IRC Proceedings: May 14th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz




#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

Windows is Getting Less Secure Over Time While GNU/Linux Grows Bigger

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 11:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Another Linuxphobiafest from the Microsoft crowd

Erosion and falling rocks

Summary: Patterns of FUD that has mostly died are returning to the corporate news, so we quickly rebut again

THE NUMBER of attack vectors is increasing when it comes to Microsoft Windows. There is no point denying the fact that a lot of the security problems we have today are caused by Windows. What remains for pundits to debate is whether market share is a factor.

There is that old comparison of platforms based on security criteria and this is a jar of worms that has not been opened in a while. GNU/Linux market share flamewars, even the GNU/Linux versus Windows security debate, have not made many headlines for months if not years. With The Register making some spurious remarks and some other sites following suit, the boring discussion is being reopened, so we’ll address it very quickly (without repeating points we covered before, hopefully).

It was only a few days ago that we wrote about Vista 7 insecurity, listing yet again some previous posts on the subject, such as:

  1. Cybercrime Rises and Vista 7 is Already Open to Hijackers
  2. Vista 7: Broken Apart Before Arrival
  3. Department of Homeland Security ‘Poisoned’ by Microsoft; Vista 7 is Open to Hijackers Again
  4. Vista 7 Security “Cannot be Fixed. It’s a Design Problem.”
  5. Why Vista 7 Could be the Least Secure Operating System Ever
  6. Journalists Suggest Banning Windows, Maybe Suing Microsoft Over DDoS Attacks
  7. Vista 7 Vulnerable to Latest “Critical” Flaws
  8. Vista 7 Seemingly Affected by Several More “Critical” Flaws This Month
  9. Reason #1 to Avoid Vista 7: Insecurity
  10. Vista 7 Left Hijackable Again (Almost a Monthly Recurrence)
  11. Trend Micro: Vista 7 Less Secure Than Vista
  12. Vista 7 Less Secure Than Predecessors? Remote BSoD Now Possible!
  13. Vista 7 Unacceptable for Large Businesses and Windows XP Still Not Secure

Groklaw points out that “Microsoft downplays Server bug threat” by quoting:

Microsoft is downplaying the threat posed by one of the three bugs the company patched today, said security researchers.

The update in question, MS11-035, patches a single vulnerability in WINS (Windows Internet Name Service), a component in every supported edition of Windows Server, including Server 2003, 2008 and the newest, Server 2008 R2.

Attackers could exploit the WINS bug by crafting a malicious data packet, then shooting it at a vulnerable Windows Server box.

This is yet more evidence of Microsoft negligence [1, 2, 3].

When a company does not address known flaws, then it deserves no respect and no business. Microsoft also lies about the number of flaws because this helps the company game the numbers and make it look as though Red Hat, for example, makes a less secure operating system.

There is this new article with a tease headline that poses an allegation as a question. But it does quote some valid messengers, e.g.:

“Linux has been more widely deployed, which has certainly made it a bigger target to hackers in general,” said Charlie Belmer founder and CEO of security vendor Golem Technologies. “But in terms of overall security it is still far superior to Windows.”

Mr. Belmer has a point, unlike Mr. Ballmer.

Tony Bradley, who has been defending Microsoft for years in IDG, is upset by an article from his colleague, Katherine, who likes GNU/Linux. She wrote about issues relating to allegations of NSA back doors a few days ago and the Microsoft booster is of course upset. He admits that Vista 7 is not so secure. It is even less secure than its predecessors. He then defends his poorly-structured contention by pointing fingers elsewhere and spreading the “1% market share” slur about GNU/Linux. Towards the end he becomes the “But” troll to seem fair. How shallow and transparent!

This actually leads us to addressing the next piece of FUD which has returned. Some numbers that are presented in this new article confirm what we have said for years:

This chart reflects the relative popularity of Linux as a desktop OS in each country. It doesn’t mean that these countries have the most Linux users overall (which is more difficult to estimate correctly).

Statcounter measures things like referrals or sites that hand over logs, leading to statistical bias. Privacy correlates with GNU/Linux use. But anyway, the more important observation to make is that the English-speaking world is nowhere in sight. Tell this to all the English-centric ‘market share’ companies.

GNU/Linux does not have a 1% market share on the desktop. This might be true in the United States, whose population only accounts for about 5% of the whole world. Statistics-backed lies are not so uncommon and IDG pushes a lot of this lie, being a US-based company.

As some people will rightly show this month, there is a sharp GNU/Linux usage increase (relative) in Wikipedia recently (it is still English-centric). There is clearly something going on. Meanwhile, Google claims that only 20% of its employees use Windows and the company’s founder has harsh words for Microsoft. Google banned Windows for security reasons and its founder said that Windows is “torturing” users. Well played. As Mr. Pogson put it:

Sergey Brin of Google was quoted as stating that other OS and even GNU/Linux tortures users. I would take GNU/Linux any day because if you don’t want to manage it the darned thing just keeps running. I have set up machines that ran years without an update. Others have reported that forgotten machines kept running for many years.

There is already some damage control from Microsoft boosters like Gralla, who denies the truth. People do not choose Windows, they just buy a computer. Many are brought into a torture of malware and unreliability.

Speaking for myself, I have used the very same KDE session since March (no login screen since then). That’s how reliable GNU/Linux is today. KDE4 has become absolutely fantastic.

One of the best sites around, Dedoimedo (it is criminally under-subscribed to), has this new Great Linux World Map, which rather than name distributions (which mostly assemble parts) shows just what makes up the free operating systems. As the author put it:

Of course, I could not plaster every single distribution or Linux-related item onto the map, as it would clutter this precious work of art. You get old distributions and you get new distributions, you get big ones and small ones, popular and obscure, but not all of them. If you feel your Linux distribution has been neglected, it’s not out of malice, it’s just pure aesthetics. Finally, naturally, since this is a bold expedition unto humor, you should not take anything seriously, neither names, nor terms, nor shapes, nor phrases used. It’s all jolly good fun.

GNU/Linux is still poised to win on the desktop if only we have patience. Google is making some interesting moves right now with subsidies. Well, using Skype, Microsoft will probably make life harder for GNU/Linux users and Linux-powered phones (and just about any other user of the proprietary software). As Groklaw put it, “this means Skype gets less pleasant for users and Microsoft gets to track us? Thanks, but no thanks.”

In another context, argued Groklaw, “When that happens to you often enough, you stop using proprietary software.”

The front page of the official Ubuntu Web site still sports Skype. They will hopefully amend that soon as advertising proprietary software was never a bright idea.

It Can’t Be Just a Theory When There is Admission and Proof (Anti-Google Smear Campaign)

Posted in FUD, Google, Microsoft at 11:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Alex Jones also spreads Google phobia

Alex Jones

Summary: Why those who compare Free software proponents to conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones are totally missing the boat

Poisonous people try to discourage free thought by alleging that nothing goes amiss in the industry. It’s a convenient illusion to be immersed in, as the reality involves many lobbyists who run the show. Those who speak about it are not the problem; the lobbyists and their funders are.

Over the past couple of years we have seen many Microsoft apologists who tried tried to paint Groklaw a “conspiracy theorist”, even well before the site dealt with anything resembling it. And now, upon the site's departure, we are seeing more of the same smears. It is similar to the smears that were used against Boycott Novell and Techrights, so it is worth tackling this as a general phenomenon.

Back around 2007 and 2008 we wrote a handful of posts explaining how labels such as “hater” and “theorist” are being used to distract from real issues. Even now that we discover Facebook hired lobbyists after investments from Microsoft there are those who will call it a far-fetched leap of faith. Well, first of all, Facebook finally admits that it did this. Groklaw remarks on this admission as follows: “So, should I point out that Facebook and Microsoft are partners and Microsoft has invested in Facebook? Did I not tell you this was all a smear campaign, in my opinion?”

Groklaw also quotes this report where Facebook daeminises Google more directly, somehow exempting Microsoft. How shallow. Regarding this congress hearing, Groklaw has something to say as well. To quote the report:

But overall, Senators at the hearing seemed to want to harp on a broad range of grievances with Apple and Google—only some of which related to smartphones or privacy at all.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) went ahead and hammered Google over its accidental collection of private WiFi data, a privacy scandal that’s now more than two years old. He actually pulled out a Google patent application and seemed to be saying that it demonstrated Google intended to pull the private “payload” data as part of its plan to build better mapping services. Davidson was put on the spot because, no surprise, he hadn’t seen the patent application before, since Google files hundreds of patents each year. He emphasized that the company wasn’t ever going to use the data it had accidentally collected. “We intend to dispose of it in whatever form regulators tell us to,” he said. Ashkani and another independent privacy researcher both testified that the payload data wouldn’t be useful in map-building.

Update: A Google spokesman contacted me shortly after this post was published, offering this statement: “The technology in that patent has nothing to do with the collection and storage of payload data and is entirely unrelated to the software code used to collect WiFi information with Street View cars.”

“These are the guys who write patent law,” writes Groklaw. “And could someone check and see who Microsoft gives money to in Congress? There is something very odd about this, considering Microsoft’s privacy policies. Why only Apple and Google called on the carpet? Seriously. It feels like a smear campaign to me. And do you see why Groklaw matters? Folks making important decisions about tech don’t understand tech either, let alone patents. It’s scary.”

In relation to this other article about federal involvement, Groklaw remarks by quoting this:

In a quarterly report to the SEC, Google retroactively lowered its first-quarter earnings by $500 million in anticipation of a settlement with the Department of Justice, the Associated Press reports.

“I think that may be overstating matters,” argues Groklaw, “I’d rather say that this is the outside limit of what it might cost Google, what they are setting aside just in case. They might owe nothing, after all. It’s not even an official investigation yet. Here’s what Google writes in the 10-Q: “In May 2011, in connection with a potential resolution of an investigation by the United States Department of Justice into the use of Google advertising by certain advertisers, we accrued $500 million for the three month period ended March 31, 2011. Although we cannot predict the ultimate outcome of this matter, we believe it will not have a material adverse effect on our business, consolidated financial position, results of operations, or cash flows.” Now when you read all the FUD flying around, at least you’ll know better.”

“Now when you read all the FUD flying around, at least you’ll know better.”
      –Pamela Jones, Groklaw
Groklaw is not alone when it comes to defending Google, which by no means is totally innocent either. It’s just that a lot of it is acting, a lot of it is staged by lobbyists and maybe even radio show hosts like Alex Jones. It turned out that not so long ago when Fox/Glenn Beck ran a smear campaign against Google Rupert Murdoch was actually in bed with Microsoft. Here is what Pamela quotes GigaOM as saying, “this is a pretty obvious case of the pot calling the kettle black. While Facebook’s PR pitch tries to paint Google as the company that has been besieged by privacy critics and regulators, the reality is, Facebook has been far more exposed to government criticism and sanctions — and potential regulation — as a result of its approach to privacy and its handling of personal data. The social network may have been trying to shift the attention of the press and regulators away from itself and onto Google, but all this campaign has really done is make Facebook look incompetent and desperate, and scared.” We need to have more sites like Groklaw to tackle these issues.

Thanks to Groklaw | Gracias a Groklaw

Posted in Site News at 6:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Cordial regards to Pamela Jones and her site Groklaw, which retires after this weekend

BACK in 2006, Shane and I were discussing this site via E-mail, seeking to find out how much each of us would be able to commit in terms of time. I was finishing my thesis draft at the time, which meant that I had a lot of spare time (I had finished my first draft months before the site was even created). It occurred to us that both of us were major followers of Groklaw. As for myself, I had sent News Picks suggestions on a daily since the beginning of 2006, so I felt like there was also a personal relationship. Pamela was always polite, insightful, and grateful. She had charisma, she had the diligence of a superwoman, and she inspired many of us who were fighting for software freedom. To many of us, Groklaw became a routine, it became something we do several times per day (commenting and/or reading for the most part).

About 2 years ago Groklaw lost some eagerness to carry on, but despite demoralisation and legal risk it carried on heroically, leading ahead the hordes of GNU/Linux proponents, who rarely happen to be lawyers. Groklaw‘s era is not over and the site’s impact will have a place in our hearts for many decades to come. It’s not just a site, it is also a community and a role model. On behalf of Techrights I wish to express my immeasurable gratitude to Groklaw. If it were not for Groklaw, it is possible that Techrights would never have existed.

Back in the days when my personal site was ranked around 17,000th in Alexa I decided to transition more towards full-time GNU/Linux advocacy and later on, when Novell signed the patent deal with Microsoft, I realised that patents were a more urgent issue to address. It was killing software development. So ,I focused almost only on this site. We have wrestled with this issue for almost 5 years now and Novell finally caved a couple of weeks ago. In a way, we won, but the battle has not ended. Groklaw is now describing Novell as a company that sold the community out and it focuses on patent issues more than ever — an issue which we have been focused on for years. We hope the tackle this issue for many years to come. As I am still in my 20s without many strings attached, I can certainly afford to participate as editor and with me I have great contributors such as Gordon, Edwardo, Will, and others whom I probably cannot name as they prefer anonymity. It is safe to say that all of us are grateful to Groklaw and we will defend that site’s reputation in the face of its detractors, who have already begun revisionist propaganda against it, as we showed last month.

With kind regards,

Roy and the Techrights team

ES: Gracias a Groklaw


Ya en 2006, Shane y yo estábamos discutiendo este sitio a través del correo electrónico, búscando averiguar cuánto cada uno de nosotros sería capaz de comprometerse en términos de tiempo. Yo estaba terminando mi proyecto de tesis en el tiempo, lo que significa que tenía un montón de tiempo libre (ya había terminado mi primer borrador meses antes que el sitio fuese creado). Ocurrió que ambos fuímos mayores seguidores de Groklaw. En cuanto a mí, personalmente había enviado sugerencias de Noticias Selectas casi díariamente desde el comienzo de 2006, así que me sentí como si hubiera también una relación personal. Pamela fue siempre amable, perspicaz, y agradecida. Tenía carisma, tuvo la diligencia de una supermujer, e inspiró a muchos de nosotros que estabamos luchando por la libertad del software. Para muchos de nosotros, Groklaw se convirtió en una rutina, se convirtió en algo que hacemos varias veces por día (comentando y/o leyendo en su mayor parte).

Hace unos dos años Groklaw perdido el afán de seguir adelante, de continuar pero a pesar de desmoralización y el riesgo legal continuó heroicamente, llevando por delante las hordas de GNU/Linux proponentes, que rara vez sucede que sean abogados. La era Groklaw no ha terminado y el impacto del sitio tendrá un lugar en nuestros corazones durante muchas décadas por venir. No es sólo un sitio, también es una comunidad y un modelo para seguir. En nombre de Techrights deseo expresar mi gratitud inconmensurable para Groklaw. Si no fuera por Groklaw, es posible que Techrights nunca hubiera existido.

En los días en que mi sitio personal fue clasificado/ubicado alrededor del 17.000, en Alexa decidí hacer la transición hacia tiempo completo más a la promociónGNU/Linux y más tarde, cuando Novell firmó el acuerdo de patentes con Microsoft, me dí cuenta de que las patentes fueron un problema más urgente de abordar. Estaban matando el desarrollo de software. Por lo tanto, me he centrado casi exclusivamente en este sitio. Nosotros hemos luchado con este problema desde hace casi 5 años y Novell finalmente se derrumbó hace un par de semanas. En cierto modo, hemos ganado, pero la batalla no se terminó. Groklaw está describiendo Novell como una empresa que vendió a la comunidad y que ahora se centra en asuntos relacionados con patentes, más que nunca — un problema que en el que nos hemos centrado desde hace años. Esperamos en abordar este tema durante muchos años por venir. Como todavía estoy en mis veintes años sin muchas cadenas adjuntas, que sin duda puedo darse el lujo de participar en calidad de editor y tengo conmigo grandes colaboradores como Gordon, Eduardo, Will, y muchos otros a los que probablemente no puedo nombrar ya que prefieren el anonimato. Es seguro decir que todos nosotros estamos muy agradecidos a Groklaw y defenderemos a la reputación de ese sitio en la cara de sus cobardes detractores, que ya han comenzado la propaganda revisionista en su contra, como lo mostramos el mes pasado.

Con un cordial saludo,

Roy y el equipo Techrights

Translation produced by Eduardo Landaveri, the esteemed administrator of the Spanish portal of Techrights.

IRC Proceedings: May 13th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 5:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz




#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

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Enter the IRC channels now

Links 14/5/2011: The New Commodore 64 Runs Linux, 20 Years of Linux Kernel Celebrated

Posted in News Roundup at 5:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • The Commodore 64, that ’80s computer icon, lives again

      It was chunky, a hideous tan color, and, by today’s standards, ridiculously feeble.

      It was limited to 64 kilobytes of memory — about the equivalent of one long e-mail.

      And yet 25 years ago, almost everyone seemed to have one.

      It was the Commodore 64, an 8-bit, mass-produced machine that brought personal computing into the home for millions of users in the early- and mid-1980s. People used their C64s, as they were known, for everything from basic office functions to primitive games like “Impossible Mission.”

    • What You Should Know When Migrating From Windows to Linux

      Linux has indeed some important advantages compared to Windows operating systems. Here are two main advantages: both distribution and programs are free of charge and the security level is much better than that provided by Windows. Despite these facts, Linux products do not have a very large market share, but it is continually growing. Actually many laptop and desktop systems already have the preinstalled version on Linux.

    • Google’s Chrome OS machines arrive

      Google has announced that Samsung and Acer will be making the first Chromebooks; instant-on, always-connected laptops that run the company’s open sourced and Linux-based Chrome OS. As well as being available for purchase, Google is offering companies a subscription plan at $28 a month per user, which includes a Chromebook and online services, and a $20 a month subscription offering for educational users. UK pricing for subscriptions will be announced closer to the 15 June launch. The machines are enhanced production versions of the CR-48 notebook which Google gave away to interested parties late last year.

    • How to Make Your Own Chrome OS Chromebook

      On June 15, Samsung and Acer will release the first consumer-oriented Chrome OS laptops, or Chromebooks as Google likes to call them. Both hardware- and software-wise, these netbooks are nothing special: You can download Chrome OS’s open source brother, Chromium OS, for free — and at around $400 for a Chromebook, you would certainly expect some better hardware than what Samsung and Acer are offering.

  • Kernel Space

    • Celebrating 20 Years of Linux

      Happy Birthday, Tux! Happy Birthday, Linux! Many of you might not know this but Linux is the underlying basis for many of today’s mobile platforms, Android being one of them. Also, Linux is considered to be as the most “potent” open-source system for PCs, acclaimed by developers and enthusiasts alike.

      Everything started in 1983, as the GNU Project, engineered by Richard Stallman.

    • Video: Inside the Linux Powered Xirrus Wi-Fi

      Interop is one of the largest non-vendor conferences still around.

      All those conference goers connect over the Xirrus Wi-Fi array network that is deployed at the show.

      Have you ever wondered what’s inside of a Xirrus Wi-Fi array?

      Sure there are some Atheros chips, but there is also a grain of open source goodness. That’s right Interop’s Xirrus Wi-Fi deployment is based on a Linux 2.6.x kernel.

    • Graphics Stack

      • X Input 2.1 Not Coming Until X.Org Server 1.12

        X Input 2.1 was originally talked about for X.Org Server 1.10 with its initial multi-touch implementation having been published back in late 2010.

        After this version of the X Input extension missed the 1.10 cycle, it was getting back on track for a xorg-server 1.11 merge. The multi-touch work has already went through several revisions by Daniel Stone and Canonical.

        This work was looking like it would finally land for X.Org Server 1.11 when it’s released in August, but it doesn’t look like it will make the merge window closing in a few weeks. One of the problems causing a delay in the merge deals with touchpads and where touch/mouse events are delivered to different windows.

  • Applications

    • Proprietary

    • DNS/IPv6

      • DNSMasq – Best Way to Surf Internet

        After growing tired of slow response times I decided it was time to just run a personal domain name caching service. Bind seemed a bit overkill and it can be quite complicated. Other alternatives are much easier – such as DNSMasq. DNSMasq is available in just about every distro’s repository and is really easy to set up and use.

      • Alternative DNS services: pro and contra
      • World IPv6 day @ home

        This is by no means the “launch of IPv6″ (IPv6 has been available for over a decade since the early days of the 6bone). Instead, this is the opportunity for some large-scale service and content providers to test their IPv6 readiness with a sizable audience over a 24 hours period. Although not the first of its kind, since this event is sponsored by the ISOC and supported by several core content and network providers (some of the participants are big names such as Google, Yahoo, Akamai and Facebook) it has a good chance of becoming the largest IPv6 awareness raising event in history. It is no coincidence that IANA has just allocated the last few available IPv4 blocks to the regional registries, marking the depletion of the IPv4 space (at least when it comes to global allocations, but regional allocation exhaustion will follow soon).

      • Whose Fault is it When Your Internet Dies? Troubleshooting Networks with Linux

        When you can’t access the Internet you can’t install software (unless you have your own local repository), so you should have these commands available on your computers:

        * ping
        * ifconfig
        * dig
        * GNU screen

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Easiest Way to Play Angry Birds in Ubuntu

        It is called Chrome Web Store. Yes, Angry Birds is now available in Chrome Web Store for free installation.

      • Thoughts on Wine Technology

        If you have used a Unix operating system on a desktop computer for any extended period of time then odds are you have heard of Wine technology. In case you haven’t, Wine is an acronym that stands for “Wine Is Not an Emulator”. In actuality Wine is a “windows compatibility layer”. To put it in laymen’s terms it allows you to natively run Windows binaries in a Unix environment.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Calligra is the Future of Free Software Office Suites

        A couple of days ago Michael Meeks published a blog called ‘LibreOffice is the future of Free Software Office suites’. Michael is one of the lead developers of LibreOffice and also one of the founders of the Document Foundation, the organization behind LibreOffice. In that blog he makes a number of points that leads to his conclusion in the title:

        * LibreOffice is vendor neutral
        * LibreOffice is robust to participants leaving
        * Linux distributions are safer with LibreOffice
        * LibreOffice has a different, and better QA model
        * Division is (sadly) sometimes necessary
        * The Document Foundation champions ODF
        * We are transparent about our contributors

        Each of those points is a section in the text. If you haven’t read the blog already, you should probably do that now before continuing your reading here. It’s quite long but it’s a good read.


        What is obvious when reading that text is that Michael only compares LibreOffice to one other free office suite: OpenOffice.org. He probably has a good platform to stand on when saying that compared to OpenOffice.org, LibreOffice is more future secure.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • gnome 3

        Well the new gnome 3 has certainly polarised the community. I must say I generally really like it, but also I’m not yet running it on my default machine. Historically I’ve upgraded my primary laptop to the current development release of Fedora around the beta release. This time I’ve not. Why? Well there’s one major feature that has “Just Worked” for me for as long as I remember and I use it every day I’m in the office that isn’t yet working well in gnome 3 and it would cost me way too much time on an average work day.


        There’s lots of other nice things about gnome 3 and I look forward to being able to run it properly to get access to those things.

      • My experience with GNOME 3 so far

        My general feeling towards GNOME 3 is this: ♥. Yes, I love it

      • Don’t like change? Create Gnome 2.32 panel with Gnome shell extensions

        Lets accept it, some users don’t like changes. There are always a subset of users in every DE who don’t like or need a change whatever merits the changes could bring to them. When gnome 3.0 was released and its new shell became the point of attraction, many users were disappointed. They did want their old Gnome 2.32 panels and nothing else.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Big Blue plus Red Hat plus Private Cloud equals Purple Reign?

        Just last week, IBM and Red Hat dove head first into Enterprise virtualization, after their March 2010 initial team-up to create a development and test cloud built on IBM hardware and Red Hat’s KVM hypervisor software. So, according to the former press release, this Big Blue to Red Hat connection exists simply to “extend this partnership to include cloud computing – broadening our reach and answering the strong customer demand for cloud computing services.”

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Desktop 8.04 LTS reaches end of life

            The desktop version of Ubuntu 8.04 LTS has now officially reached its end of life as previously reported. From 12 May 2011 (yesterday), no new updates, including security updates and critical fixes, will be available. The server edition of Ubuntu 8.04 LTS will continue to be supported until May 2013. Code named “Hardy Heron”, version 8.04 of the Debian-derived Linux distribution was released on 24 April 2008. Hardy Heron users are advised to upgrade to a later release to continue receiving updates.

          • Ubuntu 11.04 Open Source OS: Looking at the Pros and Cons
          • Canonical joins GENIVI, creates Ubuntu IVI Remix

            Canonical has announced that it is joining the GENIVI Alliance, the non-profit industry alliance which is creating an open source “In-Vehicle Infotainment” reference platform. Canonical is also creating a GENIVI-compliant Ubuntu IVI Remix, based on the Ubuntu Core subset of the Linux distribution, which supports Intel and ARM processors.

            Talking to The H, Chris Kenyon, VP of OEM services at Canonical, said that automotive suppliers had been asking for something from Canonical in the IVI space for as much as eighteen months. The suppliers already used Ubuntu in their development systems and wanted to be able to use the same technology in the products they delivered. “This is more a pull by them than a push by us” said Kenyon though Ubuntu now had all the right elements for the automotive market. Companies wanted to get their product to market faster and were looking for a platform with a “proven cadence” which was “fundamentally cross architecture”. Ubuntu’s ARM support and Canonical’s work with Linaro along with its work with Qt, a core component in the in draft GENIVI specifications, puts Ubuntu IVI Remix in a strong position to be the “off the shelf” solution for GENIVI members.

          • Is Ubuntu’s Unity Interface Ready for the Masses?
          • Mark Shuttleworth UDS Interview [Video]
          • Pitivi and Computer Janitor to be Removed, New Features Planned for Software Center in Oneiric

            There had been some really nice discussions on the last day of Ubuntu Developer Summit and some new changes are being introduced in Ubuntu 11.10.

            But Google’s Blogger service had an outage for about 30 hours that not only deleted few past articles but also blocked me from posting any new content. Finally couple of hours back, the service has been restored.

          • Expected Changes In Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot [Ubuntu Developer Summit Overview]g

            Ubuntu 11.10 will use GNOME 3. The GNOME 3 Natty PPA will be maintained with bug fixes for GNOME 3.0 and there will probably be an GNOME 3.1 PPA for Oneiric until 3.1 is ready to be included by default.

          • Ubuntu 11.04 – review of unity interface

            Ubuntu is a great operating system and know tons of people who use it every day as their primary operating system, unity, however, is an entirely different matter. I was one of those people who was outraged when it was announced that 11.04 was going to have unity and by default, but what really did it in for me was when I found out unity cannot be removed, it just simply cannot be removed. It’s like cancer. Thinking back I know one other piece of software in a popular operating system that cannot be removed and starts with the letter I and ends with the letter R, and uses the abbreviation IE.

          • Ubuntu Software centre changes planned for Oneiric

            Plans on improving the Ubuntu Software Centre on Ubuntu 11.10 have been outlined at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Budapest this morning.

            Faster start-up times, refined visuals making use of larger icons, and Unity Launcher integration are all tacked for inclusion.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 Will Stay With Evolution But Switch To Thunderbird If It Integrates With The Desktop [UDS]

            Even though in the beginning of the default email client session at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Budapest, it looked like it’s certain that Evolution will stay as default in Ubuntu 11.10, towards the end of the session things changed and it was decided to stay with Evolution for now BUT switch to Thunderbird as the default email client in Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot as long as it integrates with the desktop.

          • RIP Eucalyptus. Ubuntu Standardizes on OpenStack
          • OpenFlow running on Ubuntu Linux
          • Ubuntu adopts LightDM, login screens to get more exciting
          • Flavours and Variants

            • CrunchBang interview with Darth Wound

              A while ago, I was contacted by Darth Wound with regards to answering some questions for an interview about CrunchBang. Now, being asked to do interviews about CrunchBang is not unusual, I must receive several a month at the moment, but I know Darth Wound through the excellent work he is doing with the French CrunchBang forums, so I was more than happy to try and answer his questions.

            • Q&A with Jeff Hoogland, lead developer of Bodhi Linux

              A: I use Linux & FOSS in the classroom. I have Bodhi installed on my netbook, and I use it with the SMART Technologies interactive whiteboard every day. My favorite applications for teaching mathematics, which I use a fair amount are GeoGebra and KAlgebra.

            • Ubuntu Makes Lubuntu Official Derivative

              It’s official: Lubuntu is an official Ubuntu derivative. In a UDS session in Budapest, Colin Watson and Mark Shuttleworth clarified the details with project member Julien Lavergne. There are still no ISO and packages on the official Ubuntu site, but Lavergne will announce on the Ubuntu project development mailing list when the application is in the official repositories and there is an installable image. Lubuntu 11.10 will be the first officially supported version of the derivate.

            • Giving Back: Lubuntu 64bit now Available

              This entry was posted on Thursday, May 12th, 2011 at 11:32 AM and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Will Amazon Become the Dominant Player in the Android Ecosystem?

          There is an elephant at the door of the Android ecosystem. Nobody quite wants to look at it or acknowledge the whispers, but Amazon may be set to become the leader in Android devices later this year.

          Officially, Amazon has said nothing about creating its own Android devices. There has been talk of a tablet in the works for a while now but its specs and ship date is shrouded in mystery. But Amazon may have bigger ambitions than just a tablet. Rumors have come out today that not only is the online retail company looking at a slate, but an entire family of Android devices. If this happens, will the waves topple the balance of power of players in the Android ecosystem?

Free Software/Open Source

  • Need open source Django CRM? Cuddle up to Koalix

    CRM is an application with a long history of open source development, with many projects written the PHP language. However, a Swiss developer has released one of the first open source CRM systems developed with the Django Python framework.

    The brainchild of Aaron Riedener, Koalixcrm is aimed at taking the complexity out of CRM, particularly for small businesses and individuals.

  • Events

    • Android Open Conference launches

      O’Reilly Media announced a new Android Open Conference Oct. 9-11, in San Francisco, designed for anyone who creates, sells, or markets Android-related products. In other open source conference news, the Linux Foundation last week announced keynote speakers, including Linus Torvalds, for LinuxCon Japan, June 1-3, and Linux Expo of Southern California announced events for Software Freedom Day 2011 on Sept. 17.

  • Web Browsers

    • WebGL & Security

      Recently Context Information Security Limited gathered a lot of attention for a blog post on the state of WebGL security. For Mozilla, WebGL was first released in Firefox 4, and there are implementations in Chrome, Safari and Opera as well. The blog post outlines an abstract concern that WebGL is inherently insecure because it allows fairly direct access to the hardware, along with two specific attacks, a Denial of Service and a Cross-Domain Image Theft.

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Free ‘Browser in a Box’ Runs Firefox 4 with Ultra Security

        Security is an oft-debated topic in the ongoing browser wars, but there’s no denying that malware is a common problem for all of the leading contenders.

      • SHA-512 w/ per User Salts is Not Enough

        More to come on this subject, as our goal is to increase security and the time in which it would take in order to brute or dictionary the hash. Our goal is and always to provide better protection around authentication systems.

      • Upgrade offer boosts Firefox 4 share by 30%

        Firefox 4′s share shot up 11% the first day after Mozilla started offering users the upgrade last week, and climbed 30% in four days.

        The boost moved a long-time Mozilla employee to compare the gains of Firefox and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) since the two browsers debuted last March.

  • Databases

  • Healthcare

    • Childhood leukaemia linked to mosquito bites

      BITES from mosquitoes carrying unidentified viruses might explain childhood leukaemia clusters around the town of Fallon in Nevada. And last week, a separate UK report found no link between nuclear power plants and childhood leukaemia.

      The Nevada cluster is the largest in the US. Previous research failed to find a link between the cases and carcinogenic chemicals. The new study of the 14 Fallon cases that arose between 1997 and 2003 – a rate 12 times higher than normally expected in such a period – concludes that military personnel may have brought a virus to the area, which was then spread by mosquitoes. The cluster “fizzled out” once all vulnerable children had been infected.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • GroundWork Adds Cloud Connector to GroundWork Monitor Enterprise 6.4

        GroundWork Inc., (www.groundworkopensource.com) the leading open platform for network, application and cloud monitoring, announced today that it has released GroundWork Cloud Connector for GroundWork Monitor Enterprise 6.4. An automatic, monitoring provisioning system, GroundWork Cloud Connector gives users the ability to monitor Amazon EC2 and Eucalyptus cloud instances right along side traditional data center infrastructures.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Why Google Choosing Arduino Matters and is This the End of “Made for iPod” (TM)?

        This week is the yearly Google I/O at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. It’s a meet and greet for lots of people and companies, a big dot-com over-the-top party, and most of all it’s geared towards “web, mobile, and enterprise developers building applications in the cloud with Google and open web technologies… Products and technologies to be featured at I/O include App Engine, Android, Google Web Toolkit, Google Chrome, HTML5, AJAX and Data APIs, Google TV, and more.” Maybe not so much Google TV or Google Wave this year :) but for open hardware and mobile folks, this was one of the most important weeks in history.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • It’s Time for Government to Back the Semantic Web

      Long time readers will know that I have been reporting on the Semantic Web for many years – since June of 2005, in fact, when I dedicated an issue of my eJournal to The Future of the Web. The long interview I included with Tim Berners-Lee remains one of the most-read articles on this site of all time. Ever since then, I’ve periodically given an “attaboy” to the Semantic Web. And guess what? It’s that time again.

      Why? Because the more the Web is capable of doing, the more we can get out of it. And given how much we now rely on the Internet and the Web, we can’t afford to allow either to be less than they are capable of being.


  • Security

  • Cablegate

    • Activist who supports soldier in WikiLeaks case sues U.S. over seizure of laptop

      The co-founder of a group advocating for an Army private accused of leaking classified material to the antisecrecy Web site WikiLeaks is suing the U.S. government for unlawfully seizing his computer and copying its contents to aid a criminal investigation of the site.

      Computer scientist David House’s laptop was taken in November at an international airport by two Department of Homeland Security agents without a hint that it contained evidence of wrongdoing, but rather because House was a vocal supporter of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the accused leaker, the American Civil Liberties Union alleged in a complaint to be filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Boston.

  • Finance

    • Is Apple’s share price being manipulated?

      It was 3:48 p.m. on Friday April 29 and traders who had purchased Apple (AAPL) April 29 $350 “calls” — options that gave them the right to buy Apple shares in blocks of 100 for $350 per share — were sitting pretty. The stock was trading around $353.50 and those calls were worth more $350 apiece (the difference between the price of the stock and the so-called “strike price” of the option times 100).

      Then, in an extraordinary burst of trading — exacerbated by the rebalancing of the NASDAQ-100 scheduled for the following Monday — more than 15 million shares changed hands and the stock dropped below the $350 strike price just before the closing bell. Result: The value of those calls disappeared like a puff of smoke.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Koch suit vs. pranksters dismissed

      A federal judge in Utah on Monday tossed Koch Industries’s lawsuit against the pranksters who set up a fake website and sent out a bogus press release saying the company had found religion on climate change.

      In a case being watched for First Amendment implications, Judge Dale Kimball of the U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City also said Koch can’t disclose the identities of the “Youth for Climate Truth” members or use any other information obtained via subpoena from two Utah-based domain hosting companies.

    • The Order Dismissing Koch Industries v. John Does 1-25

      I thought you’d enjoy to see the order, as text, that the Hon. Dale Kimball just issued in Koch Industries v. John Does 1-25, the case I told you about in April. Yes, it’s the same judge who handled both SCO v. IBM and SCO v. Novell through the first appeal. I admire him greatly, and when you read this order, so firmly upholding the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the right to anonymity, I think you are likely to join me.

    • FCC Commish-Turned-Lobbyist Can’t See What All The Controversy Is About

      FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker has been receiving a ton of criticism for taking a high level lobbying job at Comcast just months after approving its huge merger with NBC Universal. The response has been almost universally to condemn Baker in a move that smacks of the corruption of regulatory capture and the revolving door between corporations and the government that regulates them. I had been wondering if all of this publicity would lead to Baker backing down and no longer taking the job (only to take a similar job, more quietly, down the road). But, instead, it looks like she’s digging in her heels and insisting that nothing (nothing!) improper is going on here.

  • Censorship

    • Comcast Users Blocked From The Pirate Bay

      During the last few hours reports have been trickling in from Comcast subscribers who are unable to access The Pirate Bay website. Although there is no sign that Comcast is actively blocking user access to the largest BitTorrent site on the Internet, something is clearly not in order. The Pirate Bay team have confirmed that they are not the ones who are blocking, and they’re investigating the issue.

  • Privacy

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Overinstaller Awareness Day

      Now, continuing the reforms it introduced last year, the BSA calls these numbers theft and piracy, but studiously avoids describing them as ‘losses’ to industry. That’s because very few people who pirate software would actually buy it at high legal prices, especially in developing countries where price-to-income ratios become astronomical. Instead, the BSA describes the number as the ‘commercial value of pirated software,’ which is technically correct and may even be roughly accurate. But they are no longer making any claims about actual industry losses.

    • Canadians using illegal software less and less

      University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist, however, said the numbers make a mockery of industry and American government suggestions that this country is some kind of haven for piracy.

    • Trademarks

      • Microsoft challenging “Apple App Store” trademark in Europe

        Microsoft is jumping into the Apple AppStore battle overseas. On Thursday, Microsoft joined HTC, Nokia and Sony Ericsson in filing filed formal applications for declaration of invalidity in the Community Trade Mark office, the office that oversees trademarks in the Euro Zone.

        Microsoft has already challenged the Apple App trademark in the U.S., the asking the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to refuse the iPhone maker’s registration request on the basis that it’s a generic name, not something to which Apple can lay exclusive claim.

    • Copyrights

      • 3-minute speech limit at EU copyright hearing

        The European Commission threatens to handbag* all speakers who go over 3-minutes at a public hearing on the IPR Enforcement directive (also known as IPRED). A key focus of the hearing will be Internet copyright enforcement and peer-to-peer file-sharing. What will the Commission’s new, ex-IFPI, head of copyright have to say?

      • ACTA

        • Why Innovation Is Under Attack


          As we confront numerous threats to innovation — ACTA, the PROTECT IP Act, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the Obama Administration White Paper on IP enforcement — these are just some of the challenges that we face. Figuring out ways to refocus the debate on key issues in innovation, rather than in protectionist efforts, is going to be key.

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