Now that Google is Out, China is Building its own Search Engine

China’s huge population can put it on the top on quite some “world’s most” lists. Following that trend, China has the largest number of mobile subscribers and Internet users.

However, the Chinese Government is not very keen on boasting about these figures. Instead, it sees a reason to regulate this population. China is planning to develop a government controlled search engine in collaboration with many organizations. This would possibly allow the Chinese  Government  to serve completely autonomous content in search results.

Baidu is the prevalent search engine in China. Baidu rose to complete rule in China after the government booted out Google. However, now China’s official news media Xinhua and China Mobile, the largest mobile network in China joined hands to create “Search Engine New Media International Communications Company”, the new face of web search in China.

If this goes on, China can really succeed in pissing off its citizens who happen to be avid Internet users. In such a situation, they will have to be content with the fact that there is another country called North Korea, which is at a worse state when it comes to the Internet!

The actions against Google were simply seeds sown to the tree that can be seen as growing now. Now, we need to see how well Baidu holds up against this recent development.

(Via:  NY Times)

Why is Oracle Playing the Bad Guy in the Open Source world? Is Java next now that OpenSolaris is dead?

Oracle, as we all knew was a supporter of Open Source standards. However, a recent turn of events has forced me to think otherwise.

Oracle took over Sun Microsystems with a view of monetizing the Open Source technologies Sun held under its banner. There was no harm in that. However, it totally failed to understand the basic mindset of a community process and maintain an enthusiastic community around free and open source software.

Oracle started pissing off everyone with a total lack of communication, with red tapes and finally, it is showing its true colors with today’s event of  sending OpenSolaris to the grave. Killing off OpenSolaris, as speculated by many, might just be a start of some unexpected yet unsurprising events from Oracle.

Today, Oracle holds two flagship technologies, an enterprise DBMS and a complete programming platform in the form of Java besides many other major technologies. However, Oracle’s recent attack on Google over Java is a well-calculated move. Oracle is looking to make some good profits out of the Intellectual Property infringement of Java.  However, if Google has been able to innovate to this massive level using Java, maybe Oracle should take the cue and try to innovate instead of litigating!

Google has finally responded to the Oracle claim saying,

We are disappointed Oracle has chosen to attack both Google and the open-source Java community with this baseless lawsuit. The open-source Java community goes beyond any one corporation and works every day to make the web a better place. We will strongly defend open-source standards and will continue to work with the industry to develop the Android platform.

Back in the good old days, Sun Microsystems allowed Java’s Intellectual Property to be used freely and never interfered with any company on this matter. If Oracle successfully wins this allegation against Google, the whole matter will simply scare away all businesses based around Java and can have a devastating effect on Java.

In short, these actions from Oracle can virtually kill Java too. As the case against Google builds up, we will have a better picture of the future of Java.

(Google’s Response via Engadget)

id Software Open Sources Wolfenstein Return to the Castle and Enemy Territory Source Codes

id Software is famous for open sourcing there games and engines after a few years of release. This serves as a great educational tool and helps small-time developers and enthusiasts have a clear understanding of game development.

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Keeping this trend, id Software has made their latest release, which includes two of the most popular Wolfenstein titles Enemy Territory and Return to the Castle. The announcement was made at the recent QuakeCon event. John Carmak, the master programmer at id Software made the announcement that can be  seen at this post.

The code is released under GPL thus allowing for commercial reuse and modification with proper credit to the source for the code. Codes are available for Enemy Territory, Return to the Castle single player and Return to the Castle multi player.

It is good to see that id Software has taken this step. However, these stagnant and age-old codes will not serve much purpose as they are from years ago. Currently, game development has seen a major overhaul of development process. However, we expect to see some innovative design using these codes in near future.

The source code is available at the  id Soft’s FTP site.

(Source)

Shutter Version 0.86.3 adds support for Ubuntu One

Linux has few good screenshot apps and Shutter is one of them. It allows us to capture screenshots of the whole screen, a particular application, a region or any menu. Apart from that, it can also apply some effects and draw shapes on the captured image to create illustrations. The best thing about Shutter is that it allows complete control with GUI without any scary command line controls.

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Shutter version 0.86.3 has brought a new feature. From now on, we can synchronize the captured screenshots on our Ubuntu One cloud storage.

Ubuntu One is a storage application and service operated by Canonical Ltd. and currently in public beta. The service enables users to store and sync files in a Canonical Managed Cloud.

The latest feature of publishing at Ubuntu One cloud works only for Ubuntu 10.04 or later. The support can be added by running:

sudo apt-get install libnet-dbus-glib-perl

from the terminal.

Other changes in the recent version of Shutter, include a new icon set and some  bug-fixes. Romario, at the release announcement page, has answered some comments. From there, it is evident that the next imminent feature is the ability to capture screenshots of scrolling windows and to capture a screen area repeatedly with a predefined delay. This can make Shutter an excellent tool for creating step-by-step tutorials.

(Shutter about Page)
(Via : Unixmen)
(Image via: http://zibergela.bitarlan.net)

AVG Releases Reports of Mumba Botnet

AVG has claimed that the Mumba Botnet is out in the wild and has nearly 55,000 PCs setup under its network. This poses a serious security threat to those infected users accessing the Internet without a proper firewall or an antivirus. The Mumba Botnet has stolen up to 60 GB of data until now. This data includes credit card numbers, bank passwords and other sensitive data.

The order in which infected nations stand, is the USA alone with 33%, 17% in Germany and 7% in Spain. This clarifies that people in developed nations and people with technologically inclined brains make the country a hotspot for an attack as compared to developing countries.

The Mumba botnet is extremely dangerous because apart from the malware spreading capabilities, the botnet now also has Zeus under it. Zeus is another Trojan tool to steal bank login information. The malware attacked vulnerable and popular browsers like Firefox and IE.

Yuval Ben-Itzhak, the SVP at AVG said,

The unique infrastructure of the Mumba botnet means that going after the servers hosting the stolen data is now much more difficult than before.

AVG is moving towards security in a more serious way and the recent inclusion of AVG Link Scanner into browsers brings AVG a score on other antiviruses. Likewise, these reports give it more credibility in the field.

(Source)

Google acquires Instantiations: Google Web Toolkit keeps getting Better

Eric Clayberg, VP of Product Development at Instantiations wrote in an email today saying,

I have exciting news to share about important developments here at Instantiations… Instantiations’ award-winning Java and Ajax development tools and our incredible Eclipse team have been acquired by Google! We’re all very excited about taking our technology and team to the next level – and there is no bigger step up than Google!

google-logo

The same message has been put up on the  Instantiations homepage too and the people at Instantiations are quite excited about this. Instantiations is now a part of the Google Web Toolkit and Google is planning to use the GWT designer in Instantiations to its own advantage. Instantiations provides developers with a GUI interface for building applications using Google Web Toolkit. The seamless integration with Eclipse IDE simply makes things better.

However, Instantiations will still exist under the same brand name and will work on Smalltalk. The GWT part of the company will be forked off to Google. Instantiations holds many Smalltalk products like the Smalltalk IDE and VA Smalltalk under its banner.

With this acquisition, Google has acquired a powerful tool, a powerful team and has increased our expectations. Together, this team can make significant improvements and we hope to see of it soon enough.

(Source)

Linux Kernel 2.6.35 gets Google Network Technology for Faster Packet Transmission

The latest release of the Linux kernel 2.6.35 has brought significant changes to the kernel. Released on Sunday this week, the kernel claims to have significant improvements along the improvement in behavior of packets and over network throughput.

The new technologies borrowed from Google are RFS and RPS. These help in modifying the behavior of packets in a network. RPS spreads a process into all cores and RFS searches for the ideal core for performing jobs. RSP stands for receive packet steering and RFS for receive flow steering. As an evidence of increased performance, Joab Jackson at Networkworld has written,

The site cited a benchmark test showing how an eight-core Intel CPU-based server, with an Intel e1000e network adapter, doubled the number of networking-based transactions-per-second (tps) it could execute with RPS and RFS in place, from 104,000 tps (at about 30 percent CPU usage), to 303,000 tps (and 61 percent CPU usage).

This is good news compared to the earlier development of Linux. This move will popularize builds based on this new kernel.

Judge refuses to Freeze LimeWire Assets, RIAA gets an In Your Face

We all remember how the RIAA went after LimeWire when it could not make enough out of people and especially students. Greg Sandoval at the CNET blog on Digital Entertainment writes,

In March, U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood ruled that Lime Group, parent company of Lime Wire and founder Mark Gorton  are liable for copyright infringement by enabling and “inducing” users of the file-sharing software LimeWire to pirate songs from the four major record companies.

Mark Gorton created LimeWire and he happens to be the founder of Lime Group. The RIAA has an ongoing case against the company from 2007 and has tried to freeze all assets of Gorton. However, recently, RIAA accuses Gorton of having moved asset into private family trust.

The judge ruling this case has denied freezing these assets. However, LimeWire will not stay here for long and in all probability, it will be shut down and the assets frozen. Apart from that, it would also have to pay fines amounting in billions of dollars.

(Source)

Wikileaks and Julian Assange, now Insured against the US Government

While Julian Assange is enjoying his time in Sweden, he cannot necessarily stay there for eternity in a house arrest. In a new move, he has now ensured and insured his safe passage out of Sweden without the FBI making trouble for him.

Just like NDAKOTA in Digital Fortress, Assange is now insured with a passphrase which will make for the largest leak Wikileaks has ever made. Wikileaks has a new file “insurance” in its server which is encrypted with an AES256 encryption. The file is posted on the Afghan War page and is sized at more than all the earlier Wikileaks leaks combined. The file has 77,000 Afghan war documents.

In case something happens to Julian Assange or Wikileaks, volunteers will release passphrase of the documents and it will be open to all. If that happens, the United States will have a lot of people to answer to.

The expected greatest benefits from this release would possibly go to Taliban which has already claimed to be scanning through the Wikileaks documents. They are looking for people involved in the matter and are ready to punish them if needed.

(Source)

Apple started a New Patent War, Now patenting Mobile App Mockups

Patenting laws in the US are at the height of their stupidity and have become a joke. There are patents on technologies like electrified table-cloth, method of swinging on a swing, methods of bowling, fluid operated zipper and baby patting machine!

apple-patent

Apple has joined the race and has started patenting mobile app mockups. Staska at Unwired View writes,

In mobile travel app patent application, Apple describes things like sending travel promotions, making reservations through mobile app, guide/assistance with airport services, using mobile boarding pass, remote check-in, access to in-flight services, sending automatic arrival notifications to your spouse, travel guide services/promotions at the destination site.

However, the root of the problem is not Apple. As one of the comments at the source blog said,

Don’t hate the player. Hate the game.

It is partly true. The silly patent war is the one to blame, as is Apple or someone else. This can happen anytime because the patent laws allow it. However, the severity of the matter depends on what exactly they are planning to patent. If it is a unique technology related to the app, it is righteous. However, if it is the complete app idea itself, Apple will soon run into patent wars and more hatred.