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12.31.12

Links 31/12/2012: openmandriva.org Emerges, Many New Android Devices

Posted in News Roundup at 11:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Linux Foundation has released a video highlighting some of the major accomplishments this year for the free and open source operating system.

  • One of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns of all time has been criticized for the fact that it may never deliver what it promises, but the bright minds behind the project are hitting each of the deadlines they originally promised — an incredible feat especially when considering the undertaking.

  • Desktop

    • When buying portable computers, I always went to computer stores. I could check several laptop or netbook brands, but I always had to buy Windows with the PC no matter if I intended not to use it.

      Since my Toshiba Dynabook laptop (which I had bought back in 2003) is about to die on me (it still runs thanks to MEPIS 8), I decided to go hunting for a good replacement. Although netbooks are more convenient for my work-related purposes, I still can do with my little Toshiba NB100. Even if its specs are far from powerful, it is capable of running several Linux distros and has never failed me.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Look for a really great 2013 with many improvements and new features being planned to the Phoronix Test Suite, OpenBenchmarking.org, and Phoromatic. It should be one hell of a great year with amazing milestones being planned as the open-source benchmarking software continues to be rapidly adopted across many industries. This, along with the overall progress of Linux, is another one of the reasons for my eventual departure from the editorial side of Phoronix to better focus upon these technical benchmarking areas with continuing to be the main developer behind these original software projects.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Vadim Girlin has published a new Mesa branch that integrates a shader disassembler and ISA information tables within the AMD R600 Gallium3D graphics driver.

        For aiding in the debugging process and for improving the Radeon Gallium3D driver with regard to shader optimizations, Vadim Girlin is looking to have a shader disassembler within the driver itself.

      • Over this weekend a new DRM pull request was submitted by David Airlie for the Linux 3.8 kernel.

        While it’s past the Linux 3.8 merge window, besides this pull having fixes, it does have some changes that aren’t strictly regression fixes. In particular, on Nouveau for open-source NVIDIA support there is initial GK106 enablement. Furthermore, there’s FUC microcode fixes for the Fermi-based GF119 and for NVE0 there’s fixes as well as enabling acceleration on all known GeForce 600 “Kepler” chipsets.

  • Applications

    • Most components of a web application produce operational log files. Some logs are written by each application in a unique format. Other components generate out-of-the-box logs. Monitoring system logs is an essential activity for anyone charged with taking decisions. System administrators need to monitor logs to look out for unusual activity, to troubleshoot applications and websites that are under their control. By scanning logs, extracting and correlating data, system administrators can investigate and resolve problems, carry out capacity planning, help to detect vulnerabilities, ensure the smooth running of services and balancing capacity, and establish who has used services and when.

    • Do you have problems getting to sleep after a late night computer session? Does the monitor brightness hurt your eyes? Several Linux tools are available that could help with these problems.

    • ASCON Group revealed that it has developed a version of its C3D modeling kernel for the Linux operating system. ASCON welcomes 3D application developers who work with alternative operation systems to try out the beta version of the C3D kernel.

    • Proprietary

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • While at the start of every year there’s always individuals making predictions about “the year of the Linux desktop”, for 2013 at least it looks like it will actually be the year of gaming on Linux. Everything is coming together quite nicely to make 2013 the most exciting year ever for Linux gaming.

        In the past nearly nine years of running Phoronix, every year seems to get better in terms of advancements for Linux gaming. There’s been setbacks along the way like the Epic Games mess, id Software losing faith in Linux, and the fall of Linux Game Publishing, but every year seems to generally be better than the last.

      • While 2013 is shaping up to be the best year for gaming on Linux with so many major milestones just ahead of us, it’s not without some unfortunate sore points still present for gaming and the Linux desktop.

        There’s a lot to be happy about with everything going on in the Linux gaming space at the moment, but there’s some fundamental problems to be addressed for Linux to become a viable platform for gaming and to be widely embraced by commercial studios. Among the current Linux gaming issues that quickly come to mind include:

      • The OpenMW team is proud to announce the release of version 0.20.0! Release packages for Ubuntu are now available via our Launchpad PPA. Release packages for other platforms are available on our Download page. This release brings a near-complete implementation of the dialoque system, visual player race changes in character creation, and many other fixes and improvements.

      • Earlier this month the first Unreal Engine 3 game that’s native to Linux was released, thanks to the work of Ryan “Icculus” Gordon. Now with UE3 being “officially” ported to Linux in a released game, after Unreal Tournament 3 for Linux failed to be released, other UE3-based games have hope for a Linux debut.

      • Software firm Sortasoft LLC, of Brooklyn, NY, aims to bring a fresh and innovative RPG to Linux, and it’s not too short of it’s financial backing goals; but it hasn’t reached them either. In order to accomplish its financial goals, Sortasoft has looked to engage its future audience using the Internet darling of the crowd-funding phenomenon, Kickstarter.

  • Desktop Environments

    • More than three years after its last major release, the developers of awesome have released version 3.5 of their dynamic tiling window manager. The new version, code-named “Last Christmas”, includes a large amount of changes, many of which are internal and will not be noticed by users.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE developer Martin Gr??lin has posted a road-map for Kwin on Qt 5. The release of Qt 5 has brought many system optimizations as well as 99% backwards compatibility. But applications that interacts with system needs to be ported on Qt 5. Kwin is one such application, it needs to be ported to Qt 5. To bring Kwin to Qt 5 developer needs to switch to XCB from Xlib.

      • KDE dev team has posted some changes in the KDE during this week. In addition to switching to XCB from Xlib for porting Kwin to Qt 5, There are many tasks in todo list. Some critical bugs and crashes are fixed in this version.

      • Krita developer Boudewijn Rempt has introduced a new feature to Krita, Flipbook. He was initially planning to work on implementing PSD export support, but vacations lead him to develop this feature instead. Surprisingly this is not some beta software, it’s ‘production’ ready.

      • Well, it seems that after 2 decades –or probably 15 years– of headaches setting up multiple monitors in Linux, things are finally turning around in the user’s favor, or rather, KDE users favor. In the beginning, there was X. X allowed –and still allows for– WIMP interaction on the Linux platform. Then came the evolution into Xorg, which eventually led to –just a few short years ago– zero configuration single monitor setup. As great a Linux is, some of us still to this day toil away at our xorg.conf trying to make our unique setup work, manually setting monitor coordinates and defining refresh rates. KScreen is the next evolution in multi-monitor setup in Linux, that is, if you’re a KDE user.

      • One of our KWin Effects hasn’t seen much love over the last years and is in fact more broken than working. It’s a pure eye-candy effect which means that it is not at all in the development focus of the KWin team. The truth is, that we are tempted to just delete the effect because we won’t fix it. But of course there are users who like it and would be sad if it gets deleted.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Gnome development is on rise and developers have already pushed an unstable Gnome 3.7 update. While the major release of Gnome 3.8 will be published by the end of the first quarter next year, we quickly summarize the major changes in upcoming Gnome 3.8. Remember, all these are whiteboard images and show the plans and ideas of developers, and may or may not land in Gnome applications.

      • The year 2012 has not been very good for Canonical and Ubuntu. The end of the year saw harsh criticism of Ubuntu from bodies like EFF and FSF which accused the operating system of ‘data leak’, ‘privacy invasion’ and adding ‘spyware’ features.

        Ubuntu got quite a lot of bad press due to default shopping lens which was introduced and ‘turned on’ with 12.10. The Amazon shopping lens was criticized for various reasons; the most notable was zero control in the hands of a user, which is something contrary to the ‘free software’ approach where a user is in control.

        [...]

        Canonical has not yet officially responded to either EFF or FSF.

      • After pessimistic views regarding the health of the GTK+ tool-kit project were recently shared on IRC, Alberto Ruiz took it upon himself to create some statistics about the development of this critical component to GNOME to show in fact things aren’t entirely bleak.

        Shared in GTK+ Healthcheck from his blog, Alberto created some charts that show the number of unique contributors working towards each GTK+ release. In addition to contributors on the overall code-base, he also plotted the number of contributors working on translations each release.

      • Broadway is a back-end to the mainline GTK+3 tool-kit that allows for GTK applications to be rendered within HTML5 web-browsers. It’s progressed a lot since originally being introduced in late 2010 and then being merged in 2011 for GTK+ 3.2, but still it’s mostly a toy for now. The multi-process support merged this week is notable in that multiple GTK applications can run within a single web-page, treated similar to an X11 session.

      • It’s been a rough year for Linux on the desktop. More specifically, it’s been a rough year for GNOME-based Linux on the desktop. But a glimmer of hope may have appeared thanks to a Mint-flavoured distribution of the open-source operating system.

      • Among many new features in GNOME 3, the most exciting one is the ability to build extensions. Here’s how it’s done…

      • Why does everything want to become an operating system? First we had Firefox OS, and now Gnome OS is here.

        The buzzword at the moment definitely seems to be “platform”, and the Gnome team aren’t happy just writing a bunch of libraries and programs sitting on top of a base system that they don’t control.

        More specifically, they’re looking to have more control over the whole experience for Gnome users. Let’s ask some more questions.

      • A while ago I had a discussion with Benjamin on IRC about the health of the GTK+ project, he seems pretty pessimistic about the state of GNOME in general and GTK+ in particular, and I showed my disagreement. Now don’t get me wrong, there are challenges and I do share some concerns. Mostly, the fact that programming and delivering GNOME apps these days is way too complicated compared to other development platforms, consuming and viewing large online datasets and the lack of a coherent set of widgets and guidelines for touch driven devices are among those. Some of these issues will be covered at the DX hackfest of course and I’m certain that we will find solutions in the long term.

  • Distributions

    • I kept hearing about Arch Linux from time to time. Every time I gathered courage to try Arch, I would be lost in the amazingly great Arch wiki. There is so much information there that at times it’s intimidating – it’s hard to find what you are looking for.

      However, thanks to a guide from Life Hacker I was able to install Arch on my test machine. The system broke after two days, that was my mistake, and I almost gave up on it. But then decided to give it another try — I installed it again; it broke again. I installed again, and this time everything worked as expected. I was so impressed by Arch that I took a plunge and moved ahead to install it on my main PC (which I usually never touch, it runs openSUSE 12.2 and is extremely stable.) I did come across a few hurdles (I actually struggled to set-up Samba server for couple of hours before turning to the community for a solution), but the amazing Arch community on Google+ had answer to every single question that I raised. This experience with Arch encouraged me to share my experience with my readers.

    • I reviewed the last two releases of Manjaro Linux (0.8 and 0.8.2) earlier this year and was quite impressed by the last release. There were some glitches of course, like high RAM usage, in spite of being based on Arch Linux. But Manjaro has its own advantages as well like rolling release. To be honest, I wasn’t using using Manjaro on a regular basis – relying more on Linux Mint and Archbang for productivity purposes. Hence, when the new updated release of Manjaro (0.8.3) came out, I had to do a fresh install to try it out. Manjaro 0.8.3 has now Cinnamon, Mate, KDE and XFCE versions – Gnome is left out for obvious reasons. Both 32 and 64 bit ISOs are available for download.

    • KDE has always intrigued me a lot, though I never started using it on daily basis for production purposes, till last week. I liked Gnome 2 a lot, but with Gnome 3 and it’s resource hungriness, it is out of favor as far I am concerned. My interest these days is growing more and more on KDE – it is really user-friendly, plasma interface looks awesome, effects are subtle and KDE 4.9.* is quite stable with loads of KDE specific applications. Almost every popular distro now has a KDE edition for the users, an evidence of the growing popularity of KDE.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • …the domain name of the association OpenMandriva.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Virtualization start-up VMTurbo Inc. continues its path into the virtualized world with official support of Red Hat Inc.’s Enterprise Virtualization 3.1. VMTurbo’s integration with the fedora-clad OS comes with “performance and resource optimization” perks, which expand VMTurbo’s capabilities and strengthen the flexibility of its workload and infrastructure management solution.

      • Till 2006, we were a single-product firm offering Red Hat Linux enterprise solution. After acquiring JBoss, open source application server in 2006, we got a whole set of middleware products. JBoss stands as the most popular middleware application available in market today. In 2008, we bought Qumranet, a software company offering desktop virtualisation kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) technology. In Virtualisation, KVM is a very important open standard-based choice for companies and enterprises. Last year, we acquired Gluster, which has Cloud storage and big data services. Recently, we took over FuseSource, a provider of open source integration and messaging from Progress Software Corporation and business process management (BPM) technology developed by Polymita Technologies. We have gone from a single-product solution provider from a broad portfolio to the middleware stack and to Cloud computing. We have been diversifying our portfolio for quite some time, working with the open source development community and through major acquisitions.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Klaus Knopper has released version 7.0.5 of his Knoppix Linux live distribution. It is based on Linux kernel version 3.6.11, which is relatively current and offers better hardware support than the version 3.4.11 kernel that was used in August’s release of Knoppix 7.0.4. The latest Knoppix release includes applications such as GIMP 2.8 and LibreOffice 3.5.4; however, a current release based on series 3.6 of LibreOffice did not make it into the Linux distribution. As usual, Knoppix is designed to start directly from CDs, DVDs and USB storage media without being installed on the target system.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Flavours and Variants

            • On the 21 of December Linux Mint 14 Xfce has been released, codename Nadia.

              This release of Mint is based on Ubuntu 12.10 and shipped with the XFCE desktop environemnt as my readers probably know I’ve installed Mint 13 XFCE on my new desktop and so I’ve decided to upgrade my installation to this new release.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • The credit card sized PC is now capable of doing more things than we had ever thought. A hacker by the name of baldandv has successfully compiled the newly released Qt5 on Raspberry Pi and has run it smoothly on $35 PC. This opens up room for more development and other applications that had been locked up till date.

    • The Raspberry Pi, the $35 credit card-sized computer, has lived an interesting life despite being less than a year old. It has been used to teach programming and host servers, but above all it has provided a near-perfect platform for some of the most fun and interesting hobbyist projects in the computing world.

    • Ever since the tiny $35 Raspberry Pi PC began shipping earlier this year, there’s been virtually no limit to the fresh uses and extensions that have been envisioned for it.

    • 全民彩票网址Phones

      • Samsung and Docomo, Japan’s largest mobile communication company, are joining forces to develop Tizen, an open source OS that supporters hope will cut into the 90% marketshare held by Google and Apple. The smartphones may be on the market by next year, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun. DoCoMo is the only firm among Japan’s three top mobile operators that does not sell i全民彩票网址Phones, which has caused it to lose a substantial amount of subscribers over the last four years.

      • Ballnux

      • Android

        • In this day and age, there are quite a lot of people learning to code and develop. There is an open community such as XDA Developers who gathers these talented individuals who take up the challenge of making new phones more useful as well as reviving old phones that have been abandoned by the manufacturer.

        • This week the ZTE Grand Era LTE has been revealed in Hong Kong with no less than the ability to connect to two different kinds of 4G LTE mobile data. This machine works with China全民彩票网址 Mobile Hong Kong’s first commercial converged TD-LTE / LTE FDD network – but there’s a hitch to this dual-connecting beast. Before we get to that though, it’s all about the specifications: a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM under a 4.5-inch 1280 x 720 pixel resolution display with Gorilla Glass up front for hardcore scratch resistance.

        • Team Google – technically, Team Motorola within Team Google – is apparently working on a new smartphone that’s designed to up the ante against hotshot smartphone competitor Apple.

          The problem? It’s apparently taking a bit longer than expected for Google to produce results, which might allegedly cost the rumored “X 全民彩票网址Phone” some of its more eye-catching features.

        • We don’t know if Sony is deliberately letting details slip about the company’s future flagship devices or if it’s trying to keep things as contained as possible, but one thing is clear – the “Yuga” and “Odin” are two of the worst kept secrets in recent Android history.

        • Sony today announced that it plans to issue Android updates to a number of its 2012 Xperia line. As you might expect, it’s a matter of newer and more robust devices getting preference over those that are not. Keep in mind that while Sony does have a general time frame, things can slip or move up. What’s more, your particular update will hinge upon you carrier’s willingness to play ball.

        • Foxconn International Holdings Ltd., an affiliate of Hon Hai Group, has allegedly manufactured a new smartphone model for Amazon on an exclusive basis, according to industry sources.

        • Unveiled by Huawei in a couple of Power Point slides during a conference held in Beijing in late October, as well as spotted on GLBenchmark website a month later, Android running smartphone — Ascend D2 shows up at TENAA (China全民彩票网址’s FCC) giving us a glimpse of its looks and the whole list of hardware details.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • It is said that it will feature a 7-inch screen with a resolution of 1024 x 600 – not bad for a tablet with such price tag – and will be powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor. The tablet made its way to the FCC as well, which gives a hint that the tablet might land in USA as well.

      • We are very happy to announce the first testing release of Plasma Active for Nexus 7. Plasma Active, in a nutshell, is a Linux distribution (based on Mer as a core) that is specifically optimized for tablet computers.

        Tuomas Kulve and me had been working on the Mer “hardware-adaptation” for Nexus 7 that enables to run Mer-based distributions like Plasma Active on the Nexus 7. Based on this hardware-adaptation and the work from Plasma Active we created an installable “image” that can be used to “flash” the current Plasma Active 3 on the Nexus 7.

      • Own a Nexus 7 tablet and are left bored with the default Android OS? Want to wipe it clean and install Linux? If so, you’re in luck, as a couple of developers behind the KDE-derived Plasma Active project have just issued the first release of their distro specifically designed for the tablet. “Wipe it clean” is mentioned specifically above, as using this guide appears to purge the entire Android OS. If you’re a skillful Android tablet user, you may be able to dual-boot, but those steps are not covered here.

      • We’ve been hearing quite a bit about the next big budget tablet from the folks at ASUS, and possibly Google. Many are calling this a Nexus 7, and while that’s yet to be confirmed, we do know this will be a budget $99 tablet from ASUS running Android Jelly Bean. In what seems to be the norm as of late, the tablet has leaked in benchmarks, and now has appeared on Picasa — making this a legit device. More details below.

      • The Aakash 3, the next generation of India’s ultra low-cost Aakash tablet, will come with a range of new and exciting features with an unchanged price. According to reports, researchers and professors at IIT Bombay are working hard to add newer applications and more open source software to the third-gen Aakash tablet .

        The Aakash 3 will come with a faster processor, which will support both Linux and Android operating systems. The device may come with a SIM card slot, allowing people to use the device as a communication device.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Any computer user today has a lot of digital photos, maybe in different social networks, Dropbox or cloud hosting services. Some he may store in his local hard-drive, or upload to a web-service to share with his friends or for backup. The problem with these services, though useful is that they make your photos scattered and keeping pace with them requires extra effort and care. OpenPhoto allows to overcome all these problems and merge your photos in a single place, so that you can see them all at once without much trouble.

  • FreeDOS, the open-source DOS operating system, is still alive and seeing activity around the GPL-licensed project though the FreeDOS SVN code repository hasn’t seen any activity in nearly one year.

  • The year 2012 was one of the most successful year for Linux and open source technologies with Red Hat scoring more than a billion dollars in revenues and Google’s Android became the dominant player in the mobile space. The year 2013 already seems promising for the free and open source technologies and it seems the world will see more and more open source technologies and standards dominating the IT landscape. Here is my take on the top 5 open source technologies to look out for in 2013.

  • The Oak product family from Toradex is a range of USB interfaced sensors and actuators that can be connected to a wide variety of different USB host devices, extending capabilites to interface with the environment.

    Over the last few years, the wide variety of different Oak products have found their way into a diverse range of applications. They have been used for all sorts of purposes, from professionals in laboratory automation to hobbyists interfacing them with the latest Android smartphones.

  • Bangalore: Sauce Labs Inc., the leading provider of web application testing infrastructure, recently announced Sauce Free Open Source Software accounts (Open Sauce), a new program offering open source developers free unlimited use of the Sauce Labs cloud for testing web applications.

    The new program represents another Sauce Labs’ contribution to the open source philosophy of providing code and services needed to develop and support projects that are free, openly available and community-driven. In keeping with that model, Open Sauce user test results will by default be publicly viewable on Sauce Labs.

  • Using open source cloud technology boosts innovation, according a new report by Rackspace, itself an open cloud provider.

    It said figures collected show that almost three quarters (74%) of those organizations using open source cloud technology said it makes their business more innovative.

  • Open source can offer huge benefits, enabling faster innovation and reduced total cost of ownership. While moving from closed to open systems is no trivial task, unless businesses take this step, they risk being left behind as competitors take advantage of the new possibilities on offer.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Got your attention? Don’t hold your breath, we’re not there yet, but we’re a step closer: it’s now possible to build Firefox from the Iceweasel package, since version 17.0.1-2 in experimental as of writing, 18.0~b6-1 from the iceweasel-beta repository, or 19.0~a2+20121228042015-1 from the iceweasel-aurora repository.

  • SaaS

    • John Engates, Rackspace’s CTO, dropped by to provide an update on public clouds and openstack.

    • Cloud services come with a new risk: terms of use that allow your supplier to pull the plug on your site with little warning

  • Databases

    • Eyeing greater use of the open source Postgres database in the cloud, hosting provider Open Hosting has launched a service that allows users to run an automated cluster of PostGres databases on the company’s own servers.

      The company has released a package, Cloud Postgres, that streamlines the process of installing, configuring and monitoring a multiple-server Postgres (formally known as PostGreSQL) implementation on Open Hosting’s own servers.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The Document Foundation had exciting and successful journey this year. With 2012 coming to an end, they have published a report which shows the state of affairs of LibreOffice suite. One of the most striking news of this report is that LibreOffice has been downloaded around 15 million times this year alone, and over 100 thousand people download it daily. The below graph shows the increase of usage of this office suite this year.

    • As the year comes to an end there are plenty of accomplishments that the LibreOffice community can be proud of, and a week ago we added another success — the end of our 6 day testing marathon[1] against the upcoming release of LibreOffice Version 4.0 (scheduled for February of 2013). While the Quality Assurance (QA) team didn’t set any goals for the week other than to “get as many people as possible involved with testing LibreOffice Version 4.0 Beta 1″, the statistics speak a great deal about how great our growing community is and far exceed the results that I personally was expecting. Any time “Version 4″ is referenced it includes the master build, Beta 1 build as well as the Alpha build.

  • CMS

    • Australia’s multilingual broadcaster is preparing a staged rollout of Drupal across its online properties in early 2013. The roll out of the open source content management system (CMS) will be the culmination of a process that began in 2011 and represents a complete rearchitecture of SBS’s online systems.

      “It’s been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time but I only got the resourcing and the budget to do it last year,” said Matt Costain, the broadcaster’s technical director for online and emerging platforms.

    • Blue River Interactive Group announces the availablity of Mura CMS 6, featuring an entirely new editing and management experience focused on usability and productivity.

      Mura CMS is an open-source Web Content Management System used by organizations like the U.S. Senate, European Commission, CSX Corporation, AT&T, and the City of Cincinnati to power their mission-critical websites and intranets.

  • Education

    • In the story, I reported that the Lawrence 全民彩票官网登录 district is about to start pilot-testing a new web-based learning platform called Canvas. One commenter, who goes by the screen name “repaste,” strongly urged the district to consider open-source software to run that system.

  • Business

    • OpenGamma has released version 1.2 of its open source financial analytic and risk management platform. Released as Apache 2.0 licensed open source in April, the Java-based platform offers an architecture for delivering real-time available trading and risk analytics for front-office-traders, quants, and risk managers.

    • Semi-Open Source

      • >

      • Open source has its share of challenges, but its biggest fans extol the platform as open, malleable, flexible and cost-effective.

        Nowhere are these qualities more in demand — or lauded — than in the customer relationship management (CRM) market. In fact, open-source attributes not only play well into the small-but-growing CRM niche, theycould be the catalyst that drives its growth.

  • Funding

    • For much of its crowd-sourcing campaign, it seemed Peter Molyneux and 22cans’ Project Godus would fall short of its goal. Things really picked up in the final few days, however, and it wrapped up this afternoon a safe distance past the finish line. Good news, everyone! Peter Molyneux is making another god game.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • With the release of version 2.17, the GNU C Library (glibc) now supports the upcoming ARM 64-bit infrastructure (AArch64). The port was accomplished with help from developers at the Linaro engineering organisation. Glibc 2.17 also includes better support for cross-compilation and testing and a number of performance improvements.

    • …freedom is the root of creativity and fulfilment.

      [...]

      But a large part of my life is given to one or another form of political activity: reading, writing, organising, activism and so on. Which is worth doing, it’s necessary but it’s not really intellectually challenging. Regarding human affairs we either understand nothing, or it’s pretty superficial. It’s hard work to get the data and put it all together but it’s not terribly challenging intellectually. But I do it because it’s necessary. The kind of work that should be the main part of life is the kind of work you would want to do if you weren’t being paid for it. It’s work that comes out of your own internal needs, interests and concerns.

    • Automake 1.13 was released on Friday with a number of major changes to this component of the GNU build system. With Automake 1.14, there’s already a number of additional changes being considered.

  • Project Releases

    • The developers of the CodeMirror, the JavaScript component for editing code in the browser, have released version 3.0 of the editor. The MIT licensed editor component can be embedded in any JavaScript enabled page and has been put to work in applications such as Adobe’s Brackets editor, CoDev, Light Table and various online playgrounds for SQL, Haxe, JavaScript and WebGL. The 3.0 update is the result of four months work and although the API is similar to the 2.0 version there are a number of incompatibilities detailed in the upgrade guide; most importantly, 3.0 drops support for Internet Explorer 7.

    • The developers of the toolkit for developing concurrent, distributed event-driven applications in Java or Scala, Akka, have announced the release of Akka 2.1 which adds experimental cluster support to the toolkit.

    • Nine Years Later, ResidualVM Sees Its First Release
  • Public 全民彩票网址/Government

    • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is known for sending rockets through the clouds, and now its web services are headed there, too.

      NASA awarded a $40 million blanket purchase agreement to Rockville, Md.-based InfoZen to create, maintain and support NASA’s 140 websites and 1,600 web assets and applications, which are used by the public, media, students, and private- and public-sector researchers all over the world.

    • The team that manages Data.gov is well on its way to making the government data repository open source using a new back-end called the Open Government Platform, officials said during a Web discussion Wednesday.

    • In a cost-cutting move, the 全民彩票官网下载land Security Department wants to replace more than 500 brand-name systems that identify vehicle license plates at border stations with generic technology.

    • The Ministries of Education and Training, Industry and Trade, Construction and the State Bank of Vietnam have been using open source software in their works.

      Quach Tuan Ngoc, Director of the Information Technology Agency of the Ministry of Education and Training, has affirmed that a lot of products designed on open source software which have been operating effectively. The ministry’s information portal at www.moet.gov.vn, for example has been designed on PHP, Web server Apache and My SQL.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Two Danish amateur engineers and entrepreneurs plan to create a 全民彩票官网下载made, manned spacecraft to launch into suborbital flight within the next few years.

    • Self-Publishers often have to deal with complicated distribution methods and clunky software when creating their ebook. Pressbooks seeks to make your life a little bit easier with its online ebook creation tools going open source. This allows you to develop a book using the WordPress Interface and convert it over to an ebook friendly format.

    • OSDD or Open Source Drug Discovery is a community of students, scientists, researchers, academicians, institutions, corporations and anyone who is committed to discovery of drugs in an open source mode. It promotes collaborative scientific developments through integration, open-sharing, taking up multifaceted approaches and accruing benefits from advances on different fronts of new drug discovery. Numerous academic and research institutions along with industries are partnering with CSIR in Open Source Drug Discovery Project to take the movement forward and spread the awareness that it rightly deserves.

    • Open Access/Content

      • The textbook industry and classrooms across the country全民彩票网址 could be due for a shake-up, thanks to the rise of open-source learning materials — digital media that can be distributed to students for free if used for classroom purposes.

    • Open Hardware

      • It’s being billed as “Lego for adults” and could mean your fondness for construction toys may no longer be just a guilty pleasure.

        The new robotics kit created by China全民彩票网址-based Makeblock provides all you need to relive your childhood, with nearly 100 Lego-compatible mechanical and electronic components.

  • Programming

    • The Clang segmentation faults have been common within the ARM Instruction Selection pass on this release that came out last week and has occurred for multiple test profiles on different functions. This A15 upset is sad to see with the ARM Cortex-A15 performance being a huge upgrade over the A9-based ARM SoCs.

    • GitHub is a San Francisco company that started in 2008 as a way for open-source software writers in disparate locations to rapidly create new and better versions of their work. Work is stored, shared and discussed, based on the idea of a “pull request,” which is a suggestion to the group for some accretive element, like several lines of code, to be “pulled,” or added, to a project.

      “The concept is based around change: what is the right thing to do, what is the wrong thing?” said Tom Preston-Werner, GitHub’s co-founder and chief executive. “The efficiency of large groups working together is very low in large enterprises. We want to change that.”

Leftovers

  • Verizon has been trying to justify their blocking of Google Wallet on Verizon phones, insisting the app is blocked because Google Wallet uses the “secure element” on devices to store a user’s Google ID. In response to complaints filed with the FCC, Verizon insists the unending blockade has nothing to do with the fact Verizon (in conjunction with AT&T and T-Mobile) is working on their own competing mobile payment platform named Isis.

  • Security

    • More than 100 Queensland businesses may have fallen victim to hackers holding their computer files to ransom, police say.

      Medical centres in Brisbane’s CBD and Chermside have been held to ransom over their financial data and patient records.

      A Miami medical centre on the Gold Coast fell victim to “ransomware” hackers earlier this month, with Russian criminals demanding $4000 for the centre’s medical records to be decrypted.

  • Cablegate

    • The report warns that an entrenched system of extreme overclassification of government information ultimately invites leaking. It further concludes that the current system of classifying and declassifying secrets is so dysfunctional and “risk-averse” that democracy suffers in its need for timely information about the workings of government.

      The board, composed of government veterans and academic specialist

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • On the high desert of northern Peru, the 5,000 people living in La Tortuga rely on fresh water shipped by lorry to meet their needs. They have electricity (from the grid), but they also have their own natural resources (lots of wind and sun), and want to develop these in a way that can benefit them and the communities nearby.

  • Finance

    • Mark Carney, Bank of Canada governor and surprise pick to replace Mervyn King as incoming governor of the Bank of England, dove straight into the monetarist looney bin today with policy proposals.

    • Below are three videos from a talk at the 2009 Economics of Peace Conference in Sonoma, CA, where James Galbraith talks about the Hyman Minsky concept of the instability of stability. This concept is fundamental to the behavioural psychology behind capitalist systems. This is a case where stability invites greater risk-taking and eventually creates instability. He sees the latest episode of financial crisis as a Minsky moment predicated on ‘Ponzi’-style debt pyramiding that is the end game in the cycle of stability to instability as it was post-1929.

      My view is that a lack of regulatory oversight allowed the system to veer away from macro-prudential finance. This is not a case of Madoff-style fraud with everyone in finance cooking up schemes to defraud 全民彩票官网下载owners. Yes, these cases of predatory lending existed. However, I see the systemic risk as more pertinent.

    • The Departments of Justice and Treasury are pretending that criminally prosecuting criminal banksters will destabilize the economy.

      The exact opposite is true.

    • The richest 1 percent received over one-third of the total gain in marketable wealth over the period from 1983 to 2007.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • The past few years have been marked by unprecedented innovation and growth on the Internet. New digital platforms and rich content from voice-over-IP and video conferencing connect family and friends around the world at little or no cost, high quality video streams facilitate online learning and digital education along with new ways to view movies and TV shows, and a host of platforms and applications allow for the creation and sharing of original content and ideas through cloud based computing.

  • DRM

    • And that leaves this question: where’s the DRM outrage over e-books? Or put another way, why doesn’t Amazon care about eliminating DRM for books, when it did for music?

    • I recently received the Android-based Noble Nook Simple Touch ebook reader as a gift, which I enjoyed very much except for one insanely annoying issue with it: the Nook comes with two “books” on how to operate the reader which apparently cannot be removed by normal means.

    • Okay, so I made that last one up. But that the number of self-published books did continue to skyrocket. According to a report released on October 24 by Bowker (which owns the ISBN number franchise for books sold in the U.S.), there are now more than 235,000 self-published titles available in print or eBook format. Interestingly, and notwithstanding the proliferation of businesses vying for all this print on demand (POD) business, just four outfits dominate the market: Amazon’s CreateSpace rules in the print space, with 58,412 titles – a 39% marketshare, while Smashwords leads in eBook publishing, with 40,608 – an even more commanding 47% share (these are 2011 figures).

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • 全民彩票官网下载s

      • 2012 was, without a doubt, the most intense year to date in the fight for civil liberties and against the copyright monopoly. While much work remains to be done, we can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

        While there have been nice flares of light in the past – every success of a Pirate Party comes to mind, where all other politicians suddenly compete in who’s the better critic of the copyright monopoly – those flares of 2009 and 2011 have still been flares of light, and not game-changing events. Not yet.

EU Commission Gets It Wrong on Apple, ITC Continues to Serve Apple

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Patents at 4:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Misguided or corruptible Western regulators fail to protect the real victim in patent wars (Android/Linux)

of it:

Antitrust: Commission sends Statement of Objections to Samsung on potential misuse of mobile phone standard-essential patents

There are too. It was actually Samsung that came under attack. How can a regulator not see the chronology here? Erik Josefsson :

#swpats #genepats Greens/EFA M-CAM report #EPO “Questionable Outputs”. Thousands of EPO business method patents: http://icg.greens-efa.eu/pipermail/hub/attachments/20121228/57a1e0bd/attachment-0001.pdf …

Glyn Moody, a Brit, notes that Apple is now “patenting stuff for the sake of patenting,” based on . Moody says it’s “bonkers”, but the purpose is to increase patent counts for :

Samsung has filed with the court a copy of the recent decision by the USPTO that Apple’s ’915 patent, the pinch to zoom patent used against Samsung, is invalidated…

The infamous “fake Steve Jobs” wrote the article . An article by Joe Mullin, an excellent reporter on the subject of patents, that this patent was crucial for Apple. Based on additional material from the trial [, , , ], things . While “ITC proves it’s out of control again,” as Glyn Moody put it in light of , the judge in Apple’s biggest anti-Android case prevents embargoes. Watch what the ITC does, as usual: “On Friday the ITC filed a redacted version of a remedy suggested by ITC Administrative Law Judge Thomas Pender, in which he recommended a ban be enforced against Samsung products that were found to infringe upon four Apple patents. The judge also recommended that Samsung post a bond for 88 percent of the value of its infringing mobile phones, as well as 32.5 percent of the value of infringing media players, and 37.6 percent of the value of infringing tablets.”

Well, , even after which we mentioned the other day. As one writer puts it:

In one of the most dramatic, controversial and written about court cases, judge Koh has denied Apple’s motion for an injunction against Samsung devices. According to Groklaw, the judge says Apple has failed to prove Samsung caused any irreparable harm to the i全民彩票网址Phone maker.

Apple is out of control and it shows. Except for in countries like the United States, Apple loses its grip. It actively , as this one report reveals. To quote: “Edison Junior, the technology and design lab behind the POP portable power station, is returning the full $139,170 in funding it received from Kickstarter backers to develop the device. Unfortunately, Apple has refused to give the project permission to license the Lightning charger in a device that includes multiple charging options.”

Apple is now relying not just on lawsuits but also some other protectionist instruments, including regulators. Apple has become a company of losers. All they do is whine and brag. It follows Microsoft footsteps in the sense that lobbying and patent extortion/lawsuits are the strategy. Microsoft started this in 2006 when it signed the Novell deal, resulting in protests such as Boycott Novell. Now it’s time to boycott Apple and encourage others to do the same.

Novell coupons

Image from Wikimedia

USPTO is Broken, Evidence is Abundant

Posted in America, Patents at 4:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Tired USPTO eagle

USPTOSummary: Some new stories which show what a sordid mess the US patent system became over the decades

from Groklaw. We wrote a lot about the . To quote:

People have radically different views of the patent system. Critics see it as an unmitigated disaster, while many in the patent bar don’t understand what all the fuss is about. But it’s rare for prominent advocates of these contrasting perspectives to engage each other directly.

But that happened on Wednesday in a teleconference debate hosted by the Federalist Society. Defending the status quo was Judge Paul Michel. Until 2010, Michel was the chief judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, a post that made him the nation’s top patent judge. He debated Judge Richard Posner, a Chicago-area appeals court judge who threw out a patent lawsuit between Apple and Motorola earlier this year, complaining that the patent system had descended into “chaos.”

The other day we wrote about (it ) — an important effort that too:

If you happen to be familiar with billionaire Mark Cuban’s famous blog, then you’ve probably listened to his pontifications about the broken U.S. patent system many times. Now, Cuban, along with game developer Markus “Notch” Persson, is putting his money where his mouth is. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has announced a half-million dollar donation from Cuban and Persson to boost the foundation’s efforts to reform the patent system. The donation also creates a newly named position at the foundation: “The Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents.”

Here is more on that [, , , , , , , ]. Reports were numerous.

Over at Wired, the . The lawyer全民彩票网址s and career law professors which give them business at the expense of those who have real products. To quote: “Netflix has been hit by a patent infringement lawsuit by Open TV, now a subsidiary of Nagra, the Switzerland-based conditional access company, part of the Kudelski Group. It has not said what the patents are, but the filings at the US District Court for the District of Delaware show that they are all software patents.”

How about ? Guess who the cost is transferred to? This is yet another instrument for passing wealth from the vast majority to the oppressive rich minority.

What “law” people suggest is not enough. It’s not enough to stop patent trolls, either. We need to end all software patents, everywhere. We need to name those who stand in our way.
___
* IBM typically tries to hide it by keeping rather silent. Bloggers and Pogson writes: “They proceed from begging the question to blatant error in logic. I hope this is just the vomit of one of their lawyer全民彩票网址s and not the philosophy of the corporation… otherwise, IBM is doomed to sue and be sued forever.” This is not the correct assessment. IBM uses software patents to empower the cartel it leads, allowing it to sell artificially overpriced products. When it comes to patent policy, IBM is our enemy.

12.30.12

Vista 8 Fails This Xmas, UEFI Blocks GNU and Linux While Microsoft Tries Collecting in China全民彩票网址, Stopping Sales of Open PCs

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 8, Windows at 8:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Very dirty tactics from Microsoft draw complaints from the FSF and other Free software advocates, including Techrights

. Microsoft cannot handle criticism.

Vista 8 demand is and OEMs are openly complaining:

As Microsoft (MSFT) does its best to paint a positive picture of its Windows 8 launch, the company’s PC vendor partners continue to report weak end-user demand for computers running the new platform. The latest in a long line of such reports comes from Fujitsu (FJTSY) president Masami Yamamoto, who told reporters in Tokyo on Friday that initial demand for Windows 8 is “weak.”

Even the NYT (New York Times) , despite being close to Microsoft.

The monopolist can hope to stifle Linux growth using . It is a ‘divide and conquer’ approach. GNU/Linux advocates . Microsoft has already decided that it’s naughty-naughty to install GNU/Linux on hardware which it labelled as its own, thereby :

Many Linux users who tracked each step in the endless saga surrounding the Windows 8 UEFI Secure Boot scheme were highly disappointed a few weeks ago to hear that a promised workaround from The Linux Foundation is delayed. Last year, in the post “Will Windows 8 Lock Linux Out of PCs?,” I discussed a Microsoft methodology for ultra-fast booting of Windows 8 PC through a specification called Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). Linux users cried foul over it, because UEFI makes it technically possible for a hardware manufacturer to deliver a Windows 8 machine that won’t boot an alternative operating system.

Now that it’s the holiday season and Microsoft is heavily pushing Windows 8 toward consumers, there may be a lot of folks who are wondering how to get Linux to run on a Windows 8 machine. The good news is that there is a solution out in the wild, but it is aimed primarily at developers of Linux distros, and isn’t widely implemented yet.

Installing Linux on most Windows 8 computers is still no easy task. On some Windows 8 全民彩票网址, you can get as far as having a Linux distro installed, only to find that the UEFI Secure Boot scheme keeps the BIOS from allowing Linux to start.

The FSF is openly protesting against UEFI, as do we. Here is about :

The Free Software Foundation is on an offensive against restricted boot systems and is busy appealing for donations and pledge in the form of signatures in a bid to stop systems such as the UEFI SecureBoot from being adopted on a large-scale basis and becoming a norm in the future.
The FSF, through an appeal on its website, is requesting users to sign a pledge titled “Stand up for your freedom to install free software” that they won’t be purchasing or recommending for purchase any such system that is SecureBoot enabled or some other form of restricted boot techniques. The FSF has managed to receive, as of this writing, over 41,000 signatures. Organizations like the Debian, Edoceo, Zando, Wreathe and many others have also showed their support for the campaign.

Phoronix :

The Free Software Foundation is now soliciting donations and signatures for a pledge in hopes that it can stop UEFI SecureBoot and other “restricted boot” systems from becoming too common.

Techrights was told by Richard Stallman about coreboot as a possible workaround or solution/path to advocate (for OEMs). Here is going along those lines:

Is it possible that the recent attempts to push secure boot onto computer users was a response to the growing hardware vendor support for coreboot back in 2011? This is only speculation on my part, but I suspect that this might be the case. Coreboot is a badly needed solution that can restore freedom to PC users while updating the outdated PC BIOS technology.

Microsoft is clearly by artificial limitation and lack of versatility. Meanwhile, lacking sales, Microsoft is squeezing China全民彩票网址 using the old lie of “for security” — a lie that IDG, frequently a BSA partner, :

Microsoft has launched a new anti-piracy campaign in China全民彩票网址, which intends to highlight the security risks of buying counterfeit software.

In a recent investigation, Microsoft purchased 169 PCs from shops in China全民彩票网址 and found that all were installed with pirated versions of Windows, with 91 percent of them containing malware or deliberate security vulnerabilities.

This is nonsense that we wrote about before. Microsoft is and in the process it lies. It tries to suppress OS-free hardware distribution, or 全民彩票网址 that come with Free software. Protest against UEFI and associated anti-choice tactics. It’s clearly a problem and Microsoft should be penalised or boycotted for this.

“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

Bill Gates about China全民彩票网址

Links 30/12/2012: PulseAudio 3.0, GNOME Adds Privacy

Posted in News Roundup at 9:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • If you have ever worked as a technical writer, you probably have an image of what writing documentation for free software would be like. You might imagine the writer as a lone figure in a corporate department, using proprietary software, and chasing down developers to plead for information, much like most technical writers anywhere. But while you might find a few positions like that, the chances are that every one of these pre-conceptions would be wrong in practice.

  • As we noted last week, the Linux Foundation‘s list of major Linux-related accomplishments over the last year centered on advances in embedded and mobile platforms more than on traditional hardware. The Linux Foundation’s summary aside, however, there were plenty of openvsource achievements in other areas that are worth noting before the outgoing years passes us by.

    Without a doubt, the progress Linux vendors made integrating open source solutions into platforms such as automotive computers, Android-based mobile devices and Chromebooks, all of which the Linux Foundation highlighted, were very notable. They represent key areas in which Linux is likely to enjoy continued momentum going into 2012.

  • Desktop

    • It’s still a FLOSS world on the client and lots of FLOSS is used on the servers but it’s not happening in Google’s data-centres. What’s the point of opening the code when none of us can compete on price/performance with Google? It comes down to trust. If you trust Google, you get cheaper/faster IT. If you don’t, you can still build your own infrastructure with lower performance and higher cost. In the past many trusted M$ and agreed to slavery. At least Google seems a benevolent monopolist in comparison. If that changes, the world can still make its own software and share but what about data-centres? Will society create shared data-centres, cutting out the likes of Google? I don’t see it in the short term.

    • One such leak appeared this week, courtesy of Chinese-language site ChipHell. If it’s legitimate (and it does appear to line up with information we already knew), it points to Wayne being a powerful SoC best suited for high-end tablets, but also a good fit for small, inexpensive ARM-based laptops or desktops. What we know so far paints a remarkably complete picture of what Wayne looks like, what it will be good at, and just how much better it will be than Tegra 3.

    • Here is a story about how Ubuntu could replace Windows as the main operating system on a non-tech-savvy user’s laptop. I think Linux, though perhaps lacking some essential software for business use is ready for every 全民彩票官网下载.

  • Kernel Space

    • As we narrow in on the final weeks of our 30 Linux Kernel Developers in 30 Weeks series, we talk to Linux kernel developer and Btrfs maintainer Chris Mason. Chris details his desktop and productivity tools, his favorite all-time flame war and shares his advice for getting involved in kernel development.

    • Just in time for Christmas, the 3.7 Linux kernel was released on December 10, 2012, and brings with it 64-bit ARM support plus a multitude of improvements and changes. The main changes are:

      * ARM Multi-platform and 64-bit support
      * TCP Fast Open Server Side support
      * SMB2 protocol support
      * NFS V4.1 support
      * BtrFS updates
      * VXLAN support
      * perf trace
      * Cryptographically-signed kernel modules
      * Intel “Supervisor mode access prevention” (SMAP) support

    • I’m announcing the release of the 3.6.11 kernel.

    • As we say happy birthday to Linus Torvalds today, he should be a happy chap because Linux is now the dominating OS on consumer computing devices. According to IDC and Goldman Sachs, as reported by the Seattle Times, Android (which is based on Linux) runs on 42% of all consumer computing devices.

  • Applications

    • The PulseAudio developers have released version 3.0 of the open source audio framework. PulseAudio 3.0 includes support for Bluetooth sources out of the box, ALSA Use Case Manager (UCM) support, configurable device latency offset and several optimisations and infrastructure improvements. PulseAudio is used by the majority of Linux distributions to handle audio input and output and interface desktop software with the underlying stack that directly manages the hardware drivers.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • I am a recent Arch convert and am still playing with the bubble wrap on my test machine. The community is quite helpful on Google+ and helping me out with the minor issues I am facing. I won’t comment on my Arch experience unless I spend significant among on it.

      • With the initial roll-out of the Steam Linux client being a success while primarily focusing upon supporting the Ubuntu distribution, Valve is now looking at improving the Steam support on non-Ubuntu Linux distributions.

      • Photon Productions, the developers of the upcoming Forsaken Fortress game, announced a few days ago that the upcoming RPG title would be available for Linux-based operating systems.

        Forsaken Fortress is a 3D survival role-playing game (RPG) in which the player needs to assemble a team, build and manage a base, collect resources, and survive in a post-apocalyptic world.

      • Popular free and open source roguelike/RPG Tales of Maj’Eyal (ToME4) is almost ready for its first stable release after having as much as 43 beta releases.

      • This is awesome, Legend of Grimrock is now available via the Ubuntu Software Centre! The game is really awesome and plays much like the old Dungeon Master game (if anyone besides me remembers that!).

        It’s a first person dungeon crawler where you control 4 prisoners trying to escape to get their freedom. It can be purchased for $14.99.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Krita Sketch, a version of Krita for touch interfaces, has been released. Krita is a cross-platform sketching and painting application for the K Desktop Environment (KDE). It is a component of Calligra, KDE’s native Office and productivity suite. Krita has support for concept art, comics, and textures for rendering.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • The GNOME Foundation announced that they were planning to hold the 14th GUADEC Conference in Brno, Czech Republic. The announcement also mentions some details about the 15th GUADEC Conference, which will be held in Strasbourg, France, in 2014.

      • I get on any other computer, any other OS (even Windows and Mac OS), or any other desktop environment, and I find myself mousing into the top-left (or “hot”) corner to get my application panel and search/launching dialog.

  • Distributions

    • Gauchito returns after 35 years! LinuxBBQ “Argentina78″ is featuring the brand-new MATE 1.4.2 desktop environment and kernel 3.7

    • Earlier on in the year I wrote a review about Slacko Puppy . A new version of Slacko Puppy is now available (version 5.4).

      You can download the latest version of Slacko Puppy from http://puppylinux.org/main/Download%20Latest%20Release.htm.

    • ROSA company is pleased to announce a new operating system for desktops – ROSA Desktop.Fresh 2012. The product is targeted at enthusiasts who are likely to appreciate the wide choice of fresh software components. ROSA Fresh edition is a non-commercial product distributed free of charge.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • As we prepare to enter a new year, the big names that have dominated the Linux world for the past decade–Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), Canonical/Ubuntu, Debian, SUSE–are unchanged. But they may be joined in 2013 by a newcomer to the open source channel, Mageia Linux, which has been enjoying staggering popularity since its creation barely two years ago. Where might it head next?

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu, has shared his plans for 2013. It was clear from the Nexus 7 initiative that Ubuntu is eventually looking into the mobile space more seriously. Google created the cheap device Ubuntu was looking for wider testing and development.

          • Canonical announced a few days ago that they have updated the online ‘Photos’ feature of their Ubuntu One cloud storage service.

            The update brings a dedicated tab for the Photos function, which is located on the Ubuntu One dashboard, giving users a proper album view that includes all their saved photos via Ubuntu One or Instagram.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • 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.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • In this day and age, all major platforms must have an app store. And thus today, the Raspberry Pi Foundation unveiled the Pi Store to act as the one-stop shop for users of the tiny computer.

    • Earlier this month, Linus Torvalds was reminded that Linux 3.8 will not run on i386 computers, such the one he used to create Linux back in 1991. “I’m not sentimental,” Torvalds responded. “Good riddance.”

      In that same future-looking spirit, we anticipate the progression of embedded Linux in 2013, a year in which forecasters expect PCs will continue to shed market share to mobile devices. In 2013, the Linux-based Android should continue to dominate smartphones, while drawing closer to matching Apple’s iPad on tablets. Meanwhile, three new mobile operating systems based on open source Linux are expected to launch on new smartphones.

    • 全民彩票网址Phones

      • That’s 80% of the population, folks. No longer is China全民彩票网址 a follower in IT. They are a trend-setter. The desktop/notebook/server universes are changing too. China全民彩票网址 is the single largest potential market for all of these and the whole world is seeking to supply the need for IT in China全民彩票网址. With so many having experienced the joy of FLOSS on mobile devices, there is a huge potential for FLOSS on desktops and notebooks to grow in China全民彩票网址. That’s where the new OEMs will go when the smartphone and tablet markets flatten out. Expect 2013 to be the year of the GNU/Linux desktop in China全民彩票网址.

      • We recently had the chance to spend time with David Greaves and Vesa-Matti Hartikainen of Jolla and take Sailfish OS for a spin. As you might recall, this open source mobile OS builds upon Mer (a fork of MeeGo that includes Qt) and uses the Nemo framework with a custom UI. Like any decent Linux-based OS, it supports both ARM and x86 devices. The company is also behind the Sailfish SDK which is in the process of being finalized but is still open to developer feedback (the source code is available). After seeing Jolla’s various demo videos and noting some UI similarities with MeeGo (swipes) and, strangely, with BB10 (peek gestures), we were eager to experience Sailfish OS for ourselves

      • Android

        • Officials in the Lone Star state have given Samsung the green light to expand chip production lines at an investment cost of $3.9 billion.

        • The CyanogenMod team is making more images for the latest version of their open source custom ROM for Android devices available. CyanogenMod 10.1 is based on Android 4.2 “Jelly Bean” and has been in development since Google open sourced that version of the operating system last month. New nightly builds of CyanogenMod 10.1 are now available for the Samsung Galaxy S, S II, S III and tablets such as the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity and both versions of the Galaxy Tab 2.

        • Remember the Android PC (APC) mini mother board from VIA Technologies Inc., a manufacturer of integrated circuits based in Taiwan? At the time it was released, it’s form-factor, known as Neo-ITX, did not fit any available computer case.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • There’s a lot of interest out there with Nexus 7 owners turning their super sweet Android Jelly Bean tablet into an Ubuntu Linux tablet. The geek in me understands this a little bit. But ultimately, at least at this point in the Ubuntu / Nexus 7 game, you may be better off keeping Android running on your Nexus 7 and save yourself a ton of stress, headaches, and wasted time. The Nexus 7 is already an amazing tablet built for high end performance with the Nvidia Tegra 3 quad core processor and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The best way to fight an enemy is to start by learning everything you can about it, which is exactly what the team at Integreen are looking to do in the Italian city of Bolzano. By using the latest technology and banking on open source software, Integreen hopes to provide the city management with enough traffic and environmental data to help them more effectively implement environmentally conscience programs such as mass transit.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • When it comes to their Internet browsers, users can get quite picky about how much automatic updating they want to take place. For example, in an OStatic post at the end of last year on how the Mozilla Firefox browser would begin silently updating itself (in keeping with Google Chrome) our readers disagreed widely on whether they wanted Firefox to do so.

  • SaaS

    • We’ve written before many times about Hadoop, an open source software framework for highly scalable queries and data-intensive distributed applications. The ecosystem of companies and organizations using Hadoop has grown dramatically in recent years, and as the Big Data trend grows, Hadoop training and support solutions are proliferating.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • The developers of Oracle’s VirtualBox have announced a maintenance update to the lead version of their virtualisation platform. Version 4.2.6 is released along with maintenance releases of older branches of the software: 3.2.16., 4.0.18 and 4.1.24. The changes in 4.2.6 are focused on stability and on correcting a number of regressions – there are no new features. Fixes include ensuring that stale virtual machine events are not sent to resetting VMs, fixing the appearance of text in the GUI, corrections to the 3D support, fixing hangs with some storage and adding network rate and disk usage to the metrics.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Being “fed up with the existing open source CRM applications”, the team at Zurmo have released their own open source customer relationship management (CRM) software – Zurmo 1.0. The CRM software, which has been in development for two years, includes deal tracking features, contact and activity management, and has scores and badges that can be managed through a built-in gamification system.

        Zurmo 1.0 has been translated into ten languages and features a RESTful API to further integration with other applications. Location data is provided by Google Maps and Geocode. The application’s permission system supports roles for individual users and groups, and allows administrators to create ad-hoc teams. The application is designed to be modern and easy to use and integrates social-network-like functionality at its centre, which functions to distribute tasks, solicit advice, and publish accomplishments.

  • Funding

    • Piwik is a Free Software Web analytics application. If you run a website, it is what you use when you do not want to use Google Analytics or any other third party solution.

  • BSD

  • Project Releases

    • A few days after the intended release date, the LLVM developers have announced the availability of version 3.2 of the LLVM compiler infrastructure. The LLVM project encompasses a set of compiler tools such as the C/C++/Objective C compiler Clang, the runtime compiler library compiler-rt, the low-level debugger LLDB, a C++ standard library libc++ and the VMKit JVM which uses LLVM for static and JIT compilation.

    • After initial stages of fundraising campaign, the developers have published a new release of MediaGoblin, the only full “free as in freedom” media sharing software. This software is a part of the GNU project and aims to give users full freedom to share, upload and use all kind of media on their servers without using some expensive services out there or losing their privacy, freedom or control over their data.

    • In the latest update to the Java servlet container Tomcat, the TomEE development team has done a lot more than just fix a few bugs. TomEE 1.5.1 includes an option to improve classloader customisation and the ability to inject remote initial context into TomEE clients.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Some i全民彩票网址Phone users are complaining of a faster battery drain after applying the latest update, although others aren’t seeing any problems.

  • The New York Post is reporting that relatively soon, possibly as early as next week, the FTC is scheduled to announce a settlement of its antitrust investigation and potential claims against Google.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Let’s unpack that misconception, shall we?

      Over the last twelve years, there have been more than 320 drone strikes. Over 300 of those strikes were conducted under the auspices of the Obama Administration (the most recent 2 strikes in Yemen over Christmas not included). They have killed between 2600-3300 people, of which over 800 were civilians (these numbers require us to believe that 2600 people were terrorists). Around 176 were children.*

      These are hardly “unintended” consequences. If 1 or 3—ok, 5–drone strikes are launched, and others besides the “intended” targets are killed, it is more plausible to believe that the consequences are “unintended.” It is easier to believe the position of former US Air Force drone pilot, Brandon Bryant, that by droning, he and his colleagues “were saving lives.” In fact, Bryant and his fellow drone pilots knew what they were trained to do: they were trained to kill—to “target” human beings, who were supposedly “terrorists.”

    • In rural Yemen, a botched attack on a terror suspect kills 12 civilians and destroys a community.

    • Decades after a risky Cold War experiment, a scientist lives with secrets.

  • Cablegate

    • Making political predictions is an inherently risky task, but 2013 provides one pretty safe bet: barring armed revolution or similar catastrophe we will have a federal election in Australia.

      And if the concluding events of 2012 are any guide, it will be a pretty ugly affair, a nude mud wrestle between an unloved Prime Minister leading a widely disliked government and a positively loathed opposition leader who has nonetheless put his party on track for a win which very few really look forward to.

    • This article reviews a) Sweden’s traditional culture among its rulers of spying on their own citizens – also a political culture of “Neutral” Sweden consisting of dealing in secrecy with (and on behalf of) NATO powers in matters of Intelligence; b) the allegations about a systematic cooperation between the Social Democratic Party and the country全民彩票网址’s Security Police, c) the juridical context of this illegal violation of the citizens’ civil liberties and integrity – a context that has been characterised as “The Bodstr?m Society”, and the veritable threat to those abusing powers represented by WikiLeaks and its founder and forerunner Julian Assange.

  • Finance

    • The Federal Action alleged that Goldman Sachs’ 2008 Proxy Statement violated the federal securities laws and Delaware law by undervaluing certain stock option awards and alleged that senior management received excessive compensation for 2007. The State Action alleged violations of Delaware statutory and common law based on substantively similar allegations regarding stock option awards from December 13, 2005 to December 17, 2008.

    • Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Bain Capital Partners LLC are set to defend what they call legitimate private-equity practices against investor claims that buyout firms and their bankers colluded to rig bids on takeovers.

    • The greedy, corrupting and wealth-accumulating culture of Goldman Sachs does not exist in a vacuum. The IMF and the World Bank (WB) knew exactly what they were doing (and surely support the role of Goldman in their scenario) and why they were doing it beginning before the 1970s. The IMF and the World Bank are creatures of the US government (which has been thoroughly corrupted by the financial sector, i.e., the banks) and both are helping to fulfill the US economic policies world-wide.

    • A federal judge on Monday agreed the city of Reno could take Goldman Sachs into private arbitration, bypassing the federal court system, to continue fighting for a settlement from the bank potentially worth millions of dollars.

  • Censorship

    • Last week, UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced a new porn filtering system that will go online sometime during the coming year. However, the blockades, which are intended to deal with porn, may end up developing into a backdoor ban on BitTorrent and other file-sharing related sites.

  • Privacy

    • Over the past year I and other plaintiffs including Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg have pressed a lawsuit in the federal courts to nullify Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This egregious section, which permits the government to use the military to detain U.S. citizens, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military detention centers, could have been easily fixed by Congress. The Senate and House had the opportunity this month to include in the 2013 version of the NDAA an unequivocal statement that all U.S. citizens would be exempt from 1021(b)(2), leaving the section to apply only to foreigners. But restoring due process for citizens was something the Republicans and the Democrats, along with the White House, refused to do. The fate of some of our most basic and important rights—ones enshrined in the Bill of Rights as well as the Fourth and Fifth amendments of the Constitution—will be decided in the next few months in the courts. If the courts fail us, a gulag state will be cemented into place.

  • Civil Rights

    • Last Tuesday, the Senate quietly altered a key privacy law, making it much easier for video streaming services like Netflix to share your viewing habits. How quietly? The Senate didn’t even hold a recorded vote: The bill was approved by unanimous consent. (Joe Mullin of Ars Technica was among the first to note the vote.)

    • Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein has been presided over four days of committee debate over reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act with an iron fist and incredible subordination to the Obama Administration. The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 was set to expire, but President Obama has been pushing for its un-amended reauthorization.

    • There’s nothing like a debate over warrantless wiretapping to clarify how the two parties really feel about government. On Friday, the Senate voted to reauthorize the government’s warrantless surveillance program, with hawkish Democrats joining with Republicans to block every effort to curtail the government’s sweeping spying powers.

      As the Senate debated the renewal of the government’s warrantless wiretapping powers on Thursday, Republicans who have accused President Barack Obama of covering up his involvement in the death of an American ambassador urged that his administration be given sweeping spying powers. Democrats who accused George W. Bush of shredding the Constitution with warrantless wiretapping four years ago sung a different tune this week, with the administration itself quietly urging passage of the surveillance bill with no changes, and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) accusing her Democratic colleagues of not understanding the threat of terrorism.

    • This week, as Congressional incompetence threatens to plunge the US into another recession, it’s comforting to know that Democrats and Republicans can still agree on at least one thing: that the US government should have the unquestionable authority to spy on its own citizens — in secret, without a warrant, and absent of any semblance of transparency.

    • This tremendous expansion of whistleblower rights will help to safeguard approximately $1.9 trillion worth of government contracts, grants and reimbursements annually, and protect some 12 million federal contractor whistleblowers when they expose corruption, wrongdoing, waste, fraud, abuse, or threats to the public. By comparison, there are only (approximately) two million federal employees, many of which (national security and intelligence workers) do not enjoy rights under the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act (WPEA), signed into law by President Obama late last month.

    • President Obama ought to veto the bill but probably won’t. I’ve flagged in red the provisions that are actually a problem.

    • To add insult to injury, another part of the provision appears to allow the military to take adverse personnel actions based solely on the beliefs held by service members, even when the individual’s beliefs have never been expressed, or never acted on. This sort of discrimination would amount to pure thought policing. If this is the case, the measure could impact personnel from across the political spectrum. Consider a company commander who learns that someone in his unit has moral objections to the mission, or harbors views critical of the government. The provision could permit disciplinary action by the commander or the denial of a promotion, among other adverse actions, based solely on those constitutionally protected beliefs of the individual unit member.

    • The Senate passed a version of the National Defense Authorization Act that was stripped of a prohibition of the indefinite military detention of US citizens on American soil by an 81-14 vote on Friday, but only after a furious dissent on the chamber’s floor by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who called it an “abomination.”

    • Joint defense measure seeks to disarm hackers
    • It now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.

IRC Proceedings: December 23rd-December 29th, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 5:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IRC Proceedings: December 23rd, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: December 24th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: December 25th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: December 26th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: December 27th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: December 28th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: December 29th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: December 16th-December 22nd, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 5:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IRC Proceedings: December 16th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: December 17th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: December 18th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: December 19th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: December 20th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: December 21st, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: December 22nd, 2012

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Enter the IRC channels now

12.29.12

Links 29/12/2012: Calculate Linux 13, Finnix 107

Posted in News Roundup at 12:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Taken as a whole, 2012 was a great year for Linux. The most popular stories, however, were more about the day-to-day happenings of Linux then the big picture.

    2012′s top Linux story was The truth about Goobuntu: Google’s in-house desktop Ubuntu Linux. The title said it all. We’d long known that Google uses its own house-blend of Ubuntu on its PCs, but it wasn’t until this summer that Google finally revealed exactly how its workers use Ubuntu,

  • The year of the Linux tablet is, like the year of the Linux desktop, destined never to arrive.

    That doesn’t mean we won’t see Linux on a tablet, but you’ll see Linux on a tablet the way you see it on the desktop – clinging to a tiny percentage of the market.

    There is of course Android, which does use a Linux kernel somewhere under all that Java, but when Canonical or Red Hat talk about building Linux tablets, obviously Android is not what they have in mind.

  • The end of the year is always a good time to take stock of where things stand in any niche or field, and Linux is no exception.

  • 2012 was the year that the Linux desktop diversified.

    Two years ago, users could choose between two or three desktop environments. But by the end of the first quarter of 2012, they had at least eight choices, with more on the way.

    Similarly, the year started with LibreOffice as the main office suite. But halfway through the year, LibreOffice was joined by Apache OpenOffice as well as Calligra Suite.

  • Many Phoronix readers have written in over the past few days about the new effort to bring the Torque 3D Game Engine to Linux. The desire for Torque 3D coming to Linux is because the engine developers believe Linux is turning into a commercially viable platform for gaming.

    Torque 3D is the game engine out of Garage Games as the successor to the original Torgue Game Engine Advanced (TGEA) but with modern functionality like deferred lighting, NVIDIA PhysX, and modern shaders. The original Torque Game Engine had been originally developed in 2001 for the Tribes 2 game but it’s been developed much more extensively since its inception.

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • We talk to Andreas Olofsson, founder and chief executive of Adapteva, about his company’s project to create a $99 many-core pocket-sized supercomputer: Parallella

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linus Torvalds has announced the first pre-release version of Linux 3.8, releasing it on the “longest night of the year”. As previously reported, it includes support for the Flash-Friendly File System (F2FS), which has been designed for use on flash storage devices such as USB flash drives, memory cards, and internal storage in devices such as cameras, tablets and smartphones.

    • While there’s a lot of features that are new to the Linux 3.8 kernel as covered in The Feature Overview For The Linux 3.8 Kernel, there’s also several promising new features and functionality that didn’t make the cut for this next kernel release.

    • Linus Torvalds is one of the most influential people in the Linux world and among the most active figures that promote open source as a real alternative.

    • When one says mechanical keyboard you think gamers, at least I did. Gamers prefer mechanical keyboards because the physical act of typing is more precise. That’s it in a nutshell, the feedback provided by mechanical keyboards gives gamers another edge over the game and opponents. So, one may think Windows, because gaming in Linux is rarely as competitive. But I’m here to tell you a Linux user, not even an avid gamer, can and does love her new CM Storm QuickFire TK.

  • Applications

    • I think it is fairly obvious at this point onwards that as a project in itself, its no longer viable to continue development of compiz. Lots of people still use it though, so its is worth maintaining for those that use it, but nothing more than that.

    • Podcasts are usually the first media I consume when I wake up in the morning and the last media I consume before falling asleep. Sadly, some of my favorites have gone AWOL over the past few years, but I haven’t stopped discovering new ones to listen to. I’m now going to tell you about the top Linux – and open-source-related podcasts making the rounds in my media player.

    • The REAPER digital audio workstation software may be coming to Linux per a statement by its developers.

      REAPER, short for Rapid Environment for Audio Production, Engineering, and Recording, is one of the professional audio software solutions available on Windows and Mac OS X. While REAPER can work to some extent under WINE, the development studio behind this software, Cockos, is working towards a native Linux port.

    • As you may know Dan Vrátil and I are working in a brand new screen manager that will solve most of the issues that we currently have on the desktop, making the configuration of monitors either auto-magical or super simple.

    • Kraft developer Klaas Freitag has announced version 0.50 of the Kraft, a software for easy business document management. As per announcement on the official blog, Main change in Kraft 0.50 is support for multiple tax rate in a single document. For example one invoice items without tax, with reduced or full tax rate are supported.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine

    • Games

      • It’s Christmas time for Linux games, Humble Bundle has launched Humble Indie Bundle 7. This version includes many cross platform and DRM free games.

      • The history of Linux in gaming is quite poor, but this year so many changes happened in this area that we might be able to review top commercial video games very soon. By commercial I mean those created by most significant gaming companies like Ubisoft or Bethesda, and not indie video games. Even though real gaming in Linux based operating systems got a boost this year, emulators were everywhere to be found, for most known video game consoles.

      • Much hyped god game GODUS has been fully funded on Kickstarter. The game is being developed by Peter Molyneux, who created god games Dungeon Keeper, Populous, and Black & White.

        GODUS blends the power, growth and scope of Populous with the detailed construction and multiplayer excitement of Dungeon Keeper and the intuitive interface and technical innovation of Black & White.

      • The Unvanquished open-source game is preapring for a great year ahead and for kicking off the New Year they will soon be releasing Unvanquished Alpha 11.

      • Lately there’s been an increasing number of open-source projects sprouting up to design open-source game engine implementations around older closed-source engines to handle certain game content. Another one of these projects is Prequengine, which is for Little Big Adventure.

        Among the open-source game engines that re-implement closed-source game functionality and have been talked about recently on Phoronix include Xoreos, GemRB, and OpenMW. A Phoronix reader wrote in this weekend about another such game engine project, Prequengine.

      • It’s been another successful Humble Indie Bundle so far with the latest pay-what-you-want, cross-platform, DRM-free game offering approaching the two million dollar mark.

      • Wildfire Games, an international group of volunteer game developers, proudly announces the release of “0 A.D. Alpha 12 Loucetios”, the twelfth alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source game of ancient warfare. This alpha features diplomacy, packing siege engines, super fancy water and more!

  • Desktop Environments

    • A few years ago, my neighbors asked for help securing their computer. They were running Windows, so my knowledge was limited, but I did set up a separate administrative account and add passwords to their regular accounts. When I looked at their computer a month later, they had removed both — and were back to getting viruses and malware along with their movie downloads. Their explanation? That my simple safeguards were “too inconvenient.”

      “Let me get this straight,” I wanted to say (but didn’t). “It’s too inconvenient to spend ten seconds typing a password, or twenty logging into a different account to install software. But it’s not too inconvenient to have your computer at the shop every few months to scrub it clean and to sometimes lose files because you haven’t bothered backing them up.”

    • Awesome, the dynamic X window manager written in C and Lua that started off as a fork of dwm, is out with its version 3.5 “Last Christmas” release.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • A new screen manager is being worked on for the KDE desktop to dramatically improve the multi-monitor experience by making it work “auto-magically” or at least be “super simple” to configure.

        Dan Vrátil and Alex Fiestas have been working on writing a brand new screen manager for KDE to overcome the current configuration shortcomings of the current settings panel. As Fiestas wrote today on his blog, “We are trying be as smart as possible adapting the behavior of it to each use case making the configuration of monitors as simple as plugging them to your computer.”

      • The Krita community has created Stichting Krita Foundation to support the development of Krita through funding. The foundation will also help the community by organizing creative and open content projects like, Comics with Krita DVD. The have done some funding before where Luká? Tvrdy was sponsored before actual development work and currently they are sponsoring Dmitry Kazakov, who is working on Krita performance improvements.

      • Qt is one of the most important projects for both commercial and non-commercial players, especially in the embedded space. Now RIM is trying to lure Qt developers for the success of BlackBerry. If you are a developer of Qt apps RIM is offering a great deal for your Qt applications under Blackberry Qt porting program.

      • The Qt project and Digia, the company behind Qt framework, have released the most awaited C++ framework for developers, Qt 5.0. The company claims that it’s one of the best releases till date and has invested a significant amount of time behind this release. It’s an overhaul of the Qt 4.x series and makes Qt fit for the future.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • It seems fair to say that Linux users enjoy a degree of choice that’s unmatched by the proprietary players in the desktop computing world, what with the wide variety of both distributions and desktop environments from which they can choose.

      • The last few years have been troubled for the Gnome Project. Once a premier desktop environment for Linux, it has seen its market share diminish amid user dissatisfaction over Gnome 3 and accusations that the project was ignoring users. Yet, over the last six months, something important has been happening: Slowly and quietly, the members of Gnome have started trying to turn the situation around.

      • There is a nice Search in Calendar, by Reda, a support for two batteries and plugged devices in Power Panel, by Allan and some mockups in Gnome Maps, by Andreas.

        Keep on mind that these are just early designs that may never arrive in GNOME the way they look now, or the may arrive at all!

      • The goal that Gnome board of directors set for the upcoming year is to improve the safety features of our favorite desktop environment by implementing and integrating special tools and features.

  • Distributions

    • These were my 2 first GNU/Linux distros that I used on my 全民彩票官网下载 desktop (actually, I met with GNU/Linux a little earlier – the very first GNU/Linux distro that I saw, it was RedHat 9.0).

    • Several familiar names cropped up in the news the last few days. The Mint team finishes out their lastest family tree and the Slax guys has rushed out a couple of bug-fix updates to the recently released 7.0. And KNOPPIX got an update too.

    • You know how I like to rate distributions at the end of each year? Yes, you do. However, while I do try to make those articles be as impartial and fair as possible and encompass as broad spectrum of users as possible, they ultimately reflect one man’s experience, me. Not bad, given my awesomeness, but still.

    • Between the new innovations that emerge practically every day and the fairly constant rate of change in general, things never stay the same for long in technology.

    • Unlike many of the Linux distributions out there today that are little more than minor user-facing changes to Ubuntu or another tier-one Linux operating system, Slax for the past many years has followed its own dance. Slax, a LiveCD Linux distribution built around Slackware, is very lightweight and calls itself a “pocket operating system” as with the most recent release it can fit a full Linux OS with the KDE4 desktop in about 200MB. Slax is also intended to be quite easy for others to modify and create custom images via Slackware packages and Slax modules. The recent Slax 7.0 release was the first update for the open-source operating system in several years. For those interested in knowing how this very lightweight and customizable operating system can work so efficiently, Tomá? Matejícek, the Slax creator, has written an exclusive Phoronix article about the process.

    • Presented in two formats based on two distros, which version of Puppy stays true to the commitment of being small and fast?

    • New Releases

      • Steven Shiau proudly announced a few minutes ago, December 18, a new stable release of his popular Clonezilla Live operating system, used for cloning hard disk drives.

        Being based on the Debian Sid repository as of December 17, 2012, the Clonezilla Live 2.0.1-15 operating system is powered by Linux kernel 3.2.35 and incorporates various improvements, bug fixes and updated translations.

        This release also blacklists the floppy module from the kernel, just because none really uses a floppy drive anymore. But, in case you’re one of those people who still use a floppy drive, you will be able to manually load it by running the “modprobe floppy” command in a terminal.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Finally here is Mageia 3 beta 1. This first beta release was a bit tricky as it comes with some major new features in installer. GRUB2 has been included as an option for now.

    • Gentoo Family

      • When you are running Gentoo with SELinux enabled, you will be running with a particular policy type, which you can devise from either /etc/selinux/config or from the output of the sestatus command. As a user on our IRC channel had some issues converting his strict-policy system to mcs, I thought about testing it out myself. Below are the steps I did and the reasoning why (and I will update the docs to reflect this accordingly).

    • Red Hat Family

      • Raleigh-based Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) CEO Jim Whitehurst says “the state of the union at Red Hat is strong.”

        Whitehurst took a break from running the billion dollar company to blog about accomplishments over the past year, as well as to look ahead to what he called “massive” potential in 2013.

      • Red Hat (NYSE: RHT ) is a success story for troubled times. The economy falters? No problem. Southern Europe on the brink of collective bankruptcy? Sure, but sales are growing there anyway. Corporate IT budgets trimming down? Hey, that’s actually a business opportunity!

      • Big Blue has been talking about the Power7-based “Blue Waters” supercomputer nodes for so long that you might think they’re already available. But although IBM gave us a glimpse of the Power 775 全民彩票网址 way back in November 2009, they actually won’t start shipping commercially until next month – August 26, to be exact.

        The feeds and speeds of the Power 775 server remain essentially what we told you nearly two years ago. Today’s news is that the Power 775 is nearly ready for sale, and the clock speed on the Power7 processors and system prices have – finally – been announced.

      • What does it feel like to be the CEO of a super-hot company as it crests the billion-dollar-revenue mark and grows to 5,000 employees?

        Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst says that it’s hard to notice the changes. Then something happens to make you realize you are the boss of a very big place.

      • Fedora

        • Fedorians have a nice sense of humor, and FedUp (FEDora UPgrader) is the new upgrading tool for Fedora 17->18 and beyond, that replaces PreUpgrader.

          Earth survived from Mayan prophecy, end of days didn’t come, and Fedora 18 release will make it at Jan 8, 2013 -hopefully ;)

        • After the 2 months delay and the 8 months release cycle of Spherical Cow, Fedora now will try to make a “Speedy Gonzales” release inside in just 4 months. This is the shortest release cycle that Fedora ever had from its day one – Nov 2003, Yarrow / GNOME 2.4 / Linux 2.4.19.

        • One of the gripes of the Fedora users, and mine as well, was that it doesn’t come bundled with any office suite. Users have to manually install LibreOffice or Calligra to get some work done. This is changing now. The LiveCD of Fedora 18 Spherical Cow will be shipped with LibreOffice installed. This is a great step from Fedora developers towards usability. This change is pushed by Bill Nottingham to Fedora 18.

    • Debian Family

      • Welcome全民彩票网址 to this year’s twenty-fifth issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:

        * Bits from the DPL
        * Wheezy freeze: reviewers needed for unblock requests
        * Report from Bug Squashing Party in Mechlin
        * Other news
        * 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?

      • It has been a while since I wrote about bitcoin, the decentralised peer-to-peer based crypto-currency, and the reason is simply that I have been busy elsewhere. But two days ago, I started looking at the state of bitcoin in Debian again to try to recover my old bitcoin wallet. The package is now maintained by a team of people, and the grunt work had already been done by this team. We owe a huge thank you to all these team members. :) But I was sad to discover that the bitcoin client is missing in Wheezy. It is only available in Sid (and an outdated client from backports). The client had several RC bugs registered in BTS blocking it from entering testing. To try to help the team and improve the situation, I spent some time providing patches and triaging the bug reports. I also had a look at the bitcoin package available from Matt Corallo in a PPA for Ubuntu, and moved the useful pieces from that version into the Debian package.

      • Derivatives

        • Knoppix, a bootable Live CD/DVD, made up from the most popular and useful free and open source applications, backed up by an automatic hardware detection and support for many video cards, SCSI and USB devices, is now at version 7.0.5.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • The Unity desktop environment is something which has intrigued me a lot over the past year or so. My interest has partly been in the strong reactions, for or against the environment, from Ubuntu users. The other key point of my interest has been that I’ve really only used the desktop in short bursts and, as a result, I don’t feel I’ve really got a feel for it. Once every six months I will install Ubuntu, play with Unity for a few days, not long enough to unlearn the habits I’ve picked up from using other desktop environments, and then I’m off to another distribution and another desktop. In these quick looks at Unity I’ve certainly encountered things which rubbed me the wrong way, but I’ve also caught sight of design features which struck me as being beneficial. Or they would be beneficial if one were to use them long enough to form new work patterns. At any rate, I wanted to find out how I would feel about Unity if I used it long enough to unlearn old habits, behaviour learned after over fifteen years of using desktops with approaches different from Unity’s. With that in mind I installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS on one of my 全民彩票网址 and tried to use Unity as much as I could while still taking time to test other Linux distributions. Right upfront I want to say that it took about a week for the old habits to fade away and for using Unity’s controls to become reflex rather than considered actions. Little things like moving the mouse pointer to the right of the window instead of the left have long been actions performed automatically and they were hard to break. This led to several days of jerking the mouse right, then back left to close windows or minimize them. There was also some trial and error at first finding the best way to handle window organization, launch applications and deal with window grouping on the launch bar. Typically, I have found I am most comfortable with setting up multiple virtual work spaces, populating them with related applications and switching between the work spaces. This allows for a small number of open windows in each space and avoids programs grouping on the task switcher. Unity, on the other hand, while it does allow for multiple work spaces, the desktop appears to be much better suited to having few windows open at a time and I slowly came around to typically using one workspace and grouping program windows together, switching between windows rather than work spaces.

          • Over the years, I’ve watched Ubuntu develop into quite the impressive Linux distro. While Ubuntu definitely has room for improvement, it does offer the casual user an outstanding experience overall. In this article, I’ll share the areas where I think Ubuntu is raising the bar on Linux for the masses.

          • Thus going after someone like Canonical and calling what they doing spying actually hurts the promotion of free software. What they are doing is a huge step in the right direction.

            Having run a business based on free and open source software for a decade, you can imagine that I am a big fan of it. Last year, for a variety of reasons, I decided to make the jump to using a desktop based on Linux. I tried a number of options, but the one that worked for me, the one that “stuck”, was Ubuntu. Using it just comes naturally, and I’ve been using it for so long now that other desktops seem foreign.

          • ‘Unredirect Fullscreen Windows’ option is finally enabled by default in Ubuntu 12.10. Compiz developer Daniel Van Vugt and his team has done lots of work in past few months to make sure that all the bugs related to this feature are fixed.

          • Ubuntu may not quite be a religion, but it has its committed evangelists all the same. And now, Canonical has made their jobs easier with the release of an official “Ubuntu Advocacy Development Kit.” Will Ubuntu fans soon be showing up on your doorstep, asking you to convert? Probably not, but the move is an interesting endeavor nonetheless.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • All the Linux Mint Editions have arrived just in time for the holidays – Linux Mint 14 (Nadia) with Cinnamon, MATE, KDE and Xfce dekstops, and Linux Mint Debian Edition Update Pack 6 with Cinnamon and MATE desktops.

            • Linux Mint does it again! The thing I admire about Linux Mint is the ability to work on any type of system and refined interface that it brings on the table – every time! When I reviewed the Mint Maya KDE, I was wondering if I had seen any KDE distro more complete than this. With the Mint Nadia KDE release my impression has changed. This edition not only looks gorgeous but the KDE bloat-wares are gone to actually give the users a more functional set of applications.

            • I now refrain from comparing Linux based distribution because what my needs are could be different from yours and what works for you may not work for me, but I am really impressed with Linux Mint in the ‘out-of-the-box’ experience department, it’s becoming one of my favourites along with openSUSE and Kubuntu.

            • It is not far-fetched to say, open source and its poster child, Linux, is going through a golden period. The emergence of internet has a lot to do with the popularisation of open source way of thinking. But in the world of Windows and Macs, what makes Linux tick? Redhat was the first to explore Linux’s potential. But Redhat had a very enterprise centric approach. And in 2004, Ubuntu came along with the focus firmly back on end-users. This kick started a flurry of activity and a number of new Ubuntu based Linux distros started to sprung up. The latest one being elementary OS Luna. And this brand new OS has a lot going for it.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • A real, useful, open source computer, the $35 Raspberry Pi is powerful enough to use as a PBX. A DIY laptop is coming, too

    • The Raspberry Pi now has an accompanying store where users can download software, raw code, tutorials, tools or games for the Linux computer.

    • I decided to replace my aging Compaq mini desktop in the bedroom with the Raspberry Pi,

    • [Jacken] loves his lossless audio and because of that he’s long been a fan of Squeezebox. It makes streaming the high-bitrate files possible. But after Logitech acquired the company he feels they’ve made some choices which has driven the platform into the ground. But there is hope. He figured out how to use a Raspberry Pi as a Squeezebox server so that he can keep on using his client devices and posted details about the RPi’s performance while serving high-quality audio.

    • 全民彩票网址Phones

      • Android

        • HTC is preparing to launch an Android handset, codenamed M7, according to Unwired.com. This device, claimed to be the flagship phone, is expected to ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, skinned with the latest iteration of HTC’s love-it-or-hate-it UX enhancement, Sense 5. M7 will have 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal flash memory.

        • Japanese bathrooms are about to become a little more interactive, thanks to a new smartphone-controlled toilet known as the Satis. Manufactured by Tokyo-based Lixil, this Bluetooth-enabled commode can be controlled with an Android app called “My Satis,” allowing users to flush, raise the toilet seat, and activate a bidet jet stream with the touch of a button. The app also lets you stream music through the toilet’s speakers and will automatically monitor “usage history,” giving you a better idea of how much electricity and water you’re consuming with each visit.

        • A Brazilian company has risked inciting the rage of the world’s biggest technology firm by releasing its own ‘iphone’.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Bodhi Linux developer Jeff Hoogland has launched a new tool that allows Nexus 7 users to install the Bodhi Linux OS on their Google slates.

        The new tool means that Ubuntu is no longer the only Linux-based operating system that can run on the popular Google Nexus 7 tablet. To offer this tool, Hoogland basically piggybacked on Canonica’s work with Ubuntu, and Nexus 7 owners can now install Bodhi on their tablets.

      • Netbooks – those compact, underpowered, inexpensive notebook PCs once hailed as the future of mobile computing – are set to disappear from retailer shelves in 2013, as the last remaining manufacturers of the devices prepare to exit the market.

        According to Taiwanese tech news site DigiTimes, Acer and Asus are the only two hardware makers still producing netbooks, and they are mainly doing so to sell them to emerging markets such as South America and Southeast Asia.

      • Dell, what’s wrong with competing on price/performance like everyone else except M$? Others are making tons of money selling Android/Linux devices. So could Dell. If Dell’s business is making and selling hardware, just do it.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Zanata is an open source translation platform written in Java that offers translation memory, an online translation editor, and workflow integration with REST APIs and command-line tools. For translators, it is a web browser-based translation environment where previous translations provide context for their work. For software developers, it’s an integration tool that provides a centralized localization repository along with translation tools that save time and resources.

  • Given that now even some small open source projects are forming their own foundations, Glynn Moody thinks that perhaps open source foundations have come of age. He suggests that the time may now be right for the formation of an umbrella foundation to help share best practices, legal advice and other information and support.

  • Open source used to be an aberration — now it is an imperative. If you’re not using or developing open source projects, you’re putting your business at risk. That’s the message from Black Duck Software and Forrester, as recently presented in a webinar describing Open Source software and innovation.

  • DESPITE the increasing affordability of computers, the software that actually runs those devices can still be fairly expensive. Fairly common programs such as Microsoft Office can run to hundreds of dollars, and higher-end products like Adobe Photoshop can easily cost more than $500.

  • I remember first meeting Jeffrey A. “Jam” McGuire in person at DrupalCon Denver. We talked about communities, music, and shared ways to show why open source is a better way. Even before meeting him, I could tell from my first interaction with him that he was passionate about Drupal and open source. He’s becoming an in-demand Keynote speaker and presenter at Drupal and other business and software events around the world. He’s already a staple for the Intro to DrupalCon session and always seems to incorporate music and singing as part of the performance.

  • Think of all the photos and videos you’ve stored on various devices and social networks over the years. Enter: OpenPhoto, a new, open source platform all about gathering them into one place and never losing them. Their software imports your photos from Flickr, Facebook, and Instagram, and there’s an app for the i全民彩票网址Phone (Android coming soon).

  • At the same time, women make up an estimated 2% of the open source community, far lower than the percentage of women in computing overall, estimated at around 20%. Is it any wonder that women founders are so rare in Internet-related startups, when many of the founders come from a population that is 98% male?

  • Judd Bagley set out to build a web app that would serve up a never-ending stream of news stories tailored to your particular tastes. And he did. It’s called MyCurrent. But in creating this clever little app, Bagley also pushed online retailer Overstock.com away from the $2-million-a-year service it was using to generate product recommendations for web shoppers, and onto a system that did the same thing for free — and did it better.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

  • SaaS

    • The OpenStack open source cloud platform started out with only two components: Nova Compute and Swift Storage. Nova originally came from NASA and Swift came from Rackspace.

      Over the course of the last two years, OpenStack has expanded beyond NASA and Rackspace and has been embraced by many large tech vendors, including IBM, HP, Dell, AT&T, Cisco and Intel among others. As OpenStack participation has grown, new capabilities have been added, including most recently the Cinder block storage project and the Quantum networking project. Cinder and Quantum both debuted in the recent Folsom release.

  • Databases

    • For Gunnar Hellekson — a chief technology strategist at Red Hat who closely follows the government’s approach to open source software — this language posed a threat not only to Accumulo but to open source project across the government. “It doesn’t take much imagination to see that same ‘adequacy criteria’ applied to all open source software projects,” Hellekson wrote earlier this year. “Got a favorite open source project on your DoD program, but no commercial vendor? Inadequate. Only one vendor for the package? Lacks diversity. Proprietary software doesn’t have a burden like this.”

      From where Hellekson was sitting, it was obvious that Accumulo was very different from the likes of Hbase and Cassandra. “When Accumulo was written, it was definitely doing new work,” he told us. “Some of its differentiating features are being handled by other pieces of software. But other core concepts are unique, including the cell-level security…. That’s an incredibly important feature, and to do it properly is incredibly complicated.”

      But it appears the Senate has now backed down. In that joint House-Senate statement on the DoD bill, Accumulo is cited by name. “[The Department of Defense] has already determined that the Accumulo database that NSA developed using government and contract engineers is a successful open-source project that is supported by commercial companies,” the statement read. “[We] expect that future acquisitions of Accumulo would be executed through such commercial vendors.”

      Those commercial vendors include Sqrrl. But Oren Falkowitz isn’t quite ready to celebrate. “Obama still has to sign it,” he says. “I wouldn’t jump for joy until it’s actually a law.”

    • The MySQL relational database serves as a back end for millions of websites, and powers millions of non-Internet data-handling applications. In 2009 ownership of MySQL passed to Oracle when it bought Sun, which had acquired MySQL the previous year. Since then developers and IT managers have worried that Oracle would someday cease support for MySQL because it competes with the company’s profitable proprietary database products. This fear may be justified. In August, Alex Williams wrote at TechCrunch, “Oracle is holding back test cases in the latest release of MySQL. It’s a move that has all the markings of the company’s continued efforts to further close up the open source software and alienate the MySQL developer community.” We tried to get Oracle to rebut that accusation, but multiple emails and phone calls did not get a response. Does this mean it’s time to move from MySQL to another open source database – and if so, which one?

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Although there are many others, OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice are the two 800lb gorrillas of the open source office suite world. One or other comes bundled with pretty much every Linux distro out there.

      Without OpenOffice.org, it’s fair to say that the OpenDocument format would never have stood a chance of becoming an open standard. Pretty impressive, when many open standards haven’t had anything like the same success (how many people – even hard core Linux users – commonly spurn mp3 files for ogg vorbis?). Because (nearly) everyone needs a word processor and spreadsheet, OpenOffice.org has long been one of the open source poster children to encourage take up – “Why pay $$$ for Microsoft Office when this is just as good and you can have it for free?”.

    • Italo Vignoli today published lots of cool graphs and stats demonstating the growth and other accomplishments over the course of 2012. From the growth in number of contributors to high-profile roll-outs to increasing numbers of downloads, 2012 has been a banner year. He said, “Looking back, it has been amazing.”

      Starting with the contributor list, LibreOffice had 379 contributors at the start of the year, but that number had grown to 567 by Christmas 2012. The Document Foundation also announced 14 LibreOffice releases in 2012 and the team is currently working on LibreOffice 4.0, which should be released in February 2012.

    • The Oracle Java Development Kit 7 Update 10 (JDK 7u10) release provides new updating and control capabilities that go beyond what Java users have enjoyed in the past.

  • Education

    • Advocates of free and open source are warning that the Greek government is going to waste millions of euro on proprietary software licences for the country全民彩票网址’s 全民彩票官网登录s. They are calling on the Ministry of Education to cancel its latest procurement. “Favouring proprietary software while ignoring the potential of open source, constitutes a choking of the educational process.”

  • Healthcare

    • Open source in healthcare remains in its infancy. This year saw some great activity with open source in health. Our community covered medical devices with available source code, electronic patient records, open product design and 3D printing, crowdfunding, and big data. These big ideas and innovations, but I predict that as more people take personal responsibility for their health in 2013, the greater the demand will be for faster, more affordable solutions… read: open source.

  • Business

    • You can’t just expect a community to emerge

  • Funding

    • Ever since OStatic’s inception, we’ve been fans of the Piwik online analytics application, which is a free, open source alternative to tools like Google Analytics. For example, we discussed Piwik in our roundup of open source tools aimed at web developers. When it comes to doing web analytics, it’s beneficial to get as many views of your data as possible, so you can use Piwik in conjunction with Google Analytics or on its own.

  • BSD

    • PC-BSD is a desktop based derivative of FreeBSD and typically PC-BSD releases follow FreeBSD releases. That’s not quite the case with the new PC-BSD 9.1 release which is actually coming out *before* the official release of FreeBSD 9.1

      FreeBSD 9.1 was originally set for official release at the end of October but has been hit by some delays. Though an official announcement has not yet been made the primary FreeBSD mirror currently has FreeBSD release ISOs available (ftp://ftp.freebsd.org/pub/FreeBSD/releases/ISO-IMAGES/9.1/)

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Work began on the Hurd, the true kernel of the GNU operating system, in May 1991, but it has yet to materialise as a production-ready kernel. Richard Hillesley tells the story…

    • But sometimes all Stallman had to offer on the topic was “We still prefer C to C++, because C++ is so ugly”.

    • The fight against DRM often pits us against some of the biggest companies and the most dominant ways of thinking in the technology business. What gives us the independence to speak out — and the power to make your voice heard –is the support of our members. Now, we need your help to keep Defective by Design strong in 2013.

  • Project Releases

  • Public 全民彩票网址/Government

    • Talend, a licensor of open source enterprise software, has recently received a ruling from the U.S. Customs Service corroborating that its software complies with the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (19 USC 2511 et seq.) Open source software adoption by the U.S. Federal government must comply with many regulations, some of which can be difficult given the nature of modern software development. And these rules are frequently used as a barrier, or a bar, to the use of FOSS in federal government procurement. One of these issues is the ability of the FOSS company to certify compliance with the TAA which requires a product to be manufactured or substantially transformed in the United States or a designated country全民彩票网址.

    • The European Commission will postpone until early next year the publication of its guideline on how to make best use of ICT standards in tender specifications. Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission and European Commissioner for Digital Agenda, in a video speech on Friday said that the guideline should ensure that public authorities get the most value from open source and open standards. “And also that open source suppliers can compete fairly in tenders.”

    • I wanted to share my notes with you all from this TED talk with Clay Shirky. You can watch the video—and I recommend that you do—but since I took notes I figured I’d share my textual summary as well!

    • As the United States military marches further into the age of networked warfare, data networks and the mobile platforms to distribute and access them will become even more important.

  • Licensing

    • The European Union’s open source licence, EUPL, is to be revised, aiming to make it compatible with the GPLv3 and AGPLv3 and other licences. A public consultation begins today on Joinup, with the publication of a first draft and a background document on some of the proposed changes.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • If you’ve seen an unbelievable interactive projection or a mind-blowing piece of generative video art, odds are you’ve come across openFrameworks, an accessible programming platform that has helped create projects like Arturo Castro and Kyle McDonald’s Faces, a real-time face-substitution project, the EyeWriter graffiti headset from F.A.T. Labs, and Chris O’Shea’s playful, Monty Python-inspired Hand from Above, among many other works of technology-based art. What makes openFrameworks and similar coding tools like Processing so powerful in an artistic context is that they are open source, free for any artist to use and hack to their own ends, and are made by artists, for artists.

    • Open Data

      • The Commission has launched an Open Data Strategy for Europe, which is expected to deliver a €40 billion boost to the EU’s economy each year. Europe’s public administrations are sitting on a goldmine of unrealised economic potential: the large volumes of information collected by numerous public authorities and services. Member States such as the United Kingdom and France are already demonstrating this value. The strategy to lift performance EU-wide is three-fold: firstly the Commission will lead by example, opening its vaults of information to the public for free through a new data portal. Secondly, a level playing field for open data across the EU will be established. Finally, these new measures are backed by the €100 million which will be granted in 2011-2013 to fund research into improved data-handling technologies.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Instagram has undergone several big changes lately, most noteably taking away the ability to quickly view Instagram photos on Twitter. Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom described this update during the LeWeb Internet conference in Paris as Instagram’s evolution, and explained that the company would naturally change as it grew.In an article from Business Insider on December 6, Alyson Shontell calls for Instagram to make a bolder move: to publish all photos under Creative Commons unless the photographer specifically changes their publishing license.

    • Open Hardware

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Protecting sensitive electronic information in different situations requires different types of cryptographic algorithms, but ultimately they all depend on keys, the cryptographic equivalent of a password. A new publication* from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) aims to help people secure their data with good keys no matter which algorithm they choose.

    • The W3C announced today that the HTML5 definition is now complete. This is a big deal for the web and all of us that work and use it…but it’s not end of the story.

      The definition is not a final standard for HTML5, though it is an important milestone. HTML5 will not likely be a full bona-fide standard until mid 2014 according to what Jeff Jaffe told me during a conference call today to talk about HTML5.

Leftovers

  • The problem on Reddit is the quality: They’re drowning in crap.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • …Paul Scott, who was a nationally syndicated columnist. He was illegally wiretapped by the agency in 1963…

    • The rapid collapse of a U.S. diplomatic compound in Libya exposed the vulnerabilities of State Department facilities overseas. But the CIA’s ability to fend off a second attack that same night provided a glimpse of a key element in the agency’s defensive arsenal: a secret security force created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Two of the Americans killed in Benghazi were members of the CIA’s Global Response Staff, an innocuously named organization that has recruited hundreds of former U.S. Special Forces operatives to serve as armed guards for the agency’s spies.

    • Washington, Dec 27 (Prensa Latina) Investigations around the attack against the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, resulting in the killing of the US ambassador and another three officials, have exposed a secret CIA armed wing.

      The CIA security force had been created in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks against New York and Washington and was so far an almost unknown defensive arsenal.

    • The National Rifle Association and its allies would have us believe that the solution to this epidemic, itself but a sliver of America’s overall gun violence, is to put firearms in the hands of as many citizens as possible.

    • In a potentially precedent-setting decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that a Guild lawyer全民彩票网址’s challenge to military spying on peace activists can proceed. The ruling marks the first time a court has affirmed people’s ability to sue the military for violating their First and Fourth Amendment rights.

      “This has never been done before,” said NLG member attorney Larry Hildes, who is handling the case. “The U.S. government has spied on political dissidents throughout history and this particular plot lasted through two presidencies, but never before has a court said that we can challenge it the way we have.”

      The ruling is the latest development in the lawsuit, Panagacos v. Towery, first brought by Hildes in 2009 on behalf of a group of Washington state antiwar activists who found themselves infiltrated by John Towery, an employee at a fusion center inside a local Army base. Fusion centers are multi-jurisdictional intelligence facilities which house federal and local law enforcement agencies alongside military units and private security companies. Their operations are largely secret and unregulated. There are currently 77 fusion centers in the United States.

  • Cablegate

    • The Swedish Pirate Party wants a probe of banks’ role in the blocking of donations by Visa, PayPal and others

    • Julian Assange has said, he is willing to answer questions in the UK relating to accusations against him, or alternatively to go to Sweden provided the Swedish government guarantee he will not be extradited to the US where plans are ready for him to be tried for conspiracy to commit espionage. The Swedish Government refuse to give such assurance. Mr. Assange is right to be concerned about the dangers of extradition to USA. American media has reported that the US Justice Department and the Pentagon have been conducting a criminal investigation into ‘whether wikileaks founder Julian Assange violated criminal laws in the groups release of government documents including possible charges under the espionage act’.
      Mr. Assange’s only crime is that he embarrassed the USA and powerful governments with Wikileaks release of thousands of US state department cables and of the video footage from an apache helicopter of a 2007 incident in which the US military appears to have deliberately killed civilians, including two reuters employees, revealing USA’s Crimes against humanity. For this truth telling he has inherited the wrath of the US government, and has been targeted in a most vindictive way – as has American soldier, pt. Bradley Manning, currently undergoing a military Court hearing for allegedly leaking classified documents to wikileaks. Pt. Bradley Manning has been subjected, according to formal UN investigation, to ‘cruel and inhuman’ treatment whilst held in solitary confinement in US prison for nine months. The American government has admitted to the torture of Pt. Bradley Manning, one of their own soldiers.

    • Two Swedish transparency sites that have supported WikiLeaks and Julian Assange have been abruptly shut down at the request, seemingly, of the Swedish defence forces.

    • Despite Crippling Financial Blockade And Other Efforts To Set Them Back, Publishers Of Biggest Leaks In Journalistic History Press On

    • Many documents produced by the U.S. government are confidential and not released to the public for legitimate reasons of national security. Others, however, are kept secret for more questionable reasons. The fact that presidents and other government officials have the power to deem materials classified provides them with an opportunity to use national security as an excuse to suppress documents and reports that would reveal embarrassing or illegal activities.

    • “Swedish (government) officials got the impression that they were working under direct orders of the CIA” – Mike ?lander’s reportage “CIA demanded that Sweden would expand cooperation”, Expressen, 6 December 2010

    • In the third part of our recent interview with Kristinn Hrafnsson, Kristinn talks about a Russian measure to form an independent banking mechanism that was the subject of diplomatic cables from the US and was susequently killed, US spying and information mining and profiling, communications analysis, Bradley Manning and Julian Assange. Kristinn makes the revelation that the entire foreign apparatus of the US was activated by banking concerns to stop the Russian measure.

    • The best way to arrive at the truth is to first figure out what the media are trying to sell you. The people at the top are aware of all the ongoing scams and revel in them. One must understand that people at the top don’t read the MSM or turn on the telly to find out what’s happening in the world – they have their friends for that. They read and they turn on tellies to find out what’s being sold to you.

      It’s an informal setup. People who don’t perform are shut out. It’s a cruel game up that high. But they’re all in for a penny and a pound and they rarely go away willingly.

    • Despite the pressures from the United States and other pro-western governments, the Republic of Ecuador has granted political asylum to Mr. Assange. On the other hand, the United Kingdom has hindered the free movement of Mr. Assange even though the same government blocked the extradition to Spain of the late Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet. Mr. Pinochet was wanted for the murder of 94 Spanish citizens and many other charges of torture and rape against his own people. Although Julian Assange is an Australian citizen, the Australian government has refused to protect him and has instead accommodated Swedish Ambassador Sven-Olof Petersson, who supports rendition and torture. This is unacceptable in a free, democratic and transparent society.

    • Here is a man who has dedicated his life (possibly literally) to defend the right to expose corruption in high places…

  • Finance

    • A constant conservative charge against President Obama is that he is inherently anti-business. However, businesses keep defying the storyline by making larger and larger profits, rebounding nicely out of the Great Recession.

    • If you are as cynical as I am, I know you are not surprised that Facebook paid Irish taxes (via Tax Justice Network) of about $4.64 million on its entire non-US profits of $1.344 billion for 2011.* This 0.3% tax rate is a bit below the normal, already low, Irish corporate income tax of 12.5%.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who became nationally known for severely limiting the union rights of teachers and other public employees, has indicated support for arming those same 全民彩票官网登录 officials who apparently cannot be trusted to collectively bargain.

      As Americans search for answers and policy solutions in the wake of the tragic 全民彩票官网登录 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Gov. Walker has apparently decided that the problem is not too many guns — it is that there are not enough.

    • When George Zimmerman shot and killed unarmed, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February, Zimmerman — who considered himself a neighborhood watchman — almost certainly thought of himself as a “good guy.”

      In November, 45-year-old Michael David Dunn likely thought he was playing the role of the “good guy” when he confronted a vanload of teenagers for playing their music too loud, then fired nine shots into their vehicle after claiming he saw a shotgun barrel. 17-year-old Jordan Russell David was killed, and neither Jordan nor anyone else in the van had a gun.

  • Censorship

    • …just in time for Christmas. In better news, the Government has decided against ‘default on’ internet blocking

    • Five days ago, the Department for Education announced a very reasonable approach to child protection online. Their plan was to make sure parents are supported in making easier, more informed decisions about how to keep their children safe online.

      This was based on a consultation that focused on evidence, engagement with stakeholders and soliciting to the views of parents and industry.

      But today the Prime Minister is singing a different tune. His article in the Daily Mail today suggests he is taking a more restrictive line, and that he wants to see ‘default on’ filtering. This has created a lot of confusion, seemingly just to satisfy the Daily Mail’s editorial whims. Are they really to be the drivers of Internet policy?

  • Privacy

    • Current interception and surveillance laws are simply not built for a digital age which is seeing exponential growth in the production of personal information. More data than ever before is available.

      The draft Communications Data Bill is a dangerous fudge of a solution that should not simply be redrafted and brought back to the table. A fundamental review of surveillance law is the only justifiable basis for any future legislation. This should examine how pervasive, personal and intrusive data now is and what powers over its collection, storage, and use would be proportionate and appropriate.

  • Civil Rights

    • FBI documents just obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) pursuant to the PCJF’s Freedom of Information Act demands reveal that from its inception, the FBI treated the Occupy movement as a potential criminal and terrorist threat even though the agency acknowledges in documents that organizers explicitly called for peaceful protest and did “not condone the use of violence” at occupy protests.

    • The US Senate has voted to approve the FAA Sunsets Extension Act of 2012, which will authorize warrantless surveillance of Americans for counter-terrorism purposes for another five years. The bill extends the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Act of 2008, which granted retroactive immunity for wiretaps and email monitoring under the Bush Administration and created a framework for future warrant-free surveillance as long as one party is located outside the US and terrorism is suspected.

    • Nearly 12,000 people over the past five years have wrongly been branded criminals or seen irrelevant or inaccurate information disclosed during criminal record checks.

      * 11,893 people successfully challenged CRB results in past five years
      * £1.98m paid out in redress
      * 4,196 people challenged information held by a local police force
      * 3,519 people given the wrong person’s criminal record
      * 4,088 found inaccurate information or potential wrong identity on police national computer

    • Oregon resident Julie Keith was shocked when she opened her $29.99 Kmart Halloween graveyard decoration kit to find a letter, folded into eights, hidden between two Styrofoam tombstones.

      Coming all the way from unit 8, department 2 of the Masanjia Labor Camp in Shenyang, China全民彩票网址, the letter written mostly in English read,

      “Sir: If you occasionally buy this product, please kindly resend this letter to the World Human Right Organization. Thousands people here who are under the persicution of the Chinese Communist Party Government will thank and remember you forever.”

      The letter went on to describe 15 hour work days, no days off, and pay at 10 yuan per month ($1.61 US Dollar) if any. It also described the 1-3 year average forced labor terms without trial, and the large amount of Falun Gong practitioners in forced labor, a banned spiritual group.

    • Acting CIA director Michael Morell has publicly disputed the accuracy of Kathryn Bigelow’s latest film, Zero Dark Thirty.
      The movie, which examines the 10-year manhunt for Osama bin Laden, features scenes of torture and depicts actual CIA agents involved in the hunt for the founder of al-Qaeda.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • 全民彩票官网下载s

      • 2012 was surprisingly good for Canada. The decade long revision of the 全民彩票官网下载 Act was completed; most parties agree that it was a good compromise. Amendments included: expanding fair dealing to include parody, satire, and education; protecting consumer behavior that reflects the conduct of consumers in a digital age; maintaining the independence of ISPs and the privacy of subscribers; implementing a cap on damages for non-commercial infringement ($5,000 is the maximum but a judge can award as little as $100; this is intended to discourage file-sharing lawsuits); and, creating an exception for non-commercial user-generated content. To be sure, all the exceptions come with the expected provisos, and all are subject to the overarching ban on any circumvention of technological protection measures. It still strains credulity as to why Canada in 2012 adopted a prohibition first conceived in 1996; but, given the fierce opposition by rights-holders, the fact that the user allowances were not rolled back in committee speaks well. Michael Geist gives a good synopsis of the new Act here.

      • Open Rights Group intervened in the case on behalf of the Internet users potentially affected by the Order. We were able to do so because of the extraordinary generosity of the supporters who donated to our appeal.

      • PRQ, the infamous ISP created by Fredrik Neij and Gottfrid Svartholm of The Pirate Bay, has been nuked by PayPal. After a fruitful partnership lasting three years, PayPal decided to ruin their relationship with the so-called “bullet-proof” hoster by freezing the company’s funds for up to 180 days. On PayPal’s advice PRQ opened a second account to get by while the dispute was being sorted out, but then without warning PayPal seized those funds too.

      • Yesterday the Government announced its plans to implement the recommendations of the Hargreaves Review – namely, how it will put in place various exceptions to copyright that permit more uses of copyrighted work. Here is the detail (pdf).

        These were reforms recommended in the report by Professor Hargreaves in May 2011. (See our write up from the time in Comment is Free). After that, the Government announced its intention to implement his proposals and ran a three month consultation on the plans. You can read our response to the consultation here, and a full list of responses is available at the IPO website.

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