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Links 26/2/2010: OpenSolaris Support Model to Change



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Contents





GNU/Linux



Free Software/Open Source

  • 9 Free, Open Source Tools for Video and Media Playback and Encoding
    It wasn't that long ago that it was impossible to find good, free open source tools for working with and viewing video. Now that video runs rampant on the web, though, there are a whole lot of applications worth getting, even if you're currently happy with your video and encoding apps. Here is an update to our ongoing collection of open source tools, with nine good choices here--all free.


  • 7 of the Best Free Linux Configuration Management Tools
    System administrators are responsible for the maintenance and operation of a computer system and network. This is a major task with a huge number of decisions to be made regarding the configuration of the system.


  • Ogg Theora vs. H.264: head to head comparisons
    Streaming video websites like YouTube face growing pressure from consumers to provide support for native standards-based Web video playback. The HTML5 video element provides the necessary functionality to build robust Web media players without having to depend on proprietary plugins, but the browser vendors have not been able to build a consensus around a video codec.

    Although the h264 codec has gained dominance due to its excellent compression and broad support in the consumer electronics ecosystem, it is covered by patents that preclude broad royalty-free usage. Several browser vendors, including Opera and Mozilla, favor the Ogg Theora media codec, which is believed to be unencumbered by patents. Ogg may offer advantages from a licensing standpoint, but there are still many unanswered questions about its quality and suitability for Internet video streaming services.

    [...]

    Some streaming video experts, including Ozer, are not convinced that royalty-free VP8 will solve all of the problems that the industry is facing with standards-based video. He contends that the cost of reencoding existing content will make it difficult for streaming content providers to adopt alternatives to h264 at this stage regardless of whether the alternative is royalty-free.


  • DtO: Geekette's Syndrome


  • Boxee Beta Newer Version Released
    Boxee has always surprised everyone with its lightning fast and unique interface. Boxee is like the Google Chrome of Multimedia apps. It is truly a revolutionary application. Only a month has been passed since the official release of Boxee Beta and you have a newer version of Boxee Beta up for grabs.


  • SEP open sources parts of its backup solution
    Backup and data recovery specialist SEP AG has announced that it has released several components of its SEP Sesam backup software to the open source community. The SEP Sesam Storage Server consists of two modules; the Sesam Multiplex Stream-Server (SMS) module and the Sesam Transfer Protocol Server (STPD) module.


  • Open Source E learning Stack
    The answer is to manage raw resources using the features of a Document Management package such as the Open Source product Alfresco. Alfresco's Smart Space concept allows rules to be set on shared folders (say a public folder allocated for the VLE 'drop off' point) which in effect converts most of the mess into some kind of order.




  • Sun/OpenSolaris

    • Oracle Explains Unclear Message About OpenSolaris
      To be sure, some people could read the page and ascertain that OpenSolaris is not long for the enterprise world. Oracle, a famously proprietary software company, already does plenty of business with Windows, Solaris, AIX, Red Hat Linux, Ubuntu and other operating systems.

      OpenSolaris, however, appears to be safe for the time being.


    • Oracle Still To Make OpenSolaris Changes
      As one former Sun customer points out, the subscription link for OpenSolaris has been removed. George Shepard formerly of Sun and now with Oracle has iterated that Oracle is indeed planning on changing the support model for OpenSolaris, but no announcements are yet available.


    • Oracle kills OpenSSO Express - ForgeRock steps in






  • Events





  • Web

    • British Library unveils web archive
      IBM Big Sheets is based on the Apache Hadoop Java framework, and promises to process large amounts of data "quickly and efficiently".


    • IBM BigSheets to preserve fleeting Web data
      Boloker explained that BigSheets is a private cloud service running parallel MapReduce jobs on all of the library's machines. And while it's a private cloud (take note--private cloud spotted in the wild), the British Library will make the data and services available for people to access.


    • Steam UI Update Beta Drops IE Rendering For WebKit
      Tracking games and achievements have both gotten simpler, and Valve has dropped the Internet Explorer rendering engine in favor of WebKit.








  • Releases

    • Brand New Lernid Released
      Ready for the awesomeness that is Ubuntu Opportunistic Developer Week, we have a shiny new Lernid for you all to rock the week with. Lernid is the online learning tool for getting the most out of our learning weeks. It makes connecting a doddle and provides interactive features such as showing slides, web pages and more.








  • Government

    • Spanish government's adds software development site to OSOR's list
      The Spanish government's Technology Transfer Centre (CTT) is the newest name on the list of federated open source software sites in the European Union.

      As of Thursday this week searches for open source applications on OSOR.eu will also provide links to the more than 130 software projects that are hosted on CTT's software development website.






  • Openness

    • Hungry? How About An Open Source Restaurant
      Imagine just finishing a great dish at a restaurant and wishing you could make that at home. Well at the Instructables Restaurant you can do just that. In fact not only can you get the "source code" of the dish you ate, but you can download the plans to the furniture and fixtures as well.








  • Programming

    • Zend Server monitors PHP scripts
      Zend Logo Zend Technologies, a major contributor to the development of PHP, has announced the release of version 5.0 of its Zend PHP Web application server. Zend Server is a complete package for implementing web applications via PHP. In addition to the web and application server, the company also offers the Zend Studio development environment for Eclipse and Zend's PHP framework. Zend released version 1.10.2 of the framework at the same time as the new server release.


    • The Nature and Importance of Source Code and Learning Programming with Python
      In conclusion, if you or anyone you know wants to learn how to program computers, I recommend starting with Python using MIT’s on-line course materials supplemented with the other on-line resources mentioned above (and summarized in the table below). I’ve now watched more than half of the videos from the MIT 6.00 course and I’ve worked through several of their assignments: this is a great course! Even with nearly three decades experience programming including a couple of college-level courses in the 1980s, I’m finding the class is more than just good review for me: I’ve learned a few new things (in particular, dynamic programming and the knapsack problem). Python’s clean syntax and elegant design will help as one delves into writing code for the first time. Its extensive libraries and repositories will support the application of one’s newly acquired computing skills to solve problems in the area of the student’s special interests whatever they may be … and that’s the way we learn best: by doing something that we personally care about!








  • ODF

    • ODP View
      Web based Open Office Presentation Viewer -v0.0000 - A effort to make a pure Javascript ODP Viewer


    • Relevant link of today: OOXML not suitable for Norwegian government
      A study published by the Norwegian "Direktoratet for forvaltning og IKT" (Agency for public adminstration and ICT) comes to the result that OOXML is not suitable for being used by the Norwegian government. The study is available online in Norwegian.


    • WP-United User Manual: Help Needed!
      You can download the manual from SVN, here. It is in ODF, and it would be great if it could stay that way — if you are using software by The Man, you can download an ODF add-in to open and save the format. (For downloads, I will convert it to PDF, and probably many other formats. The key is keeping the source in ODF).


    • odtPHP


    • Danish Open Source Vendors declares victory in open standards war
      Many years ago (10 December 2003), I helped to cofound an organisation with the aim of uniting all the good forces to promote the commercial use of open source in Denmark. The result was The Danish Open Source Vendors’ Association (aka OSL – an acronym from the Danish name Foreningen af Open Source Leverandører). Yesterday, OSL held another general meeting where among other more important things I was reelected to its board of directors for another 2 year period.








Leftovers

  • GoDaddy store your passwords in clear-text and may try to SSH to your VPS without permission


  • Heros
    In 1997, the EFF awarded George Antheil (who was long dead) and my hero (who by that time was retired in Florida) a "Pioneer Award", fifty-six years after they had submitted their patent.

    If you look at the patent, you still might not recognize the name of my hero, Hedy Kiesler Markey, nor might you know her by her birth name of Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler, but most of you probably have at least heard of her stage name, Hedy Lamarr, once called "The most beautiful woman in the World".


  • MacGyver of the Day: Electronics Hacker Jeri Ellsworth




  • Science

    • Senators blast NASA for lacking vision
      A Senate science subcommittee clashed with NASA's chief on Wednesday, saying the firm and the White House lacked a clear vision and goal for the program.


    • Saturn moon could be hospitable to life
      NASA said on Tuesday that a flyby of planet's Enceladus moon showed small jets of water spewing from the southern hemisphere, while infrared mapping of the surface revealed temperatures warmer than previously expected.

      "The huge amount of heat pouring out of the tiger stripe fractures may be enough to melt the ice underground," said John Spencer, a composite infrared spectrometer team member based at Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo.


    • Gemfields discovers 6,225-carat 'elephant' emerald in Zambia
      Gemstone producer Gemfields today announced the discovery of an "exceptional" 6,225 carat rough emerald in its Kagem mine in Zambia.


    • Large Hadron Collider in multi-magnet quench hiccup
      A technical hiccup has delayed the planned restart of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the titanic subterranean magno-doughnut particle smasher situated deep beneath the Franco-Swiss border.








  • Security

    • Good neighbours tidy up their village... then get a ticking off from the council
      They thought they were being helpful by collecting litter around their village.

      But despite leaving the pavements and verges spotless not everyone was pleased with their efforts.

      For it seems the volunteers of North Stifford, Essex, who filled 43 bags of rubbish during three hours of hard work, turned out to be a little too good at their job for the likes of the local council.


    • Laptop surveillance kid was disciplined when spying authorities mistook candies for pills
      According to the lawyer for the family of the boy whose school spied on him at home through a covert webcam application on his laptop, the boy was disciplined for eating candies that bear a passing resemblance to pills.

      The Lower Merion School District has admitted that the laptops it distributed to students were configured so that administrators could activate their webcams without alerting the user, but insists that the spying capability was only used to help find stolen laptops.






  • Environment

    • Don't let commercial fleets fish the Atlantic bluefin to extinction
      No fish represents the growing crisis in our oceans better than the Atlantic bluefin tuna. Thanks to relentless overfishing by large commercial fleets in the last 40 years, the bluefin population has crashed by over 80%. Marine biologists worldwide are warning that unless the Atlantic bluefin is declared endangered and international trade in the fish is banned, the fish will go extinct in a matter of years.


    • Geothermal Gardens and the Hot Zones of the City
      The climate of the city is altered, in other words, literally from the ground up; using the functional equivalent of terrestrially powered ovens, otherwise botanically impossible species can healthily take root.


    • Imagining a Carbon Neutral Seattle: A Collection of Ideas
      Let’s imagine 10 moments of an average day that might be different in a carbon neutral city. The following are a collection of ideas, from my point of view. They are a thought explorations in how I think carbon neutrality will benefit cities and the people who live there. Even if your city has not announced carbon neutrality as a goal, you too can think about just how different your city would be in a bright green future.


    • Silicon Sweatshops: Another black eye for Apple supplier
      A Taiwanese manufacturer that makes LCD screens and components for tech giants like Apple confirmed Thursday that more of its workers in China were sickened by chemical exposure than it previously reported.


    • 5 Reasons You Should Be Scared of Apple






  • Finance

    • citibank is so not fabulis
      In a bit of strange and disturbing news, fabulis discovered today that someone(s) at Citibank had decided arbitrarily to block fabulis’ bank account due to what was described to us on the phone as “objectionable content” on our blog. In fact, the account — it turns out — was blocked a few days ago without anyone letting us know about it by phone or email.

      Huh?


    • Fed chief: We're looking into firms betting on Greek default
      Bernanke said the Fed is examining companies' use of credit default swaps, a form of insurance against bond defaults. Bernanke made the comments at the start of a Senate Banking Committee hearing. It marked the second day where the Fed chief testified on Capitol Hill about the state of the economy.


    • Bernanke wants answers on Goldman role in Greece
      U.S. regulators are looking into how Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs (GS.N) helped debt-stricken Greece arrange derivatives deals that critics say were used to disguise the size of its budget deficits.


    • Goldman Sachs, the WSJ, and Consumer Protection
      It's almost worth accepting the bad idea of a new government bureaucracy just to see how it would handle the Goldman Sachs-Wall Street Journal claim that buyers of Goldman Sachs mutual funds and individual customers of its asset management business somehow don't qualify as retail customers or consumers. It's really a preposterous claim by both Mr. Blankfein and by the Journal.


    • Goldman Sachs Is 'Morally Culpable' for Greek Debt (Video)
      Video: Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Stefano Harney, a professor at the University of London, talks with Bloomberg's Andrea Catherwood about Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s involvement in $15 billion of bond sales for Greece after arranging a currency swap that allowed the government to hide the extent of its deficit.


    • In Taibbi’s Latest, More Shots at Goldman
      In a signature polemic, Matt Taibbi, columnist for Rolling Stone, takes on his favorite target, Goldman Sachs, accusing Wall Street’s most profitable investment bank of setting the stage for the country’s next crisis hardly more than a year after it was on the brink of collapse.

      Though difficult to quote at length in this publication, Mr. Taibbi tries to explain how the bank made the gains it did given the pitiful state of the American economy.


    • Billionaire Singh Eschews Goldman Model for His India Brokerage
      Malvinder Singh, the 37-year-old Indian billionaire trying to build a global financial-services company, says there’s one rival whose playbook he won’t copy: Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the most profitable securities firm in Wall Street history.








  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying





  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Blogger evicted from court whilst print journalist remains
      Many people now obtain their news from the internet. This method of communication has allowed a remarkable explosion of free speech, of providers of information (usually providing content which can be obtained for free) and a muliplicity of choice in what one reads. It is to be applauded.


    • BT could face criminal case over Phorm trials
      The Crown Prosecution Service has revealed that it is working with a top barrister on a potential criminal case against BT over its secret trials of Phorm's targeted advertising system.


    • Colbert Takes On Ridiculous Restrictions Over Talking About The Olympics
      On last night's Colbert Report, Stephen brought on his brother, Ed Colbert, an international copyright lawyer to discuss the totally ridiculous restrictions on what he can and cannot say concerning his Olympics coverage, to avoid getting sued by either NBC or the Olympics, leading Colbert to dub his reports the "Vancouverage of the quadrennial cold weather competition" to avoid saying things like Vancouver, Olympics or even winter games, as those are all on the forbidden list.








  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • The Decade in DRM (and announcing Day Against DRM, 2010)
      Since the late 1990s, a handful of media and technology companies has waged war against the public, imposing digital restrictions on the technology we use. Here's a rundown of this decade's most important moments in the fight against DRM, and an important announcement: Day Against DRM 2010 is happening on May 4th!

      Since the late 1990s, a handful of media and technology companies has waged war against the public. Their goal? To seize total control of our use of our copies of published works. Their method? Building restrictions into our technology -- Digital Restrictions Management, or DRM.








  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • About author rights
      Authors are always very happy when their paper is accepted for publication in a journal, as this shows that their work was deemed important but editors and referees. But they also want to make sure that their work gets read and does not disappear behind a subscription wall. There are several steps an author can take here.


    • Sexy textbook innovation?
      But if it takes off, it will benefit the student with lower prices--which have been a scandal. And it could benefit publishers by lowering their costs and get around the monopoly power of the patented ebook readers. This could also have differential impact on small publishers, if the software to update material is readily available. Authors may even end up liking it.


    • Men at Work appeal Down Under plagiarism ruling
      EMI Music has lodged an appeal against the ruling that the flute riff in Down Under by Oz band Men at Work was plagiarised from Lucky Country kids' favourite Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree.


    • Film industry appeals in iiTrial case
      AFACT has lodged a last minute appeal against a Federal Court judgement earlier this month which exonerated ISP iiNet for the copyright infringing activities of its subscribers.


    • Hollywood lawyers have another go at Aussie ISP
      Hollywood copyright lawyers are having another go at the Aussie ISP iiNet which recently won a case brought by the Australian Federation against Copyright Theft.










Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day



Dr. Hoang Le Minh, Deputy General Director, Department of Science and Technology, Ho Chi Minh City 03 (2004)

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

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