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Links 30/6/2012: Mandriva Foundation Structure Outlined, Ubuntu 12.10 Alpha 2 is Out

Posted in Office Suites at 7:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • The Command Line Interface has its uses, acknowledged Mobile Raptor blogger Roberto Lim, “but no piece of technology targeted at the consumer market should ever require that something be done via CLI; keep it as an option or you can take it out all together. “If it is there, it should just be there for the IT people or tech support to use when you encounter a problem.”

  • So, the naysayers are “out to lunch”. Their pet “video editing” section is dominated by GNU/Linux:

  • Desktop

    • Thanks to Google and the Chromebook, the Linux desktop is getting its chance to make a retail come-back.

    • Every tech writer on the Internet seems to want to be the one to crack the code and figure out what Microsoft plans to do with Surface. I thought I was one of them until I spent three days trying to write this article. I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t really care what Microsoft’s plans are or if they’ll pan-out for them. They bore me. They’re irrelevant now.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • You must already know about the funny codenames of each release of Ubuntu. However, Im sure not many of you know that Linux kernels have their codenames too. And of course, these codenames are weird and funny as hell, like Homicidal Dwarf Hamster, Pink Farting Weasel or Sheep on Meth. ( And as you can guess, Linus Torvalds is the author of these codenames). The codename of each Linux kernel can be found in the makefile of the source trees.

    • Graphics Stack

      • As part of a GSoC project through the Linux Foundation, some of the popular open-source DRM graphics drivers are being back-ported to older Linux kernel releases.

      • While Intel’s Ivy Bridge processors are only two months old, there’s already a feature-rich driver and the full programming documentation available. Meanwhile for the Radeon HD 7000 series from AMD that is now more than six months old, the open-source driver is still incomplete and the documentation is lacking.

      • There’s some hope for NVIDIA laptop customers that rely upon their binary Linux graphics drivers that one day hope to utilize Optimus Technology.

      • Following the changing of the Catalyst release schedule and dropping old hardware support, Catalyst 12.6 for Linux has been officially released. However, it’s already disappointing some Linux binary driver users.

  • Applications

    • Tomahawk is a free and open-source music player that allows you to connect your other 全民彩票网址 and friends via Jabber, Google Chat and Twitter. You can browse and play their libraries, playlists and stations.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • John Diamond, the CEO of COR Entertainment LLC, has shared with Phoronix that the plan is to release Alien Arena: Reloaded on 6 July. The Alien Arena: Reloaded Edition game will feature twelve new levels, two new player characters, and an innovative new weapon when it comes to the game assets.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Of course, KDE is very dear to me and to Kolab and so, in addition to me, there will be a few other members of the Kolab community will meet at this year’s Akademy. Key contributors Christian Mollekopf and Jeroen van Meeuwen will be present and available to discuss Kolab related issues. Jeroen will also give a talk about release engineering processes using KDE as an example. His experience from the Fedora Project, Cyrus IMAP, Cyrus SASL and from his roleas a Systems Architect at Kolab Systems provides him with ample experience to give some insight into how release engineering and quality assurance within the fast-paced KDE project could be improved further.

      • Good news for KDE lovers. If you own a Raspberry Pi, you will now be able to run your favorite K Desktop Environment and integrated programs in it. Thanks to a developer named Luca Tringali.

        Tringali got a original Debain release that supports ARM architecture and built an image with basic Plasma desktop and utilities.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • One of the reasons many Gnome users were frustrated with default Gnome 3 Shell was the lack of power off button by default. All you got when clicking of the user menu at top right was a suspend option. You might have to waste some moments to search Google and learn to use the Alt key to get Power Off.

      • The highly anticipated mechanism which is used to bar Gnome users from performing certain actions is on the way, and its name is Lockdown.

      • Few days ago the new BoD was elected and today Gnome Live addresses the roles and responsibilities for each member.

  • Distributions

    • The latest release of the Parted Magic versatile partitioning tool gives users the option to install NVIDIA’s proprietary video driver. Instead of using the bundled open source nouveau driver, which may have problems on some hardware, users can download and install an NVIDIA binary driver module. When doing so, lead developer Patrick Verner notes that users will need to first disable the nouveau driver from the Fail Safe menu.

    • We like to think that there is a Linux distribution for everything. There is a distribution for browsing the web, one for playing video games, one for privacy, and there is one for security – Qubes OS.

    • With new major releases of Ubuntu and Fedora out the door in the past quarter, the developers at these and other community distributions are now hard at work on future versions of their respective Linux-based operating systems. Smaller, more specialised distributions have also been publishing new versions at a rapid pace.

    • New Releases

      • A few days ago, we posted about the release of Zorin OS 全民彩票官网下载 and Ultimate edition. Today, Zorin OS group has released Zorin OS Business edition aimed at small and medium sized business organizations.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • There have been some rumors floating around that Mandriva was going to abandon their transition to RPM 5, a fork of the original Red Hat Package Manager. Mandriva began moving to RPM 5 quite a while ago because it offers increased performance and added features. So today Per ?yvind Karlsen, Mandriva Project Leader, confirmed that Mandriva has no plans to abandon RPM 5.

      • Mandriva Open Source Relations Manager, Charles Schulz, today tried to clarify the foundation’s vision of structure of community interaction and resulting products. Instead of explaining, he posted a flow-chart to illustrate the relationships between downstream and upstream projects, contributors, and the Mandriva distribution.

    • Gentoo Family

      • With all the attention that tends to get heaped on Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Mint, and Fedora, it can be easy to forget about all the many other worthy contenders out there offering users a world of free choice.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat claims it is the No. 3 backer of OpenStack (in terms of code contribution) and a Platinum members of the 180-plus member OpenStack organization but it still won’t say when it plans to ship an OpenStack distribution.

      • Raleigh, N.C.-based Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT) will buy FuseSource, a 2010 spinout from Progress Software Corp. focused on open source integration and messaging products, according to an announcement Thursday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

      • When it comes to open source technologies, the decision is even tougher since the technology by definition is open. It’s a challenge that Linux leader Red Hat grapples with all the time. This week, Red Hat decided to go the buy route, and acquired middleware player Fusesource for an undisclosed sum. In an interview with InternetNews, Red Hat CEO, Jim Whitehurst explained why he decided to acquire Fusesource and how he goes about the buy versus build decision making process.

      • Red Hat has announced dates for Red Hat Summit to be held next year. This is the ninth annual Red Hat summit and it will be held in Hynes Convention Center in Boston from June 10-14 2013. Leaders from technology industry as well as software professionals from different areas will join this conference.

      • Red Hat has used the ongoing Red Hat Summit and JBossWorld 2012 conference to announce four open source products for operating hybrid clouds. They include OpenShift Enterprise PaaS Solution, a bundle of several Red Hat products that enables customers to set up a platform as a service (PaaS) on their own infrastructure, offering the same capability as Red Hat itself offers with its OpenShift public cloud products.

      • Fedora

        • Chris Smart today blogged that the next release of his Fedora-based Linux distribution would be delayed due to various developmental issues. Kororaa 17 Beta 1 was released June 3, but recent problems have thrown a wrench into the works.

        • Fedora 17 S390x, a.k.a. IBM System z mainframe computers, isn’t a primary architecture but is a secondary arch similar to the recent Fedora 17 ARM release.

    • Debian Family

      • Unfortunately I have yet to get my hands on any Loongson hardware, but on OpenBenchmarking.org it was discovered that Linux benchmark results are beginning to appear for the ICT Loongson-3A V0.5 FPU.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical recently joined hands with Dell to sell Ubuntu pre-loaded laptops in 850 Dell stores across India. With this partnership, Canonical aims to make Ubuntu a common name in India.

          • The canonical team has released second Alpha images of Ubuntu 12.10 Quantzal Quetzal.

          • The final release of Ubuntu distribution version 12.10 is expected on 18 October 2012, with support through April 2014.

          • To the best of my memory, this is something I’ve never done officially, a whole article dedicated to changing Ubuntu’s looks on a serious level. The simple reason is, there never has been any need for that, and there isn’t one now. But if you’re into uber-aesthetics, you might like this article.

            Today, inspired by the work of a guy named mack_guy911, I will show you a handful of extremely beautiful themes and icons sets that you can use in any Unity-flavored Ubuntu or even Gnome 3 installation. We will also learn a little more about tweaking tools that can help you in this task, namely Ubuntu Tweak Tool and Ubuntu Tweak. Yes, those are two different programs. Please, follow me on a tour of beauty.

          • Reportedly, the two Linux kernel based cousins- Ubuntu and Android can team up in the near future to knock Apple’s iOS down in the smartphone segment.

            The strength of Apple lies in the simplicity and integrity of its iOS. Everything is tightly bound and that makes it relatively easy to use and easy to familiarize with. That’s probably what makes it the world’s hottest smart-phone selling brand.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • New features at a glance:

              * Xfce 4.10
              * mintMenu and MATE applets
              * MDM
              * Artwork improvements
              * Search engines

  • Devices/Embedded

    • 全民彩票网址Phones

      • Android

        • The Google I/O conference is in full swing this week, and many of the rumors from recent weeks are coming true. As we discussed last week, Google did show off its new $199 7-inch Nexus tablet that will run the latest Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean” mobile OS. Hands-on reviews of the tablet, many of them favorable, are appearing. Of course, Android 4.1 is also big news and will be at the heart of Google’s mobile strategy going forward. Here is more on what’s new in it.

        • At the moment, the only officially-announced smartphones to use a quad-core Samsung Exynos processor are the Galaxy S III (not all versions), and the Meizu MX 4-core. But there’s a third one that should be announced soon: the Lenovo Le全民彩票网址Phone K860.

        • With Android 4.1 Google Chrome has become the default web browser of Android devices. Which means that Chrome for Android is out of beta and get its first stable channel. However, Chrome is available only for devices above Android 4.0.

        • Improvements include a smoother and more responsive UI across the system, a 全民彩票官网下载 screen that automatically adapts to fit your content, a powerful predictive keyboard, richer and more interactive notifications, larger payload sizes for Android Beam sharing and much more.

        • Nexus Q was the surprise announcement that Google made during IO2012. Google claims that Nexus Q begins the new wave of content consumption devices. Nexus Q is primarily a streaming device which can stream content (movies and music) from the cloud to your entertainment system. It requires an Android tablet or phone to control it and then you can simply stream the content from your account.

        • So you just got that shiny, new HTC One X or One S (or One V outside the U.S.), and suddenly it’s no longer running the latest version of Android. That’s no good. Neither is it HTC’s fault, but still.

        • Google is making another attempt to fix the Android update problem at the Google I/O conference. The plan is to give smartphone, tablet and chip manufacturers earlier opportunities to adapt their current and new hardware to forthcoming Android versions. Google said that it hopes that this will allow users to receive their updates faster.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Citing the usual “industry sources,” Taiwan-based DigiTimes says the search giant is planning a 10-inch Android tablet with display panels to be supplied by Wintek and AU Optronics. Wintek is the manufacturer behind the touch-screen panels for the Nexus 7 and has already picked up orders for around 500,000 panels from Google for the 7-inch tablet, according to the company’s chairman.

      • The 7-inch tablet also introduces to the world Android 4.1 aka Jelly Bean. The tablet is seen by press as a competitor to Amazon’s Kindle Fire, but Nexus 7 is more than just a content consumption device. The tablet features the new Google Maps which offers offline feature; all new offline voice search, and new Google Earth (with high quality 3D images).

      • The Nexus 7 has been unveiled today to much fanfare. 2 years after the first mainstream Android tablet devices were introduced, Google has finally decided to make an official foray into a segment that is already populated by its immensely popular mobile operating system.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Twitter has announced that its Iago load generator is now available as open source. Chris Aniszczyk, Open Source Manager at Twitter, says that the micro-blogging company created Iago because existing open source and commercial load generators couldn’t provide all of the capabilities it required.

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • BSD

    • Continuing from the theme of the tests a few days back benchmarking Wheezy: Debian GNU/kFreeBSD vs. Debian GNU/Linux, here are some new numbers. Here’s some brief numbers concerning Debian GNU/kFreeBSD versus DragonflyBSD 3.0.2.


  • Project Releases

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • He explains that innovation doesn’t require a PHD, and that open source development is a great example of innovation and a way to bring different opinions together to advance technology.

      “Open source software is an innovation in that it brings together in a productive way programmers who disagree on many things,” Mickos said. He goes on to list other examples such as Facebook, the touchscreen, and e-learning.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Adobe’s non-free technology Flash is dying a slow death. The company earlier announced that they will discontinue Flash for Android devices. Now, the company has posted that there won’t be any updates of Flash Player for mobile browsers. Adobe Flash will no longer be available in Google Play Store after August 15.


  • The Competition Bureau is supposed to defend the Canadian economy from anti-competitive acts like exclusive dealing, bundling, price-fixing and the like. Despite some good work, the departing chief did nothing about M$ and its “partners” excluding GNU/Linux from retail shelves all across Canada. She did nothing about bundling that other OS with nearly every PC sold in Canada for decades. Clearly that prevents competition for operating systems and prevents competition on price/performance. Shame…

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The World Trade Organization (WTO) issued a final ruling today against the U.S. country全民彩票网址-of-origin labeling (COOL) law. This popular pro-consumer policy, which informs shoppers where meat and other foods were raised or grown, enjoys the support of 93% of Americans, according to a 2010 Consumers Union poll. Now Congress must gut or change the law to avoid the application of punitive trade sanctions.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs cannot wiggle out of class action securities fraud claims by arguing that public statements that it valued “honesty,” “integrity” and “fair dealing” were “puffery,” not promises, a federal judge ruled.

    • You’d imagine, as the economy continues to tank, as banks continue to reveal themselves as incompetent (RBS and NatWest) or crooked (Barclays et al), as Europe drifts deeper into turmoil, that the two political parties who delivered these conditions might be interested in working out between them what brought matters to this grievous state. But the Westminster setup means they don’t have to do anything so sensible. One of the things that both the Conservatives and Labour love about the first-past-the-post electoral system – maybe even the thing they love about it most – is that they have always got each other to blame.

      Take Private Finance Initiatives, under which – across the public sector – taxpayers owe around £229bn for assets worth a capital value of £56bn. Hospitals, particularly, are struggling under a debt burden that obliges them to spend up to a fifth of their income on PFI commitments each year. PFI was imported from Australia as a wheeze under Thatcher, first implemented under Major, enthusiastically embraced under Blair, then under Brown, then utilised yet further under Cameron.

    • Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) (GS), the fifth- biggest U.S. bank by assets, eliminated several dozen jobs to pare expenses in the U.S., according to a person familiar with the matter.

      The cuts affected positions in New York, New Jersey and Salt Lake City, Utah, according to the person, who wasn’t authorized to comment and asked for anonymity. Another person with knowledge of the matter said the reductions affected administration and other jobs that don’t produce revenue.

      Wall Street firms are targeting expenses as trading slows and new regulations pinch profit. Goldman Sachs employed 32,400 people at the end of March, down 8 percent in 12 months. Reuters reported the cuts earlier.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • CNN jumped the gun this morning when it erroneously announced that the Supreme Court had struck down the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate — appearing to side with the court’s most vocal critics of the healthcare overhaul.

  • Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • As the TPP negotiations progress, concern about the almost total lack of transparency (and the USTR’s laughable statements to the contrary) is starting to gain significant attention. Most recently, we wrote about Rep. Darrell Issa’s request to observe the next round of negotiations, and before that, Senator Ron Wyden’s quizzing of Ron Kirk about transparency during a senate hearing. So far, the USTR has managed to brush this off by claiming everybody else in Congress was happy—but, like almost everything the USTR says about TPP, that too is blatantly untrue. Over 130 members of the House of Representatives have now chimed in by signing on to a much longer open letter addressed to USTR Ron Kirk, expressing specific concerns about the TPP process.

    • So called “cybersecurity” and “intellectual property” are two very different issues, but it seems that politicians are realizing that they get further by screaming about “cybersecurity threats” than about “intellectual property infringement.” The latest proposed appropriations bill for the State Department includes a role for a “coordinator for cyber issues” — which is an awful title.

    • The problem arises from natural selection. The more we use an antibiotic — especially if we use it carelessly, failing to complete the full course — the more we select for bacteria that are partially resistant to it. Over time, those bacteria thrive, displacing bacteria that are unable to withstand the antibiotic. Eventually, bacteria that are completely resistant to that particular drug are likely to evolve — a situation that can have dire consequences. For example, even five years ago, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) was killing more people in the US annually than AIDS.

    • 全民彩票官网下载s

      • As Techdirt reported in 2010, the passage of the Digital Economy Act was one of the most disgraceful travesties of the UK parliamentary process in recent times; it was badly drafted, hardly revised and then pushed through with almost no debate in the dying moments of the previous government. Since then, two UK ISPs — BT and TalkTalk — have challenged the Act in the courts, but lost earlier this year.

      • The battle between Megaupload (David) and the US Government and the MPAA (Goliath) started out with a flurry of blows against the New Zealand based site staff, but in recent weeks the blows have all been falling stateside.

        Today, the New Zealand High Court ruled that the search warrants used to raid Dotcom’s mansion were illegal, casting uncertainty over the entire ‘Mega Conspiracy’ case.

        An earlier ruling by High Court Justice Judith Potter concluded that a previous search and seizure order was invalid because of improper paperwork. The documents were later corrected.

      • ACTA

        • On June 25th, the European Union Parliamentary committee voted to reject the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). This signifies a major blow to ACTA, but its standing in the EU still comes down to the European Parliament vote scheduled for July 4th.


Europe Fines Microsoft for Abuses, But Continues Funnelling Public Money to Microsoft; the Greek Set Fire to Microsoft

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Microsoft at 9:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Signs of unrest, affirmation that Microsoft is breaking the rules, more infuriating stories from the UK, and arson at Microsoft Greece

of the latest ruling:

Microsoft has lost its appeal before the EU’s General Court, Europe’s second-highest, although gaining a slight reduction in the penalties it has to pay, now fixed at EUR 860 million. So it remains true for all time that Microsoft was found to have abused its dominant position, in a case about its refusal to allow access to interoperability information. It could still appeal to the EU Court of Justice, the highest court. This is the case that FSFE and the Samba Team won. Microsoft had asked that the ruling be annulled and that the court “order the Commission and the interveners supporting it to pay the costs.

The FSFE too. The Samba lawyer全民彩票网址, Mr. Piana, wrote the “last take-away points”:

This is it, it’s over. The last remaining pending issue spawning from the 2004 Decision (the so called “Monti decision”), by which the European Union slapped Microsoft with an unprecedented antitrust remedy, has ended, barring an unpredictable appeal. A decision imposing 899 million euro fine, for non compliance with the obligation to provide complete and accurate interoperability information under Reasonable And Non Discriminatory conditions, was by and large upheld by the General Court in case T-167/08, where I represented the FSFE and the Samba Team, intervening in support of the Commission.

I have now read the decision in its all 26 printed pages. Among many details concerning procedural fine points that would bore to death most of the readers, I have found some points that are worth pointing out, since they confirmed my/our positions that we put forward since 2005. That’s when the whole “implementation” phase started, after the President of the Court of First Instance (that was the General Court called back then) refused to suspend the 2004 Decision pending judgement on the merits.

Microsoft cannot claim to be a scapegoat and every well calculated politician should pressure to stop doing business with Microsoft. In reality, however, politics and crimes sometimes attract each other; favours and bribes are part of the game. The press too is corrupt. Watch how a (conflict of interest). He spuriously quotes Microsoft, even at the end (several paragraphs). CNET and ZDNet prove to have no journalistic integrity because this load of tabloid garbage, masquerading as professionalism, clearly has serious issues with it. One just needs to know the writer’s professional background. So the antitrust ruling in EU covered by former Microsoft UK staff (without disclosure), even in the press. How bad is that?

Over here in the UK, the government keeps dealing with this criminal company, passing public money (without tender) to private hands in another country全民彩票网址, despite the appalling record of this company (multiple times of convictions over competition abuses and more). As , they dare describe this as a bargain, too:

The snake charmers from M$ have done it again. M$’s salesmen have convinced the UK Cabinet that money can be saved by spending more. Of course they are comparing projected prices (vapour-prices) versus 1% more than the previous agreement. What is totally missing is that UK gets no value at all from the money spent. They are paying M$ for permission to use equipment the UK owns. That’s insane.

It’s that . They are came under fire, literally:

A coordinated arson assault by armed gunmen against Microsoft’s HQ in Athens earlier this morning is another headache for big multi-nationals in Athens. Reportedly, multi-national corporations have already been considered leaving the debt-ridden country全民彩票网址 because of unpaid bills, falling revenues and the prospect that Greece might be forced to leave the euro.

There were :

Three attackers drove a van through the front of Microsoft’s offices just north of Athens on Wednesday, marched out security guards at gunpoint, and tried to burn the building to the ground.

It’s unclear who is behind the attack, but it’s a worrying sign for foreign multinational corporations, coming as Greece struggles under the weight of a collapsing economy.

Let’s not forget Microsoft's abusive behaviour in Greece, even Gates'. This does not justify violence, but when justice gets neglected (Microsoft not prosecuted for its crimes) the population tends to take the law into its own hands.

Android Distribution and Freedom Challenged by Apple and Microsoft’s Co-founder

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Patents at 9:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Apple disallows Android imports


Summary: The litigation war of Steve Jobs leads to embargo of Linux-powered tablets and Paul Allen continues patent-trolling

and Christine Hall . The latest news, however, that a US judge let Apple proceed with its outrageous embargo attempts. To quote:

The US patent and legal system is screwed, no doubts about it. There is good news and bad news. The bad news first, Judge Lucy Koh has granted Cupertino’s request to stop the sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the US. According to the order details, Judge ordered the injunction on the grounds of design patents.

What on Earth is a “design patent”?

Remember that Apple faked 'evidence' in an attempt to stop sale of those devices; not surprising for a company with sheer disregard for the truth and no integrity at all (better to boycott it).

Incidentally, . As Groklaw summarises it:

The Court has lifted the stay in the case of Interval Licensing against AOL, Apple, eBay, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo, and YouTube. (269 [PDF; Text]) Acknowledging that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has already affirmed all of the asserted claims of the ’652 patent and is all but certain to do so also with respect to the ’314 patent, the Court says it is time to move this case along.

For all of those who have enjoyed the outcome in the Oracle v. Google case, expect this one to be far different. In the Oracle case the Court narrowed the number of claims that Oracle was allowed to assert and Google was able to persuade the USPTO that a number of the remaining asserted claims were invalid. That is not going to be the case here. Interval Licensing has been far more selective in deciding what to assert and has reason to be confident that, at a minimum, an invalidity defense will not work. Interval has also been far more specific in the Interval complaint than Oracle ever was in the Oracle complaint as to the basis for the infringement assertions.

It is also a bit hard to take a shot at Interval as being a troll. While many (most?) of us don’t care for so-called software patents, Interval did not acquire these patents. The patents all come from individuals who were employed by Interval at the time of invention.

Since an invalidity defense is unlikely to be successful, the parties here are going to have to establish that they did not infringe these patents. That is not an impossible task, but given the care that Interval has taken in deciding which patents to assert, the task will be formidable.

The patent mess is far from gone and the loser is everyone but very few. Developers are not the only ones affected by it; the public at large suffers without realising it. Over the weekend I will upload a lot of my code which is most likely infringing on some software patents, but it’s impossible to know how many and which ones. The patent system is a clearly farce when even one-man projects can infringe on many patents, using a keyboard and a mind, or even pen and paper (business methods). Products are actually being blocked, not just taxed, simply because different people have similar ideas.

MOSAID Apparently Extorts Linux, Red Hat Embraces Secrecy Again

Posted in Patents, Red Hat at 8:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Red Hat’s Pandora’s box is filling up


Summary: Red Hat signs a settlement deal with MOSAID, but nobody knows what it’s about

, there was a settlement, but we know almost nothing about it. To quote:

While we were busy watching the Oracle – Google case play out, we missed the fact that Red Hat, IBM, Adobe, and Juniper Networks all settled with MOSAID, and the infringement claims against those parties have been dismissed (93 [PDF; Text]). The claims against Alcatel-Lucent and VmWare remain pending. (95 [PDF; Text]) Given that the MOSAID patents do not constitute an open issue with respect to open source software, we will not be following the remainder of this case.

Of course, it remains to be seen (or more likely, we will not see) exactly the terms on which Red Hat settled this case, although where Red Hat has settled patent infringement claims in the past it has done so on terms that do not violate the GPL.

Well, not too long ago Red Hat failed to ask Fedora users about UEFI [1, 2, 3, 4] and prior to that Red Hat signed some other secret deals. Red Hat needs to be transparent, not just preach about openness like it does all the time, especially in its site OpenSource.com. Red Hat betrays trust here.

Over in the US there is which can potentially weaken software patents:

Federal Circuit Upholds Obviousness Rejection

What are the chances of overcoming the obviousness rejection of a patent claim having all of its elements disclosed in the prior art, albeit by multiple references? In the wake of KSR v. Teleflex, the odds of succeeding with such an argument have unquestionably suffered. Certainly one cannot be surprised at the result in In re Mouttet, No. 2011-1451 (June 26, 2012), where the Federal Circuit affirmed the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, which in turn had affirmed a patent examiner’s rejections under 35 U.S.C. § 103.

The case was mentioned here before, both recently and years ago. Unless or until we eliminate software patents, some of the aforementioned deals will continue to be signed. The game is rigged. Red Hat should speak up about it, not participate in it.

SUSE Still Alive, But Far From the Top

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OpenSUSE, Red Hat at 8:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SUSE mascot now irrelevant to GNU/Linux

View of Paris

Summary: A couple of updates about the ‘open’ version of Microsoft Linux

of the “open” alter-ego of SUSE — that which is being used to openwash Microsoft Linux. Here are some of the expected inclusions:

openSuse 12.2 will be released soon,or atleast we can hope so. Here is a list of upcoming features supposed to be shipped by default with the next version of this operating system.

In the desktop environment front, openSuse will ship KDE 4.8 Plasma Desktop and Plasma Netbook, the latest stable versions of K Desktop Environment. It may also ship Plasma Active, the Plasma UI for tablets and mobile phones. KDE apps and frameworks have also been upgraded to version 4.8 and one can expect better performance and stability in KDE. Talks of shipping a new KDM theme and ksplash theme is on, and kspalsh will use the qml engine, the latest technology in KDE 4.8.

KDE 4,9 is already approaching its final release and those who are can appreciate that Fedora 18 will be ahead (Fedora is also released more often). As for Fedora 17:

I ran fedora 17 for a while on my test machine. I have since replaced that with opensuse 12.2 Beta2. Before my memory fades, here’s a comparison of fedora 17 and opensuse 12.2. When installing fedora from the DVD image, I chose to install KDE, Gnome, LXDE and XFCE. Those are the same choices that I make with opensuse. Of course, I don’t really use all of those. Mostly, I use KDE and experiment with the others. On my test machine, I use XFCE because it is a little lighter in weight for the older slower hardware.


Fedora defaulted to using gdm as the desktop login manager. When I logged into XFCE, I found that there was no gpg-agent available. If I checked to option launch Gnome services on startup, I would then have a gpg-agent available. However, that also caused orca to run, which soaked up a lot of resources. As a result, KDE used less resources than XFCE.

I disabled the “launch Gnome services” so that orca would not start. In looking at running processes, it seemed that gpg-agent was actually running but there was no environment setting to make that available. I was able to put something into shell startup files to locate that agent and set the environment correctly. And, since the shell startup files are run at the beginning of the desktop session, that made gpg-agent available to the desktop.

With opensuse 12.1, I recall that I also had to have XFCE launch Gnome services to have gpg-agent and/or ssh-agent available. But at least that did not start orca in opensuse. I have not tested that with opensuse 12.2, where launching gnome services appears to be the default.

I have not used SUSE in 5 years. Back in the days it was a leading distribution. These days, there is nothing “leading” about it and it relies on funding from Microsoft. Debian GNU/Linux is one people can trust much more. Our trust in Red Hat is eroding not just because of UEFI [1, 2, 3, 4] but for other reasons we’ll mention in the next post.

With UEFI, Microsoft Assaults the General Public License (GPL) and Computing Freedom in General

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft at 8:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Legal aspects of UEFI


Summary: Some GPL- and UEFI-related news

, this time less on the propaganda side and more on the products side:

Black Duck Software announced new code analytics services to produce the new Black Duck Code Quality Audit (CQA) report.

Black Duck Software has announced the availability of expanded audit services with the addition of new code analytics that can help organizations acquiring new technology better track the code in their environments.

By tracking code they are able to issue reports with bias against GPL-type licences (they signed a deal with Microsoft before they started doing this). Meanwhile, Microsoft is putting the knife to the GPLv3-licensed GRUB 2, using its predatory UEFI plot [ Canonical is left with little choice but to drop it (responses to UEFI now:

Early support for UEFI SecureBoot is now available via qemu-kvm for messing with this troublesome technology in a virtualized world.

Before running for the hills thinking this is another attempt to thwart Linux by pushing UEFI SecureBoot into virtualized environments, this isn’t the case. This early SecureBoot support in qemu-kvm comes from the Linux kernel community. In fact it’s from James Bottomley, a well known kernel developer working in conjunction with the Linux Foundation.

The Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board has been trying to get UEFI SecureBoot in qemu-kvm since real hardware relying upon this “secure” technology is still difficult to find until Windows 8 begins shipping. Bottomley built an Intel Tianocore boot system with the openSUSE Build System, discovered a gnu-efi bug, and made some other SecureBoot-related accomplishments for the benefit of Linux.

And that, with the demise of particular software, leads to the weakening of GPL along with freedom in computing. Microsoft knows what it’s doing here. Anything that harms copyleft licences is good for Microsoft.

As a side note, the above is part of a trend. Many journalists like to pick on Richard Stallman. Commonly enough they point to the fact that he does not browse the Web directly with a browser; Stallman sets an example and strives to be role model in some sense by drawing attention to the fact that the NSA et al. spy on Web surfers and he responds to this threat to human rights (he is, after all, an activist in this area) by one of the more reasonable actions, as not many options are left when sites do not support encrypted or anonymous routes in. Those who ignore this are either apathetic or pretend to not know this; the former is a case of ignorance and the latter is malicious — a strategy intended to daemonise Stallman and those who seek to highlight a real problem, maybe even address it or at least take it into account. Likewise, we have been seeing a daemonisation of the FSF, GNU. and the GPL, courtesy at times of Microsoft proxies. A lot of the time writers pretend not to understand “freedom” and use all sorts of straw man arguments. That could very well be seen when Stallman agreed to go on the Linux Action Show (we tried to ignore it so as not to give them attention because they are longtime FSF bashers).


Links 28/6/2012: Over a Million Android Activations Per Day, KDE 4.9 RC1 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 9:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Jon “maddog” Hall wrote a beautiful essay in honor of Alan Turing that highlights the terrible, corrosive consequences of attacking people for who they are.

    “If you are homophobic, you probably want to stop reading now.” And so begins Jon “maddog” Hall’s beautiful, brilliant essay on being homosexual, and the terrible high price paid by LGBT people even today just for being who they are.

  • Desktop

    • Two years ago, I got into a conversation with another professional about the desktop. I opined that very shortly, the desktop would be our cell phone and there would be no need to put file servers at everyone’s desk. This was partially driven by the announcement that morning, at LinuxCon, by Qualcomm, that they were going to put dual-core 1 GHz processors in their next generation cell phones. This professional pooh-poohed the idea as completely unworkable.

  • Kernel Space

    • It has been a while since last benchmarking the ZFS file-system under Linux, but here’s some benchmarks of the well-known Solaris file-system on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and compared to EXT4 and Btrfs when using both a hard drive and solid-state drive.

  • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine

    • Games

      • Several weeks back, a fellow Martian emailed me and asked me to take a look at the latest release of Alien Arena, a free, cross-platform first person shooter, numbered 7.53. All right, why not. I always liked the game and had it reviewed a few times. So I agreed, politely declined using the existing press material and went for my own installation and screenshots, even though they might be inferior to the official collection.

      • The Real Texas is an action adventure game that plays like a mashup of Zelda: Link to the Past and Ultima VI.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Since I imported my mail into kmail 4.8.3, my old Mail folders haven’t been updated. Where the heck is my mail stored?

      • There’s some interesting OpenGL-related news out of the Qt development camp.

        Shared on the Qt development list this week was notes from last week’s Qt Contributors’ Summit as it pertains to their OpenGL usage.

        As for their future plans, their first note is “Desktop OpenGL 3+ support, ES 3 support.” After Qt 5.0 it looks like they will begin using OpenGL 3.0+ functionality within the tool-kit. They’re also looking towards supporting OpenGL ES 3.0, which will be the updated GL specification for mobile/embedded devices and should be ratified by the Khronos Group and publicly released this summer.

      • The KDE Community is looking for a host for Akademy 2013.

        Akademy is the annual gathering of the KDE Community, one of the largest in the world of Free and Open Source Software. At Akademy, KDE people gather to exchange ideas for development, plan for the future, and discuss other important issues. It is an extraordinary occasion for creativity, enthusiasm, commitment, close working relationships and innovation.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • I am still running Fedora 14 on some 全民彩票网址, and I have been holding off on upgrading to a newer version of Fedora ever since, all because this was the last version of Fedora to have Gnome 2. I’ve deployed some PCs since, with Fedora 16 and Gnome 3 and have enabled Fallback Mode for those users to retain the familiar menu system and desktop of Gnome 2. I still find Gnome 2 to have more information on the screen and less clicking to navigate around than Gnome 3. Fallback Mode has worked up to this point, but now with Fedora 17 which includes Gnome 3.4, some themes that I had used to better simulate Gnome 2 no longer work. It appears that Gnome 3 is still rapidly being developed, and things are changing from release to release.

      • Gnome exists more than a decade but it seems that all great things are happening just lately. Gnome’s future feels safer than ever and promises for a competing OS outside the Linux ecosystem are rising, relying on genuinely realistic foundations.

      • We posted a week ago that Gnome 3.6 will ship with an awesome configuration tool called InitialSetup that will make setting up a desktop easier and ready to use. This proposal was in whiteboard for a while, but today we have got the latest images of how it will actually look like.

  • Distributions

    • It has been a while since I had a look at Puppy Linux (www.puppylinux.org). so I thought I’d have another go to see how much it has improved over the past few years.

    • New Releases

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat announced a series of integrated cloud solutions including Red Hat Hybrid Iaas, Red Hat Cloud with Virtualization Bundle and Red Hat OpenShift Enterprise Paas solutions which will be offered at one price per guest. One of the solutions will be priced at $500 per guest with cloud management included

      • This week, the Red Hat Summit and JBoss World 2012 conference is going on, and Red Hat is making a number of new announcements. In addition, Red Hat’s always highly quotable CEO Jim Whitehurst–a veteran of the airline industry–is out with some notable reflections on the state of open source.

      • BOSTON. There are keynotes that are little more than product pitches, then there are conference keynotes that educate and inspire. Red Hat CEO, Jim Whitehurst delivered the latter during his keynote kickoff for the Red Hat Summit here today.

      • Just over a year ago, Red Hat first announced its OpenShift Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering. After being available for free for its entire lifespan thus far, Red Hat is now revealing its plans for making money from the platform.

      • Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced strong partner support for Red Hat Storage, the company’s scale-out, open source storage software for the management of unstructured data. Red Hat Storage Server 2.0 debuts with a strong ecosystem of industry-leading partners, including Cisco, Groupware, Intel, Mainline and Synnex.

      • Big Blue has teamed up with Red Hat to deliver virtualization, optimized IT infrastructure and potentially cloud services to Casio Computer Co.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • His second technology act was Linux. Shuttleworth created the Ubuntu Linux distro based on a Debian fork, and founded Canonical. The vision was a Linux for humans, not the usual bit twiddlers favoured by the Red Hats and SuSEs of this world. He was now 31.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • I got my Raspberry Pi just a week ago (after 3 1/2 months of waiting). Downloaded the Debian image (I also tried the Arch one) threw it on a 8GB SD Card.

      So… my impressions so far. It’s small. It’s quiet. Debian boots a little slow, Arch flies. Debian comes with LXDE pre-installed (but starts in console mode by default), the absolutely essential software (file manager, web browser etc.) and a couple of programming learning apps. Speed-wise the desktop experience is nothing horrible but it is what you would expect from an ARM device. It is powerful enough to serve its purpose i.e. provide a throw-away-cheap (but invaluable) learning tool.

    • 全民彩票网址Phones

      • If you’re old enough to remember the heyday of Palm and how many people swore by their Palm devices, you may wax nostalgic at the news that Hewlett-Packard has released the first part of WebOS Community Edition (WOCE), which is what the Palm operating system has morphed into after all this time. The open source offering is targeted at people who own HP’s TouchPad tablet. The first release of WOCE is downloadable now.

      • Hewlett-Packard has released an open source version of webOS that can be used on legacy TouchPad tablets, the Open webOS project team announced on Tuesday. The “Community Edition” enables users to learn how the TouchPad works and how to modify the device.

      • Android

        • Welcome全民彩票网址 back to Android 201, our series of posts aimed at the Android developer that already has some experience. In other words, this is not an Android 101 column focused on teaching new developers how to make an Android app it is a column focused on teaching developers more about Android.

        • Google finally unveiled Android 4.1, aka Jelly Bean during OI 2012. The company also announced the much awaited Nexus 7 tablet and a new device Nexus Q. As expected all attendees got free Nexus Q, Nexus 7 and the Galaxy Nexus phone. All these devices were running Android 4.1, except for Galaxy Nexus which was still running Android 4.0.

        • Literally moments into the Google I/O Day 1 keynote, a huge milestone for the Android platform has been announced. In total, 400 million Android devices have been activated, an astonishing 300 million in the last year alone. Wow.

        • The new version of Android, Jelly Bean, includes numerous new features and one of them is making Google’s Chrome its new default Web browser. Chrome is also now available for Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. UPDATED 4:30 Eastern with ICS release.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Google has finally announced the much hyped Nexus Tablet. As rumored the tablet is built by ASUS and designed by Google. This 7-inch tablet also introduced the next version of Android, which is code-named Jelly Beans. The tablet is available for pre-order on Google Play Store for only $199.

      • Confirming rumors and leaks that preceded its I/O event, Google has officially unveiled the Nexus 7 tablet, a seven-inch slate manufactured by Asus and running the Jelly Bean version of Android. The Nexus 7 is priced at $200, which puts it in direct competition with Amazon’s Kindle Fire and well below the price of Apple’s market-leading iPad.

      • Asus are about to launch an 11.6” screen notebook loaded with Ubuntu 12.04. Part of the continuance of the popular EeePC line, the 1225C uses the latest generation dual core Intel Cedar Trail mobile processor and will be available with either a 1.6 Ghz N2600 or a 1.86 Ghz N2800 cpu, 2Gb RAM and 320 Gb or 500 Gb hard drives. There will be Ethernet, Bluetooth, VGA and HDMI connectors and starting prices will be around Euro 300.

      • Google I/O is nearly upon us, and all signs point to Google revealing a tablet later today. The device leaked and then over the last few hours several high-level sources confirmed the device’s existence. It’s likely a low-end, 7-inch tablet powered by Google’s latest mobile operating system, Jelly Bean.

      • Say hello to the nemesis of the Kindle Fire, the Google Nexus 7. Shipping in mid-July, this quad-core tablet can handle graphics-heavy gaming and has a front-facing camera. The 8GB model starts at $200.

        Amazon could fight back in late July with a Kindle Fire 2. It’s expected to have improved specs and a camera, too.

Free Software/Open Source

  • CIO – You may be aware that a little event is about to be unleashed on the world from London-the 2012 Olympics. My chance encounter was with Russ Ede, who is responsible for the London 2012 Olympics website. He shared some amazing information about what it takes to create a website that can stand up to the most widely watched sports event in the world.

  • Very few companies know how to scale and deploy cloud applications like Netflix, the ginormous movie streaming site. And now it’s making some of that cloud management expertise available to the masses via Github.

  • When I first got into IT back in the late 90′s as a teen, I was always baffled by the landscape in regards to infrastructure and software. And coming from a Linux background, who could blame me? When I went off to get my secondary education, I chose the vocational route and I chose to certify in Novell and Microsoft because they were the two major players at the time. And in my opinion, Novell was actually doing it right with the NDS operating system which seemed way ahead of windows NT at the time.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • The Google Chrome team has released latest stable versions of their browser. The Google Chrome version 20.0.1132.43 for Windows, Mac and Linux comes with a loads of bug fixes and also the Pepper plugin that will allow Linux users to watch web videos and use flash without installing the Flash plugin.

  • SaaS

    • We’ve all heard plenty about open source changing the dynamics of the tech industry and upsetting the old order. Open source, we’re told, is manifest destiny. Companies that ignore it will be consigned to history and CIOs who assert there’s no freebie code behind their firewalls are out of touch with devs happily humming to Tomcat, Apache, Linux and PHP. At least that’s how the story goes.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Open government scored another victory when the City of Raleigh announced the Open Raleigh initiative—an online repository with open data, web and mobile applications, and links to participatory tools and organizations. It’s all part of Raleigh’s open source strategy focusing on transparency, collaboration, and improved access to information. It’s proof of the ongoing work of the public-facing, open source resolution Raleigh unanimously passed earlier this year.

        As part of the Open Raleigh announcement, the city included an online feedback system: My Raleigh Ideas! It’s a new service the city will use to collaborate with the public to solicit ideas on future projects and topics. Currently, the city is using it to prioritize the data citizens might want in the open data portal and to solicit input for the open data policy.

    • Open Access/Content

  • Programming

    • As is the tradition for the end of June, the Eclipse community celebrates the release of the annual Eclipse release train, this year code-named Juno. This is the ninth year the community has shipped a release train, and each year the release gets bigger. Juno represents the work of 72 project teams by 445 open source committers on 55 million lines of code, and the participation of 40+ Eclipse member companies.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • There’s more surprise for Linux users from closed source software vendors. After Microsoft unexpectedly updated Skype recently, Adobe has announced details of its source code editor for web developers. Unlike other Adobe products, this will be open-source distributed under MIT license.


  • Health/Nutrition

    • The lead plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the National Federation for Independent Business (NFIB), is a highly partisan front group masquerading as the “nation’s leading small business association,” critics say. The nation’s highest court is expected to rule on the federal health care law Thursday.

  • Security

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • 全民彩票官网下载s


Links 27/6/2012: Google Tablet, CyanogenMod 7.2 & 9 RC1

Posted in News Roundup at 5:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • At the same time that Stockton, California teeters on the brink of bankruptcy the city is contemplating redoing their whole IT system for huge sums, of the same order of magnitude as their anticipated budgetary shortfall.

  • Desktop

    • If you don’t want to pay Microsoft tax and want an Ubuntu pre-installed PC, ASUS Eee PC 1225C is the machine you are looking for. Amazon has been selling this device since March 2012 for $422.

  • Server

    • Open source is driving much of the innovation in the tech sector but there are key challenges in virtualization, cloud and big data, one IBM exec observed during his keynote at the Red Hat Summit tonight.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • If you’ve been wanting to share your iPad’s Internet connection with your Linux system without resorting to jail-breaking your tablet or going through other lengthy steps, it should now be possible to setup.

    • A new packet scheduler is designed to help avoid buffer bloat and “Early Retransmit” offers faster connection recovery after TCP packet loss. The E1000e driver already supports the network chip for Intel’s next-generation desktop and notebook platform.

    • This is the second in our 30-week series that profiles a different Linux kernel developer each week. Last week we debuted the series with Linus Torvalds. The profiles we publish throughout the rest of 2012 should help illustrate how these developers do their work, providing important insight on how to work with them and what makes them tick.

    • I think that is a common question for every Linux user soon or later in their career of desktop or server administrator “Why Linux uses all my Ram while not doing much ?”. To this one today I’ve add another question that I’m sure is common for many Linux system administrator “Why the command free show swap used and I’ve so much free Ram ?”, so from my study of today on SwapCached i present to you some useful, or at least i hope so, information on the management of memory in a Linux system.

    • Graphics Stack

      • In preparation for the Wayland/Weston 0.95 release in early July, a pre-release is now available (v0.94.90) that gets ready for this important milestone.

      • While not as far along as the ARM Lima driver or even OpenFIMG, the open-source reverse-engineered “Freedreno” driver for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon graphics hardware has hit a rendering milestone. There’s also a small ARM Mali driver update.

      • Sony released the Open Shading Language in 2010 as “a small but rich language for programmable shading in advanced renderers and other applications.” This simply wasn’t a code drop of some no longer useful code to try to spark them some positive publicity, but OSL has kept advancing as an open-source shading language.

      • The Intel “i915g” Gallium3D driver now implements sRGB textures support, but this is basically the end of the road for new features.

  • Applications

    • Empathy 3.5.3 instant messaging client for the GNOME desktop environment has been announced earlier today, June 26th, bringing a completely redesigned contact list.

    • Proprietary

      • Since I have frequently recommended the Opera browser, I feel obliged to warn our loyal readers: if you’re inclined to upgrade to Opera 12.00, don’t. The new version of Opera is quite buggy. Wait for 12.01 or 12.02 or whenever it gets fixed.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • What is this strange key and what does it mean anyway? “SysRQ” is short for the general term “system request”, however that doesn’t shed much light on its purpose. For that kind of information, we’ll need to step into our wayback machine and take a gander at computing history.

    • Wine

    • Games

      • Watch out, Sony, Vizio is chasing your tail. Just yesterday Sony revealed its latest Google TV hardware, a $199 remake of the company’s first GTV products. And now today, Vizio took to the wires and announced its first player in the Google TV game, the $99 Co-Star.

  • Desktop Environments

    • Bruno Dilly of ProFUSION Embedded Systems announced EPhysics today to the Enlightenment developers list. EPhysics allows for physics effects to be added to EFL.

      EPhysics doesn’t implement its own physics engine from scratch but wraps around the Bullet Physics library. The most well known implementation of EFL is now perhaps through the Tizen project and EPhysics will be working its way here soon.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Peter Penz, the main developer of the Dolphin file manager for the KDE desktop and a K Desktop user since KDE v1.2, is calling it quits after contributing to KDE for more than the past half-decade. His reason for leaving the development of the popular open-source desktop environment is interesting.

      • Dolphin 2.1 will be released as part of KDE applications 4.9 on the first of August and to me this is a very special release: After 6 years of development, around 2700 commits and a lot of fun I’ll be forwarding the maintainership to Frank Reininghaus. Frank did a great job during the last years to improve Dolphin and I’m really glad that he accepted the maintainership.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • If your company uses Active Directory, then there is good news for you. According to Gnome developer Stef Walter you will be able to login to your Gnome desktop using your Active Directory username and password.

      • I’m not a fan of the GNOME 2 release series. It was my main desktop for years until I replaced it with KDE 4, which was far more innovative. A few months ago, I wrote pointing out some shortcomingsof GNOME 2, questioning the demand for what seemed to me like a desktop that had long outlived its usefulness.

      • Gnome developers work on a Screen Lock that is useful mostly for touch devices. They also work in a new Login Screen. The main purpose of screen lock is obviously to prevent accidentally actions to happen in the system. While Screen Lock shares lot of similarities with Login Screen -currently GDM- , it seems that these two aren’t compatible and will not be merged.

  • Distributions

    • Users and admirers of Slackware were given a bit of jolt recently when the main project Website (and some mirrors) disappeared from the Internet. The hardware issue was eventually resolved and work resumed. Then today we hear from an avid Slackware watcher that Patrick Volkerding confirmed the next version number has been decided and sent lots of updates to Current.

    • New Releases

      • Two day ago, on June 23rd, Ferdinand Thommes has announced the immediate availability for download of the siduction 12.1.1 Linux operating system.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • As the world’s leading provider of open source software solutions, Red Hat Inc. (RHT) released its Q1 2013 earnings last Wednesday. Revenue was $315 million, up +19% from a year ago, which is better than the street expectation of $310.8 million. Importantly, revenue grew +22% excluding the impact of currency. Operating margins in Q1 was 26.0%, up 108 basis point year over year. Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst is highly confident that they can continue to keep the operating margin improving by ~100bps per year. Billings grew +16% yoy (+20% yoy in constant currency), which is slower than the previous five quarters but still very healthy.

      • Red Hat announced its new business model and pricing for its OpenShift platform as a service (PaaS) offering at the Red Hat Summit and JBoss World 2012 conference.

      • Btrfs is coming to RHEL 7 which is scheduled to be released soon, according to a report by Sean Michel of InternetNews.com. Vice-president of Linux Engineering at Red Hat Tim Bruce said that Btrfs, which is available as a technical preview in Red Hat 6.3, will ship by default in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, along with older filesystems like Ext4.

      • Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst said the standardization — aka commoditization or componentization — of technology though the open source model has catapulted the information age into an information economy — but the battle against proprietary vendors is not over.

      • According to Sean Michael Kerner from InternetNews.com, the upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 operating system will have support for the Btrfs filesystem.

        The Vice-President of Linux Engineering at Red Hat, Tim Burke, talked with Sean Michael Kerner, explaining him that Btrfs has been implemented and marked as experimental in the recently released Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3 release, and the next major version, RHEL 7, will have full support for the Btrfs filesystem.

      • Fedora

        • As the latest tests of Fedora 17 vs. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, here are benchmarks comparing the performance of an Intel Core i7 “Ivy Bridge” system on the two distributions named Beefy Miracle and Precise Pangolin, respectively.

        • Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) is reaching out to Linux application developers and cloud developers, while strengthening a relationship with SAP. Indeed, the open source company has updated its Developer Suite for both Red Hat Enterprise Linux and OpenShift, the platform as a service (PaaS) offering. The moves are part of a bigger Red Hat partner and ISV (independent software vendor) push that’s unfolding this week in Boston, Mass.

          At the Red Hat Summit, the company has already announced upgrades to its JBoss and OpenShift solutions. Now, the related Linux developer tools seek to ensure Red Hat remains relevant while customers shift their applications from physical to virtual and cloud services.

    • Debian Family

      • * DebConf11 financial report
        * Countdown to the freeze
        * Debian mirror redirector
        * Internationalisation sprint
        * Salzburg bug squashing party
        * Presentation in Romania
        * Bits from the DPL
        * Other news
        * Upcoming events
        * New Debian Contributors
        * Release-Critical bugs statistics for the upcoming release
        * Important Debian Security Advisories
        * New and noteworthy packages
        * Work-needing packages
        * Want to continue reading DPN?

      • Small and medium-sized businesses prefer Debian over Red Hat and CentOS for operating their file servers, according to a survey released Monday by cloud storage network provider Symform.

      • Derivatives

        • PureOS 5 has just been released, coming with the latest Debian Testing packages, Linux Kernel 3.3.6, and more.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Updates to the popular Ubuntu Linux distro come around, with monotonous regularity, every six months or so. The latest implementation, 12.04, however, carries the “LTS” tag, short for Long Term Support, making it just that little bit different.

            LTS releases only appear every 2 years and, rather than cutting edge new technologies, are all about consolidating previous updates to create a stable platform fit for enterprise deployment. Moreover, as of the 12.04 release (also referred to as Precise Pangolin) commercial sponsor Canonical has lengthened its LTS guarantee, pledging a full 5 years of support, updates and patches, both for servers (which have always had 5) and desktops which, previously, got just 3.

          • For years, the idea of developing software for the Ubuntu desktop has largely fallen into two distinct camps.

            The first camp is for the enterprise space. Often there are specialized needs here, where companies will spend the money needed to get specific software developed. Sometimes this means funding an existing project, other times creating a new one themselves.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Recently I’ve reviewed the latest ‘consumer’ version of Ubuntu, namely 12.04, and found that it was pretty far away from being perfectly consumer friendly. The entire UI was scattered and disorganized, you were met with hundreds of updates and it wasn’t very easy to install anything. Then one of our readers suggested I review Mint 13 Cinnamon.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • The Raspberry Pi single board computer (SBC) that began shipping in April in $25 and $35 versions has taken the hacker world by storm. Yet, the education-focused, development board is just the latest and cheapest of a number of recent open source, community hardware projects designed for hobbyist devices, educational platforms, prototyping, and even some limited-run commercial products. Most of the seven open-spec boards listed below cost $100 to $200, but unlike the ARM11-based Pi, they feature ARM Cortex-A8 and -A9 processors and support Android in addition to running various Linux distributions.

    • 全民彩票网址Phones

      • Android

        • CyanogenMod 7.2 released, adds features from Android 4.0 ICS
        • The 7.x branch of CyanogenMod is based on Android 2.3 “Gingerbread”, but several features from Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich”, have been backported to the 7.2 release of the popular modified firmware. These include rotation effects and transitions, as well as fixes to the telephony stack.

        • Even in the developed world, demand for Android is outpacing iOS, at least by some measures. Dice.com, for example, reports a 302 per cent increase in job postings for Android developers between 2010 and 2011, versus a 220 per cent jump for iOS developers. Vision Mobile reports that over 75 per cent of those surveyed indicated that they’re now supporting Android.

        • There are many ways to interpret Microsoft’s behavior last week regarding the Surface tablet and Windows 全民彩票网址Phone 8. Some of Redmond’s hardware partners may choose to interpret it as a slap to the face. Microsoft’s decision to try out the hardware game and reveal that current WinPho owners won’t get an upgrade to version 8 might drive more hardware makers into Android’s arms.

        • Vizio, a company best known for its inexpensive HDTVs, is looking to expand into another new market: it has just announced the Co-Star, a Google TV set-top box that will begin selling in July for $99.99. In addition to the standard complement of video streaming services and Google TV features, this new box will differentiate itself by including support for OnLive’s streaming gaming service.

        • SectorQube, a Kerela based IT company, has claimed to make a micro-oven that runs on Android. The Microwave Android Integrated Device (MAID) has the capability to guide you to cook over 52,000 recipes (plus more downloadable from the Internet) via voice instructions. This is the first device of its kind in India, and now it seems that after smartphones and tablets, its time for Android to take over 全民彩票官网下载 and consumer devices too.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • This May Be Google’s New Nexus 7 TabletAccording to an allegedly leaked training document, this is Google’s new tablet, a 7-inch Tegra 3 device running Android Jelly Bean. The document says that Nexus 7—as it is named—would hit the streets in July for $200.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The first and last time I visited Diaspora was back in 2010, when the social destination was still in it’s Alpha release. Although it had a reputation, as alpha releases do, of being buggy, I was surprised at how well it worked. It was impressive, a lot like Facebook but also quite different in its design. The problem was, there was nobody there. It was like entering an eighteen story highrise apartment building in which all the tenents had been evicted, hollow and filled with virtual echoes. So I ran back to the noise of the crowd on the virtual party that is Facebook.

  • The Wikimedia Foundation has announced the launch of a new prototype of its open source Visual editor. The non-profit organisation behind the Wikipedia online encyclopedia says that the new editing environment should make it easier for users to contribute to its projects.

  • As the open source community continues to grow and thrive through the popularity of such enterprise ready platforms as Red Hat, the number of open source medical applications also grows with it. The truth is, medical software is expensive. Most health care providers – doctors, hospitals, dentists, independent clinics – have been under a lot of pressure to maintain or reduce run costs while at the same time continuing to provide the quality patient care and customer service expected of the medical care industry. In an effort to control these costs, many health care organizations are looking toward open source software to help them manage their complex billing and electronic medical records. This is an especially hot topic with the United States government mandating that health care providers move from a paper based system to a primary electronic medical record system over the next two years, complete with short term financial incentives in the form of government refunds for early compliance and hefty fines for late adopters.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google’s Chrome web-browser reached version 20 yesterday and for Linux users this marks the point that the web company has taken over Flash Player support on Linux from Adobe using its PPAPI implementation.

    • Mozilla

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The Document Foundation has announced on June 22nd that the second Beta release of the upcoming LibreOffice 3.6.0 office suite is available for download and testing.

    • In our continuing series “Developer Interview”, Lionel Elie Mamane discusses his work with LibreOffice code and of his particular interest with Base. His lead role in maintaining the Base module is helping raise the use of Base among the LibreOffice community at large.

  • CMS

    • Joomla! is one of the world’s most widely used content management software (CMS) that powers millions of websites. A new version of Joomla! 3 is scheduled to get released next September and they are looking for your help in the launch.

  • Project Releases

  • Public 全民彩票网址/Government

    • Something seems to be going on in the European Union. Over the next few weeks a range of really important debates and votes are taking place, all connected with openness in some way. Quite why everything is happening at once is not entirely clear – unless politicians are trying to get everything out of the way before their summer hols, perhaps….

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Last week, #RioPlusSocial was one of the top trending global topics on Twitter. Part of the United Nations conference on sustainable development (called Rio+20), Rio+Social welcomed throngs of activists, politicians, moguls, and artists to Brazil, to discuss solutions for a growing list of global problems. Sponsored by the United Nations Foundation and several partners, the conference featured lectures and roundtable discussions with icons such as Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, the first woman President of Ireland Mary Robinson, billionaires Ted Turner and Richard Branson, and innovators such as Alnoor Ladha, a founding partner of Purpose, and Mashable founder Pete Cashmore.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Adobe has decided that it should do more to promote the range of web standards and open source projects that it is involved in and to that end it has now opened “Adobe & HTML” at html.adobe.com. The web site covers web standards, open source projects and the tools and services that Adobe offers in relation to those standards and projects.

    • Social games provider Wooga has released its HTML5 game Magic Land Island as an open source project called Pocket Island. The company started developing the game in 2011, when the emerging standard was gaining more and more momentum; the project was intended to highlight the capabilities of HTML5 as an alternative to Flash-based applications. The game was released in October 2011, and now Wooga has drawn its first conclusions about the viability of HTML5 for game development.


  • It was indeed a special moment. Surface, Microsoft’s attempt to transform itself into a major hardware tablet vendor, in front of a hand-picked group of journalists and, eventually, millions of people around the world thanks to YouTube, and then… “Whoops!”

  • Hardware

    • Acer has downgraded sales forecasts for Ultrabooks as the relatively hefty price tag and smaller screen size continues to limit adoption in Europe.

  • Security

    • Microsoft has released an unscheduled, non-patch day update for Windows to update the Windows Update function itself. However, according to reports from readers, the Windows Update Agent update does not always run smoothly; The H’s associates at heise Security also ran into problems on their test systems.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • 全民彩票官网下载s

      • To hear folks in Hollywood talk about it, the US’s indictment and prosecution of Megaupload are a done deal. Without any actual trial, people have decided that the company is clearly 100% evil and guilty. Yet, as we keep noting, the details of the indictment and prosecution keep turning up significant errors on the part of the US, as well as questions about the legality of what the US did. And plenty of people who really understand this stuff deeply are speaking out in agreement. The latest is a former federal judge, Abraham David Sofaer, who found the whole situation so troubling that he’s helping the EFF — for free — with its efforts to get Megaupload users’ data back.

      • ACTA

        • This Wednesday July 4th, the European Parliament will have an opportunity to reject ACTA as a whole, in plenary, and destroy it forever. After four years of citizens’ hard work, such a rejection would create a tremendous political symbol of global scale. La Quadrature du Net calls on all citizens to contact Members of the EU Parliament to urge them to reject ACTA, and beyond, to start a process to positively reform copyright law. A strong victory would set the ground for future reforms.

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