To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.
To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.
The Open Source/Linux Development survey series finds out exactly what’s on the minds of developers active in Open Source development. This survey consists of over 400 in-depth interviews with Linux developers and covers topics such as: languages and Linux distributions; what type of apps are being created for servers and for clients; how many Linux apps will be released next year; what are the major obstacles to Linux and to Open Source Software (OSS); how different types of development tools rate; security concerns with Linux; preferred chipsets, licensing issues, and development tools.
NoMachine has been nominated as a finalist based on the solution they provided Schwaebisch Hall, the first German Council to migrate to Linux. NX eased the transition providing 32 branches, 17 mobile workers and 16 Kindergartens remote access to both Linux and Windows applications from Linux desktops and thin clients on the network or directly from the Internet.
In the past week, The H had the latest news on how, even without cookies, web browsers and users can be identified, the latest Linux kernel developments with the Kernel Log, yet another vulnerability in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser and more…
Attendees at the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE) will be able to go “UpSCALE” on Friday, Feb. 19, as the expo provides a series of lightning talks that evening. Based on the O’Reilly Media “Ignite” talks which have occurred at OSCON, the UpSCALE talk is a presentation in which participants are given five minutes to talk on a subject, accompanied by 20 slides which are displayed for 15 seconds each. If you think you’re up to the pace of a quick presentation and can wow an audience in five minutes or less, UpSCALE is for you.
The 2010 edition of linux.conf.au was held on January 18 to 22 in Wellington, New Zealand. A number of the talks from this event have been covered elsewhere on LWN, with more to come; this article will talk about several other sessions and your editor’s impressions of the conference as a whole. In brief: it was a highly successful event which easily lived up to the high standards set by LCA.
The Linux Professional Institute (LPI) issued a call for volunteers to assist in the development of its world leading Linux certification program. Volunteers are sought for participation in a Job Task Analysis (JTA) survey for the organization’s new specialty exam LPI-304 (High Availability and Virtualization).
It comes pre-installed with a Linux/KCE operating system and is preconfigured out of the box.
Which reminds me of computers. I’ve been using them for a long time. For the past six or seven years, I’ve been a devotee of Linux. Linux, or more properly GNU/Linux, is a free, open source computer operating system. Several tech-savvy guys recommended it to me, and I invested many hundreds of hours in exploring it.
The good news: it works, it’s fast and powerful, it is immune to all extant viruses, and it’s free. The bad news: it was a steep learning curve, although more current “distributions” or brands of Linux are easier.
Six months after launching its Penguin on Demand (POD) cloud computing service, high-performance Linux cluster provider Penguin Computing said up to 200 of its 2,000-strong customer base are using its on-demand offering, including some new customer wins in the life-sciences sector.
Zarafa, the fastest growing groupware company in Europe, expects an exponential uptake in the community now that two major community distributions have decided to package Zarafa’s Collaboration Platform (ZCP).
The final version of ZCP 6.40.0 release, scheduled to be launched in March 2010, will be available through the Canonical Partner repository for the popular Ubuntu distribution.
I lost count of the number of times someone told me I was nuts for wanting to compile a new kernel Why not get a new different distro of Linux that works on a specific machine? What is wrong with the kernel that comes with the distro? In many cases, the default kernel works just fine. Conversely, there are reasons for compiling a new kernel.
For this article, I am focusing on the PC architecture. A 32-bit PC can vary from a slightly ancient 386 to the latest chip from different manufacturers. While the range is not as a great, the same is true for 64-bit chips.
ffA (‘Foster Findlay Associates Ltd’), a world leading provider of 3D seismic analysis software and services to the oil and gas industry, has released the latest advanced 3D seismic analysis and volume interpretation applications, SVI Pro and SEA 3D Pro 2010, on Windows and Linux platforms.
Jono Bacon provides an overview of PiTiVi, an open source video editor for the Linux desktop.
For many of us, using Linux is like being a kid in a candy shop. Want office productivity? Check. Want to listen to and watch multimedia? Check. Want to get online and communicate over a raft of mediums? Check. Among the many shelves, stocked with treats aplenty, has been one strangely lacking shelf: that of video editing.
If you don’t want to bother with that, or if you occasionally boot from a USB device (which is, by the way, a great way to play with Linux if you’re not ready to install it onto your hard drive), then simply unplug any flash drive, external hard drive, or MP3 player before booting. And if you forget and your PC fails to boot, unplug the device and reboot.
Primal Carnage is planned for release for the Windows and Linux operating systems in Q4 2010.
Gnome 3.0 promises to give Linux the desktop polish it needs.
It’s been a long time in the coming but this year Linux will get a makeover, thanks to the Gnome project. In September the Gnome team, makers of one of the most popular desktop interfaces for Linux, will release version 3.0 of their desktop environment and they are promising “big user-visible changes”.
If you’re running the GNOME desktop environment and you want to make Google’s Gmail your default mail handler, you’re going to need to specify a script to do the handoff. Gnome Gmail integrates Gmail into mail links and commands on your GNOME desktop. Once it’s in place, when you select a mailto URL, or select Send Link… from Firefox, Gnome Gmail opens a Gmail browser screen with a composed message, ready to send. Gnome Gmail also supports file attachments and the Nautilus file “Send To…” command.
Each year over Columbus Day weekend, GNOME developers — especially North Americans — gather for a casual hackfest in Boston, Massachusetts. The atmosphere is friendly and informal; most of the attendees know each other from other GNOME events. There are no booths at the event; companies are only represented by their employees.
This year’s Summit was especially productive. With a clear goal in sight (GNOME 3.0), everyone seemed to be on-task. Discussions were cordial and not too tangential. Ideas were rapidly brought up and filtered. New objectives were set and agreed upon. And, perhaps best of all, this Summit was very cohesive: almost everyone was able to attend every session that they needed to.
Paul Cutler interviews Jonathan Thomas, creator of the OpenShot video editor. OpenShot is a non-linear video editor with support for many audio and video codecs, GNOME drag and drop support, titles, transitions video encoding and transcoding and more.
The story of Vala begins with Jürg Billeter. He noted that writing and refactoring GObject-based code in C required a lot of extra work that more modern languages automated. He also noted that these modern languages do not produce libraries that can be easily used in other environments. He wanted a full-featured object-oriented language that could produce C-style interfaces automatically. (See the Gee collection class for a perfect example of Vala solving this problem.) He mentioned his idea to fellow student Raffaele Sandrini, who jumped in to help build the early compiler.
Ever experienced a computer crash the day before you have to turn in an important project? As we all know, backups are your best friends in such situations. There are several types of back-up systems out there today. One method is to clone your hard drive, so that you can restore everything as it was in the event of a crash. There are a few software packages, both commercial and free, which help you to do this. Norton Ghost is probably the most commonly used solution for years. But let’s take a look at Clonezilla, which is an open source alternative that gives Ghost a run for its money.
All in all, Pardus is an excellent distribution, a pleasant surprise to people like me who like to pick random distros on distrowatch and try them. I almost had a religious experience with it, amazed at how well a distribution could be made at great detail. Back in the Pardus 2009 days, I remember all linux distros failed to bring an out of the box stable KDE 4 system that looked nice, but Pardus did that, and now with KDE 4.3 it’s even better. Unfortunately their lack of packages made me switch to another distribution after a couple of days, but it is perfect for people who don’t demand a big collection of packages, the everyday man/woman who just want to work using the usual tools. If you want to recommend a very nice, stable and functional KDE distribution you should really take Pardus into consideration.
Today’s enterprise IT organizations are intimately familiar with the pain of change. Under pressure to do more with less while accelerating velocity and responsiveness, IT is finding software systems harder than ever to provision and maintain.
Cloud computing is getting its very own Linux flavor based on the Red-Hat distribution designed expressly for optimizing virtualization technologies like VMware or Xen. CloudLinux (also the name of the startup) can be installed with a single kernel, operating system, and library, and requires only a single copy of Apache which comes bundled with the new distribution.
The Ubuntu server is the most innovative distribution for servers. It enables administrators to gain access to cutting edge technology and implement that with new ideas. If you are looking for the latest and greatest, this is the server option for you.
All in all, I am very pleased with the clean look and speedy performance of Ubuntu 9.10 on the Dell D820. Linux has come a long way, and now looks totally professional, especially on a high resolution screen. It certainly feels like I’m using serious computing power, and the fact that it’s open source, free, and so adaptable – is just inspiring. Thanks to the leagues of open source developers out there who created an amazing system, which in my opinion is clearly superior to Windows on the basis of speed, flexibility, and cost. I’d like to hear from others if they also have similar opinions on the speed issues – and if so – why isn’t everyone switching to Linux on the basis of that metric alone.
Cisco has announced a new wireless router in India that promises to do a lot more than just enabling wireless internet access. The Linksys WRT160NL comes with a processor and OS of its own to allow users to harness the full potential of the device as a router and as a media server.
Top Global develop the Linux SDK for our Gobi Router MB7900 by leveraging our SmartDriver technology which was developed over the last 10 years and can support over 100 Aircards, USBs, and embedded modules from all the vendors around the world. Top Global’s Gobi SDK works with processors such as ARM, MIPS, and PowerPC. The SDK is fully tested and proven in our own products which are in high volume production.
Palm hits the gas pedal: with a six-figure monetary award for the most downloaded webOS applications the California company wants to heat up the app development market.
In a nutshell, just because it’s free doesn’t mean you can’t make money from it. As most consumers only keep applications on average 3-4 weeks on their phones and aren’t willing to shell out money for applications, AppCreatives believes free Android applications are the way to go. Then again, the company does stress that premium paid-for apps will have a role to play if the content is branded and of exceptional quality.
According to the latest Ubuntu Netbook Remix Blueprint, the Ubuntu community have decided to drop OpenOffice from the default installation of Ubuntu Netbook Edition for the upcoming Lucid Lynx release, atleast for now. Now documents will be opened by default in Google Docs.
We have previously told you about Gimp being dropped from Ubuntu Desktop and Ubuntu replacing Google with Yahoo as the default search engine.
Leeenux is a light weight Linux distribution based on Ubuntu Netbook Remix. It takes up just 1.2GB of disk space and has a user interface that’s designed for netbooks with screens as small as 7 inches. In other words, it plays well with first generation Asus Eee PC models.
Another part of users say that their batteries underperformed and decided to return to Windows XP or Vista versions or even switch to Linux.
“Although netbooks are small today – maybe ten per cent of the PC market at most – we believe over the next several years that could completely change around and that could be 90 per cent of the PC market,” the ARM CEO, Mr. Warren East, says. “We see those products as an area for a lot of innovation and we want that innovation to be happening around the ARM architecture.”
Ubuntu wordmark officialImage via Wikipedia
This post is directed to a friend that asked about getting a new netbook and putting Ubuntu on it. Facebook ate my homework and gave me nothing but a server error in response, so I decided to put the answer up here and just send him a link.
Thinking of installing Ubuntu on a Netbook we’re going to buy as I’ve heard it’s pretty lightweight in comparison to Windows 7. What are your thoughts on this in general? Also, it is free right?
First of all, I want you to know that I use Ubuntu every day. All of the computers in my house (and there are many of them) use Ubuntu or some relative (like Debian). Not only is it free (as in liberty), it’s also free ($), and it does everything that I want and more, though there’s sometimes a little pain involved. My experiences with Windows don’t involve any less pain, though the part of the eye the needles get stuck into isn’t necessarily the same.
The Chrome OS, which runs on top of the Linux kernel, is a direct challenge to Microsoft’s(MSFT Quote) dominance in the PC market and will also intensify competition between Google and Apple. Chrome is expected to launch in the second half of the year and is an extension of Google’s Chrome Web browser. It will initially be targeted at netbooks — and tablets.
Despite being similar in name and appearance, X2 has seemingly gone in the opposite direction to Apple offering not only a range of hardware configurations but also support for both Windows and Linux.
One of Apple’s key selling points for the iPad (and iPhone, and iPod Touch) is an app store with over 140,000 applications designed to run on the devices. Of course, there are also thousands of applications designed to run on Windows, Linux, Windows Mobile, Google Android, and other platforms. But the app store paradigm has really caught on for mobile devices, because it turns out it’s much easier to find and download all of the programs you want to run from one place rather than scouring the web. Who knew? (Other than Linux distributions that have been using a repository and package management system that’s arguably a lot like an app store for years, I mean).
Lastly, the open source SIeSTA operating system which is based on Debian Linux poses a threat to iPad. Don’t you think that this is a better option than the Apple’s iPad?
Inside Contactless, a manufacturer of near field communications (NFC) chips, is releasing “Open NFC,” an open source version of its NFC protocol stack for mobile platforms including Linux and Android. Meanwhile, Juniper projects that NFC will play a growing role in a mobile-ticketing market that will reach 15 billion tickets by 2014.
With the Obama Administration gutting NASA’s return to the Moon program, we need to look to private industry to lead the way in returning humans to space. Open source could be the ticket to get us there better, faster and cheaper
There is an article by Mark Webbink, Esq., “Packaging Open Source”, in the International Free and Open Source Software Law Review, Vol 1, No 2 (2009) that I think you’ll find interesting. It compares various FOSS licenses and how they handle compilations and collective works. The context of the article is specifically packaging Linux with an application into a software appliance, but the descriptions of the licenses and how they work are broadly useful in other contexts as well. I am republishing the article here because many of you face choices about what license you will use on your works, so you also need to understand, and others of you are lawyers who would like to understand FOSS licenses better.
Stellarium, the realistic 3-D planetarium for your computer.
This week’s show is brought to you by Bang Bros and Adobe, we also talk about the iTampon, Defective by Design, Ubuntu switching to Yahoo for search, Sourceforge blocking whole countries and much more…
*Matt Asay moves from Alfresco to Canonical
*GPL fade fuels heated discussion
*Apple’s iPad and its enterprise and open source impact
*Open source in data warehousing and storage
*Our perspective on Oracle’s plans for Sun open source
NBC Universal management gets more and more ridiculous every time we come across anything they do. While they’ve left most of the more ridiculous statements to their chief lawyer, Rick Cotton (who is worried about the poor corn farmers harmed by movie file sharing), CEO Jeff Zucker has made his fair share of whoppers. While he got a lot of attention last month for his cowardly handling of the whole Leno/Conan mess, his latest move is to flat out lie to Congress. In a hearing in front of Congress as a part of NBC’s effort to merge with Comcast, Rep. Rick Boucher asked Zucker about Hulu being forced to block Boxee (a battle that’s gone back and forth a few times).
Personally, it is Sun’s involvement with open source software that will be most missed. Having bought StarOffice back in 1999 from German company StarDivision, Sun in 2000 released the code for StarOffice under an open source licence and the name OpenOffice.org. Over the years community and Sun developers pushed OpenOffice.org closer and closer to its goal of being a fully free alternative to proprietary office suites, something that it has largely achieved.
For Thunderbird fans with a sense of adventure, Mozilla has released ‘Lanikai’ Alpha 1. Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X is supported in a variety of languages.
Weave has matured considerably over the past few years and has become one of the most powerful and compelling solutions for synchronization that is available for the Firefox Web browser.
MariaDB 5.1.42, a new branch of the MySQL database which includes all major open source storage engines, myriad bug fixes, and many community patches, has been released. We are very proud to have made our first final release, and we encourage you to test it out and use it on your systems.
Melody is an open source content management system for bloggers and publishers where its community of users and contributors is its most important feature.
Melody extends on Movable Type’s legacy in four basic ways. Take what already exists in Movable Type, keep what’s best about it, remove from the core product features which make things substantially more complex but which are only used by a minority of users anyway, and move Melody forward in ways that show the developers are directly attuned to the needs of the new user (and developer) base.
Eben Moglen, Professor of Law and Legal History at Columbia University, and founder, Director-Counsel and Chairman of the Software Freedom Law Center, spoke about “Freedom in the Cloud: Software Freedom, Privacy and Security for Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing” on Friday, February 5, 2010, 7-9 pm.
It seems as if most people are for OpenSource but against any other form of distribution/development. For example, Microsoft maintains ownership of the software that they sell on store shelves. No one owns a copy of Windows except for Microsoft. Well, good for them, but when Microsoft’s products became dominant due to market demand people starting making noise because Microsoft wanted to put their own software on their own software (Internet Explorer on Windows)… so even though it’s Microsoft’s property on both accounts, they apparently did wrong by bundling the two together? Now, in the realm of current events we are seeing something similar with Google.
Like the mayor, California’s IT leadership recognizes that open source could be a money-saver. But it’s apparent that the state isn’t touting open source with quite as much gusto as Newsom. “It’s not like we’re giving agencies carte blanche to throw up any kind of OSS (open source software) that they want,” Farley told Government Technology last month. California’s policy “normalizes” the state’s use of open source software, giving “a framework for departments to use OSS out of the shadows, more or less,” he explained.
The state’s more cautious approach likely stems in part from wariness about security. Mark Weatherford, the state’s chief information security officer, recently wrote in a blog post on Govtech.com that he has been on both sides of the argument about open source.
Oracle has announced the latest release of Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse 11g, a component of Oracle Fusion Middleware. Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse is a free set of certified plug-ins that enable developers to build Java EE and Web Services applications for the Oracle Fusion Middleware platform where Eclipse is the preferred Integrated Development Environment (IDE).
Assessing how successful an IETF standard has become should help the Internet standards body, and its working groups, better understand the impact of the work it is doing, said Dave Crocker, an IETF member and a principal at the Internet consulting firm Brandenburg InternetWorking. Crocker led the creation of the wiki.
A UGA employee is accused of trying to bilk money from students in exchange for covering up alleged computer violations, according to university police.
While many of the illustrations of dinosaurs we see in movies and books are striking, the truth is that much of the way we depict our jurassic friends is based on educated guesswork. But a few teams of scientists now say they have been able to determine a dinosaur’s coloring with more precision. And one dino, in particular, has been color-mapped from head plume to toe.
Last week, I wrote about a revelation buried in a Washington Post article by Dana Priest which described how the Obama administration has adopted the Bush policy of targeting selected American citizens for assassination if they are deemed (by the Executive Branch) to be Terrorists.
With each passing day, it becomes more and more astonishing to encompass the fact that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and their henchmen from the prior administration have managed thus far to escape any accounting whatsoever for the massive battery of criminal activity committed during their time in office. More than a year has passed since these men had their hands on the levers of power, and evidence of their myriad crimes and frauds is laying all over the countryside, yet nothing has come of it.
The British government has been running a wide-ranging inquiry into the manner in which the UK and United States were led to war in Iraq by then-President Bush and then-Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Americans have largely stopped thinking about Iraq, even though we still have approximately 110,000 troops there, as well as the largest “embassy” on the planet (and still growing). We’ve generally chalked up our war in Iraq to the failed past, and some Americans, after the surge of 2007, even think of it as, if not a success, at least no longer a debacle. Few care to spend much time considering the catastrophe we actually brought down on the Iraqis in “liberating” them.
Clare Short’s failure to resign before the Iraq war drew criticism. This week, she was applauded after giving evidence at the Chilcot inquiry. Now about to leave parliament after 27 years, does she have any regrets?
Police are using controversial car-surveillance technology aimed at catching criminals and terrorists to target members of the public in order to meet government performance targets and raise revenue, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.
Police whistleblowers also claim that intelligence stored on the national Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) database is “at least 30 per cent inaccurate”, which has led to the wrongful arrest of innocent motorists and the seizure of their cars.
Twitter has identified a scheme that uses compromised file-sharing sites to steal the log on information of users.
The service said it had discovered a number of compromised “torrent” sites that include code used to skim usernames and passwords.
Glynn Moody discusses what a bogus concept it is, and why a new EU report is massively discredited in simply taking the claim at face value:
I’ve noted several times an increasingly popular trope of the intellectual monopolists: since counterfeiting is often linked with organised crime, and because counterfeiting and copyright infringement are vaguely similar, it follows as surely as night follows day that copyright infringement is linked with organised crime.
In Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell described a superstate called Oceania, whose language of war inverted lies that “passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.’”
When DVD Jon was arrested after breaking the CSS encryption algorithm, he was charged with “unauthorized computer trespassing.” That led his lawyers to ask the obvious question, “On whose computer did he trespass?” The prosecutor’s answer: “his own.”
If that doesn’t make your heart skip a beat, you can stop reading now.
When I was growing up, “trespassing” was something you could only do to other people’s computers. But let’s set that aside and come back to it.
“Falcon” poses a considerable risk to filesharers who want to retain their privacy and this version continues a long line of denying users their software freedom. If the program were free software, groups could set up competing services based on trustworthiness; we could have other remote control services running in competition with the uTorrent.com-based remote control service. You wouldn’t have to reveal your filesharing to parties except those you trusted while retaining the convenience of a small program running quickly. You could use whatever metric of trust to determine who those trustworthy parties are, if anyone. Instead, proprietary software pushes you into a monopoly for this service. This remote control protocol could be a commodity, improved and built upon as BitTorrent protocol itself is.
Trading away your software freedom is never a good idea.
The Indian government has moved to establish its own body to address and monitor science surrounding climate change, saying it “cannot rely” on the official United Nation panel.
Nobel Peace prize winner Rajendra K. Pachauri attends the opening of the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009, also known as COP15, at the Bella center in Copenhagen December 7, 2009.
The move is a severe blow to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) following the revelation parts of its 3000 page 2007 report on climate science was not subjected to peer review.
That’s exactly what hackers went after last week when they obtained unauthorized access to online accounts where companies maintain their carbon credits, according to the German newspaper Der Spiegel.
Forget about all of those ubiquitous police surveillance cameras in your city: the new sheriff in town is that shifty Google Maps camera wheeling through your neighborhood.
The problems of proliferation, climate change, and oil dependence share both a nuclear non-solution that confounds U.S. policy goals and a non-nuclear solution that achieves them.
American International Group plans Wednesday to pay another round of employee bonuses, worth about $100 million, said several people familiar with the matter, a year after similar payments at the bailed-out insurance giant infuriated many Americans and inflamed Washington.
Explore the various facets of the government’s budget and see how revenues and spending have changed over time. Explore the various facets of the government’s budget and see how revenues and spending have changed over time
With more than a twinge of irony, Murray Hill Incorporated, a liberal public relations firm, recently announced that it planned to run in the Republican primary in Maryland’s 8th Congressional District.
The solution to that disagreement is democracy. We should begin the long discussion about how best to reform our democracy, to restore its commitment to liberty and a Republic, by beginning a process to amend the Constitution through the one path the Framers gave us that has not yet been taken — a Convention.
The U.S. Supreme Court decision that enables corporations to become full-throated participants in our political process by protecting their right to free speech raises a vexing philosophical question: if corporations are to get the same rights as people, why can’t they vote?
According to the report, Shelby is holding Obama’s nominees hostage until a pair of lucrative programs that would send billions in taxpayer dollars to his home state get back on track. The two programs Shelby wants to move forward or else…
President Obama is coming under pressure from Democrats and civil liberties groups for failing to fill positions on an oversight panel formed in 2004 to make sure the government does not spy improperly on U.S. citizens.
South Australia’s thin-skinned candy-ass politicians passed a law prohibiting any anonymous political commentary on blogs (but not “real” news-sources) prior to elections on penalty of a fine of AU$1250. Defending the measure, South Australia’s Attorney General, Michael Atkinson claimed that a poster on AdelaideNow, Aaron Fornarino, was a fictional construct created by his political opponents to smear him. Turns out that Mr Fornarino lives just down the street from Atkinson’s office. Humiliated, Atkinson rescinded the censorship law: “From the feedback we’ve received through AdelaideNow, the blogging generation believes that the law supported by all MPs and all political parties is unduly restrictive. I have listened. I will immediately after the election move to repeal the law retrospectively… It may be humiliating for me, but that’s politics in a democracy and I’ll take my lumps.”
The FBI is pressing Internet service providers to record which Web sites customers visit and retain those logs for two years, a requirement that law enforcement believes could help it in investigations of child pornography and other serious crimes.
Remember what put the debate over net neutrality into high gear? In 2007, EFF and the Associated Press confirmed suspicions that Comcast was clandestinely blocking BitTorrent traffic. It was one of the first clear demonstrations that ISPs are technologically capable of interfering with your Internet connection, and that they may not even tell you about it. After receiving numerous complaints, the FCC in 2008 stepped in and threw the book at Comcast, requiring them to stop blocking BitTorrent. The Comcast-BitTorrent experience put net neutrality at the top of the FCC agenda.
Love him or hate him, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), former employee of NBC, made Comcast’s befuddled CEO Brian “Comcatastrophe” Roberts look like a complete tool during yesterday’s hearing on the proposed Comcast/NBC mergepocalypse.
We don’t actually know if Brian “Comcatastrophe” Roberts is generally as confused and awkward as he appeared to be while trying to explain why Comcast would testify that FCC regulations provide adequate safeguards for consumers — after it just argued that the same rules were unconstitutional . Maybe he’s usually pretty sharp. We really don’t know.
What do the authors of the children’s book “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” and a 2008 book called “Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation” have in common?
Both are named Bill Martin and, for now, neither is being added to Texas schoolbooks.
In the discussion on our recent post about CwF + RtB business models and how they work, one of our regular critics has been filling the comments with links that supposedly “disprove” this model. I find it fascinating that this person — who claims to spend time helping musicians — spends so much time in our comments constantly insisting that the examples that we show that work couldn’t possibly work.
Of course, this just shows how far gone AFACT and its members (Hollywood studios mainly) are out of touch with what this ruling is saying. The ruling points out, quite clearly, that the problem isn’t with the law and it’s not with the technology. Changing the law doesn’t fix things. The problem is with how the big movie studios have failed to adapt, and are now blaming totally blameless parties for their own failures.
The Vancouver Island, British Columbia, huckster is looking for donations or even a partnership in hopes of reviving the site that has become infamous for its mocking portrayal of the RIAA, which consists of Vivendi Universal, Sony BMG, EMI and Warner Music.
Someone who prefers to remain anonymous sent over this odd story of a musical duo who put up a notice on the band’s website claiming that, due to “piracy,” they were no longer going to sell CDs. But the reasoning makes no sense at all:
NOTICE: Due to uncontrolled Music Piracy, [Our album] will no longer be sold to the general public. We refuse to cater to thieves and criminals. When the Worldwide Piracy problems is solved, then we will begin sales once again.
Separately, the CNN article is incredibly weak in that it makes the mistake of implying that the recording industry is the entire music industry. It completely ignores the fact that the overall music industry has actually been growing as sales of recorded music have dropped. People have just shifted their spending habits, and that likely would have happened whether or not any licensing deal had been worked out in 1999.
First, on the title, let’s get serious. Every time someone claims “piracy is stealing” it suddenly becomes that much more difficult to take them seriously, because it shows they’ve put no thought into their argument and are parroting specious arguments that have nothing to do with reality. Stealing means taking something away. Making a copy of something means there’s two such things, not one, and nothing is missing.
Wal-Mart is boxing out Redbox. Wal-Mart (WMT), the world’s largest retailer, has imposed strict limits on the number of DVDs any one customer can buy at a time, making it harder for movie-rental kiosks such as Coinstar’s (CSTR) Redbox to get their hands on large numbers of newly released discs.
While father Rupert Murdoch decries the “theft” of his news content, is his daughter Elisabeth admitting that some piracy must actually be accepted?
“Fans remain the best salesmen of our content, even if that behavior is on the borderline of piracy. Danger of the new world is that we must concede that we’ll lose some control,” Murdoch, who owns TV producer Shine, said in a speech to the NATPE TV conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday. That must take us to “the borderline of piracy”, she said, according to Broadcasting & Cable.
Smelling blood in the water after Amazon caved to Macmillan’s demand to stop selling e-books of their titles for only $10, News Corp Chief Rupert Murdoch says he, too, wants that deal.
As the latest episode of “the ebook wars” continues, there’s still lots of chatter about last weekend’s Macmillan/Amazon fight. Apparently a lot of authors are angry at Amazon for this. While I can understand how the fight might hurt some authors — and they’re justifiably worried about Amazon’s dominance in the ebook market today,
Here, Newsday’s counterpoint to the embarrassing report earlier this week about their dismal online subscriber numbers. That is not even part of their strategy, jerks.
So, with the New York Times going metered and rejecting a proposed membership model that would have been much more CwF+RtB-ish, I thought it might be worth looking at Mike’s list from the perspective of newspaper publishing. Though some of the ideas are more suited to musicians, it still qualifies as Ten Good Reasons to Buy.
I’d argue that getting even 5% to pay, as one recent study suggested, may be wildly optimistic. 66% is downright delusional.
Danny Sullivan comes to the rescue by pointing out that while Cuban is telling sites that Google traffic is worthless, he’s invested in Mahalo, an aggregator site that lives off of Google traffic and still tries to do some similar aggregation efforts, such as IceRocket.com (which is a direct competitor to Google News… though no one uses it). Meanwhile, an old interview dug up by Michael Arrington has Cuban talking about how much he’d like to invest in TechMeme — a similar aggregator. Clearly, Cuban is playing some sort of trick on media companies.
The Digital Economy Bill that is wending its glacial way through the UK parliament has produced an interesting row between the BPI (representing the interests of the major record labels) and the ISPs, telco’s and mobile network operators. They are arguing over who should pay how much to fund remedial measures to clamp down on illegal file-sharing. The BPI is in a tough place since the cheaper they argue the cost will be, the more the ISPs respond by saying “well then you can pay for it.” Minister Stephen Timms recently suggested the split should be 75/25 (with the BPI paying the greater amount).
The blog, if you didn’t know, basically found awkward stock photo images, but did so in a very promotional way, linking back to the original, and always including the original watermark. In other words, it was helping to advertise some rather unique iStockPhoto images — and as the site notes, lots of other sites have done the same — and even received book deals for it. It seems like iStock’s parent company, Getty Images, totally overreacted to a site that was only helping them, and not harming the company at all.
According to Hipple’s blog and conversations I had with Hipple and Mackie yesterday, Hipple submitted the photo to a stock agency around 1999/2000. When Mackie heard about the photo being sold, he got his lawyer to send Hipple a letter asking for the photo to be removed. According to Hipple, that happened within two days of when he received the letter.
Typepad administrator Jen has given Herald a deadline of January 29th to gut our coverage of the Second Life Justice League Unlimited’s wiki, citing a Typepad Terms of Service violation for “displaying copyrighted text and images without permission”. The Herald has declined to remove the disputed materials, setting the stage for a new media showdown between the press and an embarrassed group of Second Life avatars brandishing copyright claims.
UPDATE: Geoff Gerber, an IP lawyer has an interesting blog post about this. He writes, “There is no absolute defense to a right of publicity claim based upon parody,” and “It should also be noted that it is not clear that Celebrity Showdown would be considered a parody.” This is getting interesting. I’ve reached out to Antarctic Comics, the artist Brian Denham, and Olivia Munn for comments about this story, but have so far not gotten a reply from any of them.
Either way, this lack of concern for fair use is common: A music publisher tried to silence a critical podcast. A blogger sought to block an advocacy ad. Opponents of same-sex marriage looked to remove an unflattering YouTube clip. These and other “Takedown Hall of Shame” inductees likely think that it is difficult to punish a copyright holder for failing to consider fair use (it’s hard to prove), and probably take comfort in the fact that many ordinary Internet users lack the knowledge, time, or resources necessary to challenge the takedown.
ADM has, top it mildly, been the subject of considerable ire, criticism, and even criminal prosecution for price fixing (the subject of Matt Damon’s recent film The Informant and Fair Fight in the Marketplace, an excerpt of which appears below’s Woertz’s blathering), political corruption, destruction of the rainforests, and the forced labor of children.
This is outright copyright abuse. Criticism is fair use. When anyone asks whether in fact fair use is grounded in the Constitution’s guarantee of free speech, all you need is to think of a situation like this — one can appropriate copyrighted works to criticize and parody the copyright holder. And to use the copyright laws to silence that critique has nothing to do with protecting intellectual property and the rights of a creator to profit from his, her, or its creation: it’s unconstitutional censorship! (Peter Bouchard wrote a good summary yesterday on ” The Battle against Bogus Takedowns, a topic I’ve touched on in the past.”
You gotta love snarky legal filings. We’ve already covered the ongoing saga between the clothing company behind The North Face and a teenager who started a parody line of clothing called The South Butt (short version, TNF got mad and despite lots of public outcry in favor of TSB, TNF’s parent company sued). You already knew that the folks behind The South Butt wouldn’t necessarily respond in a conventional manner. They had already set up a Facebook app to see if people could tell the difference between a face and a butt.
The real issue here is that, once again, you have people making rules who think they understand what copyright is for, and they don’t recognize what it really means at all.
“In Princeton, we picked up 9 inches of snow, Billerica had 7,” the weatherman said.
“The biggest amount that I could find … almost as big as me,” Bouchard said as he stepped closer to the camera, shifted his eyes sideways and added, “About nine 9 inches.”
The video quickly became an Internet sensation, leading many to believe Bouchard was making an off-color joke.
Channel 7 yanked the clip off YouTube citing a copyright claim, and the station doesn’t intend to address the blooper on air.
Documents leaked late last year containing sections of the draft agreement led to speculation that the treaty would focus more on copyright reform, in light of increased digitization, than on trademarks and the fight against counterfeiting (see “Leaks drive fears over ACTA”).
Three-strikes style measures to tackle illegal file-sharing are being secretly discussed at the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement (ACTA) talks in Mexico.
Okay. Pick your jaws up off the floor. That last sentence is so ridiculous and so false; it’s amazing he thought that he could get away with it. Exactly which governments have “sought public comments” on ACTA? The answer? None. Why? Because no government has yet revealed what ACTA is officially. Hell, in the most recent ACTA negotiations, held in Mexico, the government wanted to force the public to sign NDAs just to attend a public meeting, and then had industry representatives mocking public concerns and demanding that a blogger leave the proceedings for live Tweeting the meetings. Yes, “sought public comments” indeed. Does he think that if he says day is night people just believe him? And the idea that the government is “far from keeping [ACTA] secret” is pure hogwash. A comparison of ACTA secrecy to similar negotiations suggest that ACTA is being kept exceptionally secret.
An influential group of MPs and peers has said the government’s approach to illegal file-sharing could breach the rights of internet users.
A UGA employee is accused of trying to bilk money from students in exchange for covering up alleged computer violations, according to university police.
William Fischer, Harvard law professor and Free Culture Business Theorist 01 (2004)
Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.
Summary: New evidence of ghostwriters in Novell’s own Web site
The Source has just found this little blooper which suggests that Novell has ghostwriters. We captured more evidence of this before, about 2 years ago. Some of the executives of Novell either do not write their posts or do not write them alone (or use the assistance of technical people to run their blogs, by proxy so to speak). Bill Gates’ latest PR charades on the Web are pretty much the same. It’s all marketing and part of the branding of “Bill Gates”, whose crimes the PR effort is trying to erase with the help of irresponsible reporters. █
Photo by timedebugger
Summary: At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Microsoft super-lobbyist Craig Mundie requests new laws that complicate the Internet and ignore the real problem (Microsoft negligence)
Microsoft’s Craig Mundie is reportedly pushing for new laws, just as his colleague Brad Smith did a few weeks ago with help from the Huffington Post (simplification of eavesdropping to compensate for Windows botnets). Microsoft, which is paying a lot of money to the Democrats [1, 2, 3], is playing politics again.
To be clear here, Mundie and other Microsoft executives have enormous political power (especially the Gates family) and as we mentioned some months ago, Mundie is attending Bilderberg meetings. Mundie is Free(dom) software-hostile and he is among those who advise Obama [1, 2, 3, 4].
Anyway, the news is about Mundie calling for an “Internet Driver’s License”. Here is one take on it:
This is why I am sure that Mr. Mundie will begin implementing a license test for Microsoft Windows. You see, there are by some reports over 9 million “zombie” Windows machines disrupting internet use by relaying spam and spreading malware, and while Mr. Mundie may not be able to create an Internet Driver’s License, he is certainly in the position to promote a Microsoft Windows Driver’s License.
Mr. Mundie asserts that some authority needs be able to “organize the systematic quarantine of machines that are compromised.” Who is in a better position that Microsoft itself to require and verify the proper ability of potential Microsoft Windows users to be responsible, and in turn to deny that use if necessary?
This announcement from Mundie — not too surprisingly — came from one of those notorious events by the elites for the elites (it’s a bit like WIPO and it is also based in Switzerland).
So when someone who really should know better starts to push this sort of incredibly dangerous concept, it’s time to bump up to orange alert at a minimum, and the trigger is no less than Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer for Microsoft.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos two days ago, Mundie explicitly called for an “Internet Driver’s License”: “If you want to drive a car you have to have a license to say that you are capable of driving a car, the car has to pass a test to say it is fit to drive and you have to have insurance.” ( http://bit.ly/aWJ2ed )
Over in the New York Times, there is this new article about Chinese crackers which ends with the following paragraph:
“Microsoft and Adobe have a lot of zero days,” he said, while scanning Web sites at home. “But we don’t publish them. We want to save them so that some day we can use them.”
As we found out a couple of weeks ago, Microsoft had ignored known Internet Explorer holes for about half a year before disaster hit Google and other firms [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]. This pattern of avoidable negligence [1, 2, 3] should have Microsoft banned from the Internet or even sued, according to some journalists. █
“In the decade ahead I can predict that we will provide over twice the productivity improvement that we provided in the ’90s.”
“Like almost everyone who uses e-mail, I receive a ton of spam every day. Much of it offers to help me get out of debt or get rich quick. It would be funny if it weren’t so irritating.”
Summary: A look back at nonsensical predictions and lack of foresight from Microsoft’s Nostradamus
“Since this is from the BBC,” says a reader of ours, “there’s no need for a URL, a better citation can be found instead. It’s another quote for the Bill Gates as Visionary file: “Although Bill Gates announced the tablet concept at Comdex in November 2001, saying that “within five years I predict it will be the most popular form of PC sold in America.” Instead the format flopped, constituting less than 1% of sales in 2009.”
“It’s right up there with the open letter to computer hobbyists rant and the end of spam prediction,” says our reader. In 2004, Bill Gates said that “spam will be a thing of the past in two years’ time.” To a large degree, spam is the fault of Microsoft. In 1993, Bill Gates said: “The Internet? We are not interested in it.” And yet, the BBC — with its infinite shamelessness — portrays Gates as though he's among the fathers of the Web. Microsoft is good at lying and getting the press to lie along.
Our reader Marti has just shown us this new tablet that combines Windows and Linux.
X2 Technology has capitalised on Apple’s decision not to call its tablet the iTablet. Its X2 iTablet will run Windows or Linux and support Flash.
It’s not the first Windows-Linux tablet of this kind. iPad is hardly the product to beat not just because it's customer-hostile but also because it’s technically inferior. There’s still doubt about the future of this form factor, which lacks a proper keyboard to begin with. █
Summary: Microsoft shows its true weakness as new vulnerabilities in its business model and lack of technical merit become public knowledge
IN reality, Xbox was a financial disaster, exceeding in terms of losses even Microsoft's failed attempt to steal Google's thunder (that cost Microsoft over $5,000,000,000 in losses).
Microsoft may be trying to change this doomsday scenario by cutting costs and cutting products. “I guess [it is] another way to attempt to push up sales,” said Oiaohm a few moments ago, pointing to this new item from Slashdot:
Xbox Live For Original Xbox Games Shutting Down
itwbennett writes “Giving no explanation beyond that it ‘will provide the greatest benefit to the Xbox LIVE community,’ Microsoft’s General Manager for Xbox Live, Mark Whitten, announced that as of April 15th, Microsoft will be shutting down its Xbox Live service for the original Xbox and its games. ‘Cold comfort for those of you who still enjoy playing Xbox titles like Halo 2 with your friends,’ writes blogger Peter Smith. But Smith notes that Whitten’s announcement does hint at some form of restitution for those affected, encouraging users to check their LIVE messages for more details and opportunities.”
This was covered last night by our reader Goblin, who wrote:
Now it appears that as of April 15th 2010, fans of old Xbox titles such as Halo 2 will no longer be able to play them on Xbox live market place. Microsoft (as usual) reports this news as if its a good thing (and unless I am mistaken Halo 2 is still loved by many)
Microsoft early this morning delivered some bad news to holdouts continuing to use its Xbox Live online gaming service to play games originally created for its first Xbox. As of April 15, the company is discontinuing Xbox Live for the original Xbox, according to the post by Xbox Live GM Marc Whitten (via VentureBeat).
So here we have another dead product, joining the ranks of many others.
So why does it appear that Microsoft is “investigating” now? Remember Vista and “early good reports”? It doesn’t come a surprise to me that people were complaining before now and you can see some of the plea’s for help here.
So remind me again (and in particular if you are a Netbook Windows 7 user) once Aero is switched off and you’ve managed to finally get that pesky XP package working….whats the advantage here of wanting 7 on a netbook over XP when there are reports of bad battery life? People often ask if 7 is the version to finally replace XP….I’ll let you be the judge of that.
Summary: Apple’s proximity to the copyright cartel and its fear of freedom as illustrated by this week’s news
We found it worthwhile to inform readers that Apple attacks sharing of books — something that people were always able to do with phyical books.
Does Apple’s iBooks ambition mean a new DRM regime for existing e-book app makers? Less than a week after the new iBooks store was announced alongside the iPad, the Amazon-owned Stanza iPhone e-books app has released an upgrade, the version notes for which read: “Removed ability to share books via USB as required by Apple.”
Yes. “Removed ability to share books via USB as required by Apple.” Another new report from Valleywag says that Jobs is getting chummy with Microsoft’s buddy, Rupert Murdoch [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13], as well as the New York Times, which we wrote about yesterday. It’s all very discreet.
Steve Jobs visited the Wall Street Journal and New York Times in recent days, say sources at the papers. Also, New York reports the Apple CEO showed up for a secret media dinner.
We’re reliably informed that Jobs showed up for an iPad show and tell at the Times building, with newsroom staff present.
Apple is a big proponent of DRM (no matter what it tells to the cameras). Jobs himself is very close to Hollywood, as we showed in a recent diagram.
Apple is very much like Microsoft when it comes to standards and their eternal fear of GNU/Linux (and lack of support for the platform) can also be seen in this report from yesterday:
iPhone App Store bars mention of Google Android
Apple has told a tiny mobile software developer that its application cannot be included in the iPhone App Store if it mentions Google Android.
Apple is pro choice, as long as that choice is Apple. █
“Apple is fighting against powerful and fundamental economic forces. In the short term, Apple’s technological and industrial design prowess can help to prop up dying business models.”
“But rather than a search engine or even a “decision engine”, Bing also appears to be a spin engine, in that it provides partisan answers to controversial topics, such as Steve Ballmer’s propensity to throw chairs to blow off stress.”
Summary: Shortly after deciding to send users’ search queries to Microsoft datacentres, Canonical hires a man who defends Microsoft for “options and competition”
THE chief operating officer (COO) of Canonical, Jane Silber, recently became the company’s CEO, replacing Mark Shuttleworth. Coming in to fill Silber’s COO gap is Matt Asay, as announced by Canonical and by Asay himself.
After more than four years at Alfresco, I have joined Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux distribution, as its chief operating officer.
It is worth understanding Asay’s background. He is an Apple enthusiast (Apple proponents are a subject we’ll address in the next post on DRM and Apple’s role in it) who also defended the GPL for a long time (these days he is promoting Apache and sometimes joining the the anti-GPL noise). He does not like Richard Stallman’s philosophy, he insisted that Microsoft should be allowed the enter the OSI (he was on its board at the time), and he also used to work for Novell (in addition to Alfresco and Lineo). He has a background in law, but on the technical side he understands matters as a computer user. This is hopefully an accurate representation of his views and background. Others wrote about that from a different perspective. Last night Asay told me that he would move to GNU/Linux on the desktop (he tried SUSE when he worked at Novell, but eventually ended up moving from Windows to Mac OS X, sometimes experimenting with Ubuntu afterwards).
“I’d estimate that the Yahell deal nets them at least a few hundred thousand dollars over the course of a year.”
–RyanUbuntu had a relatively weak last release (Fedora, for an opposite example, did well in the sense that reviews got better, not worse). Even this detailed review from a couple of days ago confirmed this. More recently, Canonical’s decision to send search requests to Microsoft’s Bong [sic] led to some controversy that we covered in [1, 2].
Well, we are somewhat saddened to see that Asay is perhaps trying to justify the company’s new policy by making a new post about “the importance of Bing”. Therein he writes: “It’s not about loving Microsoft. It’s about preserving options…and competition.”
This does not defend competition because it promotes a serial offender — a company that we already know manipulates its search results to advance its lies and business interests (and put competitors in positions of disadvantage). Asay will hopefully not defend Mono (.NET), which is about making Microsoft stronger (and making Novell, his former employer, stronger). It’s not “about preserving options…and competition.”
Microsoft is the antithesis of options and competition. Everyone knows that.
Jokingly, our reader Ryan twisted the above quote to say: “It’s not about loving Microsoft, it’s about loving their money and selling out our users.” He went on to describe it as “Inferior search engine but it makes Canonical some $$$’s. Ubuntu probably has several million users. I’d estimate that the Yahell deal nets them at least a few hundred thousand dollars over the course of a year. That money comes at the direct cost to Mozilla and detracts from Firefox development, so now Ubuntu is worse than a passive consumer of FOSS, they are another parasite. Well, Mandriva defaults to Ask, but I seriously doubt anyone keeps that. Yahoo might be passable enough to keep users content with it.”
MinceR called it “ridiculous” and stated: “apparently Canonical’s leaders have decided it would be fun for them to turn into another Novell”
That’s just too big a leap, which I disagree with. Novell is very different because it directly harms its competitors by legitimising software patents and using them to trash other vendors.
By the way, Asay comes from Alfresco, which is competing against Google, not just Microsoft SharePoint that Novell helps promote under the guise of “interoperability”.
No doubt, Microsoft and Google are waging a software as a service (SaaS) war. But the latest shot fired comes from a surprising source: LTech, an enterprise cloud service provider, is helping customers automate document migrations from Microsoft SharePoint to Google Apps. Here’s how.
As we stressed before, Google can help Free software by weakening or eliminating the industry's bully. Canonical should stand behind Google, not Microsoft. Google already collaborates with Canonical on Chrome OS, doesn’t it? █
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