08.28.10

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Links 28/8/2010: Diaspora Coming Within Weeks, SFLC Now in India Too

Posted in News Roundup at 4:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Open source scores

    Microsoft is laggard in everything except desktop operating systems, Office and gaming. Internet Explorer has not been able to pass the Acid 3 test which signifies that it is not standards-compliant.

    What Mr Scott would fear to accept publicly is the rise of the Ubuntu operating system and how the future release (Meerkat) is being adapted to netbooks (where Win 7 has not been ported). Mobile applications have been hammered and its newer version was greeted with a big yawn. It’s difficult to compare search engines in terms of content but Microsoft-funded agencies have been claiming Bing’s “meteoric rise”. The fact is that Google does not need to shout about its offerings.

    There is a serious lack of choice from OEMs while buying new hardware. Mr Scott may not be aware that Linux has been ported to almost everything under sun. I run my entertainment servers attached to Wi-Fi that streams music and is connected to the web on 10-year-old legacy systems ported to Unix which does not need a reboot. Windows does not provide “support” to old hardware.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

Free Software/Open Source

  • PixelLight Open-Source Cross-Platform 3D Engine

    It’s built entirely in C++ and already runs on Windows and Linux, with test versions already running on mobile devices and web browsers. Definitely looks like something to keep an eye on.

  • Open-source 3D engine PixelLight released
  • Brazil goes all-digital with 2010 census

    Better known for its beaches and passion for soccer, Brazil also happens to be the world’s second-leading open source country (just behind the U.S.) and boasts an IT services sector that rivals China and India. The South American country is now putting its digital leadership on display by carrying out its first-ever paperless, all-digital population census.

  • Government saving with open source

    Achieving significant efficiency savings and more from IT is possible – Peter Dawes- Huish, CEO, LinuxIT, considers how open source based systems and outsourcing can provide the solution

    I attended a seminar the other day and I was amazed just how much misinformation there was around the adoption of open source based software and the services surrounding it. The reasons, the strategies, the options, the benefits it offers both the private and public sector today.

    I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s because open source (OS), by its very nature with such a developer led resource is such a fast moving field, or those within the OS community and providers of Enterprise Open Source, like LinuxIT, just need to work harder at getting across the ability of OS to transform the management and performance of IT environments. Its ability to contribute towards IT innovation, interoperability, reliability, flexibility, return on investment and so on.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

  • Oracle

    • The future of Solaris

      In 2005, Sun released the source code to Solaris, described then as the company’s crown jewel. Why do this? The simplest answer is that Solaris had been losing ground to an open source competitor in Linux. Losing ground was a symptom of economics. Students who had once been raised on Solaris were being inculcated with Linux knowlege. The combination of Linux and x86 were good enough and significantly cheaper; new companies for whom the default had once been Sun/Solaris/SPARC were instead building on x86/Linux. OpenSolaris along with x86 support were specifically intended to address this trend. Indeed, the codename for OpenSolaris was “tonic” — the tonic for Solaris’ problems.

  • CMS

    • Replacing SharePoint with Open Source CMSs

      Probably the most compelling reasons to deploy an open source solution instead are price and flexibility. The licensing costs of SharePoint, plus Windows Server, plus SQL Server and the rest of the bundle are not insignificant. If you’d prefer to avoid becoming too deeply entrenched in Microsoft-based solutions, you’ll find several open source alternatives — and three I personally recommend: Alfresco, MindTouch, and Drupal.

      Why those, and not some of the other open source CMSes? Alfresco and MindTouch are two of the most feature-compatible replacements for SharePoint. Drupal is not a direct replacement for all of SharePoint’s features, but handles many of the use cases for which SharePoint is popular. All three not only enjoy a strong user and developer community, but also have strong commercial support, making them much more suitable for enterprises that choose open source but still seek support and training services.

    • Open-source Diaspora set launch date

      Diaspora, an open-source social network describes itself as “privacy-aware, personally-controlled”, will be launched on 15 September, according to the developers.
      The project is considered as an alternative to Facebook, but many believe that it is difficult to challenge the world’s largest social network, which has 500 million users and is estimated to be worth $33bn currently.
      A team of four US students built up Diaspora trying to solve some of the problems appeared in Facebook, when it was criticised for being overly complex and confusing, as well as privacy concerns. “We want to put users back in control of what they share,” Max Salzberg, one of the founders said.
      Diaspora made headlines earlier this year when Facebook was in intense criticism.

    • Facebook alternative Diaspora eyes launch date
    • Elgg, the open source social networking CMS announced version 1.7.2

      A new version of the popular open source social networking CMS, Elgg has been released! 1.7.2 is primarily a bugfix release.

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Government

    • U.K. releases its first contribution to Drupal

      The U.K. government has just released its first contribution to the Drupal community.

    • Data.gov.uk releases open-source code
    • Government still not using open source

      Government reluctance to use open source software is creating problems for cost savings at a local level, a councillor has said.

      The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has been trying to move away from Microsoft software options in favour of moving towards more cost effective open source software.

      Computer Weekly reported that this could save up to one third of the council’s IT costs.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Designing culture: The other community plumbing

      4. Don’t be Tom Sawyer.

      Here stood the board fence which tom sawyer persuaded his gang to pay him for the privilege of whitewashing. Tom sat by and saw that it was well done.

      Tom Sawyer is interesting because Tom, by being a smooth talker, convinced everyone to do his work for him. Many companies approach their community strategies as having other people painting their fences. The popular term now is crowdsourcing. In this model, a company says “I have a lot of problems. Maybe I can convince a bunch of people to do my work for me.” Sometimes it works, like Dell’s IdeaStorm. But it works only for big, powerful brands. It doesn’t work when a company asks for help, and everyone ignores them. And it doesn’t work because as a company, you can’t build a community around yourself.

    • Pharma’s Future: Open-Source R&D

      The future of pharmaceutical R&D may lie in open-source research, with key data being made available to a number of people, including college students and university researchers, in an open and collaborative process. Open-source drug development would leverage an online community of computer users worldwide.

    • Open Hardware

      • Open Source: A Developing Robotics Industry

        The Menlo Park, Calif-based company, founded in 2006, develops open-source hardware and software for the robotics industry. Its robot PR2 (Personal Robot 2) is being sold as an example of what software developers can do with an open-source robotics platform.

  • Programming

    • Ruby on Rails 3.0 due this week

      Ruby on Rails 3.0, a major upgrade to the popular open source Web development framework, is due in a final release this week, the founder of the framework, David Heinemeier Hansson, said on Tuesday.

Leftovers

  • John Lennon’s loo fetches £9,500 at auction for Beatles fans

    A porcelain lavatory which John Lennon told a builder to use as a “plant pot” has fetched £9,500 – nearly 10 times its guide price – at an auction today.

    The loo was used by the music legend when he lived at Tittenhurst Park in Berkshire between 1969 and 1972.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Walter Reed says it mishandled nuclear material

      The military’s flagship hospital acknowledged Thursday it mishandled two packages of radioactive material last spring in an incident regulators said may have exposed staff and patients to elevated radiation levels.

    • MIT researchers unveil autonomous oil-absorbing robot

      The system, called Seaswarm, is a fleet of vehicles that may make cleaning up future oil spills both less expensive and more efficient than current skimming methods. MIT’s Senseable City Lab will unveil the first Seaswarm prototype at the Venice Biennale’s Italian Pavilion on Saturday, August 28. The Venice Biennale is an international art, music and architecture festival whose current theme addresses how nanotechnology will change the way we live in 2050.

Clip of the Day

Richard M. Stallman Speech Patents Calgary Canada 2005


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