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02.09.10

Links 10/2/2010: KDE SC 4.4.0 and OpenOffice.org 3.2.0 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 8:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • One Dad’s Take: Why Windows Could be Worse Than Teen Dating

    Though most of the machines at home are currently Linux driven, there are a couple of Windows machines in the house that are used by my children for Software they Cannot Live Without. My teenager likes games, and my tweenager is quasi-addicted to iTunes.

    Being a tolerant Dad you have to know when to pick your battles. This may be a shock to some Linux users out there, but compared to boys, piercings, and parties, letting them run Windows seemed to rank very low on the Dad scale of things that can possibly go wrong. Did I mention boys?

    [...]

    Instead, I launched my KNOPPIX liveCD and used this great Linux utility distribution to hunt down and kill the errant files that I found online in this list. There were also registry entries to delete, and KNOPPIX has an on-board registry editor (WINE-enabled) that lets you get in and fix things, too. For me, using Linux as a solution tool made absolutely sure that things were done right.

  • A sensation of wonder about technological developments

    So, after all this reading, one thing becomes clear: knowing where our computers are connecting to can become the difference to detect infections. Later developments seem to favor built in messaging clients with login data. This means that those bots are connecting as we connect the computer, even when not being part of any attack, only waiting forever, making it easy to spot this with any port scanner.

  • Linux Enthusiasts Raise Over $33,000 to Help Save

    The LCA2010 conference is over, but the generosity of its delegates will leave a lasting impression on the Life Flight Trust.

    During the conference closing dinner at the Wellington Town Hall, attendees bid to win a unique opportunity to join an action-packed Westpac Rescue Helicopter winch training mission. All bids were donations to Life Flight.

    Delegates could donate online with their laptops and results were displayed in real-time on an open source application created by Andrew Caudwell of Catalyst IT.

    At the end of the evening a $12,750 donation from Linux Australia brought the total funds raised to more than $33,000.

  • Linux Conf raises $33,000 for charity
  • The Bruno Knaapen Technology Learning Center is Established

    It was just a short time ago that Scot Finnie announced a long-time Linux Advocate had fallen terribly Ill. His name is Bruno Knaapen and he is the author and maintainer of Brunolinux.com. We wrote about Bruno at Blog of helios and told you that we planned to dedicate a technology learning center to him. I began speaking with different people about various possibilities and locations for the center. It became obvious after a short time that we were not going to be able to find a suitable place any time soon.

  • OU announces Linux course

    The Open University has announced ‘Linux – an introduction’ a ten week course on the open source operating system aimed at absolute beginners.

    Starting in May, registration for the first ten week course closes on the 24th of April. The course will cost £185 for students in the UK. The OU gives a second start date of October 2010, although registration for that date is not yet open, and in future hopes to run the course twice a year.

  • mimio for the Masses: Studio 6 Software Available for Mac and Linux Communities

    mimio, a provider of interactive teaching technologies for educators, is now extending its mimio Studio 6 software offering to Mac and Linux users in multiple languages. Available for download on mimio.com, Studio 6 software allows teachers using Mac, Linux and Windows operating systems to simply create interactive lesson content in multiple languages and provide access to features sure to raise the level of classroom participation.

  • Once scorned, twice as nasty

    I speak of course, of the troll wars pertaining to Linux vs Windows vs Mac. Now, unfortunately, Macs tend to get away pretty well in these arguments, because regardless of how much open source software they steal and how much they try to push forward the boundaries of Vendor Lock-In, they are still the under dog in comparison to Microsoft, so MOST people, tend to leave them alone. The troll wars that I am particularly interested in, are those that follow the blog posts of a certain Steven J Vaughan-Nichols (Or SJVN to most of us). You see this is a very seasoned journalist, who has got a LOT of experience in the world of I.T. and he has a tendency to make rather straight forward blog posts. Only this morning I read one on Windows 7 and how good it was, yet immediately after, I read another which claimed Ubuntu 9.10 was better and gave the reasons why he thought so, the post about Windows being good, had barely a bad word said in the comments, no Linux fans jumping in there saying how much Windows sucks or that it’s a crap OS, yet the other post, whoohoohoohoo out come the zealots, and then the defenders of the faith.

  • From Windows to Linux: a sound decision

    When Beasley first looked at Linux, it was Mandrake (now Mandriva) with KDE 2.0 that he picked up along with a PC magazine. “My initial impression was that I could survive in that environment,” he said.

    But it took seven years before Beasley decided to make the move. His Windows set-up caused him constant headaches, with the crashes of both applications and operating system, and given the level of use he was putting his machines to, he had to reinstall at least twice a year. The software also imposed severe limitations on creativity. All this time, he kept track of developments in audio software for Linux through the website of Dave Phillips, whom he describes as “one of the great movers and shakers in Linux audio.”

  • Desktop

    • ABC TV now allows Linux users to watch streaming media!

      Linux users for a long time have been kept out of ABC Television’s streaming media. Today I checked, and this artificial limitation is no more! Thank you ABC for listening to your viewers; Netflix are you paying attention?

    • The Linux Desktop Experience For 2010

      But personally, I think Xubuntu is a really great desktop experience because of it’s key applications and the fact that it’s really customizable and easy to do just that.

      It’s a great choice as well for people to experience for the first time the use of the XFCE environment as a desktop experience that you can build confidence in and get the kind of desktop you really want.

      And it’s a desktop that will appeal right up until the next release which I may add comes regularly so make sure you watch out for them.

      The XFCE desktop is a environment that works well for most hardware as well which makes it great for old computers and can really give your new computers a real edge in terms of being super quick in everything you do with your desktop.

    • Linux Advocacy: The Right Way

      I mentioned that it was not Windows, but something else – Ubuntu. Alright, I lied before then he asked my favorite question:

      “Oh, never heard of that before. How much did that cost?”

      I smiled.

      “It’s free.”

      He then asked:

      “Free? Really? What can it do?”

      “Oh, you know everything you expect a computer to do. Type a paper, surf the internet, solve math equations, play games…”

      He then asked where he could get it from, I gave him the web address and told him if he had any questions about it he could feel free to ask me next week at class.

    • When Linux Nerds Choose Mates from the Windows Herd.

      You take a deep breath and reach for your laptop. In the case, you have a live cd and you tell her that you want to show her what Linux is. You go on to explain that Linux is free and that she can use it without any real worry about viruses.

  • Dell

    • Dell Ubuntu Order Experience

      I believe Jolicloud will make it big. It has all the right ingredients for commercial success. One thing is sure, though. Year 2010 is going to be an exciting year of the netbook wars, and now there’s a new kid on the block. And it has big teeth and a knuckleduster. Watch out.

    • 168-hour days at Dell

      So, I went looking on the Dell support website, and to my amazement, I found the machine is still under warranty and will be until fall 2011. I had forgotten I’d bought a 3-year care package with Next Day Onsite Service. Sa-weet!

    • Memo to Dell: Sort Out Your Ubuntu Strategy

      Small system builders like System76 and ZaReason earn considerable praise for their Ubuntu efforts. Dell would earn similar praise if the company managed to keep Ubuntu available on desktops during product transitions. That doesn’t seem like a lot to ask.

  • Server

    • Inside CloudLinux’s New Linux-Based Cloud OS

      For the past 13-years, Igor Seletskiy has developed a series of innovative new products for the hosting industry, including the control panel H-Sphere, container-based virtualization product FreeVPS, single server control panel CP+, Web-based file manager WebShell, and website building tool SiteStudio.

  • Kernel Space

    • Ksplice debuts zero downtime service for Linux

      Ksplice Inc. today officially launched its no-reboot patching service for Linux servers.

    • FOSDEM 2010: Andrew Tanenbaum Sets Reliability Before Performance

      Computer science veteran Andrew Tanenbaum presented the third version of his Minix operating system at the FOSDEM 2010 conference on February 6-7 in Brussels, Belgium.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Irrlicht 1.7 Released With Many New Features

        Version 1.7 of the Irrlicht Engine has been released. For those unfamiliar with Irrlicht, it’s an open-source, real-time 3D engine that has OpenGL support as well as its own software renderer. Irrlicht is used within games, technology demos, and other projects — even areas like using it as a 3D renderer in CAD applications. Irrlicht 1.7 is a particularly large release that is coming less than six months after the 1.6 release.

      • Notes From X@FOSDEM 2010: GLSL, X, Etc

        Daniel’s talk was on how users expect “every frame must be perfect” and some of the current problems include issues with RandR reconfiguration, video display programs, server implementations are awful, video tearing is common, and window reconfiguration is brutal. Daniel also briefly commented on the Wayland Display Server, but as he said, “X is the best since everything else doesn’t work or doesn’t exist.” Daniel thinks someday Wayland might function according to him.

      • X@FOSDEM 2010 Video Status Update
      • Jerome’s Radeon KMS Short-Term TODO List
      • There’s Evergreen KMS Support & More To Test

        David Airlie has re-based his drm-radeon-testing tree and there’s now a whole lot of new code and features that users can play with and test. The drm-radeon-testing tree is a branch of the Linux kernel and is code for the Radeon DRM area that will ultimately make it into the mainline tree in the Linux 2.6.34 kernel series and later.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDE.org Relaunched for Software Compilation 4.4
      • KDE SC 4.4.0 Caikaku Release Announcement

        KDE Software Compilation 4.4.0 Introduces Netbook Interface, Window Tabbing and Authentication Framework

      • Software Compilation 4.4!

        As if the new look KDE website wasn’t enough Software Compilation 4.4 is out too.

        There are plenty of goodies in this new release (see the feature guide for a more complete run down). However, one of the most exciting new features is the Plasma Netbook workspace. Almost makes me want to get a netbook, but I suspect I’ll give it a run out on my old but little laptop anyway.

      • KTorrent: KDE’s BitTorrent client

        The amount of tweaking you can do in Ktorrent’s configuration is extensive. You can specify default ports, maximum download speeds, connection limits, proxies, seeding settings, specify file and disk settings, and select a default save location for your files. The interface is quick and easy to use, while users who expect a powerful file-sharing application will not be disappointed. Ktorrent is free software released under the GNU General Public License and is available for download for Linux, versions of BSD, Windows, and Mac OS X.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Ubuntu 9.10 and GNOME 2.28: Advancing Past Meh

        Many eons ago, GNOME 1.4 still lived, and it was good. It was extremely configurable and hackable. You could use either Enlightenment or Sawfish as the window manager, and could customize it to your heart’s content. It was even friendly to homegrown GTK+ hacks. And then tragedy struck: the GNOME maintainers decided that 1.4 needed a ground-up rewrite, and thus GNOME 2.0 was born.

  • Distributions

    • Best Linux Distributions of the Decade (2000-2009)

      We’ve seen plenty of “Best of the Decade” lists around, but not one is related to Linux distribution. So it’s only fitting that we will give credit to the best Linux distros that dominated the last decade (2000-2009), or most part of it.

    • Kolibri: 1.44Mb of cute

      How KolibriOS squeezes all that into 1.44Mb is beyond mortal comprehension. And it’s not just that there’s a blinking cursor attached to a terminal somewhere, but an entire graphical system, complete with notepads, system monitors, games, utilities and more nifty doodads than you can shake a stick at. The mind boggles.

    • Msec updates getting (mostly) ready for 2010.1

      It has been quite some time since I last posted here about msec. For the past few weeks, it received some attention and now I guess many of the features I wanted to push for Mandriva 2010.1 are implemented. So I’ll describe the most interesting ones in this blog post (and save some for later :) ).

    • Debian Family

      • Debian 6.0 Squeeze behind schedule

        The Debian release team are sounding the alarm: With only one month left before the planned release freeze, the number of critical bugs in Debian 6.0 Squeeze is still far too high to freeze development and create the next stable version of Debian. As a result, it has become unlikely that Squeeze will be released this summer as scheduled.

      • Home, Events, and Ubuntu :-)
      • Ubuntu Marketing Focus

        There is a discussion going on in the Ubuntu Marketing team’s mailing list about creating Ubuntu videos in order to advertise Ubuntu to normal users. We got onto talking about existing adverts from Microsoft and Apple and I thought I’d share with the wider community my thoughts.

      • Working with Ubuntu One

        I’ve only recently come back to using the Ubuntu One service; I gave up on it the first few times I tried it. For one thing, I wasn’t happy with the way it created conflict files here and there. In part, I should have expected such behavior, but at the time, I found it too annoying and just switched back to using my good ol’ flash drive.

      • Linux Mint 8 KDE Community Edition

        The final release of Linux Mint 8 (Helena) KDE Community Edition is available for download. I wrote about the Release Candidate of this a couple of weeks ago, so I won’t add too much more now. I’m still more of a Gnome desktop user than KDE, but as KDE 4 gets better and better, and combined with the excellent integration with Linux Mint, this one is a real alternative for me.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Pandora open-source handheld is go

      For quite a while now, I’ve been following the progress of the Pandora, an open-source handheld for music, movies, and games. It’s hard to stay excited, though, when there’s the constant threat of the thing ceasing to exist.

    • Barnes & Noble rolls out second Nook update

      A new software upgrade is now available to owners of Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-book reader. This is the second upgrade since the device launched in early December and it appears to be more substantial than the first, which arrived shortly after the product shipped and addressed a handful of small but pervasive bugs.

    • Android

      • Linus Torvalds: Google’s Nexus One First Mobile Phone I Don’t Hate

        Linus Torvalds, the inventor of the Linux kernel, has an absolute disdain for mobile phones. All of the ones he has purchased in the past, the man writes on his personal blog, ended up being “mostly used for playing Galaga and Solitaire on long flights” even though they were naturally all phones run on open source operating systems.

      • Torvalds’ Nexus One endorsement may be regretted

        I hope people will understand that following Torvalds’ blog post extolling the Google Nexus One.

        Apparently Linus has the same problem my son does (along with millions of other people). Directions are not his strong suit. So for him, Google navigation was a killer app.

        Trouble is, in many ways Linus Torvalds is not “just a programmer.” He’s a brand name. He is, however reluctantly, a celebrity. So a simple blog post can read like an endorsement.

        [...]

        Google is trying to build a competitive ecosystem in Android, and Android is not the only Linux-based system in the mobile space. It’s like saying which one of your children you like best.

      • Android versus Linux?

        Is Android at odds with Linux after the removal of Android device drivers from the Linux source code tree or is this business as usual for the Linux community and nothing new? The H looks at the issues.

        [...]

        Google’s Android development takes place behind closed doors, with the company’s own Linux source tree. This isn’t an uncommon model at Google; it runs its own source tree for its internally deployed Linux, allowing them to optimise for its specific uses for the operating system.

      • The New Era of Big Company Forks

        I was intrigued to read Greg Kroah-Hartman’s analysis of what’s gone wrong with the Android fork of Linux, and the discussion that followed on lwn.net. Like Greg, I am hopeful that the Android platform has a future that will work closely with upstream developers. I also have my own agenda: I believe Android/Linux is the closest thing we have to a viable fully FaiF phone operating system platform to take on the proprietary alternatives like the BlackBerry and the iPhone.

        I believe Greg’s comments hint at a “new era” problem that the FLOSS community hasn’t yet learned to solve. In the “old days”, we had only big proprietary companies like Apple and Microsoft that had little interest in ever touching copylefted software. They didn’t want to make improvements and share them. Back then (and today too) they prefer to consume all the permissively licensed Free Software they can, and release/maintain proprietary forks for years.

        I’m often critical of Google, but I must admit Google is (at least sometimes) not afraid of dumping code on a regular basis to the public, at least when it behooves them to do it.

      • 10 Reasons Why the Linux Community Could Influence iPhone Sales

        Over the weekend, Torvalds wrote on a personal blog that although he can’t stand mobile phones, he was pleasantly surprised by Google’s Nexus One smartphone. Torvalds called the device a “winner” and said he’s happy with its design. And since the phone runs a version of Linux, he was even more willing to pick it up.

        The importance of Torvalds’ endorsement of the Nexus One can’t be understated. In many ways, the Linux community follows his lead. When he offers an opinion, the community rallies behind him. The Nexus One will be no different. And considering that the Nexus One competes against Apple’s iPhone, Torvalds’ endorsement could have a more profound impact on iPhone sales than we might expect.

      • App Store craziness: banning the word ‘Android’

        Ok this is crazy. PC World’s JR Raphael reports that Apple has apparently forbidden a developer from using the word “Android” in his app’s description.

      • Archos

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Jolicloud – Jolly good Linux (psst, don’t tell anyone)

        Jolicloud is a really interesting distro. It works great, it provides out of the box experience for just about anyone and it’s dead simple to install and maintain. It’s a perfect solution for the common computer user. Even calling it Linux or distro might be too much, as it could scare away potential customers.

        [...]

        I believe Jolicloud will make it big. It has all the right ingredients for commercial success. One thing is sure, though. Year 2010 is going to be an exciting year of the netbook wars, and now there’s a new kid on the block. And it has big teeth and a knuckleduster. Watch out.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Top 10 areas where open source leads the way

    With job losses rising and belts being tightened across the country, now is the perfect time to look once again at the benefits of using open source software aside from the reported $60 billion a year savings on offer.

  • Open Symbian: New World Order or Big Yawn?

    Is Symbian finding its way back through FOSS? “Symbian is on its way out,” says Martin Espinoza, a blogger at Hyperlogos. “Even Nokia knows it, which is why their flagship product — the N900 — is based on Linux.” On the other hand, the news “is a fine example of a near monopoly graciously sharing with the world in order to compete fairly and with better products,” says blogger Robert Pogson.

  • Has the Irresistible Rise of OpenOffice.org Begun?

    What’s interesting about these figures – particularly the high numbers in certain countries – is that it takes OpenOffice.org into the same kind of market-share territory that Firefox occupied a few years back. Which raises two interesting questions. First, are we seeing the start of the same kind of growth trajectory, and secondly, how can the open source community help propel it along that graph more rapidly?

  • VMware Partner Exchange: Searching for Zimbra Clues

    More than 2,600 partners will converge at this week’s VMware Partner Exchange conference in Las Vegas. Big channel names such as Arrow ECS and Ingram Micro will lend their names to the event. Multiple cloud and virtualization storylines will emerge. But The VAR Guy is zeroing in on one thread: VMware’s strategy for Zimbra, the recently acquired open source email platform.

  • Clang Successfully Self-Hosts!

    Today, Clang completed its first complete self-host! We built all of LLVM and Clang with Clang (over 550k lines of C++ code). The resulting binaries passed all of Clang and LLVM’s regression test suites, and the Clang-built Clang could then build all of LLVM and Clang again. The third-stage Clang was also fully-functional, completing the bootstrap.

  • My weekend at FOSDEM

    Another year over and FOSDEM has come and gone. It was an amazing weekend, full of interesting talks and meeting people. With so many attendees on this subject, there are so many opinions on subjects, technology, languages and operating systems flying about it can get heated. It’s also rather entertaining!

  • Open Office 3.2.0 Final Released

    Open Office 3.2.0 Final has been released and is currently distributed to mirror ftp servers worldwide to ensure a smooth delivery once the release notifications will be added to the project’s homepage. Five release candidates and numerous betas have made available before the developer’s of Open Office decided to release the final version of the Office suite.

    There are lots of changes and improvements over Open Office 3.1.1, the current stable build that is still offered at the Open Office website.

  • Firefox Addon: Fox Clocks

    So, today I was hanging out at IRC, which I usually do and is totally awesome, a friend of mine, duanedesign, told me about this new Firefox addon, Fox Clocks, which lets you keep track of different timezones. The best part is that you can create watchlists for your different international friends and keep a better track of their sleeping and working timings. Let me show you how it works.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU

    • Copyrights and wrongs

      One of the issues I have with the Free Software approach is that advocates have habit of throwing the baby out with the bathwater when discussing issues that they see as in any way negative to free software.

      [...]

      This is a suggestion that deserves more consideration. However, Bradley is so busy protecting the FSF from being maligned by Mark that he completely ignores the point raised by Mark – that copyright assignment policies are confusing, complex, and potentially problematic.

    • Audio and Video of Eben Moglen’s Talk on Freedom in the Cloud is Now Available

      Eben talked to the New York chapter of ISOC on February 2nd about Software Freedom, Privacy, and Security for Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing.

  • Programming

    • Chunking and Programming Languages

      Some of my biases are transparent. For example, I believe that many of the complaints of Perl’s “unreadability” are from people who’ve never bothered to learn how to read the language. You often see this from people who say “Sigils? Pfft. They’re useless—mere syntactic noise!”

  • Standards/Consortia

    • HTML5 Theora Video Codec for Silverlight

      I’m glad to announce the first release of our fully managed Theora audio / video decoder implementation for the Silverlight platform! The Highgate media suite will bring installation-free support for HTML5 streaming video to an additional ~40% of web users overnight.

Leftovers

  • Google Gmail Getting Social Features

    Google is reportedly planning to make Gmail more social by allowing users to exchange status updates with friends and share Web content links, features that moves Gmail into more direct competition with Facebook.

  • Google, don’t be evil
  • Is a code of silence evil?
  • Google warns Chinese knock-off to stop using logo

    Google Inc has sent a cease and desist letter to the operators of a Chinese search website whose logo bears a close resemblance to its own.

  • Because When MetroPCS Says ‘No Contract,’ It Actually Means ‘Well, Of Course There’s A Contract’

    The mobile phone business seems to have a serious problem with taking words that have a pretty clear meaning in English, using them in advertising and marketing promotions — but meaning something entirely different. For example, various mobile operators claimed “unlimited” broadband, but to them “unlimited” meant “really, quite limited.”

  • Hardware

  • Security

    • Airport Body Scanning Raises Radiation Exposure, Committee Says

      Air passengers should be made aware of the health risks of airport body screenings and governments must explain any decision to expose the public to higher levels of cancer-causing radiation, an inter-agency report said.

    • Unlawful anti-terror powers planned for use during 2012 Olympics

      Police are planning to use an anti-terror law deemed unlawful by the European Court of Human Rights across the country during the London Olympics, The Times has learnt.

      Senior officers are considering using Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 at every Underground and railway station nationwide.

    • Online safety push for five-year-olds

      Children as young as five are being targeted in a new online safety campaign backed by the government.

    • Wigan Council loses the data of 200 disabled residents

      A Greater Manchester council has lost details of 200 disabled residents – a year after a previous security blunder.

    • Broken CCTV missed vandal attack

      Businessman Barry Clayton was left fuming when his shop window was smashed and he discovered a CCTV camera opposite was not working.

    • Southwark CCTV ‘old and outdated’

      The report says that the network needs massive investment, with many cameras not working, but adds there is “very limited” funding to overhaul the network.

      It adds: “It will not be affordable or cost-effective to fund the cost of repairing or replacing all CCTV equipment that is at the end of its natural life.

      “Many cameras are irreparable, unused, redundant or no longer monitored.

      “The council is in breach of legislation if cameras that are not in use or fit for purpose remain in situ.”

    • Man can’t prove ID with ID card

      Darren McTeggart tried to use the £30 card to pick up a replacement credit card from a branch of Santander – formerly Abbey – in Manchester, where the scheme was rolled out on a voluntary basis last year.

    • 500,000 EU computers can access private British data

      Privacy campaigners expressed shock last night after it emerged that large amounts of confidential personal information held about British citizens on a giant computer network spanning the European Union could be accessed by more than 500,000 terminals.

    • Google Superbowl Ad Explains The Need for Search Privacy

      The poignant story, along with Google’s suite of search stories, masterfully illustrates how some of the most intimate information in our lives–from planning a trip to political activism–are routinely and vividly expressed in our interactions with Google, and highlights the need for that information to have strong protections.

    • Massive Attack Album Cover Banned From London Underground

      BRISTOLIAN sound specialists Massive Attack were banned from advertising their new album Heligoland on the London Underground because it looked like graffiti.

    • Home Office questions

      Home Secretary Alan Johnson has rejected calls to ban a device which emits high-pitched noises designed to cause discomfort to young people.

      At question time on 8 February 2010, he described the Mosquito as “very helpful” in dispersing groups of young people.

    • Gov tempts young London onto ID database with booze, ‘games’

      Youngsters between the ages of 16 and 24 are being tempted into the scheme – and therefore onto the National Identity Register – with the prospect of being able to buy “alcohol, computer games and DVDs, going to the cinema or to a club.”

  • Environment

    • Blackburn hairdresser’s brush with the council over recycling trimmings

      A HAIRDRESSER has slammed “mafia-style” council officers who stopped him recycling the trimmings from his clients.

      Jeff Stone said that for the past 40 years he had taken home the hair from his salon in Fleming Square, Blackburn, to use on his compost heap.

    • Should Stephen Harper be Considered a Traitor?

      The definition of Treason is a very narrow one. It is legal for the Prime Minister to cause tremendous damage to the country according to the criminal code.

      Is this right?

      I personally do not believe so. Consider the supposed Climate Change debate. A close investigation will reveal that it is not a debate. Instead it is an attempt by Fossil Fuel companies to sue confusion in the electorate, because if actions are taken to combat Climate Change, their profits will suffer. Any Prime Minister who damages the country, by working with the Fossil Fuel corporations against the citizens of the country, is guilty of Treason in my opinion.

    • If you’re going to do good science, release the computer code too

      One of the spinoffs from the emails and documents that were leaked from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia is the light that was shone on the role of program code in climate research. There is a particularly revealing set of “README” documents that were produced by a programmer at UEA apparently known as “Harry”. The documents indicate someone struggling with undocumented, baroque code and missing data – this, in something which forms part of one of the three major climate databases used by researchers throughout the world.

  • Finance

    • The situation in Europe is dire.

      After years of profligate spending, Greece is becoming overwhelmed. Barring some sort of large-scale bailout program, a Greek debt default at this point is highly likely. At this moment, European Central Bank liquidity efforts are probably the only thing holding back such a default. But these are a stopgap measure that can hold only until more important economies manage to find their feet. And Europe’s problems extend beyond Greece. Fundamentals are so poor across the board that any number of eurozone states quickly could follow Greece down.

    • Goldman does in AIG, you, and me

      GRETCHEN MORGENSON and LOUISE STORY write in the New York Times today a long story about how Goldman Sachs raped AIG and in the process, got us tax payers, all of the unemployed in America, and all of the savers who received low interest rates because of the need to stimulate the economy link here. It didn’t cause all of the problem, but it lit the match that started the conflagration, forced the bailout of AIG, and then made out in the wreckage.

    • What Do People Really Think Of Goldman Sachs? (VIDEO)
    • AIG-GATE: THE WORLDS GREATEST INSURANCE HEIST

      Rumor has it that Timothy Geithner is on his way out as Treasury Secretary, due to his involvement in the AIG scandal that is now unraveling in hearings before the House Oversight and Reform Committee. Bob Chapmanwrites in The International Forecaster:

      Each day brings more revelations of efforts of the NY Fed and Goldman Sachs to hide the details of the criminal conspiracy of the AIG bailout. . . . This is a real crisis on the scale of Watergate. Corruption at its finest.

      But unlike the perpetrators of the Watergate scandal, who wound up looking at jail time, Geithner evidently has a golden parachute waiting at Goldman Sachs, not coincidentally the largest recipient of the AIG bailout. At least that is the rumor sparked by an article by Caroline Baum on Bloomberg News, titled “Goldman Parachute Awaits Geithner to Ease Fall.” Hank Paulson, Geithner’s predecessor, was CEO of Goldman Sachs before coming to the Treasury. Geithner, who has come up through the ranks of government, could be walking through the revolving door in the other direction.

    • Goldman Sachs: Contributor to Mortgage Meltdown

      This article is astounding on several levels, the central one being that Goldman Sachs possibly over stated its mortgage losses, which were insured by AIG, not only because there WERE in fact losses which should have been covered, but because the greater the losses known to the public the lower the market would go — which Goldman had bets on. In other words, by adding to the panic in the markets — by overstating its own losses– it would be able to profit.

    • Goldman Sachs vs AIG

      There is a huge front page article in the NYT discussing what we already know — that AIG extracted billions from AIG before ($5.9B) and after ($12.9B)their collapse.

      We know that Goldie got paid 100 cents on the dollar post-bailout.But what insured party gets to set their own valuation of losses? According to the article, GS nabbed closer to 300 cents on the dollar pre-collapse of losses.

    • Goldman’s payment demands on AIG probed: report

      U.S. regulators are investigating whether the mortgage insurance market was improperly distressed in 2008 because of payment demands that Goldman Sachs Group Inc and other banks made on American International Group Inc, The New York Times reported on Sunday.

    • The Question Unasked Again and Again of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein and Hank Paulson

      A stunning and disturbingly informative front page Sunday New York Times article was written by the Time’s Business Page columnist Gretchen Morgenson and Louise Story, “Testy Conflict With Goldman Helped Push A.I.G. to Precipice”. It quotes Bill Brown, a Duke University Law Professor and former Goldman and A.I.G. employee saying that the dispute between the two companies “was the tip of the iceberg of this whole crisis”.

    • Goldman Sachs Denies Sinister Behavior, Again

      Well. We wouldn’t say it is ridiculous, because Goldman demanding a few billion dollars at such an inopportune time clearly had an impact on AIG (as it would on anyone, few institutions, GS excepted, can take the loss of billions in stride). But does that make the collapse of AIG Goldman’s fault? And if so, does that mean if we borrow money from someone who is a known jerk, such as Citigroup*, and then don’t have the money to pay them back when they come after us with their scary phone calls, that is their fault, and not ours? Just curious, because that would be really handy.

  • Censorship/Civil Rights

    • FBI calls for two year retention for ISP data

      FBI director Robert Mueller is still keen to get US internet service providers to keep their customers’ web logs for up to two years.

      What is not clear is whether the director is talking about which websites are visited or the specific URL – which would require deep packet inspection and probably break US wiretap laws.

    • Kennard goes Mad Rhino on SWIFT

      He indicates the US would negotiate a bilateral agreement instead. Of course it seems legally impossible for member states to enter bilateral agreements and member states would be reluctant to follow that path. Hillary Clinton reportedly phoned Catherine Ashton(?!) and Parliament President Jerzy Buzek. I am sure Buzek and the other members will teach them manners.

    • Why SWIFT data proliferation is counter-terrorism gone worse

      It is not about “privacy” of citizens as the news agencies report, that is really the minor concern. A majority of European policy makers fully agrees in principles to use the data for anti-terrorism requests from law enforcement agencies (which requires careful administration and strongest safeguards).

      In a conventional narrative our personal “privacy” interests would be weighted against public “security” interests of our government which seeks to counter terrorism and other serious crimes. Some politicians and media observers think along these lines which are on a lower level. Here the general trust in financial transaction services, our European financial transaction markets are at stake.

  • Internet/Web Abuse/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Appeals Court Says Internet Content Should Be Held To Standards Of Strictest Jurisdiction

      Of course, the court did say that punishment had to be limited to just looking at how many people in that smaller community accessed the content — which could limit the punishment given by the court, but it still seems problematic. Other courts, including one in California, have found differently on similar questions, so it seems likely that, at some point, this issue will finally go back to the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, it seems likely that the Supreme Court will focus on what counts as “community standards” rather than whether or not laws against obscenity even make legal sense under the First Amendment.

    • The Pirate Bay To Be Censored in Italy, Again

      Following a lengthy legal procedure the Court of Bergamo has once again ruled that Italian ISPs have to censor their networks and prevent customer access to The Pirate Bay. Millions of Italian Internet users will be denied access to the popular torrent site in an attempt to prevent copyright infringement.

    • Authors Guild: ‘To RIAA or Not to RIAA’

      There’s equal reason to support or object to the proposed Google Books settlement.

      Creating a digital catalog of the worlds’ words might be the Holy Grail of intellectual empowerment.

      Yet building that library in the clouds would be allowed without the rights-holders’ consent — which the Justice Department and others contend is a complete and fundamental alteration of copyright law.

    • Oink.CD – Oink’s Pink Palace Part Two

      This is the second, of a long series of posts about OINK.CD, the music file sharing site run by Alan Ellis, and Alan’s acquittal on charges of Conspiracy to Defraud. My apologies for the delay – I have been trying to obtain information on the case, and while I have obtained some of what I need, I’m still working on getting more.

    • IP is not a joke

      After another comedian, the taping ended. We were informed that the crowd had to stay put because Bob Kelly had to come out and re-film a joke. It was the joke I just mentioned. They said it had to be re-taped because Comedy Central didn’t have the rights to the song “We Are The World”. (My guess is it probably wasn’t worth it to them to obtain the rights, for 1 or 2 seconds of a joke). How ridiculous is this? FOUR WORDS! We then had to hear the same joke, slightly modified, again, and pretend and cheer for it like we never heard it before. I am interested in seeing the final edited product, whenever it eventually airs.

    • Members of European Parliaments ask when they will receive the ACTA documents

      Some Member of the European Parliament have asked when they will receive the ACTA documents, mentioning the Lisbon Treaty article 218 which says that the Parliament have to be “fully informed” of the negotiations. The new trade commissioner Karel DeGucht said previously that the Lisbon Treaty do not apply to ACTA, because the confidentiality of the talks were negotiated before.

      Some Member of the European Parliament are asking the Commission and the Council when they plan to respect the Lisbon Treaty on ACTA, where the next Trade Commissioner Karel DeGucht said in a hearing that the Lisbon Treaty does not apply to the ACTA negotiations, because the confidentiality rules were negotiated before the entry into force of the Treaty.

    • Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner answers ACTA internet chapter question
    • Copyfighter Cory Doctorow.

      Thanks in no small part to Mr. Doctorow you can now get your ACTA news from a number of sources, including a weekly podcast that I help out with. To read his latest you can bookmark his blog, follow him on Twitter and keep an eye out for his posts on Boing Boing.

    • No, Copyright Has Never Been About Protecting Labor

      Ugh. So, we recently wrote about Matthew Yglesias’ quite accurate economic explanation for why the price of music was going to get pushed to zero, no matter what the industry said or what happened with copyright law.

    • Dear Helena Bonham Carter, How Do You Pay Your BT Bill Online?

      Even though you don’t know me, we do in fact share at least two things in common. Like you, I also have a double-barrelled surname, and as you live in the UK, there’s a good chance you’re also a British Telecom customer, and probably have an Internet subscription (although not necessarily with BT).

      The reason I’m writing you this open letter, is to enquire whether you pay your BT bill online, and if so then how? You see, I’ve discovered a rather annoying feature of BT: They seem to be biased against us double-barrellers.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

William Fischer, Harvard law professor and Free Culture Business Theorist 04 (2004)


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

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