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Links 31/7/2010: Western PA Linux User Group, Android, and OLPC Goodwill



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Contents





GNU/Linux

  • The Foundations of a Community: Western PA Linux User Group – Part One
    The time was ripe for Linux and free software in the late 1990′s. Netscape formed mozilla.org in February 1998 to fight the Microsoft in the browse war. Oracle, the proprietary database, supported Linux as a platform in October 1998. Sun Microsystems released Star Office in November 1998, the previous name of the Microsoft-crushing Oracle Open Office suite. Red Hat went public in August 1999 and quickly acquired Cygnus, the makers of the Cygwin – a bash shell with GNU tools for Windows. Meanwhile Apache gained and maintained at least 50% market share in the web server market, an achievement which Microsoft has never been able to do.


  • The Foundations of a Community: Western PA Linux User Group – Part Two


  • Desktop

    • Why Windows still has good sales figures
      16:29:53 Agent Makrand_Karante is there any thing else that I may assist you with today? 16:30:07 Customer Alan well not really. I just wanted a laptop running Ubuntu. 16:30:19 Customer Alan Do you have any without an operating system at all? 16:30:28 Agent Makrand_Karante I am afraid no 16:30:36 Customer Alan oh 16:31:23 Customer Alan so if I want a laptop from Dell I have to buy windows








  • Devices/Embedded





    • Phones





      • Android

        • The State of the Android Ecosystem
          The G1 was almost completely un-branded as an HTC phone. Instead, HTC gave over control of the UI to Google to ship a completely “stock” version of Android OS 1.0 (later given an over-the-air update to 1.6), and carried by T-Mobile. But Google had been clear from the inception of the Android OS: Its intended goal was to have multiple hardware configurations, running multiple versions of the OS, supported by multiple carriers simultaneously.


        • Android's UK phone sales quadruple
          Sales of Android-based phones more than quadrupled in the UK during the most-recent quarter.










    • Sub-notebooks

      • Negroponte Offers OLPC Technology for $35 Tablet
        The nonprofit organization One Laptop Per Child wants to join forces to help develop the Indian government's planned US$35 tablet.

        In a congratulatory note to the government, OLPC Chairman Nicholas Negroponte said the world needs the $35 tablet, and he offered the country full access to OLPC hardware and software technology.










Free Software/Open Source



  • SAP Warms to Open Source
    In 2005, Shai Agassi, then the SAP executive in charge of the company's product group, expressed ambivalence over using open-source software. In the years since, however, the company has warmed to the idea. Certainly, SAP's chief rival Oracle, for instance, is an active, if controversial, supporter and sponsor of many open-source software projects.




  • Healthcare

    • Wrap-up of the health care IT track at O'Reilly's Open Source convention
      The first health care track to be included in an O'Reilly conference covered all three days of sessions at last week's Open Source convention and brought us 22 talks from programmers, doctors, researchers, corporate heads, and health care advocates. We grappled throughout these three days--which included two popular and highly vocal Birds of a Feather gatherings--with the task of opening up health care.


    • VistA scenarios, and other controversies at the Open Source health care track
      Yesterday, as I described in my previous blog, we heard an overview of trends in health care and its open source side in particular. Two open source free software projects offering electronic health records were presented, Tolven and openEMR. Today was VistA day, and those who stayed all the way through were entertained by accolades of increasing fervor from the heads of vxVistA, Medsphere, and ClearHealth. (Anyone who claims that VistA is cumbersome and obsolete will have to explain why it seems to back up so many successful companies.) In general, a nice theme to see today was so many open source companies making a go of it in the health care field.






Leftovers

  • American Psychological Association claims to pay for peer review. Should we send them a bill?
    The reality: publishers do not pay for peer review; this is provided on a voluntary basis by the academic community itself.

    This is an argument that keeps coming up over and over again, and I am wondering how to get the point across that it is foolish to claim to pay for valuable services that you are getting for free?


  • Bloomsbury to e-publish one-million page Churchill archive
    Bloomsbury is to make its first move into archive publishing, digitising and publishing in electronic form the one-million page personal archive of wartime prime minister Sir Winston Churchill.


  • Publisher argues free access to research violates administration's transparency initiative
    Free online access to federally funded research articles defies the White House's open government directive, a journal publisher told House members at a hearing on Thursday.

    A December 2009 presidential memo on transparency in government instructed federal agencies to abide by the precepts of public disclosure, civic engagement in policymaking and collaboration with the private sector, but not at the expense of national security, privacy or "other genuinely compelling interests."




  • Security/Aggression

    • Nuclear News: Document Reveals Military Was Concerned About Gulf War Vets' Exposure to Depleted Uranium
      ‘For years, the government has denied that depleted uranium (DU), a radioactive toxic waste left over from nuclear fission and added to munitions used in the Persian Gulf and Iraq wars, poisoned Iraqi civilians and veterans. But a little-known 1993 Defense Department document written by then-Brigadier Gen. Eric Shinseki, now the secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), shows that the Pentagon was concerned about DU contamination and the agency had ordered medical testing on all personnel that were exposed to the toxic substance. Shinseki's memo, under the subject line, "Review of Draft to Congress - Health and Environmental Consequences of Depleted Uranium in the U.S. Army -- Action Memorandum," makes some small revisions to the details of these three orders from the DoD: 1. Provide adequate training for personnel who may come in contact with DU contaminated equipment. 2. Complete medical testing of all personnel exposed to DU in the Persian Gulf War. 3. Develop a plan for DU contaminated equipment recovery during future operations. The VA, however, never conducted the medical tests, which may have deprived hundreds of thousands of veterans from receiving medical care to treat cancer and other diseases that result from exposure to DU.’


    • FBI admits probing ‘radical’ historian Zinn for criticizing bureau
      FBI files show bureau may have tried to get Zinn fired from Boston University for his political opinions

      Those who knew of the dissident historian Howard Zinn would not be surprised that J. Edgar Hoover's FBI kept tabs on him for decades during the Cold War.


    • Italy will fine people who disagree with Berlusconi
      THE GLORIOUS GOVERNMENT of the Piccolo Duce Silvio Berlusconi wants to fine bloggers and Facebook users for writing things that disagree with government lines.

      Berlusconi took time away from his busy casting couch for European MPs to push through a law that will fine bloggers up to €25,000 for publishing "incorrect facts".









  • Environment/Wildlife/Nature

    • Whale fossil stuck in Egypt customs wrangle
      For years archaeologists have been unearthing a remarkable collection of whale fossils, all the more surprising because the area is now inland desert in upper Egypt.

      It is believed that about 40 million years ago the area was submerged in water, part of the Tethys Sea. As the sea retreated north to the Mediterranean it left a series of unique rock formations and also a cornucopia of fossils.


    • Will notorious forest destroyer Sinar Mas come clean?
      The short answer: not likely.

      In fact, not only will they not be likely to come ‘clean’, but today we are releasing fresh evidence that Sinar Mas’s notorious forest destroying practices continue unabated and in direct violation of the company’s own environmental commitments on protecting forests and peatlands.


    • Al Gore cleared of assault allegations made by masseuse
      Rees also said the masseuse and her attorneys were uncooperative, witnesses could not remember anything unusual, and that the masseuse failed a polygraph examination and would not say whether she was paid by a tabloid newspaper for her story.


    • Curbing Emissions with BRT, Leading with Clean Energy, and Bringing Information and Communication Tools to Remote Areas
      Looking back one, two and five years ago today on Worldchanging...


    • Metroradruhr: Germany's Ruhr Valley Inter-City Bike Sharing
      This summer brings a new regional bike-sharing system, Metroradruhr, to ten industrial Ruhr valley cities. Started on June 18th in Dortmund, Germany the system has now reached five of the cities. Bikes are now, or soon will be, available in Bochum, Bottrop, Dortmund, Duisburg, Essen, Gelsenkirchen, Hamm, Herne, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Oberhausen. This is not just a series of suburban satellite additions to a larger city system, but a single system connecting nearby cities together.


    • Subsidising oil spills
      When oil started leaking from Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico, did you know that you were paying BP and Halliburton to contribute to the disaster?


    • Oil disaster impacts reach far and wide
      Today we visited one of the Bird Rehabilitation Centers in Louisiana. We saw dozens of birds, from different species, cleaned of oil with detergent, water and toothbrushes and tagged. They are monitored and then released to the wild. The center has treated and release more then 500 birds so far, a small number if you take into account that more then 550 miles (885Km) of shoreline has been impacted by the Deep Water Horizon disaster.


    • A funeral and a celebration: grim clouds over Dalian
      I arrived in Dalian on the day of the funeral for firefighter Zhang Liang, who drowned beneath the thick crude when his crew jumped into the ocean – without safety gear – to attempt, in vain, to fix an underwater pipe. Our lead photographer, Jiang He, who by now has reached legendary status globally for capturing the final seconds of Zhang's life, continued to cover the very emotional moments of this oil spill disaster.


    • Oil spill in China worsens
      We continue to keep a close watch on the development of the oil spill in Dalian, China, which has already cost the life of a firemen and continues to grow, posing an increasingly severe threat to the area’s coastal ecosystem.


    • Floods wash 3,000 chemical barrels into China river


    • Oily action








  • Finance

    • Ponzi Schemer's Bankruptcy Trustee Sues Florida GOP for Donations Payback
      Bankruptcy attorneys for the Scott Rothstein estate have filed suit against The Republican Party of Florida, seeking the repayment of $237,000 in campaign contributions from the jailed former attorney.

      In a suit filed Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Fort Lauderdale, Berger Singerman, the law firm for trustee Herbert Stettin, alleges that the Republican Party has refused to return more than 10 different donations made by Rothstein over a four-year period.

      "The Trustee has made repeated efforts over a period of several months to resolve this claim without resort to litigation," said Paul Singerman of Berger Singerman in Fort Lauderdale.








  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • How WikiLeaks Could Change the Way Reporters Deal With Secrets
      For the past several decades, there has been an informal understanding between the reporters who uncovered newsworthy secrets and the government intelligence agencies, which tried to keep them from public view.

      We would tell senior officials what we'd learned. And they would point out any unforeseen consequences that might arise from publication, such as the death of an American informant. Ultimately, the call on what appeared rested with editors. But it was a decision informed by more than our own guesswork.


    • Sherrod Says She Will Sue Blogger
      Ms. Sherrod also said she intended to sue Andrew Breitbart, the blogger, who runs BigGovernment.com and who posted the edited video of her making what appeared to be antiwhite remarks in a speech that was really about racial conciliation.

      “He hasn’t apologized, and I don’t want it at this point,” she said of Mr. Breitbart, adding that she intended to sue him. “He will definitely hear from me.”


    • New partnerships
      There are several marvellous things to note about this latest bombardment from cyberspace. One, when new media challenges old media, it is still possible for the latter to outshine the former.

      Get on to the Afghan War Diary web pages on Wikileaks and you will be suitably fazed. How to get something useful out of these bald listings without investing inordinate time?


    • Military transfers Manning to Quantico, VA


    • US will press criminal charges against Manning, alleged Wikileaks source
      The U.S. military has announced that it will press criminal charges against 22 year old Pfc. Bradley E. Manning for allegedly transferring classified military information to his personal computer, "wrongfully adding unauthorized software to a Secret Internet Protocol Router network computer," obtaining "more than 150,000 classified U.S. State Department cables," and transmitting data to unauthorized persons.


    • WikiLeaks: We don’t know source of leaked data
      WikiLeaks' editor-in-chief claims his organization doesn't know who sent it some 91,000 secret U.S. military documents on the Afghan war, telling journalists the website was set up to hide the source of its data from those who receive it.


    • US Army: alleged Wikileaks source Manning faces 52 years


    • A tide turns
      Technology used to help spies. Now it hinders them


    • Russia blocks Youtube
      VIDEO SHARING WEBSITE Youtube has been blocked by a Russian Internet service provider (ISP) after a court deemed that the service carries extremist videos.



    • Russian city blocks YouTube








  • Digital Economy (UK)









Clip of the Day



Role of Free Knowledge and Free Software in Education and Research



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