LINKS: Linux and Open Source News for October 25, 2009

This weeks podcast (for October 25, 2009) was canceled because I have a bad cold. We do however want to share the research links that were created for this podcast:

NEWS
Red Hat Ranked as #1 Software Vendor for Fifth Time in CIO Insight Study
Red Hat passes Microsoft’s stock price, now what?
Apple shuts down ZFS open source project
SCO story ends with a whimper
SCO fires CEO Darl McBride, architect of litigation strategy
Random users Google Voice mail is searchable by anyone?
IBM and Canonical team up against Windows 7
Amazon: Windows 7 is ‘the biggest pre-order product of all time’
FCC Agrees to Set Rules on Net Neutrality Canada Gets New Neutrality Rules
Nation’s First Open Source Election Software Released
Mozilla disables vulnerable Microsoft plugin for Firefox
Firefox blocks, then unblocks, Microsoft add-on
Stallman Urges EC to Stop Oracle Acquisition of Sun
MySQL founder says Oracle should let go of MySQL
Sun cuts global workforce by 10 percent
Sun Communications Server speaks VoIP
LynxSecure Selected by the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment
CME Group Uses Red Hat Solutions to Process Over a Quadrillion Dollars in Critical Financial Transactions Per Year
Bell, Torvalds usher in next wave of supercomputing
Everything Linux store set for opening on Friday
Symbian Foundation Releases Open Source Microkernel
Mozilla to support Web Open Font Format in Firefox 3.6
Eeevolution – Eeebuntu 4.0 and beyond.
Metasploit Security Site Bought by Rapid7
Mozilla’s Raindrop to Provide a Tidy In-Box for Everything
System76 Prepares Ubuntu 9.10 PCs, Notebooks
REVIEW: Ubuntu 9.10 Beta Promises to Strengthen Distro’s Position as Desktop Favorite
Keeping Ubuntu CDs Available
Happy Birthday, Ubuntu! – Our favorite operating system is turning 5 years old

LINUX MOBILE NEWS
Nokia – ShowPressRelease
Bigger News for Verizon Than Motorola’s Droid
Smartphone smackdown: Motorola Droid vs. iPhone 3GS
Motorola Droid coming to Best Buy on 24 October?
Motorola Droid (”Sholes”) hits the FCC with AT&T-friendly 3G – for real this time.
Acer to release Android smartphone
HTC posts Hero kernel source code
Symbian Foundation opens smartphone kernel source code

RELEASES
Stable kernels 2.6.27.38 and 2.6.31.5
Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.32 (Part 1) – Network subsystem and network drivers
GNOME 2.28.1 released
CentOS 5.4
Constantine Gets Ready to Unite Again: Fedora 12 Beta Now Available
Fedora 12 Goodness OpenBSD 4.6 Released
Open Source Nuxeo EP and DM 5.3 Support OpenSocial
Talend Upgrades Leading Enterprise Open Source Data Integration Solutions
Open Office 3.2 Beta
A sneak preview of new OpenOffice 3.2 part 1
Open Office 4 Kids
SpringSource releases Spring 3.0
BeRTOS 2.3.0 Released
SeaMonkey 2.0 RC2 arrives
Caffeine 1.0 For Linux Released
Avant Window Navigator (AWN) 0.4 Beta Available
Development Release: Chakra Fuzzy
Elive 1.9.51
RSSOwl 2.0
Wine 1.1.32 Released
sidux 2009.3 Preview 1
MOPSLinux 7.0 Alpha 2.7

Review of Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

I made the plunge. I am now running Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala on my main system, even though it is still beta. I had problems with my first attempt, but I downloaded the latest beta and I have had no problems. Being a podcaster I am so happy they finally straightened out the sound preferences. I also really like the Ubuntu Software Store. It makes browsing software a lot easier. The new version of Ubuntu also defaults to ext4 and grub2, though it is really not noticed. The artwork is better, but still brown – though dark brown. I like the changing desktop wallpaper. I give it an A. Still suggesting people hold off till the final release before upgrading.

What is Microsoft Up To?

You may be asking about what Microsoft is up to with their Codeplex open source foundation. I think there is a clue with the release of three operating systems recently. Microsoft has three Open Source operating systems, they are Singularity, Barrelfish, and Helios. As OS News reported, they are “available as open source software” and is “licensed under a BSD-like license.” Now why would Microsoft open source anything. I think that they are planning to compete with Linux. When the EU or other government decides that it is only taking bids from open source vendors, Micosoft’s Codeplex can step up to the plate. As you may know, the BSD license is free enough to add proprietary code with it like Apple has done. That also means that they could give the OS away free and charge for Office and other programs. They could even charge for added functionality by charging for add on modules or codecs. They could also copy Red Hat, whose profits are soaring, and charge for service contracts. Yes Microsoft’s service sucks, but they could contract that out to a third party and collect money through them. This may simply be a plan B for them. There is too many coincidences here that are contrary to Microsoft usual way of doing things. They have to have an open source alternative or they will loose their profitability. Tell me another goods explanation on why they would release three operating systems as open source and then start an open source foundation?

LINKS
http://www.osnews.com/story/22241
http://www.osnews.com/story/22251

Richard Stallman, Miguel de Icaza “is basically a traitor”

The reported comment by Richard Matthew Stallman concerning Miguel de Icaza is rumor, not news. One sentence quoted from memory by Martin Owens without context is not enough. Miguel de Icaza “is basically a traitor to the Free Software community.” Even Jason Perlow from ZDnet got confused that the context was Mono, but Martin Owens corrected this. So what is the context?

Until we know that I suggest we suspend judgment concerning it. Remember that Miguel used to work for the Free Software Foundation and now by being on the Board of Directors of the CodePlex Foundation, created by Microsoft to serve its purposes, one could argue that Miguel has gone to the dark side. From that perspective one could say that Miguel de Icaza “is basically a traitor to the Free Software community.” Here we need to draw a distinction between Free Software ideology and Open Source pragmatism.

From a pragmatic open source perspective, Miguel is no trader. He is true to the philosophy of open source which says open source is the best way to do software. Not the only way, just the best way. From the Free Software perspective such a view misses the point. Closed source software is not just inferior, but wrong. It is not a matter of best practices, it is an ethical issue. Microsoft is not only inferior, it is morally wrong. Therefore to help support the ends of Microsoft is morally wrong. So clearly we need to know the context of Richard Stallman’s comments before we beginning bashing him.

LINKS

http://doctormo.wordpress.com
http://www.osnews.com/story/22225
http://groups.google.com/group/comp.os.linux.advocacy/
http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2009/Sep-23.html
http://blogs.zdnet.com/perlow/?p=11167
http://www.itwire.com/content/view/27980/1090/
http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20090927151401988
http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2009/Oct-05.html

Ubuntu Commonly used restricted packages

For those of you who hate to install all kinds of codecs just to get your Ubuntu Linux system to run multimedia, there is a bundle that you can download through your synaptic package manger called “ubuntu-restricted-extras”. This bundle currently includes:

cabextract (version 1.2-3) will be installed
freepats (version 20060219-1) will be installed
gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg (version 0.10.6.2-1ubuntu2) will be installed
gstreamer0.10-pitfdll (version 0.9.1.1+cvs20080215-1ubuntu1) will be installed
gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad (version 0.10.11-2ubuntu1) will be installed
gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad-multiverse (version 0.10.11-0ubuntu1) will be installed
gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly (version 0.10.10.2-1build1) will be installed
gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly-multiverse (version 0.10.7-2) will be installed
liba52-0.7.4 (version 0.7.4-11ubuntu1) will be installed
libass1 (version 0.9.5-2) will be installed
libavcodec-unstripped-52 (version 3:0.svn20090303-1ubuntu2+unstripped1) will be installed
libavformat52 (version 3:0.svn20090303-1ubuntu6) will be installed
libavutil-unstripped-49 (version 3:0.svn20090303-1ubuntu2+unstripped1) will be installed
libcdaudio1 (version 0.99.12p2-7) will be installed
libcelt0 (version 0.5.1-0ubuntu1) will be installed
libdc1394-22 (version 2.0.2-1) will be installed
libdca0 (version 0.0.5-0.1) will be installed
libdvdnav4 (version 4.1.3-3) will be installed
libdvdread4 (version 4.1.3-4ubuntu2) will be installed
libenca0 (version 1.9-6) will be installed
libfaac0 (version 1.26-0.1ubuntu2) will be installed
libfaad0 (version 2.6.1-3.1) will be installed
libffado0 (version 2.0~rc1-0ubuntu2) will be installed
libfftw3-3 (version 3.1.2-3.1ubuntu1) will be installed
libfreebob0 (version 1.0.11-0ubuntu1) will be installed
libgmyth0 (version 1:0.7.1-1ubuntu1) will be installed
libid3tag0 (version 0.15.1b-10) will be installed
libiptcdata0 (version 1.0.2+libtool01-2ubuntu1) will be installed
libjack0 (version 0.116.1-3ubuntu3) will be installed
liblrdf0 (version 0.4.0-1.1) will be installed
libmad0 (version 0.15.1b-4) will be installed
libmjpegtools-1.9 (version 1:1.9.0-0.0ubuntu3) will be installed
libmms0 (version 0.4-2) will be installed
libmodplug0c2 (version 1:0.8.4-3ubuntu1.1) will be installed
libmp3lame0 (version 3.98-0.0) will be installed
libmpcdec3 (version 1.2.2-1build1) will be installed
libmpeg2-4 (version 0.4.1-3) will be installed
libmysqlclient15off (version 5.1.30really5.0.75-0ubuntu10.2) will be installed
libneon27-gnutls (version 0.28.2-6.1) will be installed
libofa0 (version 0.9.3-3) will be installed
libopenspc0 (version 0.3.99a-2) will be installed
libpostproc51 (version 3:0.svn20090303-1ubuntu6) will be installed
libquicktime1 (version 2:1.1.0+debian-1build1) will be installed
libraptor1 (version 1.4.18-2) will be installed
libsidplay1 (version 1.36.59-5) will be installed
libsoundtouch1c2 (version 1.3.1-2) will be installed
libswscale0 (version 3:0.svn20090303-1ubuntu6) will be installed
libtwolame0 (version 0.3.12-1) will be installed
libwildmidi0 (version 0.2.2-2) will be installed
libx264-65 (version 1:0.svn20081230-0.0ubuntu1) will be installed
libxml++2.6-2 (version 2.24.0-1ubuntu1) will be installed
libxvidcore4 (version 2:1.1.2-0.1ubuntu3) will be installed
mysql-common (version 5.1.30really5.0.75-0ubuntu10.2) will be installed
raptor-utils (version 1.4.18-2) will be installed
ttf-liberation (version 1.04.93-1) will be installed
ttf-mscorefonts-installer (version 2.6) will be installed
ubuntu-restricted-extras (version 31) will be installed
unrar (version 1:3.8.5-1) will be installed

Please also note that packages from multiverse are restricted by copyright or legal issues in some countries.

See http://www.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/licensing for more information.

Ubuntu’s Multisearch Mess-Up

Christopher Tozzi reported,

Beginning a couple of weeks ago, individuals testing the next release of Ubuntu, which will appear in stable form in October, found that performing a Google search from within the Firefox toolbar or from Ubuntu’s start page led to a custom results page with a modified interface. A vague wiki entry about the new feature describes it as part of an “experiment” to collect data about user search habits and send them back to Ubuntu developers, ostensibly in order to “lead into work that can try to reduce the time spent when searching. This discovery prompted an angry response in bug reports and an Ubuntu forums thread, where developers were blasted for unilaterally implementing a feature with questionable consequences for user privacy.

What we expect is communication and transparency from a Free and Open Source company and project. The issue is not the multisearch, the issue is doing something to our project without asking or letting us know. Ubuntu is suppose to be about community, and Linux is something you do with the community, not to the community. It is that feeling of it not being our distribution that is the problem. Once the community loses the feeling of ownership, the community will go elsewhere.

The following are just a few suggestions for future changes:
1. Communicate, communicate, communicate. The key to any relationship is communication.
2. Communicate what you want to do, why you want to do it.
3. If it deals with money, privacy, or freedom of choice be especially careful.
4. Have us opt in to those kinds of things, not opt out.
5. Make suggestion on it and get community feedback before implementing it.
6. Try to gain consensus whenever at all possible. At least try.
7. After you mess up, give an apology with a plan to prevent future events of this kind.

LINKS

http://www.workswithu.com/2009/08/14/multisearch-in-ubuntu-910-karmic-koala-alpha-privacy-concerns/comment-page-1/#comment-5333
https://wiki.kubuntu.org/Multisearch
http://www.asoftsite.org/s9y/archives/162-What-is-this-Multisearch-thing-in-my-Firefox-about.html
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/firefox-3.5/+bug/402767
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/firefox-3.0/+bug/402767/comments/87
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1219501

Disable the system beep in Ubuntu

The system beep on my computer is way too loud and is really annoying. To permanently disable it, type the following in the terminal:

echo “blacklist pcspkr” | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist

To put it into effect, type the following in the terminal:

sudo modprobe -r pcspkr

When you log off you should no longer hear the beep. It works at least on Ubuntu 9.04.

Ubuntu for Strict Time-Release Policy

The following comments from an anonymous commenter on the I’ Been to Ubuntu blog was so good I am reposting it.

Anonymous said…

I don’t think the six month release cycle is a big problem only the way they are implementing it.
LTS Release – unfortunately they try to cram in new features and “tear out and replace large parts of the system”. The LTS Release should be a bugfix only release. The goal should be stability above all.
release right after LTS – This is the time to replace major parts of the system. xorg, network manager, and pulse audio are all examples of what this release should be about. Firefox and OpenOffice are not Major parts of the system. They are major software packages that do not cause instability. Also a good time to introduce new features. This release should be known for breaking things and instability.
two releases from LTS – continued introduction of new features. but a larger focus on bugs.
three releases from LTS – a few new features but most time should be focused on major bug fixes and focusing on stability.
LTS – nothing but bug fixes. Stability is the goal…
They have a good thing going but every release has huge issues. I have stopped updating right away when new releases come out. I have actually dumped Ubuntu all together because it has turned into an absolute unstable distribution. It would be nice to see a real “stable” version of Ubuntu.

http://blog.ibeentoubuntu.com/2009/07/mythbuntu-and-mint-developers-pans.html
posted on July 15, 2009 11:06 AM

New York Times Anti-Open Source Bias

In a recent article by Ashlee Vance in the New York Times, we see a clear bias against the Open Source community. Let’s look at three of his comments and I will point out the neutral equivalents that he should have used.

First he says, “Look out, lobbyists: Here come the open-source zealots.” Zealots is a biased word giving the impression of extremists or radicals. The neutral word would be advocates. So an unbiased rewrite would be, “Look out, lobbyists: Here come the open-source advocates.” Is the New York Times suppose to be neutral? I think so.

And he further claims that the group Open Source for America seeks to “push open-source software on the United States government.” Oh, now the “zealots” are pushy. Just because a group now has a voice in Washington they are pushy? So an unbiased rewrite would be, “Some of the world’s largest technology companies have banded together in a bid to promote open-source software in the United States government.” “Promote” is neutral, “push” is inflammatory.

Last example, “Regardless of their affiliation, open-source types have demonstrated a fondness for backing free software in a vocal, often argumentative manner.” It seems that Ashlee Vance views people of the open source community as argumentative and vocal zealots who are pushing their agenda down the throat of the United States government. Can anyone say stereo-typing? Too much philosophy and not enough reporting. Maybe that is fine for The Register, where Ashlee Vance was an editor, but I guess I expect more from the New York Times.

Notice how these comments sound is we use proprietary instead of open source. “Look out, lobbyists: Here come the proprietary zealots. Some of the world’s largest technology companies have banded together in a bid to push proprietary software on the United States government…. Regardless of their affiliation, proprietary types have demonstrated a fondness for backing closed software in a vocal, often argumentative manner.” One could argue these statements are just as true, maybe even more so. Microsoft and Apple have dominated the governmental scene. Now open source has a voice.

Link to Orginal
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/23/open-source-backers-march-on-washington/

My Favorite Firefox Plugins

The following are my favorite Firefox pluggins:

  1. Download status – a must for those who hate the default downloader
  2. BetterSearch – Enhances Google.
  3. Delicious Bookmarks – I never lose links to great sites.
  4. BetterPrivacy – Super Cookie Safeguard plugin
  5. Flagfox – It shows what country a website is from
  6. Wired Marker – It highlights text in web pages