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02.18.09

Links 18/02/2009: GParted, CDlinux, Trixbox, RIPLinuX, Parted Magic, Paldo, Arch, and DragonFly Released

Posted in News Roundup at 10:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • How Many Linux Users Are There (Really)?

    As Jim Zemlin, the executive director of The Linux Foundation, points out, “I am not joking or trying to be trite, but the answer to this question is: every single person in the modern world every day. Everyone who searches Google, picks up a phone and uses telecommunication infrastructure, watches a new televisions, use a new camera, makes a call on many modern cell phones, trades a stock on a major exchange, watches a weather forecast generated on a supercomputer, logs into Facebook, navigates via air traffic control systems, buys a netbook computer, checks out at a cash register, withdraws cash at an ATM machine, fires up a quick-boot desktop (even those with Windows), or uses one of many medical devices; the list goes on and on.”

    “It is hard to think of someone in the developed world who doesn’t touch Linux every single day. The better question here is who isn’t a Linux user,” Zemlin concluded.

    He’s got a point there. If you buy something from Craigslist or keep up with friends on Facebook, you’re using Linux. To be exact, you’re using Big-IP 9.4.6, which is an embedded high-speed networking system that incorporates Linux. Do you watch videos on YouTube? Linux again. Google? Yes, they run Linux too.

    [...]

    The question that isn’t often asked though is: “Can you trust Net Applications’ numbers?” According to Roy S. Schestowitz, editor of Boycott Novell, the answer is: “No.” According to a recent Boycott Novell blog, “Microsoft and Apple put money on Net Applications’ table, so rather unsurprisingly, the results satisfy both companies. GNU/Linux, on the other hand, is not able to pay Net Applications for favourable bias.”

    And, in addition, to other points Schestowitz writes, “Net Applications admits its statistics are flawed (skewed)” and “Net Applications keeps its methods secret and the dataset likewise.”

  • “Linux 101 Hacks” Available as Free Download

    Linux 101 Hacks doesn’t contain information that couldn’t be found elsewhere — but it nicely presents common administrative tasks in a way that makes grasping the power (and subtle nuances) of a command easier to process in a practical sense than reading a man page would.

  • Linux virtual desktops sweeping Brazilian schools

    The companies behind a 356,800 seat deployment in Brazil claim world records for the largest desktop virtualisation rollout, the largest desktop Linux rollout, and the lowest cost per seat.

  • V.i. Labs Handles Copyright Infringement Differently

    Thanks to this press release that appeared on Linux Today a few weeks ago, V.i. Labs Announces CodeArmor Intelligence Support for Linux Platforms, I had a “Oh no, the MAFIAA is coming to Linux” moment…

    [...]

    First, for the record, there are no such things as “software piracy” or “intellectual property.” There are copyrights, trademarks, and patents. (Richard Stallman wrote an excellent article on this.) Piracy is an inflammatory propaganda word; the correct term is copyright infringement. (The Free Software Foundation has a handy list of loaded words and phrases.)

  • Backup 3.0 update adds Linux files

    Veeam Software has released Backup 3.0, an update to its backup and replication software for VMware-based virtual machines.

  • Virtualisation

    • Fake server beats real server on Web test

      Server virtualization juggernaut – well, at least on x64 iron – VMware is beside itself with glee that a virtualized Linux server running atop ESX Server hypervisor narrowly beat out real Linux boxes on a popular Web serving benchmark test.

    • Five Perceptual Barriers to Virtualization

      Denying the plethora of possibilities with the Linux platform is myopic, considering that the largest and most influential names in virtualization; VMware, Citrix, Red Hat and Canonical are 100 percent Linux-based.

    • BOSaNOVA Taps Leostream for Virtualization Partnership

      BOSaNOVA kicked off its VDI initiative less than a year ago after rolling out its first round of virtualized thin clients. By preloading Citrix Systems’ XenDesktop virtualization software on its Windows and Linux thin clients, BOSaNOVA hoped to help streamline the provisioning and management of thin client infrastructures, as well as preventing the computer’s performance from eroding over time.

  • Media

    • How To: Turn Your Linux Rig into a Streaming Media Center

      These days, most people have at least one computer and a large collection of media files. The conventional practice for most people has always been to have redundant copies of their media collection on their various computers. While this system technically works, it is highly inefficient and creates the unnecessary task of keeping the media collection on each computer synchronized and up-to-date with the others. A far better solution is to keep all the media on one computer and stream it as needed to the other machines over the network.

    • Elisa: 47.6% more rocking than ever

      I’m still packaging Elisa for Mandriva, because my HTPC is still running Mandriva (don’t really see any need to go through unnecessary work to convert my servers and HTPC to Fedora, Linux is Linux…). Fedora has good Elisa packages already, maintained expertly by Matthias Saou, so my services are not required there. He doesn’t update quite as fast as me, though.

  • Audio

  • Advocacy

    • Operation Wired

      We are in the process of applying for a few large grants that will allow us to operate autonomously and when that happens, you can bet that everything you have given will be given back to Linux/FOSS in spades.

      We’ve set up our “Operation Wired” donation point at our Helios Project site and you can do what you feel is right there. There is no set dollar amount, no “goal”. We simply need to amass some funding so those P4 computers we give to our kids are more than really bulky typewriters.

    • Linux Haters Make a Few Valid Points

      When the Linux Hater’s blog rails about meta community quirks and legitimate software issues, it seems almost like a (perhaps obsessed) fellow traveler, but when detractors criticize open source generally, as if it’s some sort of homogenous group, I take pause. That sort of talk makes me wonder if they’re even offering earnest tirades.

  • Games

    • Shadowgrounds: Survivor Proceeds On Linux

      Nearly a year ago we shared that two new PC action games were being ported to Linux. The games were Shadowgrounds and, its sequel, Shadowgrounds: Survivor. Both games were supposed to ship in the first half of 2008 for Linux, but that never ended up materializing. A Finnish game studio known as Frozenbyte originally developed these games and the Linux port was contracted to a company known as IGIOS. In August we were told that the delay was due to publisher negotiations and that they would hopefully have something in a week or two. That never ended up amounting to anything, but a month ago, we finally learned that Linux Game Publishing was working on Shadowgrounds: Survivor. Well, last night we finally got our hands on a beta copy of Shadowgrounds: Suvivor for Linux.

    • World of Goo on Linux is a hit

      In its first two days of availability, 2D Boy saw the Linux version of World of Goo grow to claim 4.6 per cent of its sales, and the day the release went live saw 2D Boy’s previous best sales day bettered by 40 per cent. As the firm points out, the numbers certainly suggest that “there is a market for Linux games after all :)”.

    • World of Goo Linux Version is Ready!

      The Linux version of World of Goo is finally ready for download! It’s available exclusively from our site, in three different packages depending on what your computer likes. (tar.gz, deb, rpm)

  • Kernel Space

    • S3 Graphics Responds About Linux Support

      Last week S3 Graphics had released the Chrome 540 GTX, which is their newest and fastest PCI Express graphics card. Similar to when announcing the S3 Chrome 540 GT, in the Chrome 540 GTX press release they once again mention Linux support along with OpenGL 3.0 capabilities. However, they talk up Linux support, but fail to provide the support. We have just heard back though from S3 Graphics’ Benson Tao, which is the one that previously told us there would be Chrome 500 Linux support in December along with a beta OpenGL 3.0 driver. What though did he have to say this time? His email is below.

    • Anatomy of ext4

      The fourth extended file system, or ext4, is the next generation of journaling file systems, retaining backward compatibility with the previous file system, ext3. Although ext4 is not currently the standard, it will be the next default file system for most Linux® distributions. Get to know ext4, and discover why it will be your new favorite file system.

  • K Desktop Environment

    • Amarok 2.1 – back to the future. (english version)

      We (padoca team) are long time Amarok users. We have seen amarok grow and become the best audio player along the 1.x series. We’ve seen the writing on the wall when 2.0 was out, the same promise and potential that embodied Kde 4.0 release.

      A rewrite, a new beginning, not perfect at first but full of potential and vision. Sure, some features where sorely missed (like Kde 4.0) but it was needed. In order to be able to make the future envisioned by the amarok dev team, they had to go back… they had to send amarok back in time, and it showed.

  • Distributions

    • Review: Pardus 2008.2

      I HAVE written several articles about Pardus GNU/Linux since it first appeared on the Linux/Open Source scene in 2005, but in one report to coincide with the release of version 2007.3, I wrote the following introduction. “Do you know what I love so much about Linux? It’s the feeling you get when you stumble upon a distribution that’s pure computing gold.”

    • Entropy UGC

      Ever since we launched the new website and implemented UGC (User Generated Content) in entropy it looks like it never came clear what this is all about. Let me try to put some light in the dark here and explain about the purpose about it.

    • New Releases

      • GParted 0.4.3-1
      • CDlinux 0.9.1
      • [Trixbox] 2.6.2.2 released

        I just released 2.6.2.2. This is a rollup release we a bunch of bug fixes and the latest version of all our packages. All trixbox users are recommended to upgrade to this release. Especially 2.6.x.x users.

        This release resolved the problems with the package manager not working and some PSTN cards causing kernel panics when the system is rebooted. There are also a number of small GUI fixes and enhancements. I also added support for some of the new Realtek netwrok chipsets that are not supported by CentOS 5.2

      • RIPLinuX 7.6
      • Parted Magic 3.6
      • paldo 1.17 released

        We are pleased to announce the release of paldo 1.17 with many bug fixes and updates.

        Enhancements to point out:

        * GNOME 2.24.3
        * OpenOffice.org 3.0.1
        * Firefox 3.0.6
        * Linux 2.6.28.5
        * X.org server 1.5.3

      • [Arch] 2009.02 ISO Release Update

        The original archlinux-2009.02-ftp-i686.img USB image was broken, a new image (archlinux-2009.02-2-ftp-i686.img) has been uploaded. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

        With one image broken, we also had to create new torrents: We now use a single torrent per file again and added more mirrors to the webseeds. All seeders should stop seeding the old torrent and get the new ones.

      • Arch Linux 2009.02 Has EXT4 Support

        Here’s another Linux distribution that adopts the EXT4 filesystem, Arch Linux 2009-02, announced last night (February 16th) by Aaron Griffin. Arch Linux is a bleeding-edge independently developed Linux distribution. This is the first release of Arch Linux for 2009 and it brings some of the latest and greatest Linux technologies available today, such as Linux kernel 2.6.28 and support for the evolutionary EXT4 filesystem. The latter was also added in the installer, which means that every Arch Linux user will be able to easily create EXT4 partitions.

      • paldo 2009-01

        A little earlier than originally planned, we now have the pleasure to announce the availability of sidux 2009-01 “Ουρανός”, shipping with kernel 2.6.28.6-rc1 and available in the following flavours:

        * KDE-lite, amd64, en/ de, ≈465 MB.
        * KDE-lite, i686, en/ de, ≈450 MB.
        * KDE-full, amd64+i686, en/ de (da, el, es, fr, hr, it, ja, nl, pt, pt_BR, ro, ru through liveapt) ≈2 GB.
        * XFCE, amd64, en/ de, ≈400 MB.
        * XFCE, i686, en/ de, ≈395 MB.

      • DragonFly Release 2.2 – 17 February 2009

        The DragonFly 2.2 release is here! The HAMMER filesystem is considered production-ready in this release; It was first released in July 2008. The 2.2 release represents major stability improvements across the board, new drivers, much better pkgsrc support and integration, and a brand new release infrastructure with multiple target options.

        Three release options are now available: Our bare-bones CD ISO, a DVD ISO which includes a fully operational X environment, and a bare-bones bootable USB disk-key image (less than 512M).

    • Red Hat

      • The Bank of New Zealand deploys Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5

        Red Hat announces that the Bank of New Zealand, a subsidiary of the National Australia Bank Group, has deployed Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 on IBM System z mainframes to solve environment, space and cost issues related to its data center.

        With Red Hat and IBM, the Bank of New Zealand has significantly reduced its hardware footprint, power consumption, heat and carbon emissions and costs, including an expected 20 percent cost reduction over the life of the platform.

      • Red Hat and IBM Celebrate 10 Years of Global Partnership

        Today we are celebrating a momentous occasion. Ten years ago today, Red Hat and IBM began our global collaborative partnership to expand the use of enterprise solutions on Linux. It was a small but important start to announce that IBM would run Red Hat Linux on its industry-standard systems. Back in 1999, Red Hat was on the eve of its IPO, and IBM was testing the waters of Linux. Only 10 million users ran the Linux operating system at the time, according to IDC Research quoted in our original partnership announcement.

      • Congratulations to IBM and Red Hat on their 10th Anniversary
    • Ubuntu/Debian

      • First Look: Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

        As long as the issues with the graphics drivers are ironed out, I believe Jaunty Jackalope will become another must-have upgrade and if you are smart and install using EXT4, you will see some very real performance increases for very little effort.

      • Looking at Lenny: hands on with Debian 5.0

        The Debian development community has officially released version 5.0 of the venerable open source Linux distribution. The new version, which is codenamed Lenny, includes updated software, security enhancements, and improved hardware support.

        Debian is known for its broad architecture support, lengthy development cycles, and strong ideological commitment to software freedom. Debian provides the foundation for many popular derivatives, including Ubuntu and Knoppix. The Debian project has attracted an enormous community of free software enthusiasts and has become one of the largest community-driven distributions in existence. Despite its declining relevance on the desktop, it is an essential part of the Linux software ecosystem and continues to serve an important function for its downstream partners.

        [...]

        All things considered, this is a pretty good Debian release. It seems to live up to the distro’s long-standing tradition of delivering solid reliability, and it introduces some nice improvements that will be appreciated by Debian aficionados.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • AT&T bloke confirms Dellphone

        The telco’s Mobility CEO Ralph De La Vega, sitting on a panel at MWC yesterday said, “Dell announced they’re entering the smart phone market.”

      • Open-Plug Selects Software Solution from Enea for its Linux Mobile Platform

        Open-Plug, the French mobile platform developer, selects solution from Enea for its ELIPS platform targeting Linux devices and mass market mobile phones.

      • LiMo-ready Linux stack goes 3D

        Access is demonstrating its Access Linux Platform (ALP) 3.0 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The new LiMo-compatible “advanced UI” mobile ALP stack leverages Open GL-ES 2.0 to offer 3D special effects, and introduces a standardized API that splits logic from presentation layers, says Access.

      • Android phone to hit Europe in spring

        Vodafone and HTC announced the latter’s second-generation, all-touchscreen Android phone. Scheduled to ship to Vodafone customers in Europe this spring, the Android Magic offers HDSPA 3G connectivity, and a slimer profile than the G1, lacking the earlier HTC Android phone’s slide-out keyboard.

      • Android, take two: HTC Magic to launch sans keyboard

        HTC has announced the second Android-based phone, the HTC Magic. It’s thinner than the G1 and lacks a physical keyboard.

      • Palm pulls back the curtain on webOS technical details

        Palm CTO Mitch Allen is writing a book about the company’s new webOS. The first chapter, which includes a technical overview of the platform, has been published on the Palm Developer Network web site.

      • Slowdown accelerates Linux growth in mobiles

        With deteriorating global economic conditions making their impact felt in the wireless industry, handset OEMs and mobile network operators are looking towards Linux-based operating systems to cut costs and diversify handset portfolios.

        While Linux-based operating systems making their presence felt in the mobile handset market for years, growth has been slow and steady until recently. However, recent announcements from Motorola, Vodafone, HTC, and Huawei, among others, all stating that Linux-based operating systems will figure in their upcoming handset releases, clearly demonstrate that OEMs and operators are ready to embrace Linux on a larger scale.

      • Mobile Linux consolidation is for real

        These are all continued validation that the latest mobile efforts around Linux and open source software are truly contributing to consolidation, something the hardware, software and carrier players now pushing it have wanted for a long time.

      • Open-source firms battle for market

        The big news from the GSMA Mobile World Congress this year: New phones using the Android, LiMo and Symbian open-source operating systems are rolling out in 2009.

        What’s unusual is that it is not the handsets themselves that are creating the buzz so much as what is under the hood and invisible to the user, the basic software. Lines are being drawn in the battle for dominance among the three main systems.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Sakar’s Kid-Friendly Netbook: Hands On and Video

        The Linux OS also reminded me of the HP Mini 1000 Mi series. It has a tabbed interface that separates Internet (a browser, chat client, and e-mail program), multimedia (painting, photos, and music, among others), and productivity (word processing and the like). The UI is easy enough for a small child to use, but the software stack covers older kids’ needs, too.

      • Netbook Sales Soar in Europe

        Adoption of non-Windows operating systems, Linux mainly, is stronger there than the United States.

      • Netbooks Become Ubiquitous and Linux Becomes Mainstream

        Yes, the vet’s Acer runs Windows. While the vast majority of new netbooks will be sold with either Windows XP or Windows 7, a substantial minority will continue to be preloaded with Linux. Millions of people have been introduced to Linux through netbooks and are satisfied with it. Educated consumers who learn that Linux, which requires fewer system resources, will run faster and comes with a wide variety of software preinstalled will choose Linux.

        Despite the posts by various so-called tech journalists who always cheerlead for Microsoft claiming that Windows has “kicked Linux to the curb” or “crushed” Linux on netbooks, Microsoft’s own estimate places Linux at 30% of current market share. Asustek’s Samson Hu, quoted in the same Bloomberg article, places Linux on 30-40% of all EeePCs currently sold and expects Linux to maintain a 30% market share. Acer spokesman Henry Wang expects 20% of his Aspire One models to ship with Linux this year.

    • MID

      • Barcelona: Canonical Discusses Ubuntu Mobile Internet Devices

        During the GSMA Mobile World Conference in Barcelona this week, Canonical is working behind the scenes — evangelizing Ubuntu-based Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) to new and existing customers. The big question: Will Canonical line up more Ubuntu MID partners, or will MIDs (highly mobile WiFi devices) remain overshadowed by the netbook craze?

      • UPDATED: Intel still decisive on Moorestown and WiMAX

        In addition, LG’s Moblin 2.0 Linux-based Moorestown MID announcement, which does not currently support WiMAX and is limited to 3G connectivity, has sparked great interest in Moorestown as a viable device.

      • Intel, Nvidia Make Moves in the MID Market

        Intel also has a software challenge. Where a huge array of programs were written for x86 chips in PCs, most of the popular programs in smartphones–which do about the same things MIDs are expected to do–were designed for ARM. The list includes Apple’s iPhone software and Google’s Android, which is based on the Linux operating system. So Intel has led the development of a Linux variant for MIDs, dubbed Moblin; LG is also announcing it will support the software in its MID based on Moorestown.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source: the World Finds Options to High Technology Prices

    On a recently released White Paper, the Puerto Rico based Open Source company, Altamente, provides a well thought out introduction to Open Source for businesses.

  • Get Nerdy: An open source

    The Linux operation system, for example, is preferred by many technology savvy individuals and is growing in popularity because of its benefits. The operation system is available for anyone to change and distribute.

  • Telecoms architecture goes open source

    With the goal of speeding service creation for telecom service providers in a converged IP network, CIMI Corporation has completed the Alpha-One prototype of its ExperiaSphere open source next-generation network (NGN) services architecture and is demonstrating it to telecom service providers and equipment vendors. Extreme Networks,the project’s first open partner, is providing technical support and testing for connecting ExperiaSphere to its EPICenter management interface using industry-standard XML.

  • Around the Web: Samba – The Interoperability Dance

    Samba very quickly became a valuable piece of merchandise to the Linux and Unix companies, who have sponsored its development and employed the Samba Team’s key developers, although notably in the case of Allison, the developers have quickly left their jobs rather than accept any compromise to the integrity of the project. Like the developers of other key free and open source projects, the Samba Team are mostly employed by third parties to do what they would be doing anyway, working on Samba and programming for fun, while getting paid for it. The attraction for the employing companies is that they get an invaluable piece of software for the price of one or two developers and an ear to their requirements, but as Allison points out “free software is not incompatible with commercial activity”.

  • East Asia

    • Open source traits lead to secure applications

      The manner in which open source tools are developed lends a level of security assurance to the applications that are built on this model, said Sun Microsystems executives.

      Roman Tuma, Asia South software practice managing director at Sun, noted that due to the inherent nature of open source, anyone can review the source codes to look for irregularities that could potentially harm users.

    • The statist approach to open source

      He keynoted an open source conference in Singapore on Tuesday and gave special praise to Google’s Android and Nokia’s Symbian, whose open source efforts are opening the market for Singapore.

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Five reasons why the economic slowdown is good news for open source

      I was recently at a conference on virtualization, but one comment by one of the presenters attracted my interest. He noted that one of the big drivers towards open source use in business took place after the dot com bust nine years ago. When the dot com balloon burst, companies needed less expensive ways to run their IT infrastructure and many turned to open source and Linux for the first time. Here are five reasons why the current economic malaise is good for open source. Here’s the caveat, my next blog will be on five reasons why the economic downturn will be good for proprietary software vendors.

    • Talend Secures $12 Million in Funding to Fuel Continued Worldwide Growth
    • Let’s Use Stimulus to Boost Open Source in Schools

      Obama wants stimulus to transform schools. Linux, anyone?

      Without squabbling over the politics of what the new US president wants for our educational system, the fact of the matter is he now has access to enormous spending power to potentially improve what schools’ financial resources.

    • Health IT Industry Applauds Funding in Federal Stimulus Package, Looks to National Network of Paperless Hospitals

      Medsphere Systems Corporation, the leading provider of Open Source healthcare IT solutions, today announced full support for the health IT funding incorporated into the stimulus package legislation that was passed by Congress. The approved measure, which awaits President Obama’s signature, opens the door for a national electronic health records (EHR) network built on standards for interoperability and affordability.

  • FSF

    • Elphel camera: free software and open hardware

      Andrey N. Filippov, developer of the Elphel camera, has published a very interesting paper detailing the history of his efforts and explaining why he chose free software for the project.

  • Sun

    • Simplicity-money combo spells MySQL success

      There are lots of reasons to love MySQL, the leading open-source database that Sun bought in 2008: it’s inexpensive, perfect for Web applications (among other things), and boasts high performance.

    • Sun wades into key management kerfuffle

      Sun has thrown its open source key management ideas into the key management standards giant brandy glass, offering license-free management that it hopes will become an industry standard.

  • Government

    • India’s open source future

      Today, nearly every corner of the world faces the challenge of a stagnant or shrinking economy. Bleak economic forecasts, shrinking budgets and increasing pressure on businesses and governments to meet the needs of their customers and constituents—often with less resources to do so—are becoming commonplace. While I’m not naïve enough to suggest a “one-size-fits-all” cure for these problems or that the solutions will be driven by only one industry or region, I do believe that, because technology and innovation drive global economic progress, the remedy for many of these challenges is in our hands.

      [...]

      Businesses also benefit from the opportunities and efficiency enabled by open source innovations. Brazil, another of the so-called “emerging markets”, provides a strong example. In 2003, its president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, spearheaded a countrywide movement towards open standards. It’s now estimated that at least 70% of Brazilian enterprises use open source software, many of which are experiencing cost savings attributable to open source solutions.

  • Licensing

  • Standards/Consortia

    • ODF 1.2 Committee Draft 01

      It is not the end of the end, nor the end of the beginning, but more like the beginning of the end for the development of ODF 1.2. The Committee Draft 01 of ODF 1.2, Part 1 was approved by the OASIS ODF TC yesterday in a 10-2-2 vote. You can download it here.

    • New drafts for HTML 5

      Two new working drafts of the next specification for HTML have been published by HTML Working Group of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). One draft document deals with HTML 5 itself, while the second draft document looks at the difference between HTML 5 and HTML 4.

  • Mozilla

Crime

  • RIM execs settle with SEC over backdated options

    The Securities and Exchange Commission is charging four executives at Research In Motion – the firm behind the BlackBerry – with offences related to the backdating of share options.

    The SEC alleges RIM’s CFO Dennis Kavelman, former VP of Finance Angelo Loberto, and Co-Chief Executive Officers James Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis illegally backdated share options between 1998 and 2006.

  • Share shenanigans cost RIM $1.4 million

    BLACKBERRY MAKER RIM has been ordered to cough up $1.4 million after the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) had a look through its books and found some dodgy dealings relating to stock issuws.

  • Judges plead guilty to jailing kids for kickbacks

    Two corrupt judges have admitted getting paid for sending young offenders to private jails, often against the advice of probation officers and other court officials.

    Bent judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan, both of Pennsylvania, admitted receiving $2.6m in kickbacks as part of a plea-bargaining agreement that will see each jailed for a minimum of seven years. The deal sparked protests from friends and relatives of youngsters affected by the case, some of who have already launched lawsuits.

  • The Mercenaries Previously Known as Blackwater

    First it was Blackwater USA. Then it was Blackwater Worldwide. Now, it’s “Xe” (pronounced “Zee”). The private military company has repeatedly tried to re-brand, after numerous controversies from the killing of civilians in Nisoor Square in Baghdad; to its no-bid contracts in Iraq, Afghanistan and New Orleans, post-Katrina; to its hiring troops with ties to repressive regimes, like that of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. The company says its latest name change is meant to reflect a new focus.

Leftovers

  • ACTA: An Attack on Common Sense?

    James Love has published some details about the current ACTA negotiations. Copyright ideologues have been (successfully) pushing for extreme legislation for several years. Each time new legislation is passed, it is only a stepping stone towards even more extreme legislation. Any reasonable person picked up from the 70s and dropped in the 00s would be stunned by how completely copyright ideology has infected the legislative process. Indeed, by germinating in international fora, it subverts the process. Copyright ideologues use international treaties to enforce or extend domestic legislation, bypassing local legislatures and then requiring them to enact the provisions. Any time anyone objects about the disparity between the ideology and reality, they are slapped down with “International Obligations”.

  • Richard Stallman on ISP filtering and censorship

    Tarabaz: Hello Richard. What do you personally think about idea of censoring internet?

    RMS: I am against all censorship, because censorship is the tool of tyrants. However, blocking certain network protocols is not exactly censorship — it is a different kind of injustice. Whereas censorship attacks the freedom of expression, the blocking of these protocols attacks the freedom to share and the freedom to communicate.

    Tarabaz: You know – many years ago in my country there was bunch of really powerful persons on high seats in government, who wish to control what could be done, and what can everyone think. Do you think, that steps performed by our ISP companies is something in sort of? Control on citizens by corporations – not by political world?

    RMS: The tendency these days is for governments to bow down to the megacorporations, and let the dictate the laws. People often take for granted that business has more political power than citizens — but if that is true, what does it mean? It means we have corporatocracy instead of democracy.

  • UK ‘bad’ pics ban to stretch?

    This is the fear raised by, amongst others, the Comic Book Alliance, who point out that at the consultation stage for this law, no significant producers of legitimate comic book material were consulted: the government appear to have proceeded on the basis that adult cartoons were at best pornographic, at worst abusive, and to have ignored any input from those involved with the subject.

  • Wanted: £160k-a-year Twittercrat

    Can a magic sprinkling of Web 2.0 buzzwords revive the fortunes of a deeply unpopular government?

    That’s what the Cabinet Office hopes with the appointment of a civil service post with the title of “Director of Digital Engagement”. The lucky bureaucrat will play the part of cybernetic overlord – “to embed digital engagement in the day to day working of Government”. However, he/she won’t have executive powers over existing departments.

  • Copyright Lobbyists Again Demand That The US Classify Canada As Being A Piracy Hotbed

    Every year, the entertainment industry comes out with some ridiculous report about how Canada is a hotbed of piracy, on par with places like China and Russia. Every year the report asks the US Trade Representative to classify Canada as being on the “Priority Watch List.”

  • Canadian TV Industry: Please, Regulators, Make The Internet More Like TV… And Have ISPs Give Us Money

    Last week, we wrote about how the Writers Guild of Canada was pushing government regulators to force ISPs to fund content creation, with a specific focus on promoting Canadian content and trying to tone down or keep out non-Canadian content from online sources.

  • Crowd-sourcing a “fair use” case

    As mentioned, the Fair Use Project at Stanford’s CIS is representing Shepard Fairey in his suit against the AP. To that end, we’d be grateful for some net-based knowledge. How many photos are there “like” the beautiful photograph that Mannie Garcia took (the one on the left; the one on the right is a CC licensed photo taken by Steve Jurvetson)?

  • activism down under

    The anger and activism at a rule in New Zealand requiring Internet service be terminated upon a mere accusation of copyright infringement is growing.

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  1. twitter said,

    February 18, 2009 at 11:55 pm

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    Wow, the mother of all news collections. Thanks, Roy, there’s a lot of great stuff to check out.

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