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Links 23/07/2009: Sony Ericsson Dumps Windows for Linux, US Free Software Coalition Formed

Posted in News Roundup at 3:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux In the Movies– Thumbs Up!

    YouTube videos are tiny and blurry, and sometimes so herky-jerky they cause motion sickness. But where else can you find thousands of Linux videos on every subject imaginable? Here is a collection of short videos starring Linux: from IBM, Novell, and random creative people doing random creative acts like taking Tux skydiving, running 165 Linux applications at once, and making movies with Blender.

  • Linux Box: Open Source On The Grow

    Ann Arbor’s Linux Box, which has spent the last 10 years writing custom open-source software applications for a long list of clients, says its business is growing rapidly enough that it’s likely to boost staff by 50 percent to 20 within the next year or two.

    “The future is really positive,” said Linux Box co-founder Elizabeth Ziph.

  • Research and Markets: 2008-2009 Annual Report on China’s Open-Source Software Market

    Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/379dcc/20082009_annual_r) has announced the addition of the “2008-2009 Annual Report on China’s Open-Source Software Market” report to their offering.

    Vendors Involved: Red Flag Software Co., Ltd., Novell, China Standard Software, Red Hat, Turolinux, Redflag Chinese 2000, etc.

  • Shutting the window and grabbing my hat…

    As you may already know, I’ve been at war with a few computers. They all have one common trait, they run a Windows OS. Well, for my desk top I chose the nuclear option. I wiped it’s brains out and installed a Linux OS. I should have done this a long time ago. What a difference.

  • Point-For-Point With Keir Thomas About Google Chrome OS

    3. “Google is big, ergo Google is evil.”

    This deserves its own post and may get one later, but briefly:

    No, being rich and big does not make you evil. Let’s take a big, fat example: If they only would quit their illegal anti-competitive monopolistic practices, even Microsoft would not be evil. Yes, I said it. I said it in its own post here. My whole beef with Microsoft is that I’d just like them to leave us all alone. Knock off that antitrust violation and associated nasty business – the stuff that’s gotten them in trouble in the US, UK, and all over the world – and I’d be indifferent to them like any random company. Don’t forget Bill Gates’ ‘Open Letter to Hobbyists’ here. The free community does not have a problem with Microsoft; Microsoft is the one with the problem with the free community.

  • Linux Against Poverty Needs More Computers Now

    Linux Against Poverty, in Austin, Texas, USA, needs more computers right away. They’re doing the hard part, all you need to do is give a little…

  • Audio

  • Desktop

    • Getting your Microsoft Tax Refunded: 10/10 for Amazon UK! [Updated]

      Yesterday I received a great prize from the people at Miserware for helping with the Beta trial of their power saving software for Linux computers; a new and very shiny Asus 1008HA netbook PC.

    • How Does Ubuntu 9.04 Measure Up to Mac OS X?

      Over all, Ubuntu 9.04 averages a B+ in this comparison against Mac OS X usability.

    • VirtualBox 3.0.0 Compiz slideshow

      Last week, I reviewed the newly released VirtualBox 3. The experience was simply phenomenal. VirtualBox 3 brings in a host of new features and improvements, most notable among them the revamped network stack and 3D effects for guest machines.

    • The wrong reasons to use Linux

      1. Compiz. You might read that and feel like you just got hit in the face with a glass of cold water. After all, Compiz is way cool. It’s smooth, clever, innovative, years ahead of the competition and best of all, free-as-in-beer. What’s to dislike?

    • The Reason Why I Loved Knoppix More Than Windows!

      I’ve been a Windows user since fourteen years ago, where the Window 95 was my first computer operating system. Honestly, I was overexcited, as I owned my first computer for the first time in life! I spent over 6 hours daily to learn how to use the computer. Well, in less than three days, I’ve mastered all the basic skills of the computer, including the Windows operating system as well!

      Time flies by, and the Microsoft Windows have been rapidly changed in the past fourteen years. Honestly, I tried every Windows version, from the Windows 1.01 to the latest Windows XP Professional x64 Edition. Frankly, Window Vista is the most terrible that ever released in all the Window versions! I’ve encountered many difficulties and I really losing my temper on this version.

    • Life is about choice, computing should be too.

      Having a choice of Linux distributions to choose from is a good thing. It means that people have a chance to find a distribution which best suits their wanted computing experience. Having only a single operating system to choose from means that everybody is forced into that systems framework. Not unlike the ancient times when all ladies were forced into a constricting corset.

  • Server

    • Open source mainframe software: Two perspectives

      IBM sought to ameliorate the situation with the reviled Object Code Only (OCO) policy. However, in exchange for yanking the source, IBM added many more exit points with structured, well-documented interfaces. In addition to the exits, IBM provided programming interfaces for changing and gathering system information without resorting to actually touching control blocks.

  • Kernel Space

    • LPC: Kernel/Userspace/User Interfaces Microconference

      One of the biggest secrets of FOSS’s success is a well-crafted set of interfaces amongst the various components. Although famously not set in stone, these interfaces permit different FOSS projects to work for the most part separately, while still coming together as a coherent system. Such interfaces are clearly a key topic for the Linux Plumbers Conference.

    • I Like My File Systems Chunky: UnionsFS and ChunkFS

      Given the size of today’s hard drives, a question often asked is how to create and manage large file systems. Many times, this question is asked around ext3 which can be fairly limiting in size. The corollary to this question is how one manages large file systems. In this article, an approach to creating file systems using the concepts of ChunkFS will be presented. In particular, UnionFS will be used to create a large file system from “chunks” using UnionFS and at the same time helps with check and repair times.

    • Do Linux Benchmarks Have A Leg To Stand On?

      Different distros typically run different versions of key software, and this case was typical. While three of the distros installed the EXT4 file system by default, for example, a fourth — Mandriva — uses EXT3. To some extent, these differences make exact comparisons very difficult, although benchmarking can still provide useful information about general performance trends.

      Or can they? Perhaps that’s a debatable point.

  • Applications

    • 10 outstanding Linux backup utilities

      A dependable backup tool is not a luxury – everyone needs to have one. But that doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune to get the feature set that meets your needs. Jack Wallen introduces some great Linux backup solutions, including a few that are cross platform.

    • Using open-source data backup software

      Many people who use open-source data backup software become quite attached to a program, whether it’s Amanda, BackupPC or Bacula. Administrators responsible for protecting data at SMBs or at the departmental level typically gravitate to these free programs because they’re comfortable writing custom scripts and working with Unix and Linux. Also, they can use open-source backup tools such as rsync, which synchronizes files and directories between different locations, and tar, an archiving program.

    • Reviewed: AVG Anti-virus 8.5 for Linux

      Our verdict: Powerful, feature-rich scanner that’s completely lost on its target audience. 3/10.

    • Review: Claws Mail 3.7.2

      Quality wise, I think Claws Mail is a little on the light side and offers a few stumbling blocks for new users. Speed wise. Solid gold. Same with stability. Other than the import feature issue, I found it to be excellent. And I do mean excellent. Not a hitch or glitch or hickup. It’s an email program that’s well worth looking at, especially if you have an older machine, or just want a mail app that’s very light weight and reliable.

  • Audio

    • The LiVES Video Editor and VJ Tool Turns 1.0

      Plans for the future include: subtitle support, effect masks, simplified task support, more plugins, instant opening for more file types, audio streaming, more audio effects, support for more “plugable” frame sources, such as gstreamer and MLT, an on screen display, and much more.

      And of course, now that 1.0 is here, I might start looking at other video editors and VJ tools – with the aim of emulating what they do, only better!

    • Amarok 2.1 Review

      The enhanced plasmoid feature in the 2.1 version shows the favorite and current track ad unlike the earlier versions the plasmoids are united into a single folder and lets you choose or switch with the new taskbar provided in the lower central window.

      A new services plasmoid is another addition.
      Both manual and automatic bookmarking is enabled in the amarok 2.1 version. The player automatically bookmarks a track played continuously for more than 10 minutes and resumes playing from the position when back.

    • Songbird vs. Amarok: How not to design a GUI

      In Songbird the playlist dominates the window by default. This is good because seeing a list of music is what I want. It’s the whole point of a music player.

  • Games

    • Hack and Slash and lose your computer while you’re at it!
    • John Carmack on Linux ports

      LG reader Tweet wrote id Software’s John Carmack about the status of Linux ports for the first-person shooter developer’s upcoming titles (minus QuakeLive, which has a Linux port in active development already)…

    • Frictional Sale Successful
    • Come Play This New Linux-Native Game With Us!

      S2 Games may not be as well known as id Software or Epic Games, but what distinguishes them from most of the other game companies is that they actually support Linux. With S2 Games’ Savage 2, for example they provide a Linux-native game client. S2 Games is hard at work on another title, Heroes of Newerth, and that too will be supported on Linux. In fact, it’s already running on Linux and Linux gamers will likely find a native client binary around the time of the game’s release on Windows (read: it won’t be released months or years later, like what we frequently find with Linux ported titles). Sound pretty great, but too impatient to wait for the game’s release? Well, come play it with us right now! And for free!

  • Desktop Environments

    • Xfce: New Life For Old Hardware

      Not all that long ago I wrote about KDE4 and how impressed I was. I’m not retracting those thoughts. I still feel the same way, and think KDE4 represents a solid step forward for the desktop environment running on X.

    • KDE

      • Akademy 2009 Technical Papers Published: Research And Innovation In The KDE Community

        Over the last few years KDE has seen increased involvement of students and university researchers. While many universities still feel uneasy about working with Free Software, the open and welcoming attitude in the KDE community has already brought several scientific research projects to life. A prime example is of course the Nepomuk project, officially finished but still very much alive within the Free Software- and scientific communities. Furthermore, many involved contributors make use of scientific research papers while looking for inspiration to solve the more complex problems involved in writing software. The Free Software community also contributes in a practical way to science: the Avogadro project, grown out of the KDE educational application Kalzium develops an advanced molecular editor designed for use in computational chemistry, molecular modeling, bioinformatics, materials science, and related areas. Last Akademy, an initiative was developed by Celeste Lyn Paul to bring KDE and science even closer.

      • Gran Canaria Desktop Summit 2009 – The Nepomuk Perspective

        Now I can look back and say: “I have been there. I have witnessed the first joint conference of the two biggest players in open-source desktop software: KDE and Gnome.” And I can tell you: it was good. I personally think it makes a lot of sense to have the conference together.

      • Lancelot 1.7 screencast (KDE 4.3)

        I’ve realized that the one and only screencast of Lancelot I made was even before the 1.0 was released. So, I’ve decided to make a new one. This cast is meant as an introduction to Lancelot, rather than to show the new features.

      • Akademy 2009 Group Photo
      • New “Usability” Group in Review Board

        KDE’s Review Board is a useful way for contributors inside and outside a project to submit patches and have them reviewed and approved by core developers. However, sometimes these patches specifically address design issues, or may introduce new design issues that a designer might need to review. If they are subscribed to the project mailing list or they regularly check Review Board, a designer might be able to notice requests they should comment on.

      • A lightweight heavyweight

        Of course mentioning LXDE in the same breath as KDE and Gnome will make some people bristle. Obviously a project with more than 430 contributors and one with 26 are in different leagues, even if the statistics show them in close succession.

  • Distributions

    • SliTaz 2.0: Simple, Speedy, and Secure

      It has been more than a year since my last look at SliTaz (Simple Light Incredible Temporary Autonomous Zone) GNU/Linux so I kind of miss it already. That’s why I decided to grab its second distribution release.

    • sidux

      • sidux 2009.02, waiting for antiX M8.2

        I was going to wait for both sidux 2009.02 and antiX M8.2 to come out, since there were test versions of both out earlier this month. antiX has been in public testing longer, but anticapitalista wants to get a few things just right before releasing. Meanwhile, the public test versions, including the Pre Final 1 for antiX M8.2 look very good.

      • sidux 2009-02: A Playground For The Adventurous

        KIDS these days have amazing play facilities filled with intricate log-and-cable structures designed to test their nerve and athleticism.

    • Mandriva

      • Samsung NC20 – A Brief Encounter

        That was about all the time that I had with it. We installed a few more optional packages, and Mandriva certainly seemed to work just fine. Oh, also, as my friend has experience with Ubuntu and Linux Mint, I chose to install the Mandriva Gnome version, rather than KDE. Obviously there were no problems as a result of that, either.

      • Pardus 2009

        But something must have gone horribly wrong during the install, because the stability is simply atrocious. Applications keep crashing. One time, I could move the mouse but I couldn’t open a single program because I couldn’t click anything. I booted into 5 minutes ago and Firefox wouldn’t start. I don’t know what happened, but I don’t feel like installing it again.

      • Interesting things I saw at GCDS: Pardus Linux

        This year at GCDS I had the pleasure of meeting Gökmen and Gökçen (pronounced “Gerkman” and “Gerkchan” with hard Gees not Jays). They are part of a relatively small team of around 15 developers who are sponsored by the Turkish government work on a Turkish Linux distribution called Pardus. It is a KDE focused distribution which has been around since the end of 2005. What makes this distribution so interesting is the system tools and configuration tools which they’ve developed based heavily on Python, PyQt and PyKDE.

        Here is a run down on the custom tools that I’m aware of and my impression thereof. I’m getting most of this information from the document “Python in Pardus” [1], my discussions with G & G, and what I’ve seen from playing a bit with the current RC2 inside Virtual Box.

    • Gentoo

      • Open Source Watershed

        Ran across the Open Source Watershed this morning and found it very interesting/illuminating. One of the touted virtues of running a distribution like Gentoo always seemed to be that you had the latest greatest available when it was released, instead of waiting on a binary compatible build for your distro.

      • Gentoo Celebrates 10 Years: 2009/10/04

        Gentoo is turning 10 years old. For the last ten years, Gentoo has been committed to bringing the cutting edge source based distro to users that need more flexibility than binary packages can give them. With a vibrant community and over 300 developers, much has been accomplished since the beginning, Gentoo remains true to its origin.

    • Red Hat

      • Red Hat ups its support for system integrators

        Government policy change prompts vendor to set up global team to boost awareness of open source

      • Mouse with Red Hat

        Any ways so whats interesting with this mouse… look closely it has a official Red Hat logo saying compatible with Red Hat..

      • Fedora 11, Meet The RPM Fusion Website

        SO, there I was, having installed Fedora 11 on a dusty old Compaq Presario – 700MHz AMD Duron processor, 10GB HDD! – and things had gone relatively smoothly, if glacially slowly.

    • Ubuntu

      • Review: The Official Ubuntu Book, 4th Edition
      • Ubuntu Christian Edition 5.0 (Beta)

        Back in 2006, when I was writing for ExtremeTech, I reviewed a version of Ubuntu with a religious theme: Ubuntu Christian Edition. At one point it seemed as though Ubuntu CE had been discontinued but I was pleased to note today that it has apparently been brought to life again:

        Great news!! Ubuntu CE is alive again! A huge thanks goes out to David Kuntadi who has taken on the task of developing the debs for the Dansguardiane-Sword Installer, Bible Trivia, OpenSong, linBread, etc. He is also keeping our new repository organized and updated.


        Clearly anybody who is a faithful Christian that is in the market for a faith-based distribution should check out Ubuntu CE. I regard this release as a new beginning for this distribution and, hopefully, a harbinger of even better things to come. I’d like to see more aesthetically pleasing additions to this distribution in future releases including more Christian wallpaper as well as some Christian-themed music and perhaps even an original Christian theme.

      • Glassbuntu: design a dark crystal Gnome theme for Ubuntu or Linux Mint.

        To allow you to easily design a kick-ass theme for your Gnome, Ubuntu or Mint desktop I started this series of posts. in each I will suggest various windows decorations, widgets icons and background that follow one unique theme and blend well together. I will then suggest a few ways to combine them to make an aesthetically pleasing desktop. This weeks them is Glassbuntu: design a dark crystal theme.

      • Usbuntu Live Creator Makes Bootable Linux USB Drives

        Windows only: Free application uSbuntu Live Creator installs a Live CD from an ISO image onto your USB flash drive—much more useful, portable, and easy to deal with than carrying around a CD.

      • Adventures With Ubuntu

        The other day I was bored. What does one do when bored? Well, generally it’s a good idea to install some variant of Linux. Why? Because Linux is supposed to be hard to install. You’re supposed to struggle in order to get it running smoothly on your machine. It should take hours. It’s supposed to earn you some mad geek cred.

      • Back with a CrunchBang #!

        WHAT happened to the “p-y-e-o-w-w-w”?

        I’ve lost count of the number of times the sci-fi blaster sound that CrunchBang Linux makes when it starts up has made me – or someone in the room with me – jump.

        Now, it makes an equally sci-fi “boop-bleep-bup” sound which is nice, but doesn’t have the same dramatic effect of making people duck if your speaker volume is maxed-out.

      • CrunchBang Linux 9.04.01 Review and Screenshot Tour

        All in all, I admit I had a lot of fun testing Crunchbang. Although some people can find the Openbox Desktop and the grey-black color scheme (the window borders are a bit too dark, people may have problems seeing the buttons) a bit intimidating, Crunchbang’s main strength is that it does not make you watch, but explore.

      • Ubuntu on Pilot Light: wattOS Beta 3

        The goal of wattOS is simple and useful: to build a Linux distro that uses little energy.

      • Asus 1008HA with Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala Alpha2

        So here’s the Asus Eee 1008HA PC running the regular Desktop version of Ubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10 Alpha 2 (I’ve removed several stickers from the area below the keyboard. These were telling me about some proprietary OS that I didn’t want in the first place)…

      • Icon Theme Hacking Progress

        Quick update on my icon hacking. I have now figured out a way to get most of my notification icons to have broadly the right color.

      • Desktop Theming and Icons

        For some time now there has been a general move over to darker themes in GNOME-land. I have tried a bunch of themes here and there but I have always moved back to the default Ubuntu theme: I always found the dark theme less usable and harder to look at in my day to day work. Last night though, I decided to give it a decent shot and customized the bejesus out of my desktop.

      • Make Ubuntu complete with these additional installations!

        Since Canonical created Ubuntu for the masses, it has encouraged many users to try linux and eventually switch over to linux completely.

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 151

        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #151 for the week July 12th – July 18th, 2009. In this issue we cover: Ubuntu 8.04.3 released, Kubuntu Council, Kubuntu Wiki, Technical Board: Nominations, Karmic Translations are now Open, New Ubuntu Members, Ubuntu Zimbabwe, Empathy is now in Karmic, AppArmor now available in Karmic: Testing Needed, Ubuntu IRC Council News, OpenJDK 6 Certification for Ubuntu 9.04, Ubuntu Podcast Quickie #9, Ubuntu-based distro touted for power management, and much, much more!

      • Ubuntu App Store: Open for Business?

        Is this the start of something big? Too soon to say.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • GP2X Wiz

      Granted, it’s a truly blatant clone, but it’s incredibly addictive, and makes excellent use of the Wiz’s touchscreen – a feature that has been borrowed from the GP2X F200.

      Like the GP2X before it – and practically every single open source ‘media player’ released so far – the Wiz is also capable of handling music and video. Sadly, like so many of the machines that attempt to be all things to all men, it does neither particularly well.

      In fact, video playback is noticeably worse on the Wiz than it was on the GP2X – but, as always, there’s a chance that coders will release their own media player programs that eclipse the performance of those that come pre-loaded with the console.

    • Phones

      • Sony Ericsson Xperia drops Windows for Android

        An Android-based version of Sony Ericsson’s first Windows Mobile smartphone, the Xperia, has appeared online, prompting speculation that an official unveiling could be just around the corner.

      • Palm’s Linux secret makes the Pre

        You’re lucky that you missed the review I had written of Palm’s Pre after working with it for six weeks. I couldn’t see the attraction. The $299 that Sprint charges to let you out of the store with the Pre isn’t justified by the phone’s out-of-the-box features, and the anemic App Catalog presents few opportunities to elevate the device to the capabilities of others in its lofty price range. The Pre isn’t a bad phone, but it’s simply not worth the $200 to $250 premium over the BlackBerry Curve, the T-Mobile G1, and the iPhone 3G.

      • Open Source Solution for Multiple Mobile Platforms

        I cannot finish without making a comment about the fact that Palm has concluded the super-secret early access SDK program and made the Palm WebOS SDK available to all registered developers. This is an important milestone and will begin to reveal the story about how well WebOS will be received by the developer community at large. What I find interesting is how similar WebOS’s approach is to PhoneGap’s approach.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Vietnamese netbook runs on bilingual Linux distro

        Vietnamese Linux technology firm Hacao has released a netbook, along with a new bilingual (English/Vietnamese) release of its Hacao Linux 2009 CE distro. The Hacao Netbook is based on an Intel Atom-based MSI Wind, and offers a 10-inch screen and 160GB of storage.

      • Bargain Acer Extensa 15″ Linux Notebook Released

        It seems that current economic hard times are really favouring the adoption of Linux as a pre-installed OS by mainstream PC vendors.
        Acer has just released a new Notebook model (5235-571G16N) part of it’s Extensa line, with a full sized 15.6 inch matte LCD screen (LED backlight, 1366 x 768 resolution), 2GHz Intel Celeron cpu, 1GB RAM, 160GB hard disk, a DVD writer drive for a low price that is more typical of an average Netbook. It ships with Linux pre-installed, which avoids the Microsoft ‘tax’ that Linux users have to needlessly pay with most laptops and therefore helps to keep the price low.

      • Kubuntu Netbook Edition starts to take shape

        One of our goals for Kubuntu in this development cycle is to introduce a new sub-flavor of Kubuntu for netbooks (thus Kubuntu Netbook Edition).

      • Linux on Netbooks – ALIVE and WELL!

        Doing my part to bring out the truth about Linux on the Netbook.

        There’s been a lot of buzz lately about netbooks, and many sources out there have not done their due diligence to debunk the myth of “Linux is Dead on the Netbook”. C’mon people, don’t just jump on the bandwagon and repeat the marketing spew, do some research and tell the truth!

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source is Infiltrating the Enterprise

    James Turner: This is breaking news today, so I’ll understand if you don’t feel like you can comment on it at this point. But I’ve seen reports that the London Stock Exchange which was, I believe, one of Microsoft’s Get the Truth poster children, is pulling back from their Windows deployment. Does that say anything to you?

    Jeffrey Hammond: Well, it’s difficult for me to comment on the reasons or what’s going on there. But we’re going to see these sorts of switches back and forth. And you could argue that running open source on Microsoft platforms is also a very interesting way to go. I wrote recently about what Microsoft’s done with their Web PI products that take PHP and make it and PHP-based applications very simple to install on the Windows platform. And so there are both good and bad from Microsoft’s perspective in terms of open source.

  • Apollo 11 command module is released to open source

    The software that helped take humans to the moon has been released to the developer open source community to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.

  • New Apache board elected

    During its annual members meeting, the Apache Software Foundation (FSF) elected a new board of directors.

  • Charity, open source, and happiness

    A few months back Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, delivered an address (audio here) at my alma mater, Brigham Young University, titled “Why Giving Matters.” While focused on charitable giving and its multiplicative value on a nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), it also tells us a lot about why developers contribute to open-source projects.

  • Identi.ca: How free software can drive a social networking revolution

    Social networking, micro-blogging and other such buzzwords abound across web development these days, and the “public” is a fickle as ever. The darling of the media-driven, web-based section of the public is dropped as soon as it gets popular or as soon as somebody figures out a way to make money out of it — money usually involves advertising, which usually ends up bombarding users with spurious post-mercials. How can free software make an impact in such an environment? Enter Identi.ca

  • Copyright Consultation Running On Open Source Software

    Joseph Potvin, an economist at the Chief Information Officer Branch, Treasury Board Secretariat, writes to note that the Government’s copyright consultation is running on open source software. The consultation is using a Mongrel server built in Ruby-On-Rails on a GNU/Linux machine. Sometimes actions speak louder than words.

  • College helps businesses to improve their performance

    More than 30 small and medium sized businesses have saved money and improved their business performance since the launch of Southern Regional College’s Open Source Solution Centre in October, the college has announced.

    Delivered through funding provided by the Connected Project and the Innovation Fund, the centre introduces firms to the benefits of open source software packages — software which is in the public domain and can be modified and improved without paying costly licensing fees.

  • Sun

    • The MySQL Librarian Initiative

      The MySQL Librarian initiative is very young, at the moment there are about 200 items, 130 of them are presentations, 30 videos plus pictures and books. Six months from now I’ll ping Giuseppe to know how it goes.

    • OpenOffice Renaissance prototyping phase drawing to close

      The Renaissance Project team, part of the User Experience Project (UX) at OpenOffice.org, have announced that the Renaissance prototyping phase that began on the 12nd of June, will end on the 24th of July. The goal of the prototyping is to build “a flexible framework for mid-fidelity prototyping to test promising UI designs with real users”.

  • GIMP

    • New brushes for your GIMP!

      For painters and designers they are a must have – custom brushes! They save lots of time and it is fun to work with new ones of course ;)

    • Lightning Brushes

      Then, Open Gimp, select the brush tool, scroll down the brush tool menu and select a lighting bolt. Adjust the color and size and click the mouse on your canvass. You’ve just created a lighting bolt!

    • Gimp Tip : Isolate image from background
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla: Making it Easier, Doing it Right

      Intriguing stuff, and it’s great to see Mozilla working on these areas. As Raskin noted, almost uniquely his team is under no pressure to deliver something soon, unlike most startups; instead he and they can concentrate on getting it right, even if takes longer.

      Against a background where the recent experience of the Twitter team has shown that the browser-based, cloud computing model has not just weaknesses, but a domino-like interlinked set of weaknesses that can lead to catastrophic security failures, it’s comforting to hear that someone is trying to do things properly.

    • 5 Awesome Mozilla Labs Projects for Firefox 3.5

      Throughout the five years, Mozilla has dramatically improved the Internet browsing experience by producing stable, open-source applications that bring simplicity to our virtual lives. The latest version of Firefox is a prime example of how Mozilla integrates practical features into its products, like the inclusion of private browsing, tear away tabs and location awareness, while still maintaining a strong user base and delivering a stable browser.

    • Firefox 3.5 vs. Chromium on Ubuntu 9.04

      With the recent release of Firefox 3.5 the TraceMonkey JavaScript engine is really available for the ‘normal’ user (ie. not the alpha/beta users). It gives you a major speed increase in JavaScript intensive webapps. But how does it compare to Google’s Chromium?

    • Firefox 3.5 makes browsing a delight … and much faster

      Firefox 3.5 is a major improvement over its predecessor (Firefox 3). If you’re not currently a Firefox user, you’ll want to give it a try. If you are, upgrading is a no brainer. 3.5 offers faster Web browsing, better tab handling, a host of interface tweaks – and is noticeably faster than Firefox 3.

    • Tech Review: New FireFox burns the competition

      Six years ago, Internet Explorer was the bully on the playground. Explorer showed up in 1995, punched poor Netscape Navigator in the stomach, shoved it in its locker and by 2002 – 2003 Explorer had a 95 percent usage share for web browsers. The janitor let Netscape out of the locker but it was never the same again. Today Navigator has less than 1 percent usage share, down from more than 90 percent and AOL has discontinued development of the browser.

    • Shiretoko, Harry Potter, championing users, community building, litmus, jetpack, xulrunner, ubiquity, and more…

      In this issue…

      * Spread Firefox affiliate rewards
      * Mozilla introduces Harry Potter personas
      * Discover Shiretoko and interFORest
      * Does Mozilla champion Firefox users?
      * Community building with Markos Moulitsas
      * John Lilly: Lessons from Mozilla
      * Open Web style lectures
      * Lawyers as a community?
      * Help wanted: Mochitest test cases for docshell
      * Litmus project needs owners

    • Add-on contributions, Firefox update, Firebug, Jetpack, Foundation, TraceMonkey, and more…

      In this issue…

      * Add-ons contributions pilot
      * Firefox 3.5.1 update
      * Firebug 1.4 now available
      * Jetpack 0.4 release
      * Mozilla Foundation: July update
      * Billion downloads campaign
      * Building communities with Tyler Bleszinski
      * Poetry + Pragmatics: the Weave version

    • thirty million downloads of firefox 3.5

      In less than three weeks, more than 30 million people have taken the initiative and downloaded a copy of Firefox 3.5.

    • First Look: Firefox 3.7’s New Design

      It hasn’t even been a month since Firefox 3.5 was released to the masses, but Mozilla is already hard at work on FirefoxFirefoxFirefox 3.7. We gave you a sneak peek at what features are coming in 2010, but now we know what Firefox 3.7 may look like when it’s released.

  • Business

    • TomatoCart.com – A New Open Source eCommerce Solution

      Tomato Cart’s application mimics the user experience of desktop Operating System, offering features and applications similar to a PC environment. As such, it is fairly easy for both beginners and professionals to get acquainted with it, and even master it. Additionally, it supports multi-window operations and that enables users to work with several modules simultaneously.

    • Open Source Business Award 2010 – accepting entries

      Although OSBF is based in Germany, the competition is open to businesses throughout Europe.


    • Taking a Principled Position on Software Freedom

      Those of us in the free/libre and open source software (FLOSS) community know the routine by now. Despite the fact that “free software” and “open source” refer to the same software and the same communities, supporters of “free software” like the FSF would have us advocate for FLOSS by talking about users’ rights to use, modify, share, and cooperate; open source supporters like the Open Source Initiative would have us advocate for software by talking about how securing these rights produces software with “better quality, higher reliability, more flexibility [and] lower cost.”

  • Government

    • Open Source for Britain?

      There’s no doubt that the state of open source in government is even more parlous here than in the US, and so the need for such an organisation is even more pressing. But I wonder whether there’s quite the critical mass here: are there enough companies basing their business around open source to fund such an organisation? And, even more critically, could they come up with a better name than Open Source for Britain?

    • Building on Open Data

      One of the great things about openness is that it lets people do incredible things by adding to it in a multiplicity of ways. The beatuy is that those releasing material don’t need to try to anticipate future uses: it’s enough that they make it as open as possible Indeed, the more open they make it, the more exciting the re-uses will be.

    • Red Hat, Oracle, Sun, others join to pitch open source to feds

      More than 50 companies, academic institutions, and other organizations, including vendors such as Red Hat and Oracle, are banding together to promote use of open source by the federal government via an organization called Open Source for America.

    • Linux Paves Way for New “Open Source in America” Coalition

      Some may see this as a victory, but I see it as not good enough. The members of the organization announced today, Open Source for America, agree. We see it as an opportunity to educate government on open source software while effecting change in policy and coordinating collaboration on requirements specific to government.

    • A New Voice for Open Source in Government

      I’m pleased to report this morning on the formation of a new advocacy group for the use of free and open source software in the U.S. Government. I’m also pleased to have been asked to serve on its Board of Advisors, along other proponents of free and open source software, such as Roger Burkhard, Dawn Meyerriecks, Eben Moglen, Tim O’Reilly, Simon Phipps, Mark Shuttleworth, Michael Tiemann, Bill Vass, and Jim Zemlin.

    • Open Source For America coalition formed
    • Red Hat, NCSU join movement to get feds to embrace Open Source
    • Open Source Leaders Team Up to Seek More Clout in Government
    • Group will push open source in US gov’t

      Open-source software needs a higher profile in Washington, D.C., according to a group of about 50 organizations and companies that launched a new campaign to educate U.S. government agencies about the benefits of open source.

      Members of the Open Source For America coalition, which launched Wednesday, include Google, The Linux Foundation, the Mozilla and Debian projects, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Advanced Micro Devices and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

    • KRudd to have PM TV on new open source website

      Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s refurbished website will eventually have message boards and online chat features to facilitate discussion with the public.

      The new portal was unveiled with a completely new layout and several new functions geared towards an interactive experience. It mirrors US President, Barack Obama’s pre-election efforts as he used his official website to garner support from technology savvy voters.

    • What open source government data gets you

      What makes the difference is the transit system’s attitude toward its route data. When you take a proprietary attitude, as MARTA does, riders are left in the dark. An open source attitude, like TriMet’s empowers riders.

  • Openness

    • Free the Patents and Laws, Activist Tells Feds

      What’s worse than being a government agency targeted by a gadfly who wants data to be free and is willing to plead, sue, reverse-engineer, grandstand and shame his way into freeing government data?

      Well, try being a government agency on the receiving end of that in an administration that has pledged allegiance to transparency and openness.

      And that’s exactly where nation’s pre-eminent open-government data fighter Carl Malamud has got the Patent and Trademark Office and the National Archives and Records Administration, which controls — among other things — the Federal Register System.

    • The Crucible Effect and the Scarcity of Collective Attention
    • Douglas Rushkoff’s Open Source Economy: A ReadWriteWeb Interview

      Douglas Rushkoff — author, documentarian, and teacher — is a man on a mission. As a step towards getting “people to see the software-like code lying underneath how they interact,” his latest book, Life, Inc., explores the nature of money, our economic system, and how a corporate mindset has shaped who we are as people in modern society.

  • Programming

    • REVIEW: NetBeans IDE 6.7 Provides Effective Integration with Project Kenai

      One of the biggest improvements in the NetBeans IDE 6.7 is integration with Project Kenai, Sun’s open-source collaboration site. This allows developers to easily collaborate with each other on Kenai right from within the NetBeans IDE, not through a Web browser inside the IDE. The Project Kenai site itself includes full support for source code repositories, enabling developers to connect through any of several source code version control systems.

    • Chris DiBona on the (Computational) Value of Sharing

      I’ve been a programmer since I was 12 years old, so I always knew I would get into computers, computer science, or information technology. I started using Linux when I was in college back in 1995. Then as my professional career developed I realized I really liked Linux and the ideas behind it, and I liked the ideals behind open source and free software. That lead me to where I am today. Right now I’m Google’s open source program manager. What that means is that I monitor open source compliance for all the open source software that we use with the company. I also make sure that stuff that we release is under a proper open source license and, in the case of content, is under a proper Creative Commons license.

    • Ross Turk on the SourceForge Community Awards

      OSCON 2009 is in full swing, which means you can’t walk more than 10 feet without tripping over a well-known geek. We’ve just spoken to Ross Turk, Director of Community at SourceForge, ahead of the Community Choice Awards on Thursday night. Here’s what he had to say on who he’d have chosen, had it not been completely unethical and against all his better principles…

  • Healthcare

    • Open source to power Connecticut HIE

      Hartford Healthcare, which provides rehabilitation, long term care, and hospice facilities in central Connecticut, said today it will combine Misys’ open source connectivity technology with Allscripts EHR systems, a health record built on software as a service, to create Transforming Healthcare In Connecticut Communities (THICC), a regional system linking hospitals, clinics and facilities statewide.

    • Carpenter Builds Open Source Imaging Software

      Anne Carpenter trained as a traditional cell biologist specializing in microscopy with no intention of writing image analysis software. “It wasn’t until I needed software to do something that existing commercial software couldn’t do that I became interested in writing software myself,” says Carpenter. The genesis of CellProfiler was “completely out of necessity.”


      The software Carpenter built—CellProfiler—made its free open source debut in December 2005, and was detailed in Genome Biology in 2006. In January 2007, Jones and Carpenter established the Imaging Platform group at the Broad Institute, focusing on new algorithms and data analysis methods. From here, Carpenter can help dozens of researchers working on clinically relevant projects. “Everything we develop becomes open source, and the easiest way to get that out to the public is to put it into the CellProfiler interface.”

    • Open Source Meets Health Care

      Changing from paper charts to electronic medical records sounds like a relatively easy sales pitch. It improves patient care, decreases the risk of error and adds enormous efficiency into the system.


      We’re using Hewlett-Packard servers, Red Hat Linux, the InterSystems Cache database management system, which is the only proprietary component in the stack. On top of that runs OpenVista.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Cloud providers pressured to open APIs

      Rackspace’s (NYSE: RAX) announcement last week that it would release open application programming interfaces (APIs) for its cloud computing services and open-source API specs in the coming weeks is another example of cloud providers gaining advantage in the market by doing what more established players in the telecom world won’t do.


  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Amazon ate my homework, or why DRM stinks for education

      The phrase “Amazon ate my homework” may certainly have been uttered on more than one occasion since the New York Times reported on Amazon’s deletion of specific editions of George Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984 from Kindle e-book readers (and no, the irony wasn’t lost on anybody). Unless you live under a rock, you know that this has been a bit of a discussion topic in the blogosphere. However, the first time I’d heard it put that way was in an email exchange on which I was lurking today, when Daniel Dern, an independent technology writer, made specific reference to the notes/annotations lost by a particular student.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • British Library Turns Traitor

      This once-great institution used to be about opening up the world’s knowledge for the benefit and enjoyment of all: today, it’s about closing it down so that only those who can afford to pay get to see it.

      What an utter disgrace.

    • Asus Uses BitTorrent to Boost Software Downloads

      Asus, one of the leading computer product manufacturers, has recently started to offer BitTorrent powered downloads to its customers. With BitTorrent the company says it can speed up downloads and get software to its customers in less time.

    • 3 Strikes To Be Administered By Post Office Subsidiary

      The now infamous 3 strikes model championed by France’s Nicholas Sarkozy was recently rejected by the country’s highest legal authority. With amendments the plan is back and the latest news is that a subsidiary of the post office will administer the scheme. Lawmakers will today start debating the modified bill.

    • How Copyright Can Be Viewed As Anti-Property

      While I have no doubt that this will upset and anger the folks who believe that copyright is absolutely 100% property, it’s a rather compelling explanation of how copyright isn’t just not like property, but in many ways is anti-property in that it violates some of the basic tenets of true property and true property rights.

    • Plug pulled on unlimited-download site Zookz

      That didn’t take long. Friday evening I blogged that the government of Antigua had issued a terse press release claiming that it had nothing to do with unlimited-download site Zookz. The Zookz legal team responded with an equally terse note saying that it didn’t need the government’s approval, and that its service was perfectly legal under its interpretation of a recent World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling.

    • DRM is ****, RIAA Says

      For years the RIAA has defended the use of DRM, much to the dislike of millions of honest customers who actually paid for their music. Now, in a shocking turnaround, the outfit seems to have come to the realization that DRM does more harm than good and has officially declared its death.

    • Spotify to take online jukebox to the States

      Founded by two Swedish entrepreneurs, Spotify provides an online jukebox allowing users to listen to a library of more than six million tracks, funded either by regular advertising breaks or by a monthly subscription for uninterrupted listening. The model has proved phenomenally popular since its launch in October and has been hailed as a viable alternative to Apple’s iTunes.

    • The customer is the scarcity

      Not all artificial scarcities have been termed illegal as yet: the most glaring example is that of “intellectual property rights”, where something is made artificially scarce using the power of the state; no other rights depend exclusively on state intervention. Strange, that.

    • Copyright Lobbyists Celebrate Latest Bogus Stats With Willing Gov’t Officials

      They don’t actually look at the real research on these things. Instead, they accept as gospel the ridiculous debunked research that comes out of the industry lobbyists who benefit the most from such protectionism that limits real and meaningful competition. And no one calls them on it. Take, for example, this Internet News report on how lobbyists for the music, movie and software industries all got together with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, and talked up a new and misleading study from the International Intellectual Property Association that talks up the importance of copyright.

    • John McCain settles Jackson Browne lawsuit, apologizes for use of song

      We can finally close the book on the 2008 presidential election now.

      Singer Jackson Browne has announced he’s settled a lawsuit against John McCain.

    • Sussex cops try to suppress publication of damning traffic-cam photos by claiming copyright

      The Sussex, England police are trying to suppress publication of images from speed cameras — images that show technical shortcomings in the cameras — by claiming that they are copyrighted. Copyright is meant to protect creativity; I’m not sure who the aggrieved artist is meant to be here. Is there some tortured constable who spent hours on a ladder getting the composition of the camera’s shots just right?

    • This Is Wrong: ‘Without The Content Industries, The Internet Would Be Empty’

      Oh really? Why not try it, and let’s see. The quote, by the way, was brought to us by Andrew Dubber, who properly calls Healey the “Wrongest Man on the Internet, July 2009.” However, this really is how some of these guys think. They don’t think that the internet really existed before they discovered it, and they think that everyone logs onto YouTube just to catch the latest TV clips. They don’t realize that people use it to communicate and share and collaborate — and that’s a lot more useful than using it to get fed some mass market entertainment junk.

    • Why information is its own reward – same neurons signal thirst for water, knowledge

      To me, and I suspect many readers, the quest for information can be an intensely rewarding experience. Discovering a previously elusive fact or soaking up a finely crafted argument can be as pleasurable as eating a fine meal when hungry or dousing a thirst with drink. This isn’t just a fanciful analogy – a new study suggests that the same neurons that process the primitive physical rewards of food and water also signal the more abstract mental rewards of information.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

A tour of School Park mashup art and Free Software space in Santo Andre, Brazil 03 (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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  1. Links 25/09/2022: EasyOS 4.4, KDE Reviewed

    Links for the day

  2. Microsoft is Trying to Eliminate POP3 and IMAP for E-mail (Attack on Commodity or Standard Protocols)

    Microsoft is trying to decommoditise (read: control) E-mail by shutting out people who use standard protocols; how long have we got before E-mail becomes a surveillance-intensive walled garden?

  3. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, September 24, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, September 24, 2022

  4. YouTube (Alphabet Gulag) Keeps Censoring Videos About Free Software and GNU/Linux

    YouTube (the Alphabet/Google Gulag) seems to be weeding out discussion of software freedom; it's a longstanding issue reported by several GNU/Linux-centric channels over the years

  5. Links 24/09/2022: pgAdmin 4 v6.14 and ONLYOFFICE 7.2 Released

    Links for the day

  6. Links 23/09/2022: KDE Weekly Outline and UbuntuDDE Remix 22.04

    Links for the day

  7. IRC Proceedings: Friday, September 23, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, September 23, 2022

  8. Geminispace Roughly Quadrupled in Size (and Grew a Lot in Terms of Number of Capsules) Since We Joined It Last Year

    Despite the media's apathy (pretending that Gemini does not exist or does not matter), Geminispace continues to expand and we have 42,703 pages in it

  9. [Meme] Getting Promoted (or Hired/Recruited/Absorbed Directly Into Top Management) by Knowing “The F***ing President”

    The EPO‘s own numbers indicate that as a female it's incredibly hard to get promoted at the EPO; the insiders’ joke is, you need to be a former colleague of Benoît Battistelli/António Campinos (or even a spouse) to get promoted

  10. According to EPO Data, Women Have No Place at the EPO (Unless They Fancy Being Underpaid)

    The European Patent Office, accused by a former president who was female of an “alphamale” issue, treats women poorly; incidentally, she wasn’t just the only female president in a ~25 year period but also the only non-French president in that same period (EPO diversity is a sad farce)

  11. Links 23/09/2022: PeerTube 4.3 and GNOME Report

    Links for the day

  12. Links 23/09/2022: EuroBSDcon 2022 Ahead, PowerDNS Recursor 4.5.11, 4.6.4 and 4.7.3 Out

    Links for the day

  13. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, September 22, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, September 22, 2022

  14. Links 22/09/2022: ExTiX 22.9, Rust 1.64.0, Weston 11.0.0, New Mesa, and OpenCL 3.0.12

    Links for the day

  15. Microsoft Will Soon be Unlisted in Netcraft's Web Survey (Due to Minuscule, Negligible Market Share)

    A few hours ago this was released by Netcraft; it seems clear that Netcraft’s tables already omit Microsoft in all except 2, where Microsoft is placed last and rapidly loses share (it’ll fall out of sight soon)

  16. Links 22/09/2022: GNOME Builder 43.0 and Hype Over Ubuntu Wallpaper

    Links for the day

  17. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, September 21, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, September 21, 2022

  18. Linux Foundation 'Europe' a Front Group for Patent Trolls and American Monopolies

    About 90% of the Linux Foundation‘s money is spent in the United States (see IRS filing); it’s not global but a front for American corporate interests so adding ‘Europe’ to the name is misleading to say the least; it enables hostile interference in Linux’s name (the lobbyists like to claim to be speaking for those whom they’re against by hijacking words/names)

  19. The Life of Linux Will Be Shortened by a Misguided Adoption of Rust

    There are currently loads of puff pieces (mindless corporate fluff, no technical considerations) about Rust coming to Linux in the sense that Linux will become dependent on a monstrous shebang controlled by Microsoft proprietary software; a lot of developers very well understand the risk, but it feels like nobody wants to face the mob (for saying out loud that the emperor is naked)

  20. Pale Moon's Greed and Corrosive People (Boosted by Microsoft) in “FOSS” “Communities”

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan

  21. The EPO's Local Staff Committee The Hague (LSCTH) is “Requesting Immediate Action”

    Despite relatively quiet weeks there is no calm at the EPO; the quality of patents continues to fall and staff isn't being properly rewarded for the work

  22. [Meme] EPO Abuse Continues, Managers Acting Deaf

    EPO management continues to gaslight and abuse staff, even in direct violation of the EPO’s rules and legal contracts

  23. Links 21/09/2022: GNOME 43 and i3 4.21 Released

    Links for the day

  24. Official Ubuntu Blog Has Just Promoted Microsoft Windows+Systemd

    When people try to install Ubuntu on their PC (if they can get past the illegal technical obstacles) Canonical recommends Microsoft's proprietary software and it also keeps promoting Windows (WSL); what sort of deal/s has Canonical signed with Microsoft? Ubuntu is fast becoming a ‘filthy’ distro like SUSE after Novell signed the deal with Microsoft.

  25. Links 21/09/2022: Debuginfod in Ubuntu

    Links for the day

  26. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, September 20, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, September 20, 2022

  27. Links 20/09/2022: OpenJDK Java 19 and System76 Thelio Puff Pieces; More Debian-Private 'Leaks'

    Links for the day

  28. Links 20/09/2022: Darktable 4.0.1, SuperTuxKart 1.4 Release Candidate, and Gajim 1.5.0

    Links for the day

  29. IRC Proceedings: Monday, September 19, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, September 19, 2022

  30. Links 19/09/2022: Firefox 105 and OpenMandriva on Ampere Altra

    Links for the day

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