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Links 10/07/2009: Mostly Chrome, Ubuntu, and More



GNOME bluefish

Contents





GNU/Linux



  • Google

    • The Google Chrome Key
      Back in 1995 something very odd happened. Microsoft released a new version of their operating system, jumping from version 3.x to version 95 which, as well as being a pretty innovative bit of version numbering, brought in a few other new things including the start menu. Now to get the start menu to work they pulled off an astonishing move and added a new key to computer keyboards, not just keyboards made by Microsoft (I am not even sure they did make them at the time) but keyboards made by all manufacturers. This key had a little windows advert on it and was called the Windows key. Quite how the competition regulators let this pass at the time and ever since is a mystery to me, but to this day if you go and buy a Logitech keyboard for your Ubuntu Linux desktop you will have a windows logo staring at you as you type like the eye of Sauron.


    • Google Oompa-Loompas dream of virus-free OS
      The search giant said Google Chrome OS, due to debut in the second half of next year and initially targeted at netbooks, will be based on open source code and offer unprecedented security.


    • Google's Chrome OS and the Year of the GNU/Linux Desktop
      Thus Google's operating system represents a further stage in the commoditisation of software, something that the appearance of GNU/Linux began all those years ago. Now, the operating system is simply there to support the browser, which becomes the main arena for interacting with applications.


    • 11 Undocumented Features Of Google Chrome OS






  • Desktop

    • Changing the World, One Penguin at a Time
      Ken Starks is a testament to the power of single individual, and to the power of the distributed, community Free/Open Source model. He shows that the most effective advocacy is one-on-one, up close and personal. And that one person can multiply himself by inspiring many others. Does the idea of "advocacy" make you nervous? It does sound a bit scary, doesn't it, like those annoying door-to-door religious people. But it's not that way. If you're interested in helping people learn to speak Linux, here are a few easy, non-scary tips.








  • Server

    • Canonical, Eucalyptus Offer Private Cloud Consulting
      Canonical, supplier of the popular Ubuntu distribution of Linux, is partnering with Eucalyptus Systems to offer "private" cloud consulting services. The alliance is the first commercial technical support for implementing open source-based clouds inside the enterprise. Most external clouds, including Amazon's EC2, rely heavily on open source code to hold down costs, provide reliable service, and scale without worrying about a rapid build-up in software licensing fees.


    • Canonical Delves Deeper into the Cloud – Launches Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud Services
      Canonical, the founder of the Ubuntu project, today launched new professional services to help and support users building 'private clouds', cloud infrastructures behind a corporate firewall.

      The move follows the technical preview in April of Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC), an open-source system that enables organisations to build their own clouds that match the interface of Amazon EC2. UEC is now available as part of the Ubuntu Server Edition technology stack.






  • LinuxCon

    • Interview with Amanda McPherson of LinuxCon in Portland
      OK, the fun part: was there a moment when you honestly wondered if you’d be able to pull the conference off?

      My mind goes back to the genesis of Linuxcon. The Linux Plumbers Conference community team approached us about starting a bigger and more broad Linux conference, and I thought it was a great idea. There is a need for something technical, fun and community-based (not run by a for profit who is most interested in money). The only time I wondered if we would pull it off was during the presentation on Linuxcon I gave to the board of directors of the Linux Foundation. I did my spiel and then held my breath during a short pause before they responded. Soon enough they all just started asking question and agreed that it was a great idea. Ever since then it’s been smooth sailing.


    • LinuxCon Program and Event Details Take Shape
      If you haven’t registered to attend LinuxCon this year, you should - and make sure to do so before August 15th when the registration fee goes up. It is only US$399 until then, and you can get an even larger discount if you are: a Linux Foundation Individual Member (30% off), a company sending three or more people (15% off) or attending Linux Plumbers Conference (also 30% off).


    • Regional Show Highlights Community Strength
      As we prepare for the big LinuxCon event in Portland, OR this September 21-23, other notable shows and events are popping up on the radar for the Linux community to attend. One show that gets a big mention for me is the seventh annual Ohio LinuxFest.








  • Distributions

    • Ubuntu 9.04 review
      Why wait for Windows 7? Ubuntu is ready to take over the world right now


    • Why Ubuntu has become the flag bearer for Linux
      It's easy to argue that Ubuntu's success is because there's an unlimited supply of investment from its super-rich parent company, Canonical. But Linux isn't like any ordinary software stack.








  • Devices/Embedded

    • Netbooks Are Little Notebooks, and Linux on Netbooks Rocks
      This newfangled netbook phenomenon has brought with it a bit of confusion, which is understandable since it is so new. The EeePC 701 launched the modern netbook craze, a tiny little low-powered thing with a 7" screen, 512MB RAM, WiFi, and 4BG of storage. It ran a stripped-down Linux, and at two pounds and $399, it quickly won many hearts.








Free Software/Open Source

  • New Enterprise Edition of Bacula backup software released
    Bacula supports various types of media, such as tape drives and hard drives, and its source code is released under the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2).


  • Mozilla Labs issues 'major' Ubiquity upgrade
    Mozilla Labs released an update to Ubiquity - its in-browser command line utility - yesterday.


  • Open source alternative to browser-based shooter Quake Live
    The developers behind open source shooter Open Arena have released an initial test version of the browser-based version, Arena Live. Arena Live aims to emulate Quake Live, a free to use, professionally produced version of Quake 3 Arena from id Software that's financed by advertising. While Quake Live currently only runs on Windows-based systems (with Mac OS X and Linux support reportedly coming soon), Arena Live runs in Mozilla's Firefox web browser on Linux platforms and will probably be ported to other operating systems in the future.


  • PostgreSQL 8.4 now available
    The PostgreSQL developers have released version 8.4 of the open source database saying it is "Now easier to use than ever". The release, which comes after sixteen months of development by the PostgeSQL Global Development Group, adds a number of new features such as per-column permissions which gives more control over which users can see which columns in a database.


  • I Met Richard Stallman
    My brother explained the concept of Free Software to a bunch of his Mac-fanatic friends. My mom explained it to one of her friends as well. Overall, the speech had a very positive impact on my family. I am sure each person that listened to the speech walked out with a different attitude on software. Anyone from Chile, Paraguay, or Uruguay should make sure to attend Stallman’s upcoming speeches there. For everyone else, watch/listen to a recorded speech of his, or watch Stephen Fry’s “Happy Birthday to GNU” video.

    It’s a GNU day. What will you do to spread the word?


  • Interview with Daniel Chalef of KnowledgeTree
    I realise that the community tends not to compete… but I still have to ask: what if it does? How would you react if somebody starts providing the features you charge for, and releases them under the GPL?

    We would be inclined to further differentiate the commercial product by adding features and/or support options. We might learn from how the community implements the functionality (which might take a different approach to the original) and customers and community get a better product.




  • Openness

    • The future is free
      Digital Planet has spoken to Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired magazine, about the release of his new book, Free: The Future of Radical Price.

      He told the World Service about the concept of 'freeconomics', the business model behind web companies like Google, YouTube and Yahoo, where giving away things for free is making them money.








  • Brazil

    • President Lula's Speech at FISL 10 (English Translation)
      This law that is presented (repeats) doesn€´t intend to correct abuses of Internet. To tell you the truth, this law achieves to censure. What we may need, fellow Tarso Genro, is to change the Civil Code, we may need to change something there. What we need to do is to charge the people who work with the digital issues, with the Internet. We need to charge, not prohibit or condemn. (incomprehensible) It is a police-like interest to make a law that lets people enter the house of others to know what they are doing, maybe kidnapping their computers. To act this way is not possible; it is not possible.


    • Open source's double standard on government bias
      For example, Open Source Initiative President Michael Tiemann rightly decries an alleged tie between the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's charitable donations and Microsoft's "cabinet-level access to inform policy."


    • Open Source Incentives
      On the alarm front, I heard specific confirmation of a storyline I've been following, which is that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is basically telling governments: if you want contributions/investments from us, then you'll give Microsoft cabinet-level access to inform policy, and you'll use Microsoft products. For example, donations to educational initiatives require installing and teaching Microsoft products. It is similar to another story line reported by Roy Shestowitz. My informant told me that she was fortunately able to point out to the President that this was against Brazil's sovereignty and interest, and is one of the reasons that President Lula came to FISL, to show is support for the freedoms that "software livre" (aka free software, aka open source) mean to Brazil.


    • Lula's Free Java Ring
      The Brazilian economy is powered by the Java platform - even their new Free digital TV standard uses it. They took the decision to use Java for so much in part when we (Bruno, myself and a number of others) assured them, a number of years ago, that there would be Free implementations. The story ever since has been snowballing investment in Java skills and an economy capable not only of supporting its own needs but also of exporting skills - they've been making Java a priority for years.








  • Standards/Consortia

    • No mandatory audio and video codecs in HTML 5
      Ian Hickson, a Google employee involved in Google's work with the W3C and responsible for editing the forthcoming HTML 5 specification, has made a clean break with years of discussion regarding mandatory audio/video codecs in HTML 5. In a post on the WHATWG mailing list he says that, following endless public and private discussions, he has come to the conclusion that no codecs are likely to attract a consensus among the members of the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) for integration into their browsers.


    • Norway mandates PDF and ODF as exchange-formats
      Norway has mandated use of PDF and/or ODF as document exchange formats. The baseline reference list of approved standards and formats has been released in a "version 2.0"-edition where, amongst other things, ODF has been approved in edition 1.1


    • XHTML 2 to be discontinued
      It was supposed to be the biggest reform project in the history of the W3C. Yesterday, however, the web standardisation committee pulled the plug on XHTML 2, a project that had been on the road to disaster for years. According to the development schedule, the XHTML2 Working Group charter expires at the end of the year and will not be extended.






Leftovers



  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Phorm shares fall as BT opts out
      Shares in the online ad firm Phorm have fallen by more than 40% after BT said it had no immediate plans to use the service that tracks online behaviour.






  • Copyrights

    • RIAA triumphs in Usenet copyright case
      The Recording Industry Association of America has prevailed in its copyright fight against Usenet.com, according to court documents.

      In a decision that hands the RIAA an overwhelming victory, U.S. District Judge Harold Baer of the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of the music industry on all its main theories: that Usenet.com is guilty of direct, contributory, and vicarious infringement. In addition, and perhaps most important for future cases, Baer said that Usenet.com can't claim protection under the Sony Betamax decision. That ruling says companies can't be held liable for contributory infringement if the device they create is "capable of significant non-infringing uses."


    • Innocents accused of net piracy
      Some 20 net users have come forward claiming they have been wrongly accused of illegally sharing video games.


    • Google introduces license-filtering image search
      One of the most complicated and convoluted issues plaguing the Internet these days are copyright concerns. From music and videos to books, pictures and more, all content is likely to have some artist behind it who may or may not be willing to share. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to determine if something is legal to use on your own. Google understands this, and as of today has launched a new feature aimed at making finding completely free content a bit easier.


    • Google Finally Adds Creative Commons To Image Search








Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day



Alexandro Colorado, international open source evangelist 13 (2004)



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

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