IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: May 14th-19th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 9:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


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Links 19/05/2009: RHEL 4.8 released, Palm’s Linux OS Out Soon

Posted in News Roundup at 9:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • How to Talk to Your CIO/CTO About Using Linux and Open Source Inside Your Company

    So does that make this a prime time to be suggesting new or expanded uses of Linux and open source software to your CIO or CTO to update and improve your company’s IT systems?

    Actually, that’s not a bad idea, according to several industry analysts and experts who talked with Linux.com to offer their hints and tips on how to broach the subject and make an effective business case for wider Linux use even as the economy remains difficult.


    Analyst Donald A. DePalma, president of Common Sense Advisory Inc. in Lowell, MA, said today’s tough economic environment gives you another key point in talking up open source to your executives.

    “In this market, its amazing how things are being turned on their heads,” DePalma said. For years, one corporate argument against open source has been about the uncertainty of support. But today, as even proprietary vendors are being pressured, there are no longer built-in guarantees of long-term support for the applications and hardware you are using today, he said.

  • Opinion: Ask Not What Linux Can Do for You

    Thanks to Canonical and its success with popularizing Ubuntu Linux, there has been an astonishing influx of new Linux users. This is one of those good news — bad news scenarios; the growth is wonderful, but it also brings a growth in user demands, and a carryover of bad habits from the closed, proprietary software world. The core values of Free Software, which is not the same as Open Source software, are Richard Stallman’s famous Four Freedoms:

    * The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
    * The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
    * The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
    * The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

  • Glug hosts free talk on OSS migration strategies

    The Gauteng Linux User Group (GLUG) will this week host Sun Microsystem’s open source migration specialist Michael Bohn who will be talking about the risks, benefits and opportunities in migrating to open source software.

  • Linux doesn’t need marketing

    Most Linux adepts will agree Linux could have a higher market share than it does today, if it had been marketed more effectively in the past. Therefore, lots of those adepts stress “Linux needs more marketing!” Some efforts have been done, most notably I remember the Indy 500 car which advertised Linux, and more recently the “We’re Linux” Video Contest by Linux Foundation. One question hasn’t been answered as of yet however: What’s the goal of marketing Linux?

  • Linux Outlaws 92 – New User Special

    MP3 – 1 hour 14 minutes 20 seconds, 34.0 MB, Ogg Vorbis version here — you can also download all our episodes in both MP3 and Ogg Vorbis format from the Outlaw Archives.

  • The New Linux.com: A Review

    In conclusion, Linux.com is a great resource for the Linux community. It connects people, it spreads information about upcoming events, and provides information from all aspects of the Linux world

  • The Future Is BIOS and Browsers

    Did I mention that HyperSpace is based on Linux? Only open source allows hardware companies the freedom to innovate in this way without having to pay huge licensing fees, or having to develop from scratch. Open source is far more flexible than rigid old Windows, which would require major adaptation.

  • Has Cisco Found the Next Generation of Linux Developers?

    Conventional wisdom says Linux application developers are most cozy with distribution specialists like Red Hat, Novell and Canonical. But the folks at Cisco Systems seem to be getting tighter with the Linux developer community, thanks to the so-called AXP (Application eXtension Platform) developer contest. Here’s the scoop from The VAR Guy.

  • Applications

    • 9 of the Best Free Linux Educational Games

      Educational games are games designed to teach people, typically children, about a certain subject or help them learn a skill as they play. Sometimes this type of software is known as games edutainment because they combine education and entertainment.

    • Digital and Analog Circuit Simulation with Ksimus

      As you can see, Ksimus’ analog capabilities are fairly complete. Figure 2 shows an analog circuit I built to demonstrate the Slider input as well as the Data Recorder. In this circuit, I have a sine wave and an analog slider that ranges from -1 to 1. I send these two outputs into the two comparison operators and get a digital output that I use to drive a couple LEDs. I’ve also included a label that displays the actual value being output by the slider. Finally, you can see the various wave forms and logic states in the graph windows. When the simulation is running, I can adjust the slider to change the relative duty cycle of the two LEDs.

    • Proxmox VE 1.2: First Impressions

      The Proxmox VE (Virtualization Environment) system isn’t the main thrust of Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH. The company began in 2004 as a provider of anti-spam and anti-virus mail gateway appliances. They currently offer both a virtual appliance and a CD version of their Proxmox Mail Gateway. The CD version of the software must be installed on its own dedicated hardware to create the appliance.

    • Relive old NES days with Secret Maryo Chronicles

      It is extremely easy to install Secret Maryo Chronicles in Ubuntu , as it is available in the official repositories and could be easily installed by issuing the following command in the terminal window:

      sudo apt-get install smc

  • Distributions

    • The Online Chronicles of a Zenwalk Linux User

      I really like Zenwalk Live on a pendrive. It’s a full-pledged ZW install you can take anywhere :)

    • Foresight Linux 2.2.1

      From the testing that I could do, Foresight it a quite good distro, and certainly very polished and clean.

    • Red Hat

      • Fedora 12 Codenames: Perseidas, Orionid?

        Fedora 11 will be out next week, but planning for Fedora 12 is already well underway. Some of the Fedora 12 features have already been laid out like a user-space LVM library, enhanced multi-seat support, and replacing nash/mkinitrd with Dracut. It’s also time to start thinking about the codename for this next Red Hat release.

      • Fedora 12 Team Taking Codename Suggestions
      • Fedora 11 Screenshot Tour
      • OLPC goes the full Fedora

        Developer Chris Ball has announced that the upcoming OLPC XO-1.5 laptop software release will be based on Fedora 11. The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project is a non-profit organisation who’s mission is to provide children across the world with low cost laptops for self-education.

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.8 released

        Red Hat has announced their latest release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, version 4.8. This is the 8th major update to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 OS, originally introduced in February of 2005. This release includes several new features, bug fixes & security patches.

      • Red Hat Drives Value With Launch Of JBoss Enterprise BRMS

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the availability of JBoss Enterprise Business Rules Management System (BRMS), an open source business rules solution that enables easy business policy and rules development, access, and management.

    • Ubuntu

      • 10 Free Apps that Turn your Ubuntu into Video Studio

        Ubuntu has got some excellent FREE applications which can turn your PC into Live Studio! Here I am highlighting top 10 free applications available to make your PC into a Live Studio.

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 142

        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #142 for the week May 10th – May 16th, 2009. In this issue we cover: Karmic Koala Alpha 1 Released, Landscape 1.3 released, Server Team: Hungry for Merges, Meta-cycles: Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu Florida: Jaunty Release Parties & Qimo build day, Ubuntu Forums: Tutorial of the Week, Infinote-based Gobby hits Karmic, New Ubuntu Forums LoCo Administrator, Ubuntu podcast #28, WorkWithU Vodcast: Episode #1, Server Team Meeting: May 12th, Hall of Fame: Ante Karamatic, and much, much more!

      • Ubuntu Softwares – Not Just Another Top 5 List

        The popularity of linux has finally captured 1% of world desktops. then comes the need for softwares. Personally, I am a Ubuntu linux user.Now, there are a lot of top Ubuntu software posts available on the internet and all of them narrow down to around 7 applications when combined. Not so cool!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Palm announces Pre launch dates

      The Palm Pre will go on sale on 6 June in the US and will only be available on the Sprint network.

    • More June Palm Pré launch evidence emerges

      Evidence is mounting that Palm will launch its Pré smartphone next month.

    • New GStreamer plug-in from Texas Instruments provides a uniform open source multimedia framework for OMAP35x processors and DaVinci(TM) technology

      Minimizing the complexity of software integration with a uniform open source multimedia framework, Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) today announced a new GStreamer plug-in for developers designing with OMAP35x processors and digital media processors based on DaVinci(TM) technology. With the new GStreamer plug-in, embedded Linux developers can leverage an open source library to incorporate audio and video playback, audio and video synchronization and recording capabilities into their designs.

    • Myka open-source media player takes on Apple TV

      Attempting to take on the Apple TV comes Myka, an open-source digital media receiver that trades movie studio approval for a standalone BitTorrent client and more A/V codec support than you could shake a metaphorical stick at. Packing hard-drives up to 500GB in capacity, the compact box also supports remote access from any internet-enabled PC or cellphone.

    • Promoting open-source collaboration

      User communities are a helpful way for developers with common goals to network and collaborate. Software developers are especially adept at forming user communities.

    • Phones

      • comScore Mobile Confirms ACCESS’ NetFront(TM) Browser Is the Most Widely Available Handset Browser in Europe and the U.S.

        ACCESS CO., LTD. is a global company providing leading technology, software products and platforms for Web browsing, mobile phones, wireless handhelds and other networked devices. ACCESS’ product portfolio, including its NetFront(TM) Browser, ACCESS Linux Platform(TM) and Garnet(TM) OS, provides customers with solutions that enable faster time to market, flexibility and customizability.

      • Nokia’s Maemo ‘Harmattan’ OS Snap Leaked

        Nokia’s Maemo is Linux-kernel based mobile OS meant for Nokia N810 tablet like devices and smartphones. According to MobileCrunch, the blue section the screenshot’s background is the static on which the widgets float on a scrollable page.

      • Linux, FOSS and the Cellular Empire

        This war will not end today, or tomorrow, or likely for decades to come, if ever. But so long as we push back against those who seek to take away our freedoms, and fight the good fight, we will win victories that will give us the freedoms we deserve and desire. We must never become complacent. Software and media freedom is for everyone, and it is a right and a freedom we should never, ever take for granted.

    • Sub-notebooks

Free Software/Open Source

  • Guerrilla Giving, Creative Contributions, and the Vitality of Open Source

    Little things really do mean a lot — and they add up quickly. Open source software is fascinating in that it’s more than the sum of its parts whether you look at the straight code or the community itself.

  • Recognizing and Avoiding Common Open Source Community Pitfalls

    A lot has been written on the intertubes about Open Source software development. A tiny bit by me, a lot more than others. What typically isn’t written though are about some of the misconceptions — A lot of folks contributors appear overnight out of the woodwork, that users grow on trees, and that it’s possible to direct community members as if they were employees — not so, of course, and folks get disappointed or discouraged when it doesn’t happen. While I do believe OSS is very rewarding and a great way to make technology move quickly, and having that kind of relationship with users is invaluable, it’s worth taking some time to dispell some misconceptions.. or at least make folks aware of some of the stumbling blocks and how to get around them.

  • Queensland firm comes up with multisite CMS

    Jentla is made up of GPL licensed Joomla! components and a proprietary management layer outside Joomla! which handles interactions between the Jentla Manager and the individual Joomla! sites.

  • 100 open source gems – part 1

    KDE, Gnome, OpenOffice.org and Firefox – all great software, and all powerful proponents of the free software software movement. But there are thousands of other applications out there that are worth trying, so in every issue of Linux Format magazine we highlight some of the best new open source programs that have been released or updated recently.

  • U Georgia Goes Open Source for Student Portal

    The University of Georgia has launched its new student portal using the open source uPortal 3 platform in an effort to expand online resources for current students.

  • Software programmers get physical

    Open-source software ideas are also now moving into hardware, said Rodgers, who cited the Arduino, an open-source electronics prototyping platform, as an example of hardware that appeals to software-oriented tinkerers. Projects like Arduino will make it easier, he said, for programmers to break down the wall between software and circuit boards.

  • Events

    • The 5th International Conference on Open Source Systems (OSS 2009)

      Over the past decade, the Free and Open Source Software (F/OSS) phenomenon has had a global impact on the way organisations and individuals create, distribute, acquire and use software and software-based services. F/OSS has challenged the conventional wisdom of the software engineering and software business communities, has become a useful instrument for educators and researchers as well as an important

    • Kenya hosts first Open Source Awards

      The Linux Professional Association of Kenya and ICT Consumers Association of Kenya will be hosting Kenya’s first Open Source Awards. The ceremony will be held at the Panafric Hotel, Nairobi, on 27 May 2009.

  • Health

  • Browsers

  • OpenOffice.org

    • OpenOffice.org 3.1: Better Performance

      The 3.0 release of OpenOffice left some issues in the productivity suite. This new version makes a good job of fixing them

      It’s been less than a year since Sun Microsystems’ OpenOffice.org hit its major 3.0 release, but the next version of the open-source, cross-platform productivity suite is already available, complete with a slate of feature enhancements and performance tweaks.

    • Three nice new features for Writer, in OpenOffice.org 3.1

      I’m going to be going over the 3.1 features in the next few blogs. Here are a few that are just nice — not groundbreaking but very nice, convenient changes that making interacting and collaborating easier. The third just makes slight annoyances go away a little more easily.

    • OpenOffice.org in Education: Adoption is Gaining Momentum

      In the coming weeks and months, I hope to share with you a number of these success stories. I hope these stories, in part, will let everyone in academia know that they are not alone when it comes to their commitment and desire to utilize OpenOffice.org to better the lives of their students through education. I hope it inspires other educators to share their untold stories, as well as open source project volunteers to keep up the good work they often thanklessly perform each and every day.

  • Business

    • Open source a mature viability for SMBs

      The low cost of deploying open source software (OSS) and its level of maturity make it a viable option today for small and midsize businesses (SMBs).


      ng acquisition, licensing, code use and reuse, and distribution. The task of managing it is complex and daunting, but avoiding these issues could be detrimental to the business, said Hensley.

      “OSS governance should be top of mind for SMBs in order to ensure its long-term viability…throughout the organization.”

    • Open source Marketcetera trading platform 1.5 released

      Open source vendor trading system vendor Marketcetera is out today with its 1.5 release, increasing the functionality of its platform. The 1.5 release comes five months after the 1.0 release and as the economy continues to struggle through a slowdown.

    • Marketcetera 1.5 Released; Tests Demonstrate Speed, Performance On Par With Proprietary Products

      While news of Marketcetera’s 1.5 release of its open source trading platform will certainly appeal to those working with financial-services specific software deployments, there’s a neat little gem in this story that will make any open source software enthusiast smile. Marketcetera, the open source pioneer in the automated stock trading platform arena, has always had the advantage of fast deployments, infinite extensibility thanks to its built-in scripting engine and open nature, and impressive scalability — and its 1.5 release builds on that foundation.

  • Government

    • State IT Agency to host FOSS vendor day

      The SA State IT Agency’s Free and Open Source Programme Office (FPO) is to host a workshop this coming Friday in which free and open source software (FOSS) vendors will have a chance to demonstrate their products to government officials. The day-long workshop will include representatives from companies that were selected, in a 2005 tender process, as government-approved open source vendors.

    • Brazil is aggressively expanding their Telecentro program, community free software workshops and technology education

      The Brazilian National Support Project for Telecentros (public computer labs with free, public Internet access) intends to support the deployment of 2 – 3,000 new Telecentros and towards achieving the goal of 10,000 active Telecentros by the year 2010. Almost all of the Telecentros are built using entirely free and open source software. Adding to the social benefit of the project, the rapid timetable will be met by training Brazilian youths on how to install Linux, configure the workstations and servers, and get the Telecentros online, up and running.

  • Programming

    • Development 2.0: Open-source as a total solution

      Because it’s my bag, in two earlier posts, I suggested that the future of software development is already here — that is, Development 2.0, which strives to produce software faster by leveraging open-source technologies and borrowing other people’s infrastructures, addresses the frustration that businesses have with IT: speed (or the lack thereof). What’s more, by addressing the speed issue, Development 2.0 also cuts the overall cost of IT.


  • Why the free software community cares about The Pirate Bay

    We are currently living in a historical moment which will define and shape digital rights and information freedom on the internet for generations to come. It’s one of those rare moments where the issue is black and white and where the two opposing camps can be identified without over-simplifying the issue. On one side, there are those fighting for the information revolution’s culture of sharing, co-operation and the public commons. On the other side is a powerful, industry cartel who would stomp out the commons to salvage proprietary information that they can buy and own.

  • UK Politicians Recognizing That Draconian Licensing Policies Can Harm Up-And-Coming Musicians

    One point that often comes up (from all sides) in discussions about draconian copyright laws is the fact that, rather than worrying about copyright, new musicians can just ignore the legalities with no one being harmed. If only that were true.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Steve Weber, creator of the phrase “anti-rival goods” 16 (2005)

Ogg Theora

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

DDOS and Migration (Updated)

Posted in Boycott Novell, Site News at 7:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Boycott Novell had been under DDOS attacks for almost 4 days. We were struggling to just stay online while hosts investigated where the attacks came from. We moved between hosts (to semi-dedicated) and the same pattern of attack persisted until yesterday.

WE have kept silent about it in order not to encourage the attacker/s, but it’s true. We have been under heavy DDOS attacks since Thursday night. What has happened since then? Well, a lot. Our previous host is no more as far as we are concerned. After struggling with the botnet for like 10 hours (filtering to no avail) our Web site got isolated. It did not serve any pages for almost 2 days. A reader of Boycott Novell was kind enough to lend us room on his server (more or less dedicated), on which he fought the botnets for over a day. The attackers kept changing tactics. Some other readers offered filtering advice and we are grateful to all of them. Ultimately, the attacks halted yesterday afternoon.

“Ultimately, the attacks halted yesterday afternoon.”The migration from the old server was not simple because the site was disabled abruptly following the early attacks. But now we have ensured that all data has been migrated. The only ‘good’ thing which came out of this attack is that, as oiaohm put it, the ordeal sort of made us more robust to future attacks.

Now that we have a new host in place, we also have more features. Data on the site (comments, posts, etc.) was not lost in the migration, just heaps of time and effort affecting several people. We have moved to a bigger, more robust environment that will hopefully facilitate the needs of the Web site as it continues to grow (we served about 200GB of data last month). We apologise for the downtime, which is unprecedented.

The plan is to carry on exposing Comes exhibits next month and also organise the Wiki. There is enough for years of work.

Again: we would like to thank all those who helped during the downtime and especially our generous reader ( Copilotco) who offered to host the Web site, taking us away from shared hosting in the process. Dedicated servers on normal Web hosts are just far too expensive for us to afford and I swear that I never made a single dime from this Web site. The ads merely covered the hosting fees which Shane has been paying since 2006.

One last clarification for lunatics who are now suggesting that we DDOSed ourselves, where to even begin refuting such nonsense (coupled with personal abuse)?

The attacks came from many addresses, for example which is “tor-proxy.va6.de”. Multiple such IPs hit us constantly and relentlessly (all tor exit nodes at first). At one stage it seemed like the front page alone received 3 page requests per second. But the IPs were also doing a HEAD on the Web site as many times as possible, bringing the server down to its knees (both the old server and new server, the former running Red Hat and the latter CentOS).

Update: Here is a report from the administrator.

I took over hosting of boycottnovell.com for Roy in the middle of the DDOS attack. I am looking at the squid log for boycottnovell.com during the DDOS. I have squid caching/proxying/url-rewriting for apache for various reasons.

The attack initially (or at least, at the time the DNS was re-pointed to my server) consisted of lots of HEAD requests. Then I wrote up a script to tail the log finding anyone doing lots of HEAD requests and putting the offending IP into the iptables packet filter while I cooked up a more permanent solution. Eventually they figured this out and switched to a full on GET of the root of the site and then I think they started getting random pages from the site as fast as they could although I’m not sure about that.

The interesting part starts around timestamp 1242543590.804 which is apparently when most of the world’s DNS cut over to me including that of the machines in whatever bot net was employed in the attack.

If we run this command on the logfile with the logfile being /tmp/bn.log:

grep " HEAD http://boycottnovell.com/ " /tmp/bn.log | awk
'{print $3}' | sort | uniq -c |sort -n | tail -10

we get:


and if we do:

grep " GET http://boycottnovell.com/ " /tmp/bn.log |
awk '{print $3}' | sort | uniq -c |sort -n|tail -10

we get:


So one IP did a get of the root of the site 20k times before I really effectively got everything blocked off and another did a HEAD around 11k times. You can get a feel for how the attack progressed using:

egrep ' GET http://boycottnovell.com/ | HEAD
http://boycottnovell.com/ ' /tmp/bn.log | less

Assuming that everyone who did a GET or a HEAD more than 100 times (a conservative estimate) is involved in the attack:

egrep ' GET http://boycottnovell.com/ | HEAD http://boycottnovell.com/ '
/tmp/bn.log | awk '{print $3}' | sort | uniq -c| sort -n > /tmp/attackers

and then counting only the lines with greater than 100 hits we can see that there were 281 unique IP addresses involved in the attack.

However, it looks like they switched to targeting various different parts of the site later on or maybe just random pages because if we look at all of the accesses to the site which made more than 100 requests we get 863 IPs involved the top 19 being the following:


So made 29k requests to the site in total.

Putting some iptables rules in place (which I document here):


nicely cut the problem down to size and now the effect of the DOS is unnoticeable.

11M of gzipped log are used for this sample.

Links 18/05/2009: GNU/Linux and Sugar Victorious on OLPC?

Posted in News Roundup at 6:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • WINE and the importance of application compatibility

    Users’ appetites where whet by recent events in the industry. Apple CEO ‘Guru Steve’ Jobs had been off to see the very clever Xerox folk just down the road at Palo Alto, to learn more about this amazing new windows, mice and icon universe they’d built. Steve, knowing a slick thing when he sees it, decided that Apple really needed a piece of this pie; partly because Apple’s flagship-cum-cashcow, the Apple ][ family was quickly ailing, partly because the Apple III had bombed severely in the market, but mostly because this graphical environment was just way cool.

  • Wine: Can’t Live With It, Can’t Live Without It

    Should the Linux faithful go on the wagon and give up Wine entirely? Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth seemed to imply as much when he said in a recent Q&A that “the free software ecosystem needs to thrive on its own rules.” Yet he also said that both Wine and native Linux ports “play an important role.” Linux bloggers have been hashing out the issue from every conceivable angle.

  • Amherst man famed for Unix – software and his license plate

    Jon Hall, of Amherst, has the most celebrated license plate in New Hampshire.

    Actually, it’s more than that.

    The combination of “Live Free or Die” and “UNIX” on his Jeep Wrangler is the most celebrated New Hampshire license plate in the entire world!

  • Sugar Wins! Nobody Buying Windows XO Laptops

    It was almost exactly one year ago that Nicholas Negroponte announced an agreement between OLPC and Microsoft to bring Windows XP to the XO-1 to great turmoil. I vividly remember the late-night flood of e-mails and IRC chats where everyone was trying to figure out just what that announcement really meant.


    I’ve been wondering about what ever happened to these Windows XP-based OLPC trials. I haven’t really heard anything about them in quite some time. Now more recently I’ve asked around and found there is a good reason why I haven’t seen anything: countries are choosing Sugar over Windows XP for their XO deployments.

  • AusCERT09: US Military inspects student laptops for security threats

    The college teaches Ada (“because you can’t cheat at Ada”), C++, Python and Java, he said. And it standardised on FreeBSD: “We love it, it’s the key to our success”. Col Adams said the college uses Windows “as little as possible”.

  • Looking for Linux: InterOp Las Vegas

    This week I’ll be at InterOp Las Vegas looking for the latest and coolest Linux-based technologies that InterOp exhibitors have to offer. My favorites are certainly the “new innovators.” New innovators are small companies who’ve developed their own products and are trying to get noticed in the high-tech space. These are the best and most enjoyable people to talk to at such shows.

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 45

    This week’s editorial talks a little about the virus threats on Linux/UNIX systems. In the Linux distribution announcement section you will find the following releases: Slack Mini Server 1.4.3, Zenwalk Live 6.0, Sabily 9.04, SystemRescueCd 1.2.0, Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 1. In other news: Ubuntu One: the free Online storage service from Canonical; Transmission 1.61 plugs CSRF hole in Ubuntu 9.04. For this week we have also prepared a nice tutorial that will teach you how to fix the VirtualBox USB support. The weekly ends with the video clip of the week, the latest Linux distributions released/updated last week and the development releases.

  • Desktop

    • Living To Hack and Getting It Done

      Since The HeliOS Project is constantly fighting the lack of Internet connections when we install for our kids, htl’s superdebs and SRUN packaging components are ideal. We have implemented the use of Super OS on all of our installs now and plan to continue doing so. Htl has agreed to work as a HeliOS Project development partner and boy howdy was it needed…I couldn’t code my way into a rocking chair.

    • Acer Aspire Revo hits retail, is surprisingly affordable

      Today, the supposedly-affordable-and-tiny 1080p-capable PC has become available at Play.com, and it’s… well, surprisingly affordable. Today’s listings show the base model – equipped with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N230 processor, 1GB of RAM, an 8GB SSD, GeForce 9400M graphics and a Linux operating system – etailing at a cost of £149.99.

  • Server

    • Virtualization on i Boxes Depends on Consolidation, New Workloads

      “If you want to provide backup for other hardware, it can be done more easily in an LPAR,” he says. “Some customers are looking at that using the i box to create a virtualized version of Linux X86 workloads in case those machines go down. It provides a live, up-and-running copy, even if it not going to run permanently on the i. It boosts the availability of those Linux workloads.”

      This is not a primary reason for people to use Linux, Robinson admits, but it addresses a need for companies using virtualization to become more resilient on the entry-level machines.

    • Canonical hooks Ubuntu Landscape into Amazon EC2

      Commercial Linux distributor Canonical has launched the third release of its Landscape systems management and monitoring service for the Ubuntu Linux distribution. And with Landscape 1.3, the tool can now reach out and manage Ubuntu images on Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) utility.

    • Managing Ubuntu Linux on the cloud

      It’s actually pretty darn easy to run a virtual operating system on a server or on the cloud. The real trick is managing them. That’s why I’m excited that Canonical, Ubuntu’s Linux commercial backer, recently released Canonical Landscape 1.3, an Ubuntu network systems management and monitoring service that will let you control your Ubuntu servers no matter whether they’re on your desktop or a few thousand miles away on the Amazon EC2 (Amazon Compute Cloud).

    • Ubuntu One Beta – Views so far

      I hope that users will be supporting this service. The reason for that is twofold. Firstly Canonical has done much for Linux as an operating system and I think that without Mark Shuttleworths efforts Ubuntu (and indeed the umbrella of Linux) would not be as popular as it is today.

      Looking at some of the comments on Twitter, it appears that peoples love of Ubuntu is making Ubuntu One a natural choice and a way to show support for the distro. Tell me, ever seen this sort of “love” from a Windows user?If this service is a way Canonical can get a return from its OS and ensure a future of upgrades to a great distro, then thats no bad thing.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.30-rc6

      Things definitely are calming down, with just about 300 commits in the last week. And most of them are pretty small too, although the powerpc updates brought some defconfig changes that look largish.

  • Distributions

    • Foresight Linux 2.1.1 is out and about!

      It is with great pleasure that I announce the release of Foresight 2.1.1. Well known for being a desktop operating system featuring an intuitive user interface and a showcase of the latest desktop software, this new release brings you the latest GNOME 2.26.1 release, a newer Linux kernel 2.6.29, a revamped notification area, and a ton of Xorg improvements!

    • Foresight Linux 2.1.1 Has GNOME 2.26.1

      The Foresight Linux Project team announced, on May 15th, the immediate availability of a new version of their Linux distribution. Foresight Linux 2.1.1, coming three months after the 2.1.0 release, brings notable changes, including the latest GNOME desktop environment and a new Linux kernel.

    • Running Slackware “Current”

      Last week’s tips and tricks section provided information on how to “upgrade” a stable Mandriva release to the latest development branch. Although running development trees and upgrading them in regular intervals can be risky and may even render your system unbootable or otherwise unstable, it is an excellent way of participating in the development of your favourite distribution and reporting bugs to upstream projects. Needless to say, some Linux knowledge and experience is required, so this should only be done by those users who know how to fix their bootloader if things go wrong!

    • Ubuntu

      • Create your own “Ubuntu” LiveCD with Reconstructor

        If you’ve ever rolled out multiple instances of the same operating system you know these roll outs can be a real pain. Much of the time you spend getting all of your rollouts the same. You could always do a network installation. Network installations, of course, depend upon a boot disk that help the client connect to the server containing the image to install. This type of installation is certainly ideal for larger installations.

      • Ubuntu: Muslim Edition (Sabily) Review

        A while back I looked at the Christian Edition of Ubuntu (that distribution has been cancelled apparently as per the note on its site). This time around I was pleased to find that there was a Muslim edition available. So I gave it a download and thought I’d add it to our collection of Linux distribution reviews.

      • OWASP LiveCD switching to Ubuntu

        The OWASP LiveCD is a collection of open-source security software for web developers as well as external and internal testers/auditors, that does very much the same job as the BackTrack LiveCD does for network and system penetration tests. Matt Tesauro is the project’s new maintainer and new versions have appeared since its redesign in the autumn of 2008.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Archos to announce Android device next month?

      So Archos will apparently be announcing something on June 11th in Paris and the general consensus is that it’ll probably be the Internet Media Tablet with voice support running Android that was announced back in early February.

    • Remote monitoring device offers 3G modem

      Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications vendor Sixnet is shipping a cellular-enabled remote monitoring and control device that runs Linux.

    • Low-cost thin client offers choice of protocols

      Igel Technology announced a $186 thin client for small and home office (SOHO) businesses and “unmanaged” environments. The Igel One runs Linux on a Via Eden processor clocked at 400MHz, with 512MB RAM, 1GB flash, and Ethernet and USB connectivity, says the company.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Concursive releases open source community and collaboration solution

    The source code version of ConcourseConnect is provided under the GNU Affero General Public License (GPL) and is available for download here. A commercial version providing greater scalability and integration capabilities is available starting at $5,000/yr for on-premise deployments. Concursive also offers a hosted option, with pricing available on request.

  • City’s Web site redesign might go open-source

    Austin open-source software advocate William Hurley thinks he has the solution to the impasse over the redesign of the city’s Web site.

    In March, the City Council was slated to decide whether to pay Santa Clara, Calif.-based Cignex Technologies $704,088 to redesign the site. But word of the impending contract riled bloggers and Twitter users who were outraged that the city might send Web business to California.

  • OpenOffice.org 3.1 Is a Worthwhile Upgrade

    Following hard on the heels of its major Version 3.0 milestone, the OpenOffice.org team is back with Version 3.1 of its popular, cross-platform-friendly productivity suite.

  • Drupal CMS founder, Dries Buytaert Interview

    We were very pleased to have a chance to interview Dries Buytaert, founder of the legendary Drupal content management system. He shares his thoughts on its success, future and how it came to be in this intriguing and indepth discussion. We had so many questions, that we are only publishing part one while he works on the second half. Here you go.

  • New Thoughts on the UK Government Open Source Action Plan

    Remember when, back in late February, the Cabinet Office released their “Open Source, Open Standards and Re–Use: Government Action Plan”? Myself and many other FOSS commentators were obviously heartily encouraged and have talked about it and examined the policy in some detail.

  • Openness

    • Openists of the World, Unite!

      As I have observed recently (probably ad nauseam for some readers – apologies, but it needs saying), the openness that lies behind open source, open access and the rest feeds naturally into at least partial solutions for the political malaise affecting many countries, including, notably, the UK.

    • Should the Foology Society sell its journals to commercial publishers

      As I blogged recently a major asset in C21 will be trust. I still trust learned societies to behave honorably (and when they do not it is deeply upsetting). I do not now trust commercial publishers to act honorably in all circumstances. The lobbying in Congress, Parliament, Europe by commercial publishers is often directly against the interests of scientists, most notably through the draconian imposition of copyright. The PRISM affair highlighted the depths to which some publishers will go to protect their income rather than the integrity of the domain. For Elsevier to finance PRISM to discredit Open Access science as “junk” while publishing “fake journals” means that no society can rely on their integrity.

    • The Panton Principles: A breakthrough on data licensing for public science?

      To summarize. Data itself must be completely free. The question is how to ensure that it is.

      The Open Science and Open Knowledge community has been discussing this for about 2 years. We seem to be agreed that legal tools are counterproductive, and that moderation is best applied by the community. This is represented by Community Norms – agreed practices that cause severe disapproval and possibly action when broken.

    • Review: The Wikipedia Revolution

      Much like the rest of the globe’s Netizens, of course, I knew about Wikipedia. And as a Creative Commons blogger, open-source developer and avid user of all things GNU, Wikipedia’s philosophies were not unknown to me, either. But having just finished the book, The Wikipedia Revolution, I realized how little I really knew about the site and the movements that spawned it.

    • The open, social web

      I was in Europe for the past week and half, ending up in Leuven, Belgium to speak at the Twiist.be conference. The topic of my talk was “The Open, Social Web.” (PDF)


  • Censorship/Web Abuse

  • Copyrights

    • Coldplay releases live album as free download

      The giveaway begins as the band’s North American tour kicks off with a Friday night (May 15) show at the Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, Florida.

      “Playing live is what we love,” Coldplay said in a statement. “This album is a thank you to our fans — the people who give us a reason to do it and make it happen.”

    • Studios Urge ISP to Admit Piracy, Stop Wasting Court’s Time

      Several studios are currently engaged in legal action against Australian ISP iiNet. They accuse iiNet of failing to take steps to stop its subscribers from sharing files by disconnecting them from the Internet. Now anti-piracy group AFACT says iiNet should just admit its customers are pirates, and stop wasting the court’s time.

    • Harvard prof tells judge that P2P filesharing is “fair use”

      Harvard Law professor Charles Nesson is headed to federal court this summer to defend an accused file-swapper, and he plans to mount a novel defense: P2P sharing is simply “fair use.”

    • BPI: UK Music Download Sales Double

      The media may be stuffed full of hand-wringing tales of evil pirate downloaders busily hammering the last nails into the music industry, but new figures show that legal downloads are soaring.

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