Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 14/3/2010: A Lot More Android in Devices, Dell Tablets

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Primal Scream!
      AAAGGGHHHHHH!!! I let that other OS do it to me again. Yesterday I was giving my second lecture for my computer science course. I was using an XP machine on a cart as a terminal via RDP to my GNU/Linux terminal server.

      I started up Impressive with a PDF slide show and some images to finish it off. I had set Impressive to show my progress bar for 20 minutes side to side. I had just got into it when a pop-up from the underlying OS intervened. It warned me that it would re-re-reboot in 14 minutes. “Cancel” was greyed out. I minimized my terminal window and it was still greyed-out. I didn’t want to interrupt my flow so I checked the time and decided I could finish in the time left. I dragged the pop-up to the side while roundly cursing that other OS.

    • There’s a Patch for That
      As a longtime Linux user, this seems to me to be a perfectly sensible idea; after all, it is essentially what is provided as part of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, for example. I subscribe to a security bulletin E-mail list; but there is also an automatic background process that runs daily and notifies me of any updates to the 25,295 packages that Ubuntu knows about. It makes keeping things up to date pretty painless. In the next few days, I’ll post an article here explaining how it works, which I think might clarify what Secunia is proposing to do.

    • WWD Reader Profile: Larry Salibra, Founder, Attigo
      A mix of operating systems keeps me in tune with latest on each platform. I use open source whenever possible because there’s no reason to spend money if there’s a free solution that works perfectly well. The open-source tools I use also free me from vendor lock-in:

      * Ubuntu 9.10 on the office computer, Snow Leopard on my MacBook Pro, Ubuntu 10.4 Beta on the home computer. * On Mac, Tunnelblick gets me through the Great Firewall of China, Adium keeps me in touch and IMKQIM replaces Apple’s poor Chinese input method. * On Ubuntu, I use Pidgin for chat and Banshee for tunes. * All machines have Netbeans for prototyping new features in Ruby on Rails and I make extensive use of the command line across all platforms. When Google Docs won’t suffice, we use OpenOffice to meet our needs.

  • Google

    • Review of Google-Chrome Web Browser
      I am considering pushing this out to my XP clients. I may convert my XP clients to GNU/Linux at the same time. Some consultation is in order. I have set up a backup server so staff can backup their files properly.

  • Kernel Space

    • Can You Design a Better Linux T-shirt Than Us?
      Today we launched a new initiative at the Linux Foundation: a merchandise store on These aren’t logo Ts that you get at every trade show (and probably use to dry your car.) The T-shirts, mugs, stickers and babies gear in the store are truly unique and hopefully capture the irreverence, wit and attitude of Linux and free software. My personal favorites:

      * FSCK the establishment * Free Your Code * and Fresh Kernels

  • Applications

    • Hugin Panorama Creator Software for Linux
      Hugin Panorama Creator Software for Linux: I've been looking for a Panorama creator application for my Linux box and bumped into Hugin. It's a free and open-source graphical user interface (GUI) for Panorama tools that's simple, easy-to-use, and gets the job done. Using Hugin, you can put together mosaic of photographs and turn them into a complete immersive panorama. You can also stitch any series of overlapping pictures and much more.

    • Fun with Gwibber themes
      In order to be fully buzzword compliant, all conference type gatherings in this web 2.0 social media age now have a compulsory twitter tag and live twitter projected display. Oggcamp (which, I would just like to mention, The Open Learning Centre is sponsoring) is no exception to this rule, but being all about Free culture needs to incorporate (or dents alongside the tweets. The best way to do this is to leverage (I have a buzzword for every situation) the existing technology and make Gwibber fit for the purpose of projecting a continuous stream following a hash tag at a conference. The first thing it needs is a full screen mode. I have hacked one in, but it needs a bit of improvement, some more bits really need to be hidden when in presentation mode. The next thing I wanted to do was give each of the various hashtag pipelines (or “hash pipes” as I like to call them) it’s own theme. This bit was tricky as the search query isn’t currently available to the theme engine. I asked the upstream developers for a bit of guidance at this point and within 15 minutes of me explaining what I wanted to do I was given a new patch by segphault that exposes the search query to the theme.

    • Instructionals

    • Games

      • Heroes of Newerth @ IGF
        Congratulations to S2 Games for winning the Independent Games Festival Audience Award for their DoTA-inspired multiplayer game Heroes of Newerth:

        S2 Games’ Heroes Of Newerth won the Audience Award, after receiving the largest share of thousands of public votes cast at in recent weeks.

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Reasons to love (and hate) gentoo.
      Some reasons I love the Gentoo Linux Distribution: * Fast. Wow is it fast. * Packages are up to date. * FreeBSD-ish ports system. Compile everything from scratch. * Awesome for home uses and personal stuff.

    • Wolvix linux - A linux distro based on Slackware with a graphic installation mode
      Wolvix is a desktop oriented GNU/Linux distribution based on Slackware. It features the Xfce desktop environment and a comprehensive selection of development, graphics, multimedia, network and office applications.

    • Rolling with Arch Linux
      It's always a good time to review Arch Linux since it features a rolling release model. This means frequent upgrades, with no release dates. In other words, Arch is always in its latest version, constantly being updated in small intervals of time. That makes it perfect for reviewing, since it's fresh whenever it's being taken for a spin.

      Arch is inspired by CRUX, a simple and lightweight distribution which is inspired by BSD. Arch Linux first appeared in 2002. Although it shares some ideas with CRUX, Arch was developed from scratch, with no legacy from any other distribution. Arch Linux today has a devoted community, which stays close to its founding principles. According to DistroWatch's distribution ranking, Arch is doing better than ever, making it to the top ten in 2009, where it remains so far this year.

    • Interview with Linux Journal Virtual Editor Bill Childers
      Carlie: You're the author of Billix, dubbed a "system administrator's swiss army knife". Tell us a bit about it.

      Bill: Billix actually came out of one of the hacking sessions Kyle started. We were working together and he was working on a PXE boot server for our server environment, and I had a need to have a version of that environment on a non-connected medium. I read the docs for SYSLINUX and PXELINUX, and realized that the stuff he'd done was directly connected to what I wanted to do. So I lifted his menu file (that's why I thank "greenfly" in the menu of Billix) and started modifying it to do what I wanted. So as a result, the world can thank Kyle Rankin for seeding the idea for Billix.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Axial Exchange Recruits Karen Evans, Former Fed CIO, to Advisory Board
        Evans and Alexandre join Axial Advisors Jose Marie Griffith, Professor of Library Science, University of North Carolina, Mark Webbink, former General Counsel of Red Hat and Visiting Professor of Law and Executive Director of the Center for Patent Innovations at New York Law School, Joe Velk,Principal of Contender Capital and Nadine Rubin, CEO of Adam-Bryce Inc., a leader in retained Executive Search.

    • Ubuntu

      • I Never Realized…
        …that this part of my desktop could feel so sleek:

      • Lucid Sound Applet Gets Improved
        One of Benjamin Humphrey's "16 things to improve in Ubuntu 10.04" concerned Lucid's new-look sound applet - a small, square, inconsistent little box.

      • An insight into wrangles in the Ubuntu community
        If there had been some sordid attempt to try and push Draper out of the Ubuntu community, the group which has congregated around the most widely used GNU/Linux distribution, then it was worth a story. But a little digging came up with something entirely different.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 Icons Re-Coloured Purple...
        With the familiar brown tones of Ubuntu of yore being replaced with vibrant purple hues in the recent re-branding, the 'purplification' of the default icon set had to occur sooner or later.

      • VMware shops now eligible for free SpringSource tc Server licenses
        Now, NPC runs three tc Server instances in an Ubuntu Linux VM, where each VM is configured with just 2 GB or 3 GB of RAM. When performance is a problem, "there is no limit, you just add another VMware box," Brisbin said, adding that "the more I spread out the load, the more users I can support."

      • Preview posted of Ubuntu 10.04 installer slideshow, leaves out Music Store
        Among the other improvements, tweaks, and retoolings headed to Ubuntu 10.04, the Ubiquity installer slideshow appears set for an update.

      • Variants

        • MoonOS - Something is amiss
          They worked quite fine, both suspend and hibernate. Suspend worked great in the live session, too. This is nice, considering MoonOS 3 roots (Jaunty), which used to misbehave a little on my test machines when it comes to laptop modes.

          Using MoonOS

          After you settle in, you can start using MoonOS, pretty much like any other Ubuntu-based distribution. It's fairly simple and comes down to basic demands, style, taste, as well as your level of expertise. Enlightenment desktop makes less sense for new users, but it may compensate with visual appeal. Plus, you have the bugs and quirks to account for.

          Other than that, you're really into a rather standard Ubuntu environment.



          MoonOS is a decent distribution. Fairly standard. But it has nothing new, revolutionary or exciting. In fact, it balances the would-be thrills of the Enlightenment desktop with clutter and a scattering of rather annoying bugs that smell of amateur work. Samba, for one.

          The fonts are too small, the desktop has an asymmetric cheap-expensive feel with no middle ground, something that has been done with much more grace in gOS, for example. The overall integration is missing. The mediocre sheen makes the whole story unremarkable, although bit by bit, MoonOS is quite all right. But as a whole, it misses the point.

          If you're into adding some color to your Ubuntu, you can do that without trying a whole new distro. If you like order and simplicity, then you should avoid Enlightenment altogether, as it takes a great deal of effort to tame into submission, with a faint promise of greatness at the far end. Then, Samba sharing makes for very disappointed cross-platform users. Most of these glitches do not exist on the parent distro and have been introduced by a not-so-tight integration of new elements onto the base core.

          MoonOS won't blow your mind away. It's a Ubuntu fork. And the fact the homepage is missing does not inspire one bit. You are probably better off downloading extra windows managers and all sorts of packages to your Ubuntu than starting fresh.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux Rocks "Embedded World" 2010
      Embedded computing is not always glamorous. The big brands are hardly household names. Yet, 90 percent or more of the world's computing systems are in fact not PCs or servers, but instead are embedded devices. That, in turn, creates employment opportunities not lost on today's computer science students.

      Thus, on the last day of EW, about 700 students were bussed in for "Student Day." With interest like that, device computing is likely to keep amazing us, and making our lives better, for many years to come. Along with an overview of exhibiting companies, the students attended a lecture on neural networks called "Building Brains with Embedded Technology," by Professor Matthias Sturm.

      The Embedded World tradeshow first began in 2003. Since then, it has doubled in size. Next to the arrival of low-cost 32-bit system-on-chip processors, the emergence of Linux and open source software as viable embedded technologies has certainly contributed to the growth not only of this show, but of the device computing world overall. Today, whether they know it or not, virtually everyone is a Linux user.

    • Network-attached Storage

      • NAS devices run Linux on dual-core Atom D510
        Qnap Systems is readying two 1U network-attached storage (NAS) devices targeting everything from small businesses to enterprises. The Linux-based TS-459U-RP and TS-459U-SP incorporate the dual-core Intel Atom D510 processor, offer up to 8TB of storage via four bays, and are compatible with VMware's vSphere4 (ESX 4.0) virtualization platform, says the company.

      • QNAP launches new Turbo NAS servers
        Both are VMware-ready and are unified storage systems powered by the Linux-based ReadyNAS RAIDiator operating system.

    • Phones

      • Nokia N900 Comparison Pictures
        The Nokia N900 is a special device. It’s the first phone running on the Maemo 5 OS. Geeks love the N900. It’s the power of Linux in the palm of your hands. The device like a hacker’s tool, it’s not perfect , but does somethings wonderfully well – web browsing for instance. Presenting an exclusive photo gallery comparing the N900 to some popular devices in the market !

      • Ubuntu shows up on Smartphones
        The guys over at XDA-Developers have managed to do it again, and run Ubuntu on devices such as the HTC Touch Pro2, and the XPERIA X1. What’s most interesting about this story is that everything appears to run normally as it would if you were running it on a netbook, laptop or desktop, the only difference being that there are some things that may or may not work.

      • Video: HTC Touch Pro2 Runs Ubuntu

      • Android

        • Opera rolls out mobile browser for Android
          Opera Software unveiled on Thursday a version of its Mini mobile browser for use on cellphones running on Google's Android software.

        • Beta Test This! Opera Mini 5
          Ok, so maybe you like the stock Android browser but aren't necessarily in love with it. Good thing for you the platform is flexible and you're not stuck with just one option! Hot on the heels of January's 4.2, Opera has just released their Mini 5 beta browser into the Android Market.

        • Innocomm Shows Android Smartphone With Analog TV
          Innocomm Technology, a young smartphone developer, plans to launch its first handset with Google's Android mobile operating system and an analog TV receiver in the middle of this year, a company representative said Tuesday.

        • Motorola HS1001 Android Cordless Phone
          Motorola HS1001 is being released at CeBIT 2010, it features a very customized version of Android 1.6 running on its 2.8″ QVGA touch screen display. This cordless phone will be sold for 99€ in Europe and $149 in the USA. It supports 2h of cordless phone calling on the battery, comes with a MicroSD card reader.

        • Report: Google Working On Android-Based Set-Top Box
          Google has teamed up with Dish Network to offer a set-top box based on the Android operating system, the Wall Street Journal reports. The box is said to be operated via a keyboard and will serve YouTube videos straight to a TV set.

        • Android Finally Invades AT&T
          AT&T has finally added the Google Android platform to its portfolio of mobile devices with the launch of the Motorola Backflip. AT&T, the exclusive provider of the Apple iPhone in the United States, now offers business professionals a more diverse array of choices--expanding even further later this year with the expected addition of devices based on Palm's WebOS.

        • Android Gains Market Share, Apple iPhone Slips
          Apple, if they needed a reason to go after HTC, and by proxy Google, may have had it in marketshare numbers. Android's growth has been pretty spectacular over the past few quarters highlighted by the graphs below from Quantcast, a web analytics firm.

        • Motorola i1 gets clearer: 5 megapixel cam, Opera Mini default browser?
          We've been slipped some additional information on Motorola's imminent Android-powered i1 for iDEN networks today -- actually, one correction and one interesting note.

        • HTC Incredible Poised for CTIA
          The HTC Incredible has been seen in the wild, yet again, leading us to believe the handset has been prepped and readied for a CTIA announcement. Dressed in Verizon black and red, this super phone has an awful lot going on under the hood. If you look at the bottom right of the battery cover you will see the Verizon logo silk-screened in the corner. We'd be very surprised if CTIA comes and goes without a word from anyone.

    • Sub-notebooks

    • Tablets

      • Dell tablet said to be named 'Streak'
        Previously Dell had revealed that the device would be 3G-enabled, run Android, and have a 5-inch screen.

      • Will a Linux Pad Ever Exist?
        A lot of people, including me, want one but will a true Linux Pad computer ever exist? I've seen some intriguing prototypes over the years and none more interesting than the Freescale Smartbook but will any of them ever go into mass production? Freescale has the best chance of any that I've seen so far but should it go into production, will it pose any real competition for Apple's iPad? I also have said that I didn't think Apple would ever produce such an animal and, if they did, it would be too expensive for your typical consumer. With the consumer release of the Apple iPad just a breath away, I have to admit that I was wrong about the Apple one. A Linux Pad is, however, a different story.

        I want a Linux Pad.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Photoshop CS4 vs. GIMP 2.6.6
    What GIMP 2.6.6 offers that Photoshop CS4 does not:

    * You can open and edit several formats in GIMP 2.6.6 which includes support for PSD files. But Photoshop CS4 does not extend the same support to XCD files which the native file format for GIMP. * You can open a layered image as a flat file without merging the layers in GIMP directly from the 'File' menu, which is not possible in Photoshop CS4. Even after you open a file without layers in GIMP, the original properties are intact, unless you edit and save the file. * There are several plug-ins features which are not usually used. This reduced system resources effectively.

    Being an open source application, it supports a large number of add-ons and plug-ins to give you real time software updates. What's more you have complete check on your system resources as you will download only those functionalities that you need!

  • FCC Launches Consumer Tool to Test Broadband Connections
    As with and the FCC, among M-Lab’s core goals is to advance network research by actively promoting openness and transparency: research tools on M-Lab must publicly publish their source code.

  • Open Source liveblogging at SXSWi
    The panelists: ● Tiffany Farriss, president and strategist at Inc. and member of the Drupal Association Board of Directors. ● Jeff Eaton, software architect for Lullabot Consulting and a core developer for the Drupal project. ● Evan Prodromou, founder and CEO of StatusNet Inc, the Open Source microblogging company. ● Eric Gundersen, president and co-founder of Development Seed. ● Brad Fitzpatrick, "member of the technical staff" at Google and founder of LiveJournal.

  • Open source custom web hosting 'helps small firms'
    Open source software can offer huge benefits to small and medium-sized businesses, it has been suggested.

  • OSI Board Addition May Bring Needed Change
    When Simon Phipps says people have been critical of the Open Source Initiative, I'm pretty sure I'm one of the critics to which he's referring.

    The OSI has been one of those organizations that seemed to fall short of its true potential, which is always a source of frustration; you want them to succeed, and don't understand when things go awry. It's particularly difficult to stand by and watch it happen to people whom you genuinely respect, like Michael Tiemann, Danese Cooper, and Phipps himself, who has this week has been elected to the Board of Directors, effective April 1. They, and other members of the OSI board, are individually very smart and more than capable of spearheading the open source governance body.

  • Mozilla

    • Crib Sheet: Mozilla's Mitch Kapor, Lotus-Leafer or Berkeley Agitator?
      Just how do you go about introducing Mitch Kapor? Designer of Lotus 1-2-3, founder of the Open Source Applications Foundation, first chair of the Mozilla Foundation, current chair of OneWebDay.. oh, blah, let's leave it up to his Twitter bio. "Tech entrepreneur, startup investor, activist philanthropist."

      Mitch Kapor, Born in Brooklyn and now residing in San Francisco, is a mogul of many colors--although mostly green. The Lotus Development Corporation, Mozilla Foundation and Open Source Applications Foundation are all doing good work for the world thanks to him--and he took over the chair of OneWebDay after its founder, Susan P. Crawford, went to work for President Obama. If you could draw a simple venn diagram to show the overlap between technology and doing good, Mitch would be at its heart.

    • Mozilla gives passive-aggressive missive to pre-Firefox 3.6 hold-outs
      Mozilla has begun shepherding Firefox fans through the browser door marked 3.6, in a move to encourage users to upgrade to the open source outfit's latest surfing tool.

    • Mozilla pitches Firefox 3.6 upgrade offer to users
      Mozilla yesterday began offering Firefox 3.6 to users running older versions of the open-source browser.

      Thursday's offer was the first coordinated invitation to Firefox 3.6 that Mozilla has displayed to users of 2008's Firefox 3.0 and mid-2009's Firefox 3.5.

  • Oracle

    • An open answer to Office
      The decade-old OpenOffice was the Free and Open Source riposte to Microsoft's Office that has entrenched itself in the office productivity suite segment.

      Originally a proprietary software application that was open-sourced by Sun Microsystems, OpenOffice has come a long way, with the release of its new-improved version 3.2. Today, having crossed 300 million downloads — a third of this over the last year — this community project is among the most successful stand-alone Open Source products.

      Data legacy and incompatibility issues, as a majority of office software was already using proprietary applications, and widespread piracy, retarded early growth. Constantly competing with MS Office, it got better with successive iterations, though it has not quite caught up. The latest version, Office 2010, is due for release and offers browser versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, across the PC, mobile phone and browser.

    • Business as usual for Oracle/Sun
      DATABASE OUTFIT ORACLE spent the morning trying to convince customers and partners that it will be business as usual for Sun, following the recently completed acquisition of the company.

      During an event in London today the company stressed that none of Sun's product lines were being halted, but that in fact billions was being poured into the continued development of Sun hardware and software.

      According to the Sun/Oracle presenters the combined company can now address the entire stack from the applications, through the middleware, operating system and virtualisation layer right through to the bare metal hardware and storage disks.

  • CMS

    • The Coffee Party Uses Drupal
      You can very easily discuss U.S. politics over a cup of tea or now, coffee. The much popular Sarah Palin 'hand reading' capabilities triggered Americans to find an alternative to the Tea Party. The alternative is the Coffee Party. I can't comment much on the goals or agenda's behind the two new political 'movements' on the US political scene, however, there is some indirect connection between the Coffee Party and Free Software (Muktware) or Open Source. The Coffee Party uses Drupal as their CMS, the same CMS which The White House Uses.

    • 5 reasons why your company should be distributed
      Our company Automattic is distributed, and I’m ready to sing the praises of running a business in this way. BTW, I think distributed (“evenly spread throughout an area”) is a better description than the more commonly used virtual (“nearly real or simulated to be real”) for a company that has people working from all over the place instead of a centralized office. In Automattic’s case, we currently have over 50 employees spread across 12 US states and 10 countries.

    • TikiWiki CMS Updates 3.5 and 4.2, Offers a Peek at Version 5
      TikiWiki 4 includes features not found in the 3.x series and has an improved user interface. Further additions in the update include a fix for IE7 login bar positioning, additional Russian translation and hundreds of other tiny improvements to make the whole experience better.

    • Managing Video, Podcasts, Comments With Open Source Publishing Tool
      MediaCore is ramping up towards v1.0, offering a free video and podcast management tool for digital delivery and encouraging social content.


    • LibrePlanet Free Software Conference: Free as in Freedom!
      March 19th, 20th and 21st at the Harvard Science Center, Cambridge, MA.

      The annual free software conference LibrePlanet is the place for the free software community -- from old school hackers to brand new users -- to come together and further the collective goals of the free software movement.

  • Government

    • ICI is involved in Romulus European project of framework programme 7
      The Bucharest-based Research and Development Institute for Informatics (ICI) took part in the framework programme 7 European project, named Romulus, on domain driven design, based on Open Source for pragmatic, reliable and secure, Web software development.


      „The software created as part of the project is especially meant for people who want to work with open-source, which makes it possible for them to create their own pages on the Internet,” explained Laura Ciocoiu, ICI researcher.

    • India

      • ‘It’s A Huge Challenge, I Thank The FM’
        Open Source and Linux as a platform is gaining acceptance in the government, especially at the state level. Should there be a progressive move to adopt open source software in the government?

        I think technology choices have to be made as appropriate for each project

      • Silicon Dreams
        As expected, with such big e-governance projects in the horizon, the old debate of open source versus proprietary software is getting resurrected. But despite Nilekani’s overwhelming engagement with proprietary software—Infosys has a lot of business with Microsoft—the open source lobby is quite enthusiastic at his arrival in the policy lounge. Says corporate affairs director, Red Hat, Venkatesh Hariharan: “I am hopeful that, as a veteran technologist, Nandan can bring some of these best practices to the world of e-government.” This optimism comes from Nilekani’s hard bargain for open source software in a 2006 report as chairman of a special group on e-governance under the Knowledge Commission. Advocating the case for open source software, the report had said: “Because of the enormous size and scope of e-governance effort in India...we must actively encourage, wherever possible, open source software implementations and open standards.”

        But open source evangelists warn, “There could be political pressure if he openly favours open source software for government projects because of the monetary and political muscle of proprietary software companies”. And that is where Nilekani’s skills and strength as an administrator would be tested.

  • Openness

    • Amy Jenkins: It takes more than a carrot and a stick to get the best from people
      There's now open-source car design, open-source medicine, open-source credit and even open-source cola – among many other mind-warping open-source endeavours. Completely unregulated and unpaid, open source is the most powerful new business model of the 21st century. And what motivates the contributors? What did Lennon and McCartney say was the only thing we needed?

    • Mario Goes Open-Source with Arduino
      The open-source Arduino electronics platform has received a ton of attention from the hardware enthusiast community. And one more follower is joining the fray--Mario himself. The mustachioed plumber of console video game fame has been converted into an eight-by-eight LED matrix by Carnegie Mellon University student Chloe Fan. And, yes, she's even made a separate Arduino device to give her side-scrolling adventure the classic Mario theme.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Everything you need to know about HTML5 video and audio
      Opera 10.50 has now been released on Windows, and it supports the HTML5 video and audio elements. But how do you use them? Introduction to HTML5 video covers a general introduction but doesn't go into the details; Accessible HTML5 Video with JavaScripted captions shows how captions can be implemented until the spec gains proper support for captions; and (re-)Introducing <video> has some information on Opera's implementation. I recommend reading all three!


  • 10 things to consider before deploying a cloud
    Are you thinking about setting up a cloud for deployment in your business or enterprise? Have you planned it out yet? If so, how far have you gotten with it? If you haven’t begun the setup process, check out this list of things to consider before you start deploying that cloud. It might confirm your belief that you’re on the right track — but it could persuade you otherwise.

  • How does a housewife, living in rural Alaska, from her living room, write a blog for four months, a blog that becomes so popular, that a gigantic corporation is threatened?
    By helping the general public, the average person, the you's and me's, have a better life without the cost. And your favorite store does not want you to have that better life, unless you buy it from them for 1000% markup.

  • Newspapers

    • Newspapers Gaming Google With Questionable Tactics
      This resulted in some investigations, with venture capitalist Tim Oren pointing out that this appeared to be the work of a company called Perfect Market, a well-funded startup (funded, in part, by the Tribune Company), who had partnered with various newspaper sites to game Google's search results. As Oren notes:
      The keyword and ad-stuffed dead end pages apparently produced by Perfect Markets's technology are isomorphic, from a search company's point of view, to those created by more questionable tactics such as scraping. The intent is the same: to spam the index. This is the behavior that routinely gets questionable sites shoved to Google's back pages, or banished altogether. One has to wonder just how long this type of abuse will be tolerated, simply because it's being practiced by a recognized media outlet.

    • UK Paper Ghost Wrote Blatantly False Facebook Attack Article By 'Child Protection Expert'
      Except, of course, the whole story has since fallen apart. What he describes in the article is not even possible on Facebook. If you create an account of a 14-year-old, you're limited in who you can talk to, and it's not easy to just start chatting with random people that you don't know on the site. As people began pointing out that the claims in the article made no sense at all, and were unlikely to be true, the BBC's Rory Cellan Jones contacted the author and found out that the whole thing was basically made up:
      I contacted Mr Williams-Thomas to check a few facts, and he confirmed that the story had indeed been "ghosted" by a Mail reporter. He says he got back to the paper with a number of changes before publication, but although they acknowledged receipt of his alterations, they were not acted on.

    • Reuters Social Media Policy Gets It Half Right, Half Wrong
      Just a couple of months ago, I wrote about something that I thought was really impressive by Thomson Reuters. A Reuters blogger wrote a blog post on his official Reuters blog questioning Reuters itself after rumors started spreading that the company had spiked an article after pressure from the article's subject. Now, the two stories might cancel each other out in some way. Spiking a story based on pressure from the subject is bad, but allowing an employee to publicly question the action on a company blog shows an openness that I thought was impressive.

  • Science

    • Bill calls for NASA to continue push to Moon
      Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) yesterday introduced a bill that would undo NASA's plans to retire its aging space shuttle fleet later this year. The bill would also require that NASA continue on with its Constellation program, which calls for building rockets and spacecraft to carry astronauts to the International Space Station and further into space.

    • Obama to defend new NASA mission at April summit
      Sunday's announcement of the upcoming summit came after some members of Congress had voiced strong opposition to the federal budget proposal, which would end NASA's plan to return humans to the moon by 2020.

  • Security

  • Environment

  • Finance

    • FT: time to ban naked CDS
      Greece CDS is quoted at 350 bips this morning and accusing fingers are pointing to hedge funds. So it seems Paulson and GS went one CDS too far by shorting government debt and are now attracting the political ire of regulators.

      I find the article doesn't go far enough in analysis and just skims the reasons why they are nefarious. The biggest one being that when a CDS triggers they are a liquidity drain. You have to come up with a cash settlement for large sums of money. I remain convinced that the panic of aug 2007 can be directly linked to a liquidity drain triggered by naked CDS on subprime. There was a 4:1 naked to non-naked ratio...

      Of note, Goldman Sachs (GS) and many others were in the business of selling the short side of these securities to speculators (and themselves) and marketing the long side to investors with AAA ratings. "Abacus", for example, was built from naked CDS. When subprime blew up those CDS blew up and with a lever of 4:1. AIG was at the end of the line, meaning the government... Ouch... GS will be investigated in conjunction with AIG and these securities is my guess.

    • U.K. Bank Profit May Slump on ‘Devastating’ Rules, Analyst Says
      “The profitability impact is devastating for a lot of the banks,” JPMorgan analyst Carla Antunes da Silva said at a banking conference in Milan today. “For the U.K. banks in particular, you would have no earnings left by the time you have done all this.”

    • Bank suits could open floodgates on pay claims
      Cindy Fulawka, who worked for Scotiabank for about 20 years, says she was required to work overtime every day without extra pay.

      Financial firms are facing class actions over unpaid overtime, and if plaintiffs succeed, other companies may have to pay up, too

    • J.P. Morgan: Foreclosure Sales Could Be Higher in Three Years
      Bank-owned sales–or “REO,” real-estate owned, in industry parlance—are expected to account for between 39% and 50% of home sales in Phoenix in the fourth quarter of 2012, up from 37% at the end of last year. The REO share of sales in San Diego, where one-quarter of sales at the end of last year were REO, is projected between 24% and 31% three years out.

    • Speculative gambles without any social benefit
      Sir, It is interesting that Robert Reoch (Letters, March 8) tries to give me a lesson on the importance of market intermediaries, using the example of the wheat market. You see, I started my – rather successful – career as a wheat trader in 1974. I used derivatives and complex structured products involving both commodities and currencies long before the team at JPMorgan – that “created” the credit default swaps market – graduated from college.

    • A Rare Glimpse Into The Fed's Discount Window Courtesy Of The Brewing Lehman-Barclays Scandal

    • Goldman Sucks

    • Goldman Sachs Offers Small Business Owners Inane Advice In The New York Times
      One thing that we all learned from the financial crisis is that Goldman Sachs is a "great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity" -- its name to be spat aloud with an expletive to ward off evil spirits and succubi. But that's why the good people at Goldman have undertaken a long and artful campaign to convince America that they're not the rapacious dicks they've been made out to be. Part of that charm offensive is "a $500 million pro bono project last November called 10,000 Small Businesses," which is "intended to kick-start small businesses, especially in inner cities, by providing applicants with mentoring, scholarships and -- through grants to community development institutions -- investment capital."

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Clinton report warns human rights are online too
      An annual report by the US State Department has found dictators and repressive governments around the world are making sure they have as much control over their citizens when they're online as they do the rest of the time.

      The United States annual report on human rights might include a look at internet access and censorship but its real focus is good old-fashioned torture, wrongful arrest, censorship and police brutality. Not that the US has done anything to promote or make such behaviour acceptable of course.

    • Berman Working On Net Freedom Bill
      House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman, D-Calif., said Thursday that he is working on his own legislation aimed at bolstering global Internet freedom.

      Berman said he is still working out the details and plans to work with Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., on the legislation. Smith has introduced his own bill, known as the Global Online Freedom Act, which would require the State Department to set up an Office of Global Internet Freedom and compile an annual list of Internet-restricting countries. The measure also would require U.S. information technology and communications firms to store personally identifiable information outside of Internet-restricting countries and report when countries ask them to censor, block or restrict access to information.

    • NZ internet filter goes live - gov forgets to tell public
      Tech Liberty is also concerned by the expansion of government powers that thefilter represents. It entrenches the principle that the government can set up a new censorship scheme and block material with no reference to existing law. Worse, the filter list stays secret, in contrast to the censorship regime that operates in respect of other media, where the Chief Censor must publish decisions banning offensive material.

    • Net filter causes IT industry vote swing
      The mandatory Internet filtering scheme could sway votes against the Rudd Government when the IT industry hits the polling booths at the Federal election.

      Results from Whirlpool’s 2009 Australian Broadband Survey of 23,683 verified responses found 92.6 per cent of respondents do not support the Federal Government’s mandatory Internet content filtering scheme, citing concerns that it will block legitimate information, create a false sense that the Internet is safe among parents, and the possibly be abused by future governments.

    • ITU report backs Rudd Government telecoms policy
      The International Telecommunication Union has given broad support to the Rudd Government's telecommunications policy of funding the NBN in parallel with a tightening of regulation, in a wide-ranging report looking at telecommunications regulatory reform worldwide.

    • Anti-filter flash mob planned to raise Internet filter concerns
      An online activist group will use a flash mob on April Fools Day to raise its concerns about the Internet content filter to the general public.

      The Sydney Anti-Filter Coalition, one of many splinter groups opposed to the Federal Government’s plans to provide a mandatory ISP-level internet filter, is urging its supporters to gather in Sydney’s central business district for a flash mob event. Participants will wear gags and hand out information to the general public.

    • Net filter unworkable, games a threat to human liberty: Hockey
      Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey has slammed the Federal Government’s proposal for mandatory ISP-level filtering.

      In a presentation at Melbourne’s Grattan Institute, Hockey said the proposal opened the possibility of function-creep whereby future governments could censor additional material once the filter infrastructure was in place.

    • Hockey slams “unworkable” internet filter

    • EFA welcomes Hockey stance on Internet filter
      Electronic Frontiers Australia has welcomed remarks made by Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey concerning proposed mandatory Internet filtering.

    • YouTube gives Bahraini youth window to world
      An outspoken defendant of free speech, Esra'a has in the past been subjected to threats and harassment. As such she has asked CNN not to publish her image.

    • Privacy concerns hinder 'real-time Web' creation, developers say
      "A lot of this data that people would like to make available, they wouldn't necessarily want to make available to everyone," said Jack Moffitt, chief technical officer for Collecta, a search engine that aims to give real-time results. "I think we'll be wrestling with privacy issues around real-time data for a long time."

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Online industry unites against Digital Economy Bill
      Google, Yahoo, eBay, Facebook, Orange, Talk Talk and BT have singed an open letter to the Financial Times condemning a bill in parliament that they say "threatens freedom of speech and the open internet".

    • Controversial digital economy bill amendment follows lobbyists' draft
      Text added to digital economy bill that could block sites such as YouTube echoes almost word for word a suggestion from the BPI

    • The True Effects of the Digital Economy Bill
      Pirate Party UK leader Andrew Robinson said, "The choices being made by parliament will not stop future generations downloading music, they will simply decide if future generation consider the law and the political process to be their enemy or not. One-sided laws written by record companies will simply strengthen people's resolve to fight for what they believe is right."

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • When You Try To Figure Out Who Owns Imaginary 'Property,' Things Get Confusing Fast
      With real property, even if there are ownership disputes, they don't get as ridiculously complicated as this. They don't go on for years with multiple people all believing they own the property only to find out later they might not. They don't involve people just declaring they own a piece of property with no one realizing they might not. These are all arguments over "imaginary" property, which isn't property at all. At what point do people realize just how ridiculous this whole structure is?

    • Keeping the Score
      For me, trying to make money off of scores is just a dubious proposition. The amount I might make seems trivial compared to the wider distribution I get from having interested musicians be able to check out my works whenever they want. There's also a certain resentment of the music publishing industry involved, since no publisher is likely to accept any music as commercially unprofitable as mine, and my understanding (from Philip Glass and many others) is that, even if a publisher takes your work, the most likely result is that they will print a few copies, keep them in boxes in warehouses as a tax write-off, tie up the copyright, and make your music more difficult to obtain even for those willing to buy it. Of all the friends whose music I write about, the few whose music is officially published are the ones whose scores I have a devil of a time trying to get. When the scores are available for perusal only, I sometimes can't get access to them at all. I'm also conditioned by my score-starved youth: so many of the scores I desperately needed to see when I was a young, studying composer couldn't be had under any circumstances. If young composers are burning with interest to see how my music works, I'm happy to satisfy them, and without giving them the hurdle of having to contact me personally. I wish Boulez, Pousseur, Glass, and co. had done the same for me. I bought a ton of scores and would have bought many more i was curious about, but many were impossible to get. I'm just not convinced that the music publishing industry, in its current form, deserves to survive. [UPDATE: I should add, though, that I know some fine, dedicated people in the music publishing business who put their heart and soul into meticulously editing scores by famous dead composers. I guess we still need the business around for that, but they'll never do all that for me, and I can do it for myself.]

    • The MPAA says the movie business is great. Unless it's lousy.
      The Motion Picture Association of America issued its annual report on the movie business yesterday -- and to hear the MPAA say it, things have never been better for Hollywood.

    • Leaked UK record industry memo sets out plans for breaking copyright
      In this leaked, six-page email, Richard Mollet, the Director of Public Affairs for the British Phonographic Institute (the UK's record-industry lobbyists), sets out the BPI's strategy for ramming through the Digital Economy Bill, a sweeping, backwards reform to UK copyright law that will further sacrifice privacy and due process in the name of preserving copyright, without actually preserving copyright.

    • Judge tosses copyright claim on Sony's 'God of War'
      Video games are becoming more like movies every day, so it's not surprising to see publishers facing the same kinds of idea theft lawsuits that frequently irritate Hollywood.

    • ACTA

      • Anti-counterfeiting agreement: Parliament must be fully informed
        While supporting efforts to protect intellectual property rights through an international anti-counterfeiting agreement, MEPs insist that the European Parliament must be kept abreast of the negotiations and that data protection and privacy rights of citizens must be safeguarded. They would also rule out the introduction of a "three strikes" internet disconnection as a penalty for three online copyright infringements.

Clip of the Day

Fixing Broken Images in OpenOffice

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Recent Techrights' Posts

Stefano Maffulli's (and Microsoft's) Openwashing Slant Initiative (OSI) Report Was Finalised a Few Months Ago, Revealing Only 3% of the Money Comes From Members/People
Microsoft's role remains prominent (for OSI to help the attack on the GPL and constantly engage in promotion of proprietary GitHub)
[Video] Online Brigade Demands That the Person Who Started GNU/Linux is Denied Public Speaking (and Why FSF Cannot Mention His Speeches)
So basically the attack on RMS did not stop; even when he's ill with cancer the cancel culture will try to cancel him, preventing him from talking (or be heard) about what he started in 1983
On Wednesday IBM Announces 'Results' (Partial; Bad Parts Offloaded Later) and Red Hat Has Layoffs Anniversary
There's still expectation that Red Hat will make more staff cuts
Links 21/04/2024: LINUX Unplugged and 'Screen Time' as the New Tobacco
Links for the day
Gemini Links 22/04/2024: Health Issues and Online Documentation
Links for the day
What Fake News or Botspew From Microsoft Looks Like... (Also: Techrights to Invest 500 Billion in Datacentres by 2050!)
Sededin Dedovic (if that's a real name) does Microsoft stenography
[Meme] Master Engineer, But Only They Can Say It
One can conclude that "inclusive language" is a community-hostile trolling campaign
[Meme] It Takes Three to Grant a Monopoly, Or... Injunction Against Staff Representatives
Quality control
[Video] EPO's "Heart of Staff Rep" Has a Heartless New Rant
The wordplay is just for fun
An Unfortunate Miscalculation Of Capital
Reprinted with permission from Andy Farnell
Online Brigade Demands That the Person Who Made Nix Leaves Nix for Not Censoring People 'Enough'
Trying to 'nix' the founder over alleged "safety" of so-called 'minorities'
[Video] Inauthentic Sites and Our Upcoming Publications
In the future, at least in the short term, we'll continue to highlight Debian issues
List of Debian Suicides & Accidents
Reprinted with permission from
Jens Schmalzing & Debian: rooftop fall, inaccurately described as accident
Reprinted with permission from
[Teaser] EPO Leaks About EPO Leaks
Yo dawg!
IBM: We Are No Longer Pro-Nazi (Not Anymore)
Historically, IBM has had a nazi problem
Bad faith: attacking a volunteer at a time of grief, disrespect for the sanctity of human life
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Bad faith: how many Debian Developers really committed suicide?
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, April 21, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, April 21, 2024
A History of Frivolous Filings and Heavy Drug Use
So the militant was psychotic due to copious amounts of marijuana
Bad faith: suicide, stigma and tarnishing
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
UDRP Legitimate interests: EU whistleblower directive, workplace health & safety concerns
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 21/04/2024: Earth Day Coming, Day of Rest, Excess Deaths Hidden by Manipulation
Links for the day
Bad faith: no communication before opening WIPO UDRP case
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Bad faith: real origins of harassment and evidence
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 21/04/2024: Censorship Abundant, More Decisions to Quit Social Control Media
Links for the day
Bad faith: Debian Community domain used for harassment after WIPO seizure
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
If Red Hat/IBM Was a Restaurant...
Two hours ago in
Why We Republish Articles From Debian Disguised.Work (Formerly Debian.Community)
articles at aren't easy to find
Google: We Run and Fund Diversity Programs, Please Ignore How Our Own Staff Behaves
censorship is done by the recipients of the grants
Paul Tagliamonte & Debian Outreachy OPW dating
Reprinted with permission from
Disguised.Work unmasked, Debian-private fresh leaks
Reprinted with permission from
[Meme] Fake European Patents Helped Fund the War on Ukraine
The European Patent Office (EPO) does not serve the interests of Europe
European Patent Office (EPO) Has Serious Safety Issues, This New Report Highlights Some of Them
9-page document that was released to staff a couple of days ago
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, April 20, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, April 20, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
Microsoft-Run FUD Machine Wants Nobody to Pay Attention to Microsoft Getting Cracked All the Time
Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt (FUD) is the business model of "modern" media
Torvalds Fed Up With "AI" Passing Fad, Calls It "Autocorrect on Steroids."
and Microsoft pretends that it is speaking for Linux
Gemini Links 21/04/2024: Minecraft Ruined
Links for the day
Links 20/04/2024: Apple is Censoring China’s App Store for the Communist Party of China
Links for the day
Links 20/04/2024: Accessibility in Gemini and Focus Time
Links for the day
Congratulations to Debian Project Leader (DPL) Andreas Tille
It would not be insincere to say that Debian has issues and those issues need to be tackled, eventually
20 April: Hitler's Birthday, Debian Project Leader Election Results
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
September 11: Axel Beckert (ETH Zurich) attacks American freedoms
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
20,000 victims of unauthorized Swiss legal insurance scheme
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Matthew Garrett, Cambridge & Debian: female colleague was afraid
Reprinted with permission from
David Graeber, village wives & Debian Outreachy internships
Reprinted with permission from
Neil McGovern & Ruby Central part ways
Reprinted with permission from
Links 20/04/2024: Chinese Diplomacy and 'Dangerous New Course on BGP Security'
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, April 19, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, April 19, 2024
The Latest Wave of Microsoft Crime, Bribes, and Fraud
Microsoft is still an evil, highly corrupt company