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Links 24/1/2010: KDE Looks at Server Side, Parrot 2.0.0 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 10:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • A question asked – why I use Linux

    This is a long and drawn out answer. It isn’t a simple question.

    I’ve been using computer systems for more than twenty years, from micros to mainframes, so I’m no beginner. I was in on Microsoft operating systems from DOS 3.2 and I dabbled with Linux for a number of years. It was only recently that I made the full switch.

    The drive towards Linux has been partly because of what Linux offers, but more because of what Microsoft doesn’t, or rather how their company works. Apple are the same.

  • GNU/Linux: Replacing a Dead Router with a Linux System

    Enter an old Dell Dimension XPS R400 PC that has been gathering dust in the closet. It has an 80GB Western Digital IDE drive, a Startech 10/100 NIC and 192MB of RAM in it. I received this old PC from a client that bought a new, custom built system from my company in October 2007. He no longer needed the Dell and was just going to trash it. Instead I convinced him to let me wipe the drive, install Mandriva 2008 on it and try to sell it on eBay. It did not sell when I listed it. The client did not want it back, so I just stuck it in the IT junk closet with several other old systems and flaky monitors. I decided to make this old Dell PC into my “new” router. Since it already has Mandriva 2008 on it I figured I could use that to get routing going and then upgrade the Mandriva later.

  • The Web, the Desktop, and the Google between

    Amarok has plugins that directly consume content from popular web sites and displays them to you as you play music. For example it can look in Flickr for photos of your currently playing track’s artist and display them in a nice slide show to enhance the mood, or display a Wikipedia page about the artists, or look up the lyrics of the song, or even look up similar Youtube videos and offer to play them – inside Amarok. Think you need a web browser to browse Youtube? Amarok has changed that! And this is what it is about – enhancing the power of desktop applications by giving them the ability to consume from similar web services. The possibilities are endless. Fact is that we have come to rely on the browser for too many things, and if you really stopped to think about it it’s really rather senseless. When I’m listening to music, why do I need to open an extra browser window just to find lyrics or look up artist/album information? When I’m writing a document, why should I have an extra browser window to look for material? When I’m writing a program, why should I have an extra browser window open just to look up API references? The browser is today trying to do too much! This awkward work flow needs to change – we need to make our desktop programs more ‘web-sensitive’ and independent of the browser. (Remember the documentation widget I built into PlasMate?). At KDE we have already identified this as a critical path in the evolution of the desktop, and are already setting plans in motion to this end. We even have a cool codename for the movement – Project Silk.

  • BETT 2010 Review

    The stand received financial sponsorship from Red Hat, Linux IT, University of London Computing Centre and The Learning
    Machine (Ingots) for which everyone is very grateful. Canonical, the commercial entity behind Ubuntu very kindly provided us with 600 Ubuntu 9.10 CDs (500 Desktop and 100 Server) to give away (thanks Larry) and there were a similar number of CDs containing a great collection of Education-centric Open Source desktop applications for Windows from Free Software for Students that was compiled and produced by Peter Kemp and David Wilmut. That’s around 1200 CDs in total full of completely Free goodness and fun. We encouraged all the recipients to copy, share and pass them on too! At the end of the show we had only a few (quite literally) of each remaining.

  • LCA

    • Photo Essay: Geekdom descends on Wellington

      Wellington’s Convention Center this week hosted 700 open source software engineers – i.e. geeks – for a festival of discussion of all things linux at Linux.Conf.Au the annual Australasian Linux conference. Carl Suurmond was dispatched to catch the atmosphere with his camera on the final day. Tomorrow the conference will open its doors to the public for an Open Day for all things linux from 11am to 2pm.

    • Open-source alive and thriving

      New York University anthropologist Gabriella Coleman says the open-source software movement has emerged relatively unscathed from the economic downturn.

      Ms Coleman was the opening keynote speaker at Linux.Conf.Au, a trans-Tasman conference held in Wellington last week that attracted more than 600 open-source software developers and enthusiasts.

      She took the plunge and immersed herself in the world of open source in 2001, perceiving it was a culture worthy of academic study.

  • Desktop

    • Simmtronics Ships SimmBook with IBM Client

      Simmtronics Semiconductors Ltd. has entered into a global agreement with IBM Corp. As per the agreement, IBM has authorized Simmtronics to preload its IBM Client for Smart Work software solution in the Simmbook on Ubuntu operating system. This includes Lotus Symphony office productivity software which is made available at no charge to Simmbook customers.

    • How Linux Differs from Windows

      Since churches and ministries are always looking for ways to save money, learning as much as you can about free computer software alternatives is a good idea. Operating systems like Windows Vista and Ubuntu Linux do pretty much the same things, but in different ways.

      Cost and licensing

      Linux operating systems are published under open source licenses that make the source code available to everyone. Microsoft products, including Windows Vista and XP, are protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws. As for cost, most Linux distributions are free and can be used on an unlimited number of computers. Windows operating systems are expensive, and legally each license can only be used on one computer.

    • FF3.6 on ubuntu is not a reason why GNU/Linux is not ready for the mass-market

      Second: Remember that the way software is installed/maintained in the GNU/Linux world is completely different from Windows’. In Windows, as the writer said, you grab the software from internet (hopefully form a reliable location…. but we know that’s not always the case, is it?), click on it, maybe will have to restart your computer…. a couple times (why the hell installing Adobe Reader requires you to reboot Windows? Is Adobe Reader the equivalent for Windows of glibc or something?) and then finally you are done with the software. In GNU/Linux, at least in Ubuntu (and every other distro that prides itself of being such), you have to wait for the maintainers of Ubuntu to review software to make it available. That’s right…. they do that job for you, the user. And it’s not just firefox that they maintain… they take care of thousands (literally) pieces of software to make them fit together and not mess with each other when you installed them on your beloved Ubuntu-powered box. And that not only sounds like a dauntin task… it really is. And what would be the equivalent of that in the Windows world? It would be like waiting for Microsoft to review the software when it’s made available by its developers (have you seen how long it takes Microsoft to work on their own bugs? How long would it take them if they had to review other people’s software as well?) and make it available to you through the centralized software they provided Windows with so that their beloved customers don’t have to go leaping from site to site to grab the latest piece of malware-infested piece of software… oh, but there’s no such thing for Windows, is there? Such a shame, you know.

    • The GNU/Linux “Chicken Little” Syndrome

      I run Mandriva 2010 at the moment on my desktop system here at the ERACC Intergalactic Spaceport and Karaoke Bar, otherwise known as my home office. I have been running releases of Mandriva for several years now. At first I too wanted to always have the latest, cutting edge release of every package out there. After a while I came to understand that if Mandriva package maintainers saw that a patch was necessary for an application I run then they would patch the version in the distribution and release the patched version in the update repository. If there were a new version of a software application that had security implications for a desktop user, then after testing the new version it would be included as an update for the life of that desktop release, usually 12 to 18 months. Long term desktop releases would get these updates if needed for their lifetime as well, usually 3 years. Then the next time I install updates I get the patched or new version.

    • Buying a Linux Laptop …

      I was really having fun! At one site, I found a laptop with Windows 7 installed, but also with a selection to have none and an instant price-reduction when the “No OS” choice was made. That felt good!

      I finally found a computer which met all my needs; weight, size, quality of hardware and Ubuntu installed (one of many choices) at LinuxCertified.

      I hope others will join me in buying your next computer this way. You will find competitive prices and the satisfaction of not paying the Windows tax.

  • Server

    • IBM’s Panasonic win points the way for enterprise collaboration services

      Panasonic has signed a deal with IBM to migrate its global workforce from Microsoft Exchange to IBM’s hosted LotusLive service. IBM will initially migrate 100,000 employees to LotusLive iNotes, increasing to 300,000 over time. This is one of the largest commitments to cloud services by a global enterprise to date, and is a feather in the cap for IBM in its struggle with Microsoft for email and collaboration seats. However, in our opinion this is as much about delivering commodity services from the cloud as it is about IBM’s win over Microsoft.

    • Lotus wins client from Microsoft

      Even though it recently landed a giant software deal with Japanese electronics firm Panasonic Corp., IBM Corp.’s Lotus unit, based in Westford, is still playing catch-up against archival Microsoft Corp.

    • Panasonic Dumps Microsoft, Goes With IBM
  • Applications

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • Anatomy of a developer sprint

      Two weeks ago I was at the annual KDE PIM meeting at Osnabrück. It was the eighth time that this meeting took place, and it was a blast, once again. This is amazing, so I’m taking the opportunity to reflect a bit on what makes this meeting so successful, how it evolved over time, and what we all can learn for running great developer sprints.

    • KDE Gears Up to a Free Cloud

      Day 2 of Camp KDE kicked off with a bang when Frank Karlitschek announced the start of a significant new KDE project. The ownCloud initiative will complement the Social Desktop and Get Hot New Stuff efforts which are already dealing with social and collaborative data. Like those, the ownCloud initiative strives to combine the rich desktop interfaces made possible by the Qt and KDE libraries with the large amount of social information and data users are putting online.

  • Distributions

    • 10 scripts to create your own Linux distribution

      Those familiar with Linux will be able to tweak settings, add and remove apps and customise the menu, toolbars and other desktop elements.

      Incredibly, those are about all the skills you need to create your very own Linux distro.

      We’re going to take a look at some scripts that’ll help you customise different distros.

    • Slackware 13 Revisit

      In my Slackware 13 review mfillpot gave some suggestions to improve the Slackware experience and I thought I would give them a shot. First off, changing the init level to 4 to allow KDM to show up instead of this startx business. I was happy to note that Slackware had emacs. So many distros have vi and I never really learned how to use it well. So I changed the value to 4 and restarted.

    • Making the Switch to Arch Linux

      Overall, I am really happy with Arch, although to be fair, I haven’t been using it for more than a day yet. However, the documentation is great and the installation was relatively quick and painless, so I am pretty pleased at this point. I look forward to getting more comfortable with it and switching my other machines as well.

    • New Releases

      • 2009-09-08: CRUX 2.6 released

        CRUX 2.6 has been released. Please check out the ChangeLog, the Release Notes and the Handbook. For download links, head this way.

      • 18Jan2010 DigAnTel Version 2.0 has been released.

        DigAnTel-2 is a FREE Digital / Analog VOIP Telephone system utilizing CentOS Linux (RedHat), Asterisk 1.4.22, FreePBX 2.6.0 with VoicePulse module, Openfire, vtigerCRM with click to dial, PostFix, OpenVPN, and automated Polycom Phone suppot. DigAnTel is the glue to bind these technologies thus creating a unified telephony system for your home or small business. The installation is completely automated and doesn’t require a working knowledge of Linux or Asterisk.

      • FreeNAS 0.7.1
      • Greenie Linux 6.1K
    • Debian Family

      • A Windows XP-ish Debian at 120Mhz

        The novelty in this is not in the desktop arrangement; I’ve been slowly tweaking and adjusting this setup for the better part of a year. In fact the fun part of this is that I’ve never been able to arrange it on this machine, even though I wanted to for quite a while.

      • Rounding out a terminal-based Debian system

        Test runs at 120Mhz suggest this is a clean and brisk way to browse without overburdening the machine to a point of unusability. Firefox with Flash it is not, but if you are an unbeliever and demand a graphical browser on a Pentium Pro, this will satisfy. Furthermore, adding fbi to your system brings along fbgs, which allows you to display images and pdf files, respectively. For the reverse, try fbgrab and share your desktops with the world.

      • Ubuntu’s Latest Alpha: 15-Second Boot Time

        Now that Alpha 2 of Lucid Lynx is available (it was posted late last week) it’s easy enough to install that code onto the same PC test bed and measure the results. This version of the Ubuntu 10.04 beta booted up in — wait for it — 15 seconds. If you were around during the days of Windows 3.1, the concept of a 15-second boot time would be almost unfathomable. Come to think of it, it would be tough to imagine during the days of Windows Vista.

      • Sidux 2009-4 success: A little help from Ubuntu Lucid Alpha 2 goes a long way

        I’ll get to Ubuntu Lucid 10.04 LTS Alpha 2 later, but the “safe graphics mode” boot option in that very Ubuntu live DVD helped me figure out how to get Sidux 2009-04 to boot on my Intel 82830 CGC (aka Intel 830m) graphics-running Toshiba Satellite 1100-S101.

        Over the course of two computing sessions I experienced both the Alpha 2 of the upcoming Ubuntu LTS release as well as the Sidux take on Debian Sid, circa early last year, both of which I’ve wanted to do in order to “plan” this laptop’s future when I decide to leave Debian Lenny behind.

      • Ubuntu Lucid 10.04 Alpha 2: First impressions on ‘difficult’ hardware

        Ubuntu Lucid isn’t even in the beta stage, let alone a release-candidate or fully baked release, and on my hardware it’s looking very, very good. I’m no fan of free-software hyperbole, but Ubuntu Lucid really does look like the best Ubuntu LTS release ever, and I’m anxious to see it at release time in April.

      • Announcing Ubuntu User Day – January 23, 2010

        The Ubuntu User Days Team would like to announce the first Ubuntu User Day, on January 23, 2010. This will be a very informative one day session geared towards beginner and intermediate Ubuntu users, as well as people who are interested in using Ubuntu. We have 14 classes covering topics ranging from installing Ubuntu, finding help, equivalent programs, using IRC, getting involved in the Ubuntu Community and more. We have enlisted the help of many talented people to lead these classes throughout the day.

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 177

        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #177 for the week January 17th – January 23th, 2010. In this issue we cover: Developer Membership Board election results, Ubuntu User Days A Big Success, Bugs and hugs, Ubuntu Developer Week: January 25th – January 29th, 2010, Canonical Blog: ISV support for Ubuntu Server Edition widens, January 20th America’s Membership Review Board Meeting, Ubuntu LoCo Re-Approval Process, LoCo Stories: the Ubuntu Honduras School Tour, Launchpad 10.1 roll-out 09.00-11.30 27th January 2010, Anonymous Access to the Launchpad Web Service API, Introducing Ubuntu Electronics Remix 9.10, and much, much more!

      • Interview With Ubuntu Manual Project Leader

        The Ubuntu Manual Project has stirred up veritable carnival of publicity over the last few months, signifying a huge appetite for such a document within the community.

        I decided to find out more on the project and its origins by interviewing the manual project leader (dare i say creator?) Benjamin Humphrey – also known as HumphreyBC.

      • Infinitely Virtual Offers Ubuntu 9.10 with All Virtual Dedicated Server Products

        Ubuntu 9.10 also offers its Server Edition, which provides the performance and security of Linux for the enterprise servers. Ubuntu Server Edition easily integrates with a user’s existing networks while providing a low total cost of ownership. The Server Edition goes further to offer multiple life cycle scenarios for users to choose from, and is supported by free life maintenance.

      • Infinitely Virtual Releases Ubuntu 9.10
      • GroundWork Monitor Enterprise 6.1 adds Ubuntu support

        Version 6.1 of the system and network monitoring suite GroundWork Monitor Enterprise is now available. For this release the development team focused on improving performance and have also added support for Ubuntu Server to the monitoring solution. GroundWork Monitor Enterprise supports both Ubuntu 8.04 LTS and the latest Ubuntu 9.10 release.

      • New flavours of Ubuntu being developed in Ireland

        Recently I popped down to the BT Young Scientist Exhibition here in Dublin. This is for secondary school students/ High school junior students in Ireland. It’s pretty amazing to see the enthusiasm they show for science and technology at an early age.

        The process starts months ago, students submit a one page proposal on a topic, if it’s accepted they research and come up with the results, prototype or something to show from it all. It also gives Industries who are based over here to come and show case their projects and encourage students into those areas. IBM, Google, Analog Devices to name a few all took part and all have offices here in Ireland.

      • ÜberStudent – Ubuntu version for Students and Researchers

        ÜberStudent is a free, Ubuntu-based operating system for higher education and emerging-generation high school students, those who wish to learn to excel at the tasks and habits of top students and researchers, and anyone who can benefit from easy-to-use yet powerful computing. Like Ubuntu, ÜberStudent is a complete operating system with programs for everyday computing tasks, but comes with an additional core of expertly configured programs, and many user-friendly extras, designed to increase your academic success. It’s Software Explorer enables you to easily extend ÜberStudent still further for specific academic disciplines, and it doesn’t stop there. Music and movie lovers, gamers, budding graphic designers, and those who insist on an ascetically eye-popping user interface will also be very pleased.

      • ÜberStudent
  • Devices/Embedded

    • iStorage DiskGenie secure portable hard drive

      The drive comes pre-formatted with the NTFS file system but you can change that according to your Mac or Linux needs.

    • Phones

      • Sony’s First Linux Phone!

        Linux is gaining popularity in the mobile phone industry, thanks to Android. Sony Ericsson has also joined the Gnu-Linux club and announced the launch of their first Android-powered phone — The Xperia X10.

        The Xperia X10 phone, named SO-01B, will be launched in Japan in April 2010 with NTT DOCOMO. This Xperia phone creates a unique Sony Ericsson user experience by combining best-in-class entertainment features with signature applications.

      • Android

        • It’s Android or Apple: who needs other handset vendors?

          The runaway success of Apple’s iPhone and of Google’s Android OS tells a story that handset vendors don’t really want to hear.

        • Google Chrome OS to Have Media Player to Challenge Microsoft

          The lead engineer for Google’s Chrome Operating System told Ars Technica the emerging product and its Chrome Web browser sidekick will have a complete media player that approximates the functionality of Windows Media Player. Chrome OS boots up a netbook in a fraction of the time it takes to start today’s existing computers. With Google’s Chrome Web browser, Chrome OS loads Web applications in just a few more seconds.

        • Latest AdMob Report Shows Android Drinking Microsoft’s Milkshake

          The latest AdMob metrics report is out today and it’s nothing we haven’t seen yet. To sum it up quickly, Android continues to grow both here in the US and abroad. In the span of one year Android traffic (in the AdMob network) has grown from 1% overall to 16% for North America and Western Europe.


          This time last year year, Windows Mobile accounted for 12% whereas now it sits at 3% right next “other.” Ouch.

        • Google Nexus One gets multi-touch thanks to hacker

          Google has just dropped Android software 2.1 (which the Nexus runs on) into the open source trough, making it rife for hacking and modding. This is the first, and is described as a simple job. Chris Paget of H4RDW4RE, describes the tweak as “very much low-level Linux kernel hacking as opposed to a full on ROM.”

    • Sub-notebooks

      • ARM processors to overtake Intel in mobile devices by 2013?

        I’ve seen many similar reports that talk of Linux overtaking Windows for UMDs in a broadly similar timeframe. One thing’s for sure smartbooks and the like are here to stay.

      • ARM Seen as a Threat to Intel on the Mobile Front

        Despite the current developments and the latest advancements in x86 chips power efficiency, analysts seem to think that, even though Intel currently controls the netbook market with its new Atom chips, this dominance may be short lived. ABI Research suggests that the ARM architecture may make a strong incursion into this segment, likely taking away most of the mobile market share from Intel’s units.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Eucalyptus Downloads On The Rise

    Open source Eucalyptus Enterprise Server includes APIs that mimic the proprietary functionality of Amazon’s EC2.

  • Valdes and Astronaut putting VA VistA in the cloud

    A company launched by the founder of Linux Medical News is making the VA VistA software available in the cloud for the first time.

  • Magic Lantern firmware makes Canon EOS 5D Mark II the camera Canon should have released

    More awesomely, at 08:11 in the video (and here on the Wiki) Trammell tells us that his software is “free-as-in-speech GPL”.

  • Regional council adopts open source

    Horizons Regional Council will take open-source software for a spin on its desktop computers early this year under a push to bring free software to public sector PCs.

    New Zealand Open Source Society president Don Christie says NZ Post and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet will also trial the software as part of the Public Sector Remix project.

    Fourteen government agencies have signed up for the project, and as of Wednesday 32 firms had responded to a survey seeking to identify the number and capability of New Zealand companies providing and supporting open-source software.

  • Nouveau

  • GIMP

    • Multi-column dock windows and [GIMP] 2.8 schedule

      The code refactorings and clean ups that have been made to enable single-window mode to be implemented has also resulted in improvements to multi-window mode. The most significant is the support for multi-column dock windows, as you can see used in the screenshot above. People having dockables on one screen and an image in full screen on another will probably find this useful, for example. Before this, you could only have one column of dockables inside a dock window.

    • Single Window GIMP Coming 27th December 2010

      We’ve discussed the singlewindow GIMP before – even telling you how to install it! Now GIMP developer Martin Nordholt has revealed that the ‘target’ release date for version 2.8 (AKA ‘Single Window GIMP) is December the 27th 2010.


    • FSF goes global with anti-Windows campaign

      The campaign, called Windows 7 Sins, argues proprietary software, particularly Microsoft’s, erodes internet users’ freedom..

      The organisation said today it would issue press releases about the Windows 7 Sins campaign in eight languages, with several more on the way.

  • Releases

    • Parrot 2.0.0 Released!

      On behalf of the Parrot team, I’m proud to announce Parrot 2.0.0 “Inevitable.” Parrot is a virtual machine aimed at running all dynamic languages.

    • GNU SIP Witch 0.6.0 released
    • icecat 3.6

      I have uploaded a pre-release version of IceCat 3.6, if there will not be major problems, at the beginning of next week I’ll make an official release. Please report on this mailing list any problem you may encounter.

  • Licensing

    • Control versus community

      However, permissive licences don’t ensure the ongoing freedom advocated by Richard Stallman, which underpins the FOSS philosophy. Significantly, though, Stallman is himself beginning to accept that they are sometimes necessary, as evidenced in a recent article in which he admits to having mixed feelings on selling licence exceptions. Could this shift in Stallman’s thinking be evidence of a fundamental change in the broader licensing landscape?

  • Openness

    • Government posting wealth of data to Internet

      The Obama administration on Friday is posting to the Internet a wealth of government data from all Cabinet-level departments, on topics ranging from child car seats to Medicare services.

      The mountain of newly available information comes a year and a day after President Barack Obama promised on his first full day on the job an open, transparent government.

  • Programming

    • Writing great scripts with Python

      When you combine the two, you elevate the art of literal misinterpretation to a higher form of genius. In Dr. Pun’s latest article, you will learn all about writing scripts using Python, just not the Python you may expect. The calembour or the equivoque is so potent here, that essentially a bad idea becomes fantastic. Follow me.

    • How to benchmark a C++ code
  • Standards/Consortia

    • HTML5 video and codecs

      Recently, Vimeo and YouTube announced that they were moving to support the HTML5 video tag, as DailyMotion did last summer. This is an important step in making video a first-class citizen of the modern web, and that is great news. Unlike DailyMotion, however, Vimeo and YouTube chose to rely on the patented H.264 video encoding, rather than an unencumbered encoding like Ogg Theora. This means that the <video> pages on those sites will not work with Firefox.

    • Better video quality with html 5

      The proprietary flash player has left alot to be desired for Linux and Apple users. Especially if you are running with accelerated 3d and with compiz fusion. Finally it is possible to watch youtube videos in html 5 format instead of the flash player. And I have found an easy way to take advantage of this new feature. This experience for me at least has been so much better. No more low quality jerky video, but instead with html 5 the video can be viewed in high definition and still be smooth.


  • Security

  • Finance

    • Switzerland court rules UBS may not disclose US taxpayer’s financial information

      The Swiss Federal Administrative Court [official website, in French] ruled [judgment, PDF, in German; press release, PDF, in French] Thursday that an American taxpayer’s financial information at Swiss bank UBS [corporate website] may not be disclosed to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) [official website] pursuant to an August 2009 agreement [text, PDF; JURIST report]. The court ruled in favor of an undisclosed American taxpayer, who appealed a November decision by the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (AFC) [official website, in French] that would have allowed the disclosure.

    • Scandal: Albert Edwards Alleges Central Banks Were Complicit In Robbing The Middle Classes

      We present Albert Edwards’ latest in its complete form as it must be read by all unabridged and without commentary. These are not the deranged ramblings of a fringe blogger – this is a chief strategist for a major international bank.

  • PR/AstroTurf

    • SCOTUS: No Means No

      As Peter Wallison argues in his great book on party finance, the real evil of American politics is that politicians must beg interest groups for the money to finance their campaigns. What we need is not “less money” and CERTAINLY not less speech – but more distance between donor and recipient. The mechanism for that is the political party. Reformers should be focusing on lifting limits on the flow of money from parties to candidates and restoring the role of the parties as the funders of campaigns. Instead of Candidate Smith asking Donor Gonzalez for money – and Donor Gonzalez asking for a favor in return – party chairman Robinson will ask thousands of donors for money on behalf of a slate of candidates, who will never know precisely whose gift was directed to them. That step will diminish corruption and the appearance of corruption.

    • Obama blasts Supreme Court on campaign finance

      President Barack Obama took a populist tone Saturday, denouncing the Supreme Court’s decision to ease curbs on big business spending on election campaigns.

      Battered by a stunning Republican win this week in the liberal bastion of Massachusetts that robbed Democrats of their 60-seat supermajority, Obama defended his political agenda and vowed to continue fighting against “the special interests in Washington”.

      “In my first year in office, we pushed back on that power by implementing historic reforms to get rid of the influence of those special interests,” the president said in his weekly audio and video address.

    • Olbermann: U.S. Government For Sale

      In a Special Comment, Countdown’s Keith Olbermann envisions a future United States in which today’s Supreme Court ruling permitting unbridled corporate campaign spending purchase all the power greed can afford.

  • Censorship/Civil Rights

    • Judge bans media from woman’s trial in Henry County

      “I think the defendant’s rights to a fair trial trump the First Amendment,” he said.

    • Supreme Court says jury selection should be in public

      The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the constitutional right to a public trial in criminal cases means that jury selection, including questioning of prospective jurors, should not be done behind closed doors.

    • Google Welcomes Clinton’s Call for Uncensored Web (Update3)

      Google Inc., clashing with the Chinese government over Web censorship, praised U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for calling for an unrestricted Internet where people can operate without fear of repression.

      “At Google we are great believers in the value to society of unfettered access to information,” the company said in a statement today. Google said it will work with governments, human-rights organizations and bloggers to promote free expression and increased access to information.

    • Russian Whistleblower Cop Arrested

      Remember the Russian cop’s YouTube narrative on police corruption? Reader Max_W writes with the news that Alexei Dymovsky, the cop whose videos started a movement, was arrested (Google translation; Russian original) on January 22, 2010. He is in prison in the south of Russia. Max_W adds: “It seems only a president is allowed to have a video blog in Russia.”

    • PayPal Freezes the Assets of Wikileaks.org

      “Paypal has as of 23rd of January 2010 frozen WikiLeaks assets. This is the second time that this happens. The last time we struggled for more than half a year to resolve this issue. By working with the respected and recognized German foundation Wau Holland Stiftung we tried to avoid this from happening again — apparently without avail.”

    • Another Privacy Concern

      Suffice to say that it, ‘clixpy’, records everything I do when online to the text portal, key strokes, mouse movements, selections made etc., as shown by a live demo on clixpy.com, if I use a web browser. So it appears to be very intrusive and I’m extremely concerned for my privacy.

      What is the reason for ‘clixby’s presence? Is it a consequence of new UK laws or EU regulations, or is it something else. WHATEVER, I *DON’T* LIKE IT! Makes me think of PHORM.

    • Russian journalist dies after beating in police custody

      Russia’s police force was today at the centre of another national scandal after a journalist beaten in custody died in hospital from his injuries.

      Konstantin Popov, 47, was arrested two weeks ago in his home town of Tomsk, Siberia, after neighbours complained that he was drunk and playing his guitar too loudly.

  • Internet/Web Abuse/DRM

    • BBC given go-ahead for Freeview HD copy-protection

      The BBC has been granted provisional approval for the BBC to introduce copy protection for content on the Freeview HD platform.

      With Freeview HD closing in on a commercial launch, focus has continued on what level of copy protection should be put in.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • ACTA: The new era of transparency

      How is that possible? It cannot be found out because the mandate is not made public. Magic, it reminds me of the charlatans who say they live without food and water supply, and it is their personal secret what makes them survive.

    • Obama Supports $675K File Sharing Verdict

      The Obama administration is backing $675,000 in damages a Massachusetts student must pay the Recording Industry Association of America for file sharing 30 songs.

Clip of the Day

Monsanto’s Toxic Milk – Banned in Europe

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  1. Links 24/4/2017: Linux 4.11 RC8, MPV 0.25

    Links for the day

  2. Why Authorities in the Netherlands Need to Strip the EPO of Immunity and Investigate Fire Safety Violations

    How intimidation and crackdown on the staff representatives at the EPO may have led to lack of awareness (and action) about lack of compliance with fire safety standards

  3. Insensitivity at the EPO’s Management – Part IX: Testament to the Fear of an Autocratic Regime

    A return to the crucial observation and a reminder of the fact that at the EPO it takes great courage to say the truth nowadays

  4. For the Fordham Echo Chamber (Patent Maximalism), Judges From the EPO Boards of Appeal Are Not Worth Entertaining

    In an event steered if not stuffed by patent radicals such as Bristows and Microsoft (abusive, serial litigators) there are no balanced panels or even reasonable discussions

  5. EPO Staff Representatives Fired Using “Disciplinary Committee That Was Improperly Composed” as Per ILO's Decision

    The Board of the Administrative Council at European Patent Organisation is being informed of the union-busting activities of Battistelli -- activities that are both illegal (as per national and international standards) and are detrimental to the Organisation

  6. Links 23/4/2017: End of arkOS, Collabora Office 5.3 Released

    Links for the day

  7. Intellectual Discovery and Microsoft Feed Patent Trolls Like Intellectual Ventures Which Then Strategically Attack Rivals

    Like a swarm of blood-sucking bats, patent trolls prey on affluent companies that derive their wealth from GNU/Linux and freedom-respecting software (Free/libre software)

  8. The European Patent Office Has Just Killed a Cat (or Skinned a 'Kat')

    The EPO’s attack on the media, including us, resulted in a stream of misinformation and puff pieces about the EPO and UPC, putting at risk not just European democracy but also corrupting the European press

  9. Yann Ménière Resorts to Buzzwords to Recklessly Promote Floods of Patents, Dooming the EPO Amid Decline in Patent Applications

    Battistelli's French Chief Economist is not much of an economist but a patent maximalist toeing the party line of Monsieur Battistelli (lots of easy grants and litigation galore, for UPC hopefuls)

  10. Even Patent Bullies Like Microsoft and Facebook Find the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Useful

    Not just companies accused of patent infringement need the PTAB but also frequent accusers with deep pockets need the PTAB, based on some new figures and new developments

  11. Links 21/4/2017: Qt Creator 4.2.2, ROSA Desktop Fresh R9

    Links for the day

  12. At the EPO, Seeding of Puff Piece in the Press/Academia Sometimes Transparent Enough to View

    The EPO‘s PR team likes to 'spam' journalists and others (for PR) and sometimes does this publicly, as the tweets below show — a desperate recruitment and reputation laundering drive

  13. Affordable and Sophisticated Mobile Devices Are Kept Away by Patent Trolls and Aggressors That Tax Everything

    The war against commoditisation of mobile computing has turned a potentially thriving market with fast innovation rates into a war zone full of patent trolls (sometimes suing at the behest of large companies that hand them patents for this purpose)

  14. In Spite of Lobbying and Endless Attempts by the Patent Microcosm, US Supreme Court Won't Consider Any Software Patent Cases Anymore (in the Foreseeable Future)

    Lobbyists of software patents, i.e. proponents of endless litigation and patent trolls, are attempting to convince the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to have another look at abstract patents and reconsider its position on cases like Alice Corp. v CLS Bank International

  15. Expect Team UPC to Remain in Deep Denial About the Unitary Patent/Unified Court (UPC) Having No Prospects

    The prevailing denial that the UPC is effectively dead, courtesy of sites and blogs whose writers stood to profit from the UPC

  16. EPO in 2017: Erroneously Grant a Lot of Patents in Bulk or Get Sacked

    Quality of patent examination is being abandoned at the EPO and those who disobey or refuse to play along are being fired (or asked to resign to avoid forced resignations which would stain their record)

  17. Links 21/4/2017: System76 Entering Phase Three, KDE Applications 17.04, Elive 2.9.0 Beta

    Links for the day

  18. Bristows-Run IP Kat Continues to Spread Lies to Promote the Unitary Patent (UPC) and Advance the EPO Management's Agenda

    An eclectic response to some of the misleading if not villainous responses to the UPC's death knell in the UK, as well as other noteworthy observations about think tanks and misinformation whose purpose is to warp the patent system so that it serves law firms, for the most part at the expense of science and technology

  19. Links 20/4/2017: Tor Browser 6.5.2, PacketFence 7.0, New Firefox and Chrome

    Links for the day

  20. Patents on Business Methods and Software Are Collapsing, But the Patent Microcosm is Working Hard to Change That

    The never-ending battle over patent law, where those who are in the business of patents push for endless patenting, is still ongoing and resistance/opposition is needed from those who actually produce things (other than litigation) or else they will be perpetually taxed by parasites

  21. IAM, the Patent Trolls' Voice, is Trying to Deny There is a Growing Trolling Problem in Europe

    IAM Media (the EPO's and trolls' mouthpiece) continues a rather disturbing pattern of propaganda dressed up as "news", promoting the agenda of parasites who drain the economy by extortion of legitimate (producing) companies

  22. The Patent Microcosm Keeps Attacking Every Patent Office/System That is Doing the Right Thing

    Patent 'radicals' and 'extremists' -- those to whom patents are needed solely for the purpose of profit from bureaucracy -- fight hard against patent quality and in the process they harm everyone, including individual customers

  23. Another Final Nail in the UPC Coffin: UK General Election

    Ratification of the UPC in the UK can drag on for several more years and never be done thereafter, throwing into uncertainty the whole UPC (EU-wide) as we know it

  24. Links 19/4/2017: DockerCon Coverage, Ubuntu Switching to Wayland

    Links for the day

  25. Links 18/4/2017: Mesa 17.0.4, FFmpeg 3.3

    Links for the day

  26. Patents Roundup: Microsoft, Embargo, Tax Evasion, Surveillance, and Censorship

    An excess of patents and their overutilisation for purposes other than innovation (or dissemination of knowledge) means that society has much to lose, sometimes more than there is to gain

  27. How I Learned that Skype is a Spy Campaign (My Personal Story) -- by Yuval Levental

    Skype is now tracking serial numbers, too

  28. Links 17/4/2017: Devil Linux 1.8.0, GNU IceCat 52.0.2

    Links for the day

  29. EPO Patent Quality and Quality of Service Have Become a Disaster, Say EPO Stakeholders

    Stakeholders of the EPO, in various sites that attract them, are complaining about the service of the EPO, the declining quality of patents (and the rushed processes), including the fact that Battistelli's blind obsession with so-called 'production' dooms the already-up-in-flames EPO and makes it uncompetitive

  30. IAM is a Think Tank for Patent Trolls, Software Patents, the EPO, Microsoft, and Whoever Else is Willing to Pay

    The site where you get what you pay for continues to promote highly damaging agenda, which threatens to disrupt operations at a lot of legitimate companies that employ technical people


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