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12.29.09

Links 29/12/2009: GNU/Linux for Kerala Legislators, Monty Still Rushes Against Oracle

Posted in News Roundup at 9:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 141 Kerala legislators get a laptop

    Thiruvananthapuram: All 141 legislators of the state assembly were Tuesday given a brand new HCL laptop each.
    Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan handed over one laptop to Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy at the banquet hall of the state assembly.

    It is yet to be decided if the legislators would be charged for the computers, speaker of the assembly K. Radhakrishnan told.

  • Labs Outlook 2010: Oracle/Sun, Microsoft Azure, Office, Ubuntu and Chrome OS Will Make Big Waves

    Ubuntu 10.04, a.k.a. the Lucid Lynx, is set to hit the Web in April. Lucid will be Canonical’s third Long Term Support release, and I expect it to break new ground for the organization in the server space, owing in large part to its Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud functionality.

    Toward the end of the year, I expect to see devices shipping with Google’s Web-centric Chrome OS, which may well set the stage for a new batch of rich Web applications in 2011 and beyond.

  • How to Troubleshoot and Repair Your PC

    Diagnosing With Linux

    One last bit of advice. Sometimes you might suspect that a piece of hardware is defective but, you don’t have a utility available to actually test the device. For example, I had a client complaining that the network adapter on an HP workstation had gone bad. I replaced the motherboard (which had an integrated network adapter).

    When I got back into Windows I tried to access the Internet, but the network adapter still wouldn’t work. So I reloaded drivers, verified IP settings and performed numerous other tests. Still, I could not get this PC online. I concluded that something inside of Windows was causing the problem, and the only thing left to do was to reinstall Windows. The client wasn’t willing to redo a system based on a hunch, so to test my hypothesis I booted the system using an Ubuntu Live CD.

    Ubuntu Live CD is a version of the Linux-based Ubuntu operating system that runs completely off of a CD without having to install it to the PC. This let me boot into a completely different operating system on the same PC, without modifying the current Windows configuration.

  • How to get the Windows 7 look in Linux

    Getting the Windows look is only another step in the same direction. We’re going to try and ape the current generation of Windows – the newly released Windows 7 – and merge some of its features into the Linux desktop, and we’ve decided to use KDE to do it.

  • 2009: A Linux year in review

    Was 2009 the year of the Linux desktop? It’s a rather silly question, honestly, and a Google search will show that for the last number of years, there have been constant predictions that that year was the year of the Linux desktop. And, guaranteed, in January there will be more predictions that 2010 will be “the year of the Linux desktop!”

    But why this focus on a particular point in time? Recent distributions already prove that Linux is more than capable for the desktop, and this has been true for years. 2009 brought about GNOME 2.28 and KDE 4.3, both forward-progressing desktop environments. Are they perfect? Of course not. But let me pose this question: Is Windows on the desktop perfect?

    Linux on the desktop is entirely subjective: For some, the year of their Linux desktop was 2009, or last year, or the year before that. For others, Linux won’t be good enough until 2010, or 2011, or even further.

  • Why is separation between data and system files not a standard OS feature

    I’ve been wondering about this particular issue for a few years now. I’m secretly hoping that Chrome with it’s cloud based storage will finally push OS developers in the right direction and will make them start thinking about finally separating system and data files by default. Or maybe not.

  • A Bit of Welcomed Scumm on Your Linux Machine

    This might make me sound like an old fogey, but I really do miss the old games like Space Quest, The Curse of Monkey Island and Return to Zork. The problem isn’t that I don’t have the games anymore, but rather that they were designed for my 386 computer running DOS. Thankfully, I’m not alone in my fits of nostalgia. The developers over at www.scummvm.org have reproduced the “Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion” developed by Lucas Arts and packaged it into a virtual machine (thus, ScummVM). That virtual machine is open source and available for just about any platform you can imagine.

  • Server

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Browser Linux: if you thought Google Chrome was good

        BrowserLinux is a relatively new distro and has good features but not a good developer community as of yet.

      • SystemRescueCd 1.3.4 Released, Now with Linux Kernel 2.6.31.9

        François Dupoux announced on December 28th the immediate availability of the SystemRescueCd 1.3.4 operating system. The new release is powered by Linux kernel 2.6.31.9, with an updated Btrfs filesystem from Linux kernel 2.6.32 and Xorg Server 1.6.5.

      • Super OS 9.10 – Karmic Koala with Muscles

        Hacktolive.org announced today, December 29th, yet another version of their Ubuntu-based Linux distribution… with “super powers.” Super OS 9.10 (formerly known as Super Ubuntu) includes patches, tools and technologies that are missing from a standard Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) default installation.

    • Debian Family

      • Karmic Koala: What’s New in Ubuntu

        The new Karmic Koala contains more updates than any Ubuntu release in some time. Users will certainly notice one thing from the start: The system boots up much more quickly. The reworked design also stands out. While it still features the brown tones for which Ubuntu is known, it also reminds one a bit of the Mac OS interface.

      • Ubuntu Lucid Lynx: Will You Upgrade?

        At the moment Canonical seem set to release the next version of their OS in late April 2010, this latest version will be version 10.04 and is named Lucid Lynx, this is their first major release since Karmic Koala which was released in late October 2009.

      • mintCast Wallpaper Challenge [1st&2nd Place win IBM Laptop]

        I wanted to detail the the wallpaper challenge that Charles and I announced in the latest http://mintcast.org (episode 28). Please post here or email the podcast with any questions. Good Luck!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Igaware All-In-One Small Business Server

      We hooked up the appliance’s LAN and WAN ports, and from the tidy web interface set up the firewall to perform NAT on the WAN port. A failing of many competing products has been their inability to hide the underlying Linux kernel for management, but Igaware has made a good job of this, so Windows users don’t need to know about Linux.

    • Android

      • Android Phones to Challenge iPhone Supremacy

        Now bitter industry rival SK Telecom is looking to generate just as much buzz by getting out of the gate early on premium phones powered by the Google-backed Android operating system.

        SK Telecom, the country’s biggest mobile telephony operator, currently plans to release its first Android phone, produced by Motorola, sometime around mid-January, industry sources said.

      • T-Mobile G1 To Get Android OS Upgrade?

        AndroidSpin, an Android focused news site, has reported that the very first Android based smartphone, the T-Mobile G1, will be getting an over-the-air update.

        This will upgrade its software with Android 2.0 or possibly Android 2.1, which incidentally is the operating system of soon-to-launch Nexus One also know as the Google Phone.

      • First android-based tablet pc for india

        Notion Ink, a Hyderabad-based technology start-up, has developed the first touchscreen tablet which uses Google’s open source operating system Android, Nvidia’s yet-to-be launched Tegra processor chips and a power-saving display screen from the US-based fabless developer Pixel Qi.

      • Notion Ink develops India’s first touchscreen Tablet PC

        Breaking News! Notion Ink, a Hyderabad-based company, has developed the first touchscreen Tablet PC, which uses Google’s Android Open Source Operating system. The tablet PC was developed by six IITians and an MBA. It will be displayed at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show in January 2010.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Versions of Five Games You Loved as a Kid

    If you’ve got some free time on your hands this holiday season, check out these open source versions of popular games you grew up playing. They’re loads of fun, but don’t blame us if they make you a little nostalgic.

  • 26C3: GSM hacking made easy

    On Sunday 27th of December at the 26th Chaos Communication Congress (26C3) in Berlin, security researchers published open source instructions for cracking the A5/1 mobile telephony encryption algorithm and for building an IMSI catcher that intercepts mobile phone communication.

  • Open Source E-Commerce: Winners and Losers in 2009

    For the last year we have compiled monthly statistics on the top Open Source eCommerce programs, including several free or nearly-free proprietary programs that are sold for less than some OSC programs. “Open Source” means free to look at and to modify, not free of cost: about half of the top OSC programs reviewed are sold for a fee.

  • MyYearbook Speeds Web Responses

    McObject’s eXtremeDB is based on its open source system, Perst. Perst is designed to be embedded in Java, Java ME, and Microsoft .Net applications. The ExtremeDB commercial version of Perst comes in a high availability version that includes transaction logging.

    MyYearbook.com, an early user of eXtremeDB, was launched in 2005. It is also a user of the open source PostgreSQL system for relational database work, Harris said.

  • 5 ways to misunderstand Free and Open Source Software.

    2. Innovation is killed in free software.
    The common perception is that if everyone can copy ideas, innovation will be stifled. In fact, freedom is often the key to innovative and successful software.

    * Anyone is allowed and encouraged to work upon it;
    * Many people are willing to participate;
    * There is no need to re-invent everything, ideas can be improved upon directly.

    Non-proprietary software stands out in many areas: consider, to name just a few:

    * Applications: Firefox (web browser), Inkscape (vector drawing).
    * Complete systems: Apache (web server), OpenBSD (os), and of course, GNU/Linux.
    * Formats and protocols: HTML (web pages), BitTorrent (file sharing), ODF (office documents).
    * Server applications: Drupal (Content Management System), WordPress (blog).

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox 3.6 hits ice – won’t show up till Spring

      Mozilla has delayed the release of Firefox 3.6 until the first quarter of 2010.

    • Firefox Roadmap: A Look at Versions 3.6 to 4.0

      About two weeks ago, it became clear the final version of Firefox 3.6 would be pushed back to early 2010 . And we’ve known since September that Firefox 4.0 wouldn’t ship until late 2010 — although according to Mozilla’s most recent meeting notes 4.0 may be pushed back to early 2011. But while we wait for the official versions of these browsers to come out, let’s take a look at what’s in store for the world’s second-most popular browser.

  • Fog Computing

    • How the cloud could conquer the world in 2010

      Technologies such as virtualization that underlie Amazon EC2, along with open source software like MemcacheD used heavily by Facebook and other large web-shops, have been important enablers of cloud services.

    • Sun Microsystems opts for open source security for the cloud

      Rather than offer the applications to clients and leaving them to get on with the task of integrating them with cloud services, however, Sun is customising the software to work with mainstream cloud service providers such as Amazon and Eucalyptus.

  • Databases

    • Monty launches last-ditch bid to block Oracle deal

      MySQL co-creator Michael “Monty” Widenius has launched a web campaign to try and prevent Oracle from gaining ownership of the open source database which is part of the properties it acquired along with Sun Microsystems in April.

    • Monty launches frantic ‘save MySQL’ web campaign

      In a desperate last gasp bid to stop Oracle buying Sun Microsystems and its precious MySQL kit and kaboodle, the database’s co-creator – Michael ‘Monty’ Widenius – has launched a campaign to “help keep the internet free.”

    • The Quandary over Open Source Support

      If you’re like a lot of IT organizations, you’ve got servers from Hewlett-Packard, routers from Cisco, operating systems from Red Hat and Microsoft – and you may even have Solaris from Sun somewhere. For good measure let’s throw in a few databases from MySQL that occasionally take a virtual table or two from your SQL Server farms – and let’s not forget to mention the Oracle database that runs your CRM software. To top things off you’re running a slew of other open and closed source software that all together keeps your business running.

  • CMS

  • BSD

    • Why security gets no love

      There are other reasons to doubt the importance of a graphical installer as the big reason BSD Unix systems do not get the “love” that is heaped on Linux. The answer to why Linux gets more hype and attention is much more complex than that, and includes such concerns as marketing power — in large part because its community is full of people who will talk about how great it is without even understanding half of what they are saying. That is true of anything popular, and says nothing bad about Linux itself, of course.

  • Openness

    • What would my ideal school look like? Part 2

      Speaking of electronic texts, we’re talking open source here. If they don’t exist as Flexbooks or some other format that my teachers and students could easily use, then I want my teachers to be subject-matter experts who can generate open content. There, of course, is another dividend of corporate sponsorship: contribution to a growing store of high-quality educational content.

    • GENIVI Alliance to Demonstrate First Open Source-Based IVI Platform at International CES 2010

      The GENIVI Alliance, an automotive industry association driving the development and adoption of an open in-vehicle Infotainment (IVI) reference platform, will be demonstrating the initial implementation of the GENIVI 1.0 platform in Las Vegas during International CES 2010, January 7th – 10th.

Leftovers

  • Five Critical Flaws in the Senate Health Care Bill

    Of course, these aren’t the only problems with the bill. Most glaringly, both the Senate and House bill would leave millions uninsured,6 a far cry from the vision of universal coverage so many of us have fought for. That remains a long-term goal.

  • Technology Predictions Are Mostly Bunk

    ‘Tis the season for predictions, so “Information Age” bravely goes out on this limb: Most technology predictions for 2010 won’t come true. The more we learn about how innovation happens, the less straight the lines of advance look.

    “Inventions have long since reached their limit, and I see no hope for further developments,” said Roman engineer Julius Sextus Frontinus in 10 A.D. This end-of-progress view has been echoed many times, including by Charles Duell, commissioner for the U.S. Patent Office, who in 1899 said, “Everything that can be invented has already been invented.”

  • The Future of Unix Standards: Unix 10?

    For the last 40 years, Unix operating systems have helped to power mission-critical IT operations around the globe. Now, as Unix enters middle age, its backers are busily developing the new specifications that they hope will carry the OS forward into the next age of computing.

  • How Facebook is struggling to lay out Zuckerberg’s vision

    I spoke to a number of people quoted in the article, but I thought it was also worth sharing at length what Chris Messina, a designer and open source advocate, told me.

  • Security

    • U.S. Intelligence Found Iran Nuke Document Was Forged

      U.S. intelligence has concluded that the document published recently by the Times of London, which purportedly describes an Iranian plan to do experiments on what the newspaper described as a “neutron initiator” for an atomic weapon, is a fabrication, according to a former Central Intelligence Agency official.

  • Environment

    • Blame Denmark, not China, for Copenhagen failure

      It’s been several days since the chaotic end to the Copenhagen climate conference but the aftershocks from its failure are still reverberating. As John Prescott points out in his letter to the Guardian, the pointing of fingers in the blame game does not help the regaining of trust needed for the positive resumption of talks early next year and to complete them by December 2010, the new deadline agreed to in Copenhagen.

    • We cannot change the world by changing our buying habits

      The researchers call this the “licensing effect”. Buying green can establish the moral credentials that license subsequent bad behaviour: the rosier your view of yourself, the more likely you are to hoard your money and do down other people.

      Then they took another bunch of students, gave them the same purchasing choices, then introduced them to a game in which they made money by describing a pattern of dots on a computer screen. If there were more dots on the right than the left they made more money. Afterwards they were asked to count the money they had earned out of an envelope.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf

    • Immaculate deception, part 2: Chemical industry front group calls for ban on bisphenol A

      Listen, and you’ll hear a spokesperson for the new Helena, MT, chapter of the Coalition for Chemical Safety being interviewed while handing out Coalition literature in the state capitol rotunda during an event organized by the chapter. She describes her concern as a mom over the use of BPA in kids’ products, and even criticizes the Food and Drug Administration’s past reliance only on industry studies to conclude BPA is safe. You’ll also hear the reporter note that the Coalition wants to “ban BPA and other chemicals that could be harmful.”

    • FutureGen lobbying efforts continuing in Springfield

      Building an experimental power plant in Illinois isn’t just about finding land, erecting a facility and flipping a switch.

      Just as Illinois taxpayers were billed more than $450,000 for Washington D.C.-based lobbying efforts to bring the high-tech, coal-fired FutureGen facility to Mattoon, the FutureGen Alliance is now spending money to lobby state lawmakers and the Quinn administration in Springfield.

      Their task: Convince the state to buy all the electricity the plant produces. Such a move would help FutureGen secure federal funding needed to build the near zero-emissions plant.

    • Health Lobby Takes Fight to the States

      Like about a dozen other states, Florida is debating a proposed amendment to its state constitution that would try to block, at least symbolically, much of the proposed federal health care overhaul on the grounds that it tramples individual liberty.

  • Censorship/Civil Rights

    • Canada Successfully Destroys Parody Websites

      The government of Canada has used strong-arm tactics to shut down two parody websites criticizing Canada’s poor environmental policy, taking down 4500 other websites in the process.

      The two websites, “enviro-canada.ca” and “ec-gc.ca”, are “directly connected to a hoax which misleads people into believing that the Government of Canada will take certain actions in relation to environmental matters,” wrote Mike Landreville from Environment Canada in an email to the German Internet Service Provider (ISP) Serverloft. “We trust you appreciate the importance of avoiding confusion among the public concerning Canadian governmental affairs and that you will assist us in preventing this hoax from spreading further.”

    • Court orders three H-1B sites disabled

      A New Jersey judge has ordered the shutdown of three H-1B opposition Web sites and seeks information about the identity of anonymous posters.

      On Dec. 23, Middlesex County Superior Court Judge James Hurley ordered firms that register domains and provide hosting services — GoDaddy Inc., Network Solutions, Comcast Cable Communications Inc. and DiscountASP.Net, to disable the three sites, ITgrunt.com, Endh1b.com, and Guestworkerfraud.com. Facebook Inc. was also ordered to disable ITgrunt’s Facebook page.

    • Wikileaks suspends ops to launch pledge drive

      The whistle blowing site is taking time out until 6 January to ask for support in many forms, not just donations. Wikileaks is appealing for help from volunteer coders, offers of free legal assistance and hosting support as well as cash donations. The site has promised not to accept corporate or government finance in order to protect its integrity.

    • Russia to prosecute YouTube police whistleblower

      A former policeman who accused senior officers of corruption in a series of video blogs will himself face prosecution for abuse of office, Russian investigators said on Monday.

      Former police major Alexei Dymovsky became a household name in Russia earlier this year when he used YouTube to appeal to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to tackle corruption in the police force.

      A criminal case will be brought against Dymovsky for “fraud committed by a person using his official position,” the Prosecutor-General’s investigative committee said in a statement. It gave no further details.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Joerg Heilig, Sun Microsystems Senior Engineering Director talks about OpenOffice.org 15 (2004)


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

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: December 29th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 8:05 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 Racketeering with Patents and Abolition of Software Patents Reexamined

Posted in Asia, Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, IBM, Kernel, Law, Microsoft, OIN, Patents, TomTom at 4:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“That’s extortion and we should call it what it is. To say, as Ballmer did, that there is undisclosed balance sheet liability, that’s just extortion and we should refuse to get drawn into that game.”

Mark Shuttleworth

Ballmer on patents

Summary: Why Microsoft’s “extortion” is a serious offence that mustn’t be overlooked; How Free software deals with software patents at present

CHIN Wong from the Philippines is an excellent journalist, but in his latest column he seems to have gotten soft on Microsoft. In writing about Steve Ballmer's potential departure he asserts the following about software patents:

Would you fire Steve Ballmer?

[...]

A US federal appeals court upheld a $290-million judgment against Microsoft Corp. and ordered it to stop selling MS Word unless it removed code that violated the software patent of an obscure Canadian company, i4i, that sued it in Texas and won.

The ruling is ironic, given Microsoft’s use of software patents earlier this year to bludgeon TomTom, a Dutch maker of car navigation systems, into settling over its use of the Linux kernel. Ballmer has bellicosely proclaimed that the kernel violates several Microsoft’s patents and has threatened to sue developers and users alike over its use. The company’s suit against TomTom in February was the first time it tried to enforce these patents against the Linux platform.

The author focuses on the TomTom case but misses the more important point about Microsoft using racketeering tactics, which ought to send people like Steve Ballmer to prison (and bring Bill Gates back to court for crimes that he too had helped commit and initiate).

Over in India, a new article from Shree Lahiri makes the decent proposition that “Freedom of software [should be treated as] our birthright” and he also acknowledges Richard Stallman, crediting him in part for the protests against software patents. Lahiri writes:

Freedom of software is our birthright

[...]

Tracing the history of free software, Abhijit said, “In 1984, Richard Stallman started the Free Software Foundation and spent most of his time advocating for free software, as well as campaigning against both software patents and what he sees as excessive extension of copyright laws.”

Speaking of Stallman’s contribution to saner law, where are OIN, Linux Foundation and other IBM fronts when it comes to just abolishing software patents? They have other strategies in mind. The FSF and FFII seem to be among very few who are actively committed to the cause. The EFF’s squashing strategy and Peer2Patent’s gardening or voluntary peer review process are still considered somewhat controversial. Here is a new article from The Register that in some way legitimises software patents for the same reason; by labeling them “good” and “bad” (mostly bad) it tacitly claims that some of these patents are acceptable. OIN very explicitly takes this point of view, whereas for Peer2Patent it is still just implicit.

The best (of the worst) patent claims of 2009

[...]

El Reg is always eager to lap up the sad, eerie, and unusual of the bunch as they fall into our sights. We’ve gathered up a few of our 2009 favorites published in honor of the year’s end.

A patent is a monopoly, based on the words of the head of the USPTO. Schools rhetorically teach that monopolies are harmful to capitalism, so what gives? More importantly, why is there no police involvement when these monopolies are (mis)used for racketeering [1, 2]? To ignore this is to accept that Microsoft is above the law.

“IP is often compared to physical property rights but knowledge is fundamentally different.”

IP Watch on Professor Joseph Stiglitz

Seattle-based PCC Natural Markets Slams the Gates Foundation for Its Monsanto Agenda

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, Microsoft at 4:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Baphomet

Summary: Latest dissenting perspectives on the acts of the Gates Foundation, which is looking to exploit the world’s poor

FOR those requiring background, Gates and Rockefeller are promoting the monopolisation of African agriculture (Gates is also pushing this in India right now) under the euphemistic banner “Green Revolution”. With very large investments in a brutal monopolist called Monsanto, those super-affluent families advance an agenda whereby they will make a nice profit. It is another nice monopoly for them, but this one is disguised as charity and those to take the blame are over at Monsanto — robbing and extorting the world’s poorest farmers. We have provided proof for these claims in some of the posts listed at the bottom.

Adding to the protests against the Gates Foundation for its promotion and financing of Monsanto, we now have PCC. The Seattle Times quotes PCC’s complaint as follows:

The Gates Foundation is getting some criticism from a local food co-op for supporting research into genetically modified crops to increase production in Africa.

PCC Natural Markets, the Seattle-based food co-operative, published a letter and editor’s note this month taking a strong stance against genetic engineering of food.

“I caution the organic community to be watchful of this NEW Green Revolution, especially since The Gates Foundation science and technology efforts are led by a former Monsanto researcher,”
Dennis L. Weaver wrote in PCC’s Sound Consumer.

“The Gates Foundation apparently is pushing genetically modified crops on African farmers,” PCC editor Trudy Bialic added. She cited a $42 million Gates grant to a project involving Monsanto to produce corn resistant to drought “even though genetic engineering has failed to increase crop yields significantly, despite 20 years of research.”

[...]

But the local reaction reveals ongoing skepticism, even among an audience generally not at odds with Gates philanthropy.

“The organic community cannot buy into Bill’s call to ‘Let’s just all hold hands, sing kumbaya, hug, air-kiss and “‘get over” past “ideological” divides,’ ” Weaver wrote to PCC.

“I don’t know exactly what is motivating the Gates Foundation to buy into the propaganda,” Bialic said. “I think it’s an ideology that technology can save the world.”

As GatesKeepers put it, “Gates Foundation’s hometown newspaper [is] continuing to publish dissenting news and views on the activities of the local Leviathan.”

  1. With Microsoft Monopoly in Check, Bill Gates Proceeds to Creating More Monopolies
  2. Gates-Backed Company Accused of Monopoly Abuse and Investigated
  3. How the Gates Foundation Privatises Africa
  4. Reader’s Article: The Gates Foundation and Genetically-Modified Foods
  5. Monsanto: The Microsoft of Food
  6. Seeds of Doubt in Bill Gates Investments
  7. Gates Foundation Accused of Faking/Fabricating Data to Advance Political Goals
  8. More Dubious Practices from the Gates Foundation
  9. Video Transcript of Vandana Shiva on Insane Patents
  10. Explanation of What Bill Gates’ Patent Investments Do to Developing World
  11. Black Friday Film: What the Bill Gates-Backed Monsanto Does to Animals, Farmers, Food, and Patent Systems
  12. Gates Foundation Looking to Destroy Kenya with Intellectual Monopolies
  13. Young Napoleon Comes to Africa and Told Off
  14. Bill Gates Takes His GMO Patent Investments/Experiments to India
  15. Gates/Microsoft Tax Dodge and Agriculture Monopoly Revisited
  16. Beyond the ‘Public Relations’
  17. UK Intellectual Monopoly Office (UK-IPO) May be Breaking the Law
  18. “Boycott Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in China”
  19. Patents Roundup: Software Patents and ACTA at STOA, Gates-backed Monsanto Wants to Own Mexico’s Food Supply
  20. Gates Foundation Funds Literature Supportive of Its Objectives
  21. Bill Gates Tightens Information/Agriculture Grip on Africa by Funding African Journalists, Expanding to India
  22. The Gates Foundation Extends Control Over Communication with Oxfam Relationship

Organisation of Site Contents

Posted in Site News at 3:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell Santa

Summary: Christmas was an opportunity to reorganise; here are some more changes

WE are still tidying up by going through old posts and organising them under common umbrellas, hence the lack of regular activity in the front page.

The latest additions (pages) in our Wiki are:

Such pages are usually created at the request/suggestion of readers. If there is any accumulative/cumulative page worth adding and maintaining, please holler. Each post tends to contain several external links in order to provide centralised points of reference. The Web site’s main function if gathering and grouping of sources which establish facts.

DRI CEO: “The Biggest Risk Was That Microsoft Would Come Hell-Bent to Destroy Us… Not Necessarily by Competing”

Posted in Antitrust, Bill Gates, IBM, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Steve Ballmer, Videos at 3:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Testimony with Richard Williams and what Novell could learn from him

ONE of our readers has suggested that we keep record of the following Richard Williams (DRI) testimony, which may come handy in the future. He speaks about Microsoft’s demeaning and disrespectful approach. Later on he worked for Novell, for obvious reasons.

Williams explains that Microsoft tried to buy out the product and make it seem like a licensing deal (i.e. pretending), then implicitly telling DRI to turn to another market. It’s basically the paying for a competitor to leave the market and assessing/accesssing all the source code first (shades of i4i). Williams never had such experiences when he worked for IBM, he argues.


Direct link

Unintentionally, he may also include a little piece of advice there for Novell, and particularly the Mono folks. He says: “I wasn’t interested in doing clone. The risk I saw in doing a clone was that all you’ve really done is you reproduced something good or bad… and you take all risks inherent then with reproducing that other people’s product.”

Speaking of Mono, “Justin” from Linux Today argues that Microsoft’s Muglia silences de Icaza:

There was an recent article on Software Development Times (Dec 15, 2009), that reported on the last Microsoft Professional Developers Conference. It says that Ozzie and Muglia “were insistent that Silverlight was part of the open Web. They pointed to Mono Moonlight as an example”.

Yup, as Mono oposers have said from day 1, Mono, and now Silverlight, server MS as a way to validate their offerings. They give credence to their claims that they are now being “open” and that their proprietary offerings should be given equal consideration by governments seeking to standardize on open solutions.

Interestingly, Miguel de Icaza was there and raised his head to chime in saying that “he wanted Microsoft to go a step further by contributing technology to ECMA International”. Wow, either he is very naive or he really does not get it. Any way, Muglia quickly quieted him down by saying that “Microsoft was trying to balance standards with its ability to rapidly innovate the Silverlight platform”. That was all it took. Go on dreaming Miguel.

Thanks to Novell (especially Moonlight), Microsoft is willing to describe Silver Lie as “open” [1, 2] (and the same with .NET, because of Mono).

Links 29/12/2009: Google Nexus One and Netbook Details Leak

Posted in News Roundup at 9:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Mean Time To Repair

    The article admitted that the #2 and #3 “application programs” (“Adobe” and “Microsoft”) reported were “closed source” and that “open source” programs tend to show all the blemishes, not just the ones reported by their customers, and reflected back through visible reports by the companies. To be even fairer, I would point out that comparing “Firefox” with all of the applications that Adobe has and all of the applications Microsoft has is a bit like apples and oranges….but that is not the main concept I will try to get across in this blog entry.

  • A New HDR Benchmark Is Coming To Linux

    This new benchmark, which can be found in the Phoronix Test Suite once its released, will focus on SDR/HDR performance. This should end up being a rather nice test profile as right now it’s completely slaughtering the ASUS Eee PC 1201N and other systems being tested remotely through Phoromatic.

  • Psystar Giving Up Mac in Favor of Linux

    Mac clone maker Psystar is retrenching after succumbing to a barrage of copyright litigation brought by Apple, abandoning its Mac offerings in favor of a move toward Linux systems.

  • Server

    • SGI inks deal for Tasmanian cluster

      Supercomputer maker Silicon Graphics has inked a deal to build the Tasmanian Partnership for Advanced Computing – which has the rap name TPAC – at the University of Tasmania on the eponymous Australian island state. The gig: creating a new x64-Linux cluster for climate research.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Entropy in 2010: here we are (almost)!

      So, we’re close to 2010 and Entropy is about to celebrate its third birthday. It’s been a very long road, full of obstacles but hey, we’re getting closer to 1.0! 2010 will be the year of Entropy 1.0 bringing a basic set of features and ideas tossed into the wild software jungle.

    • Linux Wizard – Mandriva: Nine Priorities for Mandriva Incoming CEO

      As everybody^wnobody know, Hervé YAHI is no longer the CEO of Mandriva. So I decide to rip off an article from The VAR Guy to issue an open letter to the Mandriva direction. So here are 9 priorities for the new Mandriva staff

    • Sabayon 5.1 Gamers Linux Screenshots

      The games you see in the screenshot above are all included by default on Sabayon 5,1 Gamers live DVD. Some popular titles include Battle of Wesnoth, Foobillard, Freeciv, Frozen Bubble, GNOME Games, NeverBall, Nexuiz, OpenArena, Pingus, Pychess, Scorched 3D, Spring, Stepmania, Torcs, Tremulous, Warsow, Warzone 2100, and Wormux.

      Here’s some screenshots from Sabayon 5.1 Gamers

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • 2010: The year of Ubuntu Inclusiveness

        If I was forced to provide some quantitative milestones for Ubuntu Women, I would probably offer, along with a grain of salt:

        * Break 5% of Ubuntu Membership held by women (currently 4-point-something)
        * Increase Women ~ubuntu-dev membership by 50% (from 4 to 6)
        * Increase Women ~ubuntu-core-dev membership by 100% (from 1 to 2, because dealing in fractions of people is illegal in most places)
        * Increase active mentors by 100%

        Since these are supposed to be figures for the inaugural term of 6 months, the success of these figures relies fairly heavily upon women who are already involved. This is a critical caveat. Incentives to take the first step to participation, counsel and mentoring will be the most important activities Ubuntu Women undertakes, and will set up the opportunity to aim for better milestones beyond the inaugural 6 month term.

      • Retrospect on Ubuntu in 2009

        All in all, 2009 was not a revolutionary year for the Ubuntu community. There was no LTS release, as there was in 2008 and will be in 2010, and the focus was on incremental development.

        Nonetheless, it’s clear that Ubuntu gained some useful new features, and the community received interesting news, in 2009. Let’s hope the improvements we’ve seen in the last year solidify and expand going into 2010 and the Lucid release next April.

      • Ubuntu as an Internet Client

        Ubuntu actually does all right by these criteria, so perhaps to some degree the conflation of “Internet” and “Web” is driven by the complexities of installing third party apps on Windows, and all of the problems this can cause one’s computer as different versions of shared libraries and such are copied in.

        [...]

        Ultimately, I suppose that I would love it if LifeArea had the Gwibber-like ability to post. There are still other posting tools to try in any case, so I may find one yet. I’m installing Drivel atm.

      • Ubuntu, which direction are you heading?

        But you can’t beat Windows by offering a Windows-looking clone. Because people will still want their Office and their whatever. You may claim that people will have a free Windows alternative available and will flock to it. Well, they already have a free Windows alternative. It’s called pirated Windows and it’s rampant.

      • Ubuntu and Mozilla: The inevitable alliance.

        Speculation is a part of technical news as prophecy is to religion. Its only important, valid or genius if it turns out to be true. However, we dare not have technical news without any speculation at all since this will surely hinder the creativeness of individuals and corporations to explore avenues influenced by ideas expressed in speculation. If any of that made sense to you, good. Because this was the reasoning I used in order to explore and develop the idea to create this article. In other words I have no factual evidence that anything of the sort would occur.

        [...]

        If Mozilla and Ubuntu/Canonical pulled together they should have enough combined resources to really compete in the market place with Google or anyone else. However they can not sit still and do nothing because other larger companies will push them out of the market they helped create. Now is not the time to “See what happens”. Its time to prepare for the future and make essential friends.

      • Where The Heck are all the Ubuntu Games?

        There you have it, you now know the secret of where all the Ubuntu games are. It’s just a matter of searching before you find a game you want.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Not all ereaders are the same

      As we count down to end of 2009, the emerging star of this year’s holiday shopping season is shaping up to be the electronic book reader (or e-reader). From Amazon’s Kindle to Barnes and Noble’s forthcoming Nook, e-readers are starting to transform how we buy and read books in the same way mp3s changed how we buy and listen to music.

    • Openmoko’s WikiReader

      Openmoko, the company that first gained attention for its Linux-based phone platform, launched a new pocket-sized open source product in time for this holiday season, the WikiReader. The WikiReader is an inexpensive ($99), low-power, 4-inch square touchscreen LCD display device pre-loaded with the text of three million Wikipedia pages on a microSD card. In the smartphone era, skeptics might dismiss the device as woefully underpowered, but to the open source community the more pertinent question is what else can it do?

      [...]

      For today, however, the product makes for a fun stocking stuffer for the family hacker. Openmoko is positioning the device in its advertising as a way to get content into the hands of the “75% of the world [that] is offline” — including people in airplanes or on beaches, and “most everywhere.” The WikiReader certainly does that; several online reviews have praised its value in museums and tourist locations, where data plan charges would make a connected device prohibitively expensive to operate.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Ready or not, 2010 could be the year of the smartbooks

        For the past 12 months or so, we’ve heard a lot of talk about mini-laptops running ARM-based processors. These so-called “smartbooks” feature low power ARM processors which means that while they can’t run Windows XP or 7, they can run Linux, last for a very long time on a charge, and some feature integrated 3G connectivity and HD video acceleration features. You also get the ability to receive emails, instant messages, and other data even while the computer is in sleep mode. In other words, they’re like a cross between a smartphone and a netbook, which explains the whole “smartbook” name.

      • New Asus ‘Pinetrail’ netbooks top 10 hour battery life

        Asus’ upgraded Eee PC netbooks sport Intel’s new Atom N450 processor for over ten hours battery life, plus the quick loading ‘Splashtop’ pre-boot Linux OS.

      • Denial

        All over the web are warnings that netbooks are doomed.

        [...]

        No. This is about wishful thinking by the monopolists who need high retail prices to hide the price of their part of the PC, CPUs and licences for software. If prices for netbooks rise, fewer will be sold. Fortunately entrepreneurs all over the world continue to make less expensive netbooks. ARM will dominate netbooks in 2010. You can trade a lot of day-long battery-life for some hair-drying CPUs anytime.

      • White-Box Foxconn Netbooks Surface at FCC

        The rather interesting element is the fact that these are white-box models. This means that the devices will bear the brands of other companies, which implies that Foxconn may have already completed its marketing plans concerning the PCs. If the company has already decided on which companies will sell its product, the actual availability may ramp up over the next couple of months or so.

      • NorhTec Gecko Edubook first look: Netbook that runs on AA batteries

        I mean sure, it has an 8.9 inch 1024 x 600 pixel display and can run Windows or Linux.

      • Google

        • Speculative Googlenetbook specs surface

          Rumors of a Googlebook mirror the speculation that preceded the emergence earlier this month of Mountain View’s HTC-manufactured, Android-powered Nexus One smartphone.

        • Google Chrome Netbook Specifications?

          An Nvidia Tegra chipset (given the late 2010 rumoured release one guesses Tegra 2.0) powered by an ARM CPU and replete with 64GB SSD and 2GB RAM will drive a 10.1 inch HD-ready, 1,280 x 720 resolution touchscreen screened device. The usual array of extras such as WiFi and 3G, Bluetooth and Ethernet are also on the reported tech spec list.

        • Google Chrome OS-based netbook tech specs are out

          Believe it or not – the tech specs of the rumoured Google Chrome OS-based netbook are already out and by the sound of it, the netbook looks to me like a high performance machine.

        • Google’s Chrome-based Netbook Will Be Loaded with Features

          This netbook will reportedly have a 64 GB solid-state hard drive and 2 GB of RAM.

        • Rumors about the ‘leaked’ specs of Google Chrome OS netbook

          Furthermore, the netbook will also probably be powered by an ARM CPU, and will feature Nvidia’s Tegra system-on-a-chip for notably enhancing the audio and video capabilities of the device. However, it is not certain whether all the upcoming Chrome OS-based netbooks will strictly adhere to the rumored specs.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Predictions for 2010

    Open source is already solidly main stream – 2010 will see that become more obvious to more people.

  • 5 Open Source companies that will rule the post-ERP world

    Proprietary ERP companies make connecting to ERP complex. Like Edison and Tesla, they don’t work well with competing systems. Conversely, open source is about unifying things.

  • Etherpad source includes JSMin, which Google Code doesn’t allow

    Last week, Google banned my PHP port of JSMin from Google Code due to a quibble over a line in the license stating that “The Software shall be used for Good, not Evil”, which they believe makes the license non-free. When I asked Google’s Chris DiBona whether all Google Code projects including JSMin would be subject to bans due to this clause in the license, he replied, “Sadly, yes”.

  • JSMin isn’t welcome on Google Code

    Google’s Chris DiBona emailed me this morning to tell me that unless I removed a specific line from the license of my jsmin-php project (a PHP port of Douglas Crockford’s JSMin), Google Code would no longer host the project.

  • Databases

  • CMS

    • Grammys using Drupal

      After the Emmys, the Grammys are onto it as well. That is, the new Grammy.com is using Drupal — and Pressflow to be specific. The Grammy Awards, or Grammys, are presented annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for outstanding achievements in the music industry. Cool!

  • Openness

    • Crowdsourcing: Is There Wisdom In A Mob?

      Most of the offers can be broadly categorized into collective intelligence, crowd-creation, voting/opinion and research. Procter & Gamble’s NPD program Connect + Develop, My Starbucks Idea and AT&T’s “Mark the spot” are all great examples of collective intelligence and, of course, everyone knows about Linux. They harness the power of interested parties to provide ideas and thoughts as they happen, like a permanent, active, feedback loop.

  • Applications

    • The Maker Web Project Helper

      The Maker 1.0 is ready for download from the project page in versions for Windows, Mac OS X and Python source code for Linux. The license is GPLv3.

    • Icinga Core 1.0 Stable & Icinga Web 0.9.1 alpha released!

      Today the Icinga Team releases the Icinga Core 1.0. This is a milestone for both the team and the project as a whole. After many months of hard work we are proud to bring you a stable, alternative monitoring solution. This release includes many changes as suggested by the community and in particular the inclusion of Oracle in IDOUtils.

Leftovers

  • The Top 10 Science Stories of 2009 [Slide Show]

    The H1N1 pandemic, the Copenhagen climate talks, the restart of the world’s biggest experimental device—2009 sped by many scientifically relevant mile markers. The year also celebrated several important past events: It saw the bicentennial of Charles Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his Origin of Species; the 40th anniversary of the first humans on another world; and the 400th of Galileo’s report that proved not all heavenly bodies circle the Earth. The year also marked the first occasion in which the science Nobel Prize committee honored more than one woman—four, in fact.

  • Security

    • Secret mobile phone codes cracked

      A German computer scientist has published details of the secret code used to protect the conversations of more than 4bn mobile phone users.

      Karsten Nohl, working with other experts, has spent the past five months cracking the algorithm used to encrypt calls using GSM technology.

  • Finance

    • Gripping Reality: Sorkin’s Too Big to Fail

      Through the detailed and vivid conversations, you get the keen sense of overwhelming desperation and preservation that overtakes the executives of the sinking financial system. Some of the chief participants failed, some were triumphant, and some were pathetically bailed out. History will ultimately be the true arbiter of whether government and Wall Street averted, mitigated, postponed, or contributed to the financial collapse. Regardless, Sorkin brilliantly encapsulates this emotional panicked period in our history that will never be erased.

    • Shenzhen Nanshan Refuses Goldman Demand for Payment (Update2)

      Shenzhen Nanshan is among 68 Chinese state-controlled companies including China Eastern Air Holding Co. and China National Aviation Holding Co. that lost money on derivative products sold by banks including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch & Co. and Citigroup Inc., according to the State- owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.

    • Goldman Sachs and Others Investigated for Betting Against Securities They Created

      Betting against their own securities has prompted numerous investigations of Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street institutions. Prior to the financial collapse, Goldman and others figured out a way to package risky securities, such as subprime mortgages, and sell them to investors who were told they were buying sound investments. Little did the investors know that the firms selling the synthetic collateralized debt obligations (or CDOs) turned around and bet that the CDOs would fail—costing pension funds and insurance companies billions of dollars.

    • Goldman Sachs and Others Investigated for Betting Against Securities They Created
    • Goldman Sachs and Others Investigated for Betting Against Securities They Created
    • Goldman Sachs Mortgage Bets Said to Draw Probe by Regulators

      The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and brokerage regulators are examining how Wall Street firms bet against mortgage-linked securities to profit as their clients took losses, people familiar with the matter said.

      The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which polices broker-dealers, is looking into whether firms such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. broke rules when selling products known as synthetic collateralized debt obligations, one of the people said. The people declined to be identified because the inquiry is confidential.

    • In the FT’s parallel universe, Goldman Sachs boss is the hero of 2009

      How charitable. This is the bank that intends to distribute about $22bn in remuneration to its employees this year – more than $700,000 each – at the height of the worst recession since the war. Money, of course, partly earned through government support of the US banking sector paid for with taxpayers’ funds.

    • New York Needs Wall Street

      But Obama, unlike Paterson, is being disingenuous; aside from a few snotty remarks, the president hasn’t done much to get the banks lending right now. In fact, his policies have fostered an environment that allows Wall Street to make money — bundles of it as demonstrated by Goldman Sachs’ $20 billion bonus pool — at the expense of helping Main Street. Obama has supported Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke’s near-zero interest rate policy; he’s basically declared every big bank Too Big To Fail, meaning the federal government will save the likes of Goldman Sachs if it should somehow bet wrong in the trading markets, as it did last year.

    • Saving Goldman Sachs: The Lender as Sucker in High Finance

      Fast forward 20 years and switch from Salomon Brothers to Goldman Sachs. At this time, Goldman sellers were offering their customers a new product, “synthetic collateralized debt obligations.” Synthetic CDOs allowed the buyers to bet heavily on the continued health of the housing market. In a synthetic CDO, however, Goldman was fundamentally making the opposite bet. The buyers were in essence an insurance company. They received regular payments from Goldman as long as the housing market improved. These payments were analogous to the premiums paid on an insurance policy. Like an insurance company, however, the investors were also on the hook for a big payout if the housing market collapsed. Which it did. (For more details, see “Banks Bundled Bad Debt, Bet Against It and Won.”)

    • Being Goldman Sachs XII

      This choice says a lot about the malaise in global finance. It also seems to say a lot about the “collusion” of media and big business and their desire to pull the wool over the eyes of sane people everywhere–sort of like Blankfein’s words that the investment bank was “doing God’s work.”

    • Reuters Blogger Questions Reuters Editorial Actions: Transparency In Action

      Well, here’s an interesting one. There were reports last week claiming that Reuters had spiked a story about hedge fund big shot Steven Cohen after Cohen complained to Reuters management. While Reuters has since strongly denied the charge, it is interesting to note (as sent in by reader JJ) that at least one Reuters blogger complained quite vocally about this decision.

    • Reuters kills hedge fund story after pressure

      Reuters editors last week killed a story by investigative reporter Matthew Goldstein about hedge fund trader Steven Cohen after Cohen complained to top Thomson Reuters executives that he was being persecuted by the news agency’s reporting, sources at Reuters said.

      Goldstein’s story was an “incremental” advance in the reports swirling around Cohen that he engaged in insider trading during the 1980s, Reuters sources said. There have been reports that Cohen is next in the sights of the SEC following the Galleon case, which featured SEC wiretapping the conversations of hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam.

    • The Past and Future Decade in Business at a Glance

      What else will shape the housing market in the next decade? One of the biggest questions is how the government will extricate itself from control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The two companies, which were on the brink of failure in the fall of 2008 and seized by the government, own or guarantee about half of all home mortgages.

    • Stimulus timing

      Finally, you can ask, how much of the stimulus money has been spent? For that you want to look at “Cumulative”, and compare it with the final total for that column.

      [...]

      And when the spending begins to tail off, the effect on growth turns negative.

    • Brace for a “Jobless Decade”

      By any measure, the last decade was a rotten one. It started with a stolen election and the worst terrorist attack in American history. It is ending this week with the United States mired in two wars and deep into a catastrophic recession.

      It’s hard to imagine that the next decade could be worse, but could it?

      There are worrisome signs. An increasing number of economists are saying that without major government intervention, the next ten years could be a “jobless decade.” “It will be the mother of all jobless recoveries,” predicts economic historian John Steel Gordon.

      [...]

      While the stimulus package passed by Congress was big and slowed the pace of job loss, the problem was even bigger. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that the Obama stimulus bill has created or saved between 170,000 and 235,000 jobs per month starting in the second quarter of 2009. Yet, Princeton economist Paul Krugman says that the country would have to produce an additional 300,000 jobs per month for five years to achieve full employment.

  • PR/AstroTurf

    • Senate Health Reform Bill Benefits Big Pharma While Forsaking Cheaper Generic Drugs

      Despite proclaiming a need to cut medical costs, the Senate health care reform bill contains a provision that will benefit large drug companies while hurting manufacturers of generic drugs. As it is now written, the bill will keep less-expensive generic drugs from entering the market for fully 12 years, far longer than the five to seven years President Barack Obama had advocated.

    • Generics chafe under big pharma’s reform shadow

      The massive U.S. Senate healthcare reform measure passed on Thursday with support from the multibillion drug industry, but makers of cheaper generic rivals are feeling left out in the cold.

  • Censorship/Civil Rights

    • Demi Moore’s lawyers threaten Boing Boing over photo analysis blog post

      And here is Boing Boing’s response to Ms. Moore’s attorneys (PDF), prepared by Marc Mayer of the law firm MS&K. The letter is a thing of beauty, and I encourage you to read it in full.

      The letter from Moore’s attorney, Martin D. (“Marty”) Singer, claims that we set out to slander Moore (Boing Boing did not, nor did Mr. Citrano). The letter also includes denials from people involved in the production of the W Magazine cover who insist that the image was not manipulated at all.

      Since receiving this letter, we have discovered that an alternate, and seemingly more anatomically correct version of the W magazine cover (with more hip-flesh) was published in W’s South Korean edition. We have also been informed that Ms. Moore’s attorneys have sent similar letters to other blogs that discussed the possible digital alteration of the US cover image. The story is now being covered by a number of other news organizations and blogs.

  • Internet/Web Abuse/DRM

    • ISPs Won’t Give You Broadband, Won’t let Anyone Else, Either

      Many ISPs fail to expand broadband to all of their potential customers, which is sometimes understandable given the expense. However, we’ve documented countless times how those same ISPs often then lobby to have laws passed or engage in sleazy activities to prevent those towns and cities — or anyone else — from wiring those un-served regions. ISPs get their cake and eat it too — saving money on expansion, while avoiding a future competitor should the local incumbent someday change their mind and decide to service that market. It shouldn’t work that way — but it does, and all too often.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Nine Inch Nails Fans Create Incredible Live DVD From Footage: Encourage Everyone To Share Widely

      But Bittorrent can’t be used for any legitimate purpose, right? And musicians can’t possibly embrace what the technology allows? Once again, we’re seeing why those who embrace what technology allows will do just fine moving forward. It’s only those who think that the answer is to bring out the lawyers and try to hold back progress who will find themselves struggling to create business models that work.

    • 5 Legal Cases That Defined Music in 2009

      Almost a decade after the major labels launched their legal assault on Napster, courts are still writing the rules of the road for the music business’s digital future.

    • Barry the Inaccurate

      Barry Sookman’s most recent post titled Toying with funny math to downplay Canada’s role as a piracy haven is, at best, inaccurate. Since I’m suffering from a nasty head cold I’m only going to cover the most noticeable errors – and then go back to suffering.

      In paragraph three, Barry claims that Mininova is down. A quick visit to the site shows that he is in error, that Mininova is still in operation. He also claims that the court ordered it shut down. This is incorrect. The court ordered that certain torrents be removed. Nothing more. Nothing less.

      In paragraph four, Barry claims that a court ordered that the The Pirate Bay be shut down. He does not mention that an appeal has been filed. In a later paragraph he claims that The Pirate Bay will be shut down shortly, however the shut down order is on hold until the appeal is complete. To the best of my knowledge a court date has not been picked as yet, and since the shut down cannot take effect until after the appeal, his claim that it will be shut down shortly is specious at best.

    • Where Do My Music Rights Start and Stop?

      In an effort to be subversive, I forwarded the email to Fred with a note that said “Wild how the music licensing stuff is stupid.” He responded immediately with “Yup. Rights holders fuck everything up.” I wonder what the machines think of that?

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Joerg Heilig, Sun Microsystems Senior Engineering Director talks about OpenOffice.org 14 (2004)


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

Mandriva with KDE4: Video Demo

Posted in GNU/Linux, KDE, Mandriva, Videos at 5:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A demo from last year shows the fun of working with GNU/Linux


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