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Links 15/10/2009: Amarok 2.2.1 Near, (A)GPLv3 Defended

Posted in News Roundup at 4:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • OC3 Networks Selects ParaScale Software Paired With Commodity Linux Servers for Its Cloud Storage Solution

    ParaScale, Inc., a startup company developing cloud storage software solutions, today announced that OC3 Networks, a leading Los Angeles-based regional provider of enterprise managed hosting services, has selected ParaScale software as its cloud storage solution.

  • Tired of Breaking Your Windows? Maybe It’s Time For Ubuntu – “Linux For Human Beings”!

    So Linux in general is no longer a domain for geeks, and is well and truly “desktop ready“, possibly more than Windows. For those wanting to explore the alternatives to their commercial OS, Ubuntu is a great place to start, with its out-of-box simplicity, massive software library, and huge online community. If you think you might be ready to take the plunge, you can read more on their web site, and Googling for “Ubuntu” will certainly give you some reading material to peruse. Just remember that with an Ubuntu “Live CD“, you can actually boot into a “live” desktop running off the disc, so you can try it out (even surf the web) without touching your hard drive whatsoever! I ask you again: does it get any simpler?

  • KDE

    • Amarok 2.2.1 – We’re getting there!

      Here’s a little teaser article, showing off some of the work we’re doing for the upcoming Amarok 2.2.1. As some of you may know (or maybe not), we have decided to turn the 2.2 “Sunjammer” series into a longer lasting series, similar to the 1.4.x “Fast Forward” cycle. This means, we’re not branching to 2.3 immediately, but instead we will make new releases about every six weeks, each including a number of new features and bug fixes.

    • Windows 7, round 1

      Micro$oft has hundreds of developers working full-time on the user interface, while KDE apps are usually developed by only one or two people at a time, most of them working in their free time as a hobby. Micro$oft has dozens of the best-paid designers in the world, KDE has a handful of mostly freelance artists. Taking all this into account, Windows 7 is a shame for the Microsoft developers, because it’s in my opinion easily surpassed by KDE in terms of polish and design.


  • Distributions

    • 20 Features in Mandriva 2010

      4- Guest accounts

      Guest accounts, based on the xguest package, can now be established to offer safe temporary access to the system via gdm or kdm.

      5- 3G features request

      The next version will have better hardware support for USB 3G keys like download (and upload) quotas, PIN/PUK code management, operator selection.

      6- Improve wireless support

      As Mandriva 2010 is based on Linux 2.6.31, it will get the benefits of improving wireless support like enhancements for RTL 8187 wireless driver, include support for for RTL 8187 SE wireless driver and adopt Mesh utilities and test support for ralink, atheros and others.

    • Freedom to Choose

      It is always good to have alternative for practical reasons among many factors which serve as basis for the move or choice. Stability, flexibility, easy of use, level of security, efficiency, lower cost are my personal basis when i have to choose between something. Specially when the quality, degree of it’s delivery are the same or when the difference are hardly noticeable.

    • Ubuntu

      • UbuntuOne Gets ANOTHER New Icon – This Time It’s Pretty Nice!
      • A journey to the center of Ubuntu 9.10

        Are you ready for the change? Very soon the Canonicals are going to release the latest member of their most loved Ubuntu family, Ubuntu 9.10! The day is not far away…. already the developers have released the beta versions of the system, which we are going to use today to see through the future!

      • Ubuntu 9.04 Now Available on Dell Computers

        Until now, Dell has been shipping Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) with its Linux computers and, frankly, this operating system is more than a year and a half old. Well, thanks to the Dell fanboys and girls who submitted requests to the IdeaStorm project, the computer manufacturer decided to honor its customers’ requests and now you can get your Dell computer with a custom version of Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope).

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia Linux phone rumoured

        THE RUMOUR MILL has come up with another tale about a Nokia Linux phone.

        The story circulating is that the Nokia N920 could be released with Maemo 6 Linux next year.

      • Nokia N920 possibly already in the works
      • Nokia Posts Big Loss, But Not Because Of Mobile Phones Business

        Nokia published their Q3 numbers in this pdf. The photo shows the new hot Nokia N900 Linux phone available for pre-order on Amazon.com.

      • Acer showcases a netbook and a smartphone

        ACER HAS SHOWCASED its latest products including a smartphone and a netbook, both running Google’s Android platform. The firm also hinted at its future strategy, saying that it expects to grab a double-digit share of the smartphone market, and to be the top global supplier of laptops by 2012.

      • Linux to capture 60% of smartphone market by 2016?

        Research company Telecom Trends International says over 60% of smartphones will be running Linux-based operating systems by 2016 – less than a week after Gartner analyst (and vice president) Ken Dulaney said Linux would end up with just 5.4% of the smartphone market at the end of 2012.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • What the Kubuntu Netbook Live CD looks like

        One of the first we notice is the way the desktop is laid out. By using plasma-netbook we are longer focused on using the Application Launcher to open programs, we utilize the Search and Locate folder along with Favorites.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mozilla tantalises fans with Firefox 3.6 test build

    Mozilla has pushed back the release of its Firefox 3.6 beta by another week, although an early build of it is now available for any brave testers out there desperate to tinker with it from today.

  • OpenClinica 3.0 Streamlines Clinical Trials

    For a sense of how very many open source software tools there are for medical professionals–ranging from medical records keeping apps to medical image viewing software–check out this collection of 100 of them. Open source software is also having an impact on clinical trials, one of the most important ways that emerging drugs and treatments make it to patients who need them. Today, a free, open source version 3.0 of OpenClinica, the most popular open source Electronic Data Capture (EDC) application for use in clinical trials came out.

  • Mark Spencer talks 10 years of Asterisk

    Having grown well beyond its humble beginnings as a personal project, the Asterisk open source PBX turns 10 this month and currently has more than 400 contributors.

    Asterisk was first released in October 1999 and now claims some two million downloads for this year alone — up from 1.5 million last year.

  • Free on free – proprietary on free – free on proprietary – proprietary on proprietary

    Let’s break it down. There are four combinations of apps and OSes:

    1. all proprietary applications on a proprietary OS (PoP)
    2. (at least some) free applications on a proprietary OS (FoP)
    3. (at least some) proprietary applications on a free OS (PoF)
    4. all free applications on a free OS (FoF)

    I think the order here is important as it indicates the typical migration process from all proprietary to all free. A person typically starts using Windows with all proprietary apps. They learn of some great free alternatives and start using them. They then try out GNU/Linux but still want a few proprietary apps or codecs. And, sometimes, they eventually move to an all free system.

  • FOSS use and development also can be compared to bees

    After a few days of cleaning, bees will take on other hive chores like feeding larvae and grooming the queen, taking pollen, water and nectar from foraging bees and placing it where needed.

    When the new FOSS user gets beyond the ‘feeling out’ stage, they begin to identify areas that need improvement or finding alternatives.They will post specific questions on forums asking “how to..” and generally set about the task of ‘tweaking’ their software or app.

    After a few weeks of housekeeping duty, bees are pretty much fully developed now in terms of everything from flying to stinging. They now become ( usually) guard bees, inspecting every bee that comes into the hive to be sure it belongs and warding off any potential threats to the colony.

  • Business

  • Licensing

    • GPLv2 – copyright code or contract?

      Two prominent IP lawyers have warned that the all-pervasive General Public License version 2 (GPLv2) is legally unsound.

      They claim GPLv3 and AGPLv3 are much better suited for the realities of modern open source software.

  • Openness

    • EU fires 2 million docs at Google Books

      The European Union has delivered a killer blow to Google’s Book scanning powergrab by dumping two million pages of historic Euro documents onto the web.


  • Ralph Lauren stick insect sacked for being ‘too fat’

    The model featured in the Ralph Lauren Photoshop stick insect outrage – in which she was Photoshopped to within an inch of her life – claims she was sacked by the company for being “too fat”.

    Filippa Hamilton in the Ralph Lauren adFilippa Hamilton suffered such an extreme digital makeover in an ad for the fashion company that BoingBoing was prompted to gasp: “Dude, her head’s bigger than her pelvis.”

  • EFF Warns Texas Instruments to Stop Harassing Calculator Hobbyists

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) warned Texas Instruments (TI) today not to pursue its baseless legal threats against calculator hobbyists who blogged about potential modifications to the company’s programmable graphing calculators.

    TI’s calculators perform a “signature check” that allows only approved operating systems to be loaded onto the hardware. But researchers were able to reverse-engineer signing keys, allowing tinkers to install custom operating systems and unlock new functionality in the calculators’ hardware. In response to this discovery, TI unleashed a torrent of demand letters claiming that the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) required the hobbyists to take down commentary about and links to the keys. EFF represents three men who received such letters.

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Barmy MPs want mandatory nanny filters – for the world

      An all-party group of MPs has recommended mandatory nanny filters for all mobile devices and data devices that can access the internet – and wants the UK’s Internet Watch Foundation secretive censor system extended to the whole world.

    • Jim Dolan Shows Why Anti-SLAPP Laws Are Good (And Why New York Needs a Better One)

      Now, I am not from New York. Thus, I don’t know much about Jim Dolan, the owner of Cablevision, Newsday, Madison Square Garden, and the New York Knicks. But the local press offers a sense of the man. The New York Daily News said that he is “a little bit wacky, lashing out indiscriminately behind the scenes, speaking nonsense whenever he talks at all.” Gawker, a New York blog, said that his “loathing for reporters, propensity for feuds, and general belligerence are legendary.”


      It’d be one thing if anti-SLAPP laws protecting free speech were unknown in the US, but they’re not. California, Illinois, and Indiana all protect against SLAPP suits brought against an exercise of free speech. Heck, California even allows the defendant in a SLAPP suit to counterclaim against the plaintiff for litigation costs and punitive damages. For New York, the media capital of the world, to be trailing behind in protecting free speech is just embarrassing.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • YouTube Strikes Deal With UK Broadcaster

      New content – and quite a lot of it – will soon become available on YouTube. The video-sharing site’s struck a revenue-sharing deal with Channel 4 that’ll give it access to full-length, recently broadcast shows along with about 3,000 hours of archive material.

    • It’s Natural To Freak Out Over Someone Copying Your Stuff… But It Doesn’t Make It Rational

      They see it, they freak out and go negative (or, worse, call in the lawyers). But if you take a step back, you can ask yourself (1) if the copying really matters one way or another and (2) if there’s any way to use that copying to your advantage, rather than freaking out about it. That’s the point we’ve been trying to make for years. In most cases, freaking out isn’t going to make the situation any better (and it has a better than even chance of making it worse). But embracing it, and figuring out ways to use the copying to your own benefit can be tremendously rewarding.

    • Oh Shit, Someone Stole My Article

      For what its worth I don’t have a problem with whats happened. None at all. I don’t rationally believe it is ‘stealing’ either (hence the hopefully sarcastic quotation marks).

      In fact it’s rather justifying, it means that someone else believes/agrees my writing enough to share the value with his tribe.

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