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01.15.10

Links 15/1/2010: Linux Jobs Surge, GNOME 3 Previews, Norwegian Broadcasting Goes FOSS/ODF, YouTube Ogg Milestone

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

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Foundation: Linux job market has grown 80 percent

    The Linux Foundation says that the market for Linux-related jobs has grown 80 percent over the past five years. In response to this trend, the foundation is launching a Linux job board to help connect employers with potential candidates for Linux-related jobs.

  • Linux Foundation helps Linux job hunters
  • Linux.com Launches New Jobs Board
  • Geek Squad Finally Replaces My Linux-Infested Laptop

    An anonymous Best Buy customer told us in December that the Geek Squad refused to honor his extended warranty on his laptop because he had installed (horrors!) Linux.

  • Linux on the repaired Laptop

    I have been busy installing an operating system to the repaired Laptop.

    Firstly I went with Ubuntu as I already had that installed to an external harddrive and could just boot it up but it needed about 2 days of upgrades added to it.
    The 2 days were for the amount of downloads needed.
    I upgraded and left it overnight only to find my installation was scuppered next morning.

    [...]

    I think you need to be prepared to look through forum posts to get the most from Linux as it is a learning curve but once you have your internet set up looking how you want, a few handy programmes, one or two small games and have personalised your desktop, it is very satisfying and ofcourse, free.

  • Becoming a Geek Super Hero by Evolving from “Thinking Green” to “Acting Green”

    So now we have an older computer that, if formatted with a less process intensive operating system, can last 2-3 more years. We have access to Ubuntu Linux as a free download with installation guides. We have the comprehensive OpenOffice application that will let users perform office functions like a professional. What do we do now? Obviously, the standard computer user cannot install and configure an operating system they have never even heard of, much less used. This is where a geek becomes a super hero. The equation is an easy one:

    Old Computer + Ubuntu Linux + OpenOffice + Geek Super-Hero = A Win for the Environment and the Less Fortunate

  • Some things in Linux are hard. Get over it!

    To accomplish any task in Linux can be hard if you don’t know how to do it. Anything is hard to do the first time unless you are an absolute genius.

  • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 336 [OGG]
  • Kernel Space

    • The best Linux file system of all?

      The newest member of the Ext file system, Ext4, became an official part of Linux last year with the release of the Linux 2.6.28 kernel. Since then, it’s become the default file system in some popular Linux distributions such as Fedora, and it’s now available on all distributions.

      Ext4 enables faster disk performance and better drive space management than its predecessors. While it also includes journaling, you can turn that off for a modest speed boost. I’m sure Google was also interested in it because even without disabling journaling, Ext4 is a very fast file system, and it supports file systems of up to 1 EB (exabyte) and up to 16 TB (terabyte)-sized files.

    • LM_Sensors Gets A New Configuration Utility

      There hasn’t been a whole lot to report on in regards to LM_Sensors, the main sensor monitoring package and its kernel drivers for thermal/fan/voltage polling on Linux. It was nearly a year ago that LM_Sensors 3.1 was released, but since then we have run into plenty of new hardware (such as the ASRock ION 330HT-BD and ASUS Eee PC 1201N) that is not yet supported by drivers for LM_Sensors. While this does not improve the hardware support, a new sensor configuration utility has been unveiled for LM_Sensors.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Flexible for a Fluxbox? – Lightweight X Window Manager for UNIX / Linux

      One of the many great things about using UNIX or a UNIX-like operating system is the ability to tailor your environment to your liking. If you want a full-fledged GUI with all the bells and whistles then Gnome, KDE, or LXDE are probably for you.

      But, if you want something less resource intensive that offers a greater degree of control then Fluxbox Window Manager is what you’re looking for.

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME 3 Myths

        This page hopes to dispel myths about the upcoming GNOME 3 release, currently scheduled for September, 2010.

      • GNOME Shell tryout.

        I’ve been using the GNOME Shell preview available in Fedora 12 this week and I’m really enjoying it. I was testing out some candidates for updates to the free drivers for my ATI Radeon HD4850 (and the stuff that went with them) already, and decided to see what happened when I picked GNOME Shell. At F12 release time, my graphics card wasn’t quite ready for GNOME Shell use. But now I get the whole kit and kaboodle!

      • Is GNOME Going To Duplicate The Efforts From Canonical?

        Gnome Shell recently introduced a new notification system. Sadly it seems like GNOME Shell is going to duplicate a lot of the efforts from Canonical. Besides the notification system the application indicators also have similarities.

      • The ChoKolate Linux Desktop

        Reader naaamo2004’s Linux desktop sports a chocolate-coloured theme that is slick, polished and beautiful, with an impressive Firefox theme to match.

  • Distributions

    • Parted Magic – a nice touch

      I’ve been using Parted Magic to work on my disks, and after recently replacing my old 1.x live Parted Magic CD with 4.6, I’m enjoying the little things that PM brings to the project.

      For instance, when you turn networking on with DHCP and the DHCP server to which you’re connecting doesn’t transmit nameserver info, Parted Magic uses OpenDNS to supply you with DNS lookup so you can actually use the Internet while in the live environment.

    • New Releases

    • Debian Family

      • Back Home, with Debian!

        By the end of 2004, I’d been running Debian ‘testing’ on my laptop since around early 2003. For almost two years, I’d lived with periodic instability — including a week in the spring of 2003 when I couldn’t even get X11 started — for the sake of using a distribution that maximally respected software freedom.

        [...]

        Twelve days in, I am very impressed. Really, all the things I liked about Ubuntu are now available upstream as well. This isn’t the distribution I left in 2004; it’s much better, all while being truly community-oriented and software-freedom-respecting. It’s good to be home. Thank you, Debian developers.

      • Five Essential Ubuntu Features

        But having been an Ubuntu user for several years, I don’t think I could ever go back to Windows and be happy. As for OS X, I’m too frightened away by Apple’s high prices and obsession with controlling users to consider that route.

      • Canonical releases Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Alpha 2

        The Ubuntu developers have announced the availability of the second alpha release of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, code named “Lucid Lynx”. The latest development milestone is the second of three planned alpha releases, which will be followed by two beta releases and then a release candidate.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Alpha 2 Has Plymouth

        A few minutes ago, the Ubuntu development team unleashed the second alpha version of the upcoming Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx) operating system, due for release in late April this year. As usual, we’ve downloaded a copy of it in order to keep you up-to-date with the latest changes in the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS development.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 Alpha 2 Removes HAL

        “HAL” unfortunately isn’t the heinous supercomputer from Kubrick’s film 2001, but Ubuntu’s Hardware Abstraction Layer between Ubuntu’s hardware and software. It has now disappeared entirely from the current Ubuntu 10.04 test version, it’s function being taken over among other things by DeviceKit. The advantage to this, according to the official announcement, is that Ubuntu has a faster boot and startup from hibernate time.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 Alpha 2 Benchmarks With Early Fedora 13 Numbers

        Overall, there are both good and bad performance improvements for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Alpha 2 in relation to Ubuntu 9.10. Most of the negative regressions are attributed to the EXT4 file-system losing some of its performance charm. With using a pre-alpha snapshot of Fedora 13 and the benchmark results just being provided for reference purposes, we will hold off on looking into greater detail at this next Red Hat Linux update until it matures. You can run your own tests though if you wish using our open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking platform.

      • Ubuntu primes music service

        Ubuntu Linux will likely include an iTunes-like music service in its next release.

        Although it is not yet official, Ubuntu’s next release looks likely to include a music store service similar to Apple’s iTunes.

      • New Leader for the Ubuntu Women Project

        Finally, appointment of a team leader is an unusual request for a team to make to the Community Council, but as a team we found ourselves in the unique position of being a four+ year old team that never had a formal leader and having largely been organically grown with no formal “membership ranks” or process for voting for a leader. A huge thanks to my fellow Community Council members for their consideration and support during this process.

      • Reviewed: Linux Mint 8

        Our verdict: One of the best examples of what can be done standing on the shoulders of giants. 9/10

  • Devices/Embedded

    • 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.

    • Magnify the Motorola Droid

      This YouTube video chronicles some experiments I did using a low-cost Fresnel lens and a homemade cardboard container. My goal in this experiment was to find a way for people to comfortably and portably view the outstanding Inkscape screencasts by Richard Querin and HeathenX which they generously distribute for free. Inkscape is a free vector drawing program that is equivalent to Adobe Illustrator. It runs on all major platforms: Linux, Macintosh and Windows. Here is why I love Inkscape and why you’ll love this program, too. (Thanks, TogrutaJedi)

Free Software/Open Source

  • Jordan to Become the Open Source Hub of the Middle East

    The Jordanian Government announced the first ever agreement between an international company and a government to promote open source adoption.

    Jordan’s Ministry of Information and Communication Technology and Ingres Corporation have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to achieve the widespread use of information technology and communication, particularly open source technology from Ingres, throughout the local software infrastructure in the country.

  • A capitalist’s guide to open source licensing

    Matt’s statement suggests, and he confirmed in a follow-up, that it is harder to build a community with a restrictive license. The obvious argument against that statement is the number of community projects based around GPL code: the Linux kernel, the GNU project, Samba, Drupal, Gnome, and KDE for example.

    Clearly the GPL does not prevent vibrant community development projects. The important point about those projects is that they are the result of true development communities, however, rather than a vendor-initiated effort to create a community.

  • Questions to ask about open source projects

    # Is it good code and is it well architected?
    # Who are the founders, contributors, and users?
    # What are the motivations and behavior of each?
    # What is the form and governance of the community?

  • The 9 most important events in Open Source history

    1983 – Richard Stallman starts the GNU Project

    Started by Richard Stallman in 1983, the GNU Project is a mass collaboration project for open and free software that has flourished even to this day. Stallman followed up the GNU Project with the creation of the Free Software Foundation in 1985 to further support the free software community.

    The GNU Project has resulted in a huge amount of open source software over time and gave birth to the GNU General Public License (GPL), arguably the most popular open source license model out there. And when the Linux kernel arrived, GNU software made it into a complete OS.

  • Bringing contestability back to the public sector desktop

    For the last few months, the Open Source Society has been facilitating a project called the Public Sector Remix. This involves a number of public sector agencies investigating use of a free software stack on the desktop and understanding the barriers preventing its more widespread adoption. As the project has run out of money, my involvement is at an end, so it’s a good time to reflect on what the project has achieved so far.

  • Sun

    • OpenOffice.org

      • OpenOffice.org Thumbnail plugin 1.0 released

        The new version 1.0 from OpenOffice.org Thumbnail plugin has been released. OpenOffice.org Thumbnail plugin is a plugin for KDE file managers (Dolphin and Konqueror) to preview OpenOffice.org files (Open Document Format) as Thumbnails. You do not need to install OpenOffice.org for it to work (it only uses KDE API).

      • Open Norway: Norwegian Broadcasting Moves to OpenOffice and ODF

        Norway’s national broadcasting and TV facility NRK is intent on using the Open Document Format as a standard and is therefore changing its clients over to OpenOffice.

        Norway appreciates free standards. After the government a year ago recommended Ogg Vorbis, FLAC and Ogg Theora next to their commercial alternatives MP3 and H.264 as standards for audio and video files, this year it focuses on ODF as the standard document format. According to the governmnent’s Reference Catalog for IT Standards, the recommendation should become binding in January of 2011.

    • Solaris

      • Open Solaris 2009.06 – Slowly getting there

        Open Solaris is getting better and more refined by the release, there’s no doubt about that. Small problems are gradually yet persistently solved. This is extremely encouraging.

        On the other hand, compared to most Linux distros, Open Solaris is still about 2-3 years behind when it comes to usability and hardware support. More programs would be nice, as well as the ability to solve common desktop usage problems more easily. 64-bit architecture would also be great, considering the fact Sun pioneered the 64-bit usage.

  • Mozilla

    • Make Firefox a Productivity Powerhouse

      Like most folks these days, I practically live in my Web browser. After completing the Week in the Life of a Browser Test Pilot project last week, I found that I spent more than 45 hours using Firefox actively in the span of seven days. And that includes the weekend, when I didn’t touch my primary workstation (where the test ran) at all.

      When spending that much time in a program, you want to use it as effectively as possible! Here’s how I make Firefox work for me.

    • Firefox 3.7 dumped in favour of feature updates

      Mozilla has dumped Firefox 3.7 from the release schedule, replacing it with regular features updates for version 3.6 of the browser.

    • Firefox 3.7 dropped from Schedule, next release is Firefox 4.0

      Firefox has made changes to the way it develops the world’s most popular browser. Instead of providing incremental updates after every few days, for a change the guys at Firefox have decided to release the next stable release of Firefox as a major release, not a minor one.

    • Mozilla Drops Firefox 3.7, Switches to More Frequent Feature Updates

      If you’ve been following the development of Firefox, you know that Mozilla separates security updates, which usually happen every couple of weeks, from feature updates, which are usually separated by months.

  • Openness

    • Obama Administration Considers More Public Access To Publicly Funded Research

      The good news is that it looks like the Obama administration is looking to go in the other direction. The EFF points us to the news that the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is looking at ways to have this requirement go beyond just NIH and require public access for all federally funded research, including from organizations like the National Science Foundation (NSF). OSTP is asking for comments and input on the idea — and it’s an idea that makes a ton of sense. It seems likely that journal publishers will protest, but hopefully common sense will prevail and federally funded research will become open, accessible and available to everyone.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Vote for HTML5 open video (WE DID IT!)

      WE DID IT! Thanks everyone!!!

      http://productideas.appspot.com/#8/e=3d60a

      Official response:

      We’ve heard a lot of feedback around supporting HTML5 and are working hard to meet your request, so stay tuned. We’ll be following up when we have more information. We’re answering this idea now because there are so many similar HTML5 ideas and we want to give other ideas a chance to be seen.

      [...]

      YouTube Team

      Party time!

    • The opposite of “open” is “theirs”

      As part of FCC’s Open Internet tour, I got invited into one of the many group meetings the FCC has been holding, along with Nicholas Reville of Miro and Cara Lisa Powers of PressPassTV.org.

      Nicholas talked about how difficult it would be for Miro to attract video producers if they had to worry that carriers might block or slow their traffic. Why not instead go to one of the Big Brands that can afford to pay the tariff? Miro — an innovative, public-spirited non-profit — would be unable to compete.

Leftovers

  • Millions of doses of swine flu vaccine to be off-loaded

    What do you do with vaccine that no-one needs?

    That is the question currently puzzling the Department of Health. Back in May the government signed contracts with two suppliers – GSK and Baxter – to supply 90 million doses of H1N1 pandemic vaccine.

  • EA’s Miss

    For anyone paying attention to the larger trends in the video game market, this could hardly have come as a surprise. A few days ago, Gamestop, a key packaged goods distributor for EA, announced a similar miss. While Activision was setting sales records with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, EA had no major hits — although, in fairness the COD:MW2 revenue was probably just filling in a sinkhole at Activision created by a music game business that has fallen off a cliff. EA is in the wrong business, with the wrong cost structure and the wrong team, but somehow they seem to think that it is going to be a smooth, two-year transition from packaged goods to digital. Think again.

  • Security

    • Mass Gathering in defence of street photography

      I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist! invite all Photographers to a mass photo gathering in defence of street photography.

    • Couple Claims That Merely Talking About A Photo Is Copyright Infringement
    • Secret Police

      Civil libertarians hoped that the Obama era would see a renewed commitment to privacy protections. But their dreams are being dashed. Congress seems likely to recess without adjusting aspects of the Patriot Act set to expire at the end of the year, which means that the existing law will be temporarily extended. Elements up for reconsideration include roving wiretaps in foreign intelligence investigations that are not targeted to a specific communication mode or person and “section 215” ability to seize business or other records in a presumptive terror investigation.

      Different bills to reform these and other powers have come out of the Judiciary Committees of the House and Senate. The House version is slightly better in terms of demands it makes on law enforcement and intelligence agencies to have defensible reasons for their searches and seizures. But the controversial provisions will survive, even if slightly circumscribed.

    • Groups seek to challenge US gov’t on seized laptops

      The policy of random laptop searches and seizures by U.S. government agents at border crossings is under attack again, with a pair of civil rights groups seeking potential plaintiffs for a lawsuit that challenges the practice.

      [...]

      Last year, a document surfaced on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Web site that authorized U.S. agents to seize and retain laptops indefinitely. Government agents belonging to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which is a part of DHS, were also authorized to seize electronic devices including portable media players and cell phones and inspect documents in them.

    • TSA fails to detect gun at Montana airport – may be replaced by private firm

      Stories of poor TSA security screenings are not new – several days ago we wrote about a man who passed through a Milwaukee checkpoint with shotgun shells. In this “TSA screw-up of the day”, we head to Gallatin Field, serving Bozeman, Montana.

    • Dutch inquiry says Iraq war had no mandate

      An inquiry into the Netherlands’ support for the invasion of Iraq says it was not justified by UN resolutions.

      The Dutch Committee of Inquiry on Iraq said UN Security Council resolutions did not “constitute a mandate for… intervention in 2003″.

    • Alastair Campbell had Iraq dossier changed to fit US claims

      ‘WMD in a year’ allegation halved original timescale after compilers told to compare contents with Bush speech

    • Chilcot inquiry casts new doubts on Iraq war

      Blair was determined to disarm Saddam, Campbell said. Blair’s message to the US in April 2002 was he would try to do it through UN resolutions. ­However, “if the only way is regime change through military action then the British government will support the American government”, Campbell said, describing Blair’s view.

  • Environment

    • Green phone runs on sugar

      A CONCEPT PHONE being designed for Nokia has the battery replaced with an injection of sugar.

    • Climate change puts ecosystems on the run

      Global warming is causing climate belts to shift toward the poles and to higher elevations. To keep pace with these changes, the average ecosystem will need to shift about a quarter mile each year, says a new study by scientists at the Carnegie Institution at Stanford University and at the University of California, Berkeley.

      For some habitats, such as low-lying areas, climate belts are moving even faster, putting many species in jeopardy, especially where human development has blocked migration paths.

    • Methane release ‘looks stronger’

      Scientists have uncovered what appears to be a further dramatic increase in the leakage of methane gas that is seeping from the Arctic seabed.

    • Do Seed Companies Control GM Crop Research?

      Advances in agricultural technology—including, but not limited to, the genetic modification of food crops—have made fields more productive than ever. Farmers grow more crops and feed more people using less land. They are able to use fewer pesticides and to reduce the amount of tilling that leads to erosion. And within the next two years, agritech com­panies plan to introduce advanced crops that are designed to survive heat waves and droughts, resilient characteristics that will become increasingly important in a world marked by a changing climate.

      Unfortunately, it is impossible to verify that genetically modified crops perform as advertised. That is because agritech companies have given themselves veto power over the work of independent researchers.

    • Irrational fears give nuclear power a bad name, says Oxford scientist

      The health dangers from nuclear radiation have been oversold, stopping governments from fully exploiting nuclear power as a weapon against climate change, argues a professor of physics at Oxford University.

    • Civilization Collapsed After Cutting Key Trees

      The ancient Nazca people, who once flourished in the valleys of south coastal Peru, literally fell with the trees they chopped down, new research has concluded.

      The Nazca caused their own collapse when they cleared their forests in order to make way for agriculture, thus exposing the landscape to wind and flood erosion, according to a study published in the journal Latin American Antiquity.

  • Finance

    • Iceland president vetoes collapsed Icesave Bank’s bill to UK

      Iceland was plunged back into crisis after its president refused to sign a bill promising to repay more than €3.8bn (£3.4bn) to Britain and the Netherlands after the collapse of the country’s Icesave bank in 2008.

    • Dylan Ratigan (MSNBC) On FCIC Hearings and Comments on Goldman Sachs – Update 2

      Let’s sum it up. There was massive fraud and criminal activity for self enrichment led by the very people that are testified at the FCIC hearings. Leading the cartel and earnging the most amount of money over the past three years was Lloyd Blankfein.

    • Goldman CEO Supports Fiduciary Standard

      Blankfein faced tough questioning during the hearing from former California State Treasurer Phil Angelides, who heads the commission. Angelides, at one point, asked Blankfein whether a practice of betting against some of the subprime mortgage securities Goldman was selling to investors was a conflict of interest.

      He replied that Goldman didn’t have a legal obligation to disclose when it was betting against the securities it was selling.
      “We are not a fiduciary,” he said.

    • The Great Bank Robbery Conspiracy Paulson Bernanke Geithner Goldman Sachs Bankers Steal Your Money Bank Hearings Video Summary

      A simple brief summary of the financial and banking crisis explained for the lay person:

      1. US Government encourages an unprecedented build up of private sector debt by promoting asset price bubbles in residential and commercial real estate thru artificially low interest rates and reduced Capital Requirements. US Government underwrites loans by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

      2. Banking Industry creates complicated security bond investments (CDO) to spread the risk of default on the loans to multiple parties. Essentially the US Government, thru the Wall Street Banks, provided the credit for the loans and then packaged the loans into Bonds to be sold to other institutions sold worldwide such as Hedge Funds, Pension Plans, Governments, and other large Financial Institutions.

      3. Banks then created Insurance to protect against a drop in value of these bonds called Credit Default Swaps (CDS). These unregulated Insurance Policies were bought by varies institutions that held the bonds to protect them in case the bonds dropped in value.

      4. SEC ignores risks building in system.

      5. Ben Bernanke is named Federal Reserve Chairman in October 2005.

      6. Hank Paulson resigns from Goldman Sachs and is named US Treasury Secretary in July 2006.

  • Healthcare

  • Censorship/Civil Rights

    • Will this post get me disbarred?

      The Florida Bar has a new attorney advertising rule that aggressively regulates attorney speech on the Internet. Florida Bar Rule 4-7.6 Indeed, the new rule regulates attorney speech so aggressively that it might even apply to this blog post. Until recently, the Florida Bar considered all attorney websites and web communications as information provided upon the request of a prospective client and did not apply its attorney advertising rules to them. But now the Florida Bar has extended its substantive advertising rules except for its filing requirement to all “Computer-Accessed Communications” by Florida attorneys.

    • Timeline: China and net censorship

      As Google considers withdrawing from China, the BBC looks at the highs and lows of internet access and freedom in the most populous country in the world.

  • Internet/Web Abuse/DRM

    • Google, Verizon Team Up on Net Neutrality

      More comments on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposed net neutrality rules rolled in before the midnight deadline Thursday night, and while there were no major surprises from companies like Comcast and groups like the Open Internet Coalition, Google and Verizon once again joined forces to submit a filing that outlined the points on which they agree.

    • Universities avoid Kindle over accessibility barriers

      Three US universities have agreed not to use Amazon’s e-book reader the Kindle until it is easily usable by blind people. A fourth settled a complaint from blind people’s advocacy groups by saying that it will strive to use accessible devices in future.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Skype tells the FCC to require net neutrality.

      VOICE OVER IP AND CHAT OUTFIT Skype has been pressing its case in favour of net neutrality to the US Federal Communications Commision (FCC).

      Skype, which is based on its own proprietary technology, depends on net neutrality to survive. If the telcos and some ISPs get their way, Skype punters will probably be identified as filesharers and get throttled to within an inch of their lives.

      Skype told the FCC that net neutrality was “about growing the broadband ecosystem and preserving a borderless, open Internet” and that it would “promote investment, jobs and innovation.”

    • Secret copyright treaty debated in DC: must-see video

      Two recurring points that Metalitz raised were that the secrecy in the treaty was a requirement of foreign negotiating partners, and the US’s hands were tied; and that the treaty wouldn’t require any of the “advanced” nations to change their law (he repeated the oft-heard unfounded slur that Canada is a rogue nation when it comes to copyright law).

      Both of these points are simply wrong. The country demanding that ACTA be kept secret is the good old US of A, whose strategy for this is being driven by former entertainment industry lawyers who have found new homes as senior officials in the Obama government (the Democrats are terrible on copyright, sadly — we can thank Bill Clinton for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act). These lawyers are Metalitz’s old pals, his colleagues in the decades he’s spent winning special privileges and public subsidy for his rich clients.

    • RIAA: Net neutrality shouldn’t inhibit antipiracy

      The lobbying group for the top four recording companies wants to make sure that when regulations on Net neutrality are adopted, they don’t impede antipiracy efforts.

      That’s why the Recording Industry Association of America on Thursday asked the Federal Communications Commission to “adopt flexible rules” that free Internet service providers to fight copyright theft.

    • OiNK Admin: Not Guilty

      We were just explaining why it appeared that Alan Ellis, the admin for OiNK had not actually violated any UK laws, and it looks like the jury agreed. Ellis has been found not guilty. I have to admit that I’m really surprised by this, but it is certainly a good thing.

    • Music file-sharer ‘Oink’ cleared of fraud

      A man who ran a music-sharing website with almost 200,000 members has been found not guilty of conspiracy to defraud at Teesside Crown Court.

Week of Monsanto: Video

Monsanto: Farmer Suicides in India

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: January 15th, 2010

Posted in News Roundup at 7:04 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.

Caching and Ratings

Posted in Site News at 5:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Site changes in a nutshell (one of those brief “status” posts that we try to keep at a minimum)

FOR technical reasons we have recently made the use of Varnish permanent (it makes the site more robust in the face of DOS attacks). This meant that we can no longer have post and comment ratings as they require unique addresses. We apologise for this loss of features, but it’s better than falling offline every now and then. We had these issues for almost two weeks.

Microsoft Flaws — Not Adobe Flaws — Responsible for China’s Attack on Google; Microsoft Takes China’s Side, as Usual

Posted in Asia, Google, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 3:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft’s very special relationship with another suppressive entity and the blame games in China’s crack attack

LAST NIGHT we showed that Microsoft Windows zombies were responsible for the attacks on Google. There are hundreds of millions of such zombie PCs and according to IDG, “DDoS Attacks Are Back (and Bigger Than Before)”

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are certainly nothing new. Companies have suffered the scourge since the beginning of the digital age. But DDoS seems to be finding its way back into headlines in the past six months, in thanks to some high-profile targets and, experts say, two important changes in the nature of the attacks.

The targets are basically the same — private companies and government websites. The motive is typically something like extortion or to disrupt the operations of a competing company or an unpopular government. But the ferocity and depth of the attacks have snowballed, thanks in large part to the proliferation of botnets and a shift from targeting ISP connections to aiming legitimate-looking requests at servers themselves.

IDG also shows that the attack on Google relies on Microsoft flaws (page rendering as malicious execution and the notion of clicking attachments to execute data files). “Adobe may be off the hook,” says this report:

IE Exploit Used to Launch Chinese Attacks on Google

[...]

Early speculation focused on the Abobe Reader zero-day exploit as the source of the Chinese attacks on Google and other corporations earlier this week, but Adobe may be off the hook–or at least share the blame. Microsoft has determined that an unknown flaw in Internet Explorer was one of the holes used to launch the attacks which have led to Google threatening to shut down its Chinese operations.

To Google, there is no real solution here; to leave China would be a case of staging a protest, but it would neither secure Google nor be practicable.

Here’s an interesting scenario: If Google does stick to its guns and leaves China because the country continues to insist on censoring web search results and blocking websites, will it also pull Android cellphones from the Chinese market?

Let’s not forget that Google relies on cheap Chinese workforce to make its profitable products (like phones and appliances). The West is generally far too dependent on Chinese labour and export.

Microsoft — not surprisingly — has no problem with what China is doing and as IDG’s Erik Larkin puts it, to Microsoft it’s just another technical case of patches (never mind if exploiters/crackers are supported by the Chinese government). Microsoft does not even address the problem immediately, so in the mean time it just externalises the costs, also to Google and Google’s clients.

Ballmer: Microsoft Will Stay in China

Microsoft does not plan to follow Google’s lead in pulling out of China, the software giant’s CEO told news outlets on Thursday.

Like China, Microsoft China disregards copyright law and Microsoft has special relationships in China. McCain (of the Republican party) comes to mind here; Bill Gates is a friend of the China regime and McCain recommended Steve Ballmer for the Chinese ambassador position. Microsoft and China are similar in many ways; neither tolerates contest and they both repress clients/citizens. Microsoft removes its competition — including GNU/Linux and Apple — from search results, as systematically proven before.

One of our readers, who is more of a hardliner by some people’s judgment, wrote to us the following:

Contempt, perjury or treason?

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/…
http://news.cnet.com/China-looks-into…
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/…

Add to that the incident where Gates intercepted China’s President Hu, which Hu went along with, on his first official visit in office to the United States.

http://windowsitpro.com/article/…

Maybe Gates’ recent visit to the Whitehouse was about pleading for his life more than about begging for a too-big-to-fail corporate welfare handout.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2000/…
title=”http://www.aaxnet.com/news/M000714.html
http://windowsitpro.com/article/articleid/18007/…
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-…
http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/11/30/china.us/…
http://www.navytimes.com/news/2008/01/…

Seriously, could Osama bin Laden himself arranged better? If it doesn’t beat all that Gates and his minions aren’t even hiding in caves. The perpetraitors {sic} are still on free foot and even getting puff-pieces in the media. There is some corrective action:

http://mae.pennnet.com/display_article/…
http://www.fcw.com/Articles/2008/03/06…

There are at least three sides to the cyberwar that started last year: China, Microsoft and the US. The first two appear to be in an uneasy aliance to bring down the third after which the first will easily take down the second.

More thoughts would be welcome. Views are not being suppressed.

Novell is Rapidly Losing GroupWise Business

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, IBM, Mail, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 2:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Novell loses several more contracts, some of which are worth millions

NOVELL’S latest major defeat (for GroupWise at least) was the City of Los Angeles. Millions of dollars may be at stake. It gets worse though.

According to the news from Australia, Macquarie University is dumping GroupWise in order to save millions.

GOOGLE has struck a landmark deal with Sydney’s Macquarie University to provide staff members with its free, web-based offering, Gmail, a move that reaps millions of dollars in savings.

From ZDNet Australia:

Macquarie University has revealed plans to ditch its “inferior” Novell GroupWise staff email platform and replace it with Google’s Gmail offering, following an earlier successful roll-out among students.

Novell is shaken by the above and it has formally responded through ITWire (AU):

Announcements were made a couple of days ago that Macquarie University was discarding its corporate GroupWise email infrastructure in favour of one provided by Google’s Gmail. Novell responds to the reasons offered for the change.

Here is GWAVA getting dumped again: (also here)

Replacing the GWAVA email filtering components on Sunsweet’s Novell GroupWise collaboration server, Sendio reduced system load over 93% by eliminating all of the 33,500 average daily “junk” email messages that bombarded the company. In addition, the Sendio solution allows the Sunsweet IT department to save over three man-days per month that were previously required to manually maintain the email filtering software.

What a bad week for Novell. Novell’s loss in Los Angeles was also mentioned in The Register yesterday. 30,000 seats are being lost.

That emerging market leaves big on-premise email providers like Microsoft and Novell fending off threats from the likes of IBM, Google, and a handful of smaller players.

High profile wins for Google include transferring the city of Los Angles’ 30,000 employees from Novell communications systems to Google Apps.

According to this new press release, a tool was created to assist migration away from GroupWise, which is one of Novell’s big sources of revenue (mostly proprietary).

Transend Migrator for IBM Lotus Foundations includes powerful “batch templates” which allow new Lotus Foundations customers to migrate mailboxes from competitive products (like Microsoft Exchange/Outlook or Novell GroupWise) to Lotus Foundations, quickly and reliably.

This new blog post claims that Novell “has retained its user base” in mail. However, based on what we see in the news, Novell’s user base keeps shrinking, not growing or staying steady. Evidence will be required to show that Novell “has retained its user base”:

Novell, the third largest market participant, has retained its user base but has not seen significant growth. A handful of open-source vendors and smaller providers offer an alternative to the Exchange and Lotus platforms, but they have a small market presence.

The claim above is very questionable. Novell lost $200,000,000 in 2009 (fiscal) and it keeps getting worse despite the layoffs and the offshoring [1, 2], which were supposed to lower expenses.

As Novell is "going downhill", negative developments such as the above are likely to come in greater volume. Novell has also just made the list called “Five Notable Tech Layoffs Of 2009″:

2. Novell

Novell’s woes continued last year. In addition to being mired in litigation over the UNIX operating system, its earnings faltered also. Then, in November, the Linux vendor announced it was cutting 100 to 130 of its 3,900 jobs and that it was also suspending contributions to employees’ 401K pension plans. Earlier in the year, back in March, Novell laid off 100 employees as well.

Novell is at number two for notable technology layoffs, according to CRN. Not good.

“Last year, Ximian’s Miguel de Icaza had the audacity to publicly say that “Gentoo is eternally broken.””To make matters worse, Ximian’s Friedman left Novell last week [1, 2, 3, 4]. Last year, Ximian’s Miguel de Icaza had the audacity to publicly say that “Gentoo is eternally broken.” Well, based on the facts as we have them, “Novell is eternally broken,” not Gentoo. Just to be clear, Miguel de Icaza makes other such remarks to belittle GNU/Linux and he echoes the Microsoft lies about the market share of GNU/Linux on the desktop. That Microsoft MVP award which he received last week [1, 2] is a perfect fit. If/when Novell goes bankrupt/sold [1, 2, 3], Microsoft can probably squeeze him in for a job. He can 'pull an O'Kelly'.

To finish this post on a positive note, here is a decent new article about the success of GNU/Linux on the desktop:

Desktop Linux Market Share Will Rise, Thanks to Microsoft

[...]

Yes, Microsoft was happy to let China pirate Windows in order to get them “addicted” to it. A decade later just as Bill Gates said, they are in the business of collecting from the very junkies they created. One has to wonder what China would be using, had Microsoft not allowed this to happen. Exactly ten years since Bill Gates’ speech, Microsoft stepped up anti-piracy campaigns in China.

Microsoft is searching for ways to make people pay for Windows (and rightly so) but the harder they make it and the more they lock the system down, the more attractive other options become.

In August last year, four Chinese people were fined and sentenced to 3.5 years jail for distributing a pirated version of Windows XP, called Tomato Garden.

Microsoft said:

“The case served as a warning to anyone thinking about knocking off Windows 7, a new-generation Windows operating system.”

Microsoft allowed the Chinese to pirate previous versions of Windows, but now with Windows 7 out it’s finally time to collect. This court case did serve as a timely reminder of the consequences of piracy, but will it have the desired effect that Microsoft is seeking?

It is important to keep GNU/Linux Mono- and Moonlight-free. Microsoft is desperate to trip its competition up.

Patents Roundup: Commission Sells Out to Microsoft; Apple and RIM Sued by Gates-backed Kodak

Posted in Apple, Free/Libre Software, IBM, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 2:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Simons and Kroes
Photo of Wim Simons and Neelie Kroes
not from the public domain but
under the GNU Free Documentation License
(captions added separately)

Summary: Interesting developments in Europe and elsewhere, some of which are clearly detrimental to the spreading of Free software

NEELIE KROES SIGNED a deal with Microsoft and we wrote about it last night. This hardly received any coverage when it happened and the provisional deal was broadly denounced [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. The FFII is going through this video which it captured yesterday and its president says that “the European Parliament’s services [are] not able to deliver transcripts of the hearing of the new Commissioners.” This is bad for transparency. He added that “Nellie [sic] Kroes says she made a deal with Microsoft last week, probably against Samba and for software patents.” The video of this hearing can be found here, with relevant parts at 54 mins, 56 secs from the start. Bad news for software patents in Europe, no doubt. It’s done beyond a jurisdiction and though precedence with a multiple-times convicted monopoly abuser.

In other patent news, Microsoft’s friends at Apple are being sued for patent infringement again. This time it’s Kodak, not Nokia [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Kodak has had some recent connections with Microsoft and Bill Gates [1, 2], but it’s nothing terribly alarming.

Eastman Kodak said Thursday that it has filed lawsuits against both Apple and Research in Motion over digital imaging patents.

Kodak launched its lawsuits on two fronts. Kodak filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission arguing that Apple’s iPhone and RIM’s BlackBerry infringe Kodak technology for previewing images.

This is also covered in:

In other week, a discussion about “Abolishing Software Patents” is to take place and software patents proponent Gene Quinn carries on with his self-serving propaganda. What does he know? He’s a lawyer, not a programmer. These people ought to stay out of developers’ business.

On Friday I’ll be in LA at Mahalo headquarters at 1pm making a guest appearance on Jason Calacanis’s This Week In Startups show. I told Jason I’d be happy to discuss whatever he wanted to which I hope includes the Open Angel Forum, Startup Visa, Abolishing Software Patents, and all kinds of fun things around entrepreneurship and venture capital. Conversations with Jason are never dull so I expect this one to be spicy hot on top of the typical chocolately goodness.

Here is the Business Week article (about patents) which is inspiring Microsoft boosters to promote the company’s software patents at the moment. We gave an example yesterday.

He says IBM’s portfolio includes a large number of service-related patents, which do not command as high a price as the video-game and software patents that heavily weigh in Microsoft’s portfolio.

This is another thing that separates Microsoft and IBM; Microsoft is very focused on controversial ideas that are not implemented in any physical form. Based on the Bilski principles as already agreed by high courts, this should not be allowed. How sad it is that the European Commission — and this one of all agencies — decided to cave in after heavy lobbying from Microsoft and front groups like ACT.

Links 15/1/2010: Linux 2.6.32.3, Elive 1.9.56 Out

Posted in News Roundup at 8:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • On Pi, Paper Penguins and FOSS’ Regal Potential

    “M$ is already beginning to compete on price with the netbooks and XP,” he told LinuxInsider. “In another year or two they will be competing on price for any PC, and their prices and share of units sold will be drastically reduced.”

    The share of GNU/Linux reached the tipping point in 2009, Pogson asserted.

    “The avalanche has started to move slowly down the mountain, and it will pick up speed by the end of 2010 with thin clients and netbooks/smartbooks taking over the landscape,” he predicted. “M$ has made a billion dollars a quarter less than is their ‘natural right of a monopolist’ in the client lately. Let us watch that continue as GNU/Linux grows share.”

  • World’s Smallest Linux Computer and Linux Networking Server (pics)

    Do u know which is the worlds smallest Linux computer? Its the picotux 100 !! As of yet,the picotux 100 is the world’s smallest Linux computer, only slightly larger (35mm×19mm×19mm) than an RJ45 connector.

  • Ubuntu Surprises at Lotusphere 2010?

    The major Linux distribution providers — Red Hat, Novell and Canonical — are preparing to attend IBM’s Lotusphere 2010 conference (Orlando, January 17-21).

  • Canonical, IBM: Ubuntu Will Counter Windows 7 At Lotusphere

    Once again, The VAR Guy’s sources were right. Canonical, as our resident blogger expected, is set to announce some Ubuntu news at IBM’s Lotusphere conference in Orlando the week of January 18. The effort — which includes channel partners — will involve Canonical countering Microsoft’s Windows 7 push.

  • Server

    • Google Switching To EXT4 Filesystem

      An anonymous reader writes “Google is in the process of upgrading their existing EXT2 filesystem to the new and improved EXT4 filesystem. Google has benchmarked three different filesystems — XFS, EXT4 and JFS. In their benchmarking, EXT4 and XFS performed equally well. However, in view of the easier upgrade path from EXT2 to EXT4, Google has decided to go ahead with EXT4.”

    • Sleepless Nights on Wall Street, Nightmares on Main Street

      In a day’s worth of testimony, no one took issue with this happy scenario presented by the grateful bankers until Julia Gordon, a housing expert from the Center for Responsive Lending, took the stand and dove straight in.

      “The bankers touched upon their sleepless nights at the height of the crisis. Today, 6.5 million American are suffering sleepless nights, every night, wondering if they will have a home tomorrow.” And it is not over: “our data shows that by the end of 2014, 13 million Americans will lose their homes,” she said. Gordon testified that the banks were failing to modify loans at any meaningful rate and that they pursued modification procedures in parallel with foreclosure procedures. The result is that hopeful homeowners are often surprised at the door by sheriff’s deputies ready to kick them to the curb.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • Three calculators for the Linux desktop

      To many, geek = math && nerd = math. To others school = math && math = calculator. During my stint as a computer science major, the very idea of differential had me running scared back to my calculator. It was a must, and for many a symbol of intellect and power.

    • Instructionals

    • Games

      • SuperGamer, 8GB of Linux-Only Gameplay

        Thankfully, I’m not the guy in charge of things worldwide, because the folks over at www.supergamer.org have created a bootable, dual-layer DVD full of native-running Linux games. Yes, I said native. Check out the impressive list of preinstalled games you’ll get when you download the ISO:

        * Quake Wars
        * Doom 3
        * Prey
        * Unreal Tournament
        * Quake 4

        [...]

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Elive 1.9.56 development released

        The Elive Team is proud to announce the release of the development version 1.9.56

        * 3G Phones: More than 300 new operators added
        * Internet Module: If you connect with a 3G phone, the configuration will be saved and you can set it to automatically connect at the boot
        * Icedove: When installing icedove, it contains by default a very nice elive-style looking template
        * Flash updated to 10.0.42.34

      • Clonezilla Live 1.2.3-24
      • Scientific Linux Fermi 4.8 is released

        Scientific Linux 4.8 has been released for both i386 and x86_64 architecture.

      • Webconverger 6.0
      • Frenzy 1.2 reincarnation (community release)
      • PelicanHPC GNU Linux 2.0

        * PelicanHPC v2.0 is available. Features:

        o based on Debian testing (squeeze) instead of stable (lenny). This means that most packages have newer versions. In particular, the kernel is at 2.6.30 and Open MPI is at 1.3.3.
        o has new MPI bindings for GNU Octave, developed mostly by R. Corradini, building off MPITB. The new MPI bindings allow use of Octave 3.2.x instead of 3.0.x, which gives some important performance gains. The new bindings are less complete than MPITB, but they provide all MPI calls used in the examples for GNU Octave. The Monte Carlo and kernel examples have been adapted to use these new bindings, the other examples of MPI usage within Octave still need to be updated.
        o Open MPI is now the only MPI implementation installed.
        o the Ganglia monitoring system is installed and pre-configured for up to 4 hosts. It is easy to add entries for larger clusters. Visit http://localhost/ganglia after having set up the cluster (pelican_setup). The ksysguard monitor is still available, too.

    • Red Hat Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Office Suites

    • New: OpenOffice.org 3.2.0 Release Candidate 2 (build OOO320_m9) available

      OpenOffice.org 3.2.0 Release Candidate 2 is now available on the download website.

    • A Pivotal Moment for Microsoft Office

      It’s one thing to try software for free, it’s another to shell out the dough and buy it. New pricing reported in the InfoWorld article suggests they have come down quite a bit from previous years, but why pay anything if you can get the functionality you need for free or a very reasonable fee?

    • User Experience Face2Face in Hamburg

      Last week Christoph Noack from the User Experience (UX) community took time out of his busy schedule to visit Hamburg and the Sun office for face to face (f2f) discussions on UX topics. Be sure to see his blog post on “day one” to hear what went on. Be watching for “day two” as well.

  • Databases

    • Big Blue rides Schooner to MySQL boost

      As countless crafty upstarts have learned time and again in the IT racket, it’s tough to get a server vendor who makes a living peddling boxes to get excited about server appliances that get rid of banks of servers. But IBM has inked a deal with upstart Schooner Information Technology to resell its web-caching and MySQL-boosting appliances starting in early March.

  • GNU

    • International Workshop on e-Health in Emerging Economies

      The workshop promotes Free Software as one of the main pillars for a sustainable framework for providing e-health and education for the developing and least developed countries.

      There will not be parallel conferences. All delegates will be able to assist and participate in the workshops that they find of interest. Communication among delegates is key.

      IWEEE is a non-profit event organized by the GNU SOLIDARIO association

  • Openness

    • CES 2010: Open Source 3-D Printer Turns Designs Into Objects

      Wired.com checks out MakerBot’s Cupcake CNC 3-D Printer. Using PLA, ABS, or HDPE plastic, this open source, $950 kit allows the user to fabricate small objects of virtually any shape.

    • Strengthen the Commons

      … The… current, interrelated crises in finance, the economy, nutrition, energy, and in the fundamental ecological systems of life … are sharpening our awareness of the existence and importance of the commons. Natural commons are necessary for our survival, social commons ensure social cohesion, and cultural commons enable us to evolve as individuals. It is imperative that we focus our personal creativity, talents and enthusiasm to protect and increase our social wealth and natural commons. This will required an eye on the goal to change some basic structures of politics, economics, and society.

  • Programming

    • Popular Languages of 2009

      The TIOBE index for 2009 says that Google’s new Go programming language experienced more growth in popularity than any other language in 2009. The growth is quite remarkable given that the language became available late in the year. Is it all just hype? The Google brand certainly carries a lot of power and marketing capability with it. Based on TIOBE’s system, Go and Objective-C had the biggest gains in 2009 with Java taking a slight hit, but remaining at the top. TIOBE calculates its index based on search engine hits.

      Go – Because of it’s remarkable growth, Go was named “TIOBE’s Programming Language of the Year.” Go has been compared syntactically to Pascal, Python, and C. Although Go is a new language with its own share of critics, many people are interested in its concurrency capabilities and fast compilation. Erlang is another concurrent programming language that grew this year from 29 to 24. One thing’s for sure, Google’s Go is getting a lot of attention.

Leftovers

  • Rob Glaser: Pioneer Of Badware Leaves Real Networks

    I was glad to see Jay Rosen, a journalism professor at New York university publish on Twitter: “Rob Glaser steps down as head of Real Networks, and story after story fails to note he ran one of the most invasive malware companies ever.”

  • Supreme Court Blocks Video Streaming of Prop 8 Trial

    This afternoon, the Supreme Court put the final kibosh on video streaming of the Prop 8 trial to five federal courthouses around the nation. The Court stayed U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker’s order permitting the broadcast. The stay will remain in force for the foreseeable future, putting an end to the controversy for practical purposes. The Court did not address the recording and dissemination of the trial on YouTube, viewing it unnecessary because Judge Alex Kozinski, the Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit, had not approved Judge Walker’s decision to allow Internet dissemination when the petitioners sought a stay.

  • Britain lures talent: sci-tech entrepreneurs move in

    It took only a few weeks of research for Romanian entrepreneur Emi Gal to decide where to base his digital media firm, and his choice confounds a fairly enduring set of stereotypes about Britain’s global appeal.

  • Security

    • Security fears threaten smart meter plan

      The £8.1 billion rollout of smart meters in Britain could be knocked off course unless the Government and Ofgem, the energy regulator, act urgently to convince the public that the information provided by the meters will be held securely.

    • POLICE TO EMPLOY ‘WEB-COP’

      The officer, to be employed in the West Midlands, will also search for criticism of the police and use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Bebo to promote the force.

    • Orson Welles on police brutality

      With recent trends in police abuses being a topic of no small concern at BoingBoing as of late, I thought perhaps his little known broadcast should be remembered and shared, as it strikes a chord of similarity which is at once chilling and inspiring. Welles gives us a glimpse into a time and a setting in which a mere radio broadcaster spoke out in a fervor of disgust and revulsion against a terrible injustice, and was instrumental in bringing those responsible to bear for their crimes. If nothing else, it serves to remind us of what has come before, and what we can once more do and be again.

      With recent trends in police abuses being a topic of no small concern at BoingBoing as of late, I thought perhaps his little known broadcast should be remembered and shared, as it strikes a chord of similarity which is at once chilling and inspiring. Welles gives us a glimpse into a time and a setting in which a mere radio broadcaster spoke out in a fervor of disgust and revulsion against a terrible injustice, and was instrumental in bringing those responsible to bear for their crimes. If nothing else, it serves to remind us of what has come before, and what we can once more do and be again.

    • Meet Mikey, 8: U.S. Has Him on Watch List

      The Transportation Security Administration, under scrutiny after last month’s bombing attempt, has on its Web site a “mythbuster” that tries to reassure the public.

  • Finance

    • Obama Joins the “Repo the Dough” Coalition

      Here at BanksterUSA we are thrilled that the Obama team has joined our “Repo the Dough” campaign and urge it to apply a financial transaction tax to destructive stock market speculation.

    • Murder on the Orient Express?

      The independent Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission got underway this morning in Washington. The commission was authorized by Congress to get to the bottom of the causes of the financial crisis and produce an independent report, much like the 9-11 commission.

      The commission sent a strong message by first putting under oath the titans of Wall Street. They didn’t pick the subprime mortgage lenders or Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. They didn’t pick the credit rating agencies. They didn’t even pick the big housing or investment firms that failed. Instead, they chose the largest firms that survived the crisis and now are profiting off of it due to the extraordinary interventions of the U.S. government.

  • PR/AstroTurf

    • Obama staffer wants ‘cognitive infiltration’ of 9/11 conspiracy groups

      Cass Sunstein, a Harvard law professor, co-wrote an academic article entitled “Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures,” in which he argued that the government should stealthily infiltrate groups that pose alternative theories on historical events via “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine” those groups.

    • Where’s the Outrage Over Obama’s Health Care Propagandist, Jonathan Gruber?

      What a difference partisanship makes now that Obama is president. In the Gruber scandal prominent liberals including New York Times columnist Paul Krugman have attacked the messenger, Marcy Wheeler and Firedoglake, rather than criticizing the lack of disclosure and the money changing hands, and digging further into the relationship between Obama and his paid health care advocate Jonathan Gruber. Who else is receiving convenient Administration funding while flacking ‘independently’ for Obama policies? In a democracy, we need to know and we have a right to know, no matter which party controls the White House.

  • Censorship/Civil Rights

    • Will Google stand up to France and Italy, too?

      Google’s stand against Chinese censorship and surveillance – triggered by suspicions that China had been trying to hack activists’ ­accounts – will be rightly lauded by defenders of human rights. But when it comes to upholding Google’s vow not to “do evil” by its ­users, China is by no means the company’s only headache. Before those of us in western democracies get too high on our horses about Google and China, we should remember that the Chinese are not the only ones putting pressure on Google in ways that are arguably harmful to freedom of expression, even when intentions are honorable. A growing number of governments – many democratically elected – share an attitude that internet companies should be expected to act as “net nannies” for their citizens.

    • Google ‘scam’ suggestion condemned by high court

      A Paris court of appeal has ruled against Google in a defamation case lodged by the Centre National Privé de Formation a Distance (CNFDI) in a suit which claimed the search engine’s ‘Suggest’ feature linked the organisation to the word ‘scam’.

  • Internet/Web Abuse/DRM

    • Tell the FCC: don’t put a copyright loophole into net neutrality

      Tim from the Electronic Frontier Foundation sez, “Last fall, the Federal Communications Commission proposed rules for “Net Neutrality” — a set of regulations intended to help innovation and free speech continue to thrive on the Internet. But is the FCC’s version of Net Neutrality the real deal? Or is it a fake? Buried in the FCC’s rules is a deeply problematic loophole. Open Internet principles, the FCC writes, ‘do not… apply to activities such as the unlawful distribution of copyrighted works.’ For years, the entertainment industry has used that innocent-sounding phrase – ‘unlawful distribution of copyrighted works’ — to pressure Internet service providers around the world to act as copyright cops — to surveil the Internet for supposed copyright violations, and then censor or punish the accused users. Please visit RealNetNeutrality.org to learn more and sign EFF’s open letter asking the FCC to remove the copyright loophole.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • 2nd Circuit Reinstates Antitrust Claim Against Online Music Providers

      An antitrust suit alleging price fixing by Sony BMG Music Entertainment and other producers, licensors and distributors of music on the Internet has been reinstated by a federal appeals court.

      The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday said the pleadings of music purchasers were sufficient for plaintiffs to pursue their Sherman Act claim against companies who control more than 80 percent of music sold as digital files.

    • OiNK Admin Explains Why He Thought The System Was Legal

      Now that the trial is ongoing, Ellis is explaining that he didn’t believe that what he did in running OiNK directly was copyright infringement, even if users of OiNK may have infringed on copyright (he does admit to downloading works via OiNK, however — but that’s separate from his admin role, and he claims that he only used it to sample new musicians, and bought the albums of those he liked).

    • This Is Why We Worry About Net Neutrality Regs: Loopholes For RIAA/MPAA

      This is what we worry about. It’s great that the EFF is catching this particular loophole, but as more lobbyists get their hands on net neutrality regulations, they’re going to slip in more and more loopholes like this that will turn what may have great intentions into something else entirely.

    • Trademark infringement claim: “100 BOOK CHALLENGE”

      My initial feeling is that they actually have a case. They have a product (see http://www.americanreading.com/products/…) called “100 Book Challenge” and they sell it. They have a registered trademark for it. Groups on LibraryThing with the same name, and somewhat similar conceptual domains, could be a potential problem.

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