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03.27.09

Links 27/03/2009: OSBC Comes to a Close

Posted in News Roundup at 9:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Ten ways to smooth the switch to Linux

    Moving users to Linux can be tricky, but Jack Wallen has some practical measures that should ease the transition.

    Sheer economics are making the use of the Linux operating system increasingly widespread. It is free, reliable and safe. But when adopting any new operating system, users always have a lot to learn.

  • The case for a secondary motherboard OS

    Flash memory prices have tumbled in recent years, which has been good for MP3 players, cell phones, SSDs, and the now-ubiquitous USB thumb drive. Falling flash prices have also been good for motherboards, allowing Asus to cheaply equip some of its latest models with 512MB memory chips that house an ExpressGate instant-on operating system that’s—you guessed it—based on Linux.

  • The Wine development release 1.1.18 is now available.

    What’s new in this release (see below for details):
    – RPC over HTTP support.
    – Improved support for upgrades in MSI.
    – Debug symbols in WineDbg on Mac OS X.
    – Many Direct3D code cleanups.
    – Various bug fixes.

  • Parallels: Bare-metal hypervisor in the works

    Parallels Server allows Linux and Windows guest operating systems on top of Intel-based Apple Macs and Xserves, but the future bare-metal hypervisor will run on any x64-based server and will run Windows and Linux side-by-side in VMs, and on Apple iron run Mac OS X as well. Also, hints Beloussov, there could also be support for the x64 version of Solaris Unix. FreeBSD will also be supported, according to this roadmap (PPT) from a Parallels summit.

  • Lenovo intros ultra ‘green’ Windows and Linux PCs

    Lenovo has released other PCs supporting either Red Hat or Novell SuSE Linux at various points over the years. But Red Hat “is a predominant distributor in the professional workstation space, so Lenovo elected to use them for support on this specific product,” the spokesperson said.

  • Portraits of Linux

    I was wandering through the mall the other day with my youngest, while her older tween sister was off with a friend in a nearby store, shopping.

    Going to the mall is a painful process for me because I am an Indiana native with a Y chromosome, and we don’t cotton to retail excursions. Get in, find what you need, get out–guerilla-style shopping is our method.

  • Linux – a changed environment

    The future of Linux can be predicted based on the fact that it stands to provide its users the features they looking for, be it Wi-Fi compatibility, games, intuitive UI, et al.

  • Windows vs Ubuntu – Usability

    And it continued to not impress me. They (MS) seem to have the leading principle of getting in the way of the user. Stupid confirmation boxes around every corner. I quickly decided to remove that stupid OS that treats me either like a criminal or like an idiot, or both.

    On the positive side, doing all the installation of Ubuntu was much less fuzz than go through the Windows post installation only. Click, click, click, wait 20 minutes, ready. And in the end I have all the important stuff on my computer. I can’t even imagine how painful it would be to get all the important applications and drivers on Windows (find, download, install, confirm gazillion boxes, reboot, repeat ad infinitum – *shudder*).

  • Linux Outlaws 83 – Beard Fetish

    MP3 – 1 hour 31 minutes 23 seconds, 42.0 MB — you can also download all our episodes in both MP3 and Ogg Vorbis format from the Outlaw Archives.

  • Why I love Unix

    Windows apologists sometimes like to paint Unix as a dying dinosaur. That just shows their ignorance: if anything, Windows is the dinosaur in danger of being wiped out by Macs and Linux. While I might have put a lot more money in my bank accounts had I walked the Windows path, I’m glad that I didn’t. I LIKE Unix. There’s still nothing for me to like about Windows.

  • The Future of Thin-Client Computing

    Linux distributions as we know can be made very lean and mean. Fully-featured distributions such as DSL Linux, Xubuntu and Puppy Linux are tiny, and run speedily in paltry amounts of RAM on modest processors. Such distros fair scream along on a relatively high spec PC such as the Eee Box.

  • Servers

    • Cloud Computing on Linux Has Microsoft Blogging

      Many industry leaders are positioning Linux/Unix operating systems and Open Source technologies as the platform for cloud computing. IBM, Sun, Google, Amazon, and RedHat are all developing and supporting Linux-based cloud solutions.

    • Microsoft worried by Linux cloud

      Microsoft has opposed an industry-wide plan to promote interoperability in cloud computing claiming. Officially it’s because the firm believes the plan is unnecessarily secretive, but there are allegations Microsoft feels threatened by the plan boosting Linux-based systems.

    • IBM Sees Costs Aligning With Green Tech

      Bob Sutor, IBM’s VP of open source and Linux, said IBM now has 500 software products that have been ported to run natively on Linux, an indication of the stake IBM has in Linux’s future.

    • Why virtualisation is struggling to keep up

      Red Hat Enterprise Linux Advanced Platform has a hard limit of 64 processors for x86 systems, up to 512 processors with the largesmp package installed. Novell’s Suse Linux Enterprise Server 10 has a hard limit of 64 processors for x86 systems generally, up to 128 with the bigsmp package installed, and up to 4,096 processors only on specific Silicon Graphics servers.

  • Applications

    • Linux Puzzle Games

      There are Linux games for every taste: first person shooters, board and arcade games, strategy games. But if you prefer to train your intellectual skills instead of blasting monsters or conquering the world, there are a few high-quality puzzle games, too. In this article we will take a look at some of the best puzzle games for Linux.

    • Who really keeps open source out of business?

      I work for a fairly large company. More than 10,000 employees. And we use a lot of closed source software and I always ask them why don’t we use open source tools.

      [...]

      So yeah. We use crappy programs at work because money = good software. If your a “end user” and you’re reading this, I’m here to tell you, you are wrong. The closed source proprietary programs we use at work are some of the worst designed pieces of software I’ve ever seen.

      Enjoy the Penguins!

  • KDE

    • Introducing Notification Icons

      So don’t expect in KDE 4.3 all KDE applications to have been magically converted to this new protocol, but i hope all the plumbing will be there to permit application developers to start considering using this, and i’m really looking forward for other projects to cooperate to have a new unified shiny stuff :D

    • Spruce Up KDE With All the Productivity Tools You’ll Ever Need

      There’s no question computers make our lives easier, especially with all the productivity tools available today. If you use the KDE desktop, then you may already know that there are many wonderful productivity applications designed especially for KDE. Let’s take a look at how some of these apps can help you streamline your work and stay organized while you get things done.

  • Distributions

    • Hey, your distro sucks!

      Now the reason I brought up Felton: I’m primarily a Fedora user and prefer Fedora over the rest of those mentioned in the first paragraph. However I use the other distros mentioned above. I’m also game to try others; the history of this blog bears me out — google “eight distros a week” and see what you get. Some of the machines here run GNOME, some KDE, some Xfce, and one on Fluxbox. I’m not an expert at any of them, nor am I married to any of them.

      Naturally, I’m open to sharing what I do know with anyone who asks. With nearly three years under my belt on the GNU/Linux side of all things digital, I realize that I’m a relative “newb” at this. Surprisingly I’m at peace with that, despite the fact I continue to learn.

    • ZenWalk 6.0 Gnome ScreenShots

      Last time I did Screen Shots of ZenWalk, was the 5.2 beta release. Now, not much has change since the 5.2 release as far as the UI is concerned.
      But other changes have been made… One thing I noticed immediately, was that the installer was simpler and faster.

    • First Impressions: Igelle PC/Desktop 0.6.0

      And that, I’m afraid, is pretty much where my Igelle adventure ended. It was nice on the live desktop while it lasted but there’s not really that much useful stuff on the live CD to make Igelle a serious contender, and the installer seems to be seriously flaky judging from my repeated attempts at getting it running from either a HDD or a USB drive.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandriva

      • PCLinuxOS is GREAT!

        Another amazing feature is the extreme ease you can create a custom LiveCD/DVD: one click does it all for you!
        You can expect every program vetted by the PCLinuxOS team to work out of the box, and to work well!
        Give PCLinuxOS a spin, you won’t be disappointed.

      • PCLinuxOS 2009.1 Mini review

        This is one of three really easy systems to use, and one of the few I would recommend to first time users. My two children use PCLinuxOS regularly when they spend time with daddy. On my GRUB bootloader menu, I put their names, followed by PCLinuxOS to make it easy to see in my multi-distro boot menu. They find it easily and have no problems using it. Is that enough of a testimonial to PCLinuxOS?

      • Mandriva will be present at the Linux 2009 Solutions Exhibition

        Mandriva, the leading European publisher of Linux distributions, will unveil its latest products at the 2009 Linux Solutions Exhibition from 31st March to April 2nd at Paris Expo – Porte de Versailles, in Hall 2.2, Booth C10-D9.

        The Linux Solutions Exhibition, the annual European meeting place for Linux and free software, offers exhibitors a unique platform allowing them to meet the different participants in the market besides presenting their products, services and technology.

    • Red Hat

      • RIM, Red Hat Send Tech Stocks Soaring

        Red Hat fared even better, soaring 17% on better than expected earnings, and Best Buy surged 12.6% after its quarterly results and outlook both topped forecasts.

      • Nasdaq erases 2009 losses, turns positive for year

        Leading the tech charge was Red Hat Inc. Shares of the open-source software company soared 17.3% after it reported better-than-expected sales.

      • Economy down, Red Hat and open source up

        Red Hat had an impressive quarter, particularly considering current economic conditions, and the company’s CEO spent much of the week talking about the good times for Red Hat and open source, largely as a result of bad times in the economy, although Whitehurst also sees improvement.

      • Citi Fuels Red Hat Takeover Talk

        Red Hat’s shares soared 17.3%, or $2.60, to $17.60 at the close on Thursday. Its shares have jumped 33.4% since the beginning of the year.

      • Fedora Test Day – Nouveau – Experience

        Well after that, the tests went really well. I gave everything a good working through and it’s always a pleasure to see Fedora getting better. Given the turnout, i think that the Test Day is so much of a success that the QA team is gonna be far too busy to even look at my ideas here.

        It would be nice to put a sticker here saying “I participated in a Fedora Test Day”, just like we do with elections.

    • Debian

      • Parsix 2.0 ScreenShots

        Parsix is a beautiful OS which is derived off of Kanotix and based off of Debian. The install was quite simple and intuitive, though not as simple as Ubuntu based distributions.

      • Reportbug finally has a GUI!

        It’s good to see that reportbug 4 finally has a graphical user interface — it’s GTK, but nobody’s perfect :)

        Anyways, I’m really glad to see reportbug aiming to improve it’s usability.

      • The correct way to file bugs in Ubuntu
    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope Beta released

        I have great news for you! Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope Beta is now available for download.

      • Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) Beta
      • Ubuntu Jaunty beta makes it out the door

        Faster boot times, a better notification system and Gnome 2.26 are the standout features of the beta release of Jaunty Jackalope (Ubuntu 9.04) made available by the Ubuntu team this morning. On the server side Jaunty moves steadily into the cloud with Eucalyptus for home-grown cloud services as well as the start of Amazon EC2 services.

      • First Look at Ubuntu 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope” Beta

        The name’s ridiculous, but “Jaunty Jackalope,” the next release of the popular Linux distribution Ubuntu, is seriously focused on the user experience. Dig what’s new and improved in the beta of Ubuntu 9.04, released today.

        We’ve covered bits and pieces of what’s coming up for Ubuntu 9.04 in the past few months, such as Mac/Growl-like notifications (that you can grab now, if you want), some stylish community themes, and the speedier ext4 filesystem.

      • Ubuntu 9.04 Beta Screenshot Tour
      • Ubuntu and my work

        It has been a week since my last post. I have been busy with my work and I say that I am enjoying what I am doing right now. I am making a perl script for the project that I am in. And Ubuntu is helping me do my job progressively.

    • Quimo

      • Michelle Hall On Qimo – Linux For Kids

        In the very near future, we’re going to be releasing a Wiki, promoting information exchange between as many small grass-roots charities like ours as possible, and to encourage men and women in communities around the world to join us in bridging the technological divide. Additionally, we’re hoping to release a more feminized version of Qimo, with a female mascot, and more feminized colorscheme, in the next few months, to encourage girls to start using technology. We hope to time this release with the Qimo v2.0 release in early fall. And third, we’re looking to release a High School version, targeting the teenage demographic, sometime in the next year.

      • Two Great Kid-Friendly Linux Projects

        The Helios Project is part of the Ken Starks Linux Advocacy Empire. You might recall some of Ken’s more famous projects such as the Tux500 and Lindependence 2008. Lindependence inspired a number of similar events, and meanwhile Ken and his hardy crew continue with their core work, which is building Linux computers for children and families who can’t buy their own computers.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • E-Book Reader Roundup: Samsung’s Papyrus Joins the Crowd

      Hanlin eReader

      The e-book reader from Chinese company Tianjin Jinke Electronics was released in 2007. Featurewise there may not be much to differentiate it from its peers. It has all the basics: a 6-inch display, 32-MB SDRAM and support for the usual text, docs and images. It runs Linux OS but has no wireless capability. The Hanlin eReader is available under different brand names, such as BeBook in Netherlands.

    • Phones

      • Open-source mobile framework supports Android

        A startup called Rhomobile announced the first formal release of its dual-licensed, open-source framework for smartphones. Rhodes 1.0 enables “write-once” development, using HTML and Ruby, of native smartphone applications for iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian, and now Android, the company says.

      • Motorola MING A1210 heads to China

        Just like its predecessor, the MING A1210 sports a flip form-factor. The A1210 features a 2.8-inch touchscreen display, 3.1-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, FM radio, USB and a microSD card slot. And, just like the original MING, the A1210 runs on a custom Linux operating system. Unfortunately, the tri-band GSM radio will keep this MING A1210 from cracking the US mainstream market.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • A refurbished Asus Eee PC netbook for $180 shipped

        As you might expect given that impulse-buy price, this model is pretty bare-bones: 512MB of RAM, a 4GB solid-state drive, and a Linux operating system.

      • Can Ubuntu’s ‘Jackalope’ Build A Better Netbook?

        ARM processor support. In a post earlier this week, I mentioned that Canonical would have a fairly easy time porting Ubuntu to the ARM hardware architecture, due mostly to the fact that the Linux kernel already runs quite nicely on ARM processors.

      • Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha 6, the Acer and the Dell

        While waiting about today for some lunch, I wrote part of this post on the AA1 in the text editor (since Bloggers interpretation of HTML is kinda sucky) and it was really nice to have the AA1 up on Ubuntu 9.04 with the Netbook desktop. Fast, full featured, and if the usage is slightly different, much easier once used to it on the 1024×600 screen. Several people stopped by to ask about the unit and see how it worked… although one of them was because I have an Apple sticker on the lid. That would be nice: an Apple Netbook. Everything I have read says that is not going to happen though. In the meantime, this all works pretty well. Finally.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Doctors Raise Doubts on Digital Health Data

    [T]he current health record suppliers as offering pre-Internet era software — costly and wedded to proprietary technology standards that make it difficult for customers to switch vendors and for outside programmers to make upgrades and improvements.

    [...]

    Instead of stimulating use of such software, they say, the government should be a rule-setting referee to encourage the development of an open software platform on which innovators could write electronic health record applications.

  • Studying in an institute

    It is very hard to study in such environment. Most works I can complete using free GNU Octave instead of MatLab, Maxima or SAGE instead of MathCad, Gnuplot for building graphs and QCad instead of AutoCAD and assure teachers that there is no need in proprietary, expensive, unreliable software and I can successfully use the free one instead. I can say that I have got no money to purchase most of this software. They can give it to me, but nearly all of it requires Microsoft Windows to work. Problems can appear even when teachers give task itself… again in closed proprietary Word or MathCad format. They can refuse to talk with me, because I deny using of proprietary software on my computers, I can not afford it, I do not trust it and in best case I forced to run it in virtual machine or separate computers, because I have got valuable documents and information on my PC. And currently I am not talking about the ethical and social aspect of such doings: only about price, safety of my information, compatibility with other software, legal use of it (I do not want to be offender).

  • We are all makers and hackers

    In the beginning, the word “hacker” had nothing to do with hi-tech crime.

    Rather than describe a criminal who uses technology to defraud people it was a badge of honour, a mark that someone had a deep understanding of a technical subject – such as computer code.

    Hackers were those that took things apart, saw how they worked and tried to make them better as they put them back together. Many hi-tech historians argue that without hackers there would be no internet.

  • Introduction to Open Source

    Open Source is a community driven approach to building software where the consumer has access to the source code. The source code is the recipe for building the software. Open Source Software begins with a problem that NEEDS a solution. The need can be anything, from a problem the author is trying to resolve for themselves, a customer or just trying a different approach to traditional solutions. The author will come up with an idea to solve the problem, and then implement that idea as software. The author may realize that friends and colleagues could benefit from the solution, or that the solution needs expertise that they do not have. At this point, the author decides to release their solution as an Open Source Project. This three step process from Need to Idea to Project, is how Open Source Projects are created

  • Mozilla’s Taskfox to bring Ubiquity’s command line to Firefox

    Mozilla has announced Taskfox, a new project that aims to deliver some of Ubiquity’s command line features to a future Firefox release.

  • Business

    • Mule – The Open Source Enterprise Integration Solution?

      Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is a new architectural approach for building distributed systems that deliver application functionality as loosely coupled services. Till recently it was mere hype, but today it’s a reality. The use of SOA has been moved from the laboratory level to enterprises level in order to seamlessly integrate disparate applications and create a common platform for carrying out mission critical business processes for the enterprises. The large enterprises are looking at SOA to maximize their returns by reducing complexity and cost of change and improving the leverage & reuse of assets within and outside the enterprise.

    • Open Source Monitoring: Zenoss Community and Zenoss Unique Selling Proposition, an interview with Mark Hinkle

      Zenoss Core is developed by Zenoss, with the classical corporate production model but welcoming third parties contributions (zenpacks). In force of this choice, they have been able to create a unified data model, yet using few open source components.

    • 2009 ‘Future of Open Source’ Annual Survey Results Announced

      At OSBC, a panel of top experts in the commercial open source industry, including executives from Acquia, Novell, Mozilla, Sun Microsystems, and SugarCRM, announced the results of the North Bridge Venture Partners’ annual “Future of Open Source” survey. The survey results, collected from 435 respondents, bring to light a variety of significant issues and topics surrounding open source software, such as the impact of the economic recession, key market drivers, and predictions regarding the types of companies that will drive the next wave of commercial open source success.

    • Takeaways and Study Materials from the Open Source Business Conference

      Matt Asay, who chaired this week’s Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco has a good post up with some links to good material from the event. Dries Buytaert gave a great presentation on open source community building and it’s now online, the 451 Group collected some very provocative quotes from thought leaders, and more. Here are a few of the eye-catching missives Matt points to from OSBC, plus some of our own posts related to the event.

    • The Apache Software Foundation Celebrates a Decade of Open Source Leadership

      The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) – developers, stewards, and incubators of leading community-driven Open Source projects – announced its tenth anniversary at ApacheCon, its official user conference, trainings, and expo.

    • Open source and SaaS offerings rethink the DB

      Thrift, a tool that Facebook.com built and donated to the Apache software project, isn’t really a database. In fact, it’s more of a pre-compiler that converts a file describing the data structures into a pile of code in your choice of languages. This code may need some extra libraries (Java comes with some methods that serialize the data to an output stream), but it’s ready to include with your own code. The project includes formatters for many of the major languages (including C, Perl, Java, PHP, and Python), and it aims to honor the various idioms used by the programmers familiar with a language. You give it the schema and it does the rest.

  • FSF/GNU

    • First LibrePlanet was a resounding success!

      We got lots of great feedback from folks who attended. Some people were new and hadn’t realized just how many different projects and facets there were to the free software movement. Others have been running GNU/Linux for a number of years, but didn’t know about the vigorous effort to replace Flash with a free alternative called Gnash. Rob Savoye (lead Maintainer of the Gnash project) was an energetic and inspiring speaker — he let us know that he’s not content to have a merely workable alternative. Gnash is more interoperable and has stronger security than the proprietary Adobe application it replaces.

  • Programming/Google

    • Google searches for holy grail of Python performance

      Google’s Python engineers have launched a new project called Unladen Swallow that seeks to improve the performance of the Python programming language. One of the project’s goals is to replace the Python virtual machine with an LLVM-based JIT.

    • Java: Coming Soon to Google’s App Engine

      Google will soon announce comprehensive support for the Java programming language on its Google App Engine (GAE) offering. We are trying to get more details. Rumors of such a development emerged last year, but we can now confirm that it is going to happen. We have have confirmed the news and expect the announcement later this spring, perhaps at the much-vaunted Google I/O event on May 27-28th at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. A Google spokesperson declined to comment.

Leftovers

  • Train Operators Around The World Stopping Others From Helping Riders… Due To Intellectual Property

    We’ve already talked about those who run trains in Germany and Australia cracking down on people creating their own iPhone train schedule apps, claiming they violated intellectual property rights of the train operators. This makes very little sense for a variety of reasons. First, it is still quite ridiculous that any sort of factual information can be covered by copyright — but in Europe such “collections” of information can be covered by the database copyrights — the idea that if you put factual information into a “database” that database then deserves copyright protection. Europe has this, while the US does not — and studies have shown that contrary to what copyright supports insist, this increased right has actually hindered the database industry in Europe… but that hasn’t made the law go away.

  • Help people without broadband around the world

    That’s it. Nothing special or fancy. It won’t solve the world problems, but it may help a few people. I’m not fully sure about possible legal implications of shipping software around the world, but I don’t see major obstacles that prevents ordinary users, de-facto individual non-profit organizations, from helping fellow humans around the globe.

  • Education

    • Introducing YouTube EDU!

      Here’s a little breaking news: Today, Google has launched YouTube EDU, which centralizes the content from over 100 universities and colleges (get list here). This robust collection gives you access to lectures by professors and world-renowned thought leaders, new research and campus tours. At the moment, you can access over 200 full courses from leading universities, including MIT, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Yale and IIT/IISc. And it’s all searchable within YouTube EDU.

    • THIS IS THE BIG ONE!!!! The “OER Bill”

      I never thought I would title a post in all caps, but I can’t believe I’m reading what I’m reading. H.R. 1464, introduced by Bill Foster of Illinois, is titled:

      To require Federal agencies to collaborate in the development of freely-available open source educational materials in college-level physics, chemistry, and math, and for other purposes.

      After quoting a number of findings about how completely out of control the textbook market and textbook prices are, the bill goes on to say:

      The head of each agency that expends more than $10,000,000 in a fiscal year on scientific education and outreach shall use at least 2 percent of such funds for the collaboration on the development and implementation of open source materials as an educational outreach effort… There are authorized to be appropriated $15,000,000 to carry out this section for fiscal year 2010 and such sums as necessary for each succeeding fiscal year.

    • MIT Backs Free Access to Scientific Papers

      Scientific publishing might have just reached a tipping point, thanks to a new open access policy at MIT.

      Following a more limited open-access mandate at Harvard, the legendary school’s faculty voted last week to make all of their papers available for free on the web, the first university-wide policy of its sort.

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • It’s Time to Drop the ‘Expectation of Privacy’ Test

      In the United States, the concept of “expectation of privacy” matters because it’s the constitutional test, based on the Fourth Amendment, that governs when and how the government can invade your privacy.

    • FTC: We’ll “come calling” about deceptive DRM

      The Federal Trade Commission kicked off its big DRM conference in Seattle Wednesday morning by saying that the goal was not to “take sides” over the question of whether DRM is good or bad—but the conference nevertheless opened with a warning.

  • Copyrights

    • Debating Copyright Extension In The UK

      Shane Richmond, who writes about technology and media for the Telegraph, recently handed over his blog to Martin Kretschmer and Horace Trubrudge for a debate about copyright extension (which is currently being discussed in the UK). Kretschmer is an intellectual property professor who is against copyright extension, while Trubrudge is the Assistant General Secretary of the British Musicians’ Union, and (not surprisingly) favors copyright extension.

    • The RIAA vs. 19 Year Old Cancer Patient

      Among the RIAA’s latest targets in its campaign to sue its customer base into submission is a 19-year-old cancer patient. Ciaro Sauro was ruled a music pirate after failing to defend herself in court against charges from the RIAA that she was sharing music files online. Ms. Sauro has said she couldn’t defend herself as she is hospitalized once a week, and vehemently denies the allegations that she is a pirate.

    • Why the RIAA will lose in Court

      Throughout history, major steps in the progress of nations have come about through landmark court cases. Whether we take the Dreyfus’s case in France, or the slew of court decisions in the United States in the 60s to end racial prejudice, we see that when public opinion reaches a boiling point, then the law itself changes in a rational way to accommodate the new sense of right and wrong.

    • The European Parliament rejects “graduated response”… for the third time

      The European Parliament, endorsing the Lambrinidis report1 and turning its back on all the amendments supported by the French government and defended by Jacques Toubon and Jean-Marie Cavada, has just rejected “graduated response” for the third time. France is definitely alone in the world with its kafkaesque administrative machinery, an expensive mechanism for arbitrary punishment.

    • Relationship Status of RIAA and ISPs: It’s Complicated

      The Recording Industry Association of America’s efforts to make nice to ISPs seem to be paying off — even if many of the ISPs are a little embarrassed by their new friend.

    • Are AT&T, Cox, Comcast Ratting Out Music Pirates?
    • US Wrestles With Transparency As Europeans Urge Release Of ACTA Texts

      The parliaments of Sweden and the European Union are urging the European Union to make public all documentation related to a secretive global anti-counterfeiting treaty, while the United States has claimed the papers are a matter of national security and therefore a state secret. But now the US has decided to undertake a review of its transparency.

    • Section 92A to be scrapped

      Prime Minister John Key has announced the government will throw out the controversial Section 92A of the Copyright Amendment (New Technologies) Act and start again.

    • ‘Three-strikes’ law for net users

      French internet users persisting in illicit downloading of music and films could have the plug pulled on their internet if a controversial new law is approved.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Nat Friedman 04 (2004)

Ogg Theora

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

Jonathan Zuck and ACT: What is It Anyway?

Posted in Antitrust, Deception, Europe, Fraud, Microsoft, Patents at 9:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ACT Microsoft

Summary: As the lobby for software patents in Europe intensifies, we identify and dissect the culprits

EUROPE is under attack at the moment. Lobbyists of firms like Microsoft — and in particular ACT — are trying to legalise software patents, thus marginalise Free software, and the Commission is not particularly helpful; it’s almost playing along with the lobby, or playing right into its hands.

A few days ago, Digital Majority identified ACT’s Jonathan Zuck trying to legalise software patents in Europe through the loophole of contamination (whose euphemisms include “harmonisation” or “Community”). Here is Zuck himself, a Microsoft lobbyist who met Bill Gates, once again pretending to speak on behalf of small businesses (hijacking their voices):

EU takes key step towards bloc-wide patent system

[...]

Lobbyists for smaller firms welcomed the move.

“We hope this development will give a new impetus to the conclusion of negotiations on the community patent,” said Jonathan Zuck, president of the Association for Competitive Technology.

“Small and medium-sized firms cannot wait for it, they need it today,” he said.

Smaller firms do not welcome the move and Jonathan Zuck is not their spokesman. He is a hired gun of the vicious monopolist called Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. They try to pass new laws with bogus endorsements and it seems clear that Zuck is back at work lobbying for software patents EU-wide. They try to do it quietly without mentioning the phrase “software patents” because these patents are too controversial. They make mere programming a case of civil disobedience.

As pointed out some days ago, there is a new identity to to this push which Charlie McCreevy put forth as his evil “hamonisation” plan, with endorsement from the French president, who is a friend of Microsoft. The Microsoft-sponsored Czech presidency too is a supporter.

Speaking of McCreevy, we have this new report from Asia:

It is interesting to note that globally, the software patent mess is starting to rear its ugly head yet again. In the EU, Charlie McCreevy is trying to legalise software patents with a US-EU patent treaty, and in India the Patent Office is working on a Draft Patent Manual to allow software patents.

A coalition opposing this attempt to ban Free software is urgently needed as long as Brimelow adopts a spineless approach [1, 2]. The likes of ACT have plenty of money to spend on AstroTurf domains and all sort of “Innovation Day”-type lobbying events. Microsoft is taking the invoices and paying the bills whilst the Commission becomes a bamboozled victim in the hands of insiders.

From an unpublished ACT 2006 submission to the Commission Future of Patent Policy consultation sent to Mr. Erik Nooteboom* (see consultation, more details, and this larger list):

Yes. We agree that a well-functioning patent system should include clear substantive rules and would add that such rules already exist under the current European patent system. As such, there is no need for further legislation regarding patentability (subject matter) and conditions of protection (in particular, novelty and inventiveness). The existing rules, as defined by the European Patent Convention (EPC), the Strasbourg Convention and the national patent laws which implement them, offer the right framework as to what can be patentable and under which conditions. The provisions of the EPC and the Strasbourg Convention adequately address the substantive conditions for patent protection, the scope of patents, and exceptions to patentability. No additional approximation of the substantive patent rules is required. By way of comparison, it’s worth noting that the legal instruments which define the subject matter and conditions of protection of other intellectual property rights, including the European Directives harmonising copyright or trademark law, offer a similar level of certainty as to the definition and conditions for protection of IP rights.

See that bit about “harmonising”? And the assimilation of patents to other separate things using the “IP” buzzword? Here is also Microsoft’s submission [PDF]. They sure seem like a crowd this way, don’t they? Microsoft represents itself and pays another entity to pretend that it represents 4,000 small businesses. Microsoft also commonly uses the BSA and CompTIA for these purposes.

So who or what is ACT anyway? We’ve been through this before [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], but let’s learn about ACT from ACT itself. Its introduction says:

For ACT members, the patent system is one of the key areas of European legislation that affects their business, and the most important of all areas of intellectual property. In an era where interoperability is increasingly important, patents have become critical to smaller software innovators. Using their institutional advantages of market penetration, geographic reach, promotional dollars, etc., larger competitors can simply co-opt the copyrighted inventions of smaller firms. Within months, they can reverse engineer their technologies and quickly distribute the new products through their well-established pipelines. Trade secrets, a previous favorite of software developers, are also insufficient in an era where interoperability and cooperation are paramount. Attempting to maintain trade secret protection while sharing code and other valuable information becomes very complex and inefficient. Further, trade secrets burden the developer with demonstrating their means of protecting that secret and the consistency of that protection. In the real world this is a question of resources, an advantage smaller firms do not have. In addition to improving Europe’s patent system along the lines set out by ACT in this paper, other urgent measures should be taken. By tackling over-regulation, educating ICT entrepreneurs to be better businessmen and engendering an entrepreneurial mind-set within Europe, EU Member States and EU Institutions could create the right atmosphere through which to assist ICT entrepreneurs in Europe to benefit from a healthier hi-tech business environment.

[...]

While ACT enjoys some support from larger “platform” firms such as eBay, Oracle, Verisign and Microsoft, it represents smaller, entrepreneurial tech firms that use these platforms, like Sax Software, TechTalk, Galleria Retail Technology Solutions, Premitech, and Tribeka Converging Technologies.

Let’s deconstruct this a little.

Sax Software is the company of Jonathan Zuck's ACT co-lobbyist and possibly former ACT president, Mike Sax. The company offers visual basic widgets. In other words, it’s closely tied to ACT and to Microsoft Windows as well.

Tribeka is considered to be a European SME lobby — a dummy for patents for Microsoft, a “startup” for around 10 years with a software packaging business concept that they tried to patent: You can burn your CD and print the cover in the shop using a terminal. Daniel Doll-Steinberg always makes the SME software patent case for Microsoft in Brussels lobbying. But his invention is not a software patent and even Microsoft is not actually interested in his “innovative” distribution channel idea.

Gallery Retail is a Microsoft certified partner, whose Windows-based Web site flogs promotional displays.

Jonathan Zuck also tells how ACT came into existence:

How it got started: in 1998, governments across the world were busy debating issues like the Y2K crisis, antitrust in the new economy, encryption exports and broadband. But when debate turned to serious discussions about how government needed to ‘fix’ the tech industry, even executives of smaller firms started to take notice. While these executives were finally awake to the direct and immediate threat of heavy-handed government regulation, none of them had their own lobbyists or government affairs staff. Yet, with so much at stake, they realized that small tech firms could no longer remain in the silent majority of international business. Later that year, several executives of small technology firms came together to create the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT). Since its founding, ACT has been the leading voice for the entrepreneurial tech firms that are so critical to our world’s economy. Since its inception ACT has found that many of the issues that face SMEs are global in scope. This has led SMEs from outside the United States, in Europe and Asia joining as members.

“Antitrust in the new economy” simply refers to Microsoft’s investigation at the Department of Justice. That’s where Judge Jackson called Microsoft “criminals”. It seems safe to believe that ACT is a rename/respin of the defunct ATL, which perhaps got a little ‘too’ exposed when Microsoft needed shills to write supportive letters (‘on behalf’ of dead people) in 1998. CAGW and ATL were among those in the headlines and so was DCI. ATL is another Zuck-led lobbying arm and according to SourceWatch, ACT was actually created by Microsoft, so it’s nothing to do with small businesses. To quote SourceWatch:

Microsoft has also created new trade groups, the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) and Americans for Technology Leadership (ATL), to generate support for the company through Web sites and a sophisticated and largely hidden grassroots lobbying campaign.

ACT is still very busy creating new domains and making up all sorts of campaigns whose domain name is registered by proxy. We covered this before and offered evidence.

“ACT was actually created by Microsoft, so it’s nothing to do with small businesses.”Returning to ACT’s own description of the raison d’être, “leading voice for the entrepreneurial tech firms that are so critical to our world’s economy” simply means that whenever regulators make proposals that challenge Microsoft’s business (e.g. antitrust, open document formats, software patents), ACT lobbyist/photographer Jonathan “guitar hero” Zuck and his team come to the rescue and lend SME AstroTurf support.

You’ve got to love how they mix (saturate/dilute) lists to hide the real source and concentration of power.

For example:

“eBay, Oracle, Verisign [...oh! And some 'small' company that created us, a company called] Microsoft”

Regarding support from industry:

“Sax Software…”

That would be a company created by Zuck’s friend and one of the chief people among ACT’s staff.

How many small companies are they listing? Like half a dozen at most? Where are those 4,000 companies that Zuck spoke to me about? Are these too ashamed to be affiliated or associated with ACT? Are they even aware that their voices are being stolen by a Microsoft lobby that seeks to harm them ‘on their behalf’?

ACT also says : “in 1998, governments across the world were busy debating issues like the Y2K crisis, antitrust in the new economy, encryption exports and broadband.”

More dilution exists there. What’s that second thing again? Was it only antitrust? Was there a specific case that year? Were other issues like encryption exports and broadband relevant only in 1998?

ACT — who are these guys kidding? We’ll start keeping better track using the always-under-construction Wiki.

Zuck et al can change names/umbrellas once again, just like Blackwater recently did. To escape bad reputation by morphing is not so easy when you know the names of the people involved and soon realise where their wage comes from. It just makes it harder to search or inquire by company names, assuming there is no proper mapping between old and new identities.
____
* There is another consultation in the repository on patents and all the copyright consultation stuff from DG market. Interesting are in particular the contributions of LJ Jakob and Micelli.

“That particular meeting was followed by an anonymous smear campaign against one of the TC members. A letter was faxed to the organization of the TC member in question, accusing the TC member in question of helping politicize the issue (which is, of course, untrue). I too had the dubious pleasure of hearing first hand how Microsoft attempted to remove me from the TC (they did not succeed, thanks to integrity and cojones of the organization I am affiliated with).”

“If this unethical behaviour by Microsoft was not sufficiently despicable, they did the unthinkable by involving politics in what should have been a technical evaluation of the standard by writing to the head of the Malaysian standards organization and getting its business partners to engage in a negative letter writing campaign to indicate lack of support of ODF in the Malaysian market. Every single negative letter on ODF received by the Malaysian standards organization was written either by Microsoft, or a Microsoft business partner or a Microsoft affiliated organization (Initiative for Software Choice and IASA).

A Memo to Patrick Durusau

GNU/Linux Really Can Save Us from Conficker

Posted in GNU/Linux, Security, Windows at 7:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: When tools for fighting against Conficker only run on GNU/Linux

COMPANIES WHOSE machines leak sensitive data, attack other machines, and cause other forms of sabotage need not fret. They can finally assess the damage already done, if any. They will, however, need to get hold of GNU/Linux first.

To help companies detect Conficker scans and probes on their networks, MicroSolved is offering a free tool – a Linux-only HoneyPoint GUI. You can download the zip file from here.

Isn’t it a classic? GNU/Linux is required for repair of damage caused by a Microsoft Windows-exclusive problem. Conficker is still very much alive by the way. From the latest news:

1. Conficker: The Windows Worm That Won’t Go Away

The Conficker worm continues to slither its way across the Internet, and a major update for the malware is looming on April 1. Just what will happen is anyone’s guess, security researchers say, but there are malware removal tools and protections out there for users.

2. Final countdown to Conficker ‘activation’ begins

Starting on 1 April, Windows PCs infected by the latest variant of the Conficker worm (Conficker-C) will start attempting to contact a sample of 50,000 pre-programmed potential call-home web servers from which they might receive updates, a massive increase on the 250 potential web server locales used by earlier variants of the code.

To diagnose the problem, a GNU/Linux-based HoneyPoint can be used, but why not address and resolve the problem at the source? As we explained before, "Conficker is a Blessing to GNU/Linux." Those who want to resolve the problem for good can prepare for a migration to GNU/Linux. It has already saved the French police a bundle.

More on Conficker

Is Apple Sued for Patent Infringement Over Third-Party Software?

Posted in Apple, Courtroom, Patents, Videos at 6:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The absurdity of the US patent system becomes more evident as Apple gets sued under odd circumstances

OTHER than the controversial news about Apple’s hardware quality, there is plenty of coverage concerning a new lawsuit. For those who are interested in the former story, The Register has some details.

Put together by US PC repair and support firm Rescuecom, the league table was topped by Asus with a whopping 972 reliability points. Apple, now in second place, scored just 324 points.

Looking at Apple’s latest patent trouble, the case is interesting because Apple is being sued merely for capability, not function. iPhone brings a lawsuit merely because it can serve as an EBook, not because it is (this is neither a built-in function nor is it advertised). Apple Insider has some details and TechnDirt, as usual, offers a solid rebuttal.

Despite Steve Jobs’ proud promotion of the 200 patents Apple has around the iPhone, there’s been no shortage of patent infringement lawsuits filed against the company.

How does Apple feel about patents now? In its early days, the company opposed them, but not anymore. It’s the same with Microsoft.

Patent lawsuits against Apple become common (because this can pay plenty). There is another one hitting the iPhone. For objective details about the other case, see IDG’s coverage:

Patent Infringement Lawsuit May Affect IPhone

Filed in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas Marshall Division, the lawsuit centers on the so-called “298 patent.” The patent describes a “method and apparatus for detecting camera sensor intensity saturation.”

Yes, it’s the Eastern District of Texas, as usual.

Software patents are an important issue at the moment, so we shall continue covering it. We also wish to share this video where Richard Stallman debunks common myths about software patents.

Ogg Theora

This is part of a longer talk, but we can’t ‘Oggify’ all of it. Also see this multi-video post containing a similar talk from Richard Stallman on software patents. Therein he addresses a European audience amid lobbying efforts, not a Canadian crowd. He also refers to the directive which was ultimately rejected.

Richard Stallman and the GPLv3

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: March 26th, 2009 – Part 2

Posted in IRC Logs at 5:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Enter the IRC channel now

Read the rest of this entry »

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: March 26th, 2009 – Part 1

Posted in IRC Logs at 5:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Enter the IRC channel now

Read the rest of this entry »

Links 27/03/2009: Red Hat’s GNU/Linux Success Story, OpenOffice.org Downloaded 50,000,000 Times

Posted in News Roundup at 4:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Google Search Trends

    OK, Google Trends is a very interesting and useful tool. I used it to compare the popularity of the various Linux distributions, how the browser wars match up, and the interest in Linux netbooks.

  • The Helios Project – Drive To The Future

    The HeliOS Project is conducting our “Drive For The Future”. These little wonders are being collected so that with every computer we deliver, we will include a thumb drive with their system upon it. We can buy them in bulk or you can purchase one and send it to us if you care to participate in this drive. If you don’t particularly want to go out to purchase one, you can order one from newegg.com and have it shipped to our address. If you simply want to donate to our bulk order, you can do on the left column of our main page. Price per unit is $14.95. If you are donating for one thumb drive, please do not include any shipping costs as we get free shipping with our orders.

  • Launching a Linux Startup: No Funny Business

    So, what’s the best way to get entrepreneurs to build businesses around Linux? In everything I’ve ever read about businesses using Linux, the profit-generating opportunities have seemed sparse: subscriptions, donations or support.

    Part of the reason I started an educational resource was because education looked like the low-hanging fruit — everyone needs it, especially if moving the baseline is the goal. But to build a fertile environment for Linux/FOSS-oriented businesses, one must look beyond the technology itself and involve people who are looking for new ways of doing business and engaging one another.

    [...]

    It’s particularly apparent during this time of deflation and recession that the opportunities for Linux and FOSS infrastructure development are plentiful. Converting people to Linux/FOSS is worthwhile and having more businesses and organizations using them will benefit users within and beyond the open source communities.

    It’s generally more lucrative to lock people out and charge them for admission, but with software technology, we have reached the other side, where smaller software projects develop micro-targeted solutions and the concept of an average home computer user is replaced by a mosaic of usage attributes.

  • MacForensicsLab Inc. Releases MacLockPick 2.1

    MacLockPick 2.1 now extracts data from Linux systems, too.

  • Is Using Linux Too Frugal?

    Both of my journalist colleagues are correct — frugality is good for you and your customers, and spending is good for the economy. Being fiscally responsible is also good for the economy — yours, mine and ours collectively. Using Linux saves you money so that you, in turn, pass on those savings to your customers and enjoy higher profits for your company. Higher profits and greater savings mean more money for raises, bonuses and consumerism. I’m no economist, but I’d say it’s a pretty good plan.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Ubuntu 9.04 vs Fedora 11: A lot can change in one month!

      The excitement has already started in anticipation of Q2 2009 l distro releases. As usual, the big names are Ubuntu 9.04 (a.ka. Jaunty Jackalope) and Fedora 11 (Leonidas). It’s time for a straight off comparison on the upcoming features of these two distros.

    • OpenGeeeU Luna Serena Linux for the Eee PC

      OpenGeeeU Luna Serena (8.10), the special OpenGEU version dedicated to the EeePC, is available for download now. This is an optimized Linux Operating System for the Eee PC (or other Netbooks).

  • Red Hat

    • How to make a half-a-billion bucks with Linux

      I find it hard to believe that there are still fools out there who don’t think you can make money, serious as heart attack money, with Linux and open source. Let Red Hat spell it out for you.

      Red Hat reported its 4th quarter results last night, March 25th. I quote: “Total revenue for the quarter was $166.2 million, an increase of 18% from the year ago quarter and 1% from the prior quarter. Subscription revenue for the quarter was $139.4 million, up 14% year-over-year and 3% from the prior quarter. For the full year, total revenue was $652.6 million, an increase of 25% over the prior year, and subscription revenue was $541.2 million, up 20% year-over-year.”

      [...]

      It sure looks to me that Red Hat, by steering its own course and delivering the Linux goods, is doing just fine without Microsoft or Oracle. Who knows, maybe in a few years we’ll be talking about whether or not Red Hat might buy Oracle the way we are now about IBM buying Sun. Red Hat’s showing that Linux and open source is not just a good way to make software; it’s also a great way to make money.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Free Linux Microprocessor*

      Here’s the deal. Altera, the world’s second-best-known FPGA company, has struck a deal with Wind River Systems, the world’s second-best-known embedded-software company, to port Linux to Altera’s NIOS II processor. And since NIOS is free, you’ve got yourself a free 32-bit microprocessor capable of running a genuine full-on multitasking Linux operating system.

  • Phones

    • OpenMoko Smart Phone: Open Linux, Open Hardware, No Britney Spears

      Imagine owning a smart phone that you can hack just as freely as a PC.

      OpenMoko is an embedded Linux-based mobile platform, and the Neo Freerunner is OpenMoko’s slick little touch-screen smart phone that runs OpenMoko. It’s not really intended for the mass-market “just make it work and don’t bother me” demographic, but for power users and developers. Unlike other mobile platforms that are open in buzzword only, OpenMoko is a genuinely open hardware and software platform. I had a great conversation with Sean Moss-Pultz, the CEO of OpenMoko, who was kind enough to still be awake and coherent at 1am in his time zone.

    • Ming phone gains larger screen

      Photos and preliminary specifications for an “A1210″ Linux phone that appears to be an updated version of the popular Motorola Ming have appeared on Chinese technology sites. The GSM/EDGE-ready A1210 (pictured) offers a larger 2.8-inch screen, and an improved 3.1 megapixel camera, industry reports say.

  • Sub-notebooks

    • Freescale

      Freescale may be the first semiconductor company to associate itself aggressively with portable Linux devices. The former Motorola semiconductor division is sharply targeting the low-priced Linux-based Netbook market, which is hot in the world market and just starting to get warm in the US.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Company opens development airport traffic management software

    The Swiss company Skysoft has started development of Albatross, a set of open source applications for air traffic controllers. The project’s website was unveiled on 16 March.

    The software will be published under a GNU Public Licence. The company has not yet decided which version of the GPL will be used.

    The Swiss specialist in air traffic management technology in June will unveil its first open source application, to visualise radar data. This application is based on the company’s existing proprietary software. It will run on GNU/Linux based computers, said Claude Levacher, responsible for marketing at Skysoft.

  • 50 million

    Five months (163 days) since release, and OpenOffice.org 3.0 yesterday clocked up its 50 millionth download via http://download.openoffice.org. OK, we know there are many good reasons why OpenOffice.org should be on everyone’s desktop, but thi is still an extraordinary achievement.

  • Stealthy Startup Prepping Virtualization Management Tool

    The Lowdown: Bluebear.org is still in hibernation, but the stealthy startup expects its Kodiak open-source virtualization management application to eventually exert a “top-of-the-food chain” type of influence in the virtualization market.

  • Sharing, Contributing… and Caching

    This story is part bug hunt, part open-source love-story. The bug was a particularly gnarly, beautiful little bug and I’m going to try to convey some of that to you. But the other half of the story is really the thing here; The Guardian is serious about engaging with the wider technology community – while we work hard to open out our data to the world at large, we also participate by speaking at conferences, sponsoring events, and sometimes in the simplest way of all; contributing code and fixes for the Open Source software that we use.

  • Securing your organisation with open source

    While backup and recovery solutions are considered paramount in most organisations, they are possibly one of the most overlooked procedures in company security policies, mainly because they seem to try to achieve the opposite.

    Security demands strong encryption and overall policy control over employee and enterprise-wide information, while backup software tries to simplify the data centre recovery process regardless of platform, location and user, anywhere on the network.

  • Business

    • Open Source Backers See Downturn Opportunity

      Panelist Marten Mikos, former CEO at mySQL and an outgoing executive at Sun (which purchased the database software last year in a blockbuster billion-dollar deal), was quick to note there are many high-quality open source applications, “but customers buy on low price, so in a recession, open source is that much more attractive both for the applications and the cost of development.”

      John Roberts, CEO of SugarCRM, agreed.

      “All companies are rethinking the value proposition,” he said. “If you’re a 100-percent proprietary software, it’s difficult to create unique value.”

    • Nuxeo Announces the Availability of Nuxeo EP 5.2, the New Release of Its Open Source ECM Platform

      After 18 months of open and intensive R&D efforts, Nuxeo presents a major version of its ECM open source platform: Nuxeo Enterprise Platform (EP) 5.2.

  • Sun

    • Sun Chief Forges Ahead as IBM Rumors Swirl

      In a speech on Wednesday, the CEO of Sun Microsystems ignored the rumors that the company may be sold to IBM, and focused instead on the business opportunities presented by cloud computing and open-source software.

      All of the world’s Fortune 500 companies are using open-source software at least to some degree, CEO Jonathan Schwartz said in a speech at Infoworld’s Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco. “The era in which we wonder if open source will matter is now behind us,” he said.

  • Open (But No Source Code)

    • Open Knowledge Conference (OKCon) 2009

      The Open Knowledge Conference (OKCon) is back for its fourth installment bringing together individuals and groups from across the open knowledge spectrum for a day of discussions workshops.

Standards/Consortia

  • Introducing Planet ODF

    I have an early Document Freedom Day present for you. Planet ODF is a feed aggregator based on Sam Ruby’s Planet Venus, which itself is a refactoring of Planet 2.0.

  • ODF Alliance Award Winners Announced

    The OpenDocument Format (ODF) Alliance today recognized Vitorio Furusho from Parana, Brazil and Anvar Sadath from Kerala, India for their contributions to ODF community development and education.

Leftovers

  • Wikirank Shows You What’s Hot on Wikipedia

    Sites like Alexa let you do this for websites by tracking visitor traffic at the domain name level, but Wikirank is more specific. It shows actual views of specific page. The data comes from Wikistats, a public dump of server logs for Wikipedia, which itself is open and totally transparent — Wikipedia’s data is reusable under the GNU free documentation license.

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • German police boot down doors of Wikileaks offices

      Government’s tendency to moprh from blocking “child porn” to censoring discussion of all government censorship was illustrated this week when German Police raided the offices of Wikileaks Germany.

  • Copyrights

    • Stating the Case Against DRM to the FTC

      Wednesday, EFF Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry will be testifying at the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) town hall meeting on digital rights management technologies, or DRM. After years of observing DRM’s development, suing Sony for its destructive SecuROM DRM, defending free speech for researchers and bloggers, and speaking out against DRM’s use, EFF’s stance is quite clear: DRM is harmful to consumers, it undermines competition and innovation, and unnecessarily preempts users’ fair uses of copyrighted content — all while making no appreciable dent in “digital piracy.” In fact, generally the only ones who are inconvenienced by DRM are legitimate customers.

    • Canadian artists’ new/old plan: $5 to share music legally

      The Songwriters Association of Canada has listened to the criticism of its 2007 plan to legitimize the file-sharing of copyrighted songs, and it’s back with Plan 2.0. The big change? Participation for both fans and artists would be voluntary.

    • AT&T, Comcast Deny RIAA ‘Three-Strikes’ Participation

      Comcast and AT&T on Wednesday emphatically denied participation in a Recording Industry Association of America anti-piracy crackdown that involves terminating internet access to repeat copyright scofflaws.

      The denials came in response to a host of published reports saying the two ISPs signed on to an RIAA proposal requiring ISPs to terminate internet service to customers the record labels detect file sharing copyrighted works at least three times.

    • ISPs Join RIAA’s Fight Against Piracy: Is Your ISP One of Them?

      AT&T and Cox both confirmed to PC World that they have begun cooperating with the RIAA in some form. Comcast did not say it was working with the RIAA, but did say it was forwarding messages on the behalf of the recording industry to customers. Still a mystery is to what extent ISPs are cooperating with the RIAA and what it takes to get booted from your ISP for illegally swapping copyright protected content online.

    • AT&T first to test RIAA antipiracy plan
    • Save the European Internet – Write to Your MEPs

      Things seem to be going from bad to worse with the EU’s Telecoms Package. Now, not only do we have to contend with French attempts to push through its “three strikes and you’re out” approach again, which the European Parliament threw out, but there are several other amendments that are being proposed that will effectively gut the Internet in Europe.

    • Austalian ISP Stands Up For Users In Court — Claims They’re Not Violating Copyright

      Late last year, a bunch of movie studios sued Australian ISP iiNet (which already has a reputation for standing up for its users) for not waving a magic wand and stopping any unauthorized file sharing that occurred among its customers. iiNet responded by pointing out the obvious: if the studios feel they’ve been wronged, they should take it up with the police, not iiNet. In fact, they said they pass such complaints directly to the police…

    • Musician Called A Copyright Violator On MySpace For Uploading Her Own Music

      Reader Ken Blake points us to the news that indie musician Emily Bezar had her account flagged as a copyright violator after she tried to upload five or six songs from her own self-produced CD. She’s emailed MySpace’s support email… and seems to have heard absolutely nothing back weeks later. But, no, overly aggressive copyright enforcement doesn’t hurt anyone, right?

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Nat Friedman 03 (2004)

Ogg Theora

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