Bonum Certa Men Certa

Links 28/12/2012: Enlightenment 0.17, Qt 5.0

GNOME bluefish



  • Migration Stories, Part 2
    Some Windows users that I know (not power users in any sense) state that they do not migrate to Linux because, as they say, "the OS is different". Of course, they never consider that they had to adapt from XP to Vista and then to 7...(One wonders what they will say after buying a computer with Windows 8).

  • Migration stories 3: Good Bye, Mandriva 2010.2!
    While my wife's migration was very successful, mine was not a smooth process. But I know that is bound to happen when you change OSs.

  • Language Distortion and Other Problems
    The term "naked PC" is used by Microsoft Corporation to refer to a personal computer that is sold without any operating system preinstalled on the hard disk. The term was coined for its dramatic value and as a means for creating the impression that it is evil to sell computers without operating systems because they might be used for so-called software piracy (i.e., copying or using software in violation of its license).

  • Open Ballot: The rumour mill (Win free Linux stuff!)
    "Canonical is kicking off the New Year with a bang, and launching a brand new Ubuntu product. We’ll be holding an exclusive event hosted by Mark Shuttleworth, founder of the Ubuntu project, to give full details of what we believe is the next generation of cross platform operating system."

    Usually press releases get redirected to /dev/null, but a guy dropping off a brown envelope full of non-sequential £20 notes little bird told us that this is going to be interesting. However, we don't know any more than this.

  • The 5 Most Important Linux Projects of 2012
    Mandrake Linux was my best early experience with Linux, way back in the last millennium, back when literal floppy disks roamed the Earth and 4 megabytes of RAM was riches. Back then you could buy boxed sets of Red Hat Linux in stores, and Red Hat was popular as a desktop Linux. Red Hat had good printed manuals, but it had one difficulty: it did not support as much hardware as Mandrake, and I had a lot of trouble getting 3D acceleration on my video card. Red Hat didn't support my fancy Promise 66 IDE controller, so I had to connect my hard drive directly to the poky old 33Mhz controller on the motherboard. It didn't like my sound card either.

  • 7 Top Linux Trends of 2012

  • Top Linux Stories Roundup 2012
    And we are on the verge to cross yet another year and blog posts regarding the year-in-review have already started to pour in on the web. The blog post, one of that kind, round-up top Linux (and open source) stories of 2012.

  • Netgear NeoTV NTV300 screenshot tour

  • Netgear NTV300 streaming media player

  • 2012's Top five Linux stories with one big conclusion
    2012 was a very quiet, but very successful year for Linux. How successful? The most popular end-user operating system is now Linux.

  • Voting for the 2012 Members Choice Awards is now open

  • Raising the Bar for Linux Trainers
    You can write shell scripts in mere seconds, hack the kernel in your sleep and perform other feats of Linux wizardry—but can you teach?

  • Kbuild: the Linux Kernel Build System
    One amazing thing about Linux is that the same code base is used for a different range of computing systems, from supercomputers to very tiny embedded devices. If you stop for a second and think about it, Linux is probably the only OS that has a unified code base. For example, Microsoft and Apple use different kernels for their desktop and mobile OS versions (Windows NT/Windows CE and OS X/iOS). Two of the reasons this is possible on Linux are that the kernel has many abstraction layers and levels of indirection and because its build system allows for creating highly customized kernel binary images.

  • Desktop

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linus Torvalds on Linux and the future of computing
      In the first part of our three-part interview, Linux pioneer Linus Torvalds talked about how he got into computing, Raspberry Pi and the "free software" movement.

    • Linux Developers Promise Better Touch Support
      Support for touch-enabled devices traditionally hasn’t been high on the list of Linux kernel developers, who tend to focus their energies on more traditional computing platforms. But if all goes according to plan, future versions of the open source operating system may come with significant touch support built in, according to developers. And if that happens, it could have major implications throughout the channel.

      Linux, of course, already powers a lot of touch-enabled devices, from Android phones to the Ubuntu Nexus 7 tablet. But the software that makes touch work for those platforms was generally developed on a case-by-case basis, since the Linux kernel itself lacks integrated support for touch-ready hardware.

    • The best of Linux - made on a Mac
      The Linux Foundation has released a video of what it sees as the 2012 highlights for Linux - but the presence of decent video-creation and editing software running on Linux does not seem to be one of them.

    • F2fs flash-friendly filesystem integrated into Linux
      Linus Torvalds has integrated code to support the F2fs filesystem into the Linux kernel's main development branch; this branch is currently used to prepare Linux 3.8 (1, 2, 3). Introduced in October, F2fs is a filesystem that was mainly developed by Samsung employees and is specially tailored for storage media that use flash memory chips and a rather simple Flash Translation Layer (FTL) – for example USB flash drives, memory cards (eMMC, SD cards, ...) and the storage media that are included in cameras, tablets and smartphones.

    • Weekend Project: Become a Linux Contributor

    • EXT4 In Linux 3.8 Brings Inline Data, Seek Hole/Data
      The two new features for Linux 3.8 with EXT4 are Inline Data and SEEK_HOLE/SEEK_DATA support. Ted Ts'o mentions that the inline data feature allows small files or directories to be stored within the in-inode extended attribute area. This inline data assumes that the file-system uses inodes that are 256 bytes or larger.

    • Linux, the 386, and Days of Auld Lang Syne

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • KDE vs. Gnome system management
      A few weeks back, we talked about KDE and Gnome in daily life, and how they fared from the applications perspective, when you pit programs developed for one environment against those created for the other. We learned a valuable lesson that technology and practicality do not necessarily go hand in hand, nor that you can easily draw a clear line between the two. Finally, we discovered the joy of freedom, in that you can mix software, regardless of whichever desktop you choose, and get the best of all worlds. Now, the big question is, does the same set of conclusions apply when you try to administer your box? Well, to answer that, we will check how easy and intuitive it is to manage Linux when you choose KDE or Gnome as your platform.

    • Linux desktop environment showdown
      Normally, at the end of the year, I do my usual Linux distro showdown. But I have never really done a proper desktop environment comparison, regardless of which operating systems run them, even though in the Linux world, quite often, it is hard to separate the two. Well, it seems to me, this is a great opportunity to give you a comprehensive head-to-head clash between the leading desktop environments that bless our distros.

    • Enlightenment 0.17
      Enlightenment 0.17 (a.k.a E17) is the next generation of graphical desktop shell from the Enlightenment project. When you first run it and get past the initial setup wizard, you should end up with a desktop not unlike the above. It is a very traditional UNIX/X11 style desktop, because that is what E primarily is and attempts to be, BUT with a bunch of bells, whistles and modernities that were never there, as well as a different core design philosophy. There seems to be some obsession with Window Manager vs. Desktop Environment debates. It doesn't much matter what you call it. It manages windows. It does compositing. It manages files. It launches applications. It handles UI and system settings.

    • After 12 years of Development, E17 Is Out

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop

      • 2012 GNOME User Survey Results

      • Changing the world, one task at a time

      • GNOME 3 and login performance
        Our current login performance is pretty bad. We do way too much I/O and processing. If you write an application or service that automatically starts at login, please take a long hard look at how much extra work you’re doing on a cold start. It might seem small, but it all adds up very quickly with the rest of the applications competing for resources, as you can see in the bootcharts I made for that bug report:

      • Gnome3: User-Friendly Is Not Equal To User-Insult
        Like everybody in the Linux community, I have at last been dragged kicking and screaming onto Gnome 3. We had no choice; everything on our Linux desktops has been slowly failing from being so badly aged. My old Fedora release experience has so far been rescued by the graces of "fallback mode" on the laptop, while the desktops were still running old Ubuntus. So I had dodged being affected by Gnome3 so far.

        At the same time, Gnome now has the entire Linux desktop world at gunpoint: The majority of software that runs on Linux requires Gnome and GTK. I've tried running everything on alternatives - Gnome has a desktop lock-in going on right now that is worse than anything imagined by Apple or Microsoft in their kinkiest dreams. Do without Gnome, and your printers will break, your Bluetooth will refuse to connect, none of the weather applets will talk to your desktop, your videos will freeze, and taxi cabs will suddenly pass you by in the snow without stopping for you.

      • Pre-release version of GNOME 3.8 includes Shell extensions
        The core applications in GNOME version 3.7.3, which has now been released, now include gnome-shell-extensions. These have long been under development under the GNOME project umbrella and enable GNOME 3's control centre to be modified so that it behaves more like a traditional desktop environment. 'Alternate Tab', for example, makes the alt+tab key combination switch between windows, rather than between applications, , whilst 'Apps Menu' adds a menu reminiscent of the old Gnome 2 menu. Extensions such as these mean that GNOME 3.8 will also have an built-in mode, selectable when logging in, to replace fallback mode. The fallback mode currently offers a "classic" interface, but will be dropped in version 3.8.

      • Settings news

      • Give a detail this Christmas
        When I last posted about Every Detail Matters, 27 detail bugs had been fixed by 9 contributors. About two and a half months later, 43 bugs have been fixed by a total of 12 contributors. We’ve made impressive progress, and the results are already making themselves felt. Testing the latest and greatest GNOME Shell, things definitely feel more polished and better executed.

      • GTK+ 3.7.4 Has Performance Improvements
        GTK+, a multi-platform toolkit for creating graphical user interfaces that provide a complete set of widgets, suitable for projects ranging from small one-off tools to complete application suites, is now at version 3.7.4.

  • Distributions

    • Chakra Linux: What I learned from Claire
      One of the plans I had during my vacation time was to try Chakra Linux. This latest release was named "Claire" to honor the memory of Claire Lotion, a KDE developer whose untimely passing away made the KDE community grieve.

      I finally had the opportunity today. I really liked it. I also learned certain things, too.

      Let's see what happens when one boots the Chakra Live DVD. A screen asking you to select your language greets you. I had seen it before. Back then, I thought that the language selection was rather scarce.

    • First look at Cinnarch 2012.11.22
      The Cinnarch distribution is an interesting mix of technology. It combines the Arch Linux distribution, which features a rolling release approach to package management, with the Cinnamon desktop environment. Cinnarch is a fairly young project, still in its beta stage of development, so it should be approached with a degree of caution. The distribution is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit builds and can be downloaded in two flavours: a full live CD (670 MB) with the Cinnamon desktop or a minimalist CD (190 MB). Whichever edition we select the installer will perform a net-install, downloading packages from an updated repository rather than from the CD. While this means we will be up to date right from the start, it also means a successful install depends on having a reliable Internet connection and any re-install will likely take longer than if we were installing from local media.

    • 10 Linux Live Disks Worth Exploring
      Free and open source software didn't invent Live Disks (external CDs, DVDs, or flash drives from which you can boot a computer). That honor, according to Wikipedia, goes to FM Towns OS in 1989.

      However, no other segment of IT has made Live Disks so much a part of their culture as the open source community.

      Most major Linux distributions use Live Disks for installation because they are a quick way to test-drive an operating system without changing a computer's setup or endangering its contents. When using a Live Disk, at worst, you may need to reset the BIOS temporarily to boot from an external device, and users have to set about deliberately to alter files on the hard drive.

    • The 'Linux Diversity' collection: One kit, 10 Linux distros
      With all the wide variety of free and open source software out there, it can sometimes feel like an insurmountable challenge to download and try each and every one that interests you.

    • ArchBang Linux 2012.12 Review – Lightweight Arch
      The lightweight Arch-based distro uses Openbox to help make it blazing fast without losing too much functionality

    • And the best distro of 2012 is ...
      First place: Linux Mint 13 Maya
    • This Week in Linux: ROSA, Magiea, Mint, Gentoo

    • Battle of the Linux Mac OS X Clones: Elementary OS 0.2 Vs Pear OS 6 Vs LuninuX 12.10
      Mac OS X always deserves a special mention in the operating system world, for being the most attractive (arguably) distro around. It is kind of an aspiring product for almost everyone I know - they want to own a Mac at the end of the day! However, exorbitant price and seeking value for money at times limit our aspiration to own a Mac. But, don't worry! Linux can help you create our own Mac! And those who don't know how to customize Linux, there are three distros to help you out.

    • The Great Thing About Dream Studio
      If you’ve heard of Open Source software, and you’re thinking about giving it a try, you may be wondering why Dream Studio claims to be the best creative system available, when there are so many other options.

    • Slackware Current Toolchains Upgraded

    • CRUX 2.8 Review - The Inspiration behind Arch Linux
      This one is well overdue, but the time has finally come. In my defence, I installed CRUX 2.7.1 as far back as summer, but a hard drive failure wiped it all, and since then 2.8 was released. Just as well, so we'll be testing the latest version 2.8. CRUX is a DIY distribution that is perhaps less known than others, but it is the inspiration behind the mighty Arch Linux as the distribution Judd Vinet was originally using. I would point to this dated interview if you want to know more about the origins of Arch.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • A problem with iBus in Mageia 2 and Mandriva 2011
        I just found an interesting problem in the way Mageia 2 handles typing Asian languages with iBus, the Input Method Editor (IME) that is configured easily during the installation of the distro.

        For work reasons, I need my computers to be able to handle Japanese (and for fun, Korean and Thai). You can do this with iBus (a more modern IME) or SCIM. I chose iBus because you can install it during the installation process of Mageia.

        I had not seen this situation before because I have installed iBus only to computers that have an English keyboard. However, since my main desktop computer has a Spanish keyboard, when I opened LibreOffice, I discovered that iBus was preventing the keyboard to display the accents ("tildes") of Spanish and those of French.

      • Innovation & Strategy at Mandriva corp.
        This video has been shot at the OW2 Conference and shows Michel Catan (Innovation Cluster Manager at Mandriva) and Gaurav Parakh (Partners manager at Mandriva) discuss Mandriva’s general strategy and its research & development activities.

      • Mageia 3, what’s on tap?

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Beats Revenue Estimates, Acquires ManageIQ
        Bloomberg's Dina Bass reported, "Red Hat Inc. (RHT), the largest seller of Linux operating system software, rose in late trading after reporting third-quarter sales that exceeded analysts’ estimates and saying it plans to buy cloud software company ManageIQ Inc. Red Hat rose 3.8 percent after the company yesterday reported sales of $343.6 million in the period that ended Nov. 30. Analysts had on average projected sales of $338.1 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Excluding certain items, profit was 29 cents a share, meeting the average projection compiled by Bloomberg."

      • How Linux reads your fingerprints, helps national security
        Gunnar Hellekson has many awesome-sounding job titles.

        He's the chief technology strategist for Red Hat's US Public Sector group, where he works with government departments to show them how open source can meet their needs, and with systems integrators to show them what they can do to provide the government with what it needs.

    • Debian Family

      • The Linux Setup - Paul Tagliamonte, Software Engineer/Debian Developer
        Paul’s got a great Debian setup across a lot of interesting hardware. I appreciated this interview, though, because Paul makes the argument that although software should be free (as in freedom), there are often technical limitations/complications with that free software that create a barrier-to-entry for less sophisticated users. Unfortunately, with Linux, the price of freedom is often technical ease. It’s nice to hear a Debian developer contemplating the issue. It’s not an easy fix, but it is a fixable problem. Especially with developers like Paul on the case.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Advocacy Kit – Controlled Advocacy?
            I’ll start off by making a few things clear. Firstly my family PC runs Ubuntu 12.04LTS its great. Ive had no problems whatsoever with the distro and from my young lad playing Tree Fu Tom on the CBBC’s website, to handling of all the tasks I put to it there are no complaints. None at all.

            I’ve spoken to Jono Bacon (Canonical Community Manager) on a number of occasions, he’s open, friendly and above all makes time for people (he certainly made time for myself and Dr Schestowitz when he was a guest on the TechBytes show). I supported the integration of Amazon into the Ubuntu search, I personally had no privacy concerns, citing that myself and my wife are regular customers of Amazon and saw it as a feature that would be useful to us.


            If you start dictating (or sorry, advising) people on how to advocate your product, then its not really advocacy any more is it?

          • Stallman and Ubuntu: Sticks and Stones and a Blogosphere Brawl
            Spying was probably "not the idea behind the Unity tool," said Google+ blogger Gonzalo Velasco C. "I think they are struggling to become a nice 'normal user' OS, with some helping, commercial tools." Nevertheless, "it's mandatory for a GNU/Linux distribution to warn the user, and easily allow them to switch on/off such a tool. I hope Canonical rethinks that tool."

          • The Best New Features of Ubuntu 12.10
            Ubuntu, the most popular Linux distro for desktop users, moves to the cloud with the new Ubuntu 12.10, codenamed Quantal Quetzal.

          • Privacy is hard. Lets go shopping!

          • She sells sea shells
            Unity isn’t the only desktop environment that Ubuntu has. There are many and as they said, Unity is a shell for Gnome but it is not Gnome-Shell. I have been using Unity for a few years now and figured I would have a bit of a play with Gnome Shell for a bit. It is very easy to install, on Ubuntu clicking here: gnome-shell will with a bit of luck set it up for you. At the lightdm login screen you can then select gnome shell from the list of desktops and you are done.

          • Ubuntu in 2013
            There will always be things that we differ on between ourselves, and those who want to define themselves by their differences to us on particular points. We can’t help them every time, or convince them of our integrity when it doesn’t suit their world view. What we can do is step back and look at that backdrop: the biggest community in free software, totally global, diverse in their needs and interests, but united in a desire to make it possible for anybody to get a high quality computing experience that is first class in every sense. Wow. Thank you. That’s why I’ll devote most of my time and energy to bringing that vision to fruition. Here’s to a great 2013.

          • Rumors Running Wild About Ubuntu's Top-Secret New Product
            "Save the date: Jan 2 -- Ubuntu set to disrupt a new ecosystem," read the urgent message. "Ubuntu will announce a brand-new product." All lips were maddeningly sealed at the Ubuntuplex, of course, but the same couldn't be said of the blogger crowds camped outside in the hopes of learning more detail.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Three new features coming in Linux Mint 15
              It's been just a few weeks since the launch of Linux Mint 14 “Nadia,” but already the project behind the popular distribution has been making plans for its next release.

            • Linux Mint Cinnamon 14
              Linux Mint 14 was recently released. Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, and offers the Cinnamon or MATE desktop environments. This review covers the Cinnamon version, I will try to get a separate review up for the MATE version soon.

            • LMDE Update Pack 6

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source burrowed deeper into the enterprise in 2012
    Ten years ago, if you were working on an open-source project, you probably hosted it yourself. At the most, your team may have used SourceForge for storing your project code. But today, there is only one name in open-source software project repositories: GitHub.

    Throughout 2012, GitHub consistently played host to the biggest, most complex and most useful open-source projects. Relative newcomers to the open-source scene, such as Twitter's Bootstrap, Raphael and Phusion Passenger, are all gaining popularity with both users and developers adding to these projects. But what is it about GitHub that makes it different from SourceForge?

  • Inside outsourcing interview: Banks moving to open source software and need control

  • 12 Days of Christmas: What open source has given us
    It’s been a good year for Linux and open source. As we wind it all down, I wanted to take a moment to have a little bit of fun with traditional holiday song — “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” It’s a lighthearted way to wrap up some of the things open source (OS) has given us this year.

    So, forget the partridges and lords leaping, here we go!

  • Author Gabriella Coleman Expands on Role of Linux in Hacker Culture
    Gabriella Coleman is the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy at McGill University. She recently released a new book titled "Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking" after having spent three years working and living with hackers in the San Francisco Bay area. The community she chose to study was the Debian Linux community. In this interview with, Coleman shares her perspective on the role of Linux in hacker culture and what it really means today to be a hacker.

  • Dear Open Source Project Leader: Quit Being A Jerk
    I do my best to support the people that use my open source projects. I don’t always do things right, I don’t always respond in a timely manner. Sometimes I just have to walk away from an issue or request and let it die from lack of attention. But I do my best, and I take the time to provide meaningful answers whenever I can. I get a lot of “thank you!” notes from people because of this, and every now and then I get a comment like “best open source project leader, ever” or “you do so much more to help, than any other oss project leader i’ve dealt with.”

    The first few times this happened, I was genuinely shocked. The next few times, I began to think “wow, I’m doing something great, here.” But then the last few times it happened, I started moving back in to “shocked”. I started wondering why people were reacting this way. Am I really doing something special? Am I going above & beyond? I don’t think I am… but maybe I am?

  • Global Economy 0 - Open Source 1
    The global economic slowdown has of course been mostly bad news for most people, business verticals and individual companies.

    But it's important to remember that recessions can also be good as they flush out the old dead wood and help us to re-position for leaner and more economically efficient times ahead.

    Can we take this reality forward then and apply it to open source?

  • Opinion: What if Linux became closed source?
    Bryan Lunduke wrote a piece for Networkworld... or something like that. I'm NOT going to link to it because I don't want to encourage more page hits for such lunacy. I heard the article when I listened to the latest Everyday Linux podcast. I strongly recommend that so check it out if you haven't already. One of Montana guys is one of the hosts. They don't always get it right, but they do make me think.

  • Best Free and Open Source Forum Software
    If you run a website, or have build a software application, you’ll need to have a certain amount of interaction with your users. One of the best ways to facilitate that is through forums. Forums not only allow seamless communication between users and developers, they also let companies provide support for their users. On the Internet, you’ll find millions of forums dedicated to various issues. From teenage problems to geriatric care, forums bring people with similar tastes or issues together and let them communicate effortlessly.

  • Open Source Software: The Mega List

  • Events

    • A peek at the geek heading LCA 2013
      Organising Australia's national Linux conference is hard work. At times, given the vagaries of the climate Down Under, the best laid plans of men go awry and there is double work - as there was in Brisbane 2011, when the floods hit and the event had to be be shifted from one venue to another.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

    • Cloud providers ready to strike with nuclear option
      It used to take a warrant, a sheriff's deputy, and an axe to chop down your door and stop your business dead. But the cloud makes it so much easier.

      Today, if you rely heavily on a public cloud service provider, your entire business infrastructure could be taken offline without judicial review, useful explanation, or workable recourse, simply because a customer, a politician, or even a competitor claims there are issues with your -- or your customers' -- activities.

  • Databases

    • Wikipedia moving from MySQL to MariaDB
      For years, MySQL has been the dominant open-source database management system (DBMS). Recently, MariaDB, the MySQL fork created by MySQL's founder, has been making in-roads and Wikipedia, the world's sixth most popular Web site, is shifting over from MySQL to MariaDB.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • The Path to Commerce Kickstart 2.0
      With more than 2650 reported active sites just since the August beta release, you'd be in good company giving Drupal Commerce Kickstart a try. And, now that the world isn't going to end, what better time is there to launch that online store you've always wanted?

  • BSD

    • PC-BSD 9.1 released ahead of FreeBSD 9.1
      The developers of PC-BSD have released version 9.1 of their FreeBSD-based Unix distribution for desktop PCs. Version 9.1 of FreeBSD has yet to be officially released, but it appears that the ISO images for the FreeBSD release are queued up on the official server and may just be waiting for an announcement to be made.


    • GNU automake 1.12.6 released

    • GNU gettext 0.18.2 released

    • GNU Xnee 3.15 (‘Shankar’) released

    • Maintainer of two GNU software projects quits
      Paolo Bonzini said in a message, in which he also announced the release of a new version of GNU sed, that he had decided to sever his links with the two software initiatives due to technical and administrative decisions with the Free Software Foundation and its head, Richard M. Stallman.

    • GNU sed maintainer resigns with 4.2.2 release
      Paolo Bonzini, the maintainer of GNU sed and GNUgrep, has announced the release of version 4.2.2 of the GNU sed and used the moment as an opportunity resign from his position on both projects. His decision to lay down the responsibility. after eight years of holding the post of GNU sed maintainer, and three on GNU grep, comes in the wake of a controversy over the control of the name and code base of the GnuTLS library, another member of the GNU Project.

    • GNU Grep and Sed Maintainer Quits: RMS and FSF Harming GNU Project

    • December 2012 GNU Toolchain Update

    • Rampaging gnu crashes Microsoft Store, hands out literature
      Activists representing the Free Software Foundation disrupted an event at the Microsoft retail store in Boston, Massachusetts on Thursday, urging passers-by to shun the software giant's Windows 8 operating system in favor of free software alternatives.

      The demonstrators, wearing Santa Claus and elf hats in the spirit of the holiday season, arrived at Boston's Prudential Center shops during a planned "TechTots" children's event at the Microsoft Store, accompanied by a man dressed as a gnu, the FSF's horned mascot.

    • Gnu comes bearing gifts, draws shoppers from Microsoft store
      Thursday, December 20th, 2012 -- Today, FSF activists visited a local Microsoft store during its "Tech for Tots" session to wish passersby happy holidays with copies of the Trisquel GNU/Linux operating system, a free software replacement for Windows 8. The activists were accompanied by a gnu (free software's buffalo-like mascot) and sported Santa hats in the spirit of the season. Their action drew smiles from mall-goers who had expected to see costumed people giving gifts, but not quite like this.

    • GNU strikes again: FSF surprises Boston Microsoft store

    • Misunderstanding the Free Software Philosophy
      The problem I am seeing, and it is a serious problem in my opinion, is the constant use of the term "free software" when "open source" should be used. This is obviously not a recent problem, and I really cannot recall when was the first time I noticed this happening. But maybe because I am much more involved with (real) free software movements now, I have the strong impression that this "confusion" is starting to grow out of control. So here I am, trying to convince some people to be a little more coherent.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing

    • Defence of the GPL realm
      The H talks with Bradley Kuhn, noted GPL compliance enforcer, about whether there should be more people patrolling the GPL perimeter and what tools and techniques a potential protector should take into battle.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Perl is Free Software's COBOL, and That's Ok!
      In 1991, I'd just gotten my first real programming job for two reasons: nepotism, and a willingness to write code for $12/hour. I was working as a contractor to a blood testing laboratory, where the main development job was writing custom software to handle, process, and do statistical calculations on blood testing results, primarily for paternity testing.

    • Survey on Forge Platform Requirements
      The PROSE team are developing a detailed specifications for an online software system that can support EC ICT teams to carry out open software development work. Better known as a software forge we here in PROSE want to understand teams’ intentions for using forge platforms and the types of new features that you think should be available via a forge.

    • GitHub growth points to open source's enterprise acceptance
      Every day 10,000 new users sign up for GitHub, an online repository for open source projects that already has 2.8 million members.

      Those users create 25,000 new repositories each day, adding to the 4.6 million already on the site.

    • Symbolic Math with Python

  • Standards/Consortia


  • Don't Use Instagram
    For those who haven't heard, Instagram is an online photo-sharing service, like Flickr. Some months ago Instagram was purchased by Facebook, and several days ago they announced that they would begin selling users' photos to advertisers (with no compensation to the users). As many of their users are professional photographers, this caused a storm of outrage.

  • Instagram says it now has the right to sell your photos

  • How to Download Your Instagram Photos and Kill Your Account

  • Five good Instagram replacements

  • Instagram reverts to old privacy policy wording after uproar

  • Instagram’s Exit Plan
    Instagram now says it was all a huge mistake, that users own their pictures and there’s no way Facebook is going to sell them to anyone… but the company hasn’t yet revealed alternate legal language, which they should have been able to cobble up in an hour or two. The underlying problem of mean-spirited, self-serving, over-reaching terms of service is still with us at Instagram and almost everywhere else. Their revised terms of service were stupid and couldn’t stand. Let’s hope in their next attempt to grab rights (because that’s what this whole thing was about and probably still is) Instagram and Facebook treat their users fairly. Until they do, most of what’s below still stands.

  • Instagram Reversal Doesn’t Appease Everyone

  • Do You Even Care?
    Dear businesses that post us marketing material through email,

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Bet the Farm: Spinning Wheat into Gold
      The details of that scandal are laid bare in a recent book by Frederick Kaufman, Bet the Farm: How Food Stopped Being Food. As it turns out, we are already acquainted with this story’s villain: Wall Street. There, bankers and investors are investing unprecedented amounts in commodities such as wheat. And when wheat speculation on Wall Street drives up the price of real wheat everywhere, people around the world can no longer afford to eat. Kaufman details exactly how this has happened in a story of traders, long-standing commodities markets meant to stabilize the price of food, and corruption.

    • Genetically Monetized Food
      If the food movement really wants to improve the food supply, it needs to follow the money instead of wasting its time on labels.

    • TSA Wants to Know if Airport Body Scanners Are Nuking You
      The Transportation Security Administration is deciding to determine, once and for all, whether the so-called “nude” body scanners being deployed at airports nationwide are nuking passengers at unacceptable radiation levels.

  • Security

    • Hackers Use Backdoor to Break System

    • DDOS Bots Are People! (Or Manned By Some, At Least)
      The targets were on relatively modest connections (think SOHO grade), so their pipes were flooded by the traffic and the people who were relying on that connectivity were not getting much network-related done. The sites weren't totally offline, but just about anything would time out without completing and life would be miserable. I've made a graph of the traffic available here, in a weekly view of that approximate period that nicely illustrates normal vs abnormal levels for those networks, generated by nfsen from pflow(4) data.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Cablegate

    • Now You Can Donate to WikiLeaks Once Again: Do It Today!
      This is the first time that citizens can offer their financial support to WikiLeaks, since donation processing for the organization was shut down by extra-judicial government pressure on Bank of America, MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, and Amazon.

    • Crowd Funding the Right to Know
      In December 2010, WikiLeaks started publishing a selection of leaked U.S. State Department cables through the New York Times, the Guardian, and other traditional media, opening a deep crack in the thickening wall of secrecy that has been forming worldwide around the internal processes of democracy since 9/11. They helped catalyze the "Arab Spring." They struck a blow for the right of citizens everywhere to know what is being done in our names. And they thoroughly freaked out the U.S. Government, sending it into a security spasm of Cold War proportions.

    • The Torture of Bradley Manning

    • EFF Helps Freedom of the Press Foundation
      Of course Exhibit A in the case against payment censorship has been the shameful economic blockade of Wikileaks, where the intermediaries that were assisting people in giving money to Wikileaks refused to do business with them, based in part on not-so-veiled threats from members of Congress.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • A Tale of Two Forecasts
      This announcement has since led to the magical thinking that we can somehow take ownership of this future “extra oil” not 8 years from now, but rather…. today. In other words, the additional 3 mbpd (million barrels per day) of crude oil and the 1 mbpd of NGL (natural gas liquids) that the IEA forecasts for 2020 have suddenly been booked into the “readily-available” column and are already being factored into U.S. growth projections. That is premature, to say the very least.

  • Finance

    • The Future of Jobs in the Digital Economy

    • Cisco hires Barclays to offload Linksys
      NETWORK EQUIPMENT VENDOR Cisco reportedly has hired Barclays to find a buyer for its Linksys business.

      Cisco bought Linksys back in 2003 to get into the consumer networking business and the firm has put out some good products, most notably the WRT54G wireless router that was a favourite with technology savvy punters. Now Cisco is looking to offload Linksys as it continues to pull back from the consumer networking market.

    • New York Stock Exchange sold to derivatives company in $8bn takeover
      The New York Stock Exchange called time on two centuries of independence on Thursday, agreeing to an $8.2bn takeover that will hand control of the icon of American capitalism to an Atlanta-based energy trader.

    • America’s Deceptive 2012 Fiscal Cliff
      But history is written by the victors, and the past generation has seen the banks and financial sector emerge victorious. Holding the bottom 99% in debt, the top 1% are now in the process of subsidizing a deceptive economic theory to persuade voters to pursue policies that benefit the financial sector at the expense of labor, industry, and democratic government as we know it.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Rep. Tim Scott, an ALEC Alum, Nominated to U.S. Senate
      Representative Tim Scott (R-SC), who was a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as a state legislator and was voted into Congress in the Tea Party wave of 2010, has been nominated to replace Jim DeMint in the U.S. Senate.

    • To Turn the Tide Against the NRA, Leadership Needed at the Top
      You know you are not going to be seeing the brightest bulbs on TV defending America's loose gun laws the weekend after the mass slaughter of children. Even the NRA had gone dark, taking down its Facebook and Twitter accounts and refusing to respond to reporters.

  • Censorship

    • “Porn filters” fail parents and children
      On Friday (14 December), UK government announced that it will not force internet providers to block online pornography. Despite high-profile campaigns by Claire Perry MP and the Daily Mail newspaper to engineer a moral panic, sense has prevailed.

      Index opposed the proposals on the basis they would have led to the filtering legal material by default; ergo censorship. Index also had serious concerns that child safety would be used as a criteria to filter a range of content beyond pornographic material. Under the Daily Mail’s proposal, only consumers over the age of 18 who had completed a “strict age verification check” would be able to remove such a block.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • New CPS prosecution guidelines for offences committed on social media
      The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has published interim guidelines on when it is appropriate to prosecute people for communications they send on social media. If the objective was a return to common sense policing, issuing twenty-five pages of guidance has risked complicating the situation even more.

    • Congress, at Last Minute, Drops Requirement to Obtain Warrant to Monitor Email
      The federal government will continue to access Americans’ emails without a warrant, after the U.S. Senate dropped a key amendment to legislation now headed to the White House for approval.

    • CDA 230 Success Cases:
      This is the second part in a series of posts about the importance of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA 230). CDA 230 limits the liability of a number of Internet services that host user-generated content.

    • Government Attorneys Agree With EFF: New 'Counterterrorism' Database Rules Threaten Privacy of Every American
      Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported on how a little-known government agency—the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC)—got the keys to government databases full of detailed, personal information of millions of innocent Americans. Using the Freedom of Information Act and interviews with officials, the Journal obtained emails and other information detailing how the massive new spying program, which the Attorney General signed off on in March, was approved by the White House in secret—over strenuous objections from government privacy lawyers.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • The Disappearing Web: How we're losing the battle to preserve the Internet
      The Web may be less permanent than we once thought. According to archivists, after two years, 27 percent of social media, pictures, video, and blog posts vanish. For many who regret oversharing, this may be welcome news. But for historians eager to document the tweets that inspired the Arab Spring or who want a snapshot of how the Web looked on September 9, 2001, the impermanence of the Internet presents a challenge.

  • DRM

    • Good-bye books, hello e-books
      The number of people who are reading printed books is declining. But reading isn’t. According to the Pew Research Center, we're buying Kindles and Nooks and reading more e-books at a rapidly growing rate.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • WIPO Celebrates Chinese Patent Explosion, Pretends That It's Innovation
      We've talked in the past about patent system supporters' somewhat blatant cluelessness to China's clear recognition that its own growing patent system is the perfect tool for backdooring protectionism and trade barriers, without making it look like protectionism and trade barriers. I sometimes can't tell if this is just because those system supporters are so focused on the narrow "more patents must be good" argument that they're missing the big picture, or if they truly don't understand what's happening. Either way, we've got the latest example, as the folks at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a part of the UN, are celebrating the fact that China's patent system has received more applications than any other patent system this year.

    • Intellectual property crime unit to be set up by City police
      Raft of measures announced by business secretary Vince Cable to tackle copyright infringement

    • Copyrights

      • Anti-Piracy Chief Patents “Pay Up or Disconnect” Scheme
        One of the top executives of the US-based anti-piracy outfit Digital Rights Corp has submitted a patent application that promises to turn piracy into profit. The patent describes a system where Internet users caught downloading will receive a notice from their Internet provider along with a request to pay a small fee to the affected copyright holder. Pirates who refuse to pay risk the ultimate punishment of being disconnected from the Internet.

        There are many ways copyright holders approach the “online piracy” problem. Some copyright holders prefer to do it through innovation, others prefer educational messages, warnings or even lawsuits. Another group is aiming for lots of small cash settlements.

      • U.S. Congress may not have stomach for another SOPA/PIPA fight
        As a new session of the U.S. Congress convenes in early 2013, don't expect lawmakers to rush out a new version of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) or the Protect IP Act (PIPA).

      • Gangnam Style passes 1bn views on YouTube

Recent Techrights' Posts

Links 01/10/2023: Climate, Patents, Programming, and More
Links for the day
Apple and Microsoft Problems
half a dozen links
Malware in the Ubuntu Snap Store, Thanks to Canonical Bloatware Mindset
Reprinted with permission from Ryan Farmer
Gemini Rising
There are 3523 capsules
Richard Stallman Gave a Talk Yesterday, Will Give Another Talk Today, and Will Give Two More Talks in Germany Later This Week
Those cover at least 2 different topics
Beware the Microsoft Sharks
We won't forgive and forget
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, September 30, 2023
IRC logs for Saturday, September 30, 2023
Don't be Afraid of the Command Line, It Might Even be a Friend
There's a tendency to think that only graphical interfaces were made to simplify usage, and any declarative interface is by design raw, inherently unfit for usage
One Positive Note About GNU/Linux Coverage in 2023 (Less Microsoft)
GNU/Linux users do not want this, with very rare exceptions
Snaps Were Never Good at Security, But the Media Coverage is Just Appalling
The media should focus on culling Windows, not making a huge fuss over minor things wrongly attributed to "Linux"
Better Footage of Richard Stallman's Talk Last Week: “Freedom in computing, forty years after starting to really protect it”
Richard Stallman speaks about the cancer situation early in his speech
Links 30/09/2023: A Government Shutdown and More Blizzard Layoffs
Links for the day
Links 30/09/2023: Bing Almost Offloaded Due to Failure/Losses, Nvidia Raided
Links for the day
A Lot of Technological 'Progress' Has Been Nothing But Buzzwords
Free software does not try to excite people people over nothing
Community is the Lifeblood of Freedom in the GNU/Linux World
Removing or undoing the "cancerd" (systemd) is feasible but increasingly difficult
Proprietary Software: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
Proprietary software has an entirely different mindset, revolving around business models rather than science
Web Hostnames Down to Lowest Number in More Than 7 Years!
the number of hostnames is falling rapidly (they hide this by choosing logarithmic scale)
Over at Tux Machines...
2 days' worth
Richard Stallman Says He Will Probably Live Many More Years
"Richard Stallman has cancer. Fortunately it is slow-growing and manageable follicular lymphona, so he will probably live many more years nonetheless. But he now has to be even more careful not to catch Covid-19."
Quitting 'Clown Computing' and GAFAM is Only the Start
The Web and the Net at large became far too centralised
Stop Begging Companies That Don't Value Your Freedom to Stop Pushing You Around
That's not freedom
They Say Free Software is Like Communism When They, the Proprietary Software Giants, Constantly Pursue Government Bailouts (Subsidies From Taxpayers)
At the moment Ukraine is at most risk due to its dependence on Microsoft (inside its infrastructure)
Social Control Media Has No Future, It Was Always Doomed to Fail (Also Promoted Based on Lies)
Recent events, including developments at Twitter, meant that they lost a lot of their audience and then, in turn, sponsors/advertisers
The forbidden topics
There are forbidden topics in the hacker community
They're Been Trying to 'Kill' Richard Stallman for Years (by Mentally Tormenting Him)
Malicious tongue wanted to do him what had been done to Julian Assange
We Temporarily Have Two Gemini Capsules
They're both authentic and secure, but they're not the same
Consumerism is Lying and Revisionism
We need to reject these liars and charlatans
Links 30/09/2023: Open VFS Framework, CrossOver 23.5, Dianne Feinstein Dies
Links for the day
Security Leftovers
GNU/Linux, Microsoft, and more
Microsoft Down on the World Wide Web, Shows Survey
down by a lot in this category
IRC Proceedings: Friday, September 29, 2023
IRC logs for Friday, September 29, 2023
A Society That Fails Journalists Does Not Deserve Journalism
It's probably too later to save Julian Assange as a working publisher (he might never recover from the mental torture), but as a person and a father we can wish and work towards his release
Almost Nothing To Go With Your Morning's Cup Of Coffee
Newspaper? What newspaper?
Techrights Was Right About the Chaff Bots (They Failed to Live up to Their Promise)
Those who have been paying attention to news of substance rather than fashionable "tech trends" probably know that GNU/Linux grew a lot this year
Selling Out to Microsoft Makes You Dead Beef
If all goes as well as we've envisioned, Microsoft will get smaller and smaller
Curation and Preservation Work
The winter is coming soon and this means our anniversary is near
Mobile Phones Aren't Your Friend or a Gateway to Truly Social Life
Newer should not always seem more seductive, as novelty is by default questionable and debatable
Links 29/09/2023: Disinformation and Monopolies
Links for the day
iFixit Requests DMCA Exemption…To Figure Out How To Repair McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines
Reprinted with permission from Ryan Farmer
Jim Zemlin Thinks the World's Largest Software Company Has 200 Staff, Many of Whom Not Technical at All
biggest ego in the world
Microsoft GitHub Exposé — In the Alex Graveley Case, His Lawyer, Rick Cofer, Appears to Have Bribed the DA to Keep Graveley (and Others) Out of Prison
Is this how one gets out of prison? Hire the person who bribes the DA?
Richard Stallman's Public Talk in GNU's 40th Anniversary Ceremony
Out now
Links 29/09/2023: Linux Foundation Boasting, QLite FDW 2.4.0 Released
Links for the day
Red Hat Does Not Understand Community and It's Publicly Promoting Microsoft's Gartner is basically lioning a firm that has long been attacking GNU/Linux in the private and public sectors at the behest of Microsoft
A 'Code of Conduct' Typically Promoted by Criminal Corporations to Protect Crimes From Scrutiny
We saw this in action last week
Objections to binutils CoC
LXO response to proposed Code of Conduct
Conde Nast (Reddit), Which Endlessly Defamed Richard Stallman and Had Paid Salaries to Microsoft-Connected Pedophiles, Says You Must Be Over 18 to See 'Stallman Was Right'
Does this get in the way of their Bill Gates-sponsored "Bill Gates says" programme/schedule?
Techrights Extends Wishes of Good Health to Richard M. Stallman
Richard Stallman has cancer Still Going, Some Good News From Canada
a blow to software patents in Canada
The Debian Project Leader said the main thing Debian lacked was more contributors
The Debian Project Leader said the main thing Debian lacked was more contributors
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, September 28, 2023
IRC logs for Thursday, September 28, 2023
Links 28/09/2023: Openwashing and Patent Spam as 'News'
Links for the day