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Links 18/11/2009: KDE 4.4 Gets Date, Google Phone is Coming



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Contents





GNU/Linux

  • TuxRadar by the numbers 2.0: the rise of Karmic
    Much as we'd rather not have to say it, Windows users continue to be the majority around here, and in fact they have grown slightly. Here's the breakdown, with our previous figures in brackets:

    1. Windows: 55.47% (55.11%) 2. Linux: 35.95% (34.47%) 3. Macintosh: 7.29% (9.19%) 4. iPhone: 0.38% (0.45%) 5. Unknown: 0.36% (0.35%) 6. SunOS: 0.17% (0.07%) 7. iPod: 0.11% (0.14%) 8. Android: 0.08% (0.05%) 9. FreeBSD: 0.08% (0.08%) 10. SymbianOS: 0.05% (0.03%) 11. OpenBSD: 0.01% (0.01%)




  • Google

    • Google’s Chrome OS Will Be Shown This Week
      Rumors have been swirling for days about the possible delivery of a beta version of Google’s much-discussed Chrome OS this week, as we noted last Friday. I pinged a few people at Google to get some clarity, and while they didn’t provide me with a specific answer as to whether the download will arrive this week, they did send me an invitation to a press event at Google’s Mountain View campus on Thursday morning, billed as “an update on our progress with Google Chrome OS.” In other words, it sounds like we’ll get to try it very soon.


    • Google to provide update on Chrome OS
      The search giant has arranged an event for journalists Thursday at its headquarters in Mountain View, California, just days after rumors circulated that the code might soon be released.


    • Google Chrome OS Code May Be Released To Public


    • Will Google really outfox Firefox?
      Google Chrome is a nifty little browser, but to date it's hardly had the impact of Mozilla's Firefox. That's partly because it's still Windows-only, but we suspect it's largely because you can't use extensions. Both of those things are about to change.


    • Chrome extensions approach release
      That space used to be occupied by the themes gallery, but in the newest versions of Chrome and Chromium on Mac, Windows and Linux the jigsaw pattern appears instead. A couple of sample extensions, built by Google, are already working - a Google Mail Checker and BuildBot Monitor.








  • Desktop





  • Server

    • Opengear Announces New Tool for Distributed Network Management
      Opengear Monitor comes with the popular infrastructure monitoring system Nagios pre-installed in a 1RU CMS6100 hardware appliance, and is capable of managing up to 255 distributed hosts and more than 1,000 services. A wide variety of plugins for Nagios means the system is extensible for monitoring additional apps and services.


    • Merge home and business computing with a hypervisor
      Brown and his team have been testing a way to keep personal and business separate at the client level. Using lightweight Linux operating systems on top of an open source Xen hyper visor, users are able to run one OS for personal use and one for business on the same machine whilst making sure the two don't meet and cause any security breaches.


    • Isilon doubles capacity
      It's interesting that Isilon is offering this product as Parascale is telling customers to stick their scale-out NAS vault in the cloud using loosely-coupled vanilla Linux X86 servers. Isilon's approach is to have a tighter coupling between high-powered X86 servers in its clusters and sell on both performance and scalability.


    • HABL launches 24x7x365 Linux solutions support
      Habl Consultancy, an Open Source and Linux solutions provider headquartered in Dubai Silicon Oasis announces a 24x7x365 Linux help desk support for the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.


    • Toshiba Launches Unified Messaging For Small Businesses
      The Linux appliance is designed to provide affordable messaging to small and medium-sized businesses, with 400 mailboxes and 300 hours of storage.


    • Openwave launches Linux based Integra 3.0 solution supporting all Internet traffic
      Software solutions company Openwave Systems Inc (Nasdaq:OPWV) has launched a Linux-based, proactive service mediation and policy management solution Openwave Integra 3.0, the company revealed on Tuesday.








  • Kernel Space

    • Going Beyond Just Measuring Frame Rates
      Yesterday marked the release of Phoronix Test Suite 2.2 and it was the best version yet with the addition of many new exciting and useful features. While this release was gratifying, there are much greater plans for the Phoronix Test Suite going into the next decade. It has already been shared that Windows support is coming, but there are other huge features coming too as soon as Q1'2010. Up to this point, most of the tests and the design of pts-core (the Phoronix Test Suite engine) have been focused on quantitative benchmarks with many of the tests spitting out a frame-rate, time, or some other measurement.


    • AMD Catalyst 9.11 For Linux Released
      AMD has today pushed out their Catalyst 9.11 Linux driver. This release contains support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and initial support for OpenSuSE 11.2 along with a handful of minor bug-fixes. This release does also contain proper support for the Radeon HD 5750 and Radeon HD 5770 graphics cards so that users do not encounter the "unsupported hardware" watermark any longer. Beyond that there isn't much to look at nor are there any XvBA improvements.


    • Mac OS X 10.6.2 vs. Ubuntu 9.10 Benchmarks
      Ubuntu 9.10 (with the 32-bit and 64-bit wins being added together) had won about ten of the sixteen benchmarks in this Mac OS X vs. Ubuntu Linux comparison. Mac OS X 10.6.2 though had a particularly strong advantage in the heavy computational tests like Crafty, the ray-tracing benchmarks, and PostgreSQL. Snow Leopard, however, had performed quite poorly with the NVIDIA graphics due to the regression we pointed out earlier in this article. Hopefully the bug that is seriously hampering the NVIDIA OpenGL performance on Mac OS X when running at different resolutions will be fixed in the near future.


    • The Case for Non-Free Firmware By Default
      Ubuntu comes with a nice application called “Hardware Drivers” (a.k.a. jockey-gtk) for installing proprietary drivers for wireless cards and other devices that lack open-source support. This is great, except when your only connection to the Internet is wireless and you have no way to download the driver or firmware you need. Here’s why this situation should change.






  • Applications







  • Desktop Environments

    • KDE 4.4 aims to take free desktop skyward
      Networked applications and social computing were high on the developers' agenda for the newest version of this highly-anticiapted open source desktop environment.


    • Amarok Refreshed: Better, Stronger, Faster!
      Even though it's a point release, the latest Amarok comes with some major new features and all the benefits of the 2.2.0 release. Dubbed "Weightless," the 2.2.1 release is full of bug fixes and polishing from 2.2.0 release as well as improvements to music management, podcasts, and the ability to update Amarok scripts.


    • Keep your Linux system up to date with KPackageKit


    • Revisiting KDE 4
      I think I am falling in love with the KDE desktop again simply because it is the power-user’s desktop. There are so many controls and things to configure that I am sure many KDE 4 desktops do not look anything alike. The stability has improved greatly and so has the software. I would encourage anyone who is a KDE 4 skeptic to give it a shot; it may just change your perspective, just like it did mine. Good work KDE team, keep it up!


    • KBlogger – Blog Authoring Desktop Client for Linux
      Windows Live Writer is a well known blog authoring desktop tool for windows, but if you are a Linux user then go for KBlogger. We had earlier discussed about using Google Docs as a blog authoring tool which can be used in Linux as well but if you want to have a desktop application then KBlogger will fulfill your requirement.








  • Distributions

    • ZevenOS 2.0 Screen Shots




    • New Releases

      • XtreemOS 2.0: Linux for the Grid
        XtreemOS 2.0 features the addition of a new Xosautoconfig tool that assists Grid administrators and users to quickly deploy XtreemOS nodes on Grids, Virtual Machines and test beds. Additionally, the 2.0 release allows for the creation and management of dynamic virtual organisations, supports Application Execution Management (AEM) and includes a replicated and distributed object-based file system called XtreemFS.








    • Red Hat Family

      • AIX tips for RHEL4 administrators


      • Red Hat Raised by S&P - Analyst Blog




      • Fedora

        • Fedora 12 Unites Latest Features and Usability Into Compelling Free Distribution


        • Mint 8 achieves RC1, and Fedora 12 goes final
          The Linux Mint team has announced the first (RC1) release candidate of the Ubuntu 9.10-based Linux Mint 8. Meanwhile, the Fedora community has released the final version of Fedora 12, and an eWEEK review praises the release for its improved system privilege management and virtualization features.


        • Fedora 12 Takes Aim at Linux Networking
          Fedora 12, codenamed "Constantine," made its debut this week, aimed at providing users with a long list of improvements for both servers, desktops and netbooks.

          While the latest installment of the Red Hat-sponsored community Linux distribution offers many new features, at the top of the list for users including Fedora's project leader, Paul Frields, are improved networking capabilities that raise the bar for mobile connectivity on Linux.


        • Fedora 12 Touts Virtualization Tools


        • Fedora Linux 12 arrives, ups multimedia support
          For systems administrators using Samba, GFS2 Clustered Samba has been added and improvements in high-availability clustering is designed to make sharing data across machines easier and more reliable.


        • Building On-Ramps on the Fedora 12 Highway
          It's an orientation that Frields sees as central to the GNU/Linux distribution's rapid growth over the last five years, as well as the focus in the new Fedora 12 release.


        • Fedora 12 Review and Commentary
          There is a great third party product for Fedora called Easy Life that you can download that installs and configures a ton of settings by default for you (ubuntu users may compare it to the deceased automatix).

          It does the following:

          * Sets "sudo" command up for your regular user; * Configures RPMFusion repository for extra and non-free software; * Installs Flash Player plugin; * Installs all kinds of multimedia Codecs (h264,divx,xvid,mp3 etc); * Installs additional fonts; * Installs Skype; * Installs Sun Java and Sun Java Plugin for Firefox; * Integrates Sun Java with system-switch-java; * Installs Google apps (Picasa, Desktop); * And many others...


        • Fedora 12, upgrade or fresh-install?
          Upgrade seems to be a better option when you have a lot of stuff installed on your system and you don't want to restore configurations for all of them after a fresh install.


        • Tip of the hat: Fedora 12 a strong update
          We asked him if there are any particularly interesting new features in the Fedora 12 release that haven't been extensively highlighted by reviews. One example that he thinks deserves a closer look is the new automated bug reporting feature that makes it easier for users to help identify problems. This is an example of how Fedora is lowering the barriers to entry for new contributors and making the development process more inclusive in simple ways.


        • Fedora 12 Installation and Post Installation Guide
          Fedora 12, codenamed Constantine, is released! Just for the info, Fedora is an RPM based Linux Distribution, an Operating System in other words, developed by the community supported Fedora Project and sponsored by Red Hat. Fedora contains only free and Open Source software. Some of Fedora's 12 new features are Gnome 2.28, KDE 4.3, better web cam support!, and many others. Finally presto is enabled by default which means smaller updates to be downloaded and faster updates also!


        • Interview: Fedora Mini maintainer Peter Robinson
          Q1. Can you talk a bit about your work with the OLPC/Geode? Was the OLPC's decision to move to ARM related to your interest in bringing Moblin support to Fedora Mini?

          A1. I got involved in OLPC through the original request for interest about a Fedora for Small Devices to the main fedora-devel mailing list. I originally started looking at reducing dependencies in Fedora so it would more easily fit in small spaces, and was looking at GNOME Mobile and Hildon for MID style devices. I was already a package maintainer of a number of packages useful to smaller devices. One of the Fedora people (Jeremy Katz from memory) involved in OLPC directed me towards the Fedora-OLPC inititive to get their changes upstream, and asked if I was interested in helping out as they were doing similar things and could do with some help. I was hooked.












    • Debian Family

      • The Debian Installer – The Most Flexible Linux Installer
        I was just recently blown away by what I can accomplish with the Debian installer on getting Debian installed on a system. I used to think that the openSUSE installer was the most flexible Linux installer, with Anaconda running a close second, but I think I’m going to at least put the Debian installer in a 2-way tie for first with openSUSE. The only reason I would say that, is because the openSUSE installer uses a hub-and-spoke design to installing the operating system. This means you can pick and choose what you want to install, rather than going through the entire installer itself. Further, the openSUSE installer supports installing from a SMB share on a Windows network, with neither Anaconda nor the Debian installer support (that I can tell).

        [...]

        The options seem to be virtually endless! I was a Red Hat and SUSE trainer for a bit, and I really grew to love the Anaconda an openSUSE installers. They are powerful, flexible installers. However, after learning what was possible with Debian, it seemed clear to me that the Debian installer held the upper hand. Not because I prefer Debian for my default operating system on all my computers, but because of what was immensely possible with it.


      • How to Install SDLMAME and SDLMESS onto Ubuntu


      • An Amusing Observation
        Everyone, community members, developers, Canonical employees, Mark Shuttleworth, Jono Bacon, we all pronounce it a little bit differently. I’ve heard eww-boon-too, eww-bun-too, yoo-boon-too, yoo-bun-too, oo-bun-too, oo-boon-too and a few more that I can’t figure out how to phoneticize.


      • Add more beauty to Ubuntu 9.10
        Although Ubuntu 9.10 comes with pretty themes and a new set of icons, you might want to add your personal touch to your desktop. I will try to give you some ideas to add more beauty to Ubuntu 9.10.


      • Dell Shows Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Some Love
        So far, Dell has shown little interest in Ubuntu servers and has focused mainly on Ubuntu notebooks and netbooks. But I’ll be curious to get an update from Dell following the Ubuntu Developers Summit.












  • Devices/Embedded

    • In-memory database rev'd, wins customers
      McObject is shipping the final version 4.0 of its flagship ExtremeDB, a Linux-ready, in-memory database for real-time applications, adding a new API and improved multi-user performance. McObject also announced two new customer wins: the MyYearbook social networking site and SCL Elements, the makers of the Can2Go wireless automation system.


    • Embedded servers have PC/104 SBCs inside
      Diamond Systems announced a series of "embedded application servers" based on previously released PC/104 SBCs (single board computers). The Octavio-HLV and Octavio-ATHM run Linux 2.6 on 800MHz Vortex86DX or 500MHz Via Mark CoreFusion processors, respectively, include cableless construction, and sport soldered-on memory, the company says.


    • Media server offers up to 14TB NAS storage
      Envive, Inc. announced a Linux-based, HD-ready media server that offers up to 14TB of network-attached storage (NAS) capacity. The TheaterStation Multi-Zone Digital Media Management System with Centralized Networked Storage is available with TheaterStation "TSClient Mini" satellite devices, as well as several NAS storage options, the Carrollton, Texas-based company says.




    • Android

      • Android dev kit targets OMAP35x SoCs
        Mentor Graphics is shipping an Android development platform for the Texas Instruments (TI) OMAP35x system-on-chip (SoC) family. The Android Development System for OMAP35x supports TI's OMAP35x evaluation module (EVM) and open source BeagleBoard development boards, says the company.


      • Android 2.0 debuts on touchscreen tablet
        Manufacturer Innovative Converged Devices (ICD) has released the specifications for a sleek and sexy touchscreen tablet onto which it plans to install the Eclair edition of Google’s Android OS.


      • Android's Dalvik to be JIT boosted
        The Dalvik team have disclosed that the recently released Android 2.0 code includes the source code for a Just In Time (JIT) compiler for Dalvik. A JIT compiler takes bytecodes and compiles them to native code for faster execution. The JIT compiler in the Android Open Source Project's release is a development snapshot and therefore is not enabled in Android 2.0, but developers can enable it for testing when compiling the "eclair" source code.




      • ARM

        • ARM and Aricent aim to make Android development easier
          ARM sees Android as a useful vehicle to help push its processor architecture into a wider range of devices, and fend off the march of Intel's low power Atom range into its key mobile and embedded territories. It has been assembling a broad ecosystem around its Android efforts, targeted at products as diverse as digital photo frames and netbooks, and its latest move is to set up a web site to make it easier for companies to 'productize' Android.


        • ARM launches Android centre
          ARM launched its Android Solution Centre today, created as a resource for designers and developers of ARM technology-based products running on Android, the open-source platform from the Open handset Alliance. The community has the support of more than 35 ARM partners.


        • ARM is looking to drive development for devices using Google's Android OS.
          ARM has unveiled a new alliance of 35 tech firms to speed up the use of devices using Google's Android operating system.


        • ARM opens Android happy place
          ARM has unveiled a place where Android developers can help each other be Android developers.

          The chip designer calls this place The Solution Center for Android, boasting that "more than" 35 ARM-friendly developers have already joined the fun.








      • Phones

        • The Google Phone Is Very Real. And It’s Coming Soon
          The debate over Droid v. iPhone rages on, but lots more Android surprises are on the way. Get ready for the Google Phone. It’s no longer a myth, it’s real.


        • Droid is a major threat to Apple
          One analyst predicts a 900 per cent increase in Android smartphone adoption over the coming months. Others think Android will surpass the Iphone in worldwide adoption by 2012, with 14 per cent of the global smartphone market.












    • Sub-notebooks

      • Moblin 2.0 review
        Launched two years ago by Intel and now hosted by The Linux Foundation, Moblin is a Linux platform aimed at netbooks and mobile internet devices.












Free Software/Open Source

  • Bridging Open Source Enterprise and Community Collaboration
    This is the theme of "The Changing Role of the Enterprise in the Open Source Community," a talk given by Tim Golden, Open Source Software Infrastructure Strategist at Bank of America during last week's End User Collaboration Summit. The Summit, hosted by the Linux Foundation, gathered high-level Linux maintainers and Linux developers to collaborate with senior IT leaders from the largest and most dynamic Linux users in the world.


  • Ex-Percussion-ist Beardslee Joins Open Source dotCMS
    Notice a trend? Open source is "stealing" away closed-sourced content management talent.


  • Signs O' The Times
    3. I am using my own laptop, as apparently there isn't the budget even for mices. This doesn't bother me overly, though it does strike me as a tad cheeky. The upside is that I'm using Ubuntu in a shared production environment for the first time ever. This includes GIMP, Geany, Evolution and Firefox.


  • Firefox 3.6 Beta 3 (Revision 3) Is Cooking
    Mozilla is cooking a new Beta Build of the next iteration of its open source browser. Early adopters will have a fresh revision, the third one since Firefox 3.6 debuted into Beta stage, available for download soon. Whether referred to as Firefox 3.6 Beta 3 or Firefox 3.6 Beta revision 3, the new release is just around the corner. In fact, Mozilla plans to release it either later today or tomorrow morning. At the start of this week, the company building the Firefox open source browser was undecided as to the specific deadline for the availability of Firefox 3.6 Beta 3/Revision 3.


  • YouTube Direct Gives News Orgs A Way To Accept User-Submitted Videos
    Dubbed YouTube Direct, the new open source application will allow news orgs to integrate a video upload tool directly into their sites, where they can accept and review user uploaded footage.


  • vApus for Open Source: Creating a virtualized stress test
    Thus began the process of creating vApus For Open Source, or vApus FOS, as we like to call it in the lab.


  • GENIVI Alliance Strengthens Presence in Japanese Automotive Industry
    Since its founding in March 2009, GENIVI has grown from eight founding members, including BMW Group, Delphi, GM, Intel, Magneti Marelli, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Visteon, and Wind River, to more than 40 members and continues to drive automotive and consumer electronics connectivity, multimedia and performance capabilities through open source adoption.




  • Hosted

    • Open-source tools could make it easier to build a hybrid cloud
      At the Large Installation System Administration Conference, held earlier this month in Baltimore, Eucalyptus creator Rich Wolski talked about his creation works.


    • concrete5 Offers Supported Hosting
      concrete5 has been downloaded about 70,000 times from SourceForge. There are over 20,000 sites on the web that routinely check concrete5.org servers for updates. That only happens if the owner is using the site editing tools frequently, so there's likely a good deal more sites powered with concrete5 around the web. "We are really proud of that almost every other person who downloads our software up using it, but in doing the math we realized we are hosting a laughably small number of those installs on our own servers" says Franz Maruna CEO of Concrete CMS.








  • Security

    • Metasploit 3.3 Now Available
      The Metasploit Project announced the immediate availability of version 3.3 of the Metasploit Framework, the world's most popular open source exploit development and penetration testing platform.


    • Metasploit 3.3 released
      Nearly one year after the release of Metasploit 3.2, the Metasploit Project developers have announced the availability of version 3.3 of the Metasploit Framework.








  • Business

    • Tech Data Launches Open Source Program
      Tech Data has launched a new program to help open source ISVs and solution providers better market their solutions to business customers.


    • Larry Augustin takes over at SugarCRM
      Since earlier this year, SugarCRM, the open source customer relationship management company, has been without a full time CEO. Larry Augustin, veteran of VA Linux, who joined the SugarCRM board in 2005, had been acting as interim CEO and today, the company announced he was to assume the post on a more permanent basis. Augustin, who was recently named most influential executive in the open source industry, said "I am delighted to lead SugarCRM, a company with a large customer base, an extensive partner network and tremendous employees".


    • KÃœRT Ltd and Zabbix SIA Announce Partnership
      KÃœRT Information Security and Data Recovery Ltd. has signed a Certified Partnership agreement with Zabbix SIA, the company - creator of the Open Source IT monitoring solution Zabbix.


    • BonitaSoft Announces OEM Partnership With eXo Platform
      eXo Platform, a major provider of open source collaborative software, has just reached an OEM partnership agreement with BonitaSoft, the first provider of open source Business Process Management (BPM) solutions.








  • Government

    • Netherlands' open-source policy goes double Dutch
      By many measures, the Netherlands is a great place for open-source software. In 2007, the government started to phase in a policy that gave preferential treatment to open-source software in IT purchasing decisions. Initially, at least, the policy seems to have been a success, with a July 2009 study highlighting a wide array of open-source software in use by government.

      Sounds good, right?

      Maybe not. According to sources within the government and others that sell to the government (both proprietary and open-source vendors), the government's rigid definition and management of the policy has more often than not thwarted its attempts to go open.


    • EU space agency to start a repository for open source applications
      The European Space Agency (ESA) wants to build a repository for hosting and developing it's open source applications, including flight software, ground software and engineering tools.








  • Openness

    • Access to online information and knowledge – advancing human rights and democracy
      Information and knowledge are crucial factors in human development. We are reminded of this constantly, from the “knowledge economy” we live in, to the emotional and financial power that information and communications technologies (ICTs) have over our lives. In the words of philosopher Francis Bacon, “Scientia potentia est” – knowledge itself is power. Present-day movements for access to knowledge and the right to information have their origins in this simple and arguably ancient idea. Despite a rich history and wide intellectual acceptance, the right to know is not universally granted, and the right to know on the internet is a particularly bitter struggle in many parts of the world.[1]


    • B-Reel goes Open Source to Standardize Digital and Integrated Production
      As for the open source approach, "we just figured it would be easier for everybody to contribute via a wiki than by email or meetings. We kind of hope that would [lead] to getting balanced general terms, a unified view on the process and some good assets to use for producers. We think it will evolve in iterations as an ongoing thing, in smaller and smaller movements, with more and more focus," Wahlquist says. "Whenever there is a substantial addition, we'll add it to the bidsheet. We would welcome anyone to endorse it, add to it or to help in any way."


    • Jimmy Wales interview: Wikipedia is focusing on accuracy
      Jimmy Wales is eating dinner alongside Princess Caroline of Monaco. Web royalty has come to meet the real thing. Wales, the man who co-founded Wikipedia eight years ago, is in Monaco to be awarded the Monaco Media Prize at the principality’s annual invite-only media forum.








  • Programming

    • Gerrit: Google-style code review meets git
      Gerrit, a Git-based system for managing code review, is helping to spread the popular distributed revision control system into Android-using companies, many of which have heavy quality assurance, management, and legal processes around software. HTC, Qualcomm, TI, Sony Ericsson, and Android originator Google are all running Gerrit, project leader Shawn Pearce said in a talk at the October 2009 GitTogether event, hosted at Google in Mountain View.


    • JetBrains upgrades Ruby IDE
      RubyMine 2.0 features improvements in refactoring and code analysis, as well as a set of tools for code changes in software projects


    • Where open source was, and where it is now
      Over the years of my observation, coverage and participation in open source software, SourceForge (both the code repository site SourceForge.net and the corporation) has typically served as one key barometer of where things stood. However, this began to change a couple of years ago, when I wrote about how the resources for finding, understanding, assessing open source software were growing. Today, we see that the bulk of open source software — both code and communities — have nothing close to a single home or destination. Today we see that the SourceForge destination has given way to Google Code, GitHub, Eclipse, Codeplex, Wazi, individual forges for projects and vendors and other places where open source software and its communities conduct their business.








Leftovers

  • World Wide Web Foundation kicks off
    WITH A LOT of debate currently underway about the development of the Internet, both in terms of form and function, the World Wide Web Foundation (W3F) has expanded it operations globally to help promote the web for good causes.


  • Judge Dredd 'Black Box' recorder/spy kit for guns unveiled
    A major weapons manufacturer has exhibited a so-called "Black Box" which could be fitted to small arms - for instance rifles or submachine guns - and record details of every shot fired, potentially including location, target and even user identity.


  • Hackers Fail To Crack Brazilian Voting Machines
    From Nov 10th to Nov 13th the Brazilian Government hosted a public hacking contest to test the robustness of its voting machines. 38 participants from private and public IT companies (including the Brazilian Federal Police) were divided into 9 teams, which tried several different approaches to try to tamper with the software installed on the machines, and even to physically interfere in other stages of the process. All attempts (aside from a minor one which would not compromise the overall results) failed, and observations from the participants and neutral observers will be taken into account to improve the process even further.


  • Our sliding birthrate
    Global fertility rates are falling at a jaw-dropping pace - with vast economic and social consequences for all of us


  • World leaders 'must not use recession to delay action on climate change'
    World leaders cannot use the global recession as an excuse to delay action on climate change, according to leading economists. In a new analysis they predict that the economic downturn will cut carbon emissions by 9% by 2012 and delay the onset of "dangerous" climate change by just 21 months.




  • Finance

    • Bernanke Blames the Banks, Trumka Calls His Bluff
      Taxpayers have done their share. They have put trillions of dollars at risk in an effort to stabilize the financial system and have gotten little in return. Too many banks are not lending to small businesses, they are not helping American families facing foreclosure, but they are raising credit card and other bank fees at a rapid clip.


    • Row breaks out over Gordon Brown's plan to tax City profits
      A row blew up last night after Gordon Brown promoted plans for an international tax on City dealing that could raise funds for the world's poor and help developing countries tackle climate change.

      No sooner had the prime minister floated the idea of a tax on bank transactions than it was shot down by US treasury secretary Timothy Geithner, Canadian finance minister Jim Flaherty and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the IMF.

      At a G20 meeting in St Andrews, Scotland, Brown said the "social contract" between financiers and the British public had broken down and needed to change.








  • AstroTurf

    • The Coal Industry Wants Your Cash to Save Them
      BHP-Billiton ditched its steel interests long ago and is now one of the world's biggest miners and exporters of coal for power stations. It is also a member of the WCI. In its report, titled Securing the Future: Financing Carbon Capture and Storage in a Post-2012 World, the WCI argue that there is an urgent need for massive funding of CCS trials by governments and with a generous slice of revenues from emissions trading schemes. Current funding, the WCI claims, is "too slow to allow necessary global GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions reductions goals to be achieved." Not surprisingly, they identify that "the appetite for this will largely hinge on public acceptance."


    • Nike Foe Ballinger Takes on Timberland
      Look out Timberland.

      Nike foe Jeffrey Ballinger has the New Hampshire-based maker of outdoor wear – primarily boots – in his sights.

      Ballinger has cult hero status in the labor movement.

      His big deal?

      Exposing mistreatment of Nike contract workers in Indonesia in the mid-1990s.

      And kicking off the global anti-sweatshop movement.

      Ballinger had Nike on the run.

      Hundreds of articles appeared in newspapers around the world.

      And if it wasn’t the headline – it was the underlying story – Nike mistreats its workers.








  • Internet/Censorship/Web Abuse/Rights







  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • The war on file sharing hits Australia
      Cover the windows, stay indoors and bunker down — the war on file sharing has reached Australian shores. Copyright owners have a fair claim to their content, but is it fair to saddle internet service providers (ISPs) with the responsibility of policing their users? And just as file sharers are stealing copyrighted content, should copyright enforcers be able to steal our privacy?

      The current legal case between Australia's third largest ISP, iiNet, and Hollywood studio copyright representative, Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), brings these issues to the fore. Under the auspices of AFACT, Hollywood studios, including Walt Disney Studios, Universal Films, Paramount Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox, decided to sue iiNet late last year. The companies allege iiNet did nothing to help the studios enforce their copyright — a key requirement to be eligible for Safe Harbour provisions under the 2006 amended Copyright Act.


    • Viacom's top lawyer: suing P2P users "felt like terrorism"
      Michael Fricklas, Viacom's general counsel, tells a group of Yale Law students that he's a huge fan of fair use, doesn't want to take down your YouTube mashup, and has no plans to start suing P2P users in federal courts—but he still loves DRM and "three strikes" laws.


    • Music: Too Expensive to Be Free, Too Free to Be Expensive
      MySpace, rumored to be on the verge of purchasing the free music streaming site imeem, is struggling to keep up with its own payments to music copyright holders, according to a top News Corp executive — a problem that has plagued every other licensed free music service.

      The digital music doubters could be right with the contention that advertising revenue can’t cover the costs of licensing music. Meanwhile, illegitimate free music sources continue to proliferate, rendering paid music subscriptions irrelevant for most music fans.


    • Modernist poetry and copyright maximalism
      Paul Zukofsky, heir to poet Louis Zukofsky and his copyrights, thinks he gets to decide what “fair use” is — and it doesn’t include quoting his father, even for an academic dissertation, without Paul’s permission and, in many cases, a fee. He says he generally waives the fee for dissertations, but you are then forbidden to publish the dissertation.










The Red Hat Way



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