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02.04.10

Links 4/2/2010: Scientific Linux Reviewed, Google Tablets

Posted in News Roundup at 11:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The extremes of Linux market share

    1.02%? No way!

  • Server

    • London Stock Exchange Linux switchover set for September

      The London Stock Exchange will switch on the first module of its Linux and Unix-based trading platform in September, replacing existing Microsoft .Net architecture.

    • Air Force Taps Big Blue for Cloud Project

      IBM will be required to meet security standards established by the government’s Information Assurance guidelines for all networks. The Air Force says its network manages the operations of nine major commands, almost 100 bases and 700,000 active military personnel worldwide.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linus Torvalds named one of the 100 most influential inventors

      A preview of the first 21 pages of the book, including a list of the most influential inventors, is available online.

    • Linus Torvalds is listed amongst “The 100 Most Influential Inventors of All Time”
    • Kernel Log: Open source drivers for new Radeon graphics chips

      The X.org and kernel developers are working on drivers to support the DirectX 11 graphics cards in AMD’s Radeon HD 5000 series. While the proprietary AMD drivers have been supported for some time, not even the latest, recently released version co-operates with X Server 1.7, which has already been available for several months. The kernel developers have released numerous new stable kernels and are discussing the integration of utrace in great detail.

    • No, really: The initrd is too big

      Now the size of a stock Linux kernel and the size of the initrd in a vanilla installation of Ubuntu 9.10 are not necessarily related, but I could swear this was never a problem before now. I am more-or-less certain that I have installed minimal Ubuntu systems on computers with only 32Mb of memory — some within the past couple of years — and they started up fine. And Debian runs without complaint on the machine, although I haven’t needed to check the size of the initrd in Debian, so it might be different. (It appears to be less than 8Mb for initrd.img-2.6.32-trunk-486.)

    • Graphics Stack

      • Today, Delayed GPU Switching Comes To Linux

        Two days ago we reported on hybrid graphics coming to Linux in a crude form that allowed switching between graphics processors on notebook computers that utilize dual graphics processors, one that’s meant to deliver the best energy efficient performance while the other GPU is for maximizing the graphics performance in demanding environments. Just 24 hours after this kernel patch hit the Internet it already went through four revisions by Red Hat’s David Airlie, which delivered better switching and greater notebook compatibility. Since yesterday this patch has already undergone a few more revisions.

  • Applications

  • FOSDEM

    • YAIGTFP: PIMp My Desktop

      I look forward to hugs and beer over the weekend. However, it’ll be an unusual experience for me this year… This will be the first time that I am at FOSDEM “on business”. Much of my time during the event is already preallocated to various meetings. Sadly this leaves very little time for attending talks…

    • WRT FOSDEM Beer Event

      FOSDEM is about having fun *and* exchanging opinions. We should have both.

  • Desktop Environments

    • The Latest, Greatest, Scariest, and the Future of Information

      And yes, I’m just the sort of person who likes to mess with Alphas, so I downloaded the Kubuntu and Ubuntu versions, for the sheer unparalleled joy of seeing what’s new under the hood.

      [...]

      Your Kubuntu and/or Ubuntu system comes with document readers that support a host a number of different formats. KDE has Okular, which I use to read the countless PDF manuals that envelop the information I need from time to time. It can also open JPG and PNG files, open document text files (ODT), but it can’t open plain text.

      What kind of document reader doesn’t support plain text?

      And before you GNOME users get too comfortable and start pointing fingers at KDE, allow me to point out that Evince, the multi-format document reader that comes with GNOME, does not support plain text either (click on the Figure to the right).

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Countdown to KDE 4.4 and the new KDE website

        I like dabbling in web development and design and so I was quite happy to be able to participate in the redesign of the new KDE.org website due to release in conjunction with KDE SC 4.4 on February 9th. This was what I was working on during the past week and I must say I’ve learned and experienced quite a lot from trying to contribute.

      • interesting bits in 4.4.0 for plasma-*

        With KDE Software Compilation v4.4.0 tagged and going through final release engineering processes, early reviews and discussions about it are appearing around the Internet. It’s great to see the interest bubbling around it all.

      • digiKam 1.1.0 released…

        digiKam team is proud to announce digiKam 1.1.0 bug fix release!

      • Two Nifty Features in digiKam 1.1.0

        Hot on the heels of digiKam 1.0, Gilles Caulier announced the 1.1.0 release of the popular open source photo management application. While the main focus in version 1.1.0 was on squashing bugs, the new release of digiKam does sport a couple of new nifty features and improvements.

      • Kubuntu and KDE 4 User Auto Login
      • KPackageKit woes

        I remember recently trying the latest version of Kubuntu simple because I was getting sick of compiling with Gentoo. Well Kubuntu was fine and dandy. But when it came to install software I had to use the new KPackageKit and that was fine, it didn’t bother me. What came to bother me was that it’s a bloody pain in the arse to mess with.

      • The KDE 4.3 System Settings – Part 2 – Personal + Network & Connectivity

        Welcome to part 2 of our overview of the KDE 4.3 System Settings panel, the replacement for the old control panel of KDE 3.5. Today we’re going to look at two more master sections. Namely, Personal and Network & Connectivity. So sit back and enjoy.

      • Getting Re-acquainted with KDE

        Looking for other software sometimes makes try out a whole lot of different things. In this case I saw Bilbo, a blogging tool in KDE and so I was intrigued. The thing is that I wanted to go beyond trying out Bilbo. I ended up downloading KDE. There’s a Kubuntu desktop package in the repository so I decided to get it. There’s nothing to lose by trying out KDE anyway, [...] For two days’ worth of being in KDE, it is getting a little better by the second day, with all these things getting cleared up and working for me. The widgets aren’t so bad, really. I like it that I don’t have to install Tweetdeck and I also love the picture slideshow widget which gives me random images from an image directory in my laptop.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Mozilla Sponsors GNOME Accessibility Efforts

        The GNOME Foundation is happy to announce a substantial donation from the Mozilla Corporation to benefit the GNOME Project’s accessibility efforts. The donation will help continue the collaborative efforts between GNOME and Mozilla on Accessibility.

  • Distributions

    • Interview with Pardus Linux

      I recently did an interview on Python with the Pardus Linux magazine. Pardus Linux is a distribution developed in Turkey (by the Turkish National Research Institute of Electronics and Cryptology) with the goal of being usable by “normal” people rather than just geeks.

      Pardus are great supporters and users of Python. A while ago they chose Python as their standard language for custom package and configuration management tools.

    • The Top 7 Best Linux Distributions for You

      There are various approaches to answering this question. The broad answer is: “any of them,” but that’s not very helpful if you’re just looking for a place to start.

      The problem is, there never can be one best Linux distribution for everyone, because the needs of each user tend to be unique. Telling someone who’s looking for a good introductory distribution to try Gentoo, for instance, would be a mistake because for all its positive qualities, Gentoo is decidedly not a beginner’s distro.

    • The 10 Most Popular Linux Distributions

      What is Linux? It’s a free operating system that does everything Windows will do. Disclaimer: Linux is free in the sense of freewill more so than free beer! Any computer that is capable of running Windows is usually capable of running Linux. Linus Torvalds invented the original Linux kernel (the heart of the Linux operating system) in 1991. He released the source code and made it publicly downloadable. Anyone is free to download the Linux kernel and make their own version (or distributions as they’ve come to be called) of Linux. There are hundreds of distributions currently available.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat’s CEO expects a rosy future

        When Jim Whitehurst was named CEO of Red Hat, some Wall Street analysts had doubts because of his lack of experience running a software company.

        Those doubts have been erased by the Raleigh company’s performance since Whitehurst, previously the chief operating officer at Delta Air Lines, took over in 2007. Throughout the recession, the company posted double-digit revenue growth. Its stock, meanwhile, has doubled since last March.

      • M-stone.

        According to the Statistics page on the wiki, last week we passed 1 million IP checkins for Fedora 12 systems! This is roughly on par with where Fedora 11 was at the same time after its release, although it’s hard to discern the actual number of installations worldwide.

      • Scientific Linux – It blinded me with science!

        The credits for the catchy title go to legendary Thomas Dolby, but the real thanks go to the team of scientists, engineers and geeks at CERN, who developed this distribution.

        If you’re into science, you will, sooner or later, run into Linux. Any serious mathematical, computational work is done on Linux. From amazing 3D movies to simulating the Big Bang over to crunching sparse matrices in a cloud and folding proteins at home, it all comes down to using Linux. As a single host, Linux is merely a machine, but it starts to shine in its hundreds and thousands.

        [...]

        I was tremendously pleased with Scientific Linux. First, it’s a RedHat distro, which means you get the classic Linux usage model, excellent stability and many years of support. Second, it has everything you need – multimedia, desktop effects, Samba sharing, anything.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Lenny goes to 5.0.4, and so do I

        When Debian issues a point release, as it just did with the current Stable distribution Lenny going from the 5.0.3 to 5.0.4, it’s no big deal. They happen. But you don’t need to throw out your Lenny install CDs or do any kind of reinstallation.

      • Jane Silber Interview

        Amber Graner: This Ubuntu Women interview in the Women of Ubuntu Series is with Jane Silber, the current Canonical COO, but as of March 1st, 2010, she will be taking the reins of Canonical as the CEO. More about this announcement and Jane’s history with Canonical can be found here (http://blog.canonical.com/?p=307). First I want to welcome you Jane, and thank you for taking part in this interview series.

      • Ubuntu Global Jam: Will Partners Pitch In?

        Canonical and the Ubuntu community are busy polishing Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx), a major upgrade set to debut in April 2010. But before the new Linux distribution arrives, the Ubuntu community will host an Ubuntu Global Jam from March 26 to March 28. The big question: Will customers and partners also join in the Jam? Should they? Here are some thoughts.

      • Ubuntu advances: Why Ubuntu server installations will surge in 2010

        While desktop Ubuntu shines as the leader among Linux distributions, with analysts estimating their share up to 95 percent of the Linux desktop market, Ubuntu’s server version lags. Expect huge advances in Ubuntu server installations during 2010 as a result of Ubuntu improvements, customer concern as SunOS comes under Oracle control, and restlessness among the Red Hat user base. Unlike Ubuntu server clients, Red Hat server clients must pay license fees, necessary because many applications remain Red Hat specific. Troy expects the Ubuntu server to make substantial advances attaining more application support and certifications.

      • OpenBallot: Ubuntu + Yahoo = evil?

        So, we’re looking for your input: will you give Yahoo+Bing a try and help Ubuntu a little, or will changing to Google be the first thing you do on any 10.04 machine? Perhaps more importantly, is Canonical’s move a step away from its free software roots while also arguably providing users with inferior search results by default, or just sound business sense?

      • Yahoo Search + Ubuntu = Yahoo Messenger for Linux?

        Rather than bashing the hell out of Canonical for its evil, evil attempt to make more money (SHOCKING, I know!), and given my foolish optimism that Mother Nature threw up on me, I prefer to look at the full half of this whole shenanigan (this word is AWESOME btw) glass thing. (the whole shenanigan, in case you are not up-to-date with the news, is that Yahoo will now be the default web search client in Ubuntu, replacing the unarguably superior Google).

      • Fresh Version of Linux Mint Offers Tweaks and Updates

        Linux Mint 8 (Helena) is based on Ubuntu 9.10 and delivers all the basic capabilities you would expect in an Ubuntu distribution.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • NAS devices add new Atoms, enhance iSCSI support

      Qnap Systems has upgraded two of its Linux-based, SMB-focused network-attached storage (NAS) systems to incorporate Intel’s D410 Atom processors. The two-drive, 4TB TS-239 Pro II and the four-drive, 8TB TS-439 Pro II also feature Qnap NAS 3.2 management software, with new iSCSI and virtualization features, plus support for VMware’s vSphere4.

    • Wind River tool suite upgraded for multi-core

      Wind River has rev’d its embedded development tool-suite for Linux and VxWorks. Upgraded software is said to include: the Wind River Workbench 3.2 integrated development environment, now synchronized with Eclipse 3.5; the JTAG-based Wind River On-Chip Debugging 3.2, which adds multi-core and multi-target support; and the Wind River Compiler 5.8.

    • Cortex-A8 COM runs Linux

      U.K.-based Anders Electronics announced a Linux-ready ARM Cortex-A8 COM (computer on module) with up to 256MB of RAM, 512MB of flash storage, 10/100 Ethernet, and integrated WiFi. The CM-T3530 comes with Texas Instruments OMAP3503 or OMAP3530 CPUs clocked at up to 720MHz, has a touchscreen controller, includes a camera interface, according to the company.

    • Baseboard fits Pico-ITX into DIN slots

      Via Technologies announced a baseboard designed to integrate a previously released, Linux-ready Pico-ITXe board into a car’s instrument panel. The Epia-P710-D offers three Mini PCI Express slots, a SIM slot, SD card reader, plus USB, IDE, and SATA ports, according to the company.

    • Phones

      • n900, thoughts

        Open stacks based on Linux, Qt and similar tools are in a much better position simply because more people and companies can participate and therefore create a larger pool of shared resources that is hard to impossible for a closed platform to match without joining in. (Let’s not forget that S60 is opening up, either, and bringing Qt along with it too.) I don’t know what the ultimate role Maemo itself will play in all of this, but in an open ecosystem it doesn’t need to be IKotH to be successful either, anymore than any of the Linux distributions need to be IKotH in the server space for server side Linux to flourish.

      • Review: Nokia N900

        Nokia’s N900 is not a phone, OK. Well, it is a phone, in that it has a SIM slot, and you can use it to make voice calls. And it supports HSDPA and has a front facing camera so you can make video calls. But actually it is more a mini computer than a mobile phone.

        The N900 runs a new operating system, Maemo 5, which is based on Linux and so is open to application development by third parties. No, Symbian isn’t going away, and no, it doesn’t look as though Nokia will push out a slew of Maemo-toting devices during 2010, but yes, Nokia does think there is a place for very high end, very capable mini computers with telephony. And the N900 is its way of showing us that.

      • Android

        • Android phone brings MotoBlur UI to Verizon

          Motorola and Verizon Wireless announced a mid-range Android phone sporting the former’s MotoBlur UI. Due for a March launch, the “Devour” offers a 3.1-inch HVGA capacitive touchscreen, a side-slider keyboard, three-megapixel camera, CDMA/EVDO 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and a full complement of apps, including Google Maps Navigation, says Motorola.

        • Google spins multi-touch for Nexus One and tips Chrome OS tablet

          Days after a hacker broke open the inner multi-touch capabilities of Google’s Nexus One, Google announced it is now offering pinch-to-zoom capability on the Android phone via a software update. In other Google news, the company has posted pictures of the Linux-based Chrome OS running on a tablet prototype.

        • Google Issues Nexus One Software Update

          Google announced on Tuesday it has issued an over-the-air free software update for users of its new Nexus One smartphone. The update will come via the telephone network instead of having to plug it into a computer and download the software.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Android netbook runs on new ARM9 CPU

        China-based HiVision is readying an Android-based “PWS700CA” netbook with a 600MHz Rockchip ARM9 processor and a 7-inch, WVGA touchscreen, and according to one preview, it’s likely to sell for under $100. HiVision also recently introduced a Linux-based “PWS700B” netbook, as well as an “EB-0600S” e-reader, says the company.

      • ARM boss forecasts mass migration to netbooks

        ARM CEO Warren East believes that netbooks will come to dominate the PC market – and it won’t be that long before it happens.

        “Although netbooks are small today – maybe ten per cent of the PC market at most – we believe over the next several years that could completely change around and that could be 90 per cent of the PC market,” PC Pro says he says.

    • Tablets

      • Free software alternative to Apple’s tablet

        Given the fierce competition in the market of the tablets where all the big companies in the sector: Apple, Google and Microsoft have an alternative in the market or in development, a Spanish company presents after Apple a cheapest option, based on free software.

      • Google Chrome OS Tablet Demo Video Like a Bolt From The Blue

        With the Apple iPad buzz going around, there can’t be a better time to demonstrate the ‘tablet’ implications of Google Chrome OS. Google has not yet released this netbook centric OS yet, but they are constantly in the news with updates of their Chrome OS. You may also want to watch this awesome first glimpse video on Chrome OS UI.

      • Will FOSS Jump Into the iPad Fray?

        Linux accounted for roughly a third of the 35 million or so netbooks to ship globally last year, according to Jeff Orr, an analyst at ABI Research, and predictions looking ahead are generally rosy as well.

        On smartphones, meanwhile, Android had snatched up 27 percent of the North American market by the end of last year, according to AdMob’s December Mobile Metrics report — and that’s surely increasing daily following the launch of Google’s (Nasdaq: GOOG) Nexus One.

      • Sick of the iPad? Google Chrome OS tablet idea revealed

        Did you know that Google’s Chome OS is taking the form of a Tablet?

      • Apple, Google and the open alternative

        True, the concerns and issues around Android’s openness, or lack thereof, have significant implications. This is further illustration of how Google may be the open alternative juxtaposed against Apple, but by adding its own strings and closures, Google is also leaving the door open for another, more open alternative. Perhaps Palm and its WebOS are an example, but again, it seems no matter what a company or consortium does, they still leave opportunity for a relatively more open alternative.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Apache 1.3 Hits End of Life at 42 (Don’t Panic!)

    As of today the Apache 1.3 HTTP Server is at its official End of Life with its 1.3.42 release, eight years after its successor Apache 2 debuted.

  • Why Open Source and Open Standards are Essential to Combat Disastrous Global Climate Change

    We have to speed up energy innovation to the pace demonstrated in the growth of the Internet if we are to prevent irreversible climate disruptions that will irreparably harm the planet for our children and all those that follow. The scale and speed of change required to ward off disaster cannot be achieved using conventional models. We need to constantly compress seven years of innovation into one – the pace described as innovating on “Internet time”.

    This requires government policy action now to drive the adoption of open source methods, and open standards for us to move quickly enough to ward off this crisis. These open models have proved themselves in creating the Internet and enabling the extraordinary pace of business and societal innovation around it.

  • OpenOffice.org

  • Symbian

    • Symbian OS now completely open source – Update

      According to reports from InfoWorld and Wired, the Symbian Foundation will announce that, starting today, its Symbian mobile operating system (OS) will be completely open source. Larry Berkin, Head of Global Alliances and General Manager for the Symbian Foundation, said that, “We’re open-sourcing 108 packages that will be available at the source code level”. The source, more than 40 million lines of code, is scheduled to be available on Symbian’s developer portal at 6 am Pacific Time (2 pm GMT).

    • Symbian Comes out of the Closet

      According to FSF, the Eclipse Licence makes this free software but incompatible with the GPL. Still, this is a good, competitive move to promote competition rather than to kill competition as M$ always tries. One thing is sure. This move will make the smartphone software environment much more interesting, vibrant and full of choice.

  • Audiocasts

    • FLOSS Weekly 106: Cfengine

      Cfengine, the standalone datacenter management platform.

    • The Software Freedom Law Show

      Karen and Bradley discuss an update on the Google Books Settlement, some follow up from 0x1F regarding feedback on the mobile phones show, and discuss Karen’s new position as General Counsel.

    • Podcast Season 2 Episode 1

      In this episode: Three quarters of the Linux kernel code is written by developers being paid to do so and Facebook transforms PHP performance. We promise to give up the command line for two weeks and ask whether Ubuntu is wrong to switch the default search engine in Firefox from Google to Yahoo. Plus, we introduce two new sections.

    • Benjamin Mako Hill: A rebel with many open source causes

      Joe ‘Zonker’ Brockmeier speaks with Benjamin ‘Mako’ Hill, researcher at MIT’s Center for Future Civic Media and the Sloan School of Management, as well as board member, contributor and advisor on open source projects from Ubuntu to Wikipedia.

  • Mozilla

    • Browser Wars – Are You A Casualty?

      These days everyone is familiar with at least the names of the most popular browsers, Internet Explorer, from Microsoft; Firefox, from the Mozilla Foundation; Chrome, from Google; Opera, from Opera Labs; and last on the list of well-known – Safari, from Apple.

  • Education

    • Open Educational Resources: The Education Ecosystem Comes to Life

      One example of this is ISKME’s OER Commons, an open education network that focuses on the curation and federation of open content from over 200 content partners (such as NASA, MIT OpenCourseware, WGBH, and many others). This has evolved into the networking and professional development of teachers worldwide who collaborate on improving and creating open content. A key component of this work has been to help educate the educators about copyright and content licensing as well as to introduce social collaboration environments that serve as catalysts to encourage teachers and learners to the shift from a consumer culture of education (where teachers deliver and students buy) to one in which teachers and learners gain leadership and support to share and build expertise from within.

    • Moodle driving jobs in education

      It’s amazing, the opportunities a disruptive technology can offer to those who take the time to learn it. If you know your Moodle, there are more than 100 jobs available, right now, today — and for some of them, you don’t even need to change out of your pajamas.

      [...]

      Looking at some of the job descriptions gives immediate insights into why open source is so useful. Many of these job offers are for very specific modifications to Moodle. One can’t help but wonder how effective Moodle is, as a community, in reintegrating these kinds of efforts — but one thing is for certain: they’ve got a way better shot at it than Blackboard does.

  • BSD

    • Health Check: FreeBSD – “The unknown giant”

      FreeBSD is the most accessible and popular of the BSDs, has code at the heart of Darwin and Apple’s OS X, and has powered some of the more successful sites on the Web, including Hotmail, Netcraft and Yahoo!, which before the rise of Google was the busiest site on the internet.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU

  • Government

  • Openness

    • UK museums open up to Wikimedia

      The Britain Loves Wikipedia scheme will see UK museums and galleries opening up to the free online encyclopaedia. Throughout February, volunteer authors can take part in special tours to document artworks and natural treasures at a total of 20 institutions.

  • Programming

    • Codesion Emerges from CVS

      More modern systems like SVN (subversion), Mercurial, Bzr (Bazaar) and Git offer developers newer opportunities to collaboratively develop software at scale. One of the companies caught in the middle of the evolution of version control is hosting vendor CVSdude, with more than 50,000 users.

    • some thoughts on php and oop

      It’s stuff like that that makes me wish I knew more about OOP. I am studying it on and off, but there’s still some concepts that I just can’t wrap my brain around at times, like exceptions. In my procedurally-attuned programming frame of mind, every time someone explains them to me, I think … “Well, if something *breaks* why don’t you just work with the return codes and work around that?” So, yah. Some stuff is still lost on me. I’m trying to figure it out though. Maybe it’s one of those things that doesn’t make sense so much when you apply it to PHP and it’s general usage of websites. A lot of the stuff I read about, I think how it would make much more sense if it were an actual application running.

  • Web Standards

    • MPEG LA Extends H.264 Royalty-Free Period
    • H.264 for Internet video to be royalty free till 2016

      The move will allow internet broadcasters, including YouTube and Vimeo, to continue providing H.264 encoded content.

    • No, you can’t do that with H.264

      A lot of commercial software comes with H.264 encoders and decoders, and some computers arrive with this software preinstalled. This leads a lot of people to believe that they can legally view and create H.264 videos for whatever purpose they like. Unfortunately for them, it ain’t so.

    • W3C proposes hardware interface

      The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) draft for a “System Information API” specifies JavaScript functions for accessing the battery, CPU, sensors and other hardware characteristics of a device. For this purpose, the window.navigator object’s SystemInfo interface has to implement the get, set and watch methods. set can only be applied to some screen properties such as brightness and orientation, while all other hardware properties are marked as readonly. watch is used for monitoring readings, for example those of a heat sensor.

Leftovers

  • Top 50 Funny Computer Quotes
  • Kalyug: Descent into darkness

    Between democracy and darkness stands the judiciary. It stands heads and shoulders above the judicial systems in Asia. But it is in rapid decline. Ahead is pitch darkness
    Colin Gonsalves Delhi

    In the 61st year of the republic, surely, India has transited into Kalyug. Surveys of the Union of India as well as expert reports published by the Arjun Sengupta committee and the NC Saxena Committee appointed by the Central government reveal that almost 77 per cent of the population in India are below the poverty line in terms of the food intake minimum standard of 2,400 kilocalories (kcal) per person per day, a standard set by the Planning Commission in 1979.

  • Italian lower house backs law to delay Berlusconi prosecutions

    Planned law upholds ‘legitimate impediment’ principle, meaning ministers can postpone trials for being ‘too busy’

  • The Boycott

    There are several classes of Boycotts, but I think that I may be the only person to boycott coke because they played and played a real crappy song in the radio some years back. I only ended that boycott when coke launched the Final Fantasy IX ad. This happened quite a few years back, but it serves as a perfect introduction for a boycott I started a few days ago.

    I had been writing about the need to have an open codec associated with the new VIDEO tag present in HTML5. I had linked the petition to get youtube to support ogg/theora along with a second link that I later removed, a link to the same kind of petition for VIMEO

  • Security

  • Environment

  • PR/AstroTurf

    • The Corporations Already Outspend The Parties

      For the first time in recent history, the lobbying, grassroots and advertising budget of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has surpassed the spending of BOTH the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee.

    • The Yes Men Punk Davos Man

      Davos is a small resort town in Switzerland best known for hosting the World Economic Forum (WEF), an annual meeting of global political and business elites. Every year the biggest boosters of the “neoliberal” economic policy agenda of deregulation, unfettered global trade and strict International Monetary Fund (IMF) rules for poor countries, convene at Davos to pat each other on the back.

      [...]

      Fortunately, the famous pranksters, the Yes Men, were tracking events at Davos and jumped in to help with some of the “we have changed our ways” analysis the world was anxious to hear. They unveiled a fake WEF Webpage accompanied by paper and video press releases from some of the luminaries that frequently attend the forum.

    • Crew Urges President And Members Of Congress Not To Attend Shadowy Fellowship’s National Prayer Breakfast

      Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) urged President Obama and all members of Congress not to attend this year’s National Prayer Breakfast, scheduled for February 4, 2010. The breakfast, designed to appear as if government-sanctioned, actually serves as a meeting and recruiting event for the shadowy Fellowship Foundation.

  • Censorship/Civil Rights

    • Anonymity and the Internet

      The problem is that it won’t work. Any design of the Internet must allow for anonymity. Universal identification is impossible. Even attribution — knowing who is responsible for particular Internet packets — is impossible. Attempting to build such a system is futile, and will only give criminals and hackers new ways to hide.

    • Wikileaks finds cash to continue

      The site stopped publishing leaked documents in December in order to concentrate on a pledge drive, aimed at rising a minimum of $200,000 to keep the lights on, and $600,000 if staff were to be paid. Wikileaks also canvassed for technical support and legal help.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • The Patent, Copyright, Trademark, and Trade Secret Horror Files

      The other fallacy is the view at work here that there is no such thing as reputation, or even identity, absent trademark law. But this is incorrect. Of course people and firms can have reputations even if trademark law is nonexistent. All that is required is that people be able to identify other people and firms, and communicate. Pro-trademark arguments often implicitly assume that this is not possible, absent state-enforced trademark law, which is ridiculous.

    • ISP cleared of copyright infringement

      In the first case of its kind, an Australian court has ruled that an internet service provider cannot be responsible for illegal downloading.

      iiNet, Australia’s third largest ISP, was taken to court by a group of 34 movie production houses.

    • The digital economy versus the Digital Economy Bill

      I was at an Open Rights Group event in Edinburgh yesterday, about lobbying MPs regarding the DE Bill. One of the attendees, Hugh Hancock, pointed out that he will likely be harmed by the DE Bill, even though he is a creative person who is part of the digital economy, one of the very group of people this bill is ostensibly intended to help. (Of course, we all know that the DE is really there to protect the content distribution industry, not creative people).

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Clyde Vaughn, retired minister 01 (2007)


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  2. Links 19/4/2014: Slow Easter News Day

    Links for the day



  3. Links 18/4/2014: New KDE, Kubuntu, and More

    Links for the day



  4. Some Perspective on Heartbleed®

    Our views on the whole Heartbleed® bonanza, which seems like partly a PR stunt (for multiple stakeholders)



  5. Microsoft is Leaving Windows -- Including Vista 8.1 -- Vulnerable to Non-Government Crackers, Not Only to NSA

    Microsoft makes it ever more evident that securing users of Windows is not at all a priority, and perhaps not even a desire



  6. Links 17/4/2014: Android RDP, New Ubuntu, RHEL 7 Milestone

    Links for the day



  7. Racing to 1984: Mass Surveillance, Cracking, 'Targeted' Assassinations, and Illegal Torture

    Links for the day



  8. More Microsoft Subsidies to Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures

    Microsoft hands money to Bill Gates' close friend who is the world's largest patent troll



  9. Aiding Microsoft Under the Disguise of 'Pro-FOSS'

    Not everything which is FOSS necessary becomes, by virtue of existence, a positive contribution, as we are constantly reminded by projects that help proprietary software and/or restrictions get a strong grip on FOSS



  10. Links 16/4/2014: Red Hat PR, Ubuntu LTS Imminent

    Links for the day



  11. Links 15/4/2014: Lots of PCLinuxOS Releases, Ukraine Updates

    Links for the day



  12. Apple and Microsoft Actively Lobbying Against Patent Reform in the US

    Apple and Microsoft are reportedly intervening/interfering with US law in order to ensure that the law is Free/libre software-hostile



  13. Lawsuit by Microsoft Shareholder Targets Fine for Crimes Rather Than the Crimes Themselves

    A new lawsuit by a Microsoft shareholder shows everything that's wrong with today's model of accountability, where those who are responsible for crimes are accused of not avoiding fines rather than committing the crimes



  14. Public Institutions Must Dump PRISM-Associated Software

    Another reminder that taxpayers-subsidised services should refuse, as a matter of principle, to pay anything for -- let alone deploy -- proprietary software with back doors



  15. GNU/Linux News: The Opportunities Amid XP EOL

    Links for the day



  16. Microsoft Gets Its Money's Worth From Xamarin: PlayStation 4 Now Polluted by Microsoft

    The Trojan horse of Microsoft, Xamarin, is pushing .NET into Microsoft's console competitor



  17. After Brendan Eich Comes Chris Beard

    Having removed Brendan Eich using bullying and blackmail tactics, his foes inside Mozilla achieved too little as we have yet another man (coming from inside Mozilla) acting as CEO



  18. Healthcare News: Free Software in Health, Humanitarian Causes

    Links for the day



  19. Links 14/4/2014: MakuluLinux, Many Games, More Privacy News and Pulitzer Prize for NSA Revelations

    Links for the day



  20. TechBytes Episode 87: Catching up With Surveillance (NSA, GCHQ et al.)

    The first audio episode in a very long time covers some of the latest happenings when it comes to privacy and, contrariwise, mass surveillance



  21. Server News: KVM, ElasticHosts, Other GNU/Linux Items, and Open Network Linux

    Links for the day



  22. Hardware News: Freedom, Modding, Hackability on the Rise

    Links for the day



  23. Distributions News: GNU/Linux Distros

    Links for the day



  24. GNOME News: Financial Issues, Mutter-Wayland, West Coast Summit, Community Participation

    Links for the day



  25. KDE News: Kubuntu at the Centre Again KDE Applications Updated

    Links for the day



  26. Techrights Rising

    Effective immediately, Techrights will do what it takes to bring back old volume and pace of publishing



  27. Links: Surveillance, Intervention, Torture and Drones

    Links for the day



  28. Mobile Linux Not Just Android: Jolla, WebOS, and Firefox OS News

    Links for the day



  29. Google's Linux Revolution: New Gains for Android, Chrome OS (GNU/Linux)

    Links for the day



  30. Free/Libre Databases News: MongoDB, NoSQL, and MySQL Branches/Forks

    Links for the day


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