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02.22.10

Links 22/2/2010: FSF Pushes for Free Video in YouTube

Posted in News Roundup at 6:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • There’s a way to get new wallpaper images every day on a GNU/Linux system

    One of the apps I loved when I was a Windows user was Webshots, a great app for not only rotating wallpaper images but also for finding new wallpapers. Of course it’s only available for Windows so GNU/Linux users have to manually look for new wallpapers and use another app for changing walls on a regular basis. I’ve used Desktop Drapes, which is a really nice app for managing and changing your desktop wallpaper, but for the longest time I kept going back to WallpaperTray. The big plus for WallpaperTray is that you can not only look for specific wallpapers but the icon is a thumbnail of the wallpaper image itself and if you hover your cursor over the icon it tells you the path and filename for the active wallpaper. This is a big plus if you have a lot of wallpapers across a number of directories.

  • LB – Episode 50 – Milestone Debauchery by Linux Basement
  • Who is Linux, really?

    While Linus developed the first Linux kernel he is not Linux. Linus is the father of Linux and Linux is his creation so Linus cannot be Linux. Richard is the founder of the GNU revolution and most of the key programs in a typical Linux distribution are from the GNU umbrella but they are only a part and not the whole of Linux. Mark has single handedly done more for Linux popularity than just about anyone else. He is the one who I would say that put glamour in the Linux name. Who can put any higher praise on Linux than someone who has been to space I ask you? Tux has been around almost as long as the Linux kernel has when a guy called Larry Ewing was inspired to draw a penguin relaxing after gorging on bountiful fish. Since then Tux has been the Linux mascot and one of the most famous computing mascots of all time, so much so that many businesses not even related to computing are using his image. If you want to see just exactly who Linux is then follow these directions.

  • The Last Act of Courage…

    Bruno spent years teaching thousands of people how to use Linux. Brunolinux is a website devoted to do just that and the lion’s share of my knowledge of Linux grew from that tree. From bash scripting to my feeble attempts at learning C…

  • Advanced Technologies Selects Ada for U.S. DOT Traffic Signal Control Program

    ATI used the Ada language, the GNAT Ada development environment for GNU Linux, and the GNAT Programming Studio (GPS) Integrated Development Environment to build the prototype system. ATI utilized AdaCore’s GTKAda toolkit along with the GLADE 2.0 GUI Builder to implement the graphical user interface (GUI) and display for the prototype.

  • Desktop

    • Distrowatch.com Stats

      If a newbie reads about 5 distros before choosing one, that could mean that 7000 newbies switched to GNU/Linux each day for the last year. That’s 2.5 million converts in a year. These are mostly geeks, of course. Ordinary folk just take their software pre-installed. Assuming there are 20 ordinary folk adopting GNU/Linux per geek, that is 50 million converts. Of course geeks might lead a few to GNU/Linux or they might help them buy a PC pre-loaded with GNU/Linux.

      The world is becoming a better place, one convert at a time.

  • Graphics Stack

    • Hook for catching X.org freezes

      X.org freezes are perhaps one of the most frustrating bugs in Ubuntu. These were such a pain during Hardy that special debugging procedures were developed to enable users to gather the data upstream needed. But these procedures are pretty technically involved to do, and had to be done while ssh’d into the frozen system – not always an easy task!

    • AMD Gets A Seat With The X.Org Foundation

      The new X.Org Foundation board members include Alex Deucher, Keith Packard, Matthieu Herrb, Matthias Hopf, and Eric Anholt. Alex Deucher had the most votes to be seated and this his first time sitting on the board and now provides some AMD representation where he works on their open-source driver stack and documentation.

  • Applications

  • Games

    • Quake Live Tips

      Quake Live is a free, manly game to play. QL is a version of Quake 3 that runs as a browser plugin for Firefox, Safari, and IE. It features a skill-matched game finder, a friend’s system, and other modern features. Think a Lite, browser-based version of Steam. Quake 3 came out in 1999, and people have been playing it on a regular basis since. That’s about 11 years ahead of you if you’re new (doesn’t mean you can’t become excellent fast.)

    • Chocolate Doom 1.3.0
  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Interview With Netbook Master Marco Martin From the KDE Plasma Team

        What part of KDE development are you involved in?

        I mostly work in the Plasma team, on the library and on the main workspaces: Plasma Desktop and Plasma Netbook.

      • day 2 of tokamak 4 (and a bit about day 1, too)

        Yesterday was the first full day for Tokamak 4 with most of us having arrived from near (e.g. right here in town) and far (Brazil, Canada) the day before. We had a great series of presentations to catch each other up on where we are right now and where we are going. I opened the proceedings with the usual “state of the plasma” presentation where, after recapping the motivations and core design values we had defined together over the past couple of years, I likened our efforts to those of a sculptor. We had before us just raw materials, a rough-hewn stone if you will: Qt4 with QGraphicsView in it’s earliest infancy, KDE 4′s libraries and a simple vision.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • My typical archlinux desktop

      The more distrohopping I do, the more I realize I’ll never feel as comfortable as on arch. I don’t like being forced to use applications or settings that other people think are the best, I have my own best, and I can only do that if I build a system from the ground up.

    • Do we really need all these different Linux distributions?

      One very good example which I can think of is Knoppix. Before Knoppix arrived on the scene hardware configuration of Linux hardware was a manual affair requiring intimate knowledge of your hardware details. With Knoppix came a great advancement in automatic hardware detection and configuration. Nowadays just about all Linux distributions have the same ease in hardware detection and configuration.

    • New Releases

      • Tin Hat: High security Linux

        Tin Hat is a Linux distribution derived from hardened Gentoo which aims to provide a very secure, stable and fast Desktop environment that lives purely in RAM.

        Tin Hat boots from CD, or optionally a pen drive, but it is not a LiveCD. It does not mount any file system from CD via unionfs or otherwise. Rather, Tin Hat is a massive image (approx. 2.3GB) which loads into tmpfs upon booting.

      • CloudLinux OS Set to Surface At Parallels Summit

        During a Feb. 23 keynote, Seletskiy is expected to describe how hosting service providers can leverage CloudLinux to maintain balance between number of users per server and the load the server can carry. The Parallels event is expected to mark the first time Seletskiy takes the stage to talk about the CloudLinux OS.

    • Ubuntu

      • There’s an antivirus called ubuntu

        Ubuntu will be the best choice for him. It’s very good that he chose ubuntu forums. Just to know that you have a whole community to help you when in trouble, that’s lovely!

        We meet lots of people having similar problems – who don’t know what an operating system is, who just want to know how to get their surfing and wordprocessing done hazzle-free. All we people need to do is to carefully guide them in their transition to Ubuntu, without burdening them with technical stuff. Just make their life in ubuntu wonderful and exciting!

      • Wubi does the job
      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 181

        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #181 for the week February 14th – February 20th, 2010. In this issue we cover: Debian Import Freeze in effect, Feature Freeze in place – Alpha 3 freeze ahead, New MOTU, Ubuntu single sign on service launched, Meet Jelmer Vernooij, Sikuli — scripting your use of GUIs, Global Bug Jam, Taking Lucid for a test spin, Opportunistic Developer Update, Ubuntu One Music Store, One Hundred Paper Cuts, Mark Shuttleworth to give keynote at PyCon 2010, Ubuntu UK Podcast returns, Ubuntu torrents are now IPv6 enabled, and much, much more!

      • Making Myself Clear About Ubuntu Development
      • Element is designed to be run as a dedicated media PC in the lounge room, connected to a high definition television.

        Element is an Ubuntu-based distribution for home theatre or media-centre personal computers featuring a ten-foot user interface and designed to be connected to a HDTV for a digital media and Internet experience within the comforts of a living room or entertainment area.

      • Customizing the Ubuntu Application Stack Before Installation

        Ubuntu is way easier to install than certain other operating systems. But it would be even greater if I could select which applications I wanted on my new system before the Ubiquity installer goes about its business–an idea that was proposed recently on Ubuntu Brainstorm. Here’s why it should go through.

      • Ubuntu Linux is not suitable for you if…

        * You cannot understand the simple differences between the two main software development models called Open Source and closed source or proprietary.
        * You expect to see the yellow, green, blue and purple ( is it purple???) colors made into flag when you boot Ubuntu.
        * You find it difficult to shed your 1997 notion of a typical Linux OS: command line and again CLI driven.

      • Confessions of an Ubuntu Fanboy

        Ubuntu is easy to learn

        In the past, I’ve been guilty of installing Ubuntu on a new computer and leaving the poor user with words like “don’t worry, Ubuntu easy to learn, it’s really not that different from Windows.” While this is true for geeks and people who love experimenting with computers, I’ve learned that it’s simply not true for most users. Computers are difficult!

      • Edubuntu is Ubuntu for the Classroom

        Ubuntu by Canonical, one of the most popular Linux distributions, provides a few different variants. One of them is Edubuntu. It is the same operating system as Ubuntu but comes loaded with many educational applications and games. In this article, we’ll install Edubuntu and discover exactly which applications come preinstalled. Now lets get started!

      • Mint

        • Taking a look at Linux Mint 8 “Helena”

          DW: What’s new in Mint 8? What are some of the new features people will enjoy in Helena?

          CL: We answered many of the requests we received after the release of Linux Mint 7 and some of the changes we made were quite popular among our users. The Update Manager now allows you to ignore updates for certain packages. The level associated with each package is something we maintain so this addition gives a lot more power to the user. We also improved many aspects of the Software Manager and we implemented numerous little things to make the system more comfortable to use.

        • Linux Mint 8 Fluxbox CE review: Lightweight, fast, surprisingly cohesive

          Linux Mint 8 Fluxbox Community Edition is based on Linux Mint 8 Main Edition, the 2.6.31 Linux kernel, and Fluxbox 1.1.1. As a longtime Fluxbox user and a recent enthusiast of Linux Mint, I was pretty excited that there was going to be a Fluxbox Community Edition based on the most recent Mint release, because to me it seemed like the best of both worlds — the streamlined, clean “cohesiveness” I’ve come to enjoy in Linux Mint, plus the fast, highly customizable Fluxbox that I tend to install on my own anyway, regardless of what default desktop or window manager is included in any distro I’m using.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Android

        • Archos to launch Two New Android Tablets at CeBIT.

          We’ve just had word from Archos’ German PR company that Archos will announce two new Android Tablets at CeBIT.

        • Two Archos Android home-use tablets at CeBIT 2010

          The Archos 7 looks pretty much to be locked-in for CeBIT in around a week’s time, but according to Archos’ German PR team the company have a second Android-based internet tablet to bring to the show. CarryPad have heard that two new devices are in the works for the Germany-based show, both described as “good value Android Tablets that are specially designed for use in the home”.

      • Sub-notebooks

        • ARM at 28 nm This Year

          Did I mention these things are small? At 28 nm the cores will be half the size of their 40 nm devices which are very competitive with Atom. Running GNU/Linux instead of that other OS, these new ARM CPUs will kick Atom with that other OS out of the park.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Of the powers we choose to lose

    It is the fact that the market will reflect the mentality and culture of the people. If the people are so easy to convince into giving up their power then they will do it in a multitude of ways. Perhaps buying an iPhone isn’t as immediately harmful as voting for a law that creates a yet another victimless crime, but it is the reflection of the same mentality. They have gotten you so easily convinced that convenience must come at the expense of your personal power just as the government has gotten you convinced that security comes at the expense of liberty.

  • Tips to help users migrate to OpenOffice

    The migration from other office suites to OpenOffice really isn’t that difficult. In fact, many users might hardly notice the difference. But there are users that might wind up in a panic when they see their old friend MSO was replaced with OO. With these tips it shouldn’t be all that difficult to ease their worries. What about you? Have you found a tip or two to help ease the migration? If so, share.

  • Open-Xchange: Another Big SaaS Partner Win

    Open-Xchange, an open source alternative to Microsoft Exchange, continues to gain momentum in Europe and North America. The latest example: Bull, a €1,110 million solutions provider headquartered in Paris, is offering SaaS and on-premises Open-Xchange to its end customers in Germany.

    [...]

    As you may recall, Open-Xchange claimed 2009 was a banner year for the company; more than 15 million people worldwide were running Open-Xchange at the end of 2009, an 80 percent increase from 2008. CEO Rafael Laguna is expected to provide another business update (and potentially more news…) during this week’s Parallels Summit 2010 in Miami; the event is attracting cloud and SaaS experts from across the globe.

  • A handbook for the open source way, written the open source way

    The book is entitled The Open Source Way: Creating and nurturing communities of contributors and you can access the current text here and the wiki for contributors here.

  • SCALE 8x: Day 1 – WIOS Talks

    My review of the first day of SCALE 8x and the WIOS talks I attended.

  • New medical FOSS listing/platform online

    Medfoss.apfelkraut.org should provide a comprehensive and structured overview of Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FOSS) projects for the health care domain.

  • Mozilla

    • Hands-on and under the hood: Ars tests Firefox on Android

      I really want to emphasize the fact that what we tested in this article is NOT a release, a prerelease, or an official build from Mozilla. I copied the code directly from the active working branch of a Mozilla developer and poked it with a sharp stick until I got it to compile. The purpose of this article is to shed some light on the development process and provide a helping hand to other enthusiasts who want to get it to compile. The bugs, performance issues, and other limitations that I’ve discovered are not indicative of what the final product will be like.

  • Databases

    • Zmanda hooks Tivoli cop into MySQL

      Open source vendor Zmanda is adding hooks into its MySQL database backup software for shops using IBM’s Tivoli Storage Manager to mastermind the policies.

      The company on Monday unfurled a new feature for Zmanda Recovery Manager called — get ready for some unwieldily precision here —Tivoli Storage Manager Option for Zmanda Recovery Manager for MySQL.

  • CMS

    • QuickStudy: Drupal

      Drupal is free content-management software designed to let an individual or user group publish, manage and organize Web sites that feature a wide variety of content. Drupal is currently being used to power community Web portals, discussion sites, corporate Web sites, intranet applications, personal Web sites and blogs, fan sites, e-commerce applications, resource directories and social networking sites. Recently, the Obama administration adopted Drupal as the foundation for the WhiteHouse.gov Web site.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU

    • Media Advisory: Controversial Free-Software Activist to Speak at UB

      Richard Stallman, founder of the GNU Project and the Free Software Foundation and one of the most controversial figures in the history of the Internet, will discuss “Copyright and Community in the Age of Computer Networks” on Feb. 22 at 6 p.m. in 112 Norton Hall on the University at Buffalo’s North Campus.

  • Licensing

    • FOSS Legal Strategy Session Silicon Valley: Success!
    • Bruce Perens: Inside Open Source’s Historic Victory

      Jacobsen v. Katzer is closed, after five years. Open Source won, and big. A manufacturer who attempted to collect royalties from an Open Source developer has lost two patents. As terms of his settlement with the developer, the manufacturer is paying $100,000 to the Open Source developer, has agreed to place himself under a permanent injunction, and has signed a release of any liability to all members of the Open Source project. The case was not “sealed” like so many settled cases, so its documents are available to the public now.

    • FOSS devs can collect damages from license violators

      Although the ruling won’t set a broad precedent due to the fact that it emerged from a district court, it’s still a significant victory for open source software licensing enforcement. The threat of having to pay monetary damages will give software companies a big incentive to refrain from abusing or misappropriating open source software code. In response to the ruling, Katzer finally agreed to settle with Jacobson last week. The conflict, which originally started five years ago, has reached an end.

  • Programming

    • New Python shell is a DreamPie

      DreamPie, a new interactive shell for Python developers, has been released with support for Python 2.5, 2.6 and 3.1, Jython 2.5 and IronPython 2.6. DreamPie is described as a “new concept for an interactive shell”, with the display divided into a history box for commands and a code box for “in work” Python code. The shell provides automatic completion of attributes, displays function arguments and documentation, can save session history as a HTML file and allows for interactive plotting with matpotlib.

  • Applications

    • pyLoad, lightweight and powerful one-click hoster download manager

      This tiny tool will definitely catch your eye of interest if you’re downloading a lot of files from Rapidshare, Megaupload or hotfiles: pyLoad, entirely written in Python, is a download manager available for GNU/Linux, Windows, Mac OS X and most interestingly for routers!

    • iPFaces – Mobile Application Framework

      If you can program Java, you can now program also mobile applications. iPFaces is distributed under GNU/GPL for community usage.

    • Pidgin update fixes security vulnerabilities

      The Pidgin developers have released version 2.6.6 of their open source instant messenger application. In addition to the usual changes and bug fixes, the maintenance and security update addresses a total of three vulnerabilities in the the multi-platform instant messaging client.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Open letter to Google: free VP8, and use it on YouTube

      With its purchase of the On2 video compression technology company having been completed on Wednesday February 16, 2010, Google now has the opportunity to make free video formats the standard, freeing the web from both Flash and the proprietary H.264 codec.

    • Older blog entries for dwmw2

      To me, HTML5 looks less like a standard and more like a set of broken hackish kludges to work around the fact that people out there aren’t actually capable of following a standard.

    • Risks in Google killing Adobe Flash

      My son loves The Daily Show, but for some reason he can’t load Adobe Flash 10 on his Windows PC. It claims to load, but then Windows tells him it’s not there. (I tried “switch to Linux.” It just re-opened the Generation Gap.)

      [..]

      Google could solve his problem in a flash, the Free Software Foundation says. Just switch from supporting Flash to the VP8 codec recently acquired with ON Technologies on YouTube.

    • Let My Codecs Go: Will Google Free VP8?

      The good news is that if anyone has the resources to sort out the legal and technical problems, Google has. The reason why it might want to go to all that trouble is to free itself from any dependence on the patent-encumbered codecs of others, and to promote a flourishing open video ecosystem, and with it lots of lovely content that it can sell ads against.

    • Free Software Foundation urges Google to open On2 codec

      We question whether yet another plug-in is the best of ideas, but the post has other ideas. “You could interest users with HD videos in free formats, for example, or aggressively invite users to upgrade their browsers (instead of upgrading Flash). Steps like these on YouTube would quickly push browser support for free formats to 50% and beyond, and they would slowly increase the number of people who never bother installing Flash.”

Leftovers

  • Science

  • Security

    • FBI launches probe into schools accused of spying on kids through webcams

      The FBI has launched an investigation into a Pennsylvania school district that has been accused of spying on students through webcams on laptops it issued to those students.

    • Feds open school spycam probe

      The school offers pupils MacBooks as part of its “21st Century Learning Initiative”. On Friday the school said it had appointed lawyers to look at its past and present laptop policies.

    • McKinnon gets a date for ‘final’ appeal

      Pentagon hacker Gary McKinnon and his legal team have been given three months to prepare for a judicial hearing on whether the Home Secretary proceeded correctly in allowing extradition proceedings to proceed in spite of dire medical warnings.

    • Twitter bomb threat joke man faces possible jail sentence

      The message was reported to the authorities, who treated it as a threat and called in the police. Officers from South Yorkshire police arrested and later charged Chambers “with sending… a message that was grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character”. Police confiscated his iPhone, laptop and home computer.

  • Environment

    • ‘Mountains’ of e-waste threaten developing world

      Urgent action is needed to tackle the “mountains” of e-waste building up in developing nations, says a UN report.

      Huge amounts of old computers and discarded electronic goods are piling up in countries such as China, India and some Africa nations, it said.

      India could see a 500% rise in the number of old computers dumped by 2020, found the survey of 11 nations.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Herald ends payments for online content

      In December 2009, the media company began providing a link for voluntary payment at the end of each online story. “After evaluating two months of response, we’ve decided to end the program,” said Elissa Vanaver, a company vice president and assistant to the publisher. She would not say how much money the effort had raised.

    • Author Who Claimed $9.99 Not A Real Price For Books Admits Comments Were A Mistake

      Of course, it looks like the backlash got even stronger following that quote in the NY Times. Robert Ring alerts us to io9′s coverage, saying that after the NYT’s piece came out, Preston’s book started getting one-star reviews on Amazon, with many people mentioning the NY Times quote as a reason not to buy the book.

    • Tenenbaum: $675,000 is absurd when I caused $21 in losses

      Joel Tenenbaum, the second P2P defendant to take his case all the way through trial, is on the hook for $675,000 in damages. But according to his lawyer, Tenenbaum only caused the record labels $21 in damages.

      The disparity between these two figures is, in the words of Harvard Law’s Charles Nesson, “monstrous and shocking.”

    • ACTA

      • ACTA “internet enforcement” chapter leaks

        Someone has uploaded a PDF to a Google Group that is claimed to be the proposal for Internet copyright enforcement that the USA has put forward for ACTA, the secret copyright treaty whose seventh round of negotiations just concluded in Guadalajara, Mexico. This reads like it probably is genuine treaty language, and if it is the real US proposal, it is the first time that this material has ever been visible to the public. According to my source, the US proposal is the current version of the treaty as of the conclusion of the Mexico round.

        I’ve read it through a few times and it reads a lot like DMCA-plus. It contains, for example, a duty to technology firms to shut down infringement where they have “actual knowledge” that such is taking place. This argument was put forward in the Grokster case, and as Fred von Lohmann argued then, this is a potentially deadly burden to place on technology companies: in the offline world Xerox has “actual knowledge” that its technology is routinely used to infringe copyright at Kinko’s outlets around the world — should that create a duty to stop providing sales and service to Kinko’s?

        [...]

        Also buried in a footnote is a provision for forcing ISPs to terminate customers who’ve been accused — but not convicted — of copyright infringement (along with their families and anyone else who happens to share their net connection).

      • World going barmy over copyright enforcement

        IT IS NOT CLEAR how accurate it is yet but someone has posted a copy of what appears to be the crucial enforcement section of the secret copyright treaty that the publishing cartels want the world to accept.

      • ACTA leak shows US Trade Rep lied about “3-strikes”
      • ACTA Internet Chapter Leaks: Renegotiates WIPO, Sets 3 Strikes as Model

        Several months after a European Union memo discussing the ACTA Internet chapter leaked, the actual chapter itself has now leaked. First covered by PC World, the new leak fully confirms the earlier reports and mirrors the language found in the EU memo. This is the chapter that required non-disclosure agreements last fall.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Christian Einfeldt’s DTP presentation in Berlin 2004 10 (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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    The people who are profiting from patent feuds, disputes, lawsuits etc. are still trying to muscle their will into European law and they keep the general public out of it by locking down (or pricing out of reach) their meetings where they influence/lobby decision-making officials



  29. The United States Has a Growing Patent Trolls Epidemic as Very High Proportion of Lawsuits Filed by Them

    A look at the high proportion of patent lawsuits that are filed by entities that make nothing at all and thus serve no role whatsoever in innovation



  30. Pushers of Software Patents Outside the United States (Which is Belatedly Squashing These Patents)

    How patent law firms are distorting the debate about software patents in hope of attracting business from gullible people who misunderstand the harsh (and worsening) reality of software patenting


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