Episode 002

Posted by Tony on October 23, 2011 in Show-mp3, Show-ogg |

Download in Ogg format (for Freedom Lovers!)


Tony Bemus and Mat Enders

Kernel News: Mat

The current development kernel is 3.1-rc10, released on October 17. There hasn’t been much going on – some small MIPS updates are the bulk of this release candidate. The rest are some small driver fixes, and some last-minute btrfs and xfs fixes. Expect the final 3.1 release sometime in the near future.

Stable updates: the 3.0.7 update was released on October 17 with a moderately-sized set of important fixes.
42 existing files in the kernel were changed
262 new files were inserted into the kernel
302 old files were deleted from the kernel

Greg Kroah-Hartman at SUSE had this to say about the current stable release “I’ve had some boot problems with this kernel, and I can’t seem to narrow the issue down, but I think it’s due to something not related to the kernel itself, but am not positive. Please test to verify that I didn’t mess something up.”

2011 Kernel Summit draft agenda posted
The 2011 Kernel Summit will be held on October 24 and 25 in Prague. The draft agenda has been posted at “http://ksummit2011.kernel.org/agenda”

Distro News:

Distro of the Week:

  1. Ubuntu
  2. Mint
  3. Lubuntu
  4. Fedora
  5. Debian

Other News:

Linux Mint developers make GNOME 3 edition plans
“Clement Lefebvre, Linux Mint Founder and lead developer, has announced that his project has started work on a GNOME 3 edition of its next major release, version 12. The new edition will initially be developed alongside the GNOME 2.32-based release which will remain as the default desktop environment of Mint.

Tech News:

Libra Office anounces plans to develop ports for Android and web.
ICANN is Taking Over the Olson Time Zone Database
ICANN has anounced that it is taking over the Olson time zone database that was shut down recently because of a lawsuit leveled against it.

ISP Config 3 on Ubununtu 11.10
How to prepare an Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) server for the installation of ISPConfig 3, and how to install ISPConfig 3. ISPConfig 3 is a webhosting control panel that allows you to configure the following services through a web browser: Apache web server, Postfix mail server, MySQL, BIND or MyDNS nameserver, PureFTPd, SpamAssassin, ClamAV, and many more.

Microsoft is trying to get manufacturers to use “Secure Boot” to prevent unsigned code from booting on machines. This means no dual booting or even solo booting Linux on these new machines. Please copy and paste the below link into your browser and sign the petition. Keep feredom alive.

“Secure Boot” or “Restricted Boot”?
This is not really new as discussion has been going on since June. It is however coming to a head and there is a lot of misinformation out there about it. What is not misinformation is:
In order to get Win 8 certification the hardware has to ship with secure boot enabled Win 8 certification does not require that Secure Boot be able to be disabled by the end user ( many hardware manufacturers are already saying that disabling will not be an end user option) Win 8 certification does not require that the system ship with any other keys other than MS ones
When a system ships with secure boot enabled (with the ability to disable it turned off) and only includes MS keys then only MS OS’s will boot on that hardware
The problem is not secure boot itself as that actually is a pretty good thing. And is being worked on in Linux. The problem is with the keys and who controls them. Will the manufacture control them and only they will say what boots? Will the end user be given control and allowed to say what boots? This is the reall issue, if it is the end user then there really is no issue however if the key holder is the manufacturer then we are looking at a future where the only OS that will boot on new hardware will be windows. At least in the consumer commodity market which is where this is aimed not the server market.
The FSF has released a statement on secure boot that explains the issue pretty clearly. You can find that post here: http://www.fsf.org/campaigns/secure-boot-vs-restricted-boot. Please sign their petition at http://www.fsf.org/campaigns/secure-boot-vs-restricted-boot/statement. There has also been some excellent insight into this written by Matthew Garrett of Red Hat read his blog here: http://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/.
And finally a quote from Ed Bott who completely misses the point. “Allow me to illustrate by turning the argument around in an equally cynical way, with an equally inflammatory rhetorical flourish:
People who make their living in the Linux ecosystem are demanding that Microsoft disable a key security feature planned for Windows 8 so that malware authors can continue to infect those PCs and drive their owners to alternate operating systems.
Oh, wait. Now that I think about it, that’s actually pretty close to the truth.” Ed’s blog ican be read in its entirety here http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott. The article with the offenxive quote and attitude is entitled “Why do Linux fanatics want to make Windows 8 less secure”. What a MS stooge if there ever was one. Oops did I say that out loud.
Now for my opinion whis is why I do this podcast. I am not oppsed to secure boot if the enduser is given control. The vast majority of end users will never mess with it and leave it intact. But for those of us who run alternate OS’s we will need the ability to control this. The question remains are we a large enough audience to make the manufactureres take notice. Please sign the FSF petition mentioned earlier if you missed we will have a link in the show notes.

Time zone database attacked but finds a new home
The time zone database is pretty important to most computer users wether they realize it or not. Unix and Unix like OS’s keep there internal time in “Unix time”, which is the number of seconds since midnight January 1, 1970, it then uses the selection of the user about where they are in the world to convert that time into a usable time for them and their applications. So there is a tz database maintained by Arthur David Olson and Paul Eggert, with the data hosted by Olson and Eggert’s employer, the US National Institute of Health, along with the tz public mailing list to discuss and announce changes to the data.
The problem arises in the form of a lawsuit filed by Astrolabe, Inc, a purveyor of commercial astrology charts, books, and software. The lawsuit accuses Olson and Eggert of “unlawful reproduction” of data from the ACS Atlas and of having “wrongfully and unlawfully asserted that the information and/or date [sic] taken from the Works is in the ‘public domain.'” The lawsuit came as a shock to the tz database community, as well as the Unix community in general, in part because the suit claims that including facts from the book in the database deprives the publisher of income — when the references to the ACS Atlas in the comments actually encourage its use.
The bigger problem here is that Astrolabe is asserting that the facts listed in this book are protected by copyright. This should be a matter of settled law as the US Supreme Court has rulled on several occasions that facts are not copyrightable even if the author has taken great effort to compile these facts. See Feist v Rural and Worth v Selchow & Righter Company.
The good thing here is that ICANN stepped in and has taken over hosting responsibilities for the tz database. ICANN cited a request to take over administration of the database from the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and quotes ICANN Chief Operating Officer Akram Atallah as saying “The Time Zone Database provides an essential service on the Internet and keeping it operational falls within ICANN’s mission of maintaining a stable and dependable Internet.” It does not mention the lawsuit, although ZDNet Australia quoted ICANN’s Kim Davies as saying “We are aware of the lawsuit […] We’ll deal with any legal matters as they arise.”
My thoughts are how did this lawsuit get past the fillling stage as its only claim is that the facts are copyrighted which is very evidently a matter of settled law as eveidenced in the above mentioned US Supreme Court cases along with many others not mentioned.

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