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04.05.09

Links 05/04/2009: OpenOffice.org User Survey 2009, Germany Put €500 in FOSS

Posted in News Roundup at 7:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Tzah 2.0

    Freeswitch + mod_skypiax = Skype for all?

    Skype for SIP beta program, announced last week, is a big step for the VoIP industry. Still, as I said before, Skype has more way to go before it becomes truly interoperable and could provide advanced VoIP features. Currently, Skype for SIP is aimed at organizations with IP-PBX wishing to integrate its SIP standard with Skype. It is not known at this time when, and if, Skype will launch a similar program for individuals.

  • Open source: socialist software

    If you own a TV, or have a friend who knows a thing or two about computers, you have probably heard about Linux. For those who haven’t, Linux is an open-source operating system (OS) and Microsoft Windows’ worst nightmare – by Microsoft’s own admission. Microsoft is not worried about Apple’s Mac OS for the same reason that you yourself aren’t currently running it. It may be awesome, but it’s just too expensive. You also might not be able to run your favourite “educational” applications on it (a.k.a. games) and, until recently, it couldn’t run on IBM PC compatible hardware. Linux, on the other hand, can run on pretty much anything. This includes everything from your beloved Mac hardware and handheld devices to your grandma’s old 386 computer and PlayStation 3 (or PS2). As a matter of fact, it might even be running your $30 router at home – not to mention most of the websites you visited today, if not all.

  • 7 ways to boost your Linux Security

    Ask a network administrator in any large organisation to compare Linux with network operating systems like Windows NT or Novell Open Enterprise Server, and chances are he’ll admit that Linux is an inherently more stable and scalable solution.

  • Enterprise clueless, employees not so much.

    I just picked it up last Monday, and I told the girl at Kinko’s that my boss was going to be tickled pink when he saw it. She said she thought it looked really good for something produced “in house”, and seemed quite surprised when I told her I made it on a Linux computer running nothing but Open Source software.

  • Applications

    • 12 Popular Audio Players for Linux – An Overview

      Following the series like 14 most popular text editors for Linux or 10 file managers for Linux, next is an overview of the best audio players available in Linux. I will only review the GUI players, leaving tools like mp3blaster, mpg123 or ogg123 for some other time.

    • Editor’s Note: Favorite Personal Financial Applications

      KMyMoney does not support check printing. GnuCash sort of supports check printing: one at a time. You can’t do batches. Many of the devs in both projects live outside of the USA, and are amused at how we cling to using paper checks.

    • Games

      • Cedega 7.1.1 Released With New Game Support

        For those that have faced issues with WINE or CodeWeaver’s CrossOver Games, perhaps you may want to try out the latest release of Cedega. Transgaming has just released Cedega 7.1.1, which is the first point release since Cedega 7.1 was released a month ago.

      • Nexuiz 2.5 Raises The Bar For Open-Source Gaming

        Nearly a year ago Nexuiz 2.4 was released and it offered impressive graphics along with a new menu design, improved networking performance, reduced memory usage, and many other enhancements to this open-source game. The developers behind this first person shooter have now outdone themselves again with the release of Nexuiz 2.5. This latest release of Nexuiz brings even better graphics capabilities along with a new HUD, network communication improvements that cut the bandwidth in half, smarter bots, even better graphics, and several new maps. In total more than 3,000 changes make up Nexuiz 2.5!

  • Distributions

    • How to install gNewSense mips-l on the Lemote Yeeloong

      Since some months we have Lemote Yeeloong, the first fully free software laptop but what about gNewSense, our fully free software favourite distribution?

    • Red Hat

      • Red Hat sees growth spurt as cos seek to slash costs

        Leading open source provider Red Hat is witnessing a spurt in growth alongside a global tendency to seek value for money. Red Hat India president and managing director Nandu Pradhan told ET that the company was witnessing good traffic with its customers and partners, with the performance reflected in high double digit growth.

      • First look: Fedora 11 beta shows promise

        All things considered, Fedora 11 progress looks good and the release is shaping up nicely. The developers are already looking to the future and have begun the process of drafting a schedule for Fedora 12, which could potentially arrive in October.

      • Video: Spotlight on My Fedora

        John “J5″ Palmieri explains how the Fedora community–codename MyFedora–is bringing Fedora users together by integrating self-contained applications into a single framework application. This interface enables Fedora users to see and keep track of what applications other community members are working with.

    • Ubuntu

      • Portable Ubuntu Runs Ubuntu Inside Windows

        Windows only: Free application Portable Ubuntu for Windows runs an entire Linux operating system as a Windows application. As if that weren’t cool enough, it’s portable, so you can carry it on your thumb drive.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tiny x86 module runs on one Watt

      The Bifferboard incorporates a 150MHz RDC R8610 CPU, consumes one Watt, and offers 32MB of SDRAM and 1GB flash, pre-loaded with OpenWrt Linux 2.6.27.5, says the company.

    • Low-power ARM9 module runs Linux
    • EV-DO wireless module offers Linux SDK
    • VoWiFi design claims 15 hour talk time

      Longtime Linux VoIP stack vendor HelloSoft is shipping a VoWiFi (voice-over WiFi) phone turnkey reference design with a claimed talk time of 15 to 20 hours. Integrating the company’s low-power, ARM-based HS100 IP Convergence Processor, the design ships with a Linux BSP, says the vendor.

    • Video security designs offer Linux SDKs

      Texas Instruments (TI) and its partners announced two video security reference designs that are based on TI’s TMS320DM365 and ship with Linux SDKs. The IP camera design (pictured) from Appro Photoelectron offers HD/H.264 video, and the DVR design from UD Works provides multi-channel recording, says TI.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • The Linux laptops of 2009

        The Linux laptop business represents a Chinese industry trying to serve a Western market and getting lost in the translation.

        [...]

        The next generation of Linux laptops will run the same ARM system used in phones, which is why Chinese makers are looking to Android, a phone operating system, as their guide.

        The total hardware cost is about $20. Everything else is the case and the bling. With a 1 GHz ARM chip and $200 price point Microsoft may be unable to compete. At least for now.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Forrester: Lots of room for open-source growth

    Huge swaths of the market have apparently adopted open-source infrastructure like the Linux operating system, JBoss application server, MySQL and PostgreSQL databases, and other open-source systems…

  • Vivio Technologies Now Offers Open BlueDragon Hosting

    The difference is that Open BlueDragon is 100% Open-Source, and 100% free to use for any purpose. OpenBD is released under the GPLv3 license.

  • Business Intelligence (BI)

    • Jaspersoft’s open source BI software updated

      Jaspersoft have updated their open source Business Intelligence (BI) Suite with Jaspersoft v3.5. The new version has two major new features, in-memory analysis and multi-tenant operations. In-memory analysis allows the client to perform data analysis on their local system, rather than sending queries to an OLAP server or data warehouse, so businesses which do not have the resources or capabilities to set up an OLAP server or data warehouse can now still perform analysis.

    • A Last Look at Open Source BI

      Open-source BI and I have come to a parting of ways. OS-BI capabilities, reliability, and support have matured. Commercial OS-BI vendors now compete with BI market leaders.

    • Open Source Business Intelligence Gets ‘Cloudy’

      New releases from JasperSoft and Pentaho underscore the growing importance of Software as a Service for data analytics.

  • Healthcare

  • Business

    • Open Source Software Model – A Positive Sum Game

      Last week, I’ve attended Philly ETE conference, which I enjoyed very much. Michael Tiemann, Vice President of Open Source Affairs at Red Hat, delivered the key note on the first day. His presentation was titled Exonovation: Leveraging Innovation from the Edge.

    • Alfresco extends customer support in software upgrade

      Open source content management company has celebrated doubling its revenue in the last financial year by launching a new version of its software.

    • Content BOM: Going Open for ECM with Alfresco

      The overlaps between the pigeon holes that we put software in are getting more and more common. ECM, Enterprise Content Management, is not something I normally cover. Alfresco however provides a Business Operating Platform (BOM) for content. In addition it has 2 interesting credentials: firstly it is an open source product and secondly the company is led by John Newton, founder of Documentum, and John Powell, former COO of Business Objects.

    • Eclipse Swordfish OSGi ESB enters fray for SOA market acceptance, Sopera to add support

      Eclipse made the announcement Monday at Eclipsecon 2009. Swordfish, which is described as a next-generation ESB, aims at providing the flexibility and extensibility for deploying a service-oriented architecture (SOA) strategy. Based on the OSGi standard, the new ESB builds upon such successful open-source projects as Eclipse Equinox and Apache ServiceMix.

    • PrismTech Helps Hughes Migrate to Open Source Middleware Technology

      Enables Hughes to smoothly migrate to PrismTech’s OpenFusion CORBA solution

    • British Transport Police Choose ISM Web Open Source Intranet GIS Solution

      The British Transport Police (BTP) has chosen Spatial Technology’s ISM Web Open Source based GIS mapping solution for deployment across its whole organisation. Significantly this decision follows close on the heels of the Government’s latest pronouncement on Open Source software which recommends more widespread consideration and adoption across the public sector.

  • Funding

    • IT budget crisis? Invest in free tools

      And he is not alone. John Turner, director of networks and systems at Brandeis University, turned to freely available open source tools in lieu of a commercial monitoring software product, and fortunately for him, one vendor offered both.

  • FSF/GNU

  • Releases

  • Sun

    • OpenOffice.org User Survey 2009: Performance Findings

      Today I post the performance finding from the OpenOffice.org User Survey 2009 (OOoUS2009). The OOoUS2009 can be accessed via the registration landing page of OOo linking to our LimeSurvey tooling.

    • Ask a Geek: You don’t need Microsoft Office

      OpenOffice.org (http://www.openoffice.org) is my personal favorite productivity suite. It is free for public use and includes replacements of Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint. I have not had any issues in my two-plus years of using OpenOffice as my choice for replacement of Microsoft Office. OpenOffice will even open MS Office documents and save as MS Office files.

  • Government

    • Hungarian government goes 50 per cent open source

      The Hungarian government has announced that it will be modifying procurement rules to allow open source to be used in public sector organisations. Previously, procurement rules had apparently named vendors such as Microsoft and Novell. The new rules, according to Ferenc Baja, deputy minister for information technology, will allocate the same amount of money to acquiring open source products as to proprietary products. The move was announced at a press conference on April 2nd.

    • Germany funnels stimulus cash into open source

      Programme to boost open source skills in government and industry to receive part of Germany’s €500 million IT sector stimulus package

      The German government has revealed that some of €500 million it has earmarked for boosting the country’s IT sector during the downturn will be directed towards boosting its open source software skills base.

  • Licensing

    • The false contradiction within open source

      Various license offshoots of the BSD family tree, whether Eclipse (beloved of IBM) or Apache (hearted by Google) or Microsoft’s various licenses, are one-sided because those companies put so much work into the projects they sponsor. The relative contributions of the communities and the sponsors are unequal, and will likely remain so.

      If you want the codebase you built to grow, go with the GPL.

  • Knowledge

    • Technology in Mathematics Education – Panel

      I personally feel it is terrible to *train* students mainly to use closed source commercial mathematics software. This is analogous to teaching students some weird version of linear algebra or calculus where they have to pay a license fee each time they use the fundamental theorem of calculus or compute a determinant.

    • Brazilian Government Proposes Bill to Grant Access to Public Information

      The government will send Congress a bill before the end of April that seeks to guarantee Brazilians the right to gain access to public information, the president’s chief of staff, Dilma Rousseff, said during the International Seminar on Access to Public Information, which took place in Brasília this week, Agência Brasil reports.

    • Scientific Learning to Expand FreeReading.net Offerings with Neuroscience Based Activities

      K-12 educators are increasingly responsive to the open source model for curriculum development, distribution, and use. FreeReading.net is used by educators in all 50 states and in more than 180 countries. FreeReading has been adopted in Florida as a K-1 supplemental reading program, marking the first time that an open source instructional program has been approved through an official state adoption.

    • Face facts: where Britannica ruled, Wikipedia has conquered

      The story of Britannica is now a business-school case study in how rapidly competitors can emerge – apparently from nowhere – in a digital world. The First Rule of Business nowadays is that somewhere out there someone (and not just Google) is incubating a business plan that is based on eating your lunch.

  • Programming

    • Developments in the GCC world

      As GCC nears its 4.4 release, there are a number of criteria that need to be met before it can be released. Those requirements—regressions requiring squashing—have been met, but things are still stalled. A number of issues were raised with the changes to the runtime library exemption that have caused the release, and a branch that will allow new development into the GCC tree, to be delayed until that is resolved. In the meantime, however, GCC development is hardly standing still, there are numerous interesting ideas floating around for new features.

    • Why would Google buy the Twitter open source project?

      Why would Google spend over $250 million for Twitter, an open source project written in Rails?

Leftovers

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • UWWWB

      Hello, this is CygonX. Our Hosting Data Center has suffered a major disaster: Namely the FBI storming the Data Center and the company’s owner’s home (that’s me). The FBI took an entire data center, hundreds of servers, routers, switches, UPS system, cabinets, monitors, printers, and even power strips…as evidence.

      [...]

      So the FBI is under-funded, under-educated, under-staffed, and they don’t have the budget or the man hours to truly investigate anything. The CSI you see on TV, is 100% not real. The lead agent of the investigation is non-technical. I could barely have a conversation with him. They just don’t get it, they don’t understand the business, and it’s actually their lack of technical expertise that caused them to raid my home, office, and data center to begin with.

      They found no drugs, no guns, and no evidence of any criminal activity. No one has been arrested, and to the best of our collective knowledge and attorneys, no one has even been charged with anything.

  • Copyrights

    • Lloyd-Webber calls for clampdown on ISPs

      Musical theatre impresario Andrew Lloyd-Webber has railed against ISPs in the House of Lords for profiting from internet piracy, and urged the government to clamp down hard.

    • Obama: Stop Filling Administration with RIAA Insiders

      Nearly two dozen public interest groups, trade pacts and library groups urged President Barack Obama on Thursday to quit filling his administration with insiders plucked from the Recording Industry Association of America.

      The demands came a week after the Justice Department, fresh with two RIAA attorneys in its No. 2 and No. 3 positions, announced the administration’s support of $150,000 in damages for each music track purloined on a peer-to-peer file sharing program. The administration, moreover, has just declared as classified the inner workings of worldwide intellectual property trade pact. And Hollywood is urging Obama to embrace internet filtering as the content industry seeks to cut internet access to repeat copyright violators.

    • MPAA boss Dan Glickman: on his way out

      Glickman won’t be laughing these days.

      TorrentFreak reports he’s been told his services will no longer be required, and we had an email – no doubt prompted by the TF report – saying the same.

      So who will the Hollywood moguls find to replace him? And can it be done within 18 months?

    • MediaDefender Buys MediaSentry

      Following the departure of founders Randy Saaf and Octavio Herrera, the future for MediaDefender looked even more uncertain than it did previously. However, those concerned that their favorite anti-piracy spoofing company might drift away, fear no more. MediaDefender’s parent company just acquired everyone’s favorite anti-piracy tracking company, MediaSentry

    • Court Rules Part Of Copyright Act Unconstitutional

      A year and a half ago, we were quite surprised when the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals actually sided with Larry Lessig, concerning how a part of copyright law that pulled foreign works out of the public domain was potentially unconstitutional. This was in the “Golan case,” the third of three big copyright cases Lessig had championed.

    • Murdoch Wants A Google Rebellion

      The media mogul says Google is stealing from publishers. It could be the call to arms that newsrooms need.

    • Yet Another Copyright Lobbying Group Caught Infringing

      These days, it’s nearly impossible not to infringe on copyright in one way or another during your regular day — but it’s always amusing when big-time copyright supporters are caught infringing (and it seems to happen quite frequently). The latest is musicFIRST, the lobbying group funded (potentially illegally) by the recording industry, which has been pushing a campaign claiming that radio is piracy and demanding that radio stations pay even more royalties than they already do.

    • Can We Please End The Myth That Anyone Is Trying To Take Away ‘The Right Of Musicians To Get Paid’?

      But what it doesn’t discuss is why do we need such licensing schemes at all? Why not just let musicians come up with the various business models that work. No one’s trying to take away their “right to get paid.” We just think that — like everyone else — they should earn it not by some sort of welfare/tax/licensing program, but through making use of business models where open and willing transactions are made.

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