Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 14/9/2011: PostgreSQL 9.1, Qt In Cars

GNOME bluefish



  • Defensive banking
    This being Computerworld, you'd expect a blog about defensive banking to be about online banking. Not this time.

    Online banking, at this point, is old news. For those that need it, I have long advocated Linux as the best defensive technique. Using a Windows computer is, without question, a mistake. Given Apple's record on security (illustrated again with the DigiNotar mess), Linux is the safer choice for Mac users too.

    I have an account with a major financial firm and typically do my two transactions a year over the phone (with a wired phone line). The rare times that I do a financial transaction online, I reboot a Windows PC and run Linux Mint off a USB flash drive. That copy of Mint is not used for any other purpose.

  • Trine 2 'Vibes' trailer details new environments
    Another version is being planned for Linux and "other platforms", due out some time after.

  • Linux Australia airs code of conduct draft
    President of Linux Australia, John Ferlito, has this morning aired the first draft of the council's new presenter code of conduct, which looks to curb inappropriate material being displayed as part of conference presentations.

  • Windows 8 distribution takes a page from Linux
    The other reason is that Microsoft may be slow, but they’re not stupid. They’ve noticed over the years that Linux developers gets enormous amount of valuable feedback from users with every release. While, Microsoft won’t be open-sourcing Windows anytime this decade; they can certainly see the advantage of having potentially millions of early testers giving them feedback.

  • 10 Hackers Who Made History
    Richard Stallman


    Linus Torvalds

  • Applications

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • NetGear Wi-Fi router offers six antennas for greater speed, range
      Netgear announced a dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi router, aimed at home users but featuring a 3x3 antenna array and high-power amplifiers for greater bandwidth and range. The N900 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router runs Linux on a new Broadcom processor, offers dual USB 2.0 ports, provides four gigabit Ethernet ports, and supports up to 900Mbps combined throughput, claims the company.

    • Nokia Puts Qt In Cars, Announces Nokia Car Mode
      As Nokia goes in bed with Microsoft it will definitely be pushing Microsoft's proprietary technologies leaving a question mark for its own open source technologies. There might me one or two exceptions. Nokia yesterday announced Nokia Car Mode at the IAA (Internationale Automobil Ausstellung).

      The Nokia Car Mode is a standalone application optimized for the in-car use of Nokia smartphones. Nokia Car Mode features an optimized user interface simplifying the access and use of Nokia Drive (voice-guided car navigation with Nokia Maps), traffic updates, music and voice calls while driving.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • Developer License for open source GIS software Geomajas now available

  • Lexis-Nexis finally releases source code to HPCC
    HPCC Systems, part of LexisNexis Risk Solutions, has finally made the source code to the HPCC (High Performance Computing Cluster) available, after announcing it would be open-sourced in June. The C++ source code, hosted on Github, is licensed under the AGPLv3 rather than the GPLv3 as originally planned and announced.

  • Databases

    • PostgreSQL 9.1 released
      The PostgreSQL Global Development Group announces the release of PostgreSQL 9.1. This latest version of the leading open source database offers innovative technology, unmatched extensibility, and new features such as synchronous replication, K-Nearest Neighbor indexing, and foreign data wrappers.

    • PostgreSQL 9.1 Advances Open Source Database Innovation
      The PostgreSQL 9.1 open source database is now generally available, offering users a long list of new features. The new PostgreSQL release follows a six month beta process, following the initial beta release in May.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

  • Funding

  • Public Services/Government

    • UK transport ministry extends its use of open source
      The UK government's Department for Transport (DfT) has signed a new contract with Kainos to support the department's new open-source-based web systems and move them to a hybrid cloud environment. The Department for Transport has informed The H that the technologies involved are the WordPress open source content management system which will be running on RackSpace's public cloud and the department's own private clouds. The DfT have been assisted by Kainos's Causeway division in a migration from their previous proprietary Morello CMS to WordPress.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • LexisNexis Releases Code for Big Data Analytics into Open Source
      HPCC Systems from LexisNexis Risk Solutions is pleased to announce today that it has released the source code for its HPCC Systems platform to the open source community. Developers can now leverage and further enhance the platform. Available immediately for download, the source code can be found here: The HPCC Systems platform helps customers solve Big Data analytics problems.

    • Open Access/Content

      • ICFOSS launches first Open Access Journal
        The International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS) launched its Open Access Journal, “Journal of Free Software and Free Knowledge” (JFSFK), at a function here on Monday. JFSFK is the first journal in FOSS and related domains internationally.

    • Open Hardware


  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Karl Rove's Crossroads Groups Double 2012 War Plan to $240 Million
      Lost in the build-up to President Obama's big jobs speech Thursday night was a bomb of an announcement, first reported by Peter Stone of iWatch News, from American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, the conservative independent expenditure groups that are two of the heaviest hitters in the political money game. Founded in 2010 with help from Bush guru Karl Rove, the Crossroads groups are now trumpeting a new fundraising target to double their planned haul of $120 million for the 2012 elections. Yes, you read that right: the Crossroads groups say they will raise a whopping $240 million to vanquish President Obama, help GOPers win the Senate majority, and strengthen their House majority.

    • Late Night: Stephen Colbert: Honor 9/11 with 'useless crap'
      On his show Monday, Stephen Colbert devoted a segment to the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. "Have we as a nation recovered?" he wondered. The answer, according to Colbert, is a definitive "yes." The proof is in the product.

      "I wasn't sure until I saw all this great 9/11 commemorative stuff you can buy," he said, rattling off a list of inexpensive trinkets designed to memorialize and/or cash in on the country's collective grief: 9/11 sneakers, a 9/11 cribbage board, 9/11 dog collars.

    • Some real Shock and Awe: Racially profiled and cuffed in Detroit
      Silly me. I thought flying on 9/11 would be easy. I figured most people would choose not to fly that day so lines would be short, planes would be lightly filled and though security might be ratcheted up, we’d all feel safer knowing we had come a long way since that dreadful Tuesday morning 10 years ago.

      But then armed officers stormed my plane, threw me in handcuffs and locked me up.

      My flight from Denver landed in Detroit on time. I sent a text message to my husband to let him know we had landed and I would be home by dinner. The plane stopped on the tarmac, seemingly waiting to have the gate cleared. We waited. I played on my phone, checking Facebook, scrolling through my Twitter feed. After a while of sitting there, I decided to call my husband to tell him the plane was being delayed and I would call him when I got off the plane.

  • Cablegate

    • Instead of attacking WikiLeaks, fix what it exposed
      Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates was right when he suggested that the WikiLeaks revelations were “embarrassing” and “awkward.” But his assessment — and that of so many other government officials — stems from the magnitude of what he left unsaid.

  • Finance

    • Liberal group files ethics complaint against Darrell Issa
      Issa pressured the Securities and Exchange Commission "into inaction" after the commission sued Goldman Sachs

    • Message to the Unemployed: Uncle Sam Does(n’t) Want You
      Not long ago, the city council of Ventura, California, passed an ordinance making it legal for the unemployed and homeless to sleep in their cars. At the height of the Great Recession of 2008, one third of the capital equipment of the American economy lay idle. Of the women and men idled along with that equipment, only 37% got a government unemployment check and that check, on average, represented only 35% of their weekly wages.

      Meanwhile, there are now two million ”99ers” -- those who have maxed out their supplemental unemployment benefits because they have been out of work for more than 99 weeks. Think of them as a full division in “the reserve army of labor.” That “army,” in turn, accounts for 17% of the American labor force, if one includes part-time workers who need and want full-time work and the millions of unemployed Americans who have grown so discouraged that they’ve given up looking for jobs and so aren’t counted in the official unemployment figures. As is its historic duty, that force of idle workers is once again driving down wages, lengthening working hours, eroding on-the-job conditions, and adding an element of raw fear to the lives of anyone still lucky enough to have a job.

    • Limits to Keynesianism
      But the greatest flaw with Keynesianism now is that, like the economy itself, it has run squarely into the energy limit. As the most recently updated data shows, 2011 will be the 6th year that world production of crude oil was unable to increase beyond the ceiling established in 2005. Oil remains the primary energy input to OECD economies. OECD economies are of course where the Keynesian experiment has flourished longest, first in Japan, then the United States and now Europe. It is hardly, hardly the case that the current financial crisis in the OECD is “simply a matter of accounting.” Instead, the crisis is one of systemic, structural growth now permanently limited by energy costs as OECD economies try to service debt loads that have escaped their ability to manage. Change all the digits, and the energy limit remains.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Wisconsin Legislators Support Corporate Right to Secret Spending
      Wisconsin Republicans are pushing a bill to prohibit the state elections board from passing any rules regulating corporations, as part of an effort to thwart rules that would show how corporate interests are laundering election spending through front groups. Lawmakers only meet one day this month (Tuesday, September 13) and plan to take up the bill during that brief window.*

    • ALEC Corporations Spend Big in Washington
      On Monday, September 12, Brad Hooker of the Center for Responsive Politics' Open Secrets blog posted an exposé of the money that the corporate members of ALEC's "Private Enterprise" Board (including AT&T, Exxon Mobil, Kraft, Coca-Cola and Koch Industries) spent to lobby Washington and fill the campaign chests of ALEC alumni in Congress (as well as other Congressmembers). ALEC alumnus John Boehner received the most from ALEC Board corporations, a total of "$368,200 from the people and political action committees associated with the companies on ALEC's private enterprise board during the 2010 election cycle." Second place goes to another ALEC alumnus, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who has been introducing ALEC's agenda to the House. He collected "$328,100 from people and PACs associated with 17 companies on the ALEC private enterprise board."

    • Shale Gas Industry Insider: We Are Losing the Messaging War on Fracking
      he shale gas industry has had its collective ass kicked, and kicked hard, by Gasland and others opposed to hydraulic fracturing and needs to redefine its core messages to defuse a burgeoning negative public perception of the controversial drilling technique, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA) said today.

    • CNN Throws a Tea Party
      Network aligns with controversial far-right activists

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Newzbin2 Release Encrypted Client To Defeat Website Blocking
      The operators of Usenet indexing site Newzbin2 have introduced measures to circumvent court-ordered web-blocking measures designed to render the site inoperable in the UK. Site staff aren’t revealing how the stand-alone software client works but some basic network packet analysis shows that it defeats ISP BT’s Cleanfeed censorship system by using a handful of techniques including encryption.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Canada’s Tories set to reintroduce DRM-friendly copyright bill without consultation
        Canada's majority Tory government is poised to reintroduce its disastrous DRM-friendly copyright law, formerly Bill C-32, without any further public consultation. This law repeats the major error made in the US 1998 DMCA, namely granting special status to "software locks" (AKA DRM), making it illegal to remove a lock, even if you're doing so for a lawful purpose.

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