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Open Source and the London Olympics

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Beardless Bdale
[Bdale Garbee and Linus Torvalds] At the 2009 Penguin Dinner, Bdale Garbee "agreed" to shave his beard if enough funds were pledged toward the cause of protecting the Tasmanian Devil from extinction. On January 22, Linus Torvalds did the honors in front of hundreds of LCA attendees.

Something between AU$35,000 and $40,000 was raised through this effort, which leaves Bdale beardless for the first time in over 25 years.

Click below for a few pictures from the event.

Ext4 to be standard for Fedora 11, Btrfs also included (heise online)
heise online notes plans to include Ext4 and Btrfs in Fedora 11. "According to current plans, version 11 of Fedora, which is expected to arrive in late May, will use Ext4 as its standard file system. That's what the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo) recently decided, following a heated discussion in an IRC meeting. If however Ext3's successor encounters big problems with the pre-release versions of Fedora 11, the developers will dump that plan and revert to Ext3. So the Fedora Project is going one step beyond Ubuntu version 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope), which as things currently stand will offer Ext4 as an install time option, though the installer will still use Ext3 as its default file system."
Ubuntu 8.04.2 LTS released
Ubuntu 8.04.2 LTS has been announced. "The Ubuntu team is proud to announce the release of Ubuntu 8.04.2 LTS, the second maintenance update to Ubuntu's 8.04 LTS release. This release includes updated server, desktop, and alternate installation CDs for the i386 and amd64 architectures. In all, over 200 updates have been integrated, and updated installation media has been provided so that fewer updates will need to be downloaded after installation. These include security updates and corrections for other high-impact bugs, with a focus on maintaining stability and compatibility with Ubuntu 8.04 LTS."
Sun Begins Carrying Out Planned Layoffs (eWeek)
eWeek reports on the layoffs at Sun Microsystems. "Sun Microsystems, which revealed on Nov. 14, 2008, that it planned to reduce its global work force by 5,000 to 6,000 employees—15 to 18 percent—began carrying out that dreadful duty Jan. 22. Sun confirmed that layoff notifications were sent to about 1,300 employees as part of that action. Reductions were made across all levels, including vice presidents and directors, the company said."
An odd choice to help government with open source strategy (ars technica)
ars technica looks into the Obama administration's choice of former Sun CEO Scott McNealy as an advisor for its government open-source strategy. "Although Obama's interest in open source looks like a promising sign that the incoming government is serious about reforming federal IT procurement policies, the decision to call on Sun's eccentric cofounder is an incomprehensible twist. McNealy's long history of bizarre and contradictory positions on open source software make him a less than ideal candidate for helping to shape national policy on the subject. Asking Scott McNealy to write a paper about open source software is a bit like asking Dick Cheney to write a paper about government transparency."
Thursday Security Updates
Fedora 9 has updated amarok (buffer overflows), devil (off by one error), moodle (spellcheck security flaw) and uw-imap (buffer overflow).

Fedora 10 has updated devil (off by one error), moodle (spellcheck security flaw), mumbles (unsafe shell usage) and uw-imap (buffer overflow).

Gentoo has updated scilab (insecure temp file) and net-snmp (denial of service).

Mandriva has updated xine-lib (multiple vulnerabilities), php (multiple vulnerabilities), php (multiple vulnerabilities), php (multiple vulnerabilities) and php4 (multiple vulnerabilities).

Red Hat Enterprise Linux has updated kernel (multiple vulnerabilities).

SUSE has updated kernel (multiple vulnerabilities) and bind (information disclosure).

Draft Wikipedia license change plan
The Wikimedia Foundation has posted a draft plan for changing its licensing away from the GNU Free Documentation License - a change which was enabled by the FDL 1.3 release. They hope to finalize this plan by the beginning of February, then hold an election to let contributors make the final decision. Weekly Edition for January 22, 2009
The Weekly Edition for January 22, 2009 is available.
CFP for Linux Foundation 2009 Collaboration Summit
The Linux Foundation's Collaboration Summit is, for the first time, soliciting presentations. The conference will be held in San Francisco, April 8-10 and will be co-located with the CE Linux Forum's Embedded Linux Conference. "For the first time, the Linux Foundation is inviting all members of the Linux and open source software communities to submit a proposal for its Annual Collaboration Summit, its cornerstone event. CFP submissions are due February 15, 2009." Click below for more information.
Security updates for Wednesday

Debian has updated shadow (privilege escalation), phppgadmin (fix regression caused by previous security fix).

Gentoo has updated pidgin (multiple vulnerabilities).

rPath has updated openssl (certificate verification flaw), bind, bind-utils (DNSSEC spoofing), ntp, ntp-utils (certificate verification flaw), perl (multiple vulnerabilities), hplip (multiple vulnerabilities).

Calls for open source government (BBC)
Sun co-founder Scott McNealy is advocating open source for governments according to a BBC article. McNealy has been asked to prepare a paper on the subject for the Obama administration. "Mr McNealy told the BBC he wants to ensure the government does not get 'locked in' to one specific vendor or company. [...] 'The government ought to mandate open source products based on open source reference implementations to improve security, get higher quality software, lower costs, higher reliability - all the benefits that come with open software.'"
Mobile Linux at
The first two days at are dedicated to "miniconfs," which cover specific areas of interest. The 2009 event in Hobart, Tasmania included a miniconf for mobile Linux that LWN Executive Editor Jonathan Corbet sat in on. Click below, subscribers only, for his report.
Obama Inauguration shines on Linux too with Moonlight (ars technica)
ars technica reports on efforts to get Moonlight to be able to display video streams of the Obama inauguration. Moonlight currently supports Silverlight 1.0, but the streams required Silverlight 2.0. "Several developers on Novell's Mono team leaped into action and worked late into the night so that Linux users will be able to watch the stream with Moonlight, an open source implementation of Silverlight 1.0. Their efforts, which were undertaken in collaboration with Microsoft, have ensured that the PIC stream will be accessible to Linux users who download the Moonlight browser plugin from the project's web site, as well as to PPC Mac users who rely on Microsoft's Silverlight 1.0 plugin."
Fellowship interview with Enrico Zini (FSFE)
The Fellowship of Free Software Foundation Europe has an interview with Enrico Zini. "Enrico Zini is a long time Fellow of the FSFE and a prominent Debian developer. He has been involved in many different projects relating to Free Software and is deeply concerned about social issues. I had a nice chat with Enrico and asked him about some of his favourite causes."
Setting Up the Ideal Linux Desktop (It Management)
There are many ways to set up the ideal desktop. In this article Bruce Byfield shares some thoughts on the subject. "After years of authorized and -- I admit -- the occasional unauthorized but non-tampering snooping, I'm overdue to offer reciprocity. I'm not naive enough to throw open my machine for everyone to examine online, but, over the years, I have developed several pages of hard-earned notes that I follow and revise whenever I buy and set up a new computer."

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