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Links 22/4/2010: New Details on Chrome OS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6

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  • Mindshare
    Now that the hype over “7″ is declining, I expect GNU/Linux to continue rapid growth in share. Here, as far as I know, last year there was only one server loaded with GNU/Linux, sitting on a shelf. This year there are 40 PCs and servers running GNU/Linux and by next year, everyone in the community will know something about GNU/Linux. We could add another 20 GNU/Linux PCs from Computers for Schools, and with luck, a bunch of thin clients if the budget comes through (expected this month). There might be only 1% share for that other OS in the school by the end of next year.

  • RE: 10 characteristics of a Linux Guru?

  • LoCo Stories: the Asturian team drives the Asturian Language Academy migration to Ubuntu
    Spain has a rich language diversity. While the main official language is Spanish, there are several regions in which it coexists with others with the same or similar degrees of official recognition. These are Basque, spoken in the Basque Country; Catalan, spoken in Catalonia, the Valencian Community and the Balearic Islands; and Galician, spoken in Galicia.

    Asturian is yet another language spoken in the region of Asturies, in the North of Spain, and it is special in the sense that it does not enjoy official status but there is a regional law that contemplates its promotion and protection. However, this still means that there are no public or private initiatives to make it available in IT and the newer technologies.

  • Big 4 freeze in face of changing habits
    I recall that Absa offered to e-mail me the statement in a Microsoft format. As a computer geek I only use Linux, so I ignored it - thereby inadvertently volunteering to give Absa R5 a month to kill trees for no purpose.

  • Will Windows continue to be Windows?
    Microsoft's latest operating systems are boasting a great "new" feature, Windows PowerShell.


    It's pretty clear that Microsoft has discovered the value of the shell, since it has integrated it into Windows Server 2008 and Windows 7, the latest operating systems. However, other more stable operating systems like Unix, Linux, and other flavors of Unix, have used shells like ash, bash, and others for decades. And, they have proven to be essential. The shell is an extremely lightweight yet powerful tool for tackling just about any operation you could want. The nice thing is that the shell is completely text driven, so that it can be used over small data links like modems, even though modems are becoming extinct these days.

    But, Linux and other Unix flavors still have an advantage over Windows. Decades of refinement for one. Windows' implementation of the command line is still a little limited. It would take Microsoft quite a long time to catch up and try to match the huge array of command line tools available with Unix/Linux.

  • Police Career – Linux Computer Systems in Law Enforcement
    Law enforcement recently has been following the general tide of government and public service groundswell by seeking computing solutions in the Linux direction. Particularly in law enforcement, their needs match well with open source software. They have to work lean on a taxpayer’s budget, and open source is free or low cost. They need top security, and Linux is still the highest-scoring operating software in official government assessments. They need mission-critical reliability, and Linux is so stable, it doesn’t just outrank the competition in stability – it makes the competition disappear!

  • Linux and branding
    Marketing isn't the first word that one associates with the Linux community, but it is a necessary activity for those who wish to bring new users into the fold (and perhaps make a buck at the same time). The recent Ubuntu rebrand, and the subsequent media attention surrounding it, provides an opportunity to consider the larger question of branding for Linux distributions and open source projects

  • Linux Shedding Indie Status is a Good Thing
    Byfield recommends CentOS and Debian for users seeking "refuge" from commercialization. Both fine projects, and they're great for a lot of users. But Ubuntu exists in part because Debian doesn't make a very good distro for mainstream users. CentOS is simply a re-packaging of a commercial Linux distro. If it weren't for Red Hat's work, CentOS likely cease to exist. So what's to gain from avoiding all hints of commercialization? Refusing to acknowledge the contribution that companies make to the production of free software?

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 93

  • Some notes from the Collaboration Summit
    Your editor has just returned from the Linux Foundation's annual Collaboration Summit, held in San Francisco. LFCS is a unique event; despite becoming more developer-heavy over the years, it still pulls together an interesting combination of people from the wider Linux ecosystem. The following article is not intended to be a comprehensive report from the summit; it is, instead, a look at a few of the more interesting thoughts that came from there.

  • Desktop

    • Red Flag Releases Free Open Source Linux with Openoffice
      Beijing Red Flag Software Company released free and open source Red Flag Linux Desktop 6.0 SP3 on April 19, 2010, according to the company’s web site. The web site now provides a simplified version and a full version for free download.

  • Chrome OS

    • A Less Personal Computer
      Chrome OS extends this strategy. It will be a Web browser running on top of a hardware-€­controlling Linux kernel, and not a whole lot else. Chrome OS should take up less than a gigabyte of your computer's hard drive, and the operating system will boot in seconds. It won't have a "Start" button--it will just have the Google home page, with links to your favorite Internet applications. Panels will appear on the side of the main window when you connect the laptop to your digital camera or when you find a new wireless network.

    • Google Chrome OS Netbooks To Sell For Under $400
      Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, has revealed that he expects netbooks and other devices based running the company's forthcoming Google Chrome OS to be available for between $300 and $400.

    • Google: Chrome OS netbooks should cost around €£300
      Although still scheduled to launch towards the end of this year, there hasn’t been much in the way of news about Google’s Chrome OS for netbooks for a while. Google CEO Eric Schmidt did let a few details slip about the cloud-based operating system at a recent conference though, including a re-iteration of the planed low price for the hardware.

    • Samsung looks to quad-core processors and Chrome
      In Samsung's own vision, the main technologies would be its own silicon plus the Ubuntu Linux for notebooks, and Google's Chrome browser/OS. This shows Samsung signing up enthusiastically for the search giant's concept of a 'cloudbook' - a lightweight device heavily geared to web access and streaming on the move. Google will release its new Chrome OS later this year.

  • Server

    • Cray mimics Ethernet atop SeaStar interconnect
      Supercomputer maker Cray doesn't talk much about the systems software that runs on its massively parallel, midrange, or entry HPC gear, but it probably will start doing so more because of the work it has done to make its non-standard XT boxes look a little less proprietary as far as Linux applications are concerned.

    • Arista goes modular with 10 Gig E switches
      The High Performance Computing Linux Financial Markets trade show is on today in New York, and Andy Bechtolsheim, twice the chief technology officer at the Oracle-borged Sun Microsystems, is using the event to launch the first modular 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch from his latest company, Arista Networks. And it looks like Bechtolsheim will, in his quiet way, be shaking up the networking market enough that someone will have to buy his company again.

    • Arista launches 10GbE switching platform

    • Transforming the data centre with a cloud
      The future of IT favours open standards and open source as enterprises search for solutions that are robust, interoperable and free of vendor lock-in. Google, Amazon and IBM run massively scalable infrastructure on open source Linux.

      Linux can run on multiple hardware options, bringing freedom of choice. And without the burden of licence fees to be paid to any vendor, it comes with an inherent cost advantage. As a consequence, it is the platform of choice for many software developers.

    • New Email Archiving System From The Linux Box Provides IT and Compliance Managers With Simplified Retention and Retrieval of Company Email
      A new email archiving software system that enables companies to better handle regulatory compliance and storage issues has been launched by The Linux Box Corporation.

  • Applications

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • Amarok Is Easy OSS Listening
      Amarok's latest upgrade to version 2.3 brings several new and useful featurs to the table. The music-playing software's interface is highly configurable -- with a simple setting, you can arrange any of the panels and the toolbar to your liking. There's also been some performance optimization to make the application move with a lot more snap.

  • Distributions

    • KahelOS 050110 Review
      Even as a basic user, I was able to install and tap into some of the advantages of this Arch-based Linux distro. KahelOs gave me a very stable feel and with a little effort I was able to add packages, customize my desktop and everything else I needed to do in the short term. Making this my daily driver is another story though and would take some time to get used to.

    • New Releases

    • Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Lulu Delays IPO After Investors Balk at Price
        Lulu Ltd., a self-publishing company led by Red Hat Inc. co-founder Robert Young, postponed its initial public offering after investors balked at the price for the company’s shares.

      • Red Hat announces beta of Enterprise Linux 6

      • At Last, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6
        Linux vendor Red Hat today released the first public beta of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (RHEL 6), giving observers a look at what's to come in the next version of its flagship operating system platform.

        The new release takes advantage of a long list of new Linux kernel improvements for performance and scalability while also providing new technologies for security, management, and virtualization.

        "When you look at RHEL 6, there is no one single feature that is the killer feature in the release," Tim Burke, vice president of platform engineering at Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), told "It's truly a release where the whole is bigger than the sum of the parts. It's a large, coordinated effort aiming for improved operational efficiency."

      • Red Hat boosts scalability in enterprise Linux upgrade
        Red Hat will preview on Wednesday an upgrade to its enterprise Linux distribution, which offers dramatic improvements in scalability as well as power management and storage enhancements.

      • Red Hat drops Xen from RHEL
        Red Hat has added a number of new capabilities that should help data centers better support virtualization and cloud computing. The beta release of RHEL 6.0 removes Xen.

      • The Planet Turns to KVM For Cloud Virtualization

      • Red Hat revamps Linux server software

      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 update now available
        Driving leadership across virtual, physical and cloud deployments, the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 update harnesses the scalability and performance optimization of the next-generation of server processors. Also included are enhanced virtualization capabilities that enable greater guest density, improved interoperability with Windows environments, and new tools and utilities enhancements.

    • Debian Family

      • MEPIS Releases ISOs for 1GB USB Keys
        MEPIS LLC has announced the upload of SimplyMEPIS 8.5 ISOs that will fit on a 1GB USB key. The USB sized ISO files for 32 and 64 bit processors are SimplyMEPIS-USB_8.5.03-rel1_32.iso and SimplyMEPIS-USB_8.5.03-rel1_64.iso respectively.

      • Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu Release Party Videocast Soon!

        • Ubuntu’s Indicator Menus – Ayatana bearing fruit
          When we set up Project Ayatana to improve the usability of the whole desktop, we called it Ayatana because we were focused on the “sphere of consciousness”, one’s awareness of what’s going on outside of the current application. There are two key aspects to the work:

          1. Notifications are “awareness distilled” in the sense that you cannot interact with them at all. We designed them as ephemeral “click-transparent” messages, implemented in Notify-OSD. Their sole purpose is to notify you of transient events. 2. Indicator Menus combine persistent awareness of a state with a set of options for modifying that state.

        • Ubuntu ditching notification area, awesome things to come
          The notification area in Ubuntu is to be removed by Ubuntu 11.04 the Canonical design team have announced. Labelled as ‘ineffective’ and ‘inconsistent’ Ubuntu will instead be encouraging applications to make use of panel menus that assemble related applications into one area.

        • Ubuntu 10.04 Integrates All Your Inboxes [Linux]
          I’ve been looking for a way to combine all my inboxes in one place for a long time; little did I know my favorite operating system would make this dream feature of mine a default. Previously I didn’t really see the point of the indicator applet, but with the addition of access to one’s social networks I see a bright future for this handy little tool.

          If you’re really interested in the next version of Ubuntu, and you’re brave enough to try something still in beta, check it out here. If you’d rather wait, the full version comes out on April 29th, and you can always read more about Ubuntu tomorrow when my next post goes up.

          What do you think? Is this a killer feature for Ubuntu, or more bloat you’ll never use? Will you yourself use the indicator applet now that it supports social networks, or will you continue to remove it as part of your Ubuntu setup routine?

        • Ubuntu Power Users Community
          As Ubuntu continues to grow and refine, particularly in bringing excellence in design to the platform, there has been some concern in some parts of the community that it is less attuned to power users who want to tweak many aspects of the system than it once was. I agree. That in my mind is not a bad thing: Ubuntu is focusing on a simple, sleek and refined experience, and sometimes as Mark said recently, less is more.

        • Variants

          • What’s been happening with Edubuntu?
            Edubuntu 9.10 was our first release that returned from being an add-on CD to a full installation disc. It had a big problem though, it was almost double the size what it needed to be. The alternate installation that shipped with the disc required for LTSP installation meant that every program and its files were shipped twice on the image, resulting in a very bloated disc. It was unavoidable at the time though but for Lucid we have managed to integrate everything that’s required for a full Edubuntu setup into the desktop LiveCD, so no more alternate installation is required. The effective overall gain on the Lucid installation media is about 1GB. We don’t want to waste space since the current 2.2GB image is already quite heavy on mirrors, but at it is good to know that we have some more leeway when we want to add more features.

          • [Mint] Upgrading to a newer release
            Linux Mint 9 will feature a brand new version of mintBackup, the “Backup Tool”, rewritten from scratch by a newcomer in the development team, somebody people on the IRC and the forums know quite well: Ikey.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Embedded Masterclass explores multicore options
        At this year's UK Embedded Masterclass event, engineer Paul Tingey from Wind River will give a presentation outlining some of the technical challenges associated with the design of multicore based embedded systems as well as the challenges involved in migrating existing systems from current single core processing to multicore processing.

      • Zoran Launches Inferno, Linux(R)-Based Firmware Platform for Printers, MFPs and Scanners
        SUNNYVALE, CA, Apr 19, 2010 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Zoran Corporation /quotes/comstock/15*!zran/quotes/nls/zran (ZRAN 10.92, -0.11, -1.00%) is now shipping Inferno, a new Linux-based firmware platform for its Quatro(R) family of processors that allows manufacturers to easily integrate new technologies supporting advanced features and improved performance in printers, multi-function printers (MFPs) and scanners.

      • ABBYY Announces New OCR SDK for Linux(R) Environment
        "With many business-critical applications running on Linux, the quality and reliability of Linux-based software technologies is of utmost importance," said Andrey Isaev, director of the technology products department at ABBYY. "ABBYY FineReader Engine SDK delivers a complete set of technologies to ensure accurate and comprehensive OCR functionality yet provides qualified technical support and protection from potential additional costs relating to implementation and upgrades."

      • ABBYY announces new OCR SDK for Linux
        ABBYY has announced the availability of ABBYY FineReader Engine 9.0 for Linux, a robust software development kit (SDK) to integrate ABBYY optical character recognition (OCR), barcode recognition, and PDF conversion technologies into Linux-based applications.

      • Twitter-Enhanced Cuckoo Clock Chirps — and Tweets
        Baig modified the innards of the clock, which has a touchscreen display with a controller board and a Wi-Fi dongle. It also uses Chumby, a hardware open source platform with a Linux operating system.

      • Pandora gaming console finally shipping to UK
        Project Pandora has been one of those open source handheld gaming console developments that has been plagued with delays and accusations of being 'vapourware' for the last two years.

      • Lexicon Alpha works with Linux!
        Recently I had a chance to put my hands on Lexicon Alpha usb recording interface and I must say I was surprised to discover that it works out of the box with Linux. I couldn't find any compatibility information for it, except for this post, and still, Lexicon Alpha was purely plug-and-play device with my Ubuntu Studio 9.10 netbook.


        Bottom Line

        The Good:

        - works out of the box - can record two tracks simultaneously - well designed and made of good quality materials

        The Bad:

        - no phantom power - no MIDI input

    • Phones

      • Video shows Android OS running on an iPhone
        The hack utilizes OpeniBoot, a Linux 2.6 bootloader that works with first- and second-generation iPhones. The system provides dual-boot functionality, allowing users to run either the iPhone OS or Android.

      • Nokia

        • Qt for Symbian now supports Linux

        • Intel demos MeeGo platform to developers
          Intel said that the Linux-based operating system will be linked to its AppUp software store and demonstrated the unique media syncing capabilities between devices running on MeeGo: video playing on one device will not only sync over to another but also carry certain data, including picking up where the user left off while watching video on the first device.

        • Intel's Meego OS to Reach Mainstream Laptops
          Intel is developing an edition of the Linux-based Meego OS that will work on mainstream laptops and desktops, a company executive said this week.

        • Intel to launch MeeGo variant for Core-based PCs

        • Cheap MeeGo Smartphone Coming 2011?
          Since the announcement of the MeeGo operating system earlier this year, we’re still waiting for the first Nokia handsets to take advantage of the new OS. We’re expecting to see at least one device in the next few months, but in the meantime it looks like Nokia has also been working on an entry-level handset that isn’t set to appear until 2011. To find out more, join us after the break…

      • Android

    • Sub-notebooks

    • Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Questions to Ask if You’re Thinking of Getting Involved in Open Source
    If you aren’t a programmer and have no idea what else could possibly need to be done, here are a few ideas:

    * Artists are needed for making themes and wallpapers for Linux distros and desktop environments like GNOME & KDE * Make little tiny icons for programmers to put on the buttons in their programs * Translating a program from English to whatever other language you speak * Writing documentation (no project is too-well-documented) * Tech support * Testing is a great way for early adopters to help out * Bug triaging * Packaging software for a Linux distro

  • Jon 'maddog' Hall's Picks for Today's Six Best OSS Projects
    There were other “Hot, New OSS Projects” mentioned by the LUGs, but in order to keep the blog entry within the “reasonable length” category, I will save some of the others until a later date. In the meantime I hope that you enjoy reading about some of the projects that you might not know, or ones that you do know but have “moved on” since the last time you looked at them.

  • PHP library eZ Components to be an Apache Project
    Norwegian company eZ Systems, creators of the eZ Publish open source enterprise content management system, recently lost the last two core developers of the eZ Components PHP library. The other project developers left earlier in the year. However, the component library will continue to live on and have a future thanks to an agreement between the developers and eZ Systems, sponsors of the project for the last few years. The project will be continued as a fully open source project, renamed as Zeta Components.

  • Up Next For Facebook: Expect More Open Interactions
    Soon after acquiring FriendFeed, Facebook released its Tornado sharing framework under an open-source license.

  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla to cordon off plugin crashes with Firefox 3.6.4 beta
      Mozilla released a public beta of Firefox 3.6.4 yesterday, which also debuted “Lorentz” - a project that the open source outfit is hoping will stablise browsing for Windows and Linux users when Adobe’s Flash, Apple’s Quicktime and Microsoft’s Silverlight plugins crash.

    • Firefox 3.6.4 beta isolates crashing plug-ins
      The Mozilla developers have released the beta of Firefox 3.6.4, which now includes technology from the Mozilla Lorentz Project. Lorentz plans to bring full process isolation to Firefox, separating web pages and plug-ins from the main browser by running them in their own processes.

  • Oracle

    • Presentating in Linux
      With the improvements in Impress, and exciting applications such as Fielder’s Impressive, the presentation outlook in 2010 certainly isn’t as bleak as it was in 2006. On the other hand, we still have some way to go before all that presentation power becomes readily accessible to ordinary end-users.

  • CMS

  • Education

    • Moodle: The free learning platform
      E-learning comes in many forms. For example math and vocabulary aids on CD-ROM or screencasts on YouTube are just two obvious examples from a large range of different options. Less familiar, since they frequently deal with specialised knowledge, are thousands of specific learning systems and managed online courses. Programs such as Blackboard, Sakai, the German Ilias, Dokeos or Moodle are used to create training platforms for personnel and to provide computer courses for schools and universities.


      With over 40,000 registered installations in more than 200 countries and an estimated 30 million users, Moodle is currently the most frequently used LMS. Many schools, and universities, such as the prestigious Humboldt University in Berlin, use Moodle. Another typical application is for staff training in medium and large companies and commercial providers of online courses often rely on Moodle. Almost half of the Moodle installation are used by groups with more than 500 members, for example the Open University with more than 600,000 students is one of the largest users.

  • Business

    • SugarCRM 6 Beta adds new user interface
      The SugarCRM developers have announced the release of a first beta for version 6.0 of their open source customer relationship manager. In Sugar 6, the developers focused on creating a completely re-designed user interface with new buttons and icons. Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM, said that, “Sugar 6 delivers a look, feel and user experience that consumers of popular social networking and other collaboration tools will appreciate.”

    • SugarCRM Introduces SugarCRM 6.0 (and the crowd goes wild…)

    • Talend 4.0 Integrates Data Management
      Talend has integrated its three major data integration products into Talend version 4.0. The combination represents the first attempt to supply integrated data integration, data cleansing, and master data management in one open source product.

    • Zenoss named an “IT Operations Management Cool Vendor" for 2010
      Zenoss, Inc., the fastest-growing provider of commercial open source, enterprise IT monitoring products for physical, virtual, and cloud-based IT environments, today announced it has been included in the list of "Cool Vendors"* in the “Cool Vendors in IT Operations Management, 2010” 1 report by Gartner, Inc. The “Cool Vendor” research1 discusses innovations being delivered by companies targeting the problems of IT operations management.

    • Ingres Community Comes Together for 2010 Ingres OpenROAD Code Sprint
      Ingres Corporation, the leading provider of open source database management software and pioneer of the New Economics of IT, hosted the fifth annual Ingres OpenROAD Code Sprint, this year in Manila, Philippines, where community members collaborated on developing new features for Ingres OpenROAD. The event, held in mid-March, provided Ingres OpenROAD Server training for attendees and resulted in a number of improvements to the solution that will give developers new tools for increased productivity, error handling, and flexibility.

    • Pentaho Soars With Second Straight Record Quarter
      Pentaho Corporation, the open source business intelligence (BI) leader, today announced its strongest quarter yet. Compared to Q1 2009, Pentaho had a 177 percent increase in new Enterprise Edition customers. Q1 2010, the second straight record quarter, also saw a record number of new OEM partners and the introduction of the revolutionary Pentaho Data Integration 4.0.

  • Funding

  • BSD

    • Some Panasonic TVs running FreeBSD
      Android is becoming more and more popular. It is used in mobiles/cell phones, runs e-book readers, can be found in tablet computers etc etc, but Android is not just for smartphones anymore. A Swedish company has unveiled the first Android-based TV and there’s been an announcement recently that it will be used in TVs.


    • Hacking computers, hacking life
      Some of you may not know that in addition to my admin responsibility at GNU-Darwin, I am a biochemist and protein crystallographer, as well as the X-ray lab manager and systems admin for the Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry Department at Johns Hopkins University. Here are some Hopkins links.


      In addition to providing a computer operating system, packages and source code, The GNU-Darwin Distribution has branched into body hacking, and so we release information to help people increase their intelligence and longevity. In the spirit of software freedom, the information is put into the public domain, and the tools that are discussed are non-proprietary readily available to anyone. Appropriate to the tenor of the distro, this activity has become activism, and we expose the abuses of corporations and governments when we can find them.

  • Releases

    • GLib 2.25.0 released

    • Eraser secure deletion tool updated
      The Eraser developers have announced the availability of version 6.0.7 of their advanced security tool for Windows. Eraser is a software utility for securely deleting files and folders from different types of magnetic media, such as hard drives and floppy disks. It removes sensitive information by overwriting the area of the drive on which the data is stored one or more times using special algorithms.

  • National

    • Italy to begin an open source competence centre
      Italian public administrations considering to use open source can turn to a competence centre specialised in this type of software. The web-based centre, which will be opened tomorrow, aims to foster the development and adoption of open source software.

    • Open Source Software As Business Solution
      Soon after the campaign went down and from no time, the branded vehicles began to disappear one after another from Nigerian roads across the commercial nerve centre of the nation, Lagos. But one thing remained intact, the knowledge and awareness such a campaign has drawn to Open Source Software (OSS).

      For Nigerians, open source means various things to diverse individuals and organizations. A school of thought would not like to hear anything about open source software and yet for another, open source is where the future lies.

      And for the software engineers at a California-based Open Source Initiative (OSI) founded 12 years ago,, the term 'Open Source' does not mean mere access to source codes, but must comply with some core 10 distribution terms for OSS, including free redistribution, source code, derived works, integrity of the author's source code, no discrimination against persons or groups, no discrimination against fields of endeavour, distribution of license, non-limitation to specific product, restriction of other software and technology-neutrality.

    • Cuba

    • Government

      • Post-election revamp for IT procurement
        The Labour Party has also said it would publish details of procurement deals and create a level playing field for open-source ICT.


        Although the Liberal Democrats did not make ICT a central issue in their manifesto, they put emphasis on using cloud computing technology and open source software.

        Sarah Burnett, government IT analyst at Ovum, welcomes the use of open source technology in government.

    • Health

      • Open source challenges for hospital information system (HIS) in developing countries: a pilot project in Mali
        We are currently witnessing a significant increase in use of Open Source tools in the field of health. Our study aims to research the potential of these software packages for developing countries.

      • ImageWare develops open source initiative
        ImageWare Systems, a developer of biometric technology, has announced that they are creating a project called the Open Biometrics Initiative (OBI) intending to push biometric technology development in the open source software development environment. The OBI project will take place by ImageWare operating a forum that will be available to anyone in the open source community.

      • VillageReach Launches Open Source Logistics Platform to Improve Distribution Practices for Global Health Programs
        VillageReach, the Seattle-based social enterprise that increases access to healthcare for remote, last mile communities, today announced the launch of openLMISâ„¢, a new open source initiative to improve health system supply chains in low-income countries. VillageReach also announced the third release of its management information system, vrMIS, an integrated component of its logistics programs that improves cold chain performance and last mile distribution for a wide variety of medical commodities.

      • MIT open-source phone project wins first mHealth Alliance Award
        We're big fans of innovative applications of simple technology to address complex health problems in areas short on resources, so we're excited to hear that a project developed at MIT has won $150,000 in prize money for its work on an open-source software platform that enables health workers to capture and transmit EMR data on mobile phones and connect remote workers to physicians for clinical decision support.

      • IT: Children hospitals saving money by using open source
        Italian children hospitals are saving money by using the 'Smart Inclusion project' using open source technology and offering access to for instance medical data and e-learning applications. According to a statement from the Ministry for Public Administration and Innovation, hospitals can save about 1000 Euro per PC and about 500 per thin client.

  • Licensing

  • Open Access/Content

    • OpenStreetMap to reach 250,000 contributors today
      The OpenStreetMap (OSM) Project has announced that it will reach more than 250,000 registered users today. OpenStreetMap is an open source project that is building free online maps, not based on any copyright or licensed map data. It was founded by Steve Coast in August of 2004 and is run by the OpenStreetMap Foundation.

    • The open source textbook is an open-source experiment
      The Dallas Morning News, in fact, wrote that the Texas state Legislature approved reviewing open source textbooks for use in the K-12 system. Virginia already has approved them and California is considering it:

      "This is really a revolution that has been going on for a while," said Brian Bridges, the director of the California Resource Learning Network and one of the state's online text reviewers. Money saved by these free options could go toward the purchase of computers for students who need them, he said.

      But, really, what better project for an open-sourced textbook than a textbook about open source?

    • LBJ School Student Research Calls for Open-Source Data, Better Transparency in Texas State Finance
      Students from The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin will present research that calls for open-source data and better transparency in Texas state and local finance at a half-day conference April 23.

    • More Texas school districts look at whether to switch to online textbooks
      The new state laws grant the commissioner of education the authority to select a list of electronic textbooks for districts, including open-source content – texts that can be downloaded free from the Internet. The laws also allow districts to use their textbook funds to buy electronic material and devices like netbook computers that can access it. That means the state board will have less control of the content.

    • U-Bookstore partnership to provide free online textbooks
      The U-Bookstore and Flat World Knowledge, an online, open-source database for textbooks, recently announced a pilot program that would give students free access to digital versions of textbooks and supply related supplemental materials and hardcopy versions at a lower cost than traditional publishing prices. It offers options such as printing individual chapters for $1.99 or ordering hard copies of the books.

    • More school districts look at whether to switch to online textbooks
      At a time when Facebook and iPad are the rage and information updates with a click, some policymakers are trying to take textbooks off the shelf and onto the Internet.

    • SETI Releases Its Collected Data to the Public, Wants Open-Source Search for Whatever's Out There
      Over the past decade, those who wished to contribute to SETI's mission of locating life elsewhere in the universe could leave their computers on running a special screensaver and donate their unused computing power to the cause. Now, SETI director Jill Tarter is asking people around the globe to get more involved in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence by opening up SETI's servers to the public calling for a worldwide, open source contribution to the search.

    • What if there's somebody else out there?

  • Programming

    • Benchmarking LLVM & Clang Against GCC 4.5
      With the recent release of GCC 4.5 and the forthcoming release of LLVM 2.7 that is expected in the coming days, we have decided to see how the performance of GCC compares to that of LLVM. For this testing we have results from GCC 4.3/4.4/4.5 compared to LLVM with its GCC front-end (LLVM-GCC) and against Clang, which is the native C/C++ compiler front-end for the Low-Level Virtual Machine.

    • The Thing about Volunteers and Civility
      The thing about the Perl community is that almost no one gets paid solely for participating in the Perl community. Sure, you can volunteer for a while to earn the cachet and the right to apply for a TPF grant at a fraction of the going consulting rate to justify continuing to work on the unpleasant parts of a project, but you're still effectively a volunteer.

      The thing about volunteers is if it's not worth their time or energy or health or sanity or happiness to keep volunteering, they can walk away whenever they want. They have no obligation to continue to do what they do. Not even their sense of devotion or duty or guilt or community camaraderie should compel them to continue on projects that aren't worth their investment of time, and that's more than okay.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Vorbis is not Theora

    • open vs. standard
      But the reasonable part of me wants to point out that one part of the Apple statement is worth looking at – the assertion that H.264 is open. Because I certainly don’t consider it to be – not even a little.


  • Science

    • Anti-Cancer Agent Stops Metastasis In Its Tracks
      Like microscopic inchworms, cancer cells slink away from tumors to travel and settle elsewhere in the body. Now, researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College report in today's online edition of the journal Nature that new anti-cancer agents break down the looping gait these cells use to migrate, stopping them in their tracks.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Security Myths and Passwords
      The best approach is to determine where the threats are, and choose defenses accordingly. Most important is to realize that all systems are not the same! Some systems with very sensitive data should probably be protected with two-factor authentication: tokens and/or biometrics. Other systems/accounts, with low value, can still be protected by plain passwords with a flexible period for change. Of course, that assumes that the OS is strong enough to protect against overall compromise once a low-privilege account is compromised….not always a good bet in today’s operating environment!

    • Delusions, the Legislature and an implanted microchip
      Last Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee entertained SB 235, the bill sponsored by Sen. Chip Pearson (R-Dawsonville) to prohibit the involuntary implantation of microchips in human beings.

    • Irony.

  • Environment

  • Finance

    • Debt 'Masking' Under Fire
      The Securities and Exchange Commission is considering new rules that would prevent financial firms from masking the risks they take by temporarily lowering their debt levels before quarterly reports to the public are due.

    • Greece begins talks on details of rescue
      Greece's borrowing costs skyrocketed to new record highs Wednesday as the government began crucial talks on the details of a rescue package for the debt-ridden country.

    • The SEC vs. Goldman: The Kitty has Claws
      The SEC has faced intense criticism from the public and media regarding the way it loosened leveraging rules, a key cause of the implosion of major investment banks and the meltdown as a whole. The SEC also took a pounding over its handling of the Bernie Madoff fiasco. SEC officials chose to ignore explicit warnings from whistleblowers that Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme. The SEC also mishandled its first major case related to the crisis, being roundly scolded by a federal judge for not being tough enough on Bank of America’s secret bonus and salary deal with Merrill Lynch.

    • Bill on Finance Wins Approval of Senate Panel
      Senate Republicans and Democrats predicted on Wednesday that Congress would soon pass a far-reaching overhaul of the nation’s financial regulatory system, indicating a potentially swift resolution of the latest partisan firefight on Capitol Hill.

    • At Schwab, Settlement of a Lawsuit on Securities
      Charles Schwab, the brokerage firm, said Tuesday that it had agreed to pay $200 million to settle a federal class-action lawsuit claiming it had misled investors about the risks of a short-term bond fund.

    • Goldman case shows power of SEC's bully pulpit
      The Securities and Exchange Commission's fraud case against Goldman Sachs signals a new era of toughness for an agency beset by a series of public blunders.

      Yet as it aims to become a tougher cop, the SEC faces a new obstacle: Banks have grown faster than the penalties the agency typically imposes. The sheer size of Goldman — whose quarterly profits just hit $3.3 billion — means court-approved penalties are likely to be too small to hurt it financially.

    • Goldman Sachs CDO Lawsuit Split SEC Commissioners in 3-2 Vote
      The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission split 3-2 along party lines to approve an enforcement case against Goldman Sachs Group Inc., according to two people with knowledge of the vote.

    • AIG Said to Insure Goldman Sachs’s Board Against Investor Suits
      American International Group Inc., the financial firm rescued by the U.S., is the lead insurer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s board against shareholder lawsuits, said a person with knowledge of the policy.

    • AIG Considering Potential Claims Against Goldman Sachs
      American International Group Inc. is considering potential claims against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and other Wall Street banks over soured mortgage assets that led to heavy losses for the insurance giant, according to a person familiar with the matter.

    • Scrutiny of Goldman Sachs Increases After Fraud Charges
      Government allegations that financial giant Goldman Sachs defrauded investors are creating a political storm, with some lawmakers hoping that the civil lawsuit filed Friday by the Securities and Exchange Commission is just the beginning.

      As the heat increases on the investment bank, which has denied all wrongdoing, Politico reports that they have hired Greg Craig for legal help. Craig formerly worked as the top lawyer for President Barack Obama and left the White House earlier this year to join the law firm Skadden, Arps.

    • Suspecting politics in Goldman Sachs charges, Rep. Issa asks SEC for information
      Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are looking into whether the Securities and Exchange Commission was motivated by politics in filing civil charges against Goldman Sachs last week. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) sent SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro a letter Tuesday asking for documentation of "any sort of prearrangement, coordination, direction from, or advance notice" between the SEC and the Obama administration or congressional Democrats.

    • Jerry, eMeg and the Goldman Sachs Connection
      With the Securities and Exchange Commission formally charging the huge investment bank with fraud last Friday, Brown’s campaign has been handed a fresh opportunity, not only to disrupt the Whitman campaign narrative that her executive business experience splendidly qualifies her for governor, but also to perform political jujitsu on the exorbitant campaign spending eMeg is fronting with her personal fortune.

    • F.S.A. Investigating Goldman Sachs
      The Financial Services Authority, Britain’s financial regulator, said Tuesday it had opened a formal investigation into Goldman Sachs in relation to recent accusations that the firm had defrauded investors, Julia Werdigier reports in The New York Times.

    • Wall Street reform and Goldman Sachs
      Some readers blame Republican dislike for governmental rules and regulations as one reason a massive government bailout was needed to rescue the economy. Other readers claim that all Democrats want to do is have government run everything, a solution that flies in the face of our freedoms and what once made our country great. A few seek more specifics about exactly what is being proposed.

    • Goldman Sachs' legal problems may slam oil prices
      Goldman's (GS) fraud charges are sure to affect oil prices too -- and I think crude will be a terrific short for the medium term. Of all the things surely affecting oil prices, it has been my theory that the financial player's perceptions of the market are the most important and telling.

    • With GOP In Its Pocket, Financial Industry Tries To Buy Off UK Conservatives
      Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged that Goldman Sachs defrauded investors by failing to disclose conflicts of interest in subprime mortgage investments it sold as the housing market collapsed in 2007. Fabrice Tourre, a Goldman Vice President, is accused of encouraging investments into subprime mortgage securities he knew would fail, while working with a hedge fund to bet against its success. Referring to himself as the “the fabulous Fab,” Tourre boasted in e-mails about his scheme to defraud investors.

    • Goldman Sachs ‘Had Duty’ to Keep Paulson Bets Secret
      Goldman Sachs Group Inc., being sued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over claims that it deceived investors about one of its financial products, tried to fend off regulators last fall by arguing it had a duty to keep the information confidential.

      The company failed to disclose that hedge fund Paulson & Co., run by billionaire John Paulson, helped pick the underlying securities in a collateralized debt obligation and then bet against them, the SEC said in a lawsuit filed April 16. After being told in July 2009 that the SEC planned to bring a complaint, New York-based Goldman Sachs argued it had been compelled to keep Paulson’s role secret.

    • 'Fraud' Probe Bank Unveils €£3.6bn Pay Pot
      Goldman Sachs has set aside a quarterly pay-and-bonus pot of €£3.6bn - just hours after learning it faces a formal fraud investigation by the City watchdog.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Dow Throws A Dismal Party, Few Attend
      Bucolic Prospect park in Brooklyn, NY played host to a bizarre spectacle on Sunday, as a dramatically under-attended Dow-sponsored "Run for Water" was infiltrated and turned upside down by hundreds of furious activists, including a hundred dressed as Dow spokespeople.

      New Yorkers who came to the park expecting a light run followed by a free concert found themselves unwitting extras in a macabre and chaotic scene as runners keeled over dead, Dow-branded grim reapers chased participants, and a hundred fake Dow representatives harangued other protesters and and handed out literature that explained Dow's greenwashing program in frank detail.

    • Formaldehyde Industry Winning in Katrina Country
      After Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, thousands of Louisiana residents claimed to suffer respiratory problems after being housed in government trailers contaminated with formaldehyde. Despite this, Senator David Vitter, (R-Louisiana), has been working to stall the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's process of updating its 20 year-old health risk assessment of formaldehyde.

    • Can Eating Junk Food Cure Breast Cancer?
      When a company promotes pink-ribboned products and claims to care about breast cancer while also selling products linked to disease or injury, it's called pinkwashing, and it's has taken some pretty outrageous forms in the last few years. Ford, Mercedes and BMW have all urged people to buy and drive cars in the name of breast cancer, but exhaust from internal combustion engines contains toxic chemicals linked to disease. The Yoplait yogurt company sold pink-lidded yogurt to raise money for breast cancer, while manufacturing products with milk from cows stimulated by the artificial hormone RBGH, which studies show increases the risk of breast cancer. (Some yogurt companies, including Yoplait, have stopped using RGBH.) There's even a breast cancer awareness gun, and we thought that took the cake.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • 'South Park' Creators Could Face Retribution for Depicting Muhammad, Website Warns
      A radical Islamic website is warning the creators of "South Park" that they could face violent retribution for depicting the Prophet Muhammad in a bear suit during an episode broadcast on Comedy Central last week.

    • German civil society calls for a definitive end to telecommunications data retention
      More than 40 organisations and associations yesterday asked the German Federal Minister of Justice to "push for the abolition of EU telecommunications data retention requirements" which compel phone and Internet companies to collect data about their customers' communications. According to the letter, data retention puts confidential activity and contacts, for example to journalists, crisis lines and business partners, at risk of disclosure by way of data leaks and abuses. It is expensive and damages the freedom of communication.

  • Copyrights

    • This Ain’t No Popularity Contest – It’s Politics
      In my opinion Richard is in a Conflict of Interest situation. He didn’t disclose in his article who he was working for. He may claim that his article was his personal opinion, but it reads like it was written by and/or for the MPAA and the RIAA, and in fact I have good reason to believe that he is working for them, or for one of their member companies. There is nothing wrong with representing your clients. What is wrong is not declaring those clients, when the client’s interests are at variance with the interests of the Canadian public.

      John Enser of the 1709 Copyright Blog has made a good point. In some cases a non-disclosure agreement may be in place, which may prevent the lawyer from stating who he or she is working for. I suggest that if the lawyer is not able to disclose who their client is, that silence is the honest option.

    • When copyright goes bad

    • The Music Lesson
      In the vast universe of Connexions, an open-source repository of course materials, Catherine Schmidt-Jones, known as Kitty, is something of a champion. She is one of the most prolific producers of “modules,” the chunks of information that are arranged — and can be rearranged — into courses. Her subject? Not English literature or math or other topics generally considered to be the core of education. It is music.

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