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Links 14/1/2010: Many New Android Gadgets

Posted in News Roundup at 3:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • GFI Max to MSPs: It’s Time to Manage Linux Devices

    Is there a need for MSPs to remotely monitor and manage Linux devices? Apparently yes. For the second time in recent days, a major managed services software supplier says it’s making Linux moves. The latest example involves GFI Software disclosing a two-step Linux strategy. I’m not suggesting Linux will rule the world. But the trend is clear: MSPs need to push beyond their Windows heritage and must now support mixed customer environments.

  • Linux.com Launches Job Board for Members

    According to The Job Thread Network, demand for Linux-related jobs as jumped 80% in the last five years. Linux.com plans to roll out a new section of its Web site tomorrow, called Linux Jobs Board, as a way for job seekers with Linux experience to connect with prospective employers.

  • The Best Linux Operating System – Some Important Things to Consider

    Linux is starting to catch the eyes of many, many people who normally wouldn’t go there! Finding the best Linux operating system is not hard at all. I want, in this article, to point out a few things that I’ve learned since starting to use the Linux system 4 or 5 years ago.

  • Keynotes picked for SCALE 8x; OSSIE, WIOS call for papers closes Jan. 15

    After reviewing more than 190 submissions for talks for the eighth annual Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE 8x), the SCALE 8x board has submitted a list of speakers and have named the keynote speakers for the first-of-the-year Linux event.

    While the talks and keynotes for SCALE 8x have been chosen and submitters notified, the call for papers for the Women In Open Source (WIOS) and Open Source Software in Education (OSSIE) programs is open until Friday, Jan. 15.

  • Desktop

    • Guest Post: Selecting a Linux Distribution

      If you are planning to get some information about the desktops that are offered by Linux then you should explore the World Wide Web. You must know that websites that are offering downloads for Linux desktops will be able to offer you the require information. At the same time, exploring the internet will allow you to look at some tutorials as well. Some tutorials will be a great help, when it comes to gaining knowledge for Linux desktops. On the other hand, if you have a question to ask then discussing with experts will be a great idea. You must know the internet forums are always based to help you. You can be a member of a form that is specifically created to discuss about Linux. Over these forums, you will be able to get the best knowledge about the different options that are available with Linux desktops.

    • Watching TV and Linux

      This all started a couple of weeks ago when I finally got around to putting the tv capture card I had picked up a year or two ago into my computer. Happily like most things in Linux, it just worked, that was a great plus. Sadly the software packages in existence that I ran across were either too much or too little, nothing was just right.

  • Server

    • Oracle should learn a lesson from Linux

      Oracle is a big world wide database company. They produce large and complicated ERP systems whose size, just for the applications side, number in the range of sixty plus gigabytes. Naturally a software solution of such a large scale needs to be maintained and patched every now and then. Heck, any software project, no matter what size, needs the same thing.


      What Oracle should do is standardise it’s patching procedures so it is the same procedure no matter what patch, be it one off or cumulative update, needs to be installed. Then they need to have a package manager developed which will download and install those patches from a specified repository. I believe that the type of package management used by Linux will scale up to Oracle’s size quite well and work for all supported operating systems in applying and maintaining patches.

    • Oracle Patches Two Dozen Flaws

      Oracle is now out with its first quarterly critical patch update (CPU) of 2010, fixing 24 flaws spread across Oracle’s product portfolio. Affected products include Oracle’s namesake database server as well as the Oracle Application Server, E-Business Suite, Secure Backup, PeopleSoft Enterprise and WebLogic Servers.

    • Linux Server and Home Web Hosting

      If you are interested in web design or development you should have some local test place where you can check and debug websites. If you are doing this professionally you will probably invest in a real web server. But if you are doing this for fun or the reliability and speed is not a problem then you can have a simple solution with minimal investment–own Linux server. There are also some simple and effective solutions with applications like WampServer or EesyPHP. You can use them and have a good testing environment. However, having a dedicated Linux computer offers many opportunities for additional functions. In addition to this, a physical web server running Linux is a very close approximation of the real hosting environment. To install and use such server you need no special knowledge or skills. All you need is access to the internet and computer with web browser.

  • Kernel Space

    • Theodore Ts’o: Proud to be a Googler

      I have my own opinion regarding the IETF’s decision to meet in Beijing, since as we’ve seen with the Search Engine industry’s attempt to accommodate the Chinese, engagement doesn’t necessarily always lead to openness and goodness.

    • Ted T’so moves to Google

      Theodore “Ted” T’so has moved to Google, leaving his position as Linux Foundation’s Chief Technology Officer. The news came in a blog posting from T’so entitled “Proud to be a Googler” where T’so said “Although I obviously had nothing to do with Google’s decision vis-a-vis China, having only started working there for a week, I was definitely glad to see it and it made me proud to be able to say that I work there.” He is well known within the Linux community as one of the core Linux developers and maintainer of the Ext3 and Ext4 file systems.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa 7.8 In March; Mesa 8.0 To Have OpenGL 3

        This week in the Mesa world Gallium3D feature levels came about and a new EGL state tracker was released. The week though is not over and there are more announcements coming out for this free software OpenGL stack used on Linux and other operating systems.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Winners and Losers in Red Hat Option Strategies
    • Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase: Lucid Edition

      The Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase is an opportunity to bring the best of two great worlds together by showing off high quality Free Culture content in Ubuntu. At the heart of Ubuntu’s ethos is a belief in showcasing Free Software and Free Culture, and with each development cycle we present the opportunity for any Free Culture artist to put their work in front of millions of Ubuntu users around the world. Although the space restrictions are tight, and we are limited to how much content we can include, the Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase is an excellent opportunity for artists everywhere. I am always hugely inspired by the wonderful entries that we recieve in each competition and I am excited about the opportunities we have to ship awesome Free Culture content with Karmic!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Ionics Plug Computer 3.0 review

      The first unit based on Marvell’s Sheevaplug always-on microserver platform, the Plug Computer 3.0 looks bulky, but impressive.

      A networkable computer built into a standard electrical outlet plug – we take a look at the Plug Computer 3.0. It’s an intriguing idea – and not far-fetched given we have full computers in our pockets (we call them cell phones). Marvell introduced at CES 2010 its third-generation Sheevaplug, which is the basis for the Plug Computer 3.0. We got our hands on the first unit from one of Marvell’s six contract manufacturing partners.


      Other specs of the Plug Computer 3.0: USB 2.0 port and gigabit ethernet port. The Ionics Plug Computer 3.0 was running Linux (Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope).

    • OpenWrt Kamikaze 8.09.2 for network routers

      OpenWrt Kamikaze 8.09.2 is released. This is a Linux distribution for network routers, like the Linksys WRT54G, or the Asus WL-500g and a lot of other routers. This distribution adds a lot of new functionality to routers, like improved ipv6 functionality.

    • ARM chip converts video to 3D on the fly
    • MIPS-based Android set-tops debut

      Sigma Designs and MIPS first demonstrated an Android on MIPS implementation in August, displaying 1080p video on an unnamed MIPS processor from Sigma Designs. The processor is likely the Sigma Designs SMP864x system-on-chip (SoC), which is also being used in an upcoming Linux-based IP STB from Syabas, called the Popbox.

    • Android

      • enTourage eDGe’s Android-Powered Education

        Debuting at CES this week was a device that takes Android to the next level. Over the past few weeks we’ve seen developments in Android that show how Android could be powering everything in our lives one day. With The enTourage eDGe Dualbook(TM) from enTourage Systems our education can now be powered via Android. Forget your netbooks, your laptops, and even your tablets.


        In regards to how it takes advantage of the Android operating system, you will see many of the same apps you are currently using on your Android devices available on the eDGe. Although you will not be able to access Google Market directly, the device can download apps from any other 3rd party stores available on the internet. The device also includes the extremely comforting feature of backing up all of your documents to enTourage Systems servers if for whatever reason you may lose your data. No longer will you be able to say to your professor, “My computer crashed and deleted EVERYTHING!”

      • T-Mobile prescribes hub tablet for UK families

        More concrete details about the Android-based Vega touchscreen tablet have emerged, with T-Mobile set to sell the gadget into Blighty later this year.

      • The Android Army is Rising

        In a humorous article from David Pogue of the New York Times, it seems that the “Android Army” is rising to meet any naysaying about the Nexus One or the Android platform with fanboyesque flames of their own. It seems Pogue wrote a review of the Nexus One and pointed out a few of the flaws that he saw in the phone, and IMMEDIATELY started receiving feedback from people that did not paint him in a great light.

      • CES 2010: Motorola HS1001 Home Phone

        Our friend Taylor of AndroidAndMe spotted this strange looking device from Motorola (HS1001) while in Vegas the other day. Upon closer examination, he found that it’s actually a cordless home phone running Android.

      • Early Look: Probability-Based Keyboard “qwerted”

        Check out this new take on the traditional Android soft keyboard. Rather than just changing the color or general shape of the buttons, qwerted changes the actual size of them based on the probability that they’ll be hit next. For instance, if you type a ‘c’, the letter ‘h’ will be larger than say, a ‘z’. All Android users will be happy to know that it was designed for 1.5 or higher.

      • Automating Android with Ant

        The majority of Android application development takes place within the Eclipse environment.

        Eclipse is a proven platform for not only Java application development, but also for Android applications thanks to the flexible and capable “plug-in” environment which provides sophisticated functionality for Android developers.

Free Software/Open Source

  • EP Intergroup: In Europe Left and Right for Free Software!

    An intergroup on “New Media, Free Software and Open Information Society” was established in the European Parliament with the support of a wide range of political groups (EPP, ALDE/ADLE and Greens/EFA). Free Software promoters April (FR) and Associazione per il Software Libero (IT) welcome this decision that opens up the European Parliament to embracing the digital revolution.

  • Embroidery.. gaah

    I wonder what those embroidery machine firmware people were thinking. No diagnostics, no nothing. If a design is too large for the hoop of the machine, the machine accepts it (no “Data Error”), but doesn’t actually show or use the design – it just silently ignores it.

    Whee. Undocumented formats, bad firmware, lack of sane error messages. And did I mention crazy interfaces? The embroidery machine itself shows up as a USB storage device when you connect it, except it for some reason takes about half a minute to calm down enough to be mounted. And forget about the embroidery card reader/writer – that one needs some magic USB driver too.

  • Registration opens for Google I/O 2010

    Google Engineering Director David Glazer has announced that registration for this year’s Google I/O developer conference is now open. Google I/O 2010 will take place on the 19th and the 20th of May, 2010 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The organisers say that, in addition to various Google products, such as App Engine, Google Web Toolkit, Android and Chrome, the Google I/O developer conference will focus on “pushing the boundaries of web applications through open web technologies”.

  • Save the Drama for Primetime: Restart MythTV the Easy Way

    First, an admission: after using MythTV for nearly two years, I succumbed to the lure of a blazingly fast fiber optic internet and television bundle, and I’ve been using the provider supplied DVR. I have some regrets about this. Though the multiple high definition tuners are great, the actual software on my proprietary DVR is sometimes less than intuitive.

  • Where SaaS Fits in the Race for Control of the Vertical Integration Market

    FOSS developers are also moving up the stack. I strongly believe that real SaaS software also needs to be free and open source to drive the ubiquity up the stack, enabling the next step of development — free and open data in the cloud.

  • Gourmet Recipe Tracker: The Kitchen is Now Open

    When Lisa covered some open source recipe tools last year, I figured Taco Recipe Manager was my speed, and I’d be stuck with suggestions like “ramen, capers and jelly.” I just didn’t have great expectations for the Gourmet recipe manager. I’ve never found online services terribly useful, and like cookbooks, I usually end up writing information down and missing critical bits.

  • Porting to Open Source – where to begin …

    Of course one can decide to build its own distro from scratch.
    Moving to open source does not alleviate typical development functions s.a. coding, testing and qa, builds and packaging, not mentioning the governance (licensing issues) requirements.

  • Fog Computing

    • Twitter for Teams: Teambox Launches Web-Based Collaboration Tool

      Best of all, Teambox is a free and open source project. The app is built using Ruby on Rails, and while the web version of the app is perfect for small- or medium-size teams, larger companies can host Teambox on their own servers – which might also be good news for users and admins concerned with data security.

    • Sun marries Hadoop to Grid Engine

      Sun Microsystems may be in a PR muzzle until sugar daddy Oracle gets permission to buy it from European antitrust regulators, but the coders who maintain Sun’s myriad software products are still banging away on their keyboards in an effort to not only look useful to keep their jobs, but be useful.

    • Interview with Rich Wolski – Eucalyptus CTO

      Eucalyptus is an open-source project that gives you the Amazon cloud API for non-Amazon clouds. In this interview, we chat with Rich Wolski, CTO of Eucalyptus Systems, about the project and the company.

      * Eucalyptus as a technology-neutral abstraction layer for cloud computing
      * Enabling utility pricing models for compute resources
      * Toward the ability to mix and match platform services with infrastructure services
      * Open source significance and strategy in Eucalyptus
      * The evolving role of community in the Eucalyptus project
      * Real-world implementations and usage scenarios

  • Mozilla

    • Got A Fire? Use Firefox!

      Looks like a friend’s theological college in Kenya is using some interesting fire suppression equipment…

    • Firefox 3.6: I am more than my Monkey

      But now that JavaScript performance has come so far, Beltzner says, it’s time to look for other ways of boosting browser performance. “JavaScript performance for the longest time… was the most noticeable thing that made the web slow, and it was one of the most noticeable things that prevented web developers from being able to really interesting interactive applications,” he explains.

    • Mozilla releases its first beta of Lightning 1.0 calendar extension

      Nearly 16 months after the release of version 0.9, the Mozilla developers have announced the availability of the first beta for version 1.0 of their Lightning calendar extension. Lightning integrates Mozilla’s popular Sunbird calendar application into the Thunderbird email client and into the SeaMonkey internet application suite. According to Mozilla, the latest release includes nearly 500 bug fixes and improvements.

  • Licensing

    • Is Richard Stallman Mellowing?

      RMS being pragmatic, and accepting that not every company can be as idealistic as he is? I think I’ll go and lie down for a while…

    • Draft of an Open Data Commons Attribution License

      Open Data Commons are happy to announce the first draft of an attribution license for data/databases:


      A commentable version of the text is available here:


      Feedback is actively sought and we would be grateful for any assistance in circulating this announcement to relevant communities and networks.

  • Openness

    • Jaron Lanier Gets Old And Crotchety; Maybe He Should Kick Those Kids Off His Virtual Reality Lawn

      The list goes on, but at some point it’s just not worth bothering with responding point by point. Lanier’s trying to sell a book, and it’s yet another in a long line of people who don’t like the newfangled thing the kids are using because he doesn’t understand it. The fact is, it doesn’t matter. The internet is a huge success because people actually like the way it works and they get tons of value out of it, even if it’s not the value Lanier wanted.

    • Why Hasn’t Scientific Publishing Been Disrupted Already?

      When Tim Berners-Lee created the Web in 1991, it was with the aim of better facilitating scientific communication and the dissemination of scientific research. Put another way, the Web was designed to disrupt scientific publishing. It was not designed to disrupt bookstores, telecommunications, matchmaking services, newspapers, pornography, stock trading, music distribution, or a great many other industries.

    • Open Access

      • Innovative new web interface improves access to UK’s largest free online life sciences resource

        Helping researchers access and exploit over 1.7 million full-text, peer reviewed biomedical research articles and over 19 million other life science research papers, on 12 January the British Library will showcase a whole range of new search and data mining tools designed to unlock the scientific knowledge held by UK PubMed Central.

      • Can Creative Commons effect social change in education?

        The open education community today is only a small subsection of those involved in education worldwide, but some great initiatives and projects have already come out of it. An initiative like Peer 2 Peer University is a prime example of the social change that can happen in education when you start building on the concepts of open. P2PU is teaching and learning by peers for peers, and it is organized learning that is taking place outside of any institution. It’s what can happen when the default changes, when open educational resources scale. CC helps make that scale possible, which is what will ultimately transform the social landscape of education.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • High Time for HTML5 from YouTube: Please Vote

      The good news is that there seems to be a lot of support for both HTML5 and open video formats, judging by this page. So if you agree with the call to “Support HTML5 open web video with open formats” you might like to add your vote there (you need to log in to Google to do so).


  • At the top of the tallest building in the world

    Taken from ‘At the Top’ on the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building in the world.

  • O NHS, Thou art Sick

    This fear of even minimal openness suggests that the institutional rot is now so deep at the NHS that nothing less than a complete revolution will ever sort things out. I’m not holding my breath.

  • Closing Pipeline to Needy, City Shreds Clothes

    New York City officials destroyed tons of new, unworn clothing and footwear last year that had been seized in raids on counterfeit label operations, abandoning a practice of giving knockoff garments to groups that help the needy.

  • Agency Names 6 to Lead New Investigative Units

    The Securities and Exchange Commission named six people on Wednesday to lead new investigative units as the agency revamps its enforcement efforts.

  • Logs don’t lie: Which tech execs have the White House’s ear?

    Who has the ear of the White House when it comes to tech issues? Judging from the White House visitor logs, President Obama and his team have a soft spot for FCC Chair Julius Genachowski, who visited 48 times between June and September. Not that it was all business; Genachowski checked in to use the White House bowling alley and to attend a poetry reading.

  • Built By Google

    Pete logs onto his desktop computer. It’s a “dumb” netbook built by Google and called Google Chrome Superbook 5, with a fast startup time of 0.3 seconds, the point at which the Google engineers figured further optimizations were not useful, in terms of limitations of human perception. The mouse next to the computer is also made by Google. It includes some technical wizardry that Pete was happy to wait for when he ordered it online in the Google web store: the mouse automatically logs him into his Google account based on his fingerprint, skin color and more, falling back to a password prompt if anything’s off.

  • Class Oppression

    • Whistler’s homeless relocated ahead of Olympics

      As Olympic organizers in Whistler, B.C., gear up for the 2010 Winter Games in February, the area’s homeless are being forced to relocate.

      Whistler’s homeless usually live in their cars or find shelter in the village’s parkades and parking lots. But with the Games around the corner, Olympic organizers are taking over roads and parking lots, displacing them.

    • Class War

      In April 2008, The Orange County Register published a bombshell of an investigation about a license plate program for California government workers and their families. Drivers of nearly 1 million cars and light trucks—out of a total 22 million vehicles registered statewide—were protected by a “shield” in the state records system between their license plate numbers and their home addresses. There were, the newspaper found, great practical benefits to this secrecy.

  • Privacy

    • Revenue set up VIP unit (but don’t the little people deserve privacy too?)

      Call me a cynic, but I suspect that effective privacy protection will only come about if the political classes find themselves exposed to the same risks as the rest of us.

    • Records stolen from hospital that held secret DNA database

      Two computer servers containing the records of almost 1m patients were stolen from the Children’s University hospital in Temple Street in 2007 and have never been recovered.

      The data were far more than that lost on stolen bank laptops in recent years. The theft was investigated by the data protection commissioner (DPC) and the gardai after being reported by the Dublin hospital in February 2007. The organisations had decided that there was no need to inform the public, believing there was little chance of the thief being able to access the data.

    • Unreliable evidence? Time to open up DNA databases

      WHEN a defendant’s DNA appears to match DNA found at a crime scene, the probability that this is an unfortunate coincidence can be central to whether the suspect is found guilty. The assumptions used to calculate the likelihood of such a fluke – the “random match probability” – are now being questioned by a group of 41 scientists and lawyers based in the US and the UK.

    • Why You Shouldn’t Trust Facebook with Your Data: An Employee’s Revelations

      The abuse of private data by Facebook employees was pretty much inevitable; the simple act of amassing data tends to lead to corruption. What’s sad is how lightly the social network reportedly controls its employees.

    • Home Office misses Brussels’ Phorm deadline

      The government missed its deadline to respond to European allegations arising from the Phorm controversy that UK internet users are not protected against commercial wiretapping.

  • Security

    • New Labour bring old Nuremberg Laws to Britain

      Police officers could find themselves on the wrong end of a citizen’s arrest if they follow advice issued by Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, after the European Court of Human Rights slapped the UK’s stop and search laws.

      According to government lawyers, however, so long as officials are “only obeying orders”, there is little the ordinary citizen can do to resist them.

    • Europe, Mideast Protest Tighter Airline Security

      Officials in the Middle East and Europe questioned tighter U.S. airline security measures Tuesday, saying increased body scanning and inspections of Arab passengers would be discriminatory and overly intrusive.

    • Brit firm aims to make airport perv scans obsolete

      The advantage of terahertz technology in resolving the privacy debate over body scanners seems in little doubt. What remains unproven are the benefits of body scanners themselves for counter-terrorism*.

    • Stop-and-search terror powers declared illegal by human rights court

      Controversial anti-terror laws which let police stop and search without grounds for suspicion were yesterday ruled illegal by European judges.

      Civil liberties campaigners heralded the human rights verdict as ‘a great day for freedom in Britain’.

    • Stop the “Stop and Search” Shame

      How has it done one single thing to “fight against terrorism”? How many “terrorists” have they caught as a result of using “stop and search”? Zero, I’ll be bound. All it seems to be used for is to oppress opponents of the government. Words fail me.

    • What “Nothing to Hide” is Hiding

      As governments around the world – but particular in the UK – increase the surveillance of their hapless citizens, one argument above all is made in favour of doing so: “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.”

    • Birthday poster causes council enforcement row in Highbridge

      It shows Mr Duckett and his huge steer, Field Marshall, with the caption “a little man with big bulls.”

      Mr Duckett received a letter from Council enforcement officer David Crowle, stating: “It is the council’s view that the adverts are detrimental to the amenity of the area and as such will seek their removal.”

      It asked whether Mr Duckett woud be prepared to take down the “hoardings” without the need for formal action and warned that failure to abide by regulations could lead to a £400 fine or two years’ imprisonment.

    • Minns critical of school fingerprint system

      City council leader Carl Minns has criticised Hull Trinity House School for installing a biometric fingerprint system for pupils to get their school meals.

      Councillor Minns says it goes against guidance issued to schools by the council.

      The school, in Princes Dock Street, city centre, started using the system this week. Cllr Minns told the Mail: “My principal objection is on the grounds of information security.

      “At some point the school will have to store a child’s data on a computer and if it is subject to hacking or proper security is not there, then once the data is out there, it is out there for life and you can’t get it back.”

    • Police fight cellphone recordings

      Simon Glik, a lawyer, was walking down Tremont Street in Boston when he saw three police officers struggling to extract a plastic bag from a teenager’s mouth. Thinking their force seemed excessive for a drug arrest, Glik pulled out his cellphone and began recording.

    • Myleene Klass warned after brandishing knife to deter intruders

      The TV presenter and Marks & Spencer model Myleene Klass has been warned by police for waving a knife at teenagers who were peering into a window of her house late at night.

    • McKinnon wins review of extradition for hacking

      Self-confessed hacker Gary McKinnon has been granted a reprieve from extradition to the US where he faces up to 70 years in jail for hacking federal and Pentagon computers.

    • Virtual Machines are No Security Blanket
  • Environment

    • Jevons’ Law: Enforcing the Age of Energy Decline – Part 1

      In his 1865 book “The Coal Question: An Inquiry Concerning the Progress of the Nation, and the Probable Exhaustion of our Coal-Mines,” English economist William Stanley Jevons made the observation “Of the Economy of Fuel” that when improvements in technology make it possible to use a fuel more efficiently, the consumption of the fuel tends to go up, not down.

    • A sad day for Madagascar: leadership moves to sell off forests

      In what is being called an “awful” and “horrible” move for for one of the word’s top conservation priorities, Madagascar’s interim authority, which seized power during a military coup last year, will now allow rosewood illegally logged from national parks to be exported. The move is expected to trigger a spasm in new logging in the country’s remaining rainforest reserves, especially in Masoala National Park.

    • Kenya fishermen see upside to pirates: more fish

      People here have one thing to thank Somali pirates for: Better fishing.

      In past years, illegal commercial trawlers parked off Somalia’s coast and scooped up the ocean’s contents. Now, fishermen on the northern coast of neighboring Kenya say, the trawlers are not coming because of pirates.

      “There is a lot of fish now, there is plenty of fish. There is more fish than people can actually use because the international fishermen have been scared away by the pirates,” said Athman Seif, the director of the Malindi Marine Association.

    • Major Antarctic glacier is ‘past its tipping point’

      A major Antarctic glacier has passed its tipping point, according to a new modelling study. After losing increasing amounts of ice over the past decades, it is poised to collapse in a catastrophe that could raise global sea levels by 24 centimetres.

  • Finance

    • New York Fed Faces House Subpoena Over AIG Bailout (Update1)

      The Federal Reserve Bank of New York may be forced to deliver documents related to American International Group Inc.’s government bailout after the chairman of a House oversight committee said he would issue a subpoena.

      Edolphus Towns, the New York Democrat who runs the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said yesterday in a statement he would issue a subpoena for New York Fed records concerning the decision it made to fully reimburse AIG’s partners. Banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Societe Generale SA were among beneficiaries of AIG’s rescue, called by lawmakers a “backdoor bailout” for financial firms.

    • Questions for the Big Bankers

      Today, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, which Congress established last year to investigate the causes of the financial crisis, is scheduled to question the heads of four big banks — Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, John Mack of Morgan Stanley and Brian Moynihan of Bank of America. The Op-Ed editors asked eight financial experts to pose questions they would like to hear the bankers answer.

    • Wall Street’s leading bankers admit: we made mistakes

      Leading Wall Street bankers said today they underestimated the severity of the financial crisis and apologised for making mistakes as a US government commission began its inquiry into the root causes of the banking meltdown.

    • Goldman Sachs: Today, Banks are Too Big to Fail

      Ultimately Lehman was let go for political reasons (Paulson not wanting to be labeled Mr. Bailout) and because the British government prevented Barclays from saving the bank. Lehman was stunned that they weren’t saved. It existed before, it exists now (yes, Mr. Blankfein), and it will exist next year if real financial services reform isn’t passed in Congress.

    • Goldman Sachs CEO Says Geithner Never Asked Him About Taking a Haircut on AIG Swaps

      Read more: Goldman Sachs CEO Says Geithner Never Asked Him About Taking a Haircut on AIG Swaps — Daily Intel

    • Blankfein Response Was ‘Troublesome,’ Angelides Says

      Lloyd Blankfein, the head of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., failed to own up to his firm’s role in selling mortgage securities that helped trigger the global credit crisis, said the chairman of the panel investigating the financial meltdown.

      “Mr. Blankfein himself never admitted that there was any responsibility of Goldman Sachs to make sure the products themselves were good products,” Philip Angelides, chairman of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, told reporters after a hearing in Washington today. “That’s very troublesome.”

    • Goldman Sachs Looks To Block proxy Access For Dissident Shareholder

      But the foundation tells Reuters that Goldman informed it that it would ask the SEC to block the proposal from appearing on the proxy ballot sent to shareholders — effecting stopping the plan dead in its tracks.

    • Goldman E-Mail Message Lays Bare Trading Conflicts

      For years, Wall Street whispered that Goldman Sachs profited handsomely by trading ahead of — or even against — its own clients.

      On Tuesday, a Goldman executive made an unusual admission that, in some cases, the rumors were true.

      In an e-mail message to select clients, Thomas C. Mazarakis, the head of Goldman’s fundamental strategies group, acknowledged that his unit often provided investment ideas that the firm had already traded on. Sometimes Goldman has even taken the opposite approach, betting against particular instruments that the group has recommended.

    • Goldman exec says firm gained from trading against clients

      An executive from Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) said the company in some cases profited by trading ahead of or against its own clients, the New York Times said on its website.

      Thomas Mazarakis, who heads Goldman’s fundamental strategies group, told select clients in an email that his unit often provided investment ideas that the firm had already traded on and the firm sometimes took the opposite approach, betting against particular instruments recommended by the group, the Times said.

      “We may trade, and may have existing positions, based on trading ideas before we have discussed those trading ideas with you,” the paper quoted Mazarakis as writing in the email.

    • Impose A Windfall Profit Tax On Goldman Sachs’ High Frequency Trading

      How should a program be structured? Do not think for a second that Wall Street will not look to pass along any costs to their customers. In fact, Tim Ryan said as much in a Wall Street Journal article, Banks Brace for Bailout Fee:

      “In our industry, costs are typically passed along to institutions and individual investors, so the burden will likely fall on them,” said Timothy Ryan, president of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. Major banks declined to comment.

      Thanks Tim. Are hundreds of billions of dollars “typically” injected into the industry, as well? I think not.

    • Citigroup Bonus May Trump Goldman’s

      A levy on bank liabilities would get the industry squealing, especially if it approached $120 billion. But the Obama administration isn’t crazy to float the idea. A well-crafted tax could help recoup bailout costs while also giving banks an incentive to behave more sensibly. It doesn’t have to apply just to the United States, either.

    • How Goldman Sachs Made Tens of Billions of Dollars from the Economic Collapse of America

      Investment banking giant Goldman Sachs has become perhaps the most prominent symbol for everything that is wrong with the U.S. financial system, but most Americans cannot even begin to explain what they do or how they have made tens of billions of dollars from the economic collapse of America. The truth is that what Goldman Sachs did was fairly simple, and there may not have even been anything “illegal” about it (although they are now being investigated by the SEC among others).

    • What do the top liberal colleges have in common with Goldman Sachs?

      Goldman Sachs’ fraudulent financial speculating was at the core of inflating and bursting the housing bubble that created the financial crisis of 2008. the results: university endowments and state education funds have dried up resulting in higher fees and tuitions for students, fewer loans are available and job markets for graduates is almost non-existent. Add to that the fact that young people will ultimately be on the hook for paying back the billions in bailouts and loan guarantees that the government paid out to the banks, and you can start to see how Goldman Sachs has hamstrung the generation that Simmons is supposed to be looking out for in academia.

  • PR/AstroTurf

    • Tobacco company drove European policy, claims report

      Formerly secret records suggest a tobacco company drove changes to how European policy is made, claim Katherine Smith and her colleagues at Bath University in the UK. They sifted through over 700 recently released emails, reports and presentations from British American Tobacco (BAT).

      Proposed European Union policy is subjected to so-called “impact assessments”. Smith’s team says the BAT documents suggest the company recruited food, oil and chemical firms and a think tank to successfully lobby the European Commission to change the focus of these assessments away from health impacts and towards economics.

  • Censorship/Civil Rights

    • MPs call on IT companies to follow Google and stop Chinese censorship

      Watson has applauded Google’s plans to stop censoring the internet in Chinaafter it discovered evidence of Chinese cyber attacks and surveillance of human rights activists.

      He said in a blog post: “We should all applaud them for this brave corporate move. And we should also use their lead to put pressure on other technology companies to stop all this nonsense once and for all. Apple should go next. They should refuse to censor the Dalai Lama applications from their App store.”

    • Ignore Islam4UK, don’t ban them

      In a democratic society, the decision to ban an organization when it is not directly responsible for violence is deeply controversial. Any such decision is surely not taken lightly. However, the Home Office proscription of the group Islam4UK announced today will only serve to undermine the government’s effort to prevent violent extremism.

    • Is it art or is it pr0n? Australia decides it’s ALL filth

      Australian painters and photographers may soon need to watch their step, as an overhaul of child pornography laws in New South Wales looks set to remove the defence of “artistic merit” from the statute books.

  • Internet/Web Abuse/DRM

    • U.S. Courts Split on Internet Bans

      A federal appeals court is reversing a lifetime internet ban imposed on a child sex offender also handed a 15-year prison term.

      The outcome highlights the appellate courts are all over the map when it comes to internet bans often imposed on defendants, especially sex deviants, once they have served their time. What’s more, the courts appear to be accepting the internet as a basic freedom to which convicts, even the worst of the worst, usually should not be denied permanent access.

    • Cost-benefit analysis: net neutrality makes economic sense

      A new study warns that abandoning network neutrality could transfer billions of dollars from the most competitive sector of the Internet (online content) to the least (Internet service providers).

    • Economics backs net neutrality, say researchers

      Net neutrality is not just the fairest way to organise the internet but the most economically effective, according to two US academics. Their economic analysis of the policy claims that it is the best way to encourage investment in online services.

    • US DOJ: Kindle in classroom hurts blind students

      Three U.S. universities will stop promoting the use of Amazon.com’s Kindle DX e-book reader in classrooms after complaints that the device doesn’t give blind students equal access to information.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • No end in sight for 50-year copyright levies war

      It is another change of tactics in a war that has been going on for 50 years. This week, consumer electronics companies led by Apple, HP, Sony, Panasonic and Research In Motion, broke off the latest round of talks to reform the Europe’s convoluted system of private copy levies.

    • USTR Will Listen To The Public On Creating Its ‘IP Axis Of Evil’ List?

      Historically, what it’s been is the entertainment industry putting together a list of countries that don’t have draconian enough copyright laws, and it gets the USTR to complain about them and put them on a “watch list” of sorts. Pretty much everyone who understands these issues knows it’s a complete joke, but unfortunately there are lots of people who don’t understand these issues, and it lets diplomats and politicians make laughable claims like saying that Canada is a hub for piracy — and the press almost never questions where that information came from because it sounds all official.

    • French 3 Strikes Group Unveils Copyright Infringing Logo

      Hadopi, the French agency charged with handling file-sharers’ copyright digressions, has just made a huge infringement faux pas of its own. Last week the group unveiled the logo which is set to represent this bastion of copyright righteousness, but embarrassingly it was designed with unlicensed fonts.

    • School District Considers ‘Anti-Piracy’ Education Campaign Based On Anti-Drug Education Campaigns

      The problem, of course, is that if you are at all familiar with the subject, you would realize that unauthorized file sharing is not a societal problem like “drug use,” but is a business model issue.

    • Record Labels Demand Cash From Pirate Bay Founders

      The two were granted an appeal little over a month later, but the record labels do not intend to wait and are going after their money. They have sent the District Court a letter where they ask the authorities to collect the fines.

    • WMG’s Bronfmen & Cohen Paid $14 Million In 2009

      According to a new SEC filing, Warner Music Group’s two top executives, Edgar Bronfman Jr. and Lyor Cohen, earned a combined $14 million in salary, bonuses, stock and stock options in 2009. That’s down $2 million from their combined 2008 compensation, but twice what they earned in 2007. This chart via paidContent details for WMG’s four top execs:

    • As Warner Music Collapses, Its Two Top Execs Got Paid $14 Million

      It’s beginning to appear that some of the major labels’ strategy for dealing with the changing structure of the music business — in which overall money is up, but has shifted away from the record labels’ bank accounts — is to simply bleed the old market dry.

    • U.S. court revives antitrust suit on music downloads

      A federal appeals court reinstated on Wednesday an antitrust lawsuit accusing major record labels of conspiring to fix prices for potentially millions of people who download their music over the Internet.

    • Record labels face US antitrust hearing

      A group of leading record companies face court proceedings in the US over accusations they conspired to fix the prices and terms under which their music would be sold over the Internet.

    • Live Blogging from World’s Fair Use Day

      The first speaker is Pat Aufderheide, director of social media at American University’s School of Communications. The purpose of copyright is to promote culture, with “limited” monopoly and provide balance with exemptions to make new culture. Copyright holders created imbalance in copyright. At this point, fair use which was “dinky backwater” is now escape hatch from copyright holders. It’s the most flexible copyright exemption in the world. Best Practices movement is about education. AU has published best practices guides, with filmmakers as first one. Eight weeks after guide, three films went to Sundance and got picked up. Biggest evidence that Best Practices guide, eight pages long, is that every insurer of errors and omissions (required for broadcast and cablecast) accepts guide.

    • UK Ministers ‘Concede’ Some Ridiculous Points in Digital Economy Bill In Attempt To Get Other Ridiculous Measures

      Of course, the concessions appear to be rather minor, and my more cynical view is that they knew they were going to do this all along. The idea is simple. Introduce one section that’s even more ridiculous and outrageous than the sections you really want passed, and then let all the complaints and press coverage focus on that more ridiculous section. Then, after people get all worked up about it, “concede” just a little bit, and notice that most people no longer have the energy to fight about the other provisions.

    • The real problem with clause 17

      There has been much speculation around clause 17 of the Digital Economy Bill, the part that would give the unelected Lord Mandelson powers to rewrite copyright law whenever he chooses, grant powers to others at a whim, or impose duties or fines on anyone who offends him.

    • Congressman Vows to Fight for Fair Use

      A U.S. lawmaker today warned of attempts to roll back a provision in copyright law that has become a cornerstone of posting and sharing content on the Internet, pledging to fight to preserve the doctrine of fair use in the face of an array of challenges.

  • ACTA

    • Oh, a new ACTA document

      How do you request it? Very simple, fill out the form and enter the document number 17779/09 as the document you request. Then the Council secretariat has 15 days to respond, either it would grant you access and submit the reasons for refusal.

      Here is stops for most persons. You have against 15 days for a confirmatory application. When the confirmatory application is denied you can complain to the EU-Ombudsman or sue the Commission.

    • Google DC Talk on ACTA

      Why does DG Trade want criminal sanctions from third nations when these instruments are not adopted in the ‘acquis communautaire’ yet? Unfortunately we cannot find out in their negotiation mandate from the Council because it is not disclosed.

    • Personal Luggage *Will* be Subject to ACTA

      It was very interesting to talk to Mr. Velasco. He said the negotiations could be understood, in a very very simplified way, as you basically could get cheap cars in exchange for IPR enforecement laws.

      Interestingly enough, his materials published on the interenet also provided some kind of explanation to why people are afraid of having their iPods searched. Under “What is new” in a presentation about Enforcement of IPR Mr. Velasco says:

      [it] “No longer excludes from the scope of the regulation counterfeit or pirated goods in a traveler’s personal baggage where such goods are suspected to be part of a larger-scale traffic.”

    • Union des Consommateurs ACTA protest

      Quebec consumer protection group the Union des Consommateurs has joined the mounting storm of outrage levelled at the entertaiment industry’s ACTA plan.

Week of Monsanto: Video

GMO Monsanto vs Percy Schmeiser

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DecorWhat Else is New

  1. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, August 13, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, August 13, 2022

  2. Links 14/08/2022: Wine 7.15 and Haiku Activity Report

    Links for the day

  3. Official Copy Detailing Crimes of Microsoft's Serial Strangler, Who is Trying to Strangle GPL Enforcement/Compliance With GPL-Violating Copilot

    Violent sociopath Balabhadra Alex Graveley was arrested months ago (not that the media ever mentioned this!); He is Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot and he came up with this idea, along with Nat Friedman (his “best friend”), which is clearly an attack on the GPL or other copyleft licences (Microsoft exercises control over GitHub to suppress such licences).

  4. Inside the Minds of Microsoft's Media Operatives — Part VI — Lessons Learned on Moral Depravity

    So-called 'journalists' who are in fact Microsoft spinners are a truly toxic bunch; they're allergic to truth and dangerous to truth-tellers; they're better off avoided and exposed, not informed (or shown hard evidence) because their covert allegiance means they're simply a trap rather than genuine agents of truth in reporting, thinly disguised as "objectivity" (to better parcel the lies Microsoft tells)

  5. Jim Zemlin Giving His Talks on an Apple Mac Again? (July 2022)

    Mr. “Big Shot” (no personal accomplishment but power broker for monopolies which privatise the Commons) can’t even deliver a keynote speech properly; Maybe he should try using Free software to make his presentations; the proprietary software he uses clearly isn’t reliable enough

  6. Links 13/08/2022: Steam Deck as KDE-Based PC, Arduino Projects

    Links for the day

  7. Links 13/08/2022: Sparky 6.4 and Many Raspberry Pi Projects

    Links for the day

  8. How We Envision Information Flow on the Internet (and Offline)

    We're no longer just a Web site; in fact, we encourage others to look beyond the Web, which despite the media not talking about it has rapidly waned (many sites have already turned into "apps")

  9. IRC Proceedings: Friday, August 12, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, August 12, 2022

  10. IPFS at Techrights: The So-called 'Web3' Cargo Cult, Except With Some Practical Benefits

    For censorship resistance’s sake we’re increasing our embrace or adoption of IPFS; almost all our archives are there

  11. Techrights Site Migration to Alpine Linux Has Already Started

    We’ve begun upgrading our systems and tidying up the growing piles of material

  12. Microsoft Lost About 70% of Its Relative Share in the United States (for Operating Systems)

    When mobile platforms are taken into account Windows suddenly seems vanishingly small; Microsoft therefore started blocking GNU/Linux from even booting on new PCs

  13. The World Wide Web is Shrinking and Microsoft's Share in Web Servers is Down to Just 3%

    Microsoft’s presence on the server side is just a niche. No wonder there are many Microsoft layoffs (about 20,000 staff) and Microsoft divisions are being silently shut down.

  14. Warrant of Arrest for Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot, Balabhadra Alex Graveley

    GitHub Copilot has been criticised for a lot of things, but blogs and the press never ever mention the "social justice" aspects of the thing (because they simply don't care)

  15. Links 12/08/2022: End of JingPad A1/JingOS, Russia Makes GNU/Linux Laptops

    Links for the day

  16. Links 12/08/2022: Kubuntu 22.04.1 LTS

    Links for the day

  17. Links 12/08/2022: PCLinuxOS Browser Refreshes

    Links for the day

  18. Links 12/08/2022: Apple Versus Telegram

    Links for the day

  19. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, August 11, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, August 11, 2022

  20. Inside the Minds of Microsoft's Media Operatives — Part V — In Deep Denial About One's Harm

    Source-burning Microsoft boosters, who vainly think of themselves as "journalists", respond to allegations of bias and dissemination of Microsoft falsehoods

  21. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XXV — Microsoft Employs Serial Strangler as a Manager, Running GitHub Copilot in Spite of Arrest for Assault on Women

    Now there is another woman saying that she was strangled by Alex Garveley; we keep hearing more and more of this, so it’s a chronic behaviour and it doesn’t seem to bother Microsoft, which provides funds to protect the strangler

  22. Links 11/08/2022: PostgreSQL Beta 3 Releases

    Links for the day

  23. Windows Falling Below 15% in Cuba This Month

    Now that Microsoft starts locking down and shutting out GNU/Linux (preventing it from even booting!) while laying off about 10% its own workers it’s important to understand that Windows is basically in serious trouble

  24. Links 11/08/2022: Point Release of Ubuntu 22.04 and GNUnet 0.17.4

    Links for the day

  25. Links 11/08/2022: Qt Creator 8.0.1 and Microsoft's 3-Year Bug Door

    Links for the day

  26. Not Everyone Buys the Latest Laptop With Microsoft Windows (Bloatware)

    In Sudan, the share of Windows fell from 99.1% to just 8.77% (in a matter of 13.5 years); Microsoft, which is collapsing (layoffs and shutdowns), is just trying to block people from booting Linux on laptops/desktops

  27. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, August 10, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, August 10, 2022

  28. Microsoft Death Spiral: Microsoft Fires 200 Employees “Working to Win Back Customers”

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission

  29. Microsoft Firing 10%, Not 1%, of Staff (Microsoft Lies to the Media, Figures One Order of Magnitude Off)

    Microsoft’s loyal servants in the media jumped onboard and leaped into “damage control” mode (PR as “media”) with this fictional “reality” where only a “small percentage” of staff gets laid off (those talking points come from Microsoft’s media operatives, who have lied for the company for well over a decade)

  30. [Meme] The Present Microsoft: Bailouts, Bailouts, Bailouts

    Microsoft’s media moles spread the lie that only “1%” of staff is affected by Microsoft layoffs (familiar old lie; they also spin that as a routine thing) while Microsoft staff is getting tight with ‘travel’ money

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