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12.10.09

Links 10/12/2009: Nouveau in Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 8:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Powers Christmas Lights for Charity

    It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, especially if you happen to live within a few miles of Alek Komarnitsky’s house and the massive Christmas display he puts on every year in the name of charity. While most neighborhoods have a Christmas overachiever, Komarnitsky is in a special league of his own: His display can be remote-controlled and is powered by open source.

  • Some Rather Old But Still Funny Anti-UNIX Jokes (One Liners)

    You may have heard a lot of anti-Microsoft jokes before since you can read them everywhere. However, it’s pretty rare to find anti-UNIX/Linux jokes. So I would like to share with you some pretty old but still funny anti-UNIX one-liners. Enjoy!

  • Could Linux Use Some Bells and Whistles?

    Is Linux just too quiet to attract mainstream users who are used to the siren songs of bells and whistles? Or do Linux bells and whistles run on a frequency Windows users can’t hear? “One person’s ‘bells and whistles’ are another person’s ‘this is too different for me’ impediment,” suggested Slashdot blogger Barbara Hudson. For example, “the desktop cube just blows [Windows users] away.”

  • Nouveau

    • Linus Wants Nouveau Merged Into Kernel

      This morning the first DRM pull request went in for the Linux 2.6.33 kernel that brings many nice graphics changes for Intel, ATI/AMD, and VMware users. Anything for NVIDIA hardware through Novueau was not mentioned as there is no readied support, but as we stated in our article this morning, its unlikely to see Nouveau’s DRM in the mainline kernel before the Linux 2.6.34 kernel. This is even though Fedora has been shipping Nouveau support for a few releases now and even Canonical is pulling in Nouveau KMS support for Ubuntu 10.04.

    • Part 2 Of Nouveau Saga: The Microcode

      Following a feature-packed DRM pull request this morning for the Linux 2.6.33 kernel, Linus Torvalds became frustrated that the Nouveau driver for supporting NVIDIA hardware was still not to be found in this most recent pull request. Linus wants Nouveau in the mainline kernel especially as Red Hat has already been shipping this free software driver in Fedora for two releases.

  • Applications

    • Unigine Engine Does Physical Force Fields

      Unigine has the Linux version of Heaven completed (we have seen it and even benchmarked it, and it’s amazingly great), but they are waiting on AMD to publicly release a Catalyst Linux driver that can even handle this demo as right now the Linux drivers out there simply don’t work because this demo is absolutely gruesome on the driver stack and hardware.

    • Uget My best Download Manager

      I have been using GNU/Linux for two years so far, and I’m using Ubuntu (GNOME). Over this period, I have tested a lot of download manager applications; unfortunately, I can’t find the one that suits best for me, because what I have in mind was a program which more or less is simple, lightweight and practical. I don’t want a download manager which is crowded with features nor a primitive one and certainly I don’t want one that works via a command line/terminal!

    • Instructionals

  • Desktop Environments

    • KDE 4.4 Beta: Incremental Doesn’t Mean Directionless

      Incremental releases for large projects are often grab bags of unrelated features. However, KDE SC 4.4 beta 1 (aka KDE 4.3.80) is a welcome exception to the rule.

      True, the release includes new applications and improvements to existing applications on the KDE desktop. But it also features improvements to general desktop functionality and the evolution of several technologies and directions introduced earlier in the KDE 4 series of releases. In other words, it is ambitious, with far more innovations than than the average incremental release.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Health check: Red Hat – This year’s model

        Red Hat has long been the poster child of Linux and open source, the distribution that has been there since the beginning, grew up right, got all the luck, usually made the right decisions, and fetched up on top of the pile.

        Staying at the top of the pile may present a different set of problems. Free and open source software has made its presence felt, the operating system has become increasingly commoditised, free software is rising up the stack, cloud computing and virtualisation are transforming the market for operating systems, and open source (in some form or another) is being adopted or proclaimed by many different companies.

      • FUDCon Toronto 2009 wrap-up

        So, as I promised yesterday, here’s a quick wrap-up of my FUDCon experience. This was my first FUDCon, and it was definitely a lot of fun. My photos of the event are up here.

    • Mandriva Family

      • Exploring New Nepomuk Features in Mandriva Linux 2010

        You have probably heard of Nepomuk, the semantic desktop technology we’ve been shipping for a while as part of the KDE Platform. However, so far, you may not have noticed it really doing very much useful for you. So what is this thing called Nepomuk, what can it do for us now and what will it bring us in the future? We asked two of the driving forces behind Nepomuk, Stéphane Laurière and Sebastian Trüg of Mandriva, to tell us about the real Nepomuk features that are already available in KDE software and those that have been introduced with Mandriva Linux 2010.

      • Caixa Mágica experimenta Linux no novo Magalhães
      • The Perfect Server – Mandriva 2010.0 Free (x86_64) [ISPConfig 2]

        This tutorial shows how to set up a Mandriva 2010.0 Free (x86_64) server that offers all services needed by ISPs and hosters: Apache web server (SSL-capable), Postfix mail server with SMTP-AUTH and TLS, BIND DNS server, Proftpd FTP server, MySQL server, Dovecot POP3/IMAP, Quota, Firewall, etc. In the end you should have a system that works reliably, and if you like you can install the free webhosting control panel ISPConfig 2 (i.e., ISPConfig runs on it out of the box). This tutorial is written for the 64-bit version of Mandriva 2010.0.

      • Mandriva: The Choice of a New(bie) Generation?

        The recommended download is called “One”, a 32bit only Live CD available in many languages with either the KDE or GNOME desktop environment. This edition includes closed source software such as proprietary kernel drivers and Adobe Flash.

        Taking this version one step further is the “PowerPack”, which is not available free of charge. This edition includes even more proprietary software, as well as providing commercial support. The website lists the following software:

        Flash
        Fluendo DVD Reader
        Fluendo Codecs
        Acrobat Reader
        Skype
        Opera
        Arkeia
        VMWare

    • Debian Family

      • Lucid Lynx Alpha 1 (Ubuntu 10.04)
      • Canonical Launches Bazaar Commercial Support

        At the heart of every serious software development project is the use of some kind of version control code repository. For Ubuntu Linux, that version control system is its own Bazaar (bzr) system, which make it easier for the project to encourage and manage developer participation.

      • Ubuntu Lucid To Get Windows Aero Style Look Thanks To Enhanced GTK+

        Lucid may not be getting a new GTK theme but it will still be getting an entirely new look.

        Ubuntu’s Ayatana team (most famed for creating those awesome ‘new’ notification balloons that came in Jaunty) are currently testing a super-duper enhanced version of GTK+ that adds RGBA support (think Windows Aero) and client side window decoration.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Acer plans up to 6 new Android handsets for first half 2010

      Acer plans to launch as many as six new smartphones with Google’s Android mobile operating system in the first half of next year, a company executive said Thursday.

    • Why The Crunchpad Didn’t Pencil Out

      Set aside the particulars of the Crunchpad drama for a moment and talk to Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation. Software is already free. Chipmakers such as Intel have teams of hundreds of engineers building sophisticated software for consumer electronics around the Linux operating system, Zemlin says. Hardware, meanwhile, is only getting cheaper. The materials bill for a decent laptop is now as little as $150, he explains.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source bugs fixed quicker than commercial software

    Open-source code is more prone to severe flaws than commercial software, but bugs get fixed more quickly, according to revealing new research from application security firm Veracode.

  • If it looks, acts and smells brown then it must be.

    Now I have read that this company is trying to change its Open Source image (sigh) again. They are doing it by copying the image from another large company. This fruity company directly gained its current, dare I say it, popular software offering from Open Source software. I intend to take so much salt with this latest venture that I can feel my arteries harden just thinking about it.

  • Project Renaissance Impress Improvements – Found the required slide layout yet?

    As indicated in the previous posts, we have started to redesign a few really basic interactions in OpenOffice.org Impress in order to reduce the overall complexity of the UI. Currently, we focus on navigation through slides in various contexts, the visual appearance of different slide selection states and the handling of slide layouts. Today, I want to share some thoughts about a different way how to assign slide layouts.

  • Programming

    • What do Interpreted Programming Languages have in Common? Part II

      I begin this tutorial a few weeks ago with Part I and received some very nice comments correcting my (fortunately) minor errors. This isn’t a tutorial about how to program in a specific language or even really about how to program. I wanted to show the common structure of interpreted programming languages in the hopes of revealing some common threads, rather than focusing on the ins and outs of one language. I’ve heard it said that if you learn one langauge, it makes learning the next one easier. My problem is I get lost in the nuances of the language in question and lose track of the basic structure of programming. I’ve created this tutorial series to try and correct that. This tutorial is for my education as much as anyone else’s so I welcome comments but, as I said before, be polite. This is about learning.

    • News Brief: Google Revs Web Development With GWT 2.0

      Web-based applications are at the core of Google’s strategy. As a result, it’s not surprising that Google has been embarking on a strategy to help both itself and the wider developer community build better Web applications.

      Key to Google’s Web application development effort is its Google Web Tools (GWT) applications, which became open source in 2006. This week, Google debuted GWT 2.0, which provides new developer workflow improvements as well performance enhancements.

    • Sun Releases 3 Java Upgrades as EU Begins Closed-Door Merger Hearing

      Sun appears to have timed the release of three updated versions of its Java enterprise software products to coincide with a closed-door hearing in Europe about Oracle’s planned takeover. Could be the company wants to send regulators a message that it’s still viable and still innovating. It’s also quite likely that Sun is seeking to reassure customers, who are no doubt becoming restless.

    • Reviewed: SheevaPlug development kit

      Is it possible to cram a whole Linux server into something the size of a plug? Apparently it is – Marvell has combined gigabit Ethernet, flash storage and an ARM CPU with a full install of Ubuntu to produce the tiniest Linux server we’ve seen for some time. Can you resist the power of your geek hardware lust? If not, don’t read on…

Standards/Consortia

  • 802.11n: Fast Wi-Fi’s long, tortuous road to standardization

    For a technology that’s all about being fast, 802.11n Wi-Fi sure took its sweet time to become a standard.

    In fact, until September 2009, it wasn’t, officially, even a standard. But that didn’t stop vendors from implementing it for several years beforehand, causing confusion and upset when networking gear that used draft standards from different suppliers wouldn’t always work at the fastest possible speed when connected.

Leftovers

  • Rise of the New McCarthyism

    How Right Wing Extremists Try to Paralyze Government Through Ideological Smears and Baseless Attacks

  • TFUE

    What is TFUE? TFUE or TFEU stands for the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, so the new Lisbon regime. UE is French for European Union.

  • Environment

    • Copenhagen’s sceptic conference thanks China for emitting CO2

      The only clue I find to where the world’s leading climate sceptics are meeting in Copenhagen is a large round sticker on a pavement outside a house down a side street. It depicts a happy-looking Eskimo standing on a clearly melting ice flow with a cheerful sun beaming down on him and his ice-cream under the words “Hurra global warming”.

    • Eyewitness at the UN Climate Conference

      Out of the Frying Pan, Dec. 10, 2009. We rolled our van out of the ferry boat at 8am and rumbled into the center of Copenhagen. Giant banners and billboards are everywhere trumpeting various points about global warming, such as “It’s Too Late to Limit CO2 – We Need Other Solutions.” Picking up a newspaper, I could see there is buzz about the “alternate” conference going on called “Klimaforum09.” Naomi Klein had just given a speech there– the first person I spoke to randomly on the street surprised me by volunteering that she was disappointed she had missed Naomi’s speech. (Here is a link to her blog from The Nation on President Obama and COP15 and on how more money is being spent on war than fighting climate change.)

    • The oily echo machine behind “climategate”

      The most vocal organizations around the University of East Anglia hacked email story (aka. “climategate”) have been involved in a decade-plus campaign to delay action on climate change.

      The goal of this campaign, which began around the time of the first Kyoto Protocol negotiations, was to assemble a group of like-minded “free-market” think tanks and pseudo-experts that would bring into question the scientific realities of climate change, create doubt with the public and politicians and effectively delay the introduction of clean energy policy in the United States.

      It’s no coincidence that the groups pushing this story the hardest have a long history of taking money from oil and coal companies to attack the conclusions made by climate scientists.

  • Finance

    • Democrats Weaken Financial Reform Package Before Debate Even Begins

      Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan had called upon Congress to take a different course. “Don’t preempt state Attorneys General, there needs to be state level enforcement of state and federal consumer laws, particularly when the Feds fail to act,” said Madigan in a news conference.

    • A Cockeyed Optimist Does Not a Good Fed Chairman Make

      Last week, Ben Bernanke, the head of the Federal Reserve, came before the Senate Banking Committee for a confirmation hearing. Bernanke was nominated by President Bush for a four year term beginning in 2006. President Obama chose to continue with Bernanke and re-nominated him this year for another four year term.

      While a contrite Bernanke admitted to the committee that the Fed “should have done more” to prevent the 2009 financial meltdown and protect consumers, for some Senators, this was too little too late.

    • Jobs Creation Bill Takes Center Stage in DC

      Following their $700 billion bailout, Wall Street is now enjoying a resurgence in profits and bonuses, but they are refusing to lend to small businesses. I am with Larry Summers, and 200 other economists. It’s time to put a damper on the casino and put Wall Street to work for Main Street.

    • It’s NOT Such a Wonderful Life!
    • Mark Penn’s two firms awarded millions from stimulus for public relations work

      Federal records show that a contract worth $5.97 million, part of the $787 billion stimulus Congress passed this year, helped preserve three jobs at Burson-Marsteller, the global public-relations and communications firm headed by Penn.

  • AstroTurf

    • Health Insurers Caught Paying Facebook Gamers Virtual Currency To Oppose Reform Bill

      Health insurance industry trade groups opposed to President Obama’s health care reform bill are paying Facebook users fake money — called “virtual currency” — to send letters to Congress protesting the bill.

      Here’s how it’s happening:

      Facebook users play a social game, like “FarmVille” or “Friends For Sale.” They get addicted to it. Eager to accelerate their progress inside the game, the gamers buy “virtual goods” such as a machine gun for “Mafia Wars.” But these gamers don’t buy these virtual goods with real money. They use virtual currency.

    • In glitzy shadows, a health reform foe lurks

      David Koch, an oil and gas billionaire who is the ninth-richest person in the United States, according to Forbes magazine, was simultaneously responsible for a $100 million refurbished opera house and a protest that featured signs comparing health reform to the Holocaust. The two sides to Koch’s activism aren’t unique – they harken to a long tradition of conservative tycoons who were great philanthropists with one hand and ruthless powerbrokers with the other. But Koch’s hidden presence in the health care debate illustrates the extent to which the Old Right is creating – and then hiding behind – the grassroots fervor of middle-class opponents of health reform.

    • The Insurance Industry’s Lethal Bottom Line — and a Solution From Sens. Franken and Rockefeller

      Since President Bill Clinton’s health reform plan died 15 years ago, the health insurance industry has come to be dominated by a handful of insurance companies that answer to Wall Street investors, and they have changed that basic math. Today, insurers only pay about 81 cents of each premium dollar on actual medical care. The rest is consumed by rising profits, grotesque executive salaries, huge administrative expenses, the cost of weeding out people with pre-existing conditions and claims review designed to wear out patients with denials and disapprovals of the care they need the most.

    • Move On’s summary of the health care bills

      The health care debate has so many moving parts that it’s hard for anybody to keep them straight. So we decided to put together an overview of where we’re at—both good and bad—and what we’re all going to need to keep fighting for.

      Neither of these bills is close to perfect. But we’re entering the home stretch where we risk losing a lot of what’s good in these bills and where we have a huge opportunity to strengthen the parts that need work.
      Here’s where we are….

  • Internet/Censorship/Web Abuse/Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Music industry website debut turns into a mosh pit

      Music industry website debut turns into a mosh pit

    • An opportunity missed to apply ‘fair use’ to file sharing

      More important, perhaps, Gertner wrote that Tenenbaum’s team didn’t provide evidence or precedents to back up its position. In other words, it was all show, no dough. Hence her decision to grant the labels’ motion to throw out Tenenbaum’s defense before the case reached the jury.

    • Chris Weitz Says ‘New Moon’ Bootlegging Arrest Is ‘Terribly Unfair’

      There are those fans who were really excited about “New Moon,” buying Robert Pattinson-emblazoned pillows and making elaborate scrapbooks for the stars, and then there are those fans who may have gone overboard in their excitement. Samantha Tumpach was busted in a Chicago movie theater for allegedly taping three minutes of the “Twilight” saga sequel inside a theater in late November and could face up to a three-year prison term for her actions; Tumpach has said she was essentially filming a home movie had no intention of distributing the footage.

      Now Chris Weitz, the director of “New Moon,” has come to Tumpach’s defense, saying that the prospect of such a harsh sentence is unjust.

      “Needless to say, the case seems to me terribly unfair and I would like to do what I can to address this,” Weitz wrote in an e-mail to the Chicago Sun-Times.

    • Corey Smith Details His Experience In Becoming A Massively Successful Indie Artist

      About a year ago, we wrote about the massive success of musician Corey Smith, creating not just a sustainable living as an independent musician, but a multi-million dollar operation — built on a combination of closely connecting with his fans, using free music, touring relentlessly, working hard to gain new fans (including reserving some cheap tickets to shows) and (the important part) really great music. What caught everyone’s attention was that this totally independent musician, with no record label, no radio play, no massive publicity campaign had grossed about $4 million in 2008. Now, of course, tour grosses (which made up the lion’s share of that amount) are a bit misleading, as the venues take a cut of that, and there are certainly other expenses to be paid, but as a starting number it’s still really impressive. Luckily, Corey is now sharing some more details about his path to success.

    • Dilbert Explains Why Just Copying Others Is A Dumb Business Model

      Just copying something doesn’t give anyone a reason to buy from you — and depending on the product, copying them will take time, combined with the additional time to even let people know you’ve got a product in the market. By that time, the real innovator may be much further ahead.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Stormy Peters, HP open source strategist 05 (2004)


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

Richard Stallman on [GNOME] Code of Conduct and Foundation Membership

Posted in FSF, GNOME, GNU/Linux, GPL, VMware at 7:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Proprietary software in Free software arena

Re: Code of Conduct and Foundation membership



  • From: Richard Stallman <rms gnu org>
  • To: Philip Van Hoof <pvanhoof gnome org>
  • Cc: foundation-list gnome org
  • Subject: Re: Code of Conduct and Foundation membership
  • Date: Wed, 09 Dec 2009 22:38:07 -0500




    The people who work at VmWare also very often posted (and still post)
about their work and appear on Planet GNOME.

They should not do this, unless VmWare becomes free software. GNOME
should not provide proprietary software developers with a platform to
present non-free software as a good or legitimate thing.

Perhaps the statement of Planet GNOME's philosophy should be
interpreted differently. It should not invite people to talk about
their proprietary software projects just because they are also GNOME
contributors.

Source

Re: Code of Conduct and Foundation membership



  • From: Stormy Peters <stormy peters gmail com>
  • To: rms gnu org
  • Cc: Philip Van Hoof <pvanhoof gnome org>, foundation-list gnome org
  • Subject: Re: Code of Conduct and Foundation membership
  • Date: Thu, 10 Dec 2009 07:46:37 -0700





Planet GNOME is about people and we display everyone's full blog feed as it represents them. There are people that work on proprietary software as well as GNOME and that's who they are. I don't think we should reject people because they don't agree with us 100% of the time.

My post on hunting comes to mind. I self censor now because I didn't like the negative comments directed at my kids. But would you block my whole blog because a vocal portion of the community is anti-hunting and people in my family hunt?

Now, if they aren't doing any GNOME work and all they talk about it non-free, non-GNOME software, that's different.

Stormy

Source

Related posts:

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: December 10th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.

Microsoft’s and Novell’s “Fauxpen Source”

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 11:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell error message

Summary: The fake cases of Free/open source software named a top issue for 2010

DANA Blankenhorn has written a provocative short piece about the increasing number of open source fakers, which happen to include Microsoft. In part he says:

When there’s an open source “community” version and a paid “enterprise” version of the same software, what is the difference between writing a check for enterprise support and just buying a closed source license?

Another type of “fake” would be “Open Source” that requires a whole stack of proprietary software to run on. The Source has expanded Blankenhorn’s thoughts and pointed out that therein lies the real problem which deserves the name “fauxpen source”.

Is there any better answer than a wolf in sheep’s clothing? (Again, I beg for the help of a skilled graphic artist!)

That’s what fauxpen source is after all: an attempt to shroud restrictive software in the appearance of open-ness. We see it when so-called “open” projects are under exclusive “covenants” and “promises” – is that really “Open Source”? How about some restrictive trademark / logo / name / credit requirements? Or perhaps the source is available, but does not allow any community contributions?

It seems to be that some people consider it a “win” if the absolute minimum standard to claim the term “Open Source” is met, despite any additional restrictions/requirements. As if the term itself is what is important.

Last month we wrote about Microsoft’s Orchard/Oxite [1, 2, 3], which is a good example of Microsoft’s “fauxpen source”. It only runs on Microsoft’s proprietary stack, which is so unreliable that the London Stock Exchange (LSE) had to dump it. Mary Jo Foley has been one of the very few Microsoft bloggers who promoted (and still promote) Orchard/Oxite and there is hardly any response to it — implying lack of interest — except this one comment (at the time of writing), which says:

it’s just a ‘me too’ M$ gimmick

to use open source and avoid patent infringement law suits.

Speaking of .NET gimmicks, Novell’s Marek Safar has just announced more of them. Oddly enough, some Linux sites offer it coverage. Mono is more like "Open Core", which is a form of “fauxpen source”.

“Now [Novell is] little better than a branch of Microsoft”

LinuxToday Managing Editor

Microsoft New Zealand Technology Officer Jumps Ship, Ending More Pretense

Posted in Bill Gates, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 11:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

New Zealand flag

Summary: Triumph for Free software supporters in New Zealand as an opposer/pretender from Microsoft calls it a day and quits

ANOTHER one leaves the nest (joining many others). What makes him rather unique is that he played along with the Microsoft plot to appease Free software supporters by pretending to be a friend while the company attacked with patents [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], even sued (TomTom and Melco for example).

Microsoft New Zealand national technology officer Brett Roberts – one of the software giant’s most senior staff – has announced his resignation, sneaking in ahead of an official company announcement.

[...]

Mr Roberts has often served as Microsoft’s public face in controversial arenas, such as the ongoing debate about Linux and open source software – and has been a frequent visitor to the capital for discussions with government departments, and others.

Microsoft is losing more and more fakers.

The following new article is titled “Microsoft tries to improve image among open-source developers,” but Microsoft is missing the point. To win people’s support you don’t improve image, you improve behaviour. Judging by its actions, Microsoft is still the same spoiled brat and bully it has always been.

The article quotes someone from Microsoft’s BS department that Sam Ramji quit not so long ago.

Garkusha is an emissary from Microsoft Corp.’s Canadian arm whose job is to convince open-source software disciples that his company is not the evil empire it appears to be.

[...]

It’ll be a tough seduction. Open-source advocates are still on guard after a series of internal memos leaked in 1998 suggested Microsoft wanted to infiltrate and destroy the open-source threat. Known as the Halloween Documents, the memos detailed an “embrace, extend and extinguish” strategy to make Microsoft interoperable with open source, then slowly make itself the standard everyone has to pay for.

Microsoft responded that the memos were simply one engineer’s musings and were not an official company statement.

That’s a lie, as we have already shown. This document was passed around by Bill Gates to others from the board. Nothing has changed since, except the lawsuits against Free software (manifested in part through ideas expressed in the Halloween Documents).

“It’s a good moment for people to take a step back and re-think how friendly Microsoft is to open source.”

Bradley M. Kuhn (SFLC) in response to the TomTom lawsuit

Gates/Microsoft Tax Dodge and Agriculture Monopoly Revisited

Posted in Bill Gates, Finance, Microsoft, Patents at 10:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“My background is finance and accounting. As a socially conscious venture capitalist and philanthropist, I have a very good understanding of wealth management and philanthropy. I started my career in 1967 with the IRS as a specialist in taxation covering many areas of the tax law including the so-called legal loopholes to charitable giving. […] However, the Gates Buffet foundation grant is nothing more than a shell game in which control of assets for both Gates and Buffet remain the same. […] The only difference is that the accumulation of wealth by these two will be much more massive because they will no longer have to pay any taxes.”

The Gates and Buffet Foundation Shell Game

Summary: Microsoft’s lesser-known and more evil sides receive unwanted limelight time

A FORMER Microsoft employee has asked the company to finally pay the tax it was dodging. We wrote about this in:

Progress has been made as more people are speaking about the problem and ask Microsoft to pay up. There are older issues that were never truly resolved [1, 2, 3].

Amanda Congdon’s Sometimesdaily Internet Justice: Bill Gates Owes A Bill-ion!

[...]

It’s now been ten days since we asked Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer to honor his commitment to transparent business practices and open up Microsoft’s Washington state tax records…we’re still waiting. For now Steve, we’ll take that as a non-denial confession.

This week, Internet video reporter Amanda Congdon interviewed me for Sometimesdaily’s latest installment… Internet Justice: Bill Gates Owes A Bill-ion! It’s a fun look at a subject that we take very seriously here in Washington State.

As another noteworthy new post, consider the following critique of the Gates Foundation, which has also been accused of evading tax on behalf of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

The Gates Foundation’s agriculture program: experimenting or floundering?

Here’s what we know about the Gates Foundation’s agriculture program:

* Gates believes it’s suggestive that “Apart from a few states and small, oil-rich countries, no country has managed a rapid rise from poverty without increasing agricultural productivity. In the poorest countries, agriculture employs a majority of the people.”
* This isn’t a new argument or an undisputed one. See Peter Timmer on Green Revolution “optimists” vs. “pessimists”.
* Gates’s approach is “comprehensive,” targets “no single, simple solution”, and includes farmer training/support, irrigation initiatives, market access initiatives, and funding of agricultural research with a focus on gender empowerment.
* This isn’t a new approach or a historically successful one. The World Bank has focused on essentially the same set of interventions recently, with unclear results, and the previous “holistic” approach of “Integrated Rural Development” is widely considered to have failed. Details at our overview of agriculture aid.

In other words, the Gates Foundation approach – as described – appears to be neither a continuation of things that have worked before nor a fundamentally new approach to the problem. So what might be different this time around?

This is not the first such criticism. It is about making Africa dependent on patents that Gates and Rockefeller are investing in (references below for the uninitiated).

On Gates and Monsanto:

Why Does Microsoft Decide for the World?

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Microsoft, Oracle, SUN at 10:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Crystal ball

Summary: Microsoft sneaks into a debate that affects the destiny of some key Free software projects

WITH the Oracle deal looming, Microsoft has an opportunity to do damage to Free software projects like Java and OpenOffice.org, so Microsoft — being Microsoft — is of course playing politics to disrupt the industry. We wrote about this in:

  1. SAP/Microsoft Attack on Java, OpenOffice.org, Other Libre Products Culminates in Alliance
  2. The ‘Microsoft of Europe’ Instructs Oracle on Free Software
  3. Is Microsoft Lobbying to Burn Sun?
  4. Microsoft Has Lobbyists and Cronies Around European Commission, Working to Shatter MySQL and Defend IE Monoculture

According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft will attend the next EU hearing and the Microsoft crowd seems happy about it despite the fact that it’s about burning Sun and reducing choice. The Register reports as follows:

Microsoft will testify to the European Commission later this week in the ongoing debate on whether the Eurocrats will bless Oracle’s Sun-acquisition plans.

A Microsoft spokesperson told ZDNet that Redmond “can confirm participation at the hearing and that the company has previously responded to inquiry from the Commission about the deal.” The hearing will be held this Thursday and Friday in Brussels.

Exactly what Microsoft will tell the Commission, however, is far from clear. As ZDNet notes, The Wall Street Journal reports that both Microsoft and SAP “have already told antitrust regulators they oppose the merger.”

As several people have said, Microsoft and SAP are just lobbying for their interests, they are not actual customers. Why are they attending at all?

The acquisition is likely to go through eventually, but the question is, in what form?

The European Union’s Competition Commissioner is optimistic that European Commission will reach “a satisfactory outcome” and ultimately approve Oracle’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems, Reuters reported Wednesday. Neelie Kroes made the comments in anticipation of a two-day hearing on the matter, which is slated to begin Thursday.

We have not taken sides in this debate, but what seems reasonable is for MySQL to be independent and Sun to be acquired. The role of Microsoft and SAP is by all means disruptive and hardly appropriate.

“What we are trying to do is use our server control to do new protocols and lock out Sun and Oracle specifically”

Bill Gates

Links 10/12/2009: CIsco and IBM GNU/Linux Servers

Posted in News Roundup at 10:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux for “DoublePlusHuman”

    I believe Free Software in general including the Linux ecosystem, cannot realistically be treated as a New OS, but a whole new market of operating systems and applications which operates on somewhat different, more consumer friendly, assumptions and expectations. The markets function best when there is competition and when their actors act fully in their own self interest without coercing the others to act on it. Thus the insistence on integration and unification is harmful. Competition is a form of cooperation as well. The difference is that people cooperate on their own terms and for their own individual benefit rather than for a share benefit over which there may or may not be agreement. I’d say competition is actually the best form of cooperation there is.

  • Gift Ideas for Linux Geeks

    The holiday season is approaching fast, but there is still time to buy a nice gift for the Linux geek in your life. Not sure what to give? Here are a couple of gift ideas.

  • Better ripped-off than switch to Linux?

    Becta and the OGC must be shaking their heads, just how can schools get value for money from ICT procurement? Ironically, it seems, being (potentially) ripped off was seen as the safer option to trying something inherently less risky namely free, open source solutions.

    Why less risky? Because the product does not ‘belong’ to the seller of the services. You can shop around and replace your ICT service providers if they fail to satisfy whilst keeping your systems and software.

    Once schools and LAs were prepared to suffer the lock in of proprietary service and software providers in return for the latest shiny things, few questioned the superior wisdom and efficiency of the private sector. They might do soon.

  • Major Computer Publication Devotes January 2010 Issue to Amateur Radio

    Lane — who blogs for Linux Journal on open source issues — told the ARRL that the same day he posted “Open Source Ham — Is That Like Free Range Chicken?”on his blog, he was chatting on Internet Relay Chat (IRC) with Linux Journal publisher Carlie Fairchild: “She said they were thinking of doing an Amateur Radio-focused issue — what did I think? I said something to the effect of ‘Did you see my post this morning?’”

  • Audio

    • Linux Outlaws 126 – The Man with the Golden Laptop

      This week: Lenovo ThinkPad X301 review, Black Screen of Death, Firefox dethrones IE in Germany, Palm target of GPL-infringement suit, lots of Google news and more…

    • Podcast Season 1 Episode 23

      In this episode: The Linux version of Google’s Chrome browser is now officially in beta and Linux netbook share appears to be growing. Nokia releases Qt 4.6 and we ask whether Linux documentation could be improved and is Google’s Chrome operating system a good thing?

  • Roundups

    • The 2009 Linux and free software timeline – Q1

      Here is LWN’s twelfth annual timeline of significant events in the Linux and free software world for the year.

    • 2010: A Virtual Retrospective

      I took a trip down memory lane today, thinking back on all the changes that have happened this year and I’d like to review them with you. 2010 started off with a bang with every company waiting to release news that had brewed for the fourth quarter 2009. Cloud-computing still reigns as the big winner for newsworthy fodder for industry bloggers, insiders and sideliners. Larry King announced back in June that the recession had ended as quickly as it arrived and that hiring and growth were on the way. Mergers and rumors of mergers filled the air at every technical conference and trade show throughout the year, including the two big announcements at VMworld in San Francisco.

    • 2010 Linux and Open Source Events
  • Desktop

    • Dell Vostro V13 Offers Style, Substance and Low Price

      The Vostro starts at $449 with the Celeron processor and Ubuntu Linux.

    • Online Banking: Taking Issue With The New York Times

      Unlike phishing, malware is a Windows-only thing. What to do about it? How can you defend yourself, your computer, and your accounts? Opinions vary, but more than a few techies suggest not doing any online banking from a Windows computer.

      I first argued this is August (Consider Linux for Secure Online Banking) and then again in October (Windows and Online Banking: A Dangerous Mix). Brian Krebs (author of the Security Fix articles) came to the same conclusion in October:

      “An investigative series I’ve been writing about organized cyber crime gangs stealing millions of dollars from small to mid-sized businesses has generated more than a few responses from business owners who were concerned about how best to protect themselves from this type of fraud. The simplest, most cost-effective answer I know of? Don’t use Microsoft Windows when accessing your bank account online. ”

  • Server

    • D-Link tips Linux-based Boxee box

      D-Link unveiled its soon-to-be-released “Boxee Box” at Boxee’s preview of Boxee Beta in New York last night. Few details have been disclosed other than that it runs Boxee on Linux,

    • IP set-top runs Boxee

      D-Link is readying a Linux-based IP set-top box (STB) based on the open source Boxee home entertainment stack. The singularly styled “Boxee Box DM-380″ incorporates WiFi, Ethernet, USB, and HDMI out, as well as analog and digital audio outputs, says the company.

    • Cisco gets into SMB space with new Linux routers

      Cisco is a top vendor in the networking arena and are fairly ubiquitous in enterprise environments. With the acquisition of Linksys, Cisco was able to enter into the consumer market to provide routing and switching for home networks with a proven brand.

    • IBM open sources high-performance file system

      “As the popularity of Linux-based computing clustering grows, so does the need for simplified and highly performing file management software that is able to function across many hardware platforms,” said VP of Deep Computing at IBM, David Turek.

    • IBM’s newest mainframe is all Linux
    • ParAccel flashes data warehouses

      ParAccel – one of the many upstarts that is chasing the data warehousing and analytics dollars these days – has tweaked its ParAccel Analytic Database 2.0 software and its underlying homegrown Linux operating system so that the x64 nodes on which it runs can be equipped with flash-based drives. And that, the company says, will boost query performance.

  • Google

    • Need Fast Web Access? Try Chromium OS on a Stick

      As we reported earlier, a Twitter user Hexxeh has brewed a version of Chromium that boots a Windows, Linux or Mac computer from a USB drive. The latest build requires an empty USB flash drive (installing Chromium will wipe it) with a capacity of as little as 1GB.

  • Kernel Space

    • VMware Goes For Mainline Inclusion Of Its DRM

      VMware is preparing to propose that its “vmwgfx” DRM kernel driver be pushed into the mainline DRM tree and in turn will then be pulled into the mainline Linux kernel — as soon as the Linux 2.6.33 kernel. VMware’s Jakob Bornecrantz (formerly of Tungsten Graphics) is calling for comments on the two patches that introduce the vmwgfx C header file and then the Direct Rendering Manager code itself. This code will initially be put into the kernel’s staging tree and then in a release or two should be found within the main DRM directory.

    • OpenCL Over Mesa, Gallium3D Discussion

      While NVIDIA and ATI/AMD have OpenCL support within their binary drivers, the open-source Mesa / Gallium3D stack is still lacking open-source support for the Open Computing Language on Linux. But the discussion surrounding OpenCL in Gallium3D has been renewed on the mailing list today.

    • A Great Present In The Linux 2.6.33 Kernel

      David Airlie has just called upon Linus Torvalds to pull in the latest DRM patches for inclusion into the Linux 2.6.33 kernel. The Direct Rendering Manager improvements in this next kernel release will be particularly interesting and are perhaps as significant as earlier kernels that had introduced kernel mode-setting support for Intel and ATI/AMD hardware along with in-kernel memory management. The changes that the Linux 2.6.33 kernel will bring are aplenty and will impact almost all of those using an open-source graphics driver stack.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Makes Move That Will Allow Open Collaboration with Partners to Drive Virtualization Innovation

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that, in an effort to openly collaborate with partners to drive the future of virtualization, it has open sourced its SPICE (Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environment) hosted virtual desktop protocol.

      • Red Hat to Drive Open Source Cloud Computing Discussion with Second Online Forum

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that it will present the second online Open Source Cloud Computing Forum on Wednesday, February 10, 2010, hosted by Red Hat CTO Brian Stevens.

      • [Fedora] The move to git

        The time has come to bite the bullet and move Fedora’s package source control on from CVS. CVS has done is well, and although it is a decaying source control, it handled our needs rather well for many years. However nothing is a constant, and over time more and more cracks have shown up in our source control. The time to move on is now, and I feel pretty confident in the plan we are exploring.

      • Red Hat Open Sources Desktop Application Protocol

        Red Hat acquired SPICE in 2008 when it purchased Qumranet. Qumranet used SPICE for its own commercial desktop-virtualization product, called SolidIce.

      • Red Hat open sources SPICE for desktop virtualization
      • Review: Red Hat Virtual Experience 2009

        Overall it was a great event. I almost felt like I was at what I’ve imagined a Red Hat Summit to be. The service they used worked well and was easy to navigate and explore around… like you’d do at a real conference. If you missed it (or not), I recommend you login to the system and “replay” any content you are interested in.

    • Debian Family

      • Ubuntu Server 9.10 – Review and Commentary

        We’ve already taken the time to do an Ubuntu 9.10 review as well as Kubuntu and Xubuntu but these were all the desktop editions. Today, we decided to try something different and take a look at Ubuntu 9.10 Server Edition and see how easy it would be to setup and configure a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) server.

      • Linux Mint 8 ‘Helena’ Review

        Linux Mint 8 OS is a great OS for those who want to enjoy near flawless out-of-box experience. It has all the necessary apps built from DVD burning app to Internet browser to office suit, it has it all.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Portable thin client’s based on Dell notebook

      Devon IT announced a thin-client notebook computer based on Dell’s Latitude E5400. The SafeBook E5400X includes a 2.2GHz Intel Celeron CPU, a 14.1-inch display, 1GB of RAM, and will “soon” be offered with its Linux-based DeTOS operating system, says the company.

    • Pandora

    • Phones

      • The Droid Has Been Rooted — Now What?

        Verizon’s Motorola Droid is a brand-new phone today. Like many smartphones before it, the Droid has been rooted so that owners of the Android 2.0-based smartphone can install multitouch support (including pinch-to-zoom gestures), enhanced themes and other previously forbidden goodies.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • 10 Netbook-oriented Linux Distributions… and Counting

        I can say that Linux on netbook is gaining momentum right now contrary to what others believe. Just take a look at the growing number of Linux distributions that are optimized for netbooks so that you will know what I mean.

      • The Quest for an Ubuntu Netbook

        My third major consideration was System76, which also deals solely in Linux machines. Its netbook option, the Starling, can be configured with 2 gigabytes of memory, a 6-cell battery and a webcam for $359. Unfortunately, an SSD drive is not an option, which is a major disappointment. Nonetheless, the price is not bad for a Linux-oriented vendor that will likely offer better support to Ubuntu users than Dell.

      • Why ChromeOS is a Smartbook OS

        The idea behind ChromeOS is really that consumers should have a full laptop or desktop as their main computers and purchase a ChromeOS device as a companion to use when on the road. This is close to the idea of the original EEPC 701. The problem is that in places where mobile bandwidth is still selling at premium prices and access points are rare ChromeOS devices may end up being either very expensive to keep connected or very useless as soon as the user’s leave the range of their home’s wifi network. Add to that the fact that a lot of online video content (like Hulu) is only available in the US and the usefulness of the machine as a source of multimedia is very compromised when you consider the international market. ChromeOS is a good idea in places where you have the network infrastructure and online media content to support the model. Unfortunately this is not the case in most countries beside the US.

      • New Sugar on a Stick Brings Much Needed Improvements

        My first impression was how incredibly easy it is to obtain and install on your memory stick. Fedora has released a flash installation tool that handles downloading and imaging the flash drive on Windows systems. (There are installation instructions for other operating systems as well.) Not only is this tool available for use to install Sugar on a Stick, but you can also test drive other Fedora Linux distributions. The tool also allows you to partition off some space to save your documents to when in the Linux environment. Keep in mind that when you run this utility you will wipe anything on the memory stick.

      • Sugar on a Stick adds ebook support

        Sugar Labs has revised the LiveUSB version of its education-focused “Sugar” Linux distribution. “Sugar on a Stick v2 Blueberry” offers simpler navigation, improved wireless networking, streamlined activities updating, better Gnash support for Adobe Flash, and activities designed for reading electronic books (ebooks), says the non-profit organization.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Office’s market share in my circle of influence

    It is a difficult problem but I will not give up. I will continue to pass out copies of The OpenDisc to Windows users without ever knowing if people will throw the disks in the trash. There is a possibility that people think I am trying to give them a virus because I do not use professionally pressed media. That is under consideration although it would be time consuming and expensive. I am als considering switching to DVD-RW as well, that way the new owner of the OpenDisc may choose to keep it since it has a little more value. Ideally, I would like to find a bunch of other folks who will also help distribute the OpenDisc upon professionaly pressed media.

  • Mozilla

    • Thunderbird 3 Officially Released with New Features, Improved Look

      Thunderbird 3.0 comes packed with fantastic new features, including a new tabbed interface à la Firefox and other web browsers, a beautiful and powerful new search and filtering tool that lets you pinpoint any email, and a totally streamlined email setup tool that’ll get your Gmail or other accounts up and running with Thunderbird in a jiffy.

    • Mozilla lets Thunderbird 3 fly

      One feature that isn’t included is the calendaring add-on, Lightning. Originally, Mozilla had planned to bake the extension into the program, but decided back in February 2009 to change course and leave it up to users to download. Although Thunderbird natively comes with Microsoft Exchange support, there’s no calendar and therefore no meeting support in the default Thunderbird installation. Along with Lightning, there’s an essential Google Calendar add-on for Lightning that gives Google users calendar support in Lightning.

    • Mozilla Thunderbird 3 Features

      Mozilla has announced the availability of version 3 of its popular open source Thunderbird email and news client for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. The long-awaited major release is based on the Gecko 1.9.1.5 platform, including some major re-architecting to provide improved performance, stability, web compatibility, and code simplification and sustainability.

    • Review: Thunderbird 3 takes flight with tabs, enhanced search

      Mozilla Messaging has announced the official release of Thunderbird 3. Ars takes a hands-on look at the improvements in the new version—including tabbed messaging and enhanced search—and finds a lot to be excited about.

    • Mozilla’s Thunderbird E-mail Client Comes With Tabs
    • Can Mozilla pull another Firefox with e-mail?
    • A Single Command to Install Thunderbird 3 in Ubuntu
  • Business

    • Open Source Is Smart Choice For Business Intelligence

      Analyst report points to growing interest in open source alternatives to traditional business intelligence tools

      The impact of the financial crisis has been to force companies to cut costs while also increasing competition for fewer customers. Against this backdrop, analyst Gartner has reported that interest in open source alternatives to traditional proprietary business intelligence (BI) tools has been steadily growing.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU

  • Releases

    • Tine 2.0 “August (2009/11)” released

      Focus of the new version are the extensions of the reporting and analysis functions in the CRM module and improved calendar functions. Moreover, many users are likely to be positively assessed, that Tine 2.0 now can operate as an OpenId Provider. In total the Changelog lists over 150 new features and improvements.

  • Government

    • [Federal Register: December 9, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 235)]

      With this notice, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) within the Executive Office of the President, requests input from the community regarding enhancing public access to archived publications resulting from research funded by Federal science and technology agencies. This RFI will be active from December 10, 2009 to January 7, 2010. Respondents are invited to respond online via the Public Access Policy Forum at http://www.whitehouse.gov/open, or may submit responses via electronic mail. Responses will be re-posted on the online forum. Instructions and a timetable for daily blog topics during this period are described at http://www.whitehouse.gov/open.

  • Programming

    • Tasktop, ThoughtWorks Studio Team Up on Connector

      Tasktop Technologies and ThoughtWorks Studios have announced availability of the ThoughtWorks Studios Mingle Mylyn Connector. The connector integrates development activities performed in the Eclipse IDE with project management in Mingle 3.0.

    • When Javascript became the world’s new CPU

      All this wouldn’t be possible without that little scripting language created some fifteen years ago to spike up web pages. Yes, that’s Javascript. Some people hate it, some people love it, but the world definitely needs it. Google, with Google Chrome OS, is betting a lot on it. Visual Environments like Lily are starting to pop up — and you can bet there will be more and more.

      We live in an online world, and Javascript is the new world’s engine. It’s open, it’s free, it’s powerful, and it’s managed to reshape the computer world.

      Whoever bet on it was definitely in the right place at the right time. Would you have ever imagined?

Leftovers

  • Cash Strapped PDs Tap New Source of Revenue: Stealing!

    I have a feature on asset forfeiture coming in the February 2010 issue of Reason. Forfeiture critics I interviewed for the article say there’s good reason to think laws that send forfeiture proceeds back to prosecutor offices may be unconstitutional. Whereas police only make the initial seizure, prosecutors actually make the policy decision of determining which cases to take. Dicta in prior U.S. Supreme Court cases indicates the Court may find due process problems with those same offices then materially benefiting from those decisions.

    [...]

    Taking property from poor people without due process of law in order to enrich local police departments. Seems like the sort of thing Barack Obama might have fought to change in his days as a community organizer.

  • What the Google Web will look like in 10 years

    Google is a technological powerhouse that’s reshaping the Internet, the way we use it, and our overall relationship with technology.

  • For Vertical Market Smartphone Apps, Is Webkit the “True” Dev Target?
  • Museum unearths world wide web origins

    THE WORLD’S FIRST museum gallery showcasing the technology of the Internet opened recently at The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) and the interactive exhibit tells the story of the pioneering British boffins without whom the World Wide Web could have been a very different place.

    The gallery was opened on December 4th in the presence of the world’s press and as lively a gang of OAPs as your ever likely to encounter, many of whom were former employees of the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), one of the UK’s leading science and research centres, and the birthplace of packet switching, the technology that underpins just about every element of the Internet.

  • Environment

    • Break-in targets climate scientist

      Attempts have been made to break into the offices of one of Canada’s leading climate scientists, it was revealed yesterday. The victim was Andrew Weaver, a University of Victoria scientist and a key contributor to the work of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In one incident, an old computer was stolen and papers were disturbed.

    • Gordon Brown says climate change deal must be legally binding in six months

      Gordon Brown raises the bar for climate change negotiations, urging world leaders to give their promises at Copenhagen the full weight of international law within six months.

    • Why must we prevent a 2ºC rise?

      To avert potential and catastrophic effects on both humans and ecosystems, we must prevent global temperatures from rising by more than 2º Celsius above pre-industrial levels.(1)

      The IPCC indicates that temperatures have increased 0.74ºC in the last 100 years. (2) Therefore, we must not allow more than another 1.26ºC rise in the average global temperature.

  • Finance

    • Reggie Middleton vs Goldman Sachs, Round 1

      This is the opinion piece that I promised on Goldman Sachs research and product sales. I want it to be clear that I have absolutely nothing against Goldman Sachs, and if I worked there I would want $19 billion of bonuses too, despite the fact that I just got bailed out by the taxpayer to the tune of over $50 billion and still have middle class taxpayer funded government subsidies intact. The fact of the matter is that I don’t work for Goldman Sachs, and the reverence that they receive is illogical and borderline sickening, not to mention having nothing to do with the reality of the situation.

  • Internet/Censorship/Web Abuse/Rights

    • UK air traffic control goes after Wikileaks

      The National Aviation and Transport Services (NATS) is threatening legal action against Wikileaks because the website has published a recording of the crashing of BA flight 038, call sign Speedbird 38, which came down just short of the Heathrow runway in 2008.

    • TV Station Tells Blogger To Delete Twitter Message Or Face Legal Action

      davebarnes alerts us to a story of just such a situation involving an anonymous blogger in Oregon, who had heard about some “embarrassing” videos involving some local TV anchors. In looking for the videos, the blogger discovered the YouTube account in question had been closed, and sent out a Twitter message asking if anyone had seen the videos before the account was closed. In response, the blogger received a legal threat from the news director of the TV station demanding the removal of the Twitter message (which simply asked if anyone had seen the video and linked to a shuttered YouTube account).

    • Iranian Crackdown Goes Global

      His first impulse was to dismiss the ominous email as a prank, says a young Iranian-American named Koosha. It warned the 29-year-old engineering student that his relatives in Tehran would be harmed if he didn’t stop criticizing Iran on Facebook.

      Two days later, his mom called. Security agents had arrested his father in his home in Tehran and threatened him by saying his son could no longer safely return to Iran.

      “When they arrested my father, I realized the email was no joke,” said Koosha, who asked that his full name not be used.

    • Iranian police use teargas and batons in clashes with protesters
    • Aliens Vs. Predator Hits Australia Ratings Roadblock, Rebellion Won’t Make ‘Sanitized’ Version

      Sega’s Aliens vs. Predator reboot is too gory for Australia’s ratings board, which has denied it classification, effectively blocking its release in the region.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Google and MS sued over links to file-sharing site

      Mini music label Blue Destiny Records has sued both Google and Microsoft for allegedly “facilitating and enabling” the illegal distribution of copyrighted songs.

    • Microsoft and Google to appear in court?

      Its being reported today that Microsoft and Google are both being sued by Blue Destiny Records over facilitating and enabling copyright material on their service. In my previous coverage of file sharing, I made the point that if TPB and other tracker sites were being faced with takedown notices, shouldn’t at the very least the same be applied to search engines and their respective results since there appear to be (in some cases) a relationship between some of the sites and search engines. (IMO)

    • EA CEO: ‘I Think Of Pirates As A Marketplace

      By selling people who grab games digitally — without paying for them — post-release downloadable content.

    • Nesson Asking For Retrial In Tenenbaum Case, Claims It Was The Judge Who Screwed Up, Not Him

      From the rest of the article, it sounds like he wants a do over. He says that he wants to have a new trial where he’ll make a brand new argument: that Tenenbaum’s use was fair use because when he did the file sharing, there was no legal way to purchase that music digitally. As far as I can tell, that’s a misreading of what Gertner said might possibly work as a limited fair use claim, but there’s no indication that this is actually true in Tenenbaum’s case, and none of that addresses the basic procedural mistakes that Nesson made.

    • ‘Missed Opportunity’ In File Sharing Case? Don’t Believe It

      Tenenbaum was only the second person in the nation to be sued by the RIAA for file sharing and to take the case all the way to jury trial, making it a closely watched case. It’s not surprising he lost, given that he admitted to sharing 30 songs on Kazaa and Limewire. But a few commentators have decided that Tenenbaum’s lawyer, Harvard’s Charles Nesson, is to blame for failing to offer the nuanced “fair use” defense invited by the judge.

    • Getting Past The ‘But Artists Should Just Be Artists’ Myth

      All in all, it really helped solidify the idea that the claim that “artists just need to be artists” and shouldn’t be concerned about business models or talking to fans is really just a line used by record labels to try to gain more control over artists, at their own expense. That doesn’t mean that artists shouldn’t try to find that “5th Beatle,” to help them when it becomes necessary, but that they should make sure that whoever that 5th Beatle is, he or she is really aligned with their thinking in where they want to go with their career.

    • US Lobbyist: If Canada Just Implemented US-Style Copyright Law, US Would Drop ‘Buy American’ Provisions

      We’ve seen the ridiculous pressure that lobbyists and diplomats have been putting on Canada to put in place significantly more draconian copyright law, without any evidence that it’s needed and even though it’s opposed by the vast majority of Canadian citizens.

    • VideoSong Pioneers Pomplamoose Take on Beyonce’s “Single Ladies,” Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”

      Indie rockers Nataly Dawn and Jack Conte are pioneers in the new VideoSong movement, soon to hit a computer near you. The Stanford University graduates formed the band Pomplamoose in the summer of 2008, recording high-energy video covers of popular tunes like Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” (which was just nominated for a Song of the Year Grammy Award) and Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” Filmed and recorded out of Conte’s childhood bedroom (his old blankets double as sound dampeners on the wall), the videos make use of clever editing and split screens to show off Dawn on vocals and Conte playing one of the two-dozen instruments lying around the room.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Stormy Peters, HP open source strategist 04 (2004)


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