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Comment Practice what you do not preach ? (Score 1) 103

Lets be honest. How many more advertisement, apps, data mining opportunities would Facebook earn by making its privacy options really ensure privacy? Facebook would be out of business that way. But what is ridiculous is the owner of the company writing an open letter (with apology) stating that he will work to ensure greater privacy, while disabling even the existing measures that controlled several information (esp activity) of users. This is outright dishonesty and needs to be challenged. I prefer the honesty of some other companies that don't falsely claim to be respective of user's freedom and privacy rather than those whose rhetoric is high on values and action reminds of thugs. If they have to sell products with the aid of values, they'd better choose more 'practical' values. Practice what you do not preach ?

Submission + - Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones (wsj.com) 1

jitendraharlalka writes: Militants in Iraq have used $26 off-the-shelf software to intercept live video feeds from U.S. Predator drones, potentially providing them with information they need to evade or monitor U.S. military operations.
Senior defense and intelligence officials said Iranian-backed insurgents intercepted the video feeds by taking advantage of an unprotected communications link in some of the remotely flown planes' systems. Shiite fighters in Iraq used software programs such as SkyGrabber — available for as little as $25.95 on the Internet — to regularly capture drone video feeds, according to a person familiar with reports on the matter.

Comment Re:Trac + SVN (Score 1) 428

We use Trac+SVN too. But apart from that, we use a pastebin (for temporary text), an IRC server (ircd-hybrid) with a bot (gozerbot) for logging and other tasks. We use Trac with a lot of useful plugins like Calendar, blog, autocomplete, etc. Apart from that, I've worked (just tested and got a feel of) with OpenExchange, Open Atrium etc and think that they might prove to be useful tools in increasing productivity. I've been reading a lot about Redmine, and want to test it sometime soon. Same with Scrum techniques.

Comment What has happened to Slashdot? (Score 0, Redundant) 496

C'mon how is this some "stuffs for nerds, news that matter?" I think next post on ./ will read, "Fedora, openSUSE and Ubuntu Linux desktops may look alike, but they've got some important distinctions, like the fact that Fedora is a Redhat derivative and Ubuntu is a Debian derivative, while openSUSE is a Suse derivative from Novell. Not only that, Fedora and Ubuntu use GNOME, which is a desktop environment. Opensuse uses KDE, which is yet another Desktop environment, short for K Desktop Environment. On the other hand, though Debian also uses GNOME, the version it ships is rather older than that in Ubuntu or Fedora. The designers of Debian have assumed that its users are less caring of latest softwares, and might even be older than general run of users."
GNOME

Submission + - GNOME not splitting from the GNU, as reported (osnews.com)

Bibek Paudel writes: "This mail[0] in the GNOME mailing list confused a lot of people. In reply to the news of GNOME splitting from the GNU, Johannes Schmid wrote, "there simply never was a plan about splitting up from GNU other than Philip has raised his as last consequence in a (quite useless, personal, etc.) discussion with RMS."

The rumor started from a OSNews story [1] that reported, "it started with complaints received about the content on Planet GNOME, and ended with people proposing and organising a vote to split GNOME from the GNU Project." The real origin point of this is a thread [2] in the GNOME mailing list titled "Code of Conduct and Foundation membership." This long discussion was participated by Richard Stallman. He wrote [3], ".. they (developers of non-free software certainly shouldn't promote them (non-free softwares) on Planet GNOME." In another thread, he wrote [4], "GNOME should not provide proprietary software developers with a platform to
present non-free software as a good or legitimate thing.... It should not invite people to talk about their proprietary software projects just because they are also GNOME contributors" and [5] "GNOME is part of the GNU Project, and it ought to support the free software movement. The most minimal support for the free software movement is to refrain from going directly against it; that is, to avoid presenting proprietary software as legitimate." In reply to RMS, Philip Van Hoof wrote [6], "I propose to have a vote on GNOME's membership to the GNU project." Things were getting more complex, as is evident from this post [7] by Lefty "If muzzling people is a condition of being "part of the GNU project", then maybe we should rethink _that_ aspect of things. Maybe the FSF should start its own planet and set its own rules there rather than attempting to impose its various litmus tests on the contributors to Planet GNOME."

http://mail.gnome.org/archives/foundation-list/2009-December/msg00151.html
http://www.osnews.com/story/22610/GNOME_To_Split_from_GNU_Project_
http://www.mail-archive.com/foundation-list@gnome.org/msg03962.html
http://www.mail-archive.com/foundation-list@gnome.org/msg04036.html
http://mail.gnome.org/archives/foundation-list/2009-December/msg00037.html
http://www.mail-archive.com/foundation-list@gnome.org/msg04063.html
http://www.mail-archive.com/foundation-list@gnome.org/msg04068.html
http://www.mail-archive.com/foundation-list@gnome.org/msg04066.html"

Debian

Submission + - Debian is now Sweet Sixteen (debian.net)

Bibek Paudel writes: "The Universal Operating System Debian is now sweet sixteen. Lets wish her a very happy birthday and congratulate all the developers, sponsors, users and the community. It all started with this discussion [0]. One of the oldest GNU/Linux distros, Debian among the most preferred choice for a Linux server. With Debian-derivative Ubuntu being among the most popular choice for Linux desktops, Debian is surely a universal OS.

For those who don't know, the name comes [1] from the names of the creator of Debian, Ian Murdock, and his wife, Debra.

[0] http://groups.google.com/group/comp.os.linux.development/msg/a32d4e2ef3bcdcc6
[1] http://www.debian.org/intro/about"

Comment Re:Ask China (Score 1) 151

I'd love to read/see/listen any evidences to prove that. Otherwise that's a totally false statement. The popular opinion in Nepal is that the string-puller is India and eventually Uncle Sam. I don't buy popular opinion, but your take on China story is untrue. It's largely been a non-interfering neighbor except in cases of Free-Tibet activists.
Government

Submission + - How should a constitution protect digital rights ?

Bibek Paudel writes: "Nepal's Constituent Assembly is drafting a new constitution for the country. We (FOSS Nepal [0]) are interacting with various committees of the Assembly regarding the issues to be included in the new constitution. Especially, the "Fundamental Rights Determination Committee" is seeking our suggestions in the form of a written document so that they can discuss it in their meeting next week. We have informed them informally of our concerns for addressing digital liberties and ensuring them as fundamental rights in the constitution. We'd also like to see the right to privacy, anonymity and access public information regardless of the technology (platforms/softwares). Whether or not our suggestions will be incorporated depends on public hearings and voting in the assembly later, but the document we submit will be archived for use as reference material in the future when amendments in the constitution will be discussed or new laws will be prepared.

Below is the mail[1] I wrote to FOSS Nepal mailing list. I wanted to post a similar message to some international mailing list (like FSF, EFF) but I know only of announcement mailing lists of that kind. If you have something to suggest, please do. We're committed to doing everything we can to make sure that in the future Nepal becomes a country where digital liberties are fully respected. It's my personal dream to make our constitution a model for all other developing (or otherwise) countries as far as digital liberties are concerned.

There are many issues on which your suggestions would be valuable. How's it in your country? How would you want to change it? If you've interesting examples from history, they'd help too. If you're a legal expert, please mention the legal hassles our issues could generate. If you're from the FSF, the EFF etc, please provide your insights. If you're just another citizen like me, how'd you like your government to address filesharing, privacy, anonymity, platform neutrality, open standards etc? This slashdot discussion itself would serve as a reference to our document.

[0] http://fossnepal.org/
[1] http://groups.google.com/group/foss-nepal/browse_thread/thread/10cb7162bc5c3998"
The Internet

Submission + - File Sharing Parties in Russia and Nepal (torrentfreak.com)

Bibek Paudel writes: "Just around the PirateBay verdict day, file sharers' all over the world have been celebrating the spirit of sharing.

TorrentFreaks writes [0], "Support for The Pirate Bay doesn't stop at the Swedish border, nor it is limited to blogs and forums." On 16th April, a group of Russian Pirate Bay supporters threw a street party at Pushkin Square in the center of Moscow, with the full approval of the Russian government. There are other more prominent supporters too. Novelist Paulo Coelho, who wrote the 65 million-selling book "The Alchemist", is an avid supporter of the 'bay, and even offered to testify in their favor during their court case.

In the South Asian Himalayan country of Nepal, supporters of file-sharing and piratebay came together in a real-life file-sharing party [1]. The whole event was planned and coordinated over the Internet using weblogs and twitter. People came with their laptops, thumb-drives, CD/DVDs, hard-disk and other storage devices and let each other know of the movies, songs, books, programmes or pictures they had and exchanged files with each other. The event named "Satasat GB" started in a Kathmandu restaurant this January with initiatives of some tech savvy youths. Excited by the response, they aimed to share even more data in the future versions of the event. Nepal has 12 hours of power outages every day (recently reduced, used to be 16 hours a day). According to the participants of the event, the reason for organizing the file sharing party- besides the need for the geeks to meet each other and have some fun, is load-shedding and Kathmandu's low internet bandwidth which make it difficult to download huge files over the internet.

[0] http://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-supporters-throw-street-party-in-moscow-090416/
[1] http://ekantipur.com/kolnews.php?&nid=188770"

The Internet

Submission + - Open Source Activity Map of the World (redhat.com)

Bibek Paudel writes: "Georgia Tech and RedHat's Open Source Index project (OSI) has
generated interesting results. The open source activity and environment
maps of the world show scores of 75 countries based on their policies,
practices, and other data in the fields of Government, Industry, and
Community. The interactive map helps explore open source software hotspots around the world.

Overall, France ranks number 1 in the index, followed by Spain, Germany, Australia and Finland. On number 6 is the UK, while the United States is 3 places below. China stands on No. 15 and India on 23.

Many countries aren't indexed, because of the unavailability of enough data, says the FAQ.

Activity map: http://www.redhat.com/about/where-is-open-source/activity/
Environment map: http://www.redhat.com/about/where-is-open-source/environment/"

Education

Submission + - Linux Terminals for school kids in hilly villages (bbc.co.uk)

Bibek Paudel writes: "The BBC carries a story on the success of the E-Library project based on the Linux Terminal Server Project in the schools of remote hilly villages of Nepal. Started by Help Nepal Network (HeNN) and supported by Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya (MPP, the organization behind NepaLinux) and the Free/Open Source Software Community of Nepal (FOSS Nepal), students from Nepal's top engineering schools volunteer for the project.

"Much of the country is remote and accessible only on foot, and many of its people have never glimpsed a computer, let alone touched one. Working with other organisations, including Save the Children-Norway, HeNN is setting up the libraries with the use of what is called the Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP). This is a free and open-source (accessible to everyone) package which connects one powerful central server in the school, using the Linux operating system, to a number of diskless low-end computers. When linked to the server, each computer receives a full Linux desktop.

LTSP is seen as a cost-effective, power-saving and durable technology, not only in schools but also in other sectors. What's more, it is also virtually free of tampering and computer viruses — and the Linux software developed by Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya, a charitable educational library based in Kathmandu, is being provided free of cost.

And its appeal is growing. In front of the little shops on the rough village streets, men gather to play cards and drink tea. But even they have developed a fascination for the computer. So the school has arranged some computer classes for them, too."

The BBC further writes, "Before this, anyone wanting access to computers or sizeable shops would have to walk two hours and drive two more, so the system has proved highly significant for local pupils. Most of the places where E-libraries have been set up so far are in the hills."

"Kamal Prasad Sharma, aged 12, a student at Saraswati Secondary School in a small village not far from Kathmandu, was afraid when he saw a computer for the first time.""

Government

Submission + - Ten hours of power cut every day (wordpress.com)

Bibek Paudel writes: "Nepal is a country whose power potential is roughly 83,000 MW, which is equivalent to the combined installed hydroelectricity capacity of Canada, the United States and Mexico [0], although less than 1 percent has been developed [1]. In recent years, load-shedding has been an unmistakable feature of daily lives in Nepal. People plan their days accordingly. They sleep and wake up accordingly. Businesses and office-goers, professionals try to adjust their work and daily routine in harmony with the load-shedding schedule published by the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA, aptly called No Electricity Authority of Nepal). NEA is very good at doing it. It changes its schedule and duration time and again, citing different reasons. In summers, its usually because of the flooding at certain rivers that grains and rock try to disturb the hydro-power plants. In winters, its because most rivers originating in the mountains decrease in their volumes because the snow melts less. At other times, its because one or the other power plant needs to be closed because of technical difficulties. At no points do we learn about measures taken to forestall annual occurrences of such events.

Effective from today, NEA has imposed, another schedule[2]. There will be 70 hours of power cut every week. That is 10 hours a day. NEA says that, come mid-January, the duration will be increased. Imagine how lives will move. Industries have already declared that it'd be impossible for them to sustain.

There is an yearly loss of 25.15 percent power[3] (of total power capacity) by NEA due to power leakage.

[0] http://www.nepalnews.com.np/contents/englishdaily/trn/2003/jan/jan26/features1.htm
[1] http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/archive/ieo00/hydro.html
[2] http://nea.org.np/loadshedding.jpg
[3] http://www.kantipuronline.com/kolnews.php?nid=170922"

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