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Links 29/08/2009: Motorola’s Android Confirmed, Brins Donate to CC

Posted in News Roundup at 8:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Negative campaign, positive campaign: Windows 7 Sins vs get GNU/Linux

    This criticism is mostly right, but not fully. Free software born in opposition to the abuses of proprietary software, it is reasonable to speak against its defects that we want to solve. We could speak, thought, of the adaptability of free software and others advantages not directly related with proprietary defects.

  • Revisiting Linux Part 1: A Look at Ubuntu 8.04

    These results also lend a great deal of support to the idea that there’s a significant difference in performance between the two operating systems due to their compilers. This goes particularly for the LAME benchmark, where the performance gap melts away under Wine. This is something we’re going to have to look in to in the future.

  • ShopForLinux Announces Launch of New Website, Provides Linux Distributions (Operating Systems) and Computers with Linux Pre-Installed

    ShopForLinux (www.ShopForLinux.com) is a new company based in Upstate New York that provides just such an alternative. ShopForLinux offers operating systems based on both Linux Kernel and the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) Kernel. With distributions such as Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora and many more available, ShopForLinux offers more quality distributions than any other provider, and is proud to be able to offer affordable worldwide shipping.

  • Keep Linux visible, or growth stalls

    Again, as I said before, it’ll still grow, but why give the enemy (those fighting against user and software freedom) any extra time to fortify their positions? The war may never see an end, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to put this particular battle to rest soon.

  • Something old, new, borrowed or blue.

    So as you can see, all the ingredients are there for a wonderful Linux marriage. My wedding bells went off a long time ago and I still feel as though I am on my honeymoon. How is your Linux relationship? Is it your nasty old ex who won’t let go? A romance budding in springtime fever? One of those on again and off again open agreements? Maybe you have your own harem of distributions, one for every day of the month. Linux is willing flexible and able to fill your every need. Tell us what you like best. A straight hookup or playing the field :)

  • How To Develop Websites On Linux

    In this article we will look at tools that can help those of you who want to develop websites on a Linux platform, from powerful text editors to desktop and system features. How do you edit files remotely without FTP plug-ins? What are package managers, and why they are cool? In which Web browsers can you test your applications?


    You probably already have some idea of how to find and install applications for your favorite distros. However, we will point you to the right place anyway to download, for example, scripts and plug-ins.

  • Google’s Curious Chrome Gambit

    Google has long insisted that Android is not just for smartphones, that it’s an able-bodied OS for netbooks as well. Strange, then, that it’s also promoting a newcomer OS, Chrome, for use in netbook computers. Does Google have a clever strategy up its sleeve, or is it just throwing OSes at the wall to see what sticks?

  • Applications

    • Songbird the Firefox of media players.

      Songbird is a free and open source software audio player and web browser founded by Rob Lord and developed by Pioneers of the Inevitable , with a stated mission “to incubate Songbird, the first Web player, to catalyze and champion a diverse, open Media Web.”

    • Add Screenlets to make your Linux desktop more useful

      If you spend as much time on the Linux desktop as I do, having small applets available for specific tasks can make your life that much easier. If you use the KDE 4.x desktop you will be familiar with Widgets. These are very handy, but are only available to KDE. For the GNOME users there is an application called Screenlets that serves the same function as the KDE widgets. Screenlets are written in Python, so if you know the language most likely you can create your very own desktop tools.

    • What is happening for KOffice2.1

      Its been some months since we released KOffice2.0.0, the first official release for the new platform KOffice2.
      For common and certainly for advanced office users we made clear that 2.0 is missing features for them. What then, you may ask, is 2.1 going to change for them?
      Well, here is what we are working on and what has been integrated into what will become the 2.1 release in a month or two.

    • FreeMind Review

      FreeMind is a great free software program. It is identified as “mind mapping” software, for brainstorming or whatnot, but is also a general productivity/organizational tool. It’s early days for me, but I think it may help me organize my notes and projects more effectively. It’s basically just arranging things in a tree structure, but the visual/spatial layout seems to help me.

    • Microblogging/blogging

      • Gwibber 2.0 Preview Released

        Gwibber is an open-source microblogging client for the Gnome desktop that allows you to read, post and follow status updates from a variety of social networking sites – including Twitter and Facebook.

      • Best Linux Desktop Blogging Clients

        A lot of people ask me if there are any desktop blogging clients for Linux that can be used for offline editing — something like Windows Live Writer. So I’m going to answer them through this post.

    • GIMP

      • GIMP Project One Step Closer to Next Release

        The open source image manipulation program, GIMP, released an unstable development version of its next stable release. Obviously, this isn’t a version you’ll want if you need a reliable app that won’t interfere with your workflow. If, however, you want to peek under the hood to see what’s coming, then grab this download and have a look.

      • First Ever Web Design Using The Gimp!

        Hey all, I’m very excited about this. I’m a web designer/developer coming from the Windows world. What that means is I’ve been using Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver, etc to design and produce web sites… for a number of years. Since switching over to Linux, I’ve been trying to figure out what were the FOSS equivalents. The conclusion I came to is The Gimp and Bluefish (unstable). I’m currently working on a web site that I plan to launch this weekend, but I don’t want to show you the goods just yet.

    • Games

      • Articles : Warsow 0.5 released

        Recently a new version of Warsow, the e-Sports oriented FPS has been released. Improvements since the previous versions include:

        * Weapon settings, armor settings and movement system have been tweaked and revised

      • Wine 1.1.28 finally supports installing SecuROM-infected games without crashing

        I’ve been frustrated for a while now because of Sony’s SecuROM. For those that don’t know, it’s another kind of DRM malware, not as bad as Starforce, but that’s certainly not because they haven’t been trying.

  • Distributions

    • Like Linux? Go for a Bio-Flavor

      Debian Med: A Debian Linux-flavored operating system for medical research and practices.

      BioBrew: a collection of open-source applications for life scientists which can be used to create a distribution customized for both cluster and bioinformatics computing.

    • Distributions: From Fedora 12 to openSUSE

      The major Linux distributors have released kernel updates to close a critical security vulnerability, a pre-release version of Fedora 12 was made available and Debian wants more structured release cycles. There’s also been commotion about a default desktop for openSUSE, while Novell announced the formation of a dedicated team for the community distribution. The CentOS project seems to have overcome its internal problems and finally released version 4.8 of the free Red Hat clone.

    • Gentoo

      • Rolling Distributions (or how I came to love Gentoo)

        After wiping my drive I started the installation which went very smoothly. For the first day I spent a lot of time reading about portage and learning my way around Gentoo. After the first week I was more than comfortable with it. The most exciting part of it for me was being able to keep my system update to date and built the way I want with little effort. Packages built for traditional distributions are precompiled and built against libraries and feature the developers of the distro have chosen. So say for example “Distro A” builds “Package A” with features that rely on “Library C” and you want to use it without those features then you’re out of luck as far as packages go. Gentoo allows me to decide how my packages get compiled. From compiler optimizations to enabled features I stay in control of everything.

      • Making Gentoo Even Harder: 64-bit Hardened Gentoo

        Now that you have a spiffy new Hardened Gentoo AMD64 laptop, its time to show off to your friend. I suggest app-admin/paxtest in ‘blackhat’ mode, or this script from the trapkit blog (which requires dev-libs/elfutils).

    • Red Hat Family

      • InfoJobs.net Selects Red Hat and JBoss Solutions For Critical Business Platform

        Red Hat (NYSE:RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that InfoJobs.net, one of the leading employment websites in Spain, has migrated its critical web business platform to Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss Enterprise Application Platform with the help of Essi Projects, a Red Hat Premier Business Partner.

    • Debian Family

      • Dell Prepares Ubuntu Encore

        At first glance, Dell’s Ubuntu Linux strategy has hit a couple of bumps in recent weeks. But The VAR Guy has done some digging and learned that Dell and Canonical are working on a few surprises that could bolster Ubuntu’s presence in PC markets around the globe.


        Has Dell made some errors in the way it markets Ubuntu systems? Yes. Is the company committed to introducing more systems (including desktop PCs) with Ubuntu? Here again, the answer is yes.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Atom-based thin clients run Linux

      10Zig Technology has announced two physically identical thin clients compatible with Linux: a RBT-602 model, offering terminal emulation, and a RBT-672v system targeted solely at virtual desktop environments. Both thin clients offer a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270, gigabit Ethernet, and four USB ports, the company says.

    • Automation PC includes homegrown SoC

      Advantech has announced a box PC that runs Linux using a SoC (system-on-chip) of the company’s own devising. Intended for harsh environments, the ARK-1310 has CompactFlash storage and includes two USB 2.0 ports, two 10/100 Ethernet ports, and four serial ports, the company says.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • Free Software in the Icelandic Education System

    In a special issue of skóla og námskeið (english: school and courses), which accompanied Fréttablaðið on the 25th of August 2009, there was an article about a project within the Ministry of Education in cooperation with a group of free software advocates, to increase the use of free software within the school system. One of the reasons for the project is the Ministry’s agenda to increase knowledge and competence among students in IT related subjects. We (The Icelandic Society for Digital Freedoms) wholeheartedly agree with this reasoning as the society believes that access to computer source code and the freedom to modify and explore the software will result in a better understanding of information technology which in this context benefits the country and the nation as a whole. A strong indication of the government’s understanding of the benefits of free software is for example the fifth item on the official government policy for free software (direct pdf) which states that students should have equal opportunity to learn about and use free software as well as proprietary software.

  • Four Things Open Source Projects Should Know About Dealing with the Press

    Don’t be a jerk. Don’t get snarky if a reporter or editor doesn’t grok the intricacies of your project. As Alan Z pointed out: “While it’s not your job to represent the OSS community — because there isn’t such a beast — realize that what you do does reflect on other open source efforts, at least to that reporter.” I wish Alan was overstating things, but I have encountered these attitudes far too often personally.

  • Windows 7 enabled netbooks for schools to include open source software

    Even so, open source consultant, Jeff Waugh, said that while putting computers in the hands of high schoolers is a fantastic step forward, many in the Open Source industry and community are disappointed that the NSW DET chose to use Windows 7 as its platform.

    “The NSW DET didn’t take this opportunity to leap into the future with a platform that encourages sharing, collaboration, ingenuity and learning,” he said.

  • Aussies give open source golden crumbs from Microsoft table

    With tens of thousands of Australian kids going to class this week carrying these programs they will spread even more quickly. So will curricula based on them. And, unlike 1990s’ multimedia curricula, these will be fairly stable, so long as the programs retain backwards compatibility, as most do.

  • 8 Resources for the Mighty Drupal Content Management System

    Take in Acquia’s Videos. Acquia has also recently added many tutorial videos on Drupal to its Community page, and the videos are free to watch here. You’ll find videos such as “Build a Dynamic Community Site with Flash Using the Drupal Services Module,” and videos on how to use Drupal’s many modules.

  • Opengear Continues Record Growth by Using Open Source Software to Disrupt Console Server Marketplace

    Opengear (www.opengear.com),a leading provider of next-generation console server and KVM over IP solutions,today announced record revenue and rapid expansion. Like many disruptive open source vendors, Opengear is growing prosperously and profitably in the face of the global financial crisis. Opengear reports a doubling of sales and an increase of staff numbers by 30% against comparable period in 2008.

  • Funding


    • RMS: 1, Symbolics: 0

      Stallman fought Symbolics directly by matching their (proprietary) code with his own, which he gave to a rival; but later he realised that this was not really a sensible way of helping people to use and share software freely:

      Once I stopped punishing Symbolics, I had to figure out what to do next. I had to make a free operating system, that was clear — the only way that people could work together and share was with a free operating system.

      At first, I thought of making a Lisp-based system, but I realized that wouldn’t be a good idea technically. To have something like the Lisp machine system, you needed special purpose microcode. That’s what made it possible to run programs as fast as other computers would run their programs and still get the benefit of typechecking. Without that, you would be reduced to something like the Lisp compilers for other machines. The programs would be faster, but unstable. Now that’s okay if you’re running one program on a timesharing system — if one program crashes, that’s not a disaster, that’s something your program occasionally does. But that didn’t make it good for writing the operating system in, so I rejected the idea of making a system like the Lisp machine.

      I decided instead to make a Unix-like operating system that would have Lisp implementations to run as user programs. The kernel wouldn’t be written in Lisp, but we’d have Lisp.

      As well as provoking the creation of the free software movement, Symbolics has another claim to fame: it was the first registered domain name.

  • Fog Computing

    • rPath Brings Release Automation to The Rackspace Cloud

      rPath, an innovator in automating application deployment and maintenance, today announced that it now supports The Rackspace Cloud, the cloud computing division of Rackspace®. With this announcement, software systems packaged, deployed and maintained using the rPath release automation platform are ready-to-run on The Rackspace Cloud’s infrastructure as a service product, Cloud Servers.

    • OpenGoo vs. Google Apps: Host It Your Way

      This week I’ve been testing out OpenGoo, an open source online office project that’s meant to provide a more open alternative to Google Apps.

      Specifically, the code that comprises OpenGoo is freely accessible, and, as a plain old LAMP application, OpenGoo gets to leave the confines of its makers’ firewall and live in your data center, or desktop, or hosting service of choice.

    • Linux & Open Source: LABS GALLERY: Web-Based OpenGoo Office Productivity Suite Is Worth Watching
  • Standards/Consortia

    • World Bank funds aim at standards adoption in Africa

      The World Bank has released a US$1.5 million grant for adoption of software standards by Kenya developers, a move expected to improve the global appeal of local software developers.

      The development of software standards is part of regional efforts to help local developers gain global recognition.

      The grant will be disbursed through tenders to be advertised widely. The local software industry is expected to benefit from the Kenya ICT Board’s collaboration with global brands such as Oracle and Red Hat.


  • New consortium to define software quality

    Anyone who has had any significant contact with software development has been involved in projects that have had problems. It’s in the very nature of software to have bugs. On the other hand, defining software quality has proved elusive.

  • Homeland Security Still Plans To Search Laptops At Borders With No Probable Cause

    Um… right, but, again, the contents of the a computer laptop can easily enter the United States via the internet with no border control process whatsoever. The whole claim that this has anything to do with screening materials entering the US is totally bogus.

    On top of this, the other thing that’s not at all clear is how far the “search” can go. With a growing number of “cloud” based services in use, many of which act as if they’re local, can the border patrol search those as well? For example, I use Jungledisk, which gives me a virtual drive that shows up in my file system as if it were a local hard drive, even though it’s hosted in some data center somewhere. It looks like a local drive… but it’s not actually on my laptop. Would border patrol have the right to search that, even though the contents of that drive are not actually traveling across the border?

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • FCC Can’t Even Figure Out How To Stream Its Own Meetings Properly

      You’d think that in 2009, when global networks are handling exabytes of data in a single day and OC192 fiber optic connections crisscross the planet, the FCC — the most important communications agency in the United States — would at least be able to use modern technology to stream its own public meetings.

    • Bill would give president emergency control of Internet

      Internet companies and civil liberties groups were alarmed this spring when a U.S. Senate bill proposed handing the White House the power to disconnect private-sector computers from the Internet.

    • “Taking something for nothing is wrong” – No, not expenses, data.

      In the meantime I am going to increase my sharing of Linux distros and hope that someone tries to accuse me of sharing files illegally…..lets see how much of my unlimited monthly broadband I can use. Maybe time is up for the proprietary model? Maybe you should now be looking towards FOSS and the GPL? You certainly don’t have to worry about sharing issues then.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Can You Copyright Homework Titles?

      Earlier this summer, we wrote about how SJSU computer science student (and Techdirt reader), Kyle Brady, had won a fight with one of his professors, over Kyle’s decision to post the code he had written for the class online. He had only done so after the assignments were due (so as not to reveal the answers to other students), and did so to show off his coding skills and to help him get a job.

    • Can You Plagiarize An Idea?

      Time and time again, we’ve heard about people claiming “plagiarism” when the truth is that it’s just someone else who happened to have the same, or a similar, idea. It often happens with books and movies. For example, multiple people are suing over the claim that only they could have come up with the idea of a child who has a secret life as a rockstar, and Hannah Montana stole their idea. But actual copyright infringement or plagiarism (two different things) require some actual copying — not just people having the same idea.

    • A Hunger Strike Isn’t A New Business Model And It Won’t Stop File Sharing

      Talk about the wrong way to go about things. Apparently musicians who are upset about the rates of unauthorized file sharing in Nigeria chose to go on a hunger strike to protest such things.

    • That’s All Folks

      But Mr. Kassem assured me that Gray Zone and Warner were only concerned with the track “I Got All Of That” and that they never asked Bluehost to have me remove all Gucci or to shut down my site. Bluehost somehow misinterpreted this line of the email: “IMMEDIATELY REMOVE ALL LINKS, REFERENCES, DOWNLOADS, VIDEOS, STREAMING AUDIO, AND MP3 FILES ASSOCIATED WITH GUCCI MANE” as a call for me to immediately remove all links, references, downloads, videos, streaming audio and mp3 files associated with Gucci Mane. Bluehost was to psychically infer that this was in reference to just one specific track, which was never mentioned by name.

    • Media Cos.’ Best Customers: Those Who Steal Their Content

      We compared a random set of Vuze users with a national sample of internet users ages 18 to 44, and results revealed that users of P2P technology spend considerable money on traditional media and entertainment. They are, in fact, important and valued customers of the traditional media companies. Our survey shows that the P2P user attends 34% more movies in theaters, purchases 34% more DVDs and rents 24% more movies than the average internet user. The P2P user owns more HDTVs and is more likely to own a high-def-DVD player, too.

    • And Of Course: DOJ Announces New Focus, Funding On Intellectual Property Enforcement

      As we all know by now, the new administration hired a bunch of the entertainment industry’s favorite lawyers, and during the confirmation hearings for the most senior among them, a desire to have the Justice Department focus more on intellectual property was a key point.

    • Department of Justice Announces Over $1.9 Million in Grants for Criminal Intellectual Property Enforcement
    • US Fed Gov. Says All Music Downloads Are Theft

      Nearly all US government employees and contractors are subject to mandatory annual information security briefings. This year the official briefing flatly states that all downloaded music is stolen. The occasionally breathless tone of the briefing and the various minor errors contained therein are funny but the real eye-opener is a ‘secure the building’ exercise where employees stumble across security problems and resolve them.

    • A&E Goes To Court To Defend Fair Use Of 12 Second Clip Of Music

      Avatar28 points us to a potentially interesting lawsuit over whether or not A&E’s decision to use 12-seconds of the song Rocky Top in part of a TV show is fair use.

    • ‘Rocky Top’ clip puts network A&E in court

      In court filings, A&E says the way it used the song falls within its legal free speech rights.

      A&E’s arguments are not new.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

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Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

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