Links 11/6/2012: Kororaa 17 Beta, Ubuntu 12.10 Alpha

Posted in News Roundup at 5:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Open-Source Software Extends Robots’ Reach

    The newly formed Open-Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF) wants to take robotics development into the future as fast as possible, and says it will support the development, distribution, and adoption of open-source software for use in robotics research, education, and product development.

  • Independent software developers go full time with open source

    While many software developers get paid to work on open source by their employer or volunteer their time for free to various FOSS projects, some end up deciding to quit their day jobs to work on free and open source software (FOSS) full time. That’s exactly what Bryan Lunduke and Patrick Verner are now doing and they’re both hoping that the respective communities for their projects will help to support their efforts financially.

  • Interview with Lars J. Nilsson, author of free online gambling software

    Not long ago, after giving a speech about free software I was asked by an audience member whether the free software community had come up with free (as in freedom) gambling software. I answered “no”, and… I was wrong. A bit of research told me that there us such a platform: that’s Cubeia’s Firebase. Yes, it’s fully free software/open source, the real deal. I couldn’t resist: I asked its founder (and software engineer) for an interview. So, here we go!

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Thunderbird Offers Unique Email Domains, Works with Big Files

        This week, Mozilla released new versions of Mozilla Thunderbird, its free and open source email application, for Windows, the Mac, and Linux. The new version 13 of Thunderbird offers some major improvements, most notably the ability to register personal email domains. Previously, if you wanted to have an email address such as Frank@geniuswork.com, Thunderbird couldn’t handle the task of personalizing the domain part of the address. Mozilla has solved the problem by working with hosting services Hover and Gandi.

  • SaaS

    • Cloudera Updates Enterprise Hadoop

      As demand for Big Data technologies grows, one technology has stood head and shoulders above all others – Apache Hadoop. Adding enterprise-class management and packaging up all the disparate parts of Hadoop is where Cloudera comes into play.

      This week, Cloudera updated its core open source CDH 4 (Cloudera Distribution of Hadoop) and Cloudera Enterprise platforms. The new releases provide more security and scalability than prior releases, according to Cloudera.

    • 9 Open Source Big Data Technologies to Watch
  • Databases

    • Four Advantages of Using PostgreSQL in the Cloud
    • What are database Indexes?

      In this tutorial we are going to review indexes. I never cease to be amazed at how many people do not know what indexes are or how to use them. An index is simply a data structure that provides a fast access path to rows in a table based on the values in one or more columns (the index key). This allows for fast search techniques to be used to find the values ,rather than having to scan the entire table row by row, which results in much faster data retrieval. This can be a big performance booster in your environment, lowering the amount of time it takes to run a SELECT query and get data back.

  • Funding

    • Free software programmers should be paid, too

      You’ve probably heard of this intriguing new crowd-funding service called Kickstarter, right? (If not, how are you getting this website from that cave of yours?). A lot of people are using it to fund all kinds of exciting new things, and it’s obviously useful option for free software projects. Properly used, it can allow us to close the gap against proprietary applications that still have more polish or exist in niches that require more capitalization. But the idea that it is somehow immoral to ask for money to work on free software has got to go!

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open source meets capitalism: Collaborate by competing
    • The future must be decentralized

      Nicholson, community outreach director for Open Invention Network and community manager for the MediaGoblin project, says movement in the opposite direction–toward decentralization–is necessary for a more open, safe, and competitive future. And in “We Are Legion: Decentralizing the Web,” a presentation she delivered today at SouthEast LinuxFest in Charlotte, NC, Nicholson explained how open source projects are at the forefront of attempts to realize this future.

      “I’d like to see more people working on decentralized services,” Nicholson said.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Open Source Law Releases Report On Open Standards
    • EU Clears Way to Use Consortium Standards

      While the decade long debate in the European Union over the definition of “open standards” has been well-publicized, it may come as a surprise to some that EU member nations are required to utilize a second standards filter in public procurement as well.

      That filter relates to whether a standard has been developed by a “formal” standard setting organization (SSO). In other words, by either an EU SSO, such as CEN/CENELEC or ETSI, or by one of the global “Big Is” (ISO, IEC or ITU). If it doesn’t, then it’s supposed to be off limits – until now.

      That filter has roots in a sixty year standards-based quest to benefit European trade, both within the EU and internationally. Historically, this goal was met by seeking to develop EU-wide standards that member states would be required to adopt, thereby replacing the national standards they had long used to keep the goods of neighboring nations out of their own markets. At the same time, these standards would be designed to facilitate EU goods internationally.


  • Security

  • Finance

    • What Europe Needs is Democracy: Striking at the Root of Europe’s Crisis

      I am appalled by the dramatic change of regime in Hungary and what is referred to as the European debt crisis. These two episodes, while being themselves the outcome of a complex chain of events, reflect our inability, as citizens, as a culture and perhaps as humans to remember the lessons of the past.

    • Big Banks Double Whammy: New Asset Management Rules And FHA Subpoenas

      In what finally seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel for many homeowners who were bushwhacked by the big banks during the 2008 financial meltdown, the federal government made its oversight presence known to some of America’s largest financial institutions on June 7. The U.S. government made two separate moves, which demonstrated a strong presence amongst financial services companies. First, the Federal Reserve laid the groundwork for a stricter set of capital regulations for financial institutions with assets of at least $500 million. Second, federal regulators served a handful of financial firms with subpoenas that cited potential violations of FHA rules.

    • Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein: Company Engaged in Contingency Planning for Defaults in Europe

      In February, it was revealed that Goldman sold $142.4 billion in credit default swaps that would pay out in the event Greece, Ireland, Portugal or Spain defaulted on its debt. Goldman also purchased swaps on the same debt worth an estimated $147.3 billion in all, according to Bloomberg.

      Blankfein’s comments echoed remarks he made at the end of his testimony at the Gupta trial earlier this week. Both the public and private sector are laying the groundwork for responses to defaults, Blankfein said Thursday, but stopped short of confirming outright that Goldman is preparing as well.

Update on Patent Lawsuits Against Android and Google

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google at 3:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Android screenshot

Summary: A roundup of some important cases which for the most part involve Google and/or its Linux-based platform

IT HAS BEEN “tentatively decided that the case should be dismissed with prejudice because neither party can establish a right to relief,” quotes iophk regarding Apple’s case against Motorola.

So, a few good things do happen for Free software this week. Google in the mean time gets sued again, using software patents:

The growing popularity of cloud technology is attracting not just users but patent lawsuits too. The latest example is a suit filed against Google that claims the company’s Drive and Docs products violate a 1999 software patent.

Apple is also using patents against Google and Android, this time hitting Samsung and HTC for their Android devices, seeking to ban them (embargo indeed). “In the short term, Apple’s technological and industrial design prowess can help to prop up dying business models,” wrote Timothy Lee not too long ago and he was right. Linux is eating Apple’s market share away and all that Apple can do it sue.

HTC says it does not infringe and the case might end just like the one against Motorola:

In the face of ongoing claims by Apple of patent violations, HTC insists that it’s playing by the rules.

A troll that targetted both Apple and Android is taking it up a notch according to Groklaw (it got patents from Microsoft’s patent troll IV). Quoting the report:

I went to take a look at the latest regarding Lodsys, now that Oracle has joined the fray, and it turns out that Lodsys filed the following new cases on the same day, May 10, in — you guessed it, the Eastern District of Texas. Where else could this farce play out as if it were legitimate? Here are the complaints against each of the new victims, all PDFs:

* Lodsys Group v. Bank of America et al (2:2012-cv-00284)
* Lodsys Group v. Becker Professional Development (2:2012-cv-00286)
* Lodsys Group v. Foster and Smith, Inc. et al (2:2012-cv-00287)
* Lodsys Group v. Rosetta Stone Inc. (2:2012-cv-00288)
* Lodsys Holdings Group v. Dell, Inc. (2:2012-cv-00289)
* Lodsys Holdings Group v. AVG Technologies USA (2:2012-cv-00290)
* Lodsys v. GMCI (2:2012-cv-00291)

The et al with Bank of America includes Epicor Software Corporation, Hoovers, Inc., Market America, Inc., Network Solutions, LLC, Overstock.com, Inc., Sleepy’s, LLC, The Estee Lauder Companies, Inc. The Becker litigation includes also Cabela’s, Inc., Charming Shoppes, Inc., HSN, Inc., Nike, Inc., The Men’s Warehouse, Inc., Tivo, Inc. Foster and Smith includes Recreational Equipment, Inc. and Walgreen Co. The AVG case includes GFI Software, Inc., Kaspersky Lab, Inc., Raxco Software, Inc., Symantec Corporation, and Webroot Software, Inc. The GMCI case includes Playboy Enterprises, Inc., RK Netmedia, Inc., Score Internet Group, LLC, and Vouyer Media, Inc.

It is well established that patent trolls are harming everyone, but it is Apple and Microsoft — not Google — which often use patent troll to sue companies like Google by proxy. As a developer, this does affect me because I do Android development these days and not only is the attack against Android a problem; as the aforementioned news article shows, apps too are targets for lawsuits and software patents are the cause. Everyone suffers and the change in policy is quite imperative now. People need to raise their voice, topping that of lobbyists of corporations.

“There’s no incompatibility between free software and capitalism… now Extreme Capitalism, the empire of the corporations… extreme capitalism means that in each area of life, the businesses interested in that area rule society, control the government… control policy” ~Richard Stallman

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