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Archive for March, 2010

Epidemic 3.1 installation guide

Epidemic 3.1 installation guide

Epidemic is a desktop-oriented, KDE, Debian-based (GNU/Linux) distribution developed in Brazil. Epidemic 3.1, the latest edition, features a number of custom tools and improvements. One of those tools is EInstaller, the graphical installation program. It is supposed to be easy to use, but if you have are not familiar with disk partitioning under Linux, you’ll find that it’s not so […]

Three Areas of Open Source Economics

These days, I get involved in a lot of discussions about open source economics. Usually, they lead to an invitation to present our research and clarify “how open source works” to the audience. I’ve found it helpful to distinguish these three rather different areas of open source economics: (1) direct profits, (2) public welfare, (3) labor market. In more detail: […]

The Beginning of the End of Data Retention

Last week, the German Constitutional Court issued a much-anticipated decision, striking down its data retention law as violating human rights. It was an important victory for Europe’s Freedom Not Fear movement, which was formed to oppose the EU Data Retention Directive. But it was also a reminder of the political work which remains to be done to defeat it. When […]

Blue Skies Thinking for Cloud Security?

As cloud computing moves data and services from local systems to remote centres, the question of security for organisations must be addressed. A research paper published in the International Journal of Services and Standards suggests that a cloud-free security model is the best way forward and will circumvent the fact that cloud service providers are not yet meeting regulations and […]

Testing Fedora 13 alpha with BFO

Testing Fedora 13 alpha with BFO

Fedora 13 alpha has been released, and the faithful are encouraged to download, test and report. The traditional method of testing is to download a full CD iso image (about 700 MB), but if you read the recent post about Network booting with boot.fedoraproject.org, you’d have learned that all you now need to do to install any version of Fedora […]

Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal

In 2003, after I unveiled a prototype Linux desktop called Project Looking Glass*, Steve called my office to let me know the graphical effects were “stepping all over Apple’s IP.” (IP = Intellectual Property = patents, trademarks and copyrights.) If we moved forward to commercialize it, “I’ll just sue you.” My response was simple. “Steve, I was just watching your […]

Future of Broadband: Where Data Is Broadcast Using Desk Lamps

In the future, getting a broadband connection might be as simple as flipping on a light switch. In fact, according to a group of researchers from Germany, the light coming from the lamps in your home could one day encode a wireless broadband signal. As of now, the majority of wireless in homes and businesses is achieved through a radio-frequency […]

Network booting with boot.fedoraproject.org

Network booting with boot.fedoraproject.org

Boot.fedoraproject.org (BFO) is Fedora’s implementation of boot.kernel.org, a project designed to give computers the capability to boot from a network. The actual program that provides this capability is gPXE, which evolved from the Etherboot project. Fedora’s twist on gPXE allows you to network-boot current, past and future (Rawhide) releases of Fedora. All you need to do is download a small […]

Federal Intellectual Property Enforcement Gears Up

Federal Intellectual Property Enforcement Gears Up

The Obama Administration has been slowly ramping up its attention to intellectual property issues. Over the past few months, we’ve seen an IP “summit” at the White House. We’ve seen the successful nomination of a new cabinet-level “IP Czar” position. We’ve seen the announcement of a new DOJ task force for IP issues. What does it all portend? Unfortunately, many […]

BSD Magazine: March 2010

BSD Magazine: March 2010

The March 2010 issue of BSD Magazine, a free, online magazine for the BSD community, is now available for download. The theme for this edition is “BSD as a Desktop.” The following are some of the articles you’ll find inside: Build Your Own FreeBSD Update Server – Experienced users or administrators responsible for several machines or environments, know the difficult […]

Search your Android phone with written gestures

Search your Android phone with written gestures

As mobile phones become increasingly powerful and can store more data, we’ve introduced new methods of search to get you to your content faster, such as search suggestions or search by voice. But sometimes, typing to get to the right search suggestion takes too long, and you may be in a quiet environment where speaking a query is inappropriate. Today […]

Unintended Consequences: Twelve Years Under the DMCA

Unintended Consequences: Twelve Years Under the DMCA

Twelve years after the passage of the controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the law continues to stymie fair use, free speech, scientific research, and legitimate competition. A new report from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) collects reported examples of abuses of the DMCA and the ongoing harm the law continues to inflict on consumers, scientists, and small businesses. The […]

Software sniffs out criminals by the shape of their nose

Forget iris and fingerprint scans — scanning noses could be a quicker and easier way to verify a person’s identity, according to scientists at the University of Bath. With worries about illegal immigration and identity theft, authorities are increasingly looking to using an individual’s physical characteristics, known as biometrics, to confirm their identity.

File-Sharing Software Potential Threat to Health Privacy

The personal health and financial information stored in thousands of North American home computers may be vulnerable to theft through file-sharing software, according to a research study published online in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. Healthcare professionals who take patient information home to personal computers containing peer-to-peer file-sharing software are jeopardizing patient confidentiality, note the authors of […]

Vine Linux

Vine Linux

Vine Linux is a Japanese, RPM-based, multi-purpose distribution. It is developed and maintained by Vinecaves, and it’s based on an earlier version of Fedora. It is one of those distributions that excludes non-free (proprietary) applications from its default installation. Unlike similar distributions, however, it has developed a smart method to make installing non-free applications very easy.

Vine Linux 5.1 review

Vine Linux 5.1 review

Vine Linux is a Japanese, RPM-based, multi-purpose distribution. It is developed and maintained by Vinecaves, and it’s based on an earlier version of Fedora. It is one of those distributions that excludes non-free (proprietary) applications from its default installation. Unlike similar distributions, however, it has developed a smart method to make installing non-free applications very easy. This is a review […]