11.26.10

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Links 26/11/2010: KDE SC 4.6 Features and Minor News (Happy Thanksgiving)

Posted in News Roundup at 12:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • The quest for more – when $20 billion isn’t enough

    Simon Brew wonders if there are 20 billion reasons why the spirit of open source is being distorted…

  • LPC: Michael Meeks on LibreOffice and code ownership

    Back when the 2010 Linux Plumbers Conference was looking for presentations, the LibreOffice project had not yet announced its existence. So Michael Meeks put in a vague proposal for a talk having to do with OpenOffice.org and promised the organizers it would be worth their time. Fortunately, they believed him; in an energetic closing keynote, Michael talked at length about what is going on with LibreOffice – and with the free software development community as a whole. According to Michael, both good and bad things are afoot. (Michael’s slides [PDF] are available for those who would like to follow along).

    Naturally enough, LibreOffice is one of the good things; it’s going to be “awesome.” It seems that there are some widely diverging views on the awesomeness of OpenOffice.org; those who are based near Hamburg (where StarDivision was based) think it is a wonderful tool. People in the rest of the world tend to have a rather less enthusiastic view. The purpose of the new LibreOffice project is to produce a system that we can all be proud of.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 4 Minefield Now With Improved Add-Ons Manager

        One of the design elements that I did not like in the development builds of Firefox 4 until now was the add-ons manager. I have reviewed it in detail in the article How To Uninstall Add-ons In Firefox 4. Basically, what I did not like was that it looked kinda messy, hard to read and out of place.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Non digital commons a lot more complicated than Free Software

      In September 2010 I went to the Open World Forum to present some first results of my research about local impacts of Open Data. The Forum was an interesting and varied event, that gave space to very interesting talks, keynotes and comments about freedom, education and gender diversity in software. Another great moment for me was the contribution to the final panel by John Wilbank, Vice-President for Science Creative Commons.

    • Open Hardware

      • Extend your Arduino

        The Arduino is a small programmable device that can hold a small program and perform tasks such as reading temperature sensors, turning on or off switches, and can even serve as the ‘brain’ for a robot. I have used the Arduino (actually freeduino) for projects related to HVAC and hydroponics automation.

Leftovers

  • Oracle whacked by DoJ complaint

    An industry group of 130 hardware maintenance providers has complained to the Department of Justice that they’ve been unfairly squeezed since Larry Ellison bought Sun Microsystems.

    The Service Industry Association has been complaining about Oracle’s tactics for some time, but has now written to the DoJ.

  • Eat a Bagel, Lose Your Baby
  • Mother, shall I put you to sleep?

    Young family members of this district in southern Tamil Nadu have been pushing their infirm, elderly dependents to death because they cannot afford to take care of them.

  • Ghosts of Unix past, part 2: Conflated designs
  • Health/Nutrition

    • US response to cholera in Haiti, fund exclusive elections

      In the face of a cholera epidemic that has claimed the lives of over 1000 people, infected many thousands and is feared to intensify due to widespread flooding in the wake of Hurricane Tomas, officials have stated that the elections scheduled for November 28 will go ahead as planned. While some candidates have questioned the wisdom of holding elections during such turmoil, a rising chorus of critics is disputing the elections’ very legitimacy and is urging the US, a primary funder, to take responsibility in guaranteeing a truly democratic process.

    • CDC Says Haiti’s Cholera Due to “One Event”
  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Twenty-First Century Blowback?

      From 2001 to 2010, the US military spent about $32 million on construction projects in Oman. In September, the Army upped the ante by awarding an $8.6 million contract to refurbish the Royal Air Force of Oman’s air field at Thumrait Air Base.

      US efforts in Bahrain are on a grander scale. This year, the US Navy broke ground on a mega-construction project to develop 70 acres of waterfront at the port at Mina Salman. Scheduled for completion in 2015, the complex is slated to include new port facilities, barracks for troops, administrative buildings, a dining facility, and a recreation center, among other amenities, with a price tag of $580 million.

    • Barack Obama’s hopes for a nuclear-free world fading fast

      Barack Obama’s hopes of reshaping US foreign policy stand on the brink of failure tonight, after two of his most cherished initiatives — nuclear disarmament and better relations with Moscow — were dealt serious setbacks.

    • Guantánamo Bay prisoner payouts a first step to ending legacy of torture

      The government insisted today that it had started to draw a line under the legacy of complicity in rendition and torture that it inherited from the Labour administration by settling claims brought by 16 former Guantánamo inmates.

    • Guantánamo: security services must be protected, says Ken Clarke
    • Do Airport Screenings Really Make Us Safer?

      TSA’s activities provide substantial fodder for both citizen and professional journalists. YouTube is full of citizen-made videos of TSA agents engaging in questionable activities, like aggressively patting down a three year old child or pulling the pants off a wheelchair-bound, 71 year-old man to examine his knee implant.

    • Silvio Berlusconi ally was link to Sicilian mafia, judges rule

      he man who spearheaded Silvio Berlusconi’s entry into politics was also an intermediary between the media magnate and the Sicilian mafia, judges in Palermo ruled last night.

      In a lengthy written judgment on one of the Italian prime minister’s closest associates, the judges said that before entering politics Berlusconi paid “enormous sums of money” to Cosa Nostra for protection and later handed over funds to safeguard his network’s relay stations on Sicily.

    • Vox Taxi – Vox Dei

      I am not prepared to subscribe to such an anti-democratic statement. But if we want to move towards peace, we undoubtedly have to remove this huge rock blocking the road. We must infuse the public with another belief – the belief that peace is possible, that it is essential for the future of Israel, that it depends mainly on us.

    • Who’s correct about human nature, the left or the right?
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Pants on Fire: the Whoppers of the 2010 Elections

      Throughout the course of the 2010 Congressional midterm campaigns, candidates threw out countless fibs, questionable assertions, whoppers and half-truths. These are our candidates for the most misleading campaign ads of 2010, what are yours?
      Big Lie #1: Health Care Reform Guts Medicare

    • Capitol Hill’s Top 75 Corporate Sponsors

      Want to follow the money? Below, the 75 heaviest hitters in corporate campaign cash, 1989-2010.

      1 AT&T

      2 National Association of Realtors

      3 Goldman Sachs

      4 American Association for Justice

      5 Citigroup

      6 American Medical Association

      7 National Automobile Dealers Association

      [...]

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Egypt blogger out after 4-yrs in jail

      An Egyptian blogger has been released after serving four years in prison on charges of insulting Islam and the president, a human rights group said on Wednesday.

      The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said blogger Abdel Kareem Nabil, 26, known as Kareem Amer, was in bad health and was beaten by security officers before his release on Tuesday.

      The Interior Ministry was not immediately available for comment.

      Amer, a student at the state-run religious al-Azhar University, was arrested in 2006 on charges of insulting Islam and President Hosni Mubarak in his blog posts. He was sentenced to four years in prison and expelled from the university.

    • Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel peace prize may not be given out at December ceremony
    • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange wanted by Interpol over rape case

      An international arrest warrant is being issued for the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, after Swedish prosecutors were today granted permission to detain him for questioning in a rape case.

    • BlackBerry to ‘allow Indian government to monitor messages’

      BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) is ready to allow Indian authorities access to the emails and messages of its most high-profile corporate customers, according to a ministry official in the country.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • ISPs should be free to abandon net neutrality, says Ed Vaizey

      Internet service providers such as BT should be allowed to abandon net neutrality and prioritise users’ access to certain content providers, the communications minister Ed Vaizey said in a speech today.

    • Oregon Senator Wyden effectively kills Internet censorship bill

      It’s too early to say for sure, but Oregon Senator Ron Wyden could very well go down in the history books as the man who saved the Internet.

      A bill that critics say would have given the government power to censor the Internet will not pass this year thanks to the Oregon Democrat, who announced his opposition during a recent committee hearing. Individual Senators can place holds on pending legislation, in this case meaning proponents of the bill will be forced to reintroduce the measure and will not be able to proceed until the next Congress convenes.

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