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Links 20/12/2009: Arora 0.10.2 Out; Pixel Qi Display with Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 10:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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  • 10 important Linux developments everyone should know about

    The Linux® technology, development model, and community have all been game-changing influences on the IT industry, and all we can really do is stand back and look at it all, happy to have been along for the ride for developerWorks’ first 10 years. The Linux zone team has put together this greatly abbreviated collection of things that stand out in our minds as having rocked the world of Linux in a significant way.

    Much too much has happened with Linux in the last 10 years to do anything like a complete job of listing the important events and technological advances surrounding this operating system. But nevertheless, in celebration of our 10th birthday, the Linux zone team looks back and presents to you some major milestones, why they matter, and what we wrote about them. Please to enjoy.

  • From windows to Linux. Was there a choice?

    Currently I think that, until Linux came along, the normal pc user didn’t have a choice in operating systems. They had windows and whether they liked it or not they were stuck with it. Now that Linux has evolved into a useful package which anybody can use, people do have a viable choice and they are choosing it.

    Tell us. Do you use windows only because you didn’t think you had a choice? Now that you have a choice and you can choose to use Linux, BSD or windows, has that available choice effected your decision? Do you think differently about your operating system now that you know there are alternatives?

  • Defensive Computing Priorities

    I know this is extreme, but I’m far from the only person offering this advice. Firefox, running off a bootable copy of Linux on a CD, USB flash drive or SD memory card can be your best friend. For more, see my trio of articles on this at eSecurity Planet:

    * Consider Linux for Secure Online Banking August 2009
    * Windows and Online Banking: A Dangerous Mix October 2009
    * Online Banking: Taking Issue With The New York Times December 2009

    There are so many choices and options. Hopefully this list will help you prioritize your time and money.

  • Applications

  • Devices/Embedded

    • UEIPAC 2.0 Linux-based PAC now available in All UEI PPC-Based Chassis

      United Electronic Industries (UEI) released Version 2.0 of its UEIPAC Programmable Automation Controller. Some of the new features of the popular Linux-based controller are:

    • Android

      • Notion Ink Tegra Android smartpad uses Pixel Qi display

        The big issue remaining is price, and so far we’re not sure exactly what sort of MRSP Notion Ink expect their Android Tegra tablet to command. The general consensus seems to be that a $300 price point is roughly what the market expects; however we’re not sure everything on the smartpad’s spec-sheet could be brought in for that price, at least not without carrier subsidies. We’ll update with more information when we have it, together with video.

      • 10 Best Free Android Applications

        Before, we have featured here several killer apps for Android. Now that there are a growing number of third-party applications that are made for the Android platform, let’s take a look at a few of them.

        The following are some of the best Android apps that you can get for free…

    • Nokia

      • Nokia N900 review

        The N900 is Nokia’s most hyped phone this year, running on the Linux-based Maemo OS. Does it show that Symbian should be scrapped or is it just another touch screen disappointment? We review the N900 to find out.

        Nokia’s recent news that it may make the move from Symbian to Maemo for all its smartphones won’t come as a disappointment to those who have been tut tutting over Symbian’s antiquated S60 OS.

      • Get Review of Nokia N900

        On the first note, Nokia’s N900 is a highly successful handset that came in the market. It is full packaged smartphone comprised with speedy multitasking, complete range of applications desired, big screen and large storage capacity. The only things which slightly letdown in the handset are it’s less than pocket able size and shirk keyboard.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • 400 OLPC XO laptops to primary school children

        The first Sri Lankan project of the internationally lauded One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Foundation was officially launched on Thursday with “over 400″ primary school children being presented OLPC XO laptops “personally” by the country’s President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, according to a statement by the local arm of OLPC.

Free Software/Open Source

  • A Concise Introduction to Free and Open Source Software
  • A Concise Introduction to Free and Open Source Software [Direct link]

    Abstract: In the early days of information technology (IT), computers were delivered with operating systems and basic application software already installed, without additional cost, and in editable (source code) form. But as software emerged as a stand-alone product, the independent software vendors (ISVs) that were launched to take advantage of this commercial opportunity no longer delivered source code, in order to prevent competitors from gaining access to their trade secrets. The practice also had the (intended) result that computer users became dependent on their ISVs for support and upgrades. Due to the increasingly substantial investments computer users made in application software, they also became “locked in” to their hardware and software vendors’ products, because of the high cost of abandoning, or reconfiguring, their existing application software to run on the proprietary operating system of a new vendor. In response, a movement in support of “free software” (i.e., programs accompanied both by source code as well as the legal right to modify, share and distribute that code) emerged in the mid 1980s. The early proponents of free software regarded the right to share source code as an essential freedom, but a later faction focused only on the practical advantages of freely sharable code, which they called “open source.” Concurrently, the Internet enabled a highly distributed model of software development to become pervasive, based upon voluntary code contributions and globally collaborative efforts. The combined force of these developments resulted in the rapid proliferation of “free and open source software” (FOSS) development projects that have created many “best of breed” operating system and application software products, such that the economic importance of FOSS has now become very substantial. In this article, I trace the origins and theories of the free software and open source movements, the complicated legal implications of FOSS development and use, and the supporting infrastructural ecosystem that has grown up to support this increasingly vital component of our modern, IT based society.

  • Renaissance in Impress for 3.3: Read the specification and post your feedback

    I know the holidays are drawing near and you are twiddling your thumbs, bored, not knowing what to do now that you already bought and wrapped all the presents and sent all the cards. ;-) Well, never fear! I have just the thing to keep you from falling asleep at your keyboard while watching animated snowfall.

  • Sun releases open source security tools to help firms build data clouds

    As part of its strategy to help firms build public and private data clouds that are open and interoperable, Sun Microsystems has unveiled a set of open source cloud security tools.

  • Third phase of open source: customer participation

    JP Morgan Chase led the way by open-sourcing its AMQP project. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange has also jumped into the fray with Linux. Reuters has its OpenCalais project, a project that is even being used here at CNET.

    And so on. It’s happening. It’s real. And for those enterprises that jump into this third phase of open-source participation, the benefits promise to be palpable.

  • An integrated Atlassian thanks to OpenSocial (Q&A)

    Simons: The OpenSocial community is quite active. The Apache Shindig project is also quite active. The OpenSocial specification 1.0 (it’s on v0.9 currently) should be released in January 2010.

  • Can going open save CAT?

    After the online CAT’s huge debacle on debut, the IIMs are reportedly planning to use Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) for next year’s test. FOSS will substitute the proprietary software in use right now to avoid system crashes in the future.

    This year’s CAT faced crash issues mostly due to attacks by viruses like Conficker and W32.NIMDA that hit several exam centres and slowed down systems which eventually led to cancellations at some centres.

  • 10 operating systems you’ve never heard of

    We’re going to look at 10 of the most intriguing open-source operating systems in this brave new world. In most cases these are available as CD ISO images that you can burn to CD-Rs and boot up for testing if you fancy it.

    Alternatively, a simpler approach is to use a PC emulator such as VirtualBox or Qemu. With these and similar tools you can use ‘.iso’ image files (or ‘.flp’ floppy disc images) as virtual drives, so there’s no need to write any physical media.


    • Fall 2009 [Bulletin]

      The Free Software Foundation Bulletin from December 2009, presented here for viewing online, or for download as a PDF file.

  • Openness

    • Parliament pushes for all EU documents to be made public

      EU access to documents laws should be widened to cover all European institutions, bodies and agencies following the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty, MEPs said yesterday (17 December), criticising the European Commission for failing to update the rules.

    • Time for a University Prepress?

      Given that the OU is a publication house, publishing research and teaching materials as a way of generating income, I wonder if there is an opportunity for the Library to support the research publication process providing specialist support for research authors, including optimising them for discovery!

    • Free Culture Gets Political

      For years, the free culture world was resolutely focused on building its eclectic array of commons projects — free software, open-access journals, wikis, and pools of creative works using Creative Commons licenses. History may record that the free culture reached a turning point in Barcelona, Spain, in November 2009. At the Free Culture Forum, a conference that just concluded this week, free culture activists from about twenty countries came together to assert a shared political and policy agenda.

    • Ransom America’s public domain video treasures back from the National Archives!

      Background: these videos were made at US taxpayer expense, and they are in the public domain. However, they aren’t distributed for free by the National Archives; instead they’re sold through Amazon as a money-maker for the government, which charges you to get access to the stuff you already own and paid for. The Archives get a minuscule amount of money by doing this: $3,273.66 over the past two years! In order to make a measly three grand, the National Archives have closed off the entire USA’s access to its video treasures.

  • Programming


  • Alisher Usmanov: The Scary Russian Oligarch Seducing Silicon Valley

    Alisher Usmanov is nicknamed “the hard man of Russia,” but he’s good at seducing the softies in California’s tech community: An investment firm he backs lead a $180 million investment in Zynga, the gaming company that trafficked in scammy ads.

  • Google

    • Google To Acquire DocVerse; Office War Heats Up

      Google, which is currently on one heck of a spending spree, is closing an acquisition of San Francisco based DocVerse, a service that lets users collaborate around Microsoft Office documents, we’ve heard from a source with knowledge of the deal. The purchase price is supposed to be around $25 million.

    • Google Releases EtherPad as Open Source to Calm Users

      Google has released the source code of EtherPad, a Web-hosted word processor designed for real-time workgroup collaboration, in a move aimed at appeasing users of the product who complained about plans to discontinue it.

    • Google’s synchronicity

      On the latest This Week in Google, we talked about many of Google’s product announcements and enhancements and though none on its own was earthshattering, as we added them up, I started to see synchronicity approaching — all the moreso last night when TechCrunch reported that Google’s negotiating to buy Yelp.

      I see a strategy emerging that has Google profoundly improve search by better anticipating our intent and then moving past search to build hegemony in local and mobile (which will come to mean the same thing).

  • Police State

    • UK e-Borders scheme thrown into confusion by EU rules

      Conflicts with EU free movement rules have thrown the UK’s £1.2 billion electronic borders program into disarray.

    • Names of innocent people will stay on police database

      The names of nearly a million people who have not been convicted or cautioned for any crime will continue to be stored on the police national computer, even though the government is changing the law so that their DNA profiles are deleted.

      The revelation has provoked outrage among human rights groups who warn that it could affect the job prospects of the innocent. They fear that whenever an employer carries out an “enhanced criminal records” check on a potential employee, the system would flag up the fact that the person had been arrested.

  • Environment

    • Can We Redefine Prosperity? – Herman Daly – Towards a Steady State Economy

      As the holidays approach we will probably be highlighting some of our better content from years past. The below essay, on the day of Fed Chairman Bernanke’s reappointment, is perhaps an apppropriate example of such. Originally from May 2008 the essay is written by Herman Daly, who popularized the term “Steady State Economy” over 3 decades ago. (Professor Daly subsequently contributed another TOD essay on the credit crisis). Just as Paul Volcker’s recent comments are a refreshing departure from the garbage of Greenspan (who has been saying that market reflation creates its own wealth),

    • Low targets, goals dropped: Copenhagen ends in failure

      The UN climate summit reached a weak outline of a global agreement in Copenhagen tonight, falling far short of what Britain and many poor countries were seeking and leaving months of tough negotiations to come.

  • Internet/Censorship/Web Abuse/Rights

    • Chinese proposal to meter internet traffic

      China wants to meter all internet traffic that passes through its borders, it has emerged.

      The move would require international agreement – but it is being discussed by the United Nations body in charge of internet standards.

    • A Thinly Veiled Threat? Of What Exactly?

      Today I received the following communication via email from one of Nottingham City Council’s senior solicitors.

    • Nottingham City Council Attacks Free Speech

      Nottingham City Council has made the unprecedented step of threatening a critical local blogger via its solicitors. In a letter sent to the author of the Nottingham City Council LOLs (NCCLOLs) blog, solicitor Jon Ludford-Thomas states that the blog “contains personal, derogatory comments regarding a number of [the City Council's] councillors and employees that could cause distress to those individuals.” It requests that the author “remove these personal, derogatory comments from ncclols and refrain from posting similar such comments on ncclols or elsewhere on the internet.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • British Music Industry Sees Piracy Threat Beyond P2P

      A new survey carried out on behalf of the BPI in the UK indicates that despite best efforts, P2P use is not in decline. As the industry continues to drag its feet when it comes to competing against other suppliers of music online, many consumers are branching out and turning to several alternative methods for acquiring their sounds.

    • NSFW: Free as in “my publisher will disown me after I pirate my book on TechCrunch”

      Since moving to the US and started to write for TechCrunch, I now have more people reading my words each week in North America than I do in the UK. Every week I delight in annoying commenters by promoting my war-of-the-worlds-winning book, to the point where people seem genuinely upset when I miss an opportunity to do so. And yet barely a day goes by without someone telling me they tried to find my book in the US, only to be disappointed that – due to publishing’s ridiculous obsession with territories – it’s only available outside North America. “It’s available on the Kindle” I say. “Pft” they reply, “I don’t have a Kindle”. In most cases I end up emailing them a PDF – a distribution model that doesn’t really scale.

    • Holy See declares unique copyright on Papal figure

      The Vatican made a declaration on the protection of the figure of the Pope on Saturday morning. The statement seeks to establish and safeguard the name, image and any symbols of the Pope as being expressly for official use of the Holy See unless otherwise authorized.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Joerg Heilig, Sun Microsystems Senior Engineering Director talks about OpenOffice.org 05 (2004)

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

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A Single Comment

  1. NotZed said,

    December 20, 2009 at 8:41 pm


    “10 important Linux developments everyone should know about”

    This is an odd list.

    It’s more like ’10 things about linux on which developerworks has articles’. Which is fine in itself – they generally have high quality engineer-focused articles, but some of those listed aren’t terribly important in and of themselves.

What Else is New

  1. The Latest EPO Spin: Staff Protesters Compared to 'Anti-Patent Campaigners' or 'Against UPC'

    Attempts to characterise legitimate complaints about the EPO's management as just an effort to derail the patent office itself, or even the patent system (spin courtesy of EPO and its media friends at IAM)

  2. The Serious Implication of Controversial FTI Consulting Contract: Every Press Article About EPO Could Have Been Paid for by EPO

    With nearly one million dollars dedicated in just one single year to reputation laundering, one can imagine that a lot of media coverage won't be objective, or just be synthetic EPO promotion, seeded by the EPO or its peripheral PR agents

  3. EPO: We Have Always Been at War With Europe (or Europeans)

    The European Patent Office (EPO) with its dubious attacks on free speech inside Europe further unveiled for the European public to see (as well as the international community, which oughtn't show any respect to the EPO, a de facto tyranny at the heart of Europe)

  4. What Everyone Needs to Know About the EPO's New War on Journalism

    A detailed list of facts or observations regarding the EPO's newfound love for censorship, even imposed on outside entities, including bloggers (part one of several to come)

  5. EPO Did Not Want to Take Down One Techrights Article, It Wanted to Take Down Many Articles Using Intimidation, SLAPPing, and Psychological Manipulation Late on a Friday Night

    Recalling the dirty tactics by which the European Patent Office sought to remove criticism of its dirty secret deals with large corporations, for whom it made available and was increasingly offering preferential treatment

  6. The European Private Office: What Was Once a Public Service is Now Crony Capitalism With Private Contractors

    The increasing privatisation of the European Patent Office (EPO), resembling what happens in the UK to the NHS, shows that the real goal is to crush the quality of the service and instead serve a bunch of rich and powerful interests, in defiance of the original goals of this well-funded (by taxpayers) organisation

  7. Microsoft Once Again Disregards People's Settings and Abuses Them, Again Pretends It's Just an Accident

    A conceited corporation, Microsoft, shows not only that it exploits its botnet to forcibly download massive binaries without consent but also that it vainly overrides people's privacy settings to spy on these people, sometimes with help from malicious hardware vendors such as Dell or Lenovo

  8. When the EPO Liaised With Capone (Literally) to Silence Bloggers, Delete Articles

    A dissection of the EPO's current media strategy, which involves not only funneling money into the media but also actively silencing opposing views

  9. Blogger Who Wrote About the EPO's Abuses Retires

    Bloggers' independent rebuttal capability against a media apparatus that is deep in the EPO's pocket is greatly diminished as Jeremy Phillips suddenly retires

  10. Leaked: EPO Award of €880,000 “in Order to Address the Media Presence of the EPO” (Reputation Laundering)

    The European Patent Office, a public body, wastes extravagant amounts of money on public relations (for 'damage control', like FIFA's) in an effort to undermine critics, not only among staff (internally) but also among the media (externally)

  11. Links 27/11/2015: KDE Plasma 5.5 Plans, Oracle Linux 7.2

    Links for the day

  12. Documents Needed: Contract or Information About EPO PR/Media Campaign to Mislead the World

    Rumour that the EPO spends almost as much as a million US dollars “with some selected press agencies to refurbish the image of the EPO”

  13. Guest Post: The EPO, EPC, Unitary Patent and the Money Issue

    Remarks on the Unitary Patent (UP) and the lesser-known aspects of the EPO and EPC, where the “real issue is money, about which very little is discussed in public...”

  14. Saving the Integrity of the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Some timely perspective on what's needed at the European Patent Office, which was detabilised by 'virtue' of making tyrants its official figureheads

  15. A Call for Bloggers and Journalists: Did EPO Intimidate and Threaten You Too? Please Speak Out.

    An effort to discover just how many people out there have been subjected to censorship and/or self-censorship by EPO aggression against the media

  16. European Patent Office (EPO) a “Kingdom Above the EU Countries, a Tyranny With ZERO Accountability”

    Criticism of the EPO's thuggish behaviour and endless efforts to crush dissenting voices by all means available, even when these means are in clear violation of international or European laws

  17. Links 26/11/2015: The $5 Raspberry Pi Zero, Running Sans Systemd Gets Hard

    Links for the day

  18. EPO Management Needs to Finally Recognise That It Itself is the Issue, Not the Staff or the Unions

    A showing of dissent even from the representatives whom the EPO tightly controls and why the latest union-busting goes a lot further than most people realise

  19. Even the EPO Central Staff Committee is Unhappy With EPO Management

    The questions asked by the Central Staff Committee shared for the public to see that not only a single union is concerned about the management's behaviour

  20. The Broken Window Economics of Patent Trolls Are Already Coming to Europe

    The plague which is widely known as patent trolls (non-practicing entities that prey on practicing companies) is being spread to Europe, owing in part to misguided policies and patent maximalists

  21. Debunking the EPO's Latest Marketing Nonsense From Les Échos and More on Benoît Battistelli's Nastygram to French Politician

    Our detailed remarks about French brainwash from the EPO's media partner (with Benoît Battistelli extensively quoted) and the concerns increasingly raised by French politicians, who urge for national or even continental intervention

  22. The Sun King Delusion: The Views of Techrights Are Just a Mirror of EPO Staff Unions

    Tackling some emerging spin we have seen coming from Battistelli's private letters -- spin which strives to project the views of Techrights onto staff unions and why it's very hypocritical a form of spin

  23. Links 25/11/2015: Webconverger 33.1, Netrunner 17 Released

    Links for the day

  24. United They Stand: FFPE-EPO Supports Suspended Staff Representatives From SUEPO

    An obscure union from the Dutch side of things at the EPO is expressing support for the suspended colleagues from SUEPO (more German than Dutch)

  25. Censoring WIPR Article About Censorship by EPO

    A testament to how terrified journalists have become when it comes to EPO coverage, to the point of deleting entire paragraphs

  26. Censorship at the EPO Escalates: Now We Have Threats to Sue Publishers

    Having already blocked Techrights, the EPO's management proceeds to further suppressions of speech, impeding its staff's access to independently-distributed information (neither ordinary staff nor management)

  27. Response to Bogus Accusations That EPO Staff Protests Are Really an Attempt to Derail UPC

    Common myths about staff protests in the European Patent Office (EPO) debunked, with some additional background and general perspective on recent events, the unitary patent (UPC) and so on

  28. New Heise Article Makes It Clear That 'Nazi'-Themed Accusations Against the Suspended Board Judge Were Insufficiently Substantiated

    The personal attacks on a judge who was illegally suspended (a so-called 'house ban') increasingly look like the management's own campaign of defamation, mostly intended to marginalise and punish a judge who spoke about serious charges against VP4 (Željko Topić)

  29. Links 24/11/2015: Asus Chromebit CS10, Second Linux 4.4 RC

    Links for the day

  30. European Central Bank Staff Committee Adds to Growing Pressure on Abusive EPO Management

    The staff representatives of the European Central Bank E-mail their colleagues -- with European Central Bank managers' approval -- regarding the European Patent Office and its attacks on staff unions


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