Archive for June 2006

Nature is undertaking an Open Peer Review trial

June 29, 2006

For the next three months, Nature is conducting an open peer review trial. Authors submitting articles for peer review are given the option to participate also in a open peer review process in which their papers are open for public comments. The public comments will not have an effect on whether or not the papers are accepted in Nature. However, at the end of the trial the Editors of Nature will study the comments to assess their value.

Even though this is a great initiative, I do not think that three months is enough for this type of trials. Anyways, kudos to Nature for trying new ways to improve the traditional peer review process.

For more information:

Nature’s home page

Nature’s page on the peer review trial

FAQ’s on the trial


Back from Europe!

June 26, 2006

I am back from Europe. I spent the last 15 days in there on vacation. I also attended a conference of the International Research Society on Spinal Deformities (IRSSD 2006) where I presented a couple of papers on my research.

In this trip, I visited France (Paris and Caen), Spain (Barcelona), and Belgium (Brussels, Bruges, and Ghent). From the cities I visited, the one I liked the most was Barcelona. It has an amazing architecture and it has a life on its own.

I will comment on the trip later on. Now, I have to get back to answering e-mails and doing research


Back from Montreal

June 8, 2006

This trip to Montreal went much better than I expected, even tough it did not started on the right track. I tried to use the web check-in system from Air Canada and I could not figure out why it did not work. Then, I had some things to do before leaving home and I arrived late to the airport. I got there 35 minutes before my flight. I tried to use the automated check-in counter but it did not work either. After a while, a person from Air Canada told me I had to do the manual check-in. I waited in line and when I arrived to the counter there were 25 minutes before my flight and the person in the counter told me that I could not flight because I was too late (at that time I missed West Jet, their personnel always try to help you instead of making it hard for you). Well, I paid the CAD $ 150 for the change and went through security. After security I noticed that they were calling for the general boarding of the flight I was supposed to take. I waited patiently and ask one of the persons at the Air Canada counter whether the flight was full and she told me that it was not. I ask her whether I could take the flight and told her what happened to which she simply replied that it is Air Canada policy, I have to check-in at least 30 minutes before the flight or they simply do no let me flight. I guess there is only room for only one Airline like WestJet in Canada where the passengers are priority number 1.

Anyway, I arrived in Montreal and went to the Residences of the University of Montreal where I was going to stay. Everything was ok with the room. On Sunday morning, I went to the conference venue and attended several talks: the opening talk by Prof. Zadeh, the father of Fuzzy Logic, a talk by my previous supervisor, Prof. Pedrycz, a world-expert on Granular Computing, and some others. At noon I had a chance of having lunch from a couple of representatives from Decyde Inc., they are using fuzzy rules based system for automating the decision-making process in different areas.

During the afternoon, I attended a second plenary talk and I was surprised to know that my paper was selected as one of the top-five students papers. So I was invited to the banquet to receive my award (a nice certificate and a US$ 100 check). Later that afternoon, I gave my talk and it was well received. I had lots of questions and people wanted to continue commenting and discussing our approach πŸ˜‰
In the evening, I went to the Ubuntu release party at the Cafe L'Utopik. I met really nice people, several employees from Canonical (the organization behind Ubuntu) and Fabian Rodriguez from FACIL (a group that promotes Free Software in Quebec). Fabian invited me to visit the FACIL headquarters and I agreed with that. Unfortunately, I had to leave early because I had to attend the banquet (remember, to get my US$ 100 cheque πŸ˜‰ ).

I went to the banquet and sit with a Prof. from Regina and one from the Canadian East Coast. The dinner was great and the company was too.

After the banquet, I went back to the residence to rest and prepare for Monday. Monday morning, I went to the conference again, attended a couple of talks and then I went to meet with the Venezuelan General Consul. We talked about Free Software and what we are doing in Venezuela to promote it. The General Consul is a person really committed to help Free Software becoming part of Venezuela's reality. His radio station is the one you can see in the video Free Software: Venezuelan Chapter that I promoted some time ago. After meeting with the General Consul, I had a meeting with one of the Consuls and I had lunch with him. These guys at the Venezuelan Consulate really understand Free Software and the social implications of it.

After my meetings at the Venezuelan Consulate, I went back to the conference venue. There, I attended a couple of talks and later I went to meet with the people of FACIL. I had a wonderful time thanks to Marc Angles and Fabian Rodriguez. They did a small interview in which I explained what is happening in Venezuela with the discussions for the new Free Software Bill.

Fabian gave me a ride back to the residence around midnight.

On Tuesday morning, I came back to Edmonton. I arrived in the Afternoon. And I have been spending most of the time trying to find accommodations in Europe where we go this weekend. Wish me luck!


Going to Montreal!!!!!!!!

June 3, 2006

Today at 13h20, I will be taking a plane to Toronto and then Montreal. I will be presenting a paper at NAFIPS 2006 (NAFIPS are the initials of North American Fuzzy Information Processing Society). The paper is about a framework I developed for automatically setting the parameters in an image matching tool. But, what is image matching? Image matching is the process of aligning images to better analyse changes between the two of them. The β€œcool” part about my research is that it is β€œuseful” . It is more than just a theory that a PhD student developed, it is something you can use in clinical applications. I will start writing about my research when I come back.

By the way, because I will be in Montreal, I will be able to attend an Ubuntu Dapper release party. Here are the particulars πŸ˜‰

  • Why: We released Ubuntu 6.06!
  • Where: … ( I am not sure whether I am allowed to inform that πŸ˜‰ )
  • When: Sunday, 4 June 2006 at 18:00

I hope to see many Ubuntu fans over there πŸ˜‰


About Calc tutorial

June 2, 2006

I have made a couple of posts regarding Calc because I wanted to give a sort of tutorial (from beginning to intermediate). In the process, I noticed that there are some good tutorials available so I decided that maybe is better to halt that project (unless my fans out there πŸ˜‰ ask me not to do it ). For now, you can see my last post on the topic at


Free Information Free Software and Revolution

June 2, 2006

Free Information Free Software and Revolution is the title of an article by Felipe Perez Marti in Znet (a community of people committed to social change). Felipe Perez Marti, ex-Minister of Planning of Venezuela, is an emblematic leader of SoLVe (Free Software Venezuela). In his article, Felipe presents Free Software as a model for free information. According to Felipe, free information is needed to guarantee success in the process of change for a better future. Felipe also mentions that:

β€œThe task for the revolutionaries is to promote even more the use of Internet […] To promote more nodes to this free information network, forming local media to connect directly to people with no access to the Internet. And to promote not only the exchange of news and analyses about political matters, but also the exchange of economic information, free technology, free knowledge, free science, free solutions to health problems, free solutions to organizational matters regarding the formation of cooperative organizations of productions, and their networks of production and distribution of goods and services.”

It looks like a better world is possible and Free and Open Source Software might hold some answers as to how achieve it.

To read the full article (in English) click here.


New Ubuntu Release Available for Desktops and Servers, with Long Term, Global Support

June 1, 2006

From Ubuntu's website, we have the following announcement:

Ubuntu, which has become one of the world's most popular Linux distributions in recent years, launched its latest version on June 1 following months of intense testing. The new release is titled Ubuntu 6.06 LTS (Long Term Support), and has a specific emphasis on the needs of large organisations with both desktop and server versions.

Ubuntu 6.06 LTS introduces functionality that simplifies common Linux server deployment processes. For system administrators setting up large numbers of web, mail and related servers, Ubuntu 6.06 LTS offers the fastest and most consistent path to deployment, combined with the availability of global commercial support where needed. "Ubuntu has a reputation for working well out of the box on desktops, and we have worked to bring that same ease of deployment and configuration to the server marketplace" said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of the Ubuntu project. "Based on our analysis of the ways people were already deploying Ubuntu on servers, we have aimed to streamline their experience while expanding the range of software available to people deploying Ubuntu in the data centre."

Ubuntu is freely available, including security updates for five years on servers, with no restrictions on usage and no requirement to purchase support contracts or subscriptions per deployment. Full telephone & online support on commercial terms is available globally from Canonical Ltd and other companies. "The economics of Ubuntu deployment are fundamentally different from those of other leading Linux distributions that offer commercial support" said Jane Silber, COO of Canonical Ltd. "Companies and individuals can deploy Ubuntu widely, and purchase support only for the machines where they need the assurance of a Support Level Agreement. This makes Ubuntu the preferred choice for large scale deployments where support contracts are not essential on every machine."

Sun Microsystems and Canonical also announced this week that Ubuntu 6.06 LTS will support the UltraSPARC T1 processor on Sun Fire T1000 and T2000 servers. These SPARC-based systems join the list of architectures for which Canonical will offer technical support on a paid, commercial basis, starting at $700 USD per year for a single server. For more information, please see the ubuntu support pages.

The Server Edition of Ubuntu 6.06 LTS includes a unique mechanism to set up a standardized, certified, and supported LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) server with a single command. The feature greatly reduces the setup time for companies providing hosted LAMP services, as well as making it easier for organizations to set up and maintain their own LAMP-standardized servers. Canonical Ltd. Also provides technical support for the full suite of components in the LAMP stack.

“This new (LAMP) functionality is the first of several planned fully-certified free software stacks in Ubuntu,” said Fabio Massimo Di Nitto, product manager of Ubuntu Server Edition. The acronym LAMP refers to four ingredients of the world's most widely used framework for dynamic website publishing. While many variations on the LAMP theme exist, these four components are most commonly deployed together. The process of integrating these components will often take several hours per server and leaves room for the introduction of security vulnerabilities or unnecessary variation in configuration between different systems. "LAMP servers were the most popular use of Ubuntu in the data center, so we focused on that stack first" added Adam Conrad, Ubuntu's lead LAMP developer.

Ubuntu 6.06 LTS also has a new mechanism to make commercial software available, enabling businesses and individuals to download select software from Independent Software Vendors (ISVs). There are a variety of solutions available this way already, including data management software from Arkeia, cross-platform development tools from Raining Data, PC sharing from Userful and virtualisation from VMware. Additional software for Ubuntu from ISVs will be added in the coming months.

" Ubuntu and VMware have worked together to incorporate VMware’s industry-leading virtualization capabilities in a freely available and easy to use manner for Ubuntu 6.06 LTS," said Dan Chu, senior director of developer products. "Any Ubuntu user can automatically install VMware Player from the Ubuntu package manager, and join the four million plus users of VMware worldwide for running virtualized servers, desktops, and virtual appliances. Hundreds of thousands of users have already adopted Ubuntu Virtual Appliances using VMware, and the increased integration between Ubuntu and VMware will further enable broad uptake of Ubuntu Virtual Appliances."

Ubuntu is part of the Debian family of distributions. As such it has an extremely wide selection of software that is instantly available to Ubuntu users, and includes some of the world's best-regarded software for the management of software updates and changes. "Debian is integral to the success and popularity of Ubuntu" said Matt Zimmerman, CTO of Ubuntu. "The combined efforts of more than 1,000 developers create a unique platform in Debian, which allows Ubuntu to focus on the specific needs of our users." Ubuntu is believed to be the leading version of the Debian system that includes skills certification from LPI, as well as certifications from hardware and software companies.

A special added bonus of Ubuntu 6.06 LTS is the inclusion of several chapters from “The Official Ubuntu Book”, which Prentice Hall Professional will publish in July 2006, under an Open Content licence. The book represents the collaborative effort of more than a dozen Ubuntu community members from around the world, in addition to the primary authors: Benjamin Mako Hill, Jono Bacon, Corey Burger, Jonathan Jesse, and Ivan Krstic. “We’re thrilled to have been able to develop this book in such close partnership with the Ubuntu community,” said Paul Boger, VP/Publisher for the Pearson Technology Group. “This book is truly by and for the Ubuntu community.” The book can be pre-ordered at

The word "Ubuntu" is a special word in many African languages. It translates loosely as "human-ness" and speaks to the importance of the role each individual plays in their community. In celebration of that, this release of Ubuntu also includes unique video footage of an interview with Nelson Mandela, who speaks on the relevance of this philosophy today.

About Ubuntu

Since its launch in October 2004, Ubuntu has become one of the most highly regarded Linux distributions, with millions distributed and in use around the world. Ubuntu will always be free, and will not have restrictive licenses associated with it. With these goals in mind at all times, Ubuntu aims at being the most widely used of all Linux systems, and is the centre of a global open source software ecosystem. The latest version can be downloaded at here.

About Canonical Ltd.

Canonical Ltd. is committed to the development, distribution and promotion of open source software products, and to providing tools and support to the open source community. With a global organization headquartered in Europe, Canonical has employees throughout Europe, North America, South America, Africa and Australia.

Malcolm Yates
+44 20 7052 9842