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Links 29/4/2011: Linux 2.6.39 RC 5, Slackware 13.37



GNOME bluefish

Contents





GNU/Linux



  • Ten places Linux and open source can thrive
    Some people might be surprised at the numbers of organisations that are now employing open source, says Jack Wallen. But which areas of activity could most benefit from its greater adoption?

    Some industries with few outward signs of open source are already taking advantage of it, while in others it has no presence whatsoever. What is certain is that they could all benefit — in ways ranging from cost-effectiveness to reliability.




  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.39-rc5


    • Why systemd?
      systemd is still a young project, but it is not a baby anymore. The initial announcement I posted precisely a year ago. Since then most of the big distributions have decided to adopt it in one way or another, many smaller distributions have already switched. The first big distribution with systemd by default will be Fedora 15, due end of May. It is expected that the others will follow the lead a bit later (with one exception). Many embedded developers have already adopted it too, and there's even a company specializing on engineering and consulting services for systemd. In short: within one year systemd became a really successful project.




  • Applications



  • Desktop Environments



    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • New Kdenlive Released, Gets Rotoscope
        The Kdenlive Team has announced the release of version 0.8. The latest version of the popular film-editing software has some cool features which include: Multi track editing; Realtime effects and transitions; Image, color, titles, video and audio clips; customizable layout and ability to export to various formats.


      • User experience, one pixel at a time
        A couple of weeks ago, I've been attending 2011 user experience Sprint, in Berlin. That was interesting and nice and productive and everything, and above all it was my first live encounter with other KDE people, including Nuno.

        There's been (notably) quite some discussions about how information and functionality should be presented to users, organized and formulated, in order to be complete but not overwhelming, sexy, gratifying, and elegant.

        [...]

        Things one notices:

        * more visible pressed tool buttons at the top * new slider at the bottom * and new folder icons (quite unrelated with this post actually), on which Nuno has been working lately (and I'm sure he would blog better than I about it).

        Things one does not notice (but with which we are happy):

        * improved holes for the scrollbars, progressbars, and main view (note notably how the main view bottom corners are better rounded) * improved (well, bug fixed) rendering of the capacity bar at the bottom.

        To give proper credit to whom it belongs, some of the improvements above have been primarily instigated by Peter Penz, Dolphin dev.






  • Distributions



  • Devices/Embedded



    • Tablets

      • Convert Your NOOk Color Into An Android Tablet
        Barnes & Nobel announced that NOOK Color’s update to Android OS 2.2/Froyo offers system improvements, enhanced browser performance and a more complete Web experience giving customers access to enjoy even more video, interactive and animated content.








Free Software/Open Source



  • Modo Labs Launches Open-Source Mobile Development Framework
    Modo Labs, a provider of open-source content-delivery solutions for mobile, has debuted its Kurogo Mobile Framework for developers.


  • Web Browsers



    • Chrome

      • Google Releases Chrome 11 Stable for Linux
        The Google Chrome developers at Google proudly announced last evening (April 27th) the stable release and immediate availability for download of the Google Chrome 11.0.696.57 web browser for Linux, Windows, Macintosh and Chrome Frame platforms.




    • Mozilla

      • Iceweasel/Firefox 4 in Debian Squeeze - I make the leap
        I contend that it's not necessary nor even desirable to upgrade an entire Linux distribution or BSD installation just to get some shiny newness like Firefox 4.


      • New Flamerobin snapshot revision 2100 in #debian
        The main change is that now it requires firebird2.5-dev instead of firebird3.0 headers and decided that is better to have a flamerobin 0.9.3 in the distros released for the next 1-2 years with a stable firebird 2.5.x and add firebird 3.0 requirement when is ready and stable ~1-2 years


      • Firefox AwesomeBar HD, Nothing That I Want
        Different teams and individuals are working on the Firefox web browser. Some are improving the web browser’s core, others are working on the interface or experimental extensions that may one day be added to the web browser’s core.

        One of those experimental spin-offs is the AwesomeBar HD which is now available as a beta release for Firefox 4 and newer versions of the web browser. As the name suggests, it has something to do with Firefox’s address bar.


      • Mozilla overhauling Firefox graphics, JavaScript
        In the quest for better browser speed, Mozilla has begun work on new Firefox engines for running JavaScript programs and displaying graphics.






  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle May Cease Support of Popular Linux Distributives Too.
      In a bid to further consolidate its server business in general and mission-critical server in particular, Oracle may in future cease support of popular Red Hat and SUSE Linux operating systems, according to an analyst. This currently seems to be a problem for a lot of customers using Intel Corp.'s Itanium-based systems from HP, who are unsure about the future of Itanium in general and HP-UX in particular.




  • BSD

    • Did You Know You Can Try BSD With VirtualBSD?
      A while ago back in January I came across this announcement on OSNews.com and made a mental note that this was something I had to try. VirtualBSD 8.1 was released on or around 4/01/2011 and it basically gives you a pre-defined FreeBSD 8.1 installation with Xfce 4.6 and a range of applications in a virtual machine. It is a desktop ready FreeBSD 8.1-RELEASE in the form of a VMware appliance but can also in a few steps be made to run with VirtualBox. Read the instructions for that here. As I already had VMware Player installed I went for using it as intended. Most of what I'm going to write you can also read on the VirtualBSD site so feel free to skip over.






Leftovers

  • US Supremes deal death blow to class action lawsuits
    The US Supreme Court has granted a whopping victory to AT&T, the US Chamber of Commerce, and supportive corporations, by reversing previous court decisions that had prevented corporations from requiring individual arbitration of customers' complaint.

    By issuing its 5-4 decision on Wednesday, the Court has essentially stripped away individuals' rights to band together in class-action lawsuits should a corporation choose to include an arbitration requirement in its contracts or licensing agreements.




  • Finance

    • How Wall Street Thieves, Led by Goldman Sachs, Took Down the Global Economy -- Their Outsized Influence Must be Stopped
      The Senate report calls for tighter regulations so that banks can’t play these games ever again. It calls for more effective regulatory agencies and rules, and it wants major reforms on the way the rating agencies work --- much of this already contained in the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. But in addition, the subcommittee obviously wants more federal prosecution of Goldman Sachs and others as it asks that “Federal regulators…. identify any violations of law…” (p 638).


    • As Wall St. Firms Grow, Their Reputations Are Dying
      Reputation is dead on Wall Street.

      This is not to say that financiers and financial institutions still do not commit foolish misdeeds. Rather, so long as the authorities do not find law-breaking, the penalties are few.

      The list of examples is long.


    • Don't Let Goldman off the Hook
      With crises mounting daily—wars, deficits, debt limits, natural disasters—it's tempting to forget the cataclysms of the past. In particular, America seems to have amnesia about the Wall Street-induced catastrophe that destroyed so much of our economy. We still haven't learned its lessons, and if we don't pay attention, we're soon going to pay again for its perpetrators' callous disregard for the public interest.


    • Taking on Wall Street
      Lorin Reisner ’83 and Kenneth Lench ’84 were about to take on perhaps the most important lawsuit in the history of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

      It was April 2010, and Reisner, the deputy director of the SEC’s enforcement division in Washington, D.C., and Lench, head of a key unit in the division, were preparing a civil fraud suit against Wall Street powerhouse Goldman Sachs.

      The Brandeis graduates had helped successfully convince the SEC’s five commissioners to vote for the suit, arguing that 
Goldman misled investors about complex securities at the heart of the mortgage meltdown. But opposition within the agency was so fierce that it led to a nonunanimous vote to pursue the suit.


    • A.I.G. to Sue 2 Firms to Recover Some Losses
      The American International Group, the giant insurer rescued by the federal government during the financial crisis, on Thursday will file the first of what could be a series of lawsuits against Wall Street firms, contending that it was the victim of fraud.


    • Report: Republicans' Hidden $34 Trillion Tax On Seniors
      A new report by economists at the liberal Center for Economic and Policy Research looks at House Republicans' plan for privatizing Medicare from a new angle, and finds that it could increase Health Care costs for beneficiaries by a staggering $34 Trillion over 75 years.


    • U.S. Economic Growth Slows to 1.8% Rate in Quarter
      Total output grew at an annual pace of 1.8 percent from January through March, the Commerce Department said Thursday, after having expanded at an annual rate of 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010.

      When the year first began, economists had been expecting a much more robust growth rate of about 4 percent, only to be barraged by bad report after bad report as the days wore on. Turmoil in the Middle East set off a jump in oil prices. Winter blizzards shuttered businesses and delayed construction, causing investments in nonresidential structures like office buildings to fall by 21.7 percent compared with an increase of 7.6 percent at the end of 2010. Imports, which are subtracted from output, surged, and military spending sank.


    • ExxonMobil earnings up 69 percent


    • More people applied for unemployment benefits
      More people sought unemployment benefits last week, the second rise in three weeks, a sign of the slow and uneven jobs recovery.

      Applications for unemployment benefits jumped 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 429,000 for the week ending April 23, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's the highest total since late January.


    • Sokol Is Accused of Misleading Buffett on Trades
      Berkshire Hathaway directors have accused David L. Sokol, once considered a possible successor to Warren E. Buffett, of misleading the company about his personal stake in a specialty chemicals manufacturer that Berkshire recently agreed to acquire.

      Mr. Sokol, who resigned in March, never told Mr. Buffett that he had bought his stake in Lubrizol after Citigroup bankers had pitched the company as a potential takeover target, according to a report by the audit committee of the Berkshire board that was released on Wednesday.


    • Wonkbook: The Fed chooses a side
      Ben Bernanke’s first press conference wasn’t much for pomp and circumstance. Bernanke sat, he didn’t stand. The few cameras in the room didn’t hunt for the dramatic angles or work to heighten the tension between the chairman and his interrogators. Very few jokes were cracked, and Bernanke made no major missteps. It looked like what it was: an economist talking to econowonks about the economy. But tucked inside the talk of “anchoring inflation expectations” and “the economy’s central tendency” was perhaps the most important economic policy statement that Americans will hear this year: the Fed, Bernanke admitted, has chosen a side.


    • The FDIC’s Resolution Problem
      Under the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation (Title II of that Act), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is granted expanded powers to intervene and manage the closure of any failing bank or other financial institution. There are two strongly-held views of this legal authority: it substantially solves the problem of how to handle failing megabanks and therefore serves as an effective constraint on their future behavior; or it is largely irrelevant.

      Both views are expressed by well-informed people at the top of regulatory structures on both sides of the Atlantic (at least in private conversations). Which is right? In terms of legal process, the resolution authority could make a difference. But as a matter of practical politics and actual business practices, it means very little for our biggest financial institutions.


    • Economy slowed by high gas prices, bad weather
      The economy slowed sharply in the first three months of the year. High gas prices cut into consumer spending, bad weather delayed construction projects and the federal government slashed defense spending by the most in six years.

      The 1.8 percent annual growth rate in the January-March quarter was weaker than the 3.1 percent growth in the previous quarter, the Commerce Department reported. And it was the worst showing since last spring when the European debt crisis slowed growth to a 1.7 percent pace.


    • Profit Jumps at Exxon and Shell
      Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell reported hefty increases in their first-quarter profit on Thursday, helped by higher oil prices and earnings from refining.

      Exxon Mobil, the largest American oil company, said net income rose 69 percent to $10.7 billion, or $2.14 a share, in the first three months of this year, from $6.3 billion, or $1.33 a share, in the same period last year.

      The earnings beat some analysts’ expectations, and marked the fifth quarter in a row that Exxon reported an earnings increase.




  • Privacy

    • Jobs Says Apple Made Mistakes With iPhone Data
      Hoping to put to rest a growing controversy over privacy, Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive, took the unusual step of personally explaining that while Apple had made mistakes in how it handled location data on its mobile devices, it had not used the iPhone and iPad to keep tabs on the whereabouts of its customers.




  • DRM

    • Sony, Security, and Bovine Waste
      You see, another really annoying feature of the PS3 is Sony's removal of the Other OS option, which made it possible for people who bought a PS3 to install Linux if they were so inclined. The removal of this option was something that happend basically as soon as I got my PS3. Shame on your Sony for telling people they could use your device for a specific purpose then taking that feature away from your paying customers. To make matters worse on this front, Sony thinks it's okay to harras, sue, and otherwise make their customers' lives a living hell for trying to return the functionality customers paid for. Ask George Hotz how reasonable Sony is when their legal thugs come knocking. In case you haven't been following this, George Hotz, aka geohotz, figured out a way to jailbreak the PS3 and got sued for doing so.




  • Intellectual Monopolies



    • Trademarks

      • Steve Jobs' Android jabs may cost him App Store trademark
        Quick: When you hear the phrase "app store," what's the first thing that comes to mind?

        That's the question a couple of tech's biggest players -- Apple and Amazon -- are fighting over right now. Apple says "app store" is synonymous with its iOS App Store alone; Amazon says the term is generic and can be used by anyone.

        You've heard about this battle, right? Apple is suing Amazon for using the term "app store" (or, more specifically, "Appstore") in the name of its new Android application store. Apple claims it owns the trademark and has exclusive rights to the term.


      • Apple’s App Store lawsuit gets a response from Amazon
        Apple had filed a lawsuit in March against Amazon’s use of “App Store” in their newly launched Amazon AppStore. Apple had informed Amazon that using the term “App Store” was unlawful because they owned the rights to the term itself. In the lawsuit Amazon indicates that the term “App Store” is too generic for Apple to lay claim to the name itself.




    • Copyrights

      • Wikileaks Cable Confirms Public Pressure Forced Delay of Canadian Copyright Bill in 2008
        A new Wikileaks cable confirms that the Conservative government delayed introducing copyright legislation in early 2008 due to public opposition. The delay - which followed the decision in December 2007 to hold off introducing a bill after it was placed on the order paper (and the Fair Copyright for Canada Facebook group took off) - lasted until June 2008. The U.S. cable notes confirmation came directly from then-Industry Minister Jim Prentice, who told U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins that cabinet colleagues and Conservative MPs were worried about the electoral implications of copyright reform...


      • The Massive Treasure Trove Of Historic Jazz Recordings That Almost No One Has Heard... Thanks To Copyright
        The museum is rushing to digitize the collection (much of which has deteriorated or was destroyed), but the only way to hear it is to make an appointment at the museum. They insist they're going to try to tackle the copyright issues to release the music, but it's clear that's going to be an incredibly difficult task. What's really unfortunate is how all of these works should be in the public domain, if we just went by what the law said when they were made. Yet, thanks to copyright maximalism, the world and our culture suffers completely unnecessarily.


      • ACTA

        • When DHS Questioned ACTA


        • Homeland Security's 2008 letter to USTR: ACTA is a threat to national security
          On August 7, 2008, Stewart Baker, the Assistant Secretary for Policy at the Department of Homeland Security, sent a one page letter and a three page "Policy Position on Border Measures of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement."

          Stewart Baker was the General Counsel of the National Security Agency from 1992 to 1994, and was appointed the first Assistant Secretary for Policy at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by George W Bush.












Clip of the Day



HTC Desire Z running Gingerbread/Cyanogenmod 7 (And debian linux with lxde)



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Credit: TinyOgg

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