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Matthieu Poullet
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Please help us defend our trademark from Groupon and support GNOME!  

"GNOME" the trademark has been a familiar name for the past 17 years in the Free and Open Source Software community. The GNOME project has been a staple desktop for GNU/Linux and BSD desktops. It was the default desktop for Sun Microsystems workstation class machines, continues to be the default desktop for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server distributions, and it is the default desktop of Fedora and Debian. SUSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service solution for the retail industry is based on GNOME. GNOME technology can be found in TVs, tablets, phones, consumer devices, and in common software everywhere.

Recently Groupon announced a product with the same product name as GNOME. Groupon’s product is a tablet based point of sale “operating system for merchants to run their entire operation." The GNOME community was shocked that Groupon would use our mark for a product so closely related to the GNOME desktop and technology. It was almost inconceivable to us that Groupon, with over $2.5 billion in annual revenue, a full legal team and a huge engineering staff would not have heard of the GNOME project, found our trademark registration using a casual search, or even found our website, but we nevertheless got in touch with them and asked them to pick another name. Not only did Groupon refuse, but it has now filed even more trademark applications (the full list of applications they filed is available on our groupon page linked). To use the GNOME name for a proprietary software product that is antithetical to the fundamental ideas of the GNOME community, the free software community and the GNU project is outrageous. Please help us fight this huge company as they try to trade on our goodwill and hard earned reputation.

We want to show that our brand matters and that you care. Of the 28 trademark applications Groupon filed, we have to file formal proceedings to oppose 10 of them by December 3, 2014. Help us raise the funds to fight back and most of all call public attention to this terrible behavior by Groupon. Help us make sure that when people hear about GNOME software they learn about freedom and not proprietary software. Our counsel has advised us that we will need $80,000 to oppose the registration of the first set of 10 applications. If we are able to defend the mark without spending this amount, we will use the remaining funds to bolster and improve GNOME. Please help us raise the money to protect GNOME's trademark and strengthen Free Software!

Please donate here:
http://www.gnome.org/groupon/
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The rise of vanilla Android tablets!

ARCHOS 101 XS

Powered by an unskinned version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, ARCHOS Gen10 tablets deliver a pure Android™ experience and will be upgradable to Android’s next OS, Android 4.1 or Jelly Bean.

Additional specs for the ARCHOS 101 XS include:
- OMAP 4470 CPU with PowerVR SGX544 GPU
- 10.1-inch screen with 1280 x 800 resolution
- 16GB Flash Memory
- Micro USB, MicroSD (SDXC up to 64 GB), Mini HDMI
- WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0
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One of the secrets to mathematical problem solving is that one needs to place a high value on partial progress, as being a crucial stepping stone to fully solving the problem.   This can be a rather different mindset than what one commonly sees in more "real world" situations such as business, sports, engineering, or politics, where actual success or failure often matters much more than what one can salvage from a partial success.  I think the basic reason for this is that in the purely theoretical world of mathematics, there is basically a zero cost in taking an argument that partially solves a problem, and then combining it with other ideas to make a complete solution; but in the real world, it can be difficult, costly, or socially unacceptable to reuse or recycle anything that is (or is perceived to be) even a partial failure.  [EDIT: as pointed out in comments, software engineering is an exception to this general rule, as it is almost as easy to reuse software code as it is to reuse a mathematical argument.]

For beginning maths students, who have not yet adopted the partial progress mindset, it is common to try a technique to solve a problem, find out that it "fails", and conclude that one needs to try a completely different technique (or to give up on the problem altogether).  But in practice, what often happens is that one's first solution attempt is able to solve some portion of the problem, and one needs to then look to combine that argument with techniques that can solve complementary portions of the problem in order to reach the final solution.

For instance, recently a graduate student came to me with an integral on the real line he was trying to estimate.  He had tried integration by parts, and found that the resulting terms from that integration behaved well on one side of the real line, but diverged on the other.  A beginner might have given up on this method at this point; but having already had some mathematical experience, he realised that this was a partial success, and split the real line into two pieces, using integration by parts to control the integral on one piece, and a different technique (Taylor expansion of the integrand) to control the other integral.  Unfortunately, when he added up the estimates, he found that no matter how where he divided the real line into two, the total estimate still fell short of what he wanted, at which point he came to me for help.  But actually, this failure was in fact further partial progress; he had discovered one method (integration by parts) that handled the integral for large positive values of the integration parameter, and another (Taylor expansion) that handled large negative values, and all that remained was to add a third technique (which, in this case, was crude estimation by replacing everything by its absolute value) to treat the intermediate values which were not well handled by the previous two techniques.  Thus the first two "failures" were in fact crucial advances that were needed to solve the full problem, by resolving at least some of the difficulties present of the problem, and in focusing attention on the remaining issues that needed resolution.

One corollary of the partial progress mindset is that it can often be profitable to try a technique on a problem even if you know in advance that it cannot possibly solve the problem completely.  (For instance, the technique may be unable to distinguish between the actual problem X, and a similar-looking problem Y for which the answer is already known to be negative.  Or the technique may already be known to many experts who have tried for many years to solve X, which gives strong empirical evidence that this technique is insufficient for the problem.  Or, the technique has no chance to solve the full problem X, but can only hope to solve "toy" or "model" instances X_0 of the problem in which some (but crucially, not all) of the difficulties have been removed.)    The point is that even if the technique is doomed to fail, the precise point in the argument at which it fails can be very instructive, as it can delineate what portion of the problem can be handled (in principle, at least) by such arguments, and it highlights the key component of the problem which needs a further tool to resolve, and to which one can then focus attention on.
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