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03.22.10

Links 22/3/2010: Commodore 64 With Linux, Linux 2.6.34 @ RC2

Posted in News Roundup at 5:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 89

    · Announced Distro: Announcing Linux Mint 8 RC1 LXDE Edition
    · Announced Distro: openSUSE 11.3 Milestone 3 Comes with GCC 4.5
    · Announced Distro: Berry Linux 1.01 Is Based on Fedora 12
    · Announced Distro: PCLinuxOS 2010 Beta 2 Comes with Linux Kernel 2.6.32.10
    · Announced Distro: SimplyMEPIS 8.5 RC3 Is Here, the Final Release Candidate
    · Announced Distro: SystemRescueCd 1.5.0 with Linux Kernel 2.6.32.10
    · Announced Distro: Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Beta 1 Out for Testing

  • ‘Revolution OS’ at Darress Theatre

    The New Jersey Linux User’s group will present a film titled “Revolution OS” at the Darress Theatre in Boonton on Wednesday, March 31.

  • Well, what else could it have been?

    This pilot fish works his way up to managing one of the two main groups in his company’s IT organization.

    “One group — ours — was running the Unix and Linux machines and managing a slew of database servers,” fish says. “The other group provided the Microsoft support, which included managing some server-supported applications.”

    [...]

    “I’m now working for another company. I’ve heard the Microsoft manager has since been fired. I’m guessing he wasn’t as successful as they thought he would be.”

  • How Cheap Could Computing Get: Free? NComputing Thinks So

    Ncomputing makes powerful chips that make thin clients work: Essentially turning a keyboard, mouse, monitor and small box of electronics into a fully-functioning powerful Windows or Linux PC, with its real complex “guts” in a different location accessed over a network, and serving up desktops to many different users.

  • Solid-State Drives From a Developer’s Perspective

    After locking down the X25-M in my computer’s drive bay chassis, I turned on the computer with an expectation that something different should happen. Of course, nothing out of the ordinary occurred beyond the BIOS recognizing that my primary hard-drive capacity had changed and the fact that no operating system booted. As such, I proceeded with a fresh install of Ubuntu 9.10 64-bit desktop edition and was once again stunned how quickly the installation occurred compared to my older hard drive install experiences. This result greatly raised my expectation for OS boot times and I was not disappointed. Because the X25-M has virtually no access time and significantly faster read and write times, what normally took nearly a half hour was completed in roughly two-thirds the time.

  • Desktop

  • Google

    • Google extends ARM to browser natives

      Chrome OS is set to arrive in the fall on x86 and, yes, ARM netbooks. Google first unveiled Native Client in December 2008, calling it “a technology that aims to give web developers access to the full power of the client’s CPU while maintaining the browser neutrality, OS portability, and safety that people expect from web applications”. Then, in October of last year, it slipped the plug-in into its Chrome browser, which serves as the centerpiece for Chrome OS. The OS is essentially Chrome running atop the company’s Goobuntu flavor of Linux.

  • Kernel Space

    • Systems Management Innovator rPath Joins Linux Foundation

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that rPath is its newest member. rPath is an innovator in automating system provisioning and maintenance across physical, virtual and cloud environments and works with Linux users to achieve flexibility, scalability and control within today’s limited budgets.

    • Linux 2.6.34-rc2 Kernel Released

      Some 18 hours ago the Linux 2.6.34-rc2 version was tagged and is now available, but oddly we have yet to come across a kernel release announcement from Linus Torvalds.

    • Linux adds router denial-of-service prevention

      The recently completed Linux 2.6.34 merge window included a patch to eliminate a type of denial-of-service attack against routers. The “Generalized TTL Security Mechanism” (GTSM) is described in RFC 5082 as a means to protect routers from CPU-utilization attacks—essentially overloading the router with bogus Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) packets. With the addition of a simple socket option, those attacks can be easily thwarted.

    • HostV Deploys Ksplice Rebootless Solution to Boost Server Uptime

      HostV, a leader in managed Virtual Private Servers and Dedicated servers, announced today it has completed deployment of Ksplice Uptrack, a subscription service that enables server administrators to apply important Linux kernel security updates without rebooting the server.

    • Revisited: ZFS, Btrfs and Oracle.

      This entry is a continuation of one published in May of 2009. In fact it is relating to a comment made earlier today which I responded to in brief words. I am now taking the time to offer my viewpoint on the whole ZFS licensing under the CDDL and the reasoning for it.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa Receives Some OpenGL 3 Love

        OpenGL 3.0 was announced in the summer of 2007 and since then we have seen the subsequent releases of the 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3 specifications. Just last week there was even the release of OpenGL 4.0. The proprietary Linux graphics drivers have picked up support for these latest industry standard specifications, but it hasn’t been smooth sailing in the open-source world.

      • GPU Offloading PRIME May Get Improvements

        A week ago we reported on open-source GPU offloading, which allowed multiple GPUs from different vendors that were backed by open-source graphics drivers to offload the 3D rendering work to a secondary GPU and then to pass the rendered result back to the primary GPU driving the display.

      • NVIDIA’s New CUDA Toolkit Supports Fermi
      • With Fermi Coming, NVIDIA Releases CUDA 3.0

        The NVIDIA Fermi support in CUDA 3.0 includes native 64-bit GPU support, multiple copy engine support, ECC reporting, concurrent kernel execution, Fermi hardware debugging support via cuda-gdb, and Fermi hardware profiling support for CUDA’s C and OpenCL via the NVIDIA Visual Profiler. The first of the NVIDIA Fermi graphics cards in the GeForce 400 series, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 and GeForce GTX 480, are expected to be launched in just a few days and are both built upon the “GF100″ core.

      • Radeon 3D Performance: Gallium3D vs. Classic Mesa

        It has taken years of work for Tungsten Graphics (now VMware) and the Linux development community to develop Gallium3D into a robust and reliable multi-platform graphics architecture, but this investment should begin paying off later this year or within the next year. Nouveau’s Gallium3D support is becoming reliable and working across the range of NVIDIA GeForce/Quadro graphics cards that they are targeting to the point that Red Hat is shipping this driver by default in Fedora 13. For Ubuntu users there is a Gallium3D Nouveau PPA too, but we would not be surprised if Ubuntu 10.10 is to pull in this driver as it finally provides a free software 3D NVIDIA driver for Linux.

      • AMD ATI fights Nvidia’s grasp of 3D market with open source – Open Stereo 3D

        At a time when Nvidia might make its GPU comeback – the launch of the Fermi chips, AMD has decided to concentrate their efforts in the 3D field, in an attempt to catch-up with the green graphics giant. It does this in typical Advanced Micro Devices style, by setting the open source atmosphere with what it calls Open Stereo 3D. Similar to its Open Physics venture which goes head to head with Nvidia’s PhysX, AMD now launches its open offensive against the 3D Vision front.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KOffice 2.2 Beta 1

        The KOffice team is happy to announce the first beta of the upcoming 2.2 release of KOffice. This release brings back Kexi, the data management application similar to MS Access. The new beta also offers many new features and improvements, bug fixes, and improved support for Microsoft file formats.

      • KOffice 2.2 Beta 1 Released

        The KOffice team is happy to announce the first beta of the upcoming 2.2 release of KOffice. This release brings back Kexi, the data management application similar to MS Access. The new beta also offers many new features and improvements, for example improved support for Microsoft file formats with the addition of import filters for MS OOXML, and bug fixes.

      • KDE 4.3.4 is lighter than Gnome: Linux2u

        Strange na but its reality KDE 4.3.4 is lighter than Gnome 2.28.I am going to prove it.On my machine Linux Mint 8 KDE 4.3.4 use only 135 to 160MB Ram while Windows XP 240MB and Gnome take around 210MB. While windows fastest edition Windows 7 uses more than 450MB RAM.Don’t believe that KDE 4.3.4 uses 145MB Ram,Lets have a look below.

      • Lancleot Part applet is dead…

        There were two main problems with the Lancelot Part applet.

        The first was the name. The name, although it does represent what the applet is technically, it doesn’t really say what the applet is meant for and what it does.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Build a lighter Gnome in Ubuntu

        In light of the last post and this post from a day or two ago, I suppose it’s worth mentioning (or showing) that a simplified Gnome desktop is possible in Ubuntu too. But in showing it, I will probably be underscoring a few other issues that I have grazed in the past.

        [...]

        Beyond that it’s quite slender, and you’re in a good position to build upward. If you have a preference for certain parts of what Ubuntu delivers, but an extreme distate for anything else, I would recommend starting with gnome-core.

  • Distributions

    • System rescue and virus scanning with Dr.Web LiveCD

      Of course we already have ClamAV and in terms of the scanner interface and incremental updates both appear quite similar; however, I am not aware of a ClamAV live CD. On top of this, security-conscious people do not like to put all their eggs in one basket and it is recommended in some settings, even at home, to periodically scan and re-check with different products. I have had anti-virus software in the past detect Trojans that another (free) one did not detect. This was on a different operating system, but you don’t have to use this rescue CD exclusively on your UNIX/Linux systems.

    • New Releases

      • SystemRescueCd 1.5.0 released

        SystemRescueCd Logo The SystemRescueCd developers have announced the availability of version 1.5.0 of their Linux distribution that’s configured as a tool kit for administering or repairing an operating system and recovering data after a system crash. The SystemRescueCd is based on the Gentoo LiveCD and the kernel supports a wide variety of file systems including Ext2, Ext3 and Ext4, ReiserFS, XFS, JFS, VFAT, NTFS, ISO9660 and Btrfs.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Extends SOA Platform Offering For Expanded Enterprise and Cloud Adoption

        Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the launch of JBoss Enterprise SOA Platform 5.0. with enhanced functionality to update its JBoss Enterprise Middleware portfolio. JBoss Enterprise SOA Platform 5.0 is a comprehensive platform designed to integrate applications, services, transactions and business process components into an architecture for automating business and IT processes.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora edges closer to Debian development process

          Fedora’s old way was to stop development at a certain point in Rawhide (the name of the development branch), stabilise, release, and then pick up development again. This meant that uploads to the development branch would have to cease until the release process was over.

          Fedora’s new method is to split off the development branch at the point when it is deemed fit for stabilising and releasing. This is then released as the next Fedora release. Development on Rawhide continues apace.

    • Debian Family

      • Interview: CrunchBang Creator Explains Switch to Debian Sources

        MY fondness for CrunchBang Linux is well documented, so when the release of the first alpha version of the next generation of this fine UK-based distribution was announced I was excited, to say the least.

      • SimplyMEPIS 8.5 RC3 Is Here, the Final Release Candidate

        MEPIS has now made available the third release candidate of its upcoming Linux-based operating system, SimplyMEPIS 8.5 RC 3. The new release comes with several updates, both upgraded packages and fresh features, and is available for 32-bit, as well as 64-bit platforms. There is no clear time frame for the final release but this is the last release candidate version and SimplyMEPIS 8.5 should be coming in a week or two.

      • Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu drifting away from open source?

          First there was news that Yahoo would be the default search engine in Ubuntu, then we heard about the move to a closed source Single Sign on Service built on OpenID, now we find out that the Ubuntu Music Store will be sacrificing the open-source ogg-theora format for proprietary MP3. Is Ubuntu drifting away from the Open-Source movement?

        • Build a lightweight graphical system in Ubuntu

          Why Ubuntu? Well mostly because I took a chunk out of Ubuntu a few days ago when I complained about the weight of the Gnome desktop in Karmic, and I’m still feeling a little guilty about that. And also because I still see random notes here and there about how the button location in Lucid is a dealbreaker :roll: and it’s clear that a lot of people haven’t cued in on how simple (dreadfully simple) it is to get your own system built in Ubuntu.

        • Ubuntu Linux- In need of a unique identity

          Yes there needed to be change in the way Ubuntu looked from the factory, but the change should have added to the uniqueness of it, not cause people to actually have to think twice to know that Ubuntu is not Mac OS. Change is good, but a unique form of change is even better. What do you think?

        • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS “Lucid Lynx” Preview

          Spring is in the air! The trees are budding and the flowers are starting to come out of their slumber. It also means that it is time for another release of the desktop oriented Ubuntu Linux.

          Ubuntu will frequently produce what is called a LTS or a Long Term Support release. That means unlike non LTS releases, this version is meant to be stable and to also have security updates and fixes for the next three years. A release like this is meant for those who want to install something that will be somewhat guaranteed to work for the next 3 years. The previous LTS, Ubuntu 8.04 codenamed “Hardy Heron” was released in 2008.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 185

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #185 for the week March 14th – March 20th, 2010. In this issue we cover: Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Beta 1 released, Ubuntu Global Jam: time is ticking, Call for Community help: Ubuntu.com Website Localization Project, Launchpad’s Bug Watch system and other animals, Upgrade Jams – made easy, Server Bug Zapping – eucalyptus and euca2ools, Nominate your favorite Ubuntu Server Papercuts, Full Circle Podcast #2: The Full Circle of Light (Brown), and much, much more!

        • Ubuntu loses the human aspect

          For anyone who doesn’t know by now, Ubuntu has decided to ditch their world famous brown “human” suit in order to look more like a washed out version of Mac. Ever since Ubuntu came on the scene, it has sported a brown theme. Many people have poked fun or just flat out hated it. I read a comment about how Ubuntu looked like something off a “pumpkin pie box” for instance.

        • TestDrive Virtualizes Brand-New Ubuntu Builds for Easy Testing

          It would be icing on some tasty cake if this tool could be made to work for Windows users. If that can be pulled off, or there’s a similar tool, do let us know in the comments. In the meantime, it’s a free download for Ubuntu users, who can install it by running the command sudo add-apt-repository ppa:testdrive/ppa, then reloading their sources and installing the testdrive package.

        • First Look at Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Beta

          If you give Ubuntu 10.04 a go as a live CD, virtual machine, or on your hard drive, tell us what’s new and exciting, and what’s just goofy, in the comments. If you’re an Ubuntu user who doesn’t want the fuss of setting up a test run, consider using TestDrive for a super-simple VirtualBox try-out.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Iris Servers and Velocity Workstations from Pogo Linux Feature 12x Better Performance with Intel’s New Intel Xeon 5600 Processors

      New Pogo Linux servers and workstations built with the new Intel Xeon processor, automatically shift the CPU and memory into the lowest available power state at any given time. In addition to integrated power gates for increased energy savings, Pogo Linux Intel Xeon 5600 systems automatically regulate power consumption and adjust system performance to meet application and user-environments needs.

    • Datalight Simplifies Reliable Data Storage for Linux-based Devices

      Datalight announces support for Linux kernel versions up to 2.6.29 with new versions of FlashFX Tera, the file-system independent flash memory manager and Reliance Nitro, the highly-reliable, high-performance file system.

    • Timesys(R) – Preferred Linux Solution Provider for Texas Instruments Processors – Announces Support for the New TMS320DM365 DaVinci(TM) Video Processor
    • E-Readers

      • Kindles Come to Classroom in Ghana

        This is the idea behind the Worldreader project, which has just put 20 Kindles into a school of 11 to 14-year-olds. I know what you’re thinking: What’s wrong with paper books? Why do they need this expensive, fancy gadgetry? Because paper books take a long time to replace. These schools are on a 5-year book-renewal cycle right now. A Kindle, although pricy to start, essentially gives access to thousands of free, public domain books.

      • Atom-based tablet runs Android, targets publishers

        A Berlin-based software company is preparing an Intel Atom N450-based e-reader that runs Linux with Android extensions. Billed as the “tablet PC for publishing houses,” Neofonie GmbH’s “WePad” tablet sports an 11.6-inch touchscreen, 16GB of flash storage, a SD card, WiFi, Bluetooth, USB, and a webcam, says Neofonie.

      • Alex eReader set to ship two weeks after iPad

        Spring Design’s Alex eReader is one of those products that probably would have gotten a lot more attention had it managed to come out before Apple’s iPad. However, as it stands, the $399 Android-powered device, which features both a 6-inch e-ink display and a 3.5-inch, 16-bit color touch-screen LCD, is scheduled to ship in the middle of April and threatens to get overshadowed by the iPad’s arrival on April 3.

      • Introducing the enTourage eDGe™
    • Phones

      • Nokia

        • Nokia N900 Top 20 Free Games

          The Nokia N900 may have been designed as an open-source tablet allowing you to make the most of the Linux-based OS for high-end tasks on the go. However, it also happens to be a pretty awesome gaming machine in its own right. Check out our guide to the Top 20 free games Nokia N900 games of all time…

      • Android

        • Reasons for Root: Report

          Not quite three weeks ago, I made a request in this column for “reasons for root” — business arguments why a device manufacturer should be willing, perhaps even interested, to allow replacement firmware and/or root access on their devices. That post received a number of comments, as did a tweet and a thread on the [android-discuss] Google Group.

          [...]

          Obviously, this report does not include every possible argument, specifically trying to stay away from emotional or ethical points and sticking to business and financial ones. I am sure there are more ideas and arguments to be made, so I expect this report to be a “living document”, republished periodically, gaining strength each time.

        • DailyTech: “HTC Incredible Arriving in 2 Weeks”

          Speaking to a member of the DailyTech team, a member of Verizon confirmed that the provider will be offering the phone just two weeks from now.

    • Tablets

      • Enso’s zenPad is the cheap Android tablet you’ve always wanted, available now

        With so many concept Android tablets floating around lately we were inclined to just ignore this one — until we learned two particularly interesting aspects: it starts at $155, and it’s actually shipping now. It’s the zenPad from Enso, a five-inch, 800 x 480 Android 1.6 tablet with 8GB of storage (on a replaceable microSD) that, for an additional $25, comes with GPS.

      • Eric Schmidt confirms Android (Marketplace?) for Tablets

        Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, recently spoke about large screen Android Tablets at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit keynote (at timecode 10 minutes and 39 seconds). It’s a nice way of Eric Schmidt to indirectly confirm that Google is definitely going to support the development of Android based Tablets as alternatives on the market to the upcoming iPad.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Google Releases Free Web Security Scanner

    Though skipfish performs the same functions as other open-source scanning tools like Nikto and Nessus, Google engineer Michal Zalewski argues that skipfish has a several advantages.

  • STMicroelectronics speaker at SHARE on-line event

    We’re happy to promote this one – a SHARE SIG on-line event. The organisation’s slogan is ‘Improving European Embedded System Industry through Open Source SW Sharing’.

  • Health

    • HealthAlliance restarts open-source desktop project

      Auckland health shared services unit HealthAlliance has resuscitated efforts to develop a standard desktop based on open-source software, but CIO Phil Brimacombe says it looks as though the District Health Boards will never be able to divorce their desktops entirely from Microsoft.

      First mooted in 2005, the open-source desktop idea, seen as potentially relevant for all DHBs, was “put into mothballs” in 2009, owing to many higher-priority projects, Brimacombe says.

      [...]

      “There’s no way we could be Microsoft-free,” says Brimacombe, “but we expect a hybrid solution will still lower our total cost of ownership.”

    • Here’s How Much Money Your Hospital Could Get For Computerizing Records

      To get that money, however, hospitals have to meet certain criteria drafted by the federal government. Since Medsphere’s e-health software is free — so-called open-source software that you could download from home — the firm is hoping to turn a profit by helping hospitals set up e-records and meet those federal requirements. They developed the calculator as a marketing tool to show potential clients that much of their fees are offset by the stimulus cash.

  • Asia

    • A fresh way to conduct meetings

      Designed by the Open Source Competency Centre under MAMPU, this application makes it possible for stakeholders to track the status of decisions and action items.

    • National Free Software coalition formed

      Free Software is not just about writing GNU/Linux software or choosing one technology over the other.

      Taking forward the ideology of Free Software — that includes free knowledge, science and digital societies in its ambit — delegates at the National Free Software conference announced the formation of a national coalition, the National Free Software Movement of India.

  • Media

    • Listen To Online Radio While Browsing The Web

      For Google Chrome on Windows and Linux Only: The Chrome Radio extension for Google Chrome makes it much easier to playback online radio streams right inside the browser. The extension is very nifty, streamlined and fits smoothly in the browser without interfering with the user’s browsing experience.

    • 5 Open Source music sharing sites worth knowing

      The billions of Dollars of the recording industry versus your dozens of Dollars will always mean ground breaking fines and terms of imprisonment should you fall foul of their rules. If you are a music lover and want to enjoy music without looking over your shoulders at all times, then the following 5 Open music sharing sites should be of interest to you.

    • Ubuntu One Music Store

      Another interesting question is if the stores will offer the same titles.I can see exclusive arrangements with each service and consumers will have both services in order to get songs they want.It will also be interesting if the Ubuntu Music Store can be used outside of Linux.

  • SaaS

    • Open Source in the Cloud

      Drizzle is currently being developed by many of the same people who originally developed MySQL, but this project is decidedly more robust in terms of performance, which Bryce said makes it ideally suited for the cloud.

    • Why Open Source and Operations Matter in Cloud Computing

      Earlier this week, IBM announced a cloud computing program offering development and test services for companies and governments. That doesn’t sound like much, yet on closer inspection it’s a flagstone in the march toward a comprehensive cloud offering at Big Blue. It also demonstrates how operational efficiency is a competitive weapon in our service economy. Let me explain.

    • Monitoring: Via the Cloud or Open-Source Tools?

      As today’s fast-paced IT industry changes, with the development and growth of virtualized infrastructure and cloud computing, both open-source network and cloud-based monitoring tools are attracting growing interest.

  • CMS

    • Is this the year the proprietary CMS dies?

      A few panels at SXSWi gave rather convincing evidence this has become the norm, not the exception.

      It wasn’t any surprise that speakers at the Friday panel, “Selling Your Milk When the Cow is Free,” were in the open source corner. After all, the moderator was Jeff Eaton, software architect for Lullabot Consulting and a core developer for the Drupal project. Panelists were Brad Fitzpatrick, creator of LiveJournal; Evan Prodromou, founder/CEO of StatusNet Inc, the Open Source microblogging company; Eric Gundersen, president/co-founder of Development Seed; and Tiffany Farriss, president of Palantir.net Inc. and member of the Drupal Association Board of Directors.

    • How Open Source Led the Blogging Revolution

      The Panthers site is hosted on a Linux system, so it took me a little while to remember all of my Linux/Unix stuff, but within a day or two I was cruising. I updated the Word Press install and installed the automatic update plug in for future updates. I also installed a bunch of other plug ins that bring all kinds of functionality to your blog. There are literally 100′s if not thousands of plug ins that let Word Press do virtually whatever you want.

      I love the dashboard and control panel for Word Press. Many of the plug ins have their own configuration screens that you can access and you can use the widget page to arrange your side bars.

  • Business

    • Mitre 10 taps open source for fast BI win

      National hardware chain Mitre 10 implemented a business intelligence system in eight weeks to centralise its reporting while maintaining compatibility with existing spreadsheets.

    • Why Standards and Open Source Will Save You Money

      You’ve probably seen a commercial at some point with some guy throwing money in the air, declaring his intent to “Save you money!” Of course, the deal invariably required that you pay money to “save” money, which makes marginal sense at best. Still, this perennial exuberant exclamation has served as a regular reminder of the natural human desire to pay less than retail price (whatever that means).

      Saving money these days carries vastly more weight than it has in previous years – and that trend will surely continue throughout 2010, one way or another. The reason is simply because lots of money really did just disappear, and new money will take time to infiltrate the system (read: your pocket). So, what’s an information manager to do in the meantime?

      [...]

      This is where standards really shine, and what master data management is all about. By employing standards at the semantic level, with a corporate taxonomy, for example, a company can manage its metadata in a most meaningful way, and that will make for much happier – and less expensive – times down the road when new systems come online.

    • NYSE Euronext and Bloomberg bring open symbology to data feeds

      “An open source, truly integrated solution for market data distribution is long overdue. NYSE Euronext is pleased to join with Bloomberg in delivering this innovative, market-based approach to benefit our customers and the investing public,” said Larry Leibowitz, Chief Operating Officer, NYSE Euronext.

  • Releases

    • GDB 7.1 released

      Release 7.1 of GDB, the GNU Debugger, is now available via anonymous FTP. GDB is a source-level debugger for Ada, C, C++, Objective-C, Pascal and many other languages. GDB can target (i.e., debug programs running on) more than a dozen different processor architectures, and GDB itself can run on most popular GNU/Linux, Unix and Microsoft Windows variants.

    • Version 6 of the PHProjekt project management software released

      After two years of development, the developer team at Würzburg, Germany based vendor Mayflower responsible for the PHProjekt project management software has released a completely rebuilt version 6 of PHProjekt under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL). The latter allows developers to combine their own modules with PHProjekt and release them under a different licence.

    • Version 1.4 of opentaps ERP + CRM application released
  • Government

    • Better Portland government through open source apps?

      Civic problem got you frustrated? Mayor Sam Adams hopes you’ll build an app for that.

      Adams announced the launch of CivicApps, an open source design contest to “showcase regional open data and promote collaboration between citizens and government to create applications … that address civic issues” to benefit the community at large.

  • Openness

    • Is Open Source the Answer to Residential Demand Response?

      OpenADR — the Berkeley Labs open source system for automating the way utilities do demand response — is already being used to control some 70 megawatts of capacity for big industrial and commercial customers of California’s biggest utilities. Could it expand its reach into homes and small businesses? Mary Ann Piette, research director at Berkeley Labs’ Demand Response Research Center, believes it can and mentioned a list of interested parties on Wednesday during a California Public Utilities Commission workshop in San Francisco.

    • GoAhead Software shifts to open source business model

      GoAhead Software said that it is shifting its business model and technology strategy from its SAFfire product to an open source software model. In conjuction with the move to open source, GoAhead has also acquired Avantellis from Emerson Network Power.

    • Voting for trust

      Located in downtown Palo Alto, Open Source Digital Voting Foundation’s goal is to build a publicly owned digital elections system that is practical, secure, affordable and above reproach.

    • Open Source Washing Machine Project Rethinks Clothes-Washing

      Most of us don’t think about the cultural context of our washing machines–we just toss in clothes, turn on the device, and don’t ponder it further. But the reality is that the majority of people on the planet wash clothes by hand, mostly because of poverty and lack of available resources. Enter the Open Source Washing Machine Project, which rethinks the way we wash clothes based on economical, sociological, cultural and environmental conditions.

    • The Open Source Washing Machine Project

      The Open Source Washing Machine Project was created by students from the École Supérieure d’Art d’Aix-en-Provence of France. The project’s objective is to develop affordable alternative washing technologies based on the unique economic, climatic and cultural contexts of different countries.

    • Cusat to join OSDD programme

      The Cochin University of Science and Technology(Cusat) will soon become a part of the Team India consortium for the Open Source Drug Discovery(OSDD) programme of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The OSDD programme aims at developing modern medicines at cheaper rates and developing newer solutions for diagnosing diseases like TB which are responsible for more than 1,000 deaths a day in India.

    • Yves Behar and his open-source people’s car

      “A highlight of last month’s Greener Gadgets conference in New York was a cute, emerald-colored product designed by Yves Béhar of FuseProject that is aimed for citizens of the developing world who might never have dreamed of possessing such an object.

  • Programming

    • Software development – a lot more than coding

      Today, embedded compilers handle C++ as well as C, and code size is improved even if that is less important in the new powerful 32-bit devices. The difference in size between compilers from different vendors is marginal on most cases, and the free GNU compiler is in many cases even better than some commercial compilers. Debuggers are better too, but it is still functions for execution of code and inspection of variable values that are in focus.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Kaltura and Partners Launch New Initiatives to Promote Open Video and the HTML5 Standard

      “The world needs an open video standard which allows everyone to produce and share video, without licensing fees or browser plugins,” said Erik Moller, Deputy Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. “HTML5 offers such a standard, and we have partnered with Kaltura to develop an open source HTML5 video solution for Wikipedia. We encourage you to check it out, and to support open standards in your web applications.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Undercover Feds on Social Networking Sites Raise Questions

      The next time someone tries to “friend” you on Facebook, it may turn out to be an undercover fed looking to examine your private messages and photos, or surveil your friends and family. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has obtained an internal Justice Department document that describes what law enforcement is doing on social networking sites.

    • US school spy case sparks fight over money

      Parents representing about a quarter of the high school students in the suburban Philadelphia school district accused of spying on teenagers using their laptops’ cameras said they’re “outraged” by a lawsuit seeking monetary damages.

      Meanwhile, Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) has scheduled a hearing on March 29 by the Judiciary subcommittee on crime and drugs, which he chairs, on the use of student-issued computers to allegedly spy on students in their homes.

    • BEXLEY: CCTV contract with Siemens leads the way in the UK

      In a few weeks time, Bexley’s new CCTV control room will be up and running. LINDA PIPER has been taking a sneak preview.

      AFTER signing a £7m 10-year contract with one of the world’s top technology companies to run the borough’s CCTV system, it is hardly surprising Bexley is pleased.

    • New IPS ID card blog – a grammar and truth vacuum

      Yet, in 2008 the government lost over 29 million personal records. Amongst the data lost were the details for 25 million child benefit claimants; the Ministry of Justice lost information affecting more than 45,000 people, in some cases revealing their criminal records and credit histories; and the Home Office lost the personal details of 3,000 seasonal agricultural workers – including their passport numbers – when two CDs went missing in the post.

    • Metro cops press P10-M CCTV system at NLEX, SLEX

      In a bid to catch motoring criminals trying to escape via the North and South Luzon Expressways (NLEX, SLEX), Metro Manila police have earmarked P10 million for a closed-circuit television (CCTV) system that can recognize vehicle license plates.

      But Metro Manila police chief Director Roberto Rosales asked the management of NLEX and SLEX to provide counterpart funds for the ambitious project.

      [...]

      In case of a car chase, chokepoints and checkpoints could immediately be established in case suspected vehicles are spotted around the jurisdiction of the monitored area.

      “The monitoring system will not only help us document incidents of crime for purposes of presenting them as evidence in court but, will also enable us to immediately and appropriately respond to any crime incident that happens within NLEX and SLEX and adjoining thoroughfares,” Rosales said.

    • Political activists call for inquiry after revelations about undercover police

      Political activists have reacted with anger to revelations in last week’s Observer that their organisations were infiltrated by an elite undercover unit of the Metropolitan police.

      Members of one of the groups demanded a public inquiry after the Observer disclosed that a former member of Special Branch, known as Officer A, had infiltrated far-left organisations in the mid-1990s to gather intelligence about potentially violent demonstrators. He was regularly involved in brutal confrontations with uniformed police officers and activists from the extreme right. On numerous occasions he engaged in violent acts to maintain his cover.

  • Environment

    • Methane May Be Building Under Antarctic Ice

      BALTIMORE — Microbes living under ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland could be churning out large quantities of the greenhouse gas methane, a new study suggests.

    • Greenpeace takes action against coal plant to halt ‘Global Shame’

      Terapii Williams from the Cook Islands has come to Prunerov to support this action. He warned: “Pacific nations are endangered by rising sea levels and rising sea temperatures. Our homes are threatened and the marine ecosystems on which we depend are being damaged. The very existence of whole nations and cultures is at stake. If industrialised countries like the Czech Republic continue to fuel climate change, we are doomed.”

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Sued for Not Divulging Madoff Ban to Investor

      A Bernard Madoff victim who lost $15 million is suing Goldman Sachs for allegedly failing to tell him in 2004 that it had put a taboo on the Madoff Fund and that he should pull his money out.

      Retired businessman Jerome Goodman, 69, of Hardwick, N.J., claims in his suit in federal court in Newark, N.J., that “Goldman Sachs implemented an internal ban on investment with the Madoff Fund in or around 1999, after Goldman Sachs conducted or attempted to conduct satisfactory due diligence into the Madoff Fund.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Justice’s wife launches ‘tea party’ group

      But Thomas is no ordinary activist. She is the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and she has launched a tea-party-linked group that could test the traditional notions of political impartiality for the court.

      In January, Virginia Thomas created Liberty Central Inc., a nonprofit lobbying group whose website will organize activism around a set of conservative “core principles,” she said.

    • Chemicals in Plastic Linked to Low IQs in Kids

      A new study published in the March issue of Environmental Health Perspectives finds that phthalates (pronounced “THA-lates”), chemicals used to make plastics flexible and artificial fragrances linger, could have an effect on brain function in children who have been exposed to them. These phthalate plasticizers, are being eliminated from children’s products in this country due to health concerns. But they’re still present in many products children are exposed to on a daily basis, including countless home, medical, and personal-care products, as well as cleaning supplies used in schools

    • MPs targeted in undercover sting over cash for influence

      A group of MPs, including former ministers, have been targeted in an elaborate sting operation in which journalists set up a bogus lobbying company and offered to pay them in return for political influence.

      Among the politicians approached was Stephen Byers, the former cabinet minister and arch-Blairite, who was filmed describing himself as a “bit like a sort of cab for hire”. He offered to trade Westminster contacts for £3,000 to £5,000 a day.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Oz Internet Censorship gets noticed in China

      Kevin Rudd’s plans to crack down on Internet content appear to have drawn the attention of no less than the Chinese Government. The website of the State Council Information Office recently featured an article (Google translation here) on Rudd’s endorsement of an “online ombudsman” to deal with inappropriate Internet content and discusses the upcoming mandatory filtering legislation.

    • Court: Cyberbullying Threats Are Not Protected Speech

      A California appeals court ruled this week that threatening posts made by readers of a website are not protected free speech, allowing a case charging the posters with hate crimes and defamation to proceed.

    • Nestle Discovers The Streisand Effect… But Only After Making Things Worse And Worse… And Worse

      Earlier this week, reader Jorvay sent over the news of how food giant Nestle had massively overreacted to an (admittedly disgusting) anti-Nestle video put together by Greenpeace and posted to YouTube. The thing was, this video was getting no attention. It had less than 1,000 views… but someone who should have known better at Nestle filed a bogus copyright claim to take down the video.

    • Kit Kat spat goes viral despite Nestlé’s efforts

      A global game of Whack-a-Mole broke out Wednesday on the Internet when YouTube removed a gruesome anti-Nestlé commercial by Greenpeace after the multinational food giant complained, only to have viewers flock to the video-sharing site Vimeo.com, where the spot became an instant cause célèbre because of the reputed censorship.

      The 60-second video depicts a bored office worker enjoying a Kit Kat, which rather than being the popular chocolate-hazelnut ladyfinger-style confection, appears to be a chocolate-covered ape finger. As he munches on the treat, it oozes blood over his chin and across his keyboard, shocking his co-workers. “Have a break?” reads the on-screen text. “Give the orangu-tan a break.”

    • Weil Wins Injunction Against Fly on the Wall

      Like our colleague Alison Frankel at The Am Law Litigation Daily, we had not before heard of the “hot news” tort that places some limits on the publication of information, even if that information is already in the public domain in some form. That’s the tort three banks represented by Weil, Gotshal & Manges used to win an injunction against the breaking Wall Street news site Theflyonthewall.com, according to The Am Law Litigation Daily. The banks claimed Fly’s practice of publishing pieces of research reports almost instantly undercut their work by making key nuggets meant for exclusive client use available to a wider audience immediately. Why would clients pay big money those reports–which themselves cost the banks money to produce–if Fly was going to publish the important stuff right away?

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Too Little Too Late: Universal Music Finally Realizes That Maybe CDs Were Too Expensive

      Uh, perhaps because the market is shrinking because people find it too expensive otherwise. Either way, this move seems like way too little, way too late. Doing this in the late 90s might have been a start, but this isn’t going to get people who have stopped buying CDs back into a plastic disc fix.

    • [Satire] Report: Music Industry Made $18 In 2009

      The Recording Industry Association of America announced Tuesday that the combined revenue brought in by Warner, Sony, EMI, Universal, and countless independent music labels in 2009 totaled $18. “The music industry is back,” RIAA representative Doug Fowley said. “Not only was Kenny Chesney’s Greatest Hits CD purchased at a Knoxville, TN Borders for $12.99, but we also had two songs downloaded through iTunes, and our ringtone sales reached three.” Fowley added that as long as no one returns or exchanges the CD, the music industry would continue to be a vital and creative force in American culture.

    • Hotel music charges case referred to ECJ

      THE HIGH Court has asked the European Court of Justice to decide legal issues raised in proceedings brought in an effort to have hotel operators pay a charge for playing copyright music in guest bedrooms.

    • PITTSBURGH: Music, Copyrights, and Free Speech in the Digital Age

      In the past 10 to 15 years, music has gone from a finite good available only in physical form from various brick and mortar retailers to an infinite good readily available for legal purchase and illegal download on the internet. As I write this post, I’m listening to music on an iPhone, a device smaller than a deck of cards, which holds approximately 8 GB of music that has been ripped from CDs, purchased from iTunes, and downloaded from the internet. Music’s relatively new status as an infinite good has led to an intense debate between the music industry and consumers. How far may the recording industry limit consumers’ free speech rights to hear and disseminate recorded works in the interest of protecting copyright? The ACLU event that I attended was led by staff attorney Sara Rose, and was an attempt to facilitate a discussion on this inherent conflict between copyright and free speech. However, it became clear that many of the audience members lacked an understanding of the basic economic, ethical, and technological issues impacting the music industry in the 21st century.

    • Confidentiality Issues Mushroom in the Tribune Bankruptcy

      The Tribune Co. bankruptcy keeps producing juicy legal storylines: a bench smackdown of Sidley Austin’s proposed $1,100 per hour rates, a debate over expensive fee examiners, a cameo from Warren Beatty and, most central to the case, a possible lawsuit against the banks that engineered the leveraged buyout that ruined Tribune.

    • ACS:Law Now Using Dubious Legal Theories To Threaten Slyck.com

      Just last week, we were talking about how UK firm ACS:Law, who has been condemned by UK politicians and ISPs, was still pushing forward with its efforts to send out tens of thousands of threatening “pre-settlement” letters. These letters attempt to scare recipients into paying up to avoid a potential (though rarely filed) lawsuit claiming copyright infringement, based on quite weak evidence (an IP address collected by DigiProtect after DigiProtect purposely puts a file online). The whole thing has been called a “scam” by Lord Lucas in the UK, and lawyers at the firm that initiated this practice, Davenport Lyons (and who apparently provided ACS:Law with its original documents) were recently referred to a disciplinary committee by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

      [...]

      Of course, in theory, ACS:Law could push forward against Slyck anyway, and could potentially win in the UK. But given the mass scorn being heaped upon ACS:Law right now in the UK, combined with a recent push in the UK to rewrite defamation laws to prevent these sorts of questionable lawsuits, if ACS:Law does decide to push forward, it may find that the backlash is a lot more damaging than some anonymous person in a forum calling its plan a wank plan.

    • Making a copyright system that works

      Today, plagiarism is an honor code offense, not a violation of law, and this seems to be quite adequate. The defense against plagiarism accusations is simple, though: simply identify your sources. This informal attribution requirement hardly needs enforcement.

      Formal attribution requirements do carry a burden though, of transactional costs involved in tracking the information and meeting the notice requirements. In this way, they are similar to the BSD advertising clause that the GNU project objected to. So, I think it is reasonable to have time limits to the formal requirements of attribution, exactly as for copyleft terms.

    • “Piracy” sounds too sexy, say rightsholders

      For years, we’ve heard complaints about using the term “piracy” to describe the online copyright infringement—but most have come from Big Content’s critics.

      As noted copyright scholar William Patry argued in his most recent book, “To say that X is a pirate is a metaphoric heuristic, intended to persuade a policymaker that the in-depth analysis can be skipped and the desired result immediately attained… Claims of piracy are rhetorical nonsense.”

    • ACTA/Digital Economy Bill

      • If ACTA Gets Approved, Expect China To Use It As Justification For Censorship

        While one of ACTA’s biggest supporters, Rep. Howard Berman, is now pushing for laws to stop companies aiding in China’s censorship, he might want to consider that a better plan would be to back down on ACTA. If ACTA passes, it seems quite likely that China would then use it as justification for its own “great firewall” censorship program. Already, we’re seeing that China is looking to use plans for internet filters in Australia to its own advantage by comparing that system to its own — and you can bet China would be thrilled to be able to use a US-backed concept to support its continued censorship.

      • ACTA: the new institution

        KEI has access to yet undisclosed sections of the negotiating ACTA text. The text is organized in 6 chapters. The longest is Chapter 2 on “legal framework for enforcement of intellectual property rights.” The second longest is Chapter 5, on “Institutional Arrangements.” In ten pages of text, the ACTA negotiators have set out a plan to create a new institution to administer, implement and modify ACTA. ACTA is seen as playing an important role that will rival in some ways the WIPO or WTO.

      • New ACTA Leaks: Criminal Enforcement, Institutional Issues, and International Cooperation

        New ACTA leaks have emerged this week that fill in the blanks about the remainder of the still-secret treaty. While earlier leaks provided extensive detail on the Internet and civil enforcement chapters, these latest leaks shed new light into the criminal enforcement section, the chapter on ACTA institutional issues, and international cooperation.

      • Would the actions of the Digital Economy Bill be tolerated “offline”?

        There’s a race on, and no it’s not the Cheltenham festival. Should the election be held on the 6th of May as is expected then parliament will be duly dissolved around the 6th of April, which leaves only 10 days of parliamentary time to debate all the remaining laws trying to be passed. It is this reason that when the Lords finally passed the Digital Economy Bill on the 15th of March they spent a significant portion of time discussing the issue of the “wash-up”, or a (relatively) clandestine period of legislative discussion that occurs in the twilight between an announcement of an election being made, and parliament being closed down for the impending election.

        [...]

        The Digital Economy Bill is a step back for all of us, and another shot in the foot for our very democracy; a heavy handed approach to a relatively small issue. So again, if you haven’t done so please write to your MP and let them know you simply want them to do their duty in representing you and protecting you against hastily crafted law that isn’t in your best interests. If we’re lucky then we may make sure that it is only the few uncontroversial parts of this law that make it on to the books.

      • Don’t rush through extreme web laws

        We’ve teamed up with Open Rights Group to make it easy for you to write to your MP urging them to stop the Government rushing the bill through. It’ll take you less than 2 minutes. Just enter your postcode above (so we can find your MP) and click “participate” to get started.

      • Just As It Tries To Kick People Offline, The British Gov’t Wants To Move All Public Service Online

        Just as it considers kicking people offline via the Digital Economy Bill, it looks like the UK is getting set to move all sorts of government services online — giving every UK citizen a unique webpage, where they can access all sorts of personalized gov’t services.

      • Rush to pass digital bill will ‘sidestep democracy’

        A group of senior public figures have called on the government to abandon its plan to push through controversial digital economy bill before the election, amid claims that the move could “sidestep” the democratic process.

        Earlier this week the government revealed that it wants to force the digital economy bill – which includes the controversial “three strikes” rule to cut off the internet connections of those accused of illegal file sharing – into the statute books in the next few weeks.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Scottish Parliamentarian Patrick Harvey_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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