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Links 2/5/2011: New Tablets Running Linux, More ACTA Backlash

GNOME bluefish



  • A Fishy Tale
    Linux is like an ocean. Water keeps coming from the rivers, and there are a lot of rivers around. There is much to see if you want to, while doing all your regular swimming activities. You can travel the ocean far and wide and be wiser, or you can stick to your school and enjoy your locale. You take the call. You can migrate to a different part of the ocean in search of peace/adventure. You take the call. Typical of an ocean, you find big fish, small fish, medium fish, etc. You can be lost and ask for directions or befriend them and swim more of the ocean. You take the call. This is freedom. With so much freedom, comes so much power. With that much power, comes that much responsibility. You can use it according to the book and be safe, or take a few wrong steps and learn lessons the harder way. Of course, nowadays there are nicely laid out paths in the ocean for new fish to start out, cutting the intimidation. So, you can learn a few things about the ocean and, if you want a little more, the adventure is limited only by your imagination.

  • Desktop

    • Desirable OS
      It has been a long time if ever that Linux has been described as a desirable OS but it is happening now. A survey of smartphone-lovers finds that more intend to buy Android/Linux next rather than iOS or worst, Phoney 7. Underneath it is the same stuff that consumers have not been choosing for a decade but the change is understandable. While the forces of evil denigrated GNU/Linux as “communism” and “cancer” and their multitudes of “partners” repeated the chants until the media believed them and common wisdom in the retail trade was than no one would buy GNU/Linux, the makers of smart phones have been uncontaminated. You can see ads on television for smart phones with Android/Linux from the manufacturers, ISPs, banks, etc. and many millions of people are showing them to their friends. The “partners” have been bypassed. The monopoly is now irrelevant.

    • Building a PC

    • HeliOS Buillds Its Future
      With six guys, plus Skip and me, we got the sheet rock to the new HeliOS building and got it unloaded. We will probably start hanging it this evening or tomorrow, then the fun part starts...we get to find someone who knows how to tape, mud and float.

    • Exclusive Interview With System 76 CEO Carl Richell
      Muktware: What is System 76? Can you tell us something about how and when you conceptualized the company and what was the driving force behind it? Carl Richell: We started discussing System76 back in 2003 but not seriously until 2005. We felt that GNU/Linux had come a long way and deserved an OEM building high quality pc's backed by dedicated support.

      There was also this newfangled distro called Ubuntu. It clearly had traction. There was already a great community and a unique and attractive business model behind it. Shortly thereafter, we shipped our first laptops and desktop with Ubuntu 5.10 Breezy Badger.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • New look for KDE Edu

        The KDE Edu Team is proud to present its new website at as the central place to start to discover KDE Edu.

        With this new website, we are also officially presenting the new KDE Edu logo as the stamp for KDE in Education. The logo emphasizes the opportunity for people to grow their knowledge freely in various fields with KDE Edu programs. The concept was started in May 2010 by Alexandre Freitas and finalized by Asunción Sánchez Iglesias.

      • Put the World in Your Pocket with Marble
        Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have the whole world at your fingertips? How about cradling it in a single hand, putting it in your pocket and taking it with you wherever you go? With KDE's Marble Virtual Globe on your mobile phone, you can do just that.

      • KDEnlive 0.8 Released – Best non-linear video editor for Linux
        For a long time I’ve been a big fan of kdenlive. I’ve written a two articles about it. One is a general overview of video editing on Linux and the other is more specific to kdenlive. For a number of years, video editing on linux – at least at a consumer level – has been patchy at best. This is somewhat ironic given the heavy use of linux in major Hollywood block film production. However, with the advent of kdenlive, things are looking pretty good and with the release of version 0.8, there have been some great features added for the more advanced users, while still retaining a simple and easy to use UI.

      • Things I want to see in KWin
        Now with the GSoC application timeline ended, I feel like blogging about some more ideas what I want to see in KWin in our next releases, but are not enough for a GSoC. Nevertheless most of it is in the scope that it can also be handled by new developers. But some parts have to be done by KWin/Plasma developers.

      • Show your Yahoo calendars in KOrganizer ? so easy…
        A few days ago, Jeremy explained how to add your Google calendars to Kontact, how about doing the same with your Yahoo calendars ?

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • A tale of two distros: Slackware 13.37 and Ubuntu 11.04 released
      After months of development, one of the most important Linux distributions was released today. Of course I'm talking about Slackware 13.37. Oh, and the Ubuntu Project released 11.04 today too — though by reading the press release you'd never know Ubuntu was actually a Linux distribution.

    • Supporting Slackware Linux Project

    • Reviews

      • Chakra GNU/Linux review
        Chakra is a Linux distribution based on Arch Linux. It evolved from a hobby project to what is now, from my initial assessment, a very solid desktop distribution with features not yet available on established Linux distributions. The developers warn that, “This is alpha software, it could eat your hamsters.” It did not eat my hamster, but the time I spent installing and reinstalling it on multiple machines and in a virtual environment was very eventful.

        For this review, the first for Chakra on this website, I will let the screenshots do most of the “talking.” I like this approach better because, as they say, a picture is worth more than a thousand words. A screenshot with one or two paragraphs conveys more than a dozen paragraphs of colorful descriptions.

        The version of Chakra that is the subject of this review is Chakra GNU/Linux 2011.04, code-named Aida. It was released on April 27, 2011.

    • New Releases

      • RIPLinuX 12.1

      • [Ubuntu Rescue Remix] Version 11.04
        Version 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) of the very best Free-Libre Open-Source data recovery software toolkit based on Ubuntu is out.

        This version features and up-to-date infrastructure and several new packages including Dump, a backup and restore solution as well as Clamav, the best in free-libre Antivirus software.

        Ubuntu-Rescue-Remix features a full command-line environment with the newsest versions of the most powerful free/libre open-source data recovery software including GNU ddrescue, Photorec, The Sleuth Kit and Gnu-fdisk.

      • Ubuntu Rescue Remix 11.04 Is Available for Download
        Right after the announcement for Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal), Andrew Zajac proudly announced the immediate availability for download of the Ubuntu Rescue Remix 11.04 operating system.

        Ubuntu Rescue Remix 11.04, the rescue and computer forensics Linux distro, is based on the most recent Ubuntu 11.04 release. It comes with lots of updated packages and an up-to-date infrastructure.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • A newcomer in Mageia: Maven
        The Java packaging in Mandriva 2010.1 (from which Mageia was forked) was just unusable. Many of the packages were obsolete and not really maintained. The task of updating packages had become very difficult as Maven, a now very common Java project build tool, was not properly integrated in the distribution. Many Java libraries installed using the old packages would not be usable by Maven. Moreover the version of Maven was obsolete and would not allow building recent software. This was a serious problem for maintaining the Java stack.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Fedora15 steps out
          Latest beta release from Red Hat-backed project makes the switch to Gnome3

          The big issues in the world of Linux right now are the Gnome3 desktop interface and Ubuntu's pending Natty release which will use the Unity desktop interface by default. The tried and tested Gnome2 desktop is finally making way for a new generation of desktop effects and most users will find the change jarringly different.

        • Fedora 15 with GNOME 3 & some cool upgrades!
          The next version of Fedora, Version 15 is available for download as a beta version. The beta version was released and a reworked boot loading system will be featured by this OS. The major changes for the Linux distribution are hopefully taken care of and the complete release is scheduled for May 2011; it is to be noted that this period of release is approximately a month after the release of Ubuntu 11.04. New releases of Fedora can usually be expected about once every six months.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • 17 Top Rated Applications in Ubuntu Software Center You Should Have in Natty Narwhal
          Ubuntu Software Center in 11.04 has got a really nice ratings and reviews system in place that allows us to review our favorite applications and install top rated applications in one click. So here is a list of 17 highly rated applications not installed by default in Ubuntu 11.04.

        • Ubuntu One Music app adds support for playlists, OGG Vorbis, iTunes
          Canonical released Ubuntu 11.04 this week, giving the operating system a dramatically new user interface as well as some new features and performance tweaks. The company also recently launched an updated version of the Ubuntu One music app for Android.

          Ubuntu One allows Ubuntu Linux users to store music online and access it from a computer or mobile device. The service is free to use for 30 days, but you’ll have to sign up for a subscription after that.

        • My Dream Ubuntu One Feature

        • Ubuntu Linux 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) is out

        • Ubuntu 11.04 - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

        • Is Ubuntu 11.04 Beating Apple's Mac OS X in User Experience?

          Canonical yesterday released the final version of Ubuntu Linux 11.04. For quite some time Ubuntu will get a new release twice per year - one in April and one in October. As usual with updated distributions, the release comes with updated software. In this case however, the software responsible for the appearance of the desktop was changed. While previous Ubuntu releases relied on Gnome as a desktop manager, with 11.04 Ubuntu makes the switch to the Unity desktop environment.

        • Thoughts On Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal” After Using It For A Day
          As you should know, Ubuntu 11.04 was released yesterday. I have used the development builds of Ubuntu 11.04 on and off during the development cycle. However, it is not a very good idea to do to do a review during the development phase. So, as soon as the final release of Ubuntu 11.04 was available, I downloaded it and installed it on my laptop. (I actually used zsync to update the image of Ubuntu 11.04 beta that I had.) So, after using it for one whole day, here are my thoughts on Ubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal".

        • Unity Shadow Tweak

        • Unity Compiz Tweaks

        • Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal): How to remove chat and mail icons (indicators) from system tray

        • My first look at Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

        • Ubuntu 11.04 Carrot Dangled in Front of Windows and Mac OS X Users
          Despite its runaway popularity when compared to other Linux distributions, Ubuntu still struggles to capture the attention of the general computing public. With recent releases, Canonical has clearly been looking at ways to make Ubuntu more appealing to the average Joe -- and Natty Narwhal offers plenty of features that could make it an appealing alternative to Windows and Mac OS X.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 – Excellent, but still rough around the edges

        • On Ubuntu 11.04
          I did an in-place upgrade of the Ubuntu 10.10 running on my mother's netbook to Ubuntu 11.04. I had it run overnight, and by morning, voila!, I had Natty Narwhal on the computer. The upgrade went by without a hitch; real sweet, considering this was a Wubi installation.

          I can't say I'm too fond of the new Unity interface yet, though. I like the simplicity, but I've just gotten far too used to the old way of working. Unity just hides several icons so it was at first confusing to look up applications. That said, I'll keep this on for a month or so and see how this works out for me.

        • Ubuntu 11.04 Unity – A Big Leap Forward For Linux
          It’s here. The newest version of Ubuntu sports an entirely new user interface: Unity. It also includes a much-improved Software Center, alongside the usual updates for the thousands of free programs Ubuntu offers. Download it now at

        • Turning Wireless on Causes Laptop to Freeze on Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal? My Work Around

        • Install Google Earth and Fix ugly fonts problem in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty

        • How to get back launch bar and top bar after ubuntu 11.04 (Natty) upgrade

        • Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal): Use 'normal' GNOME instead of Unity

        • Ubuntu’s app management better than Apple’s

        • Ubuntu Can Innovate Faster Than Windows, MacOS
          Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu, is a known frequent blogger. If Steve Jobs personally replies to the emails of users, which the company later denies as Jobs' comments. Shuttleworth, the guy who has been to the space, shares his views in public and allows comments. Of course his blogs are not proprietary.

        • Ubuntu Books | The Top reference books for using Ubuntu

        • Installing Ubuntu 11.04
          Ubuntu 11.04, also known as the Natty Narwhal, arrived on April 28th, 2011 and is the 14th release of the Ubuntu operating system.

          Even if the Ubuntu 11.04 operating system includes a smarter installer, we've created the following tutorial to teach both Linux newcomers and existing Ubuntu users how to install the Ubuntu 11.04 operating system on their personal computer.

        • Linux Mint > Ubuntu 11.04

          I’ve been playing around with Ubuntu 11.04 on a couple of machines for almost a week now. Ubuntu 11.04 has an entirely new user interface to it making doing even the simple things very difficult. Even opening a shell is a major task. You have to click on an apps icon. Then carefully maneuver the mouse to a little triangle that will display all the apps and wait 5 seconds for the interface to respond. Then you must slowly and carefully scroll down. If your mouse deviates outside the area you must restart from scratch because the window will close. In another 5 seconds you’ll find the terminal app. Now if you want a second terminal, shell that is, you can’t get it. The menu only lets you open a single shell. The final kick in the nuts is the color scheme the shell uses. It’s very hard to read.

        • Steel Storm Episode II : Burning Retribution is Coming Soon to Ubuntu Software Center
          Fast paced, 3D top down shooter, Steel Storm : Burning Retribution a.k.a. Episode II will soon land into Ubuntu Software Center where users can easily buy this game in one click.

          Kot-in-Action, the game development studio behind Steel Storm has already successfully delivered Episode I which is featured in Top 100 indie games for the year 2010 by IndieDB. They are now coming up with Episode II which packs in more features, more action and more adrenaline rush. With 25 full missions and a multiplier mode that allows upto 16 players to play together, this is surely an action you would like to watch for this year.

        • Shuttleworth on Ubuntu 11.04 Linux & Unity
          Shuttleworth opened by saying that the main point of Ubuntu 11.04 with Unity was “to bring the joys and freedoms and innovation and performance and security that have always been part of the Linux platform, to a consumer audience.”

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Review: Edubuntu 11.04 "Natty Narwhal"
            Before I get on with the rest of this post, I need to apologize for not having posted anything this week. It turned out to be a good deal busier than I anticipated, and even otherwise, there wasn't a whole lot to write about, at least at the beginning of the week. I did say in the latest "Featured Comments" article that I would review the latest release of Ubuntu — version 11.04 "Natty Narwhal". That is still happening, but for reasons that will become clearer, I will not write reviews of Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Xubuntu/Lubuntu just yet, but will wait a day or maybe a little more.

          • Lubuntu 11.04 Released
            Right after the announcement for Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal), Mario Behling proudly announced last night (April 28th) that Julien Lavergne has released the lightweight Lubuntu 11.04 operating system.

          • Kubuntu Returns to Glory with 11.04
            After years of giving Kubuntu releases unfavorable reviews, that time has finally come to an end. I’m proud to say that Kubuntu is back, and us KDE fans have a distribution to root for now. I hope that going forward, Kubuntu continues with this level of quality. I’m not sure if Kubuntu will remain my main distribution forever, because I prefer the rolling release style of Arch, but that’s just a personal preference. But I can say this, I know first hand how hard it is to get Linux to work with this laptop considering the current state of Intel’s drivers, so I applaud whatever the developers did to make the latest Kubuntu work so well. The distribution as a whole is amazing. Give it a try when it’s released on April 28th, you’ll be glad you did!

          • Xubuntu 11.04 Released With Xfce 4.8, Gmusicbrowser Default, New Artwork [Screenshots]
            Along with Ubuntu 11.04, Xubuntu, Kubuntu and Lubuntu were also release. In this post I'll try to cover the changes in Xubuntu 11.04 - a very interesting Ubuntu flavor based on Xfce.

          • Peppermint One review
            Peppermint is another Ubuntu derivative distribution, in a similar vein to the likes of early CrunchBang and Mint.

            It has two unique selling points. The first is speed without feature compromise, as the entire system has been tuned for lightening-fast operation.

          • Linux Mint: Two Years, Going Steady
            Two years ago to the day was the first time I installed Linux on my computer. Sure, I had seen other people use it and had used it on other people's computers (though not so frequently), but I had never before put an OS other than Microsoft Windows on my own computer until that day. I had talked to a friend of mine about it before because I was planning to do it for a while; I thought of installing Ubuntu, but he suggested Linux Mint, as it would be easier for me to get used to and work with. I took that advice, and on 2009 May 1, as I took a break from studying for AP exams and felt quite fed up with Microsoft Windows XP, I downloaded the Linux Mint 6 "Felicia" GNOME ISO file, got InfraRecorder for Microsoft Windows XP, burned the live CD, and went on my way.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Rugged, Atom-powered handheld runs Linux

    • Review of OpenPandora Handheld Gaming Device
      The buyer (me) acts as the investor for this project since their pre-order money will be used to fund the project. It was originally pre-ordered for $330, but after over a year of waiting for the production to take place I canceled it. Now in addition to pre-ordering, the Pandora can be bought and shipped in a week for a premium price of $500 which I took the opportunity, but is it worth the cost? Let's find out..

    • Phones

    • Tablets

      • HP Flexes WebOS Muscles, Snubs Microsoft On Windows Tablets
        In one of his boldest pronouncements since joining HP last November, CEO Leo Apotheker told Fortune this week that HP doesn't intend to release new Windows 7 tablets anytime soon. "HP smartphones and tablets will be running WebOS, only WebOS, at least that's for the near future, that's the plan," Apotheker in an interview published Monday.

        While it's premature to interpret HP's decision to focus exclusively on WebOS tablets as a sign of strain in its Microsoft partnership, there's no denying that mobile industry competition is a notoriously savage beast. At the very least, we could be witnessing a shift in how HP and Microsoft compete in the mobile space.

      • Nook Color 1.2 Review: Near-Perfect, but a Gap Remains
        The Nook Color is simultaneously disappointing and pleasing. Why? At $249, the Nook Color does a lot of things pretty well. Well enough, in fact, that you think "the Nook Color would be perfect if only..." — if only it had Bluetooth and supported an external keyboard, or if only it supported a wider range of apps, or if only Barnes & Noble were willing to let customers install any app, like the Amazon Kindle app.

        But for the price, the Nook does quite a bit. I would recommend it without hesitation to anyone that wants a eBook reader with a little bit extra. If you're on a limited budget, the Nook Color is also a really good choice. For heavy readers who also want a tablet and a decent app selection, the Nook is not a good choice.

      • Toshiba’s Honeycomb Tablet Hits the FCC With Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
        Toshiba may finally be set to bring their tablet out as the FCC has given them the green light to sell it. This one only has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth inside of it, but we expected as much.

Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenGamma financial analytics platform now open sourced
    UK-based OpenGamma has been developing a unified platform for financial analytics which will allow financial services firms to combine their data management, calculation engines and analysis into a single framework. The platform, which is still in development, has now been released as a open source developer preview, dual-licensed under an Apache 2.0 licence or a commercial licence. The preview is described as a "beta-quality release" that has been through OpenGamma's testing and QA processes.

  • Comparison of Open Source Application Servers
    The role of application servers has grown significantly in IT architecture over the past few years as the cloud becomes the new frontier for application development–a frontier that offers more opportunity and challenges than the Web ever did.

    That’s not to say that the Web space is over and done. We have come a long way from simple CGI requests, and Java-based application servers dominate the application server space on the Web, handling everything from interfaces and data access to availability and scale.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla patches Firefox and Thunderbird

      • Mozilla: Firefox 5 slated for a June 21 release
        According to an update at the Mozilla releases page, Firefox 5 looks like it’s headed for a release on June 21, less than two months away. We haven’t heard anything about what new features the next version of Firefox will have, but when Mozilla said that Firefox 4 would be the last time they waited months between major releases, they meant it.

      • Mozilla engineers visit Indonesia to ‘better cater to user needs

        Six engineers from San-Francisco-based tech group Mozilla, the developers of the Firefox browser, will meet Indonesian users at the Firefox 4 Launch Party, which will be held in six cities from April 29 to May 7.

        Viking Karwur, the manager of Mozilla Indonesia Community, said this delegation was twice as large as the delegation to the previous launch party.

      • Firefox 4 about:memory
        You blame Firefox 4 to be a memory hog? Check it out first by typing about:memory in the address bar. You'll get a nice detailed report of your browsers memory usage. While it's not guaranteed you'll understand every statistic available in the report, you can at least peek at the overall memory use, and see how much it's fragmented by comparing "memory mapped" and "memory in use" numbers.

      • A few more Firefox 4 tips
        Several weeks ago, we had an article that taught us how to restore sane browsing configurations in Firefox 4 after switching over from Firefox 3.6, including look and feel and addons compatibility. Now, we will talk about several more tricks and changes that should make your Firefox 4 experience even more pleasant.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle wins round one in bare-knuckle Android patent sui
      Oracle has won an early round in what is sure to be an epic battle against Google over Android's use of Java.

      This week, Judge William Alsup issued a "claims construction" order in which he sided with Oracle on the definition of four out of five patent terms that will help determine outcome of the company's lawsuit against Google and Android. On the fifth term, he sided with neither company, choosing to lay down his own definition. Oracle and Google have until May 6 to respond to the order.

    • Java SE 6 update 25 brings faster server startup
      Oracle has released Java SE 6 Update 25 (6u25); this update contains no security updates to the Java runtime, but does include wider platform support with Windows 7 and SP1, Windows 2008 R2 with SP1, Oracle Linux 6 and Oracle Solaris 11 Express 2010.11 added to the supported list. Also supported by the update are Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 4, Google Chrome 10 and VirtualBox 4.

    • Oracle and Google Try to Reduce Their Claims & Judge Issues Tentative Claims Construction Order
      The parties in Oracle v. Google have been asked by the judge to reduce the number of claims, so the case can actually be reasonably tried. So they have each filed their suggested cuts. Also the judge has issued a *tentative* claims construction order, asking for reaction from the parties and saying he may well make changes on his own initiative as more evidence is on the table.

  • CMS

    • An In-Depth Interview With Dries
      When we began this interview, Dries was on a Drupal tour in Australia, calling from a hotel room in Sidney. For Dries, trips like this are becoming more and more common, allowing him to meet an increasing number of the people all over the globe using and developing Drupal. He listens to success stories and challenges faced in adopting or migrating to Drupal. “It helps me as the project lead to talk to as many Drupal people as I can”, he explained. Later this year he's planning an around-the-world tour, literally flying around the world visiting as many countries as he can to talk about Drupal.

  • Education

    • 'Open source on the rise in UK schools'

      The United Kingdom's institutions for higher and further education are increasing their use of free and open source software, concludes OSS Watch, a public service organisation, following a survey. Most needed are tools to accurately determine the total cost of ownership (TCO) for software, both proprietary and open source.

  • BSD


    • GNU gv 3.7.2 released
      I am pleased to announce that GNU gv 3.7.2 has just been released. It is available for download in the GNU ftp,

    • Help Keep the Pressure on Sony- FSF
      We asked you to email Sony CEO Howard Stringer during our last call to action and Sony responded by shutting off his email address. Many of you then sent emails to the next email address we posted, Nicole Seligman, Sony Executive VP and General Counsel. Your action was effective — it was an important part of the overall public pressure put on Sony to back off.

      And back off they did. Sony ended up settling its lawsuit against George Hotz (aka geohot). Hotz has agreed to not use Sony devices in an ambiguous "unauthorized" fashion — in fact, he's boycotting Sony anyway — and the accusations brought up in the case by Sony remain unproven.

  • Government

    • FR: Research institute donates hardware to free software developers

      Free software developers in France can soon write and compile their solutions using computer hardware donated by a French national computer science research institution. The institute, which preferred not to be named, is donating a hundred computers to the French chapter of the Free Software Foundation (FSF).

  • Programming

    • 5 Reasons Java Developers Should Learn and Use AspectJ
      Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP) is a programming paradigm which focuses on modularizing system-level concerns (like logging, transaction management, security, performance monitoring, etc.) in the applications. In AOP language, these system-level concerns are called "crosscutting concerns" because they crosscut all the layers of the application.

      AspectJ, a compatible extension to the Java programming language, is one implementation of AOP. AspectJ is very widely used in a lot of Java frameworks (like Spring), but still most developers do not know AspectJ. Developers often think that AspectJ is difficult to learn or it makes your code complex, and they decide not to learn this very powerful and useful technology. In this article, I will write down five reasons why I think Java developer should learn and use AspectJ.

    • Case Statement

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Simple Java API for ODF Release Notes
      We released the Simple Java API for ODF version 0.5.5 today. In this version, we provide high level methods for image and text span. Now you can add images to text, spreadsheet and presentation documents. The position of the image can be specified by a rectangle, a paragraph or a cell. With text span, you can set a different style to a small unit of the text content. An interesting demo has been upload to website to demonstrate how to add a 2D barcode image to a presentation slide.

    • Links for the end of April
      # Events-wise the month of May will be busy. I will attend the OASIS Board of Directors’ meetingin Berlin and meet with the Bitkom. The week after that Ars Aperta will join a session on the political and legal issues pertaining to Free Software development during the Linux Solutions 2011 event in Paris. I will also give another talk during the same event as part of the Document Foundation and our experience with forks. Spoons shall come next year.


  • Say What? Top Five IT Quotes of the Week
    Amazon's cloud failure, Oracle's open source success and Instapaper decides that free doesn't pay the bills.

  • European and national multi-modal journey planners

  • Yahoo Finds Delicious Buyer
    Yahoo is selling off its delicious social bookmarking site, after nearly five years of ownership.

    Technology startup AVOS, founded by YouTube founders, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, is acquiring delicious for an undisclosed sum from Yahoo. Hurley and Chen sold YouTube to Google for $1.65 billion in October of 2006.

  • Finance

    • Europe Probes Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Investment Banks Over Default Swaps
      Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and 14 other investment banks face the first-ever European Union antitrust probes into the swaps market, following investigations by U.S. regulators.

      The EU is examining whether 16 banks, including Citigroup Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG, colluded by giving market information to Markit Group Ltd., a data provider majority-owned by Wall Street’s largest banks. It will also check if nine of the firms struck unfair deals with Intercontinental Exchange Inc.’s European derivatives clearinghouse, shutting out rivals.

    • Did Lloyd Blankfein Misunderstand Goldman's Mortgage Bets?
      Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and other top executives at the firm may not have understood the positions they were taking in the mortgage market, according to a report released today by the Senate Investigations subcommittee.

      The report—which runs to 635 pages—details how Goldman built up a massive short position in mortgage-related assets following the collapse of two subprime Bear Stearns hedge funds. This was referred to as “the big short” within Goldman.

    • Look For Shares Of Goldman Sachs Group To Potentially Rebound After Yesterday'S 1.48% Sell Off (GS)

    • Hazing at Goldman Sachs
      There is perhaps no more telling detail about what kind of person works at Goldman Sachs than the story of the Memorial Day weekend meeting William Cohan relates in his book "Money and Power."

    • "Goldman Sachs Is Out-Of-Control Genius"
      "How did Goldman Sachs take over the world?" Jon Stewart asked William Cohan, the author who is spilling all of Goldman Sachs's secrets in a new book.

      "Spoiler alert," Stewart said last night, "Goldman did it by going short on the world. They bet against the world and they won."

      "No matter what firm I worked for, they always wanted to be Goldman Sachs."

    • How Goldman Sachs Beat the Bubble
      Contrary to the silly subtitle his publisher no doubt foisted on him, William D. Cohan does not argue that Goldman Sachs rules the world. A judicious author, Cohan avoids hyperbole in “Money and Power,” a definitive account of the most profitable and influential investment bank of the modern era.

    • How Goldman Sachs created the food crisis
      Frederick Kaufman's piece for Foreign Policy examines how the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index (GSCI) is responsible for the increase in food prices.

    • EU investigates activities of 16 investment banks
      Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and 14 other investment banks face a European Union antitrust probe into credit-default swaps for companies and sovereign debt, regulators said Friday.

      The European Commission said it opened two antitrust probes. It will check whether 16 bank dealers colluded by giving market information to Markit, a financial information provider.

    • Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Among Banks Probed by EU Over CDS

    • Big payday for Goldman Sachs team
      Six New Zealand-based Goldman Sachs partners are expected to cash in when Goldman Sachs US takes full ownership of its Australian and New Zealand operations, with senior partners expected to clear up to $40 million.

      According to the Australian Financial Review, local partners include Byron Pepper in the investment banking division, Duncan Rutherford in the securities division and Rebecca Cottrell in federation legal division.

      Local managing director Andrew Barclay is also a partner, and the Star-Times understands other local partners include executive director David Goatley and Bernard Doyle, a New Zealand-based strategist.

      Barclay, Cottrell and Rutherford are also listed as directors of the New Zealand business.

      The exact shareholdings of each partner is not known and Goldman Sachs was not prepared to comment.

    • The Volcker Rule and Goldman Sachs
      In my paper, Conflicted Gatekeepers: The Volcker Rule and Goldman Sachs, I consider the conflict of interest restrictions in the Volcker Rule provisions. These provisions, namely Sections 619 and 621 of the Dodd-Frank Act, purport to impose fiduciary-like standards on banks in their arm’s length relationships with sophisticated counterparties. Section 619 generally prohibits banks from engaging in proprietary trading and affiliating with certain private funds; it permits some activities as exceptions to this general prohibition, but subjects such activities to the requirement that they not give rise to material conflicts of interest, including conflicts between banks and their “counterparties.” Section 621 purports to ban material conflicts of interest between banks (in their capacity as underwriters) and investors in offerings of asset-backed securities.

    • [KR139] Keiser Report – Murderers & Martyrs!

  • Privacy

    • Leaked Emails From Google Show How Important Location Data Is To Android
      The San Jose Mercury News landed some leaked emails from Google CEO Larry Page, as well as other top Google executives, which show how important gathering location data is for its mobile plans.

      Last year, Motorola, one of Google's biggest mobile partners, was planning on using Skyhook Wireless's location data for its handsets over Google's location data.

  • Civil Rights

    • Supreme Court denies right of farm workers to unionize
      The Supreme Court of Canada has abandoned Ontario's farm workers and the charter of rights has failed them, UFCW Canada national president Wayne Hanley said Friday after the union lost a 16-year court battle to allow agricultural workers to unionize.

  • DRM

    • Did Richard Stallman Invent the eBook?
      One thing that hasn’t changed — things that I’ve always read on my computer — are GNU manuals. GNU manuals are written in an ingenious format called TeXinfo which enables the author to produce appropriate output for several different ways of reading: PDF, HTML and the online info format, most easily read in Emacs. If you’re running GNU/Linux, you will find tons of manuals in this format by typing “info” into a terminal. Within Emacs, type “F1 h” (that’s press and release F1, then press and release ‘h’). Either way you should get a menu of topics, each covered by its own info manual.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Wikileaks on New Zealand Copyright: US Funds IP Enforcement, Offers to Draft Legislation
        This week I published multiple posts Wikileaks cables revelations on the U.S. lobbying pressure on Canadian copyright including attempts to embarrass Canada, joint efforts with lobby groups such as CRIA, and secret information disclosures from PCO to U.S. embassy personnel (posts here, here, here, here, here, and here). Wikileaks has also just posted hundreds of cables from U.S. personnel in New Zealand that reveal much the same story including regular government lobbying, offers to draft New Zealand three-strikes and you're out legislation, and a recommendation to spend over NZ$500,000 to fund a recording industry-backed IP enforcement initiative. Interestingly, the cables regularly recommend against including New Zealand on the Special 301 list, despite the similarities to Canadian copyright law that always garner vocal criticism.

      • Wikileaks: America will foot the bill for record company enforcement in NZ if NZ will let America write its laws
        Michael Geist sez, "Wikileaks has just posted hundreds of cables from U.S. personnel in New Zealand that reveal regular government lobbying on copyright, offers to draft New Zealand three-strikes and you're out legislation, and a recommendation to spend over NZ$500,000 to fund a recording industry-backed IP enforcement initiative. For example, an April 2005 cable reveals the U.S. willingness to pay over NZ$500,000 (US$386,000) to fund a recording industry enforcement initiative. The project was backed by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) and the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS). Performance metrics include:"

      • ACTA

        • There is indeed no EU acquis on criminal measures

        • The EU Commission lacks basic reading skills
          In January 2011, prominent European academics issued an “Opinion of European Academics on Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement” (ACTA). The academics invite the European institutions, in particular the European Parliament, and the national legislators and governments to withhold consent of ACTA, “…as long as significant deviations from the EU acquis or serious concerns on fundamental rights, data protection, and a fair balance of interests are not properly addressed”.

          In April 2011, the European Commission’s services put on-line comments to the European Academics’ Opinion on ACTA. The Commission denies ACTA is incompatible with EU law.

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