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Links 14/4/2012: Mandriva Speaks Out, Firefox Demotes Flash





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Contents





GNU/Linux



Free Software/Open Source



  • Machine Learning with WEKA: An Interview with Mark Hall


  • Syllable chalks up new release
    Syllable, an attempt to write a desktop-focused operating system from scratch using best practices, has notched up a new milestone, with its developers releasing 0.6.7 today.


  • Friday Favorite: Audacity 2.0
    Audacity, the venerable and much loved open source audio editor, has a 2.0 release today in versions for OS X, Windows and GNU/Linux.


  • Eaton touts open-source SDK as a boon to power management
    UPS supplier Eaton has released a new open-source software development kit aimed at providing better accessibility and flexibility to users of its power management products.

    RELATED: Cisco, EMC, VMware unite behind big data, cloud training initiative

    Hervé Tardy, the company's vice president and general manager of distributed power quality, says the ability to substantially modify the management software based on the specific needs of each client is a powerful upside to the firm's technology.


  • Eaton Offers Customized Open-Source Software to Address IT Manager Power Challenges


  • Open Source Analytics News Service Debuts


  • Web Browsers



    • Mozilla

      • Flash and Java to be click-to-play in future Firefox
        After more than two years on the back burner, Firefox has finally introduced click-to-play (or “opt-in activation” in Mozilla terms) for all plug-ins, including Flash, Java, and Silverlight. Plug-ins are the single biggest cause of browser slow-downs and security vulnerabilities — and Chrome has had a similar feature for more than a year — so really, it’s about time Mozilla added this to Firefox.


      • Firefox To Require Permission For Plug-Ins
        Mozilla engineers are in the process of improving the security and speed of Firefox by implementing a permission switch for browser plug-ins.


      • Firefox gets click-to-play option for plugins






  • SaaS

    • HP's Converged Cloud Services: A Very Big Bet on OpenStack


    • Why Open Source Is the Key to Cloud Innovation
      In the 25 years since Richard Stallman wrote the GNU General Public License, free and open source software (FOSS) have become pervasive in computing: Linux, Apache HTTP Server, MySQL and more can be found in large numbers of enterprises across the globe. And open source is now increasingly undergirding cloud computing as well.

      "Open source is certainly at the foundation in terms of building out cloud technologies," says Byran Che, senior director of product management at Red Hat and responsible for its cloud operations offerings, management software and Red Hat Enterprise MRG, (Red Hat's Messaging, Real-time and Grid platform). "If you take a look at market share in the server space, as you look at traditional data centers, about 70 percent are running on the Windows platform and about 30 percent are running Linux. As you take a look at what operating systems people are choosing to build applications on in the cloud, the ratio flips completely."


    • Red Hat and IBM sign on to OpenStack Foundation


    • IT Consultants Build OpenStack Cloud Business Practices
    • OpenStack Wins the Open Source Cloud
      Over the last two weeks there has been a whole lot of news about 'open' clouds. From my perspective though there is now one clear winner – OpenStack.

      As opposed to say Eucalyptus or CloudStack, OpenStack has one key item that those other two 'open' cloud efforts do not – THE SUPPORT OF EVERY MAJOR LINUX DISTRIBUTION.


    • Open Source ownCloud Debuts Enterprise File Sync and Sharing




  • Databases



  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice



  • CMS

    • 13 Tips for Better Joomla CMS Security
      With the surging popularity of Joomla, it's no surprise hackers are drawn to it as well. Don't panic, however. There are a number of things you can do to strengthen your security and turn your Joomla website into a fortress. Read along as we show you how to guard against the most common exploits and hacks that this open source CMS faces.




  • Healthcare

    • If the Other Shoe Drops, I Want Medicare
      More than five weeks ago, when some of my cancer markers were elevated, I began the process of bartering with the insurance company, doing the tests they said would be covered, and then coming all the way back to the start to finally getting the tests my doctors originally ordered. My full diagnosis and treatment considerations have been pending ever since, and that has given me time to think and to remember. Waiting, worrying, and wondering.

      It’s not that I believe every cancer is a death sentence. I certainly know that isn’t the case. I am a uterine cancer survivor. My mom is a two time breast cancer survivor. But I am 57 years old now -- old enough to be an expensive liability in our society, especially if I get sick and need care, but too young to be covered by Medicare. If I face a serious illness like cancer again that costs me an awful lot in out-of-pocket expenses not covered by insurance and lost time from making the money we need for survival, I will doom my husband to struggles he doesn’t need and that are not his fault. Bad enough that one of us should be sick, there is certainly no need for me to take him down with the ship.




  • Business



  • Finance



  • Public Services/Government

    • European public services must follow Iceland's open-source lead
      The global economic crisis has triggered a series of unprecedented social and political upheavals that have left many governments on the brink of bankruptcy. The high volume of debts have engulfed even the most well-managed economies, triggering a chain reaction in which cuts to public sector spending have become inevitable.

      A high profile casualty of these consequences was Iceland, where a collapse in the banking system led to long-running financial and diplomatic crisis. Significantly, it has recently been announced that Iceland is set to swap its high-cost public sector proprietary software solutions in favour of open source alternatives. Strategists behind the move cited cost savings as a prime reason for the shift in solution and, to their credit, this is a perfectly logical reason for engaging with open source alternatives.


    • Digital Native Government Agency Embraces The Power Of Open Source


    • U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Gets Open Source, Publishes on GitHub


    • Open Government is Go for Launch at NASA
      The new Open Government Plan, “Flagship Initiative,” is the creation of an “accessible, participatory and transparent web environment,” a goal reflected in the new site. Users are welcomed to a colorful, easy-to-read and easy-to-browse database of NASA projects and information — and they’re encouraged to comment on everything.


    • NASA's Open-Source Open Government Future
      NASA chose its website as flagship for a revamp of its open government plan rolled out yesterday, and — as if to show the agency meant business — did so with a brand-new, brightly colored buzzword-catcher of a website.




  • Openness/Sharing



    • Agencies lay out plans for Open Gov 2.0


    • Big Pharmas back open source drug discovery with money and molecules
      Call it crowdsourcing for cures. Fed up with outdated models for finding new treatments that have missed the mark, drugmakers and other public health stakeholders have ignited open source efforts that involve networks of companies and scientists joining forces to discover drugs. And one of the pioneering efforts of this ilk in India is moving ahead with a mid-stage trial for a drug against tuberculosis.

      India's Open Source Drug Discovery unit, which uses an online infrastructure to connect more than 5,500 scientists and others, revealed late last month with the Global Alliance on TB that the anti-tuberculosis molecule will be investigated in a Phase IIb trial in India, Forbes reported. And the open source group has two more TB molecules in advanced preclinical testing that could eventually enter trials and combat the infectious disease, which kills about 400,000 people annually in India.


    • Linux for Your Electric Car: Techies Create Open Source EVs
      Zero is the Apple of electric motorcycles. The Santa Cruz, Calif.,-based company’s bikes coast out of the factory in gleaming perfection with control software that has been optimized for safety and performance. And, as with iPhones, the source code remains a company secret. Gearheads who like to know every detail of how their machines work or want to modify them either have to jailbreak their devices or start from scratch. They can turn to outside sources but, again, the only option is to buy a motor controller kit from a company that has made all of the configuration decisions in advance.


    • The Tumanako project looks to make electric vehicles open source


    • Better EVs Through Open Source Collaboration
      “People who are into electric vehicles like to be able to tweak them to make them faster and to be able to fix them themselves,” says Philip Court, the director of Greenstage, an electric racecar developer in New Zealand.


    • Boom in Nordic crowdsourcing takes in film, lawmaking


    • How Open Source Drug Discovery Is Helping India Develop New Drugs


      Crowdsourcing can boast of many success stories today, but in 2008, when the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) launched such an effort for drug discovery, there weren’t many. Four years on, its Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) network is emerging as a cyber platform to garner resources for developing drugs that pharmaceutical companies don’t find attractive enough.


    • The H Half Hour: Open source and evil genius
      A typical evil genius will attempt to conquer the world and keep his or her plans secret. As any reader of The H knows, that's no way to build a culture of innovation within the evil genius community. The H was pleased, therefore, to talk to Simon Monk who has been using open source technology, like the Arduino, as the basis for a series of Evil Genius books for aspirant evil geniuses and other people who want to get building open source based gadgetry.


    • Open Data



    • Open Hardware





  • Programming

    • Legit introduces alternate Git workflow


    • Reasons Behind Popularity of Open Source Language for PHP Web Application Development
      PHP as an open source language has gained more popularity from PHP developers and PHP programmers because of its more interactive approach than HTML. Not only it is very fast, secure, economical, and efficiently manages the data but PHP codes can also be incorporated very easily. Moreover, another reason behind its popularity is that a web developer can download it free of cost and customize it according to the project requirements. Several business owners and big corporate are attracted towards PHP custom web application development due to its easy availability and flexible terms and conditions.




  • Standards/Consortia





Leftovers

  • Is Lobbying Closer To Bribery... Or Extortion?
    We've certainly talked quite a bit about the institutional-level corruption of the way Congress and lobbying works, but a recent This American Life episode, done in partnership with the Planet Money team takes a much deeper dive into how lobbying works. You absolutely should listen to it. It's really fascinating, even for folks who follow a lot of this stuff. There is also a full transcript, but hearing the whole thing is quite fascinating. Among the elements that are most interesting are the details of just how much time and effort goes into politicians raising money, and how the various fundraisers work.


  • Whatever happened to Unix?
    Open Source Initiative cofounder Bruce Perens said that, thanks to Apple, Unix is more popular than ever. “We now have more Unix systems than we've ever had before. They are in our phones and our access points. I think if you actually set out to count, you could make a graph and show that Unix—if you define Unix as something that serves a POSIX I/O—that Unix is at its peak today,” he said.

    “What's the difference? We don't care about the stuff the user doesn't see. The user doesn't see Unix. This is something I often have a hard time explaining to companies.”

    And while one of the world's largest companies—Apple—is based entirely on Unix kernels, that doesn't mean Unix is on the cusp of a massive comeback. In fact, it would seem that the formal Unix market has essentially stood still in recent years.


  • Security



  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Global Oil Production Update: EIA Revises Two Decades of Oil Data
      With the most recent release of international oil production data, EIA Washington has revised figures back to 1985. This is one of the most comprehensive revisions I have seen in several years. Generally, the totals were revised slightly lower, and this was especially true for the past decade. Data for the full year of 2011 has now completed. | see: Global Average Annual Crude Oil Production mbpd 2001 – 2011.






  • Finance



  • Censorship



  • Intellectual Monopolies



    • Trademarks

      • Shut your kale-hole
        CHICK-FIL-A sells an average of nine sandwiches per second at its roughly 1,600 restaurants. Bo Muller-Moore paints T-shirts in the garage next to his house in Montpelier, Vermont. In 2011 Chick-fil-A’s sales were more than $4 billion; Mr Muller-Moore (pictured) estimates that his were $40,000.

        [...]

        They warned Mr Muller-Moore that they had successfully pressured other miscreants into dropping some 30 slogans, from “Eat More Dog” to “Eat More Music”. Their letter also alleged that Mr Muller-Moore’s “misappropriation of Chick-fil-A’s EAT MOR CHIKIN intellectual property…is likely to cause confusion.”








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