revolutionizes the Private and Hybrid Cloud Market

      • Red Hat Delivers the Platform-as-a-Service Cloud for Open Source Developers

      • Fedora

        • #fedora - You are always wrong

        • Take a breath, then respond
          That said, Jeff accurately points out a situation that has been a sticking point, and one that is being addressed and corrected, in the Fedora Project around the types of caustic responses that sometimes come up in #fedora. Also, while I don’t frequent the channel and usually find answers to my questions elsewhere — a good practice (and more on this later) — I can say that it’s something that has caused some of us in the Fedora Project some concern.

          However — and you knew that was coming — just as an observation on my part, it appears Jeff shot from the hip on this one rather than giving it some thought before writing.

          Believe me, I am not casting the first stone against this “sin” — I speak from experience here: lots of experience in which I have fired off unretractable words that a walk in the redwoods or shooting a few hoops would have tempered into something more reasonable and justifiable.

        • Fedora 15 Beta, GNOME 3
          The whole system feels very stable indeed and I’m using it on my production machine quite happily even though, really, I shouldn’t be!

        • ActiveState Stackato Delivers Perl and Python to the Cloud
          Although Red Hat sees OpenShift as being an open platform for the cloud, ActiveState doesn't see it the same way.

          "It's not Open Source and our current view is it is more limited in the range of languages, language versions and frameworks supported," Mueller said. "It's basically Red Hat in the cloud, which isn't enough to satisfy customer needs we have seen."

          Red Hat itself has admitted that OpenShift is not entirely open source. Isaac Roth, PaaS master at Red Hat said during a press conference this week that there are certain parts of OpenShift which are not yet open source, like the UI code for example.

    • Debian Family

      • MEPIS antiX M11 Screenshots

      • The GNOME 2.30 environment in Debian Squeeze - surprisingly productive
        In the case of Debian Squeeze I'm talking about GNOME 2.30. Now that we're in the GNOME 3 era -- and very early on -- I can only hope that the dust will settle and GNOME will be just as functional, if not more so, in the year ahead.

      • Debian rolling discussion on -devel@

        Here is my attempt at a summary of the rolling discussion currently happening on debian-devel@. It might not be complete, it’s probably a bit biased, but I hope that it’s still better than nothing. It was also posted on debian-devel@.

        If you are involved in Debian development, please discuss it on debian-devel@, rather than in the comments of this blog.

      • People behind Debian: Steve Langasek, release wizard
        Steve Langasek has been contributing to Debian for more than a decade. He was a release manager for sarge and etch, and like many former release managers, he’s still involved in the Debian release team although as a release wizard (i.e. more of an advisory role than a day-to-day contributor). Oh, and he did the same with Ubuntu: on the picture on the left, he just announced the release of Ubuntu 10.04 from his Debian-branded laptop. ;-)

      • SimplyMEPIS 11.0 Released, Looks Good
        The MEPIS Website was updated just a bit ago to reflect the new release. The homepage splash says that MEPIS 11 is fast, fun, powerful, gorgeous, and ready-to-go. Well, there ya go, I can't add much more to that.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • The Perfect Desktop - Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) (With The Ubuntu Classic Desktop)

        • Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal Reviewed: This is My Favorite Ubuntu EVER!
          Having said that, I never really had any sort of major technical issues with any Ubuntu releases so far. All my hardware drivers including that of wifi and graphics ones are enabled automatically and Compiz has always worked like a charm. From the mails I have been receiving, one common factor I noticed above all, are issues somehow related to Compiz. Maybe the smooth Compiz rendering itself is the primary reason why I like Ubuntu 11.04 so much. But the Unity factor cannot be ignored.

        • After Natty Narwhal, now begins the wait for Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot
          Ubuntu follows a unique two-term nomenclature for all its two releases each year. The first term is an adjective from the English alphabet series followed by animal name from the same alphabet. Ubuntu release is named by the year first followed by the month of release. Therefore, the just released, path-breaking Ubuntu was 11.04 with a tradename Natty Narwhal. The following Ubuntu release slated for October release is called Ubuntu 11.10 and will be called Oneiric Ocelot.

        • Unity Just Became More Fun To Use
          While testing and playing with the desktop effects on Unity (if your video card can handle it) i found out that some effects still can be used. The window animations (the effects when you open/minimize/close a window) and wobbly windows can still be used. I found a manual to enable the desktop cube on Unity on the omgubuntu website but i didn’t test that yet.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal review - A great surprise

          You will notice I have not tried to install Natty on my high-end laptops. That's right. There's a reason for that. And we will soon get to it. But let me first complete the thought cycle and explain why Ubuntu 11.04 is a great surprise.

          I was expecting a slow, buggy, crashing system that can't be used. Instead, I got a very well polished, well integrated, visually pleasing, and extremely stable and fast distro that does what it is supposed to do. This is indeed a great surprise. Natty surpassed my fairly pessimistic forecast.

          Comparing to Gnome 3, Unity is ahead, but then, it had a lot of time to mature, just like KDE4 eventually did. If you recall my initial reviews, I gave Unity 2.5/10. Today, that grade is more like 7.5/10. This is a tremendous improvement. This clearly shows that early, initial impressions can be deceiving, as well as the fact that things can get better after all. Unity may be aiming at the lowest common denominator, but it has enough to sway even the more hardcore Linux users.

          Natty is actually quite usable. Will I run it as my primary production system? No. I will not, not just yet. This is why I did not commit the distro to my production machines. But is there any sense, logic and use for this Ubuntu? Definitely. I can actually see the common user running this. Even power users with only a spoonful of personality disorders can relate to Natty. Hating Unity is terribly easy, but it did offer 80% of what I needed. Of course, it's the 20% that make the big difference, but the experience was pleasant, simple, functional to a very high degree.

          Spring 2011 brings an interesting new beast to the software zoo. Unity is far from being a failure, far from being for smartphones only, far from being Mac. It needs more time to grow into something that even professional photographers, architects, Web developers, and posh people driving Fiat 500 will want to use. As to the rest? Well, they should definitely give Natty Narwhal a spin.

        • Negative Community Reaction Development
          The user in the quote is frustrated that development on Unity has seemingly come out of nowhere to crush all the familiarity they used to have and in order to continue to use the latest and greatest Firefox and OpenOffice they’ll be forced to put up with design decisions that will be against their own personal internal aesthetic. They’re not wrong in their concern, but of course this is a risky move that their distribution is attempting; a massive coarse correction which delves deep into the bowls of the ship we’re all sailing in and is tinkering with the engine and reshaping the hull to see if it’ll make the thing go faster.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Pinguy OS 11.04 Will Be Based on Ubuntu 11.04
            Antoni Norman proudly announced a few days ago, May 1st, that the Beta release of the upcoming Pinguy OS 11.04 operating system is available for download and testing.

          • Linux Mint 11 To Use Gnome 2.32
            This was somewhat expected since Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu and the only way to use GNOME 3 in Ubuntu 11.04 is by using a PPA.

          • Linux Mint 11 (Katya) Preview and Testing Version Released!
            With that said, and on an internal, note, I have been waiting to write my upcoming Couch Potato guide, as well as waiting to update my RAID and SABnzbd+ guides (at very least) until Linux Mint 11 reaches release candidate or final status. So, for any that have been itching to get an updated SABnzbd+ guide for the 0.6 release, or and updated and expanded RAID 5/6 guide, stay tuned!

          • #! CrunchBang 10 “Statler” Review
            After all those rich desktop Environment saw in Ubuntu, Chackra or Gnome 3 in general i needed a desktop minimalistic and comfortable, so today I’ve done some test on #! Crunchbang 10, it’s a Debian GNU/Linux based distribution with a lightweight desktop Environments: Openbox and optionally XFCE.

            I’ve tested it with a virtualmachine on Virtualbox, installation made at 32 bit with Openbox. Short story : i loved this Debian 6 in black and white, with custom Kernel and a minimalistic approach.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Wind River releases secure Linux distro and updated Simics simulator
      A day after celebrating its 30th anniversary, Wind River announced the availability of Wind River Linux Secure -- said to be the first commercial embedded Linux platform to achieve EAL4+ certification using the GP-OSPP profile. Wind River also announced version 4.6 of its multicore-oriented Wind River Simics virtualization and simulation software, adding new debugging, collaboration, and target system visualization features.

    • NAS devices offer SSD support, cloud storage
      The Linux-based devices include the px4-300d and px6-300d -- desktop models with a a dual-core 1.8GHz Intel Atom D525 and respective capacities of 12TB and 18TB -- and the rackmount, 12TB px4-300r, using a dual-core 2.2GHz Celeron E1500.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Evernote for Android Gets a Major Update

        • PXA300 reference platform gains industrial-focused Android BSP
          E-con Systems announced an Android board support package (BSP) for its Marvell PXA300-based eSOM300 module and related Alioth baseboard reference platform. The company says it added to Android's hardware abstraction layers with blocks that support non-mobile, industrial-focused peripherals including RS232/RS485, CAN, GPIO, ADC, and various sensors.

        • Motorola and Sprint reveal two business-focused Android phones
          Motorola Mobility and Sprint announced two enterprise-focused Android smartphones with 3.1-inch touchscreens, exposed QWERTY keyboards, and five-megapixel cameras. The Motorola Xprt is a 1GHz Android 2.2 phone with enterprise security features and international roaming, and the ruggedized, Android 2.1-based Motorola Titanium makes use of Sprint's Nextel Direct Connect Push-to-Talk network, says Sprint.

        • Sony Ericsson cranks up Xperia Mini line with 1GHz CPUs
          The Snapdragons enable the phones to run the five-month-old (but still hard to find) Android 2.3, and in the case of the Mini, play and record 720p video. The Xperia Mini is said to be the smallest phone to do so, measuring only 3.5 × 2.0 × 0.6 inches.

        • Droid Charge may be best Droid ever, says review
          Is an Android smartphone worth $300 plus a two-year contract? In the case of the Samsung Droid Charge, which offers Verizon 4G bandwidth, a beautiful 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display, and an eight-megapixel camera, the answer is just maybe, says this eWEEK review.

    • OLPC-esque

      • ARM11 Linux educational computer aims for $25 pricetag
        U.K. games developer David Braben has launched an OLPC-like foundation called Raspberry Pi, hoping to sell a tiny ARM/Linux computer aimed at K12 computer education for as little as $25. Braben demonstrated a single board computer (SBC) prototype running Ubuntu 9.04 on a 700MHz, OpenGL-enabled ARM11 processor with 128MB SDRAM, HDMI, USB, and SD connectivity, supporting 1080p video.

    • Tablets

      • Quanta building E Ink-based Android tablet for Amazon?
        Quanta has received OEM orders from to build its much-rumored Android tablet, expected to sell in quantities of 700,000 to 800,000 units per month, DigiTimes claims. The tablet is said to use Fringe Field Switching display technology from E Ink -- presumably a version of E Ink's Triton color e-reader display.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Make open source mapping and location tools work for you

  • Top 5 Open Source Alternatives to Microsoft Exchange
    Are you tired of overpaying for the Microsoft Exchange messaging server? The Linux and Free/Open Source world is cram-full of robust, capable alternatives that won't drain your bank account. This tasty assortment ranges from free with community support, to full commercially-supported products.

  • 6 Free Open Source Shopping Cart Software Options

    Open source shopping cart software is a big deal for a new merchant (or online retailer). One of the most alarming factors when starting your online retail business is the cost associated with commercial and proprietary shopping cart software.

    While you can pay a few extra dollars for shopping cart software when signing up for a hosting Web server account, these subscription-based plans don't always offer the shopping cart functionality or design options that meet business needs. For the budget-strained new start-up, this is where open source software comes in to play.

  • Ever wondered, what is the motivation of Open Source Community?
    Open Source software development has drawn increasing attention as its importance has grown. Open source communities have been able to challenge and oftenopensource--t outperform proprietary software by enabling better reliability, lower costs, shorter development times, and a higher quality of code. But the question/fact that "why would skilled programmers, devote their time, effort and knowledge for an opensource project, where they might not get any reward interms of money?" So what are the motivations? Continue reading!

  • Puppet Labs Announces Faces API

  • Web Browsers

    • The Tor Project Eyes A New Browsing Model for Anonymous Surfing
      Even as Mozilla finds itself wrestling with sticky privacy and censorship issues raised by a U.S. Department of Homeland Security request to remove a Firefox add-on, the movers and shakers behind the Tor project--one of the primary resources for those who want to surf the web anonymously--are evaluating a new privacy-centric browser. Developer Mike Perry has put up a blog post discussing dedicated browser bundles that do away with the familiar Torbutton, and seamlessly allow users to surf completely anonymously. There could be room for this highly differentiated browser model, despite crowding in the browser market.

    • Mozilla

      • I started using Firefox Sync -- and it doesn't pose a potential (and probably real) privacy problem like Google Chrome sync
        Now that I'm running Iceweasel (aka Firefox) 4.0.1 on my Debian Squeeze laptop and Firefox (not aka Iceweasel) on my Windows XP box, I decided to use the newly built-in Firefox Sync to have my bookmarks, history and such track across my two instances of the browser.

      • A Firefox Tor Fork? I don't think so
        The Tor onion router, privacy project is planning its own version of Firefox.

        Some people may call this a fork - I don't.

        Tor as an onion router (or set of chained, private, maybe-anonymized proxies, if you're lucky) is implemented in Firefox by way of the Torbutton add-on.

      • Tech Comics: "The Internet, 1999 vs. 2011"

      • Firefox 6 Should Sort Out Linux GPU Acceleration
        Mozilla Firefox 4.0 was released in March with many new features, including GPU-based acceleration, but on the Linux side this support was disabled. The Mozilla developers found the Linux GPU driver support to be a problem, even with the open-source solutions. It looks like though by Firefox 6 the Linux GPU acceleration will be in better standing.

      • Why We Need Firefox
        And thus, to date, Mozilla has not removed that Mafiaafire add-on.

        This response is notable not just for its robustness, but the fact that it shows Mozilla willing to question the whole rationale behind such requests. In doing so, it is playing an important, wider role of challenging developments that are extremely dangerous for freedom and the Open Web. That is, true to its mission, Mozilla is looking at the bigger picture here, and not just worrying about its bottom line as most companies do (and are required to do if they are public companies.)

        This, then, is the real reason to stick with Firefox: because the priorities of its designers are fundamentally different from those behind other browsers. Even if there are odd glitches from time to time - often resolvable, as my experience showed - it is important to keep this central fact in mind. Without Mozilla, the online world would be far less open - and we would be less free.

  • SaaS

    • Why Cloud Is Forcing Cisco to Embrace Open Source
      Cisco’s cloud computing ambitions might be judged by outsiders as being centered around selling servers and networking gear to cloud data centers, but recent developments show that such an assessment might not be entirely fair. The networking giant has been forced to reassess its business in a major way lately, and, at long last, it appears as if Cisco understands that open source software will be critical to its cloud success.

    • Syncsort Aims to Extend Hadoop's Big Data Capabilities

    • CloudBees Opens Up Java Platform as a Service to Private Clouds
      CloudBees, the innovation leader in cloud computing for Java, today announced RUN@cloud Private Edition, which extends the company’s rapid-deploy, instant-scale, no-IT-headaches Java Platform as a Service (PaaS) to private cloud environments running on OpenStackâ„¢ or vSphere. With this new offering, CloudBees expands choices for customers on the CloudBees platform: choice in deployment (public, private or hybrid cloud) and choice of underlying infrastructure (Amazon, OpenStack or vSphere).

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Acquia Announces Record First Quarter 2011 and Rapid Expansion
      Acquia, the enterprise guide to Drupal, today announced a record first quarter, increasing revenue 300% as compared to the first quarter of 2010, and more than 20% over the previous quarter. Enterprise adoption of the Drupal social publishing platform and Acquia's cloud hosting has fueled the rapid expansion of Acquia's business.

  • Business

  • Money


  • Project Releases

    • Google Web Toolkit 2.3 arrives
      Google has announced new versions of its Google Web Toolkit (GWT) and Google Plugin for Eclipse (GPE). Version 2.3 of GWT, a Java-based open source development framework for Ajax applications, brings improvements in support for the latest version of Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) and associated HTML5 features, including the ability to access Web Storage allowing local storage of data by web applications.

    • [PacketFence 2.2.0 released]

    • Infoblox Delivers IPv6 with DNS64
      Infoblox has a set of appliances that delivers DDI services running the Infoblox NIOS software. Liu noted that the core underlying operating system is a stripped down version of Linux, though he added that Infoblox is able to take advantage of some of the IPv6 capabilities in Linux.

  • Licensing

    • Relicensing Puppet to Apache 2.0
      As most of you realize by now, Puppet 2.7 was released under the Apache 2.0 license instead of under the GPL, and Facter has already been released under the Apache license. My goal in this post is to explain why, and what effects you might expect to see as a result.

      We’ve been talking about the possibility of this change for about two years, but it was only in the last six months that it’s been solidified as the right plan. For the vast majority of people, this change won’t affect you at all—Puppet is still open source, and under one of the most open licenses available. For a few of you, however, this license change will make it easier to embed Puppet into your software, ship it as part of a solution you’re building, or contribute code to it.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Ten Things You Didn’t Know About ODF 1.2
      # # ODF 1.2 has been out for public review a total of 210 days. # The ODF TC resolved 1,822 public comments while working on ODF 1.2. We read every one of them.

    • Questioning the future of and ODF
      There's a time for answers, and a time for questions.

      Last month's announcement from Oracle that it would be discontinuing commercial development on definitely means it's time for questions, a broader one being "what the heck does Oracle's announcement mean?"

      For now, the status of is in a bit of limbo: work on 3.4 continues at the Hamburg offices where much of the core development takes place. At this moment, despite a few rumors that proved to be wrong, those developers are all still gainfully employed by Oracle. This may be a deliberate decision on Oracle's part, or the fact that German hiring laws are different than those in the US, and don't typically permit immediate layoffs. But beyond that, there is very little known about Oracle's exact plans for


  • 3 Professional Reasons For Computer Professionals To Attend Science Fiction Conventions
    Most people who attend science fiction conventions have plenty of social reasons for going, such as to have fun, make friends with like-minded literate people, or to see favorite authors and artists. Whether you attend a smaller con like PhilCon or a larger one like Atlanta, Georgia’s DragonCon (“the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film”), you can buy books, find an excuse to travel, or actively participate in SF singing (“filking”), costuming, live-action role-playing games (LARPS), and other activities.

  • Security

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs May Make ‘Near-Term’ Management Changes, UBS Says
      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), accused of misleading clients by a U.S. Senate inquiry, is likely to make management changes in the “near-term,” said William Tanona, an analyst at UBS AG.

      “Any turnover will concern investors despite the firm’s deep bench,” Tanona, who worked at Goldman Sachs from 2005 to 2008, wrote today in a note to investors. “GS’s management team is very strong; however, missteps on the public relations front have further tarnished the firm’s reputation.” Managers will remain under strain after lawmakers sent findings to the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission, he said.

    • Blankfein Could Still Leave
      Start the clock counting down the days until Lloyd Blankfein steps down as the chief executive of Goldman Sachs.

      Blankfein has reportedly told the company's board members that rumors of an impending retirement are not true. He plans to stay for another year, according to a report in the New York Post Tuesday.

    • At Goldman Meeting, Pay Is Likely to Rule the Day
      Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s Lloyd Blankfein may have to defend the firm's compensation policies, including a combined $69.6 million 2010 payday for its top five executives, when he faces shareholders at the bank's annual meeting on Friday.

    • Goldman Sachs report referred to investigators
      A US SENATE report that said Goldman Sachs misled clients about mortgage-linked securities has been formally referred to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, which are reviewing its findings.

      Senators Carl Levin and Tom Coburn, the Democratic chairman and senior Republican on the permanent subcommittee on investigations, have signed a referral letter asking the agencies to examine the panel's report.

    • DoJ reviews Goldman Sachs report
      US prosecutors are reviewing the findings of a Senate report that found Goldman Sachs misled clients buying mortgage-related securities, Eric Holder, the US attorney-general, has told a congressional committee.

    • The Real Reason Goldman Should Be Freaking Out About The Volcker Rule In One Word
      Why should Goldman Sachs be "freaked out" by the Volcker Rule, and lobbying hard to debilitate it?

      One word: Glencore.

      It turns out that contrary to prior statements by Goldman top brass, the bank is actually a little freaked out by the Volcker Rule.

      The firm has been spending millions to sway lawmakers in Washington against severe interpretations of the new regulation, and has assembled an all-star team to do so. Even Blankfein is getting in on the lobbying action.

    • Why Is Goldman Sachs Holding Its Shareholder Meeting In New Jersey?
      As you may have heard, Goldman Sachs will hold its annual shareholder meeting tomorrow. Unlike the past 12 years, in which the event has been held in New York, Friday’s meeting will go down in the Garden State. The bank has not explained the move, and while it does have a building across the river, one would hope you’re not falling for that.

      The real reason more than likely has little to do with real estate. Legitimate possibilities include:

    • Goldman Sachs lobbies hard on Volcker Rule
      The mantra for Wall Street firms when it comes to Dodd-Frank should be "never say never". Dodd-Frank may be the law of the land, but the specifics are still being worked out by a resource-challenged SEC. For Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), the biggest issue still to be decided is the Volcker Rule.

      In general, the Volcker Rule sought to prohibit banks from engaging in risky proprietary trading with their own capital and from investing directly in hedge funds and private equity funds. The rule has already had a big impact on banks, including Goldman, which has disbanded at least two prop trading units.

    • Religious Groups Question Goldman on Pay
      When Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executives and shareholders gather Friday morning for the company's annual meeting, the room might look a little like a house of worship.

      A coalition of religious groups headed by a nun, a priest and the CEO of a Jewish organization will be there to press Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to evaluate whether it's paying executives too much. Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein will have no choice but to listen. The group has won a coveted spot on the annual meeting agenda.

    • Claiming Fraud in A.I.G. Bailout, Whistle-Blower Lawsuit Names 3 Companies
      The first known whistle-blower lawsuit to assert that the taxpayers were defrauded when the federal government bailed out the American International Group was unsealed on Friday, joining a number of suits seeking to settle the score on losses related to the financial crisis of 2008.

      The lawsuit, filed by a pair of veteran political activists from the La Jolla area of San Diego, asserts that A.I.G. and two large banks engaged in a variety of fraudulent and speculative transactions, running up losses well into the billions of dollars. Then the three institutions persuaded the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to bail them out by giving A.I.G. two rescue loans, which were used to unwind hundreds of failed trades.

    • Claiming Fraud in A.I.G. Bailout, Whistle-Blower Lawsuit Names 3 Companies
      The lawsuit, filed by a pair of veteran political activists from the La Jolla area of San Diego, asserts that A.I.G. and two large banks engaged in a variety of fraudulent and speculative transactions, running up losses well into the billions of dollars. Then the three institutions persuaded the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to bail them out by giving A.I.G. two rescue loans, which were used to unwind hundreds of failed trades.

      The loans were improper, the lawsuit says, because the Fed made them without getting a pledge of high-quality collateral from A.I.G., as required by law.

    • Wall Street Bankers Share Blame for Europe Crisis, Berkshire’s Munger Says
      Charles Munger, whose Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A) holds $5 billion of options on Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) stock, said the role of investment bankers in helping to mask Greece’s financial troubles was “perfectly disgusting.”

      “Wall Street to some extent is deliberately trying to profit from sin, and I think it’s a mistake,” Munger told reporters yesterday after Berkshire’s annual press conference in Omaha, Nebraska. “Why should an investment banker go to Greece to teach them how to pretend their finances are different from what they really are? Why isn’t that a perfectly disgusting bit of human behavior?”

    • Banks Illegally Foreclosed On Dozens Of Military Borrowers, Federal Investigators Say
      Two of the nation's largest mortgage firms illegally foreclosed on the homes of "almost 50" active-duty military service members, according to a Thursday report by the Government Accountability Office.

      The report does not identify the two mortgage companies. GAO investigators attributed the finding to federal bank regulators, who recently completed a three-month probe into allegations of improper foreclosures carried out by the nation's 14 largest home loan servicers.

    • Senate GOP: We'll block consumer protection nominee
      Forty-four Republican senators sent a letter to Barack Obama Thursday threatening to vote down whomever the president nominates to run the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unless the administration overhauls the agency’s regulatory powers.

      The new agency — which GOP lawmakers have opposed since it’s inception — has been without a permanent head and is in the process of being set up by special adviser Elizabeth Warren. If a director is not appointed by July, the agency’s one-year anniversary, the bureau will lose certain powers, including the authority to supervise non-bank lenders.

    • Two Madoff Cases Reach Federal Court
      In one case, a federal judge has granted a request by JPMorgan Chase to decide whether the firm’s trustee, Irving H. Picard, has the right to sue the bank for $6.4 billion over claims that it aided Mr. Madoff in his Ponzi scheme.

      The judge, Colleen McMahon of the Federal District Court in Manhattan, said that she would release an opinion in the coming weeks that explains why she agreed to hear the case.

      She also gave JPMorgan a deadline of June 3 to file documents asking that the case be dismissed, and scheduled a hearing for late July.

    • Fannie Mae seeks $8.5 billion more in federal aid
      Fannie Mae asked the government Friday for an additional $8.5 billion in aid after declining home prices caused more defaults on loans guaranteed by the mortgage giant.

      The company said it lost $8.7 billion in the first three months of the year. Those losses led Fannie to request more than three times the federal aid it sought in the previous quarter. The total cost of rescuing the government-controlled mortgage buyer is nearing $100 billion - the most expensive bailout of a single company.

    • After Bust in Ireland, Ordinary People Make Do With Less
      Brian and Rosie Condra grew up poor. But as prosperity washed over Ireland in the first decade of the 21st century, they managed to buy a modest house, start saving for their children’s future and, for once, do more than simply make ends meet.

    • A Chart to Explain Confusion on Jobs
      But now look at the very end of the chart. Do you see how the blue line dips, leaving it closer to the red line? That is today’s jobs report. It doesn’t mean unemployment actually rose last month.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Ed Vaizey and lobby groups
      More concerning is their conclusion that Ed Vaizey is the “most lobbied minister” in the UK in the period May-Dec 2010. This is, we think, in large part because Ed Vaizey likes to meet large numbers of people at once, in ‘round table’ meetings. Not a bad thing in itself, but very disappointing that no meeting with any consumer or rights group took place in that time. Those views were effectively excluded from these discussions.

  • Censorship

    • Facebook political takedowns: Burying bad news?
      News has broken today that a number of activist groups pages and user accounts on Facebook have been deleted, mostly from the anti-cuts movement.

    • Corporations may not protect your free speech and privacy
      This ought to be the lesson we learn from the Internet and digital revolution. Over twenty or more years, we have had a huge rebalancing of power towards citizens, as we are able to communicate and network with each other much more easily. We are able to directly influence political discourse. No longer do a handful of media and political organisations act as gatekeepers to the public. They no longer act as exclusive mediators.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • What Will Canada's New Majority Government Mean for Copyright Reform?

        Monday's re-election of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government in Canada to a majority stronghold means that there will be fewer impediments to get its legislation passed. One bill, which died March 26 when the general election was called for May 2, was C-32, the Copyright Modernization Act. A new bill, assigned a new number, is expected to be introduced by the end of the year.

      • Von Finckenstein tells broadcasting industry to lobby Tories for regulatory change

        CRTC chair Konrad von Finckenstein laid out new details in his call for an overhaul of Canada’s communications regulatory framework Thursday and called on the broadcasting industry to form a new organization to lobby the Conservative government for change.

      • The future of electoral reform in the UK
        Our failure, both as a party and as individual campaigners, was to not properly inform voters of the choice in front of them, or indeed why it mattered at all. The same criticism applies equally to the No campaign. On 5th May I was still explaining to people on the doorstep that they were going to be asked to vote in a referendum in addition to casting their council ballots. It is a sad day when, after months of campaigning on an issue as vital as electoral reform, voters were still unprepared to answer a simple yes/no question at the ballot box.

      • Campaigns: looking back, looking forward
        As mentioned earlier, we're not currently doing well at getting the party name out there. Our campaigns are being hampered by the fact that a relatively small proportion of those who would vote for us have heard of us — despite the coverage we received in the wake of the Wikileaks controversy. Perhaps we didn't effectively leverage the media interest that we received then?

      • UK Music Publishers Association Tries To Hide CopyFraud

Clip of the Day

Swing 42 - Django Reinhardt

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Credit: TinyOgg

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