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Links 16/2/2012: Scientific Linux 5.7 and 6.2, Mozilla Firefox 10.0.1





GNOME bluefish

Contents





GNU/Linux



Free Software/Open Source



  • Open Sourcers Drop Software Religion for Common Sense
    Olson helped build the open source Berkeley DB database in the early 90s — before the Linux boom — and as the CEO of Sleepycat Software, he turned the database into a successful business using something very similar to the GPL, the free software license that was so essential to the rise of Linux. The GPL — or GNU General Public license — said that if someone modified free software and distributed the code with a larger product, they would have to contribute their work back to the community.


  • Simon Phipps: Freedom Doesn't Have Any Lobbyists
    Simon Phipps is a renowned computer scientist and web and open source advocate. Phipps was instrumental in IBM's involvement in the Java programming language, founding IBM's Java Technology Center. In this exclusive interview with Simon Phipps during FOSDEM 2012, Swapnil Bhartiya discusses new risks to our freedom. We discussed about ACTA, ebooks, copyrights and much more.


  • Exclusive Interview With ownCloud Founder Frank Karlitschek
    ownCloud is one of the most promising and important projects as we are heading towards cloud-centric computing. Free Software users fought a long battle to keep control over their computing, and cloud poses a threat to both -- the control over your computing and data. Projects like ownCloud ensure that users can still have control over their data and computer yet reap the benefits of cloud. We have been covering ownCloud for a while now. We met Frank Karlitschek, the founder of ownCloud, at FOSDEM 2012 and talked more about ownCloud. Here is an interview...


  • Java-alternative Kotlin now available as open source
    JetBrains' alternative language for the Java platform, Kotlin – which the company has been developing since 2010 and revealed in July 2011 – has now been released as open source under an Apache 2 licence. The released tools include the Kotlin compiler, "Kompiler", a set of enhancements to standard Java libraries such as convenience utilities for JDK collections, build tools (for Ant, Maven and Gradle), and an IntelliJ IDEA plugin so it works with JetBrains' own IDE.


  • Community spotlight: 5 questions with John Scott, founder of MIL-OSS and Open Source for America
    Meet John Scott. He is a systems engineer in Alexandria, Virginia. Scott has worked extensively on open source software policy for the US government and military--and helped found MIL-OSS and Open Source for America.

    On opensource.com, community is very important. We want to continue to recognize our community members who contribute in ways other than writing articles--things like rating and commenting, voting in polls, and sharing our collective work on social media. We hope you enjoy getting to know John.


  • Events

    • FOSDEM 2012: From The Lens Of A Camera
      FOSDEM concluded in Brussels this month. The weather took a strange turn and just the day before it started to snow heavily here in Brussels. It was freezing cold. The colorful city of Brussels turned white. The venue was only 6km away from our house so we drove through the snow.




  • Web Browsers

    • New web browser for HP's Open webOS
      Having released the first elements of its webOS mobile operating system as open source at the end of January, HP has taken further steps on the road to creating a completely open source platform. The company has now made the user interface widgets for Enyo 2 – the HTML5 framework that was released in January – available; it has also released the new Isis web browser that implements Nokia's QtWebKit browser and the JavaScriptCore JavaScript parser. HP also announced details of the governance model for the webOS platform's future development.


    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Firefox 10.0.1 Update About To Be Released
        Mozilla, developers of the popular Firefox web browser, have just released an update for the browser’s stable branch that moves the version to 10.0.1. The release may come as a surprise to users of Firefox 10, who were updated to that version only ten days ago.


      • Firefox to Get a New Interface in Second Half of 2012
        Those who have been following the Firefox release tracking tables will not find any surprises, but the list certainly serves as a guide of the baseline of new features and changes Firefox will see by the end of the year, when we will be using Firefox version 17.


      • Mozilla's 2012 Firefox Roadmap Targets Many New Goals
        Mozilla has released its 2012 roadmap for the Firefox browser, and to say that it is ambitious would be an understatement. Of course, Firefox was moved to a rapid release cycle in February of last year, and the company has been delivering updates to the browser at such a fast pace that it has even faced some backlash from users and IT administrators. There is a huge laundry list of updates to come for the browser this year, with a strong emphasis on adding social features and privacy enhancements along with preservation of open web standards.


      • Firefox sparks Mozilla civil war
        Mozilla coders are arguing among themselves about the open-source outfit's Metrics Data Ping project, which was designed to monitor Firefox usage metrics. Several coders in the Mozilla camp have expressed concern about how some developers are proposing the project should collect data from users of the browser.


      • Mozilla explains user-tracking proposal for Firefox


      • Firefox extension illustrates password reuse






  • Databases

    • Special Q&A with Monty Widenius
      As an intern with the Monty Program AB, Vangelis Katsikaros recently had an opportunity to ask the project founder and MariaDB creator, Michael Widenius (aka "Monty"), a variety of interesting questions. Vangelis generously offered to share that conversation exclusively with Linux.com readers. Here is the transcript from that interview.


    • HP shares database smarts with EnterpriseDB
      EnterpriseDB is trying to pump up the PostgreSQL database to do battle with Oracle 11g and, to a lesser extent, IBM's DB2 and Microsoft's SQL. So the database upstart is upgrading its Postgres Plus Advanced Server 9.1 - and kicking it onto Amazon's EC2 compute cloud to peddle it alongside Amazon's own Relational Database Service.

      As El Reg previously reported, the open source PostgreSQL relational database was updated to the 9.1 release level last September, with a lot of the work being done by a team at EnterpriseDB, which has become the "Red Hat for PostgreSQL," led by Robert Haas, the senior architect at the company.




  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • What's New in LibreOffice 3.5
      The LibreOffice 3.5 release is due out shortly, and this release comes with a number of improvements that free office suite users will find useful. From grammar checking to better importing for Microsoft Office documents, LibreOffice 3.5 contains a number of useful improvements. This release also contains preliminary work for porting LibreOffice to the Web and mobile devices.


    • LibreOffice 3.5 sharpens its grammar checking




  • Education

    • 5 questions with StudentsFirst's Michelle Rhee on education reform
      The name Michelle Rhee most likely rings a bell because of all the hard work she put towards reforming the Washington, DC public schools as Chancellor from 2007 to 2010. During that time period, she hosted hundreds of community meetings, even creating a Youth Cabinet to bring students' voices into DC Public Schools reform.




  • Business



  • Public Services/Government

    • UK Government starts new Open Standards Consultation
      The UK Government has started the process of consulting on Open Standards. The process was promised after the government was found to have withdrawn its previous recommendations which had defined open standards as royalty-free. That original recommendation was reportedly heavily lobbied against by Microsoft which led to its withdrawal and the apparent restarting of the process to define open standards.


    • More SMEs for government suppliers: Liam Maxwell's three-step plan
      The idea of getting more SMEs into the government's roster of suppliers ranks somewhere alongside kittens and rainbows in terms of popularity. But it's easier said than done – central government IT continues to be dominated by the usual suspects.

      Liam Maxwell, the government's director of ICT futures, is the man charged with getting the public sector to use more small suppliers.

      But with the spectre of 'doing more with less' haunting many government departments, can IT minnows really deliver the economies of scale that the stretched public sector needs?

      Maxwell thinks so. The idea that SMEs can't deliver the required savings is "fundamentally not correct," he told Guardian Government Computing at the recent Cloud Expo in London. "You do business with SMEs, you get a better deal."




  • Licensing



  • Programming

    • A Sneak Peak at MPI 3.0


    • The Future of JavaScript – take a peek today!
      The ECMA committee is working hard on designing the next version of JavaScript, also known as "Harmony". It is due by the end of next year and it is going to be the most comprehensive upgrade in the history of this language.


    • FSF wants labels on free JavaScript code


    • Google announces Code-in 2011 grand prize winners
      Stephanie Taylor from Google's Open Source Programs Office has announced the grand prize winners for the 2011 Google Code-in contest. Five of the ten overall winners are from India, while two are from Romania; the remaining students are from the US, UK and Canada.


    • Oracle Staking Claim in Open-Source 'R' Language
      Oracle is hoping to carve out a prominent place in the world of "R," the open-source statistical modeling language with roots in academia but an increasingly high profile in enterprise IT shops. It announced a new Advanced Analytics product on Wednesday that ties R to its database and family of software-hardware appliances.

      Oracle Advanced Analytics consists of Oracle R Enterprise, along with the vendor's existing Data Mining module. It's available as an Oracle 11g database option and costs US$23,000 per processor license. Data Mining will fall off the price list and be supplanted by Advanced Analytics.






Leftovers

  • Innovation? What innovation? Re-thinking progress and how we measure it
    CHFSS kicked off the Winter 2012 Big Thinking series on January 31 with Professor Jeremy de Beer from the University of Ottawa. Held in partnership with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC), the event drew over 150 MPs, Senators and public servants, as well as many university presidents who were in town as part of AUCC’s Day on the Hill.


  • Security





  • Finance



  • Privacy



  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Every EU country needs a Digital Champion!
      The economy of the future is digital. Already today it’s hard to think of many jobs where familiarity with computers and the Internet is not helpful: in the near future, 90% of jobs will require some level of digital literacy.




  • DRM

    • The Problem With Liberals
      Let me reiterate the central point about DRM. The fight is over controlling the content on our computers. Even with complete physical control and administrative authority we are unable to prevent unwanted material (spam, viruses) from appearing on our computers. What are the chances that a third party (the RIAA, the MPAA) can successfully keep material that we want but they don't (pirated music and movies) off of our computers?




  • Intellectual Monopolies



    • Copyrights

      • The New World of Publishing: The Big Hurry – A Different Look


      • Is Copyright Enforcement Hopeless?
        I had a Twitter conversation yesterday with Tim Lee regarding my post about copyright enforcement, and today he responds at greater length. My contention is that copyright enforcement in the digital realm, though it's obviously had a pretty bumpy history, isn't self-evidently impossible. In fact, it might well be technically feasible.


      • Vimeo adds support for browsing CC licensed videos
        As part of its recent "new Vimeo" platform revamp, Vimeo has added support for browsing and searching for videos made available under a Creative Commons (CC) licence. The site has supported the CC license suite since July 2010, but the latest change should make it easier for users to find CC-licensed videos to "rework, remix and reimagine". Now, when searching for videos, users can select "Show Advanced Filters" and filter by CC license type, such as Attribution-ShareAlike or Attribution-NonCommercial.








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