How to root the Samsung Galaxy S II (GT-i9100) with GNU/Linux or Mac OSX using the FOSS tool heimdall

There are thousands of reports on the internet already explaining how the new and shiny Samsung Galaxy SGII Android smartphone can be rooted. But most of them suggest using »Odin«, which is a leaked internal tool from Samsung and which is included in many Samsung firmware packages you can find on the world wild web. Unfortunately, Odin is only available for Microsoft Windows. For this reason, I put a short guide here, which explains how to root the Samsung Galaxy SGII with GNU/Linux using the FOSS tool heimdall (heimdall and this guide work on Apple Mac OSX and Microsoft Windows, as well). [...]

BBS: Our Wagner. A deal in Germany.

Hitler in a roman tunic standing and speaking in the grave of Richard Wagner Three close friends, one of them me. The whole project started when #6 bought a recording of the Jahrhundertring, a production of Richard Wagner’s Ring by Pierre Boulez and Patrice Chéreau, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Bayreuth Festival. #2 complained that he is only going to watch Wagner with us if we both watch Syberberg‘s »Hitler, ein Film aus Deutschland« (»Hitler: A Film from Germany« or just »Our Hitler«) with him. Then I came up with the BBS Documentary — and we had a deal. [...]

Why political liberty depends on software freedom more than ever

What has happened in Iran, in Egypt, in Tunisia—and what will happen in other societies over the next few years—demonstrates the enormous political and social importance of social networking. But everything we know about technology tells us that the current forms of social network communication, despite their enormous current value for politics, are also intensely dangerous to use. They are too centralized, they are too vulnerable to state retaliation and control. The design of their technology, like the design of almost all unfree software technology, is motivated more by business interests seeking profit than by technological interests seeking freedom. As a result of which, we are watching political movements of enormous value, capable of transforming the lives of hundreds of millions of people, resting on a fragile basis, like, for example, the courage of Mr. Zuckerberg, or the willingness of Google to resist the state, where the state is a powerful business partner and a party Google cannot afford frequently to insult.

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Is the Microsoft-Nokia deal the death of the MeeGo dream: a cross-device GNU+Linux-based FOSS ecosystem?

Oh Nokia, what have you done? You made a lot of mistakes in the past. And after you started making the right decisions for a short while, you screwed it up again — but this time: the big time. You hired a Trojan-CEO, who only (or at least mainly) acts in the interest of [...]

How to drastically boost up your KDE 4 performance by using the Qt raster rendering engine

The release of the KDE SC version 4 series hasn’t been a success story in the first place. The first versions of KDE 4 are known to be buggy and slow. But the situation is constantly getting better. And since the release of KDE SC 4.3, it may be stated that the KDE software collection is quite useful in a productive environment. However, although the performance of KDE is constantly improving, it has never reached a state so far where it felt completely fast to me (such as GNOME, KDE 3, or lightweight desktop environments like XFCE, LXDE, or fluxbox do). A little bit of bubble gum always remained. Until I found the »raster engine« of Qt. [...]