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02.23.10

Links 23/2/2010: OpenNode Beta, Drupal Adoption

Posted in News Roundup at 9:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 85

    The following Linux-based operating systems were announced last week: Calculate Linux 10.2, SimplyMEPIS 8.5 Beta 5, openSUSE 11.3 Milestone 2 and PC/OS 10.1 Beta 2. In other news: Canonical launches the Ubuntu Single Sign On service, and Phoronix Media releases Phoronix Test Suite 2.4.1. The weekly ends with the video clip of the week, the latest Linux distributions released/updated and the development releases.

  • Virtualised USB key beats keyloggers

    Aimed at companies that want to protect corporate bank accounts, Trusted Access for Banking is actually a standard IronKey USB drive that runs a walled or ‘hardened’ Linux virtual environment inside the PC’s OS. It comes complete with its own browser hardwired to access only a particular bank service, and incorporates RSA Secure ID tokens for authentication.

  • PGP security gets Linux and Win7 support, plus more encryption

    After rolling out the first Linux edition of its desktop encryption security software last month — together with new support for the latest versions of Windows and Mac — PGP Corp. on Monday announced major server updates that will let PGP be managed alongside myriad other approaches to encryption.

  • Opinion: “Confessions of an Ubuntu Fanboy” Response

    Linux is just as easy to use as Windows or Mac OS X especially from the point of view of anyone who has no computer experience. The problem is that so many people do come from other environments and they have spent a lot of time learning those environments… and that knowledge is often a stumbling block to learning something new… in this case Linux. People who have been using Microsoft Windows XP for years seem to forget the learning curve they had to go through at the beginning of that relationship. The truth of the matter is that Windows is NOT intuitive and you actually have to learn your way trial and error… but as with anything, learning pays off and you are rewarded for it.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Linux Training Week: Which Distribution To Choose?

      Another favourite of mine is Fedora Linux, used by none other than Linus Torvalds himself… It’s second only to Ubuntu, which hopefully you’ll be more familiar with after our week of features on it!

    • DeLi Linux: A Linux distro for old computers, from 486 to Pentium III

      DeLi Linux stands for “Desktop Light” Linux. It is a Linux Distribution for old computers, from 486 to Pentium III or so. It’s focused on desktop usage. It includes email clients, graphical web browser, an office programs with word processor and spreadsheet, and so on. A full install, including XOrg and development tools, needs not more than 750 MB of harddisk space.

    • Takeover of Kongoni Linux…

      When this is gonna happen, the next release, at the moment is unknown, as this is my first time of taking over the development of a Linux distribution and plus I need to understand the overall idea of Kongoni.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project at CeBIT 2010

        The Debian Project is happy to announce that it will again be represented at the CeBIT IT fair in Hanover, Germany, this year. At the booth of Univention GmbH in hall 2 stand B36, members of the project will be available for questions and discussions and will give a preview of the new version Debian 6.0 “Squeeze”, which is expected to be released this year.

        In addition the new port to the FreeBSD Kernel “Debian GNU/kFreeBSD” will be presented at the booth as well as in a introductory lecture. The lecture will take place on Tuesday, March 2nd 2010 at 5:15 pm at the CeBIT Open Source Forum (hall 2, stand F38).

      • Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu for the US authorities

          Autonomic Resources offers the ARC-P dedicated Infrastructure-as-a-Service platform (IaaS) for US government agencies and recommends using the Ubuntu Linux distribution and the Landscape management solution to manage virtual and physical servers, especially when establishing cloud infrastructures.

        • Awesome Ubuntu Software Center Updates

          You should all hunt down mvo on Freenode IRC and tell him he is awesome.

        • My Artwork Landing A Ubuntu 10.04

          As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been working with Scott Ritchie to create a “branding-ubuntu” package. During the Lucid cycle Scott have been working on getting the artwork into the actual Ubuntu 10.04 release (rather than just a separate package). If you play Mahjongg or Klondike (also known as Solitaire and Aisleriot) in Ubuntu 10.04, you will notice the new artwork.

        • Sorbet- Another proposed theme for Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Talking Devices Anywhere for Pennies – RoweBots Releases DSPnano Operating System V3

      The DSPnano Operating System offers an ultra tiny embedded POSIX environment for 8 and 16 bit microcontroller (MCU) based development that is also Linux compatible.

    • WiebeTech ToughTech XE Mini review

      The WiebeTech ToughTech XE Mini works with Linux operating systems, as well as Windows and Mac OS and is available with a prefitted drive, as here, or as a bare enclosure so you can fit the drive you wish.

    • Reference Virtual Platform of ARM Model Running Linux Under SystemC/TLM-2.0 Released by Open Virtual Platforms (OVP)

      The Open Virtual Platforms (OVP) initiative (www.OVPworld.org) has announced the release of a reference virtual platform of the ARM Integrator development board using OSCI SystemC TLM-2.0 C++.

    • Talking Devices Anywhere for Pennies – RoweBots Releases DSPnano(TM) Operating System V3

      RoweBots Research Inc. announces and releases the DSPnano Operating System Version 3, achieving a significant milestone in shrinking intelligence into small and powerful microcontrollers and digital signal controllers. Motor control, ADPCM and color graphics along with other advanced networking applications and a Linux™ or POSIX compatible application are cost effective in any device.

      The DSPnano Operating System offers an ultra tiny embedded POSIX environment for 8 and 16 bit microcontroller (MCU) based development that is also Linux compatible.

    • Phones

      • 3D mobiles are the future, says Nokia

        One interesting thing would be more details on Nokia’s Intel deal to create Linux-based MeeGo, but in spite of a question on the subject, Harlow refused to be drawn into more detail, leaving us still speculating as to the scope and impact of the deal.

      • First ELSE Still On Track for Mid-2010 Release

        To remind you, the First Else is, obviously, the first ELSE phone and the OS has been designed for one-handed use. The Linux-based OS has gone through several revisions with new parts added since the last time we saw it, with some honeycomb-style effects and a fish-eye magnifying lens both on display.

      • Marvell to Introduce Wide Array of OPhones Built for the China Market

        OPhone OS is a mobile operating system that runs on the Linux kernel. OPhone OS is linux-based smartphone software based on open source software and mobile internet technologies.

      • Android

        • Qseven module runs Linux and Android on i.MX515

          iWave Systems announced a COM (computer module) based on Freescale’s i.MX51 SoC (system-on-chip). The iW-i.MX51 includes up to 512MB of RAM and 2GB of flash storage, runs Linux and Android, and works with an available iW-Rainbow-G8D development baseboard, the company says.

        • Three short stories, all about Android

          Clearly, free applications exist for Android. But finding them takes work, which is silly; this is a perfect job for a computer. An ideal solution would be for Google to add a “freely-licensed” option to its (proprietary) market application. Failing that, it should be possible (for somebody with a bit more Android application-level programming experience than your editor) to put together an alternative market application which would focus on the growing body of free software for the Android system. It is an area worthy of encouragement; free software doesn’t become less important just because it’s running on a machine that fits into a shirt pocket.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • New Millenium Learners Conference 2010 – Day 1

        The third and last session of the day was “The policy expectations: why countries are investing on 1-to-1?” and included presentations about projects in Maine (probably the most famous 1:1 computing in education project), Uruguay, Portugal and Canada. Additionally Rodrigo Arboleda from the Miami based OLPC Association presented his view of things.

      • Life with Linux: Adapting to the smaller screen on a netbook

        After a few days on Remix I decided I wanted to go back to the regular Ubuntu Gnome desktop and so when I got home I downloaded and installed Ubuntu 9.10 “Karmic Koala.” There’s nothing wrong with Remix, it’s just that I’m used to the regular desktop and I decided the screen was large enough to support it.

    • Tablets

      • More touchscreen tablets on the way

        The folks at Slashgear spotted this Android-powered tablet from Mastone at Mobile World Congress last week. It’s powered by a Freescale iMX515 processor and features 3G and WiFi wireless networking.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Local users and analysts upbeat about Sun’s future

    After months of uncertainty, Oracle has achieved its goal of buying one of the world’s most iconic IT companies, providing in the process a roadmap for Sun technologies and products, and increased certainty for New Zealand Sun users.

    John Askew, group operations IT architect at the University of Auckland, which is ranked as New Zealand’s biggest user of IT systems and services by CIO magazine’s MIS100 survey, is optimistic about the buy.

  • Open Source Open World

    Open source is a concept of free sharing of technical information that has been around for much longer than most of us would imagine. When we think of open source today, we usually think of software. As wonderful and widely used as open source software is, according to Linus Torvalds, “the future is open source everything.” From foods and beverages to scientific and health research studies and advanced technological innovations, the world has turned to open source.

  • Web Browsers

    • Brace for Another Skirmish in the Browser Wars

      My main browser is Firefox. 3.5.7 for Linux, to be exact.

      [...]

      It was down to the Ogg Theora video format, but late in 2007, the spec was updated to allow for other formats, and currently the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC is the big contender.

      It should be noted that as of this writing, H.264 is not yet supported by Firefox, nor can it be run in IE without the Google Chrome Frame. Guess which big hardware vendor names after a fruit is among the big H.264 supporters?

      In the past, this kind of standards contention was at worse a nuisance. If you ran across an IE-only site, you would just fire up (shudder!) IE. But with cloud-based computing putting so much emphasis on the browser-interface-as-app-platform, any kind of standards fight could likely cause big problems for cloud users.

    • OSnews Podcast Now Available in OGG

      The Flash audio player has been replaced by an HTML5 audio element. Please report any problems you experience.

      Doing the actual transcoding to OGG and uploading has taken over 20 hours to do, all I can say is that I hope it all goes to good use, I’m knackered.

    • Slideshow – Awesome Image/Photo Viewing Google Chrome Extension

      Google Chrome is growing and so is it’s arsenal of extensions. Google Chrome recently stole the limelight from Safari browser and became the third most popular web browser in the world. With its recent emphasis on teaching people about web browser in general through innovative Google Chrome advertisements, it is genuinely going places. Slideshow is a beautiful yet functional image viewing extension for Google Chrome.

    • Microsoft Browser Ballot arrives this week – 77% of UK don’t know it’s coming

      Mozilla has launched opentochoice.org, a site to explain the browser choice screen and to encourage people to discuss browser choice. Mozilla’s CEO, Mitchell Baker, said “Whether or not you decide to keep your current Web browser, we encourage you to learn more about your browser and the impact it has on the way you see the world, and to make your own choice.” The site at the moment appears to only consist of a blog, with a posting plus a comment, and an option to sign up for future information by email.

  • Databases

    • Protocols, The GPL, Influences from MySQL

      I spent my Saturday at the SCALE conference down in LA. Most conferences I find have a meme and for this conference that was “MySQL’s longterm influence on the GPL”.

      MySQL was the company that had the most influence on how companies and investors viewed the GPL.

      When MySQL said “we will only take contributions via a contributor agreement”, this translated into investors expecting everyone to do this (though requiring contributor agreements destroyed outside MySQL development to the kernel, and left MySQL in a position where no substantial, or many, contributions ever occurred).

  • Drupal

    • Kofi Annan Foundation using Drupal

      The Kofi Annan Foundation is using Drupal. Kofi Annan was the Secretary-General of the United Nations. In 2001 Kofi Annan and the United Nations were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. Since leaving the United Nations, the Kofi Annan Foundation supports Kofi Annan in his current work to press for better policies to meet the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable in the world.

    • Le Figaro using Drupal

      Le Figaro, the oldest and second-largest national newspaper in France, started using Drupal for its social features on http://www.lefigaro.fr. It is still using its old web content management system to serve its main content, but all of the social features such as comments on articles are now provided by Drupal.

    • 5 modules that should come by default in Drupal.

      Drupal is a great CMS no doubt. I have gone round and tried lots of them, but I still come back to Drupal. However, the more I use it, the more I feel that the following five modules should actually come by default with every Drupal installation.

  • Releases

    • Blender 2.5 Alpha 1 arrives

      The Blender developers have announced the availability of the first alpha for what will become version 2.6 of their open source 3D content creation suite. The second official development release includes several changes, new features and more than 100 fixes compared to the previous Alpha 0 release.

    • PC/OS 10.1 Beta 2 Is Here

      There’s no shortage of Ubuntu-based Linux distros but that hasn’t been stopping anyone from coming up with another one so far. PC/OS is based on Xubuntu rather than the vanilla Ubuntu distro and, while it comes with quite a few customizations, it doesn’t stray too far from its source. The distro is getting close to the launch of its latest update and there’s now a new beta, PC/OS 10.1 Beta 2.

    • MediaInfo 0.7.28

      MediaInfo 0.7.28 is released. This tool supplies technical & tag info about a video or audio file.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Devotion to Duty
  • Oompah Loompah Google-y Do!
  • A perfect primer for bloggers.
  • Sorry, English major, the engineers have triumphed
  • Science

  • Surveillance

    • School Spying Scandal Gets Even More Bizarre: Student In Question Was Disciplined For Eating Candy

      The story of the school district that supposedly spied on some students keeps getting odder and odder. While the school district claims that it used the secret remote webcam activation technology 42 times — and only to track down stolen or lost laptops — it still hasn’t explained why this particular student was punished.

    • More Details Emerging About School Laptop Spying, And It Doesn’t Look Good

      Apparently, in various forums, blog posts and videos, one of the school’s techies talked about the technology they were using and how to set it up so that the user would not realize they were being spied on. He also discussed how to prevent a laptop using this software from being “jailbroken,” so users couldn’t discover that their computers were being used in this manner. Other forum posts from students at the school show that they were told they could not use other computers, could not disable the cameras and could not jailbreak their laptops on the risk of expulsion.

    • The Snitch in Your Pocket

      The prosecutors said they needed the records to trace the movements of suspected drug traffickers, human smugglers, even corrupt public officials. But many federal magistrates—whose job is to sign off on search warrants and handle other routine court duties—were spooked by the requests. Some in New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas balked. Prosecutors “were using the cell phone as a surreptitious tracking device,” said Stephen W. Smith, a federal magistrate in Houston.

    • Here’s Looking at You, Kids

      The feature was originally designed to help police and emergency personnel follow up on 911 calls, but the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have been obtaining more and more cell phone location records, without notifying the target or obtaining judicial warrants that establish probable cause.

  • Security

  • Environment

    • Book Review: The Lomborg Deception

      The Danish political scientist won fame and fans by arguing that many of the alarms sounded by environmental activists and scientists—that species are going extinct at a dangerous rate, that forests are disappearing, that climate change could be catastrophic—are bogus. A big reason Lomborg was taken seriously is that both of his books, The Skeptical Environmentalist (in 2001) and Cool It(in 2007), have extensive references, giving a seemingly authoritative source for every one of his controversial assertions. So in a display of altruistic masochism that we should all be grateful for (just as we’re grateful that some people are willing to be dairy farmers), author Howard Friel has checked every single citation in Cool It. The result is The Lomborg Deception, which is being published by Yale University Press next month. It reveals that Lomborg’s work is “a mirage,” writes biologist Thomas Lovejoy in the foreword. “[I]t is a house of cards…Friel has used real scholarship to reveal the flimsy nature” of Lomborg’s work.

    • Saudi Prince, Now Part Owner of Murdoch’s News Corp., Influences Fox News

      Investigative journalist Joseph Trento also reported that a comment he recently made on a Fox Network morning news show, Fox and Friends, about Saudi Arabian money still financing Al Qaeda, was edited out of the show. Trento also reports that Alwaleed “has personally donated huge amounts of money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers.” In a rare interview with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto in January, AlWaleed explained his personal reasons for seeking influence in American politics: the U.S. buys Saudi Arabia’s oil, and the bulk of his country’s gross domestic product (GDP) comes from oil. Fox News reliably broadcasts misinformation on clean energy, and aggressively fights efforts to move America away from being dependent on a fossil fuels.

    • Conservative Activists Rebel Against Fox News: Saudi Ownership Is ‘Really Dangerous For America’

      Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal owns a 7 percent stake in News Corp — the parent company of Fox News — making him the largest shareholder outside the family of News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch. Alwaleed has grown close with the Murdoch enterprise, recently endorsing James Murdoch to succeed his father and creating a content-sharing agreement with Fox News for his own media conglomerate, Rotana.

  • Finance

    • Deceptive Big Bank Ads Will be Key to Election 2010

      Groups for and against the current financial reform bills have already conducted their polls, polished their messages and are starting to engage in ad-war skirmishes that foreshadow the deluge of big bank spending to come, as Wall Street fights to elect candidates who will protect their interests and privileges.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • New Monsanto and GMO Propaganda

      Multinationals like Monsanto are facing real grassroots opposition in the world, especially over agro-chemicals and GMOs. Monsanto has led the big corporations towards diversionary tactics: they have issued codes of conduct and ethical charters to conceal their real objective of creating value for their shareholders. They are promoting their products as cures for third world hunger and disease, and as an alternative to the dangers of pesticides. They hope to win over a hostile public with advertising.

    • Soda Industry Using Tobacco Industry PR Strategies

      Manufacturers of sugar-laden drinks are adopting Big Tobacco’s public relations strategies in response to government proposals to tax soda and sugary drinks. They are claiming their products are wholesome or harmless at worst, sowing doubt about whether their products are really related to the problem (even when there is no longer doubt that they are), marketing heavily to children, funding front groups to oppose the taxes, and trying to take attention away from their products by focusing arguments on other topics, like individual responsibility and the totality of the diet.

    • Soda: A Sin We Sip Instead of Smoke?

      Still, the idea of a special tax on soda, similar to those on tobacco, gasoline and alcoholic beverages, is attracting more interest. Advocates of a tax note that sugared beverages are the No. 1 source of calories in the American diet, representing 7 percent of the average person’s caloric intake, according to government surveys, and up to 10 percent for children and teenagers. These calories, they point out, are worse than useless — they’re empty, and contribute to a daily total that is already too high.

    • It’s the New, Improved Iraq War!

      The Pentagon is formally rebranding the Iraq war by changing its name from “Operation Iraqi Freedom” to the sunnier “Operation New Dawn,” to reflect the reduced role the American military is supposed to have in that country over the next year.

    • Obama’s Pentagon Rebrands Iraq War, Rolls Out PR Offensive in Afghanistan

      This week, the same week that saw the U.S. military launch a major new assault in Afghanistan — a much ballyhooed effort that is as much a PR offensive as a military one — the Pentagon decided to formally rebrand the Iraq War.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • IOC orders blogger to take down video

      The International Olympic Committee has ordered a blogger to remove a video showing the death of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili from his website.

    • Did NewTeeVee/GigaOm Violate Copyright Laws By Telling You How To View The 2010 Olympics Online?

      It’s no secret that tons of people are pretty damn upset with NBC’s decisions to tape delay pretty much everything at the Olympics, in an era when everyone is used to real-time info. On top of that, most people recognize that it’s not hard to simply go online to unauthorized sources to watch streams of the Olympics live. GigaOm’s NewTeeVee put up a post over the weekend that explains how to view such unauthorized streams, and the site even titled the post: “Pirating the 2010 Winter Olympics.” Given that this is all rather obvious, it shouldn’t be a problem, right?

    • Next up for France: police keyloggers and Web censorship

      Having just passed its super-controversial Création et Internet “graduated response” law, you might think the French government would take at least a brief break from riling up the “internautes.” Instead, the government is prepping a new crime bill that will, among other things, mandate Internet censorship at the ISP level, legalize government spyware, and create a massive meta-database of citizen information called “Pericles.”

    • Facebook Restores Accounts Of 3 Critics It Mysteriously Deleted

      Apparently, three Argentines who worked on a book that mocks Facebook mysteriously had their Facebook accounts deleted in January.

    • Facebook critics’ profiles restored after press uproar

      After an uproar in Latin American media, three Argentines involved in a book that portrays the social network in a cynical and satirical light had their Facebook profiles restored today.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Is AT&T Shutting Down Metered Billing Trials?

      We reached out to AT&T for confirmation, and while AT&T confirmed to Broadband Reports that they were no longer signing up users to the trial, they wouldn’t technically confirm that the trials had been scrapped. “We are no longer adding new customers to the trial,” says AT&T’s Seth Bloom. “We are still reviewing the lessons and feedback we’ve gained from the trial so far to guide our next steps,” he says. “We don’t have any other plans to share at this time, but we’ll communicate with our customers once we’ve decided how we’ll move forward.”

    • Plans to cut off internet connections of illegal filesharers dumped

      The government has backed away from its proposals in the Digital Economy Bill to cut off people who have illegally shared files online.

    • Has the government changed its position on Disconnection? No

      Please do not be confused by the government’s semantics. BIS and DCMS decided in the summer that they would not refer to ‘disconnecting’ users, because that sounds harsh and over the top. ‘Temporary account suspension’ sounds much more reasonable.

      Language matters. What journalist is going to run a story on ‘temporary account suspension’ (yawn)? This is why the government has chosen these disingenuous terms: it‘s just more spin.

      What we still don’t know is how long a family’s internet might be disconnected for.

      A month? Three? A year? There is nothing in the Bill or any of the notes that we are aware of that might give us a clue.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • WhoseTube?

      MY band is famous for music videos. We direct them ourselves or with the help of friends, we shoot them on shoestring budgets and, like our songs, albums and concerts, we see them as creative works and not as our record company’s marketing tool.

      In 2006 we made a video of us dancing on treadmills for our song “Here It Goes Again.” We shot it at my sister’s house without telling EMI, our record company, and posted it on the fledgling YouTube without EMI’s permission. Technically, this put us afoul of our contract, since we need our record company’s approval to distribute copies of the songs that they finance. It also exposed YouTube to all sorts of liability for streaming an EMI recording across the globe. But back then record companies saw videos as advertisements, so if my band wanted to produce them, and if YouTube wanted to help people watch them, EMI wasn’t going to get in the way.

      [...]

      Embedded videos — those hosted by YouTube but streamed on blogs and other Web sites — don’t generate any revenue for record companies, so EMI disabled the embedding feature. Now we can’t post the YouTube versions of our videos on our own site, nor can our fans post them on theirs. If you want to watch them, you have to do so on YouTube.

    • EMI Gets State Farm To Sponsor Embedding Ok Go Video — But Should You Need A Sponsor To Embed?

      Now comes the news of a “resolution” to the issue, as EMI will allow an Ok Go video to be embedded thanks to an as-yet-unexplained “sponsorship” by State Farm. While this shows, in some way, how different business models can step in and help pay for content, it worries me that EMI now seems to think a video needs to be directly sponsored to allow for embedding.

    • The Irreducible Complexity of Copyright

      Current intellectual property law frowns on “copying” as opposed to mere “influence.” If I write and record a song that is manifestly influenced by the sound of the Beatles, that’s just how culture works; if I remix or reperform a medley of their songs, that’s infringing. One way to think about the distinction is to ask how much mutation of the original work has occurred in my head before I send it out into the world. We can imagine my sitting with a guitar playing “Taxman,” beginning by improvising new lyrics, and gradually altering the melody until I’ve produced a song that is sufficiently transformed to count as an original work, though perhaps still a recognizably Beatlesesque one. I’m free and clear under copyright law just so long as I only record and distribute the final product, which consists of enough of my own contribution that it no longer counts as a “copy.”

      Implicit in this model is the premise that creativity is fundamentally an individual enterprise–an act of intelligent design. Yet so much of our culture, historically, has not been produced in this way, but by a collective process of mutation and evolution, by the selection of many small tweaks that (whether by chance or owing to some stroke of insight) improve the work, at least in the eyes of the next person to take it up. Perhaps ironically, this is the kind of evolutionary process by which myths evolve–myths of life breathed into mud, or of Athena springing full-grown from the head of Zeus. Our legal system now takes these evolved myths as its paradigm of creation.

    • Tech Company Lobbying Group Explains The Importance Of Letting Countries Make Their Own Policy Decisions On Copyright

      So it’s great — if not surprising — to see that the CCIA’s filing to the USTR for the Special 301 report (pdf) actually matches much of my own filing, though from a more legalistic perspective (and focuses on Canada). The key points are the same, however: the Constitutional basis for copyright has never been that “more is better,” but that we should be seeking the most effective ways to “promote the progress.” Second, it notes that countries should be free to make their own policy decisions on copyright law, rather than being pressured into them by the US. It further notes that the USTR Special 301 process shouldn’t be focused on legislative and policy issues, but merely enforcement of the law. Unfortunately, it’s gotten far away from that.

    • ACTA’s Internet Chapter Leaks; And, Now We See How Sneaky The Negotiators Have Been

      Reports spread this weekend that the ACTA’s all-important internet enforcement chapter had leaked. You can download the PDF from that link, or check it out below:
      From here, you can see why this is still quite a dangerous document — and why there’s been so much misinformation from its supporters, insisting that it “can’t change US law,” or even (as stated by the USTR) that it won’t include three strikes. It doesn’t. Sort of. But it does make it very very difficult for any online service provider to get safe harbors without doing something along those lines. Let’s explore deeper…

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Christian Einfeldt’s DTP presentation in Berlin 2004 11 (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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  16. Interest in Free Software Coverage and 9 Months With Tux Machines

    Thoughts about the level of interest in Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and growth of at least some sites that focus on GNU/Linux



  17. White House Backs Away From Appointing Patents Zealot to Top USPTO Position

    Philip Johnson is no longer poised to become the Director of the USPTO, which is basically an establishment that provides protectionism to primarily US-based corporations



  18. Professor James Bessen Presents the Case Against Software Patents After Important SCOTUS Ruling

    The debate about software patents in the Unites States continues, with academia on one side and greedy patent lawyers on the other



  19. Software Patents Demising in the US as Microsoft Patent Attacks on Android/Linux Suffer a Huge Setback

    M-Cam's assessment of Microsoft's bundle of extortion (using software patents) shows toothlessness, irrespective of the SCOTUS decision to effectively annul "abstract" software patents



  20. Links 13/7/2014: KDE Activity Surge

    Links for the day



  21. Pro-Microsoft Spin in Microsoft-Funded News Networks

    The rogue media (misinformation) campaign of Microsoft benefits from networks which have been paid by Microsoft over the years



  22. Cronyism at Play: European Hostility Towards Free/Libre Software Despite Espionage and Moles

    Europe continues to be held hostage with back doors, lock-in, and massive payments to foreign powers, despite evidence that these powers are destructive and hostile



  23. Wirelessly-Controlled Contraceptives and Other Villainous Bill Gates Initiatives

    Remote controls for people's reproductive systems are now in the making and Bill Gates is a prominent investor in the technology



  24. Links 12/7/2014: CrossOver, New Wine

    Links for the day



  25. Links 10/7/2014: LXLE 14.04 in Headlines, Plasma 5

    Links for the day



  26. OpenDocument Format (ODF) Still Alive and Kicking

    Caligra, WebODF and various influential nations' departure from Microsoft Office will help famous projects such as OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice make ODF the only international standard for editable documents exchange



  27. The Effect of Corporate Media Bias: FOSS Demonisation and Microsoft Openwashing

    A set of very recent examples where the corporate press produces FOSS-hostile articles (or pro-Microsoft articles) by citing biased sources of convenience



  28. The NSA's Top (and First) PRISM Partner, Microsoft, Lies to Governments and Businesses as Office Gets Banned in China

    Developments in China reveal that security and privacy threats posed by reliance on Microsoft are so great that a ban becomes inevitable and continues to expand (Microsoft put on more and more block lists and blacklists)



  29. Microsoft's Propaganda Machine Tries to Shift Security Debate Amid Serious Catastrophes

    Observations and analysis of some recent deception in corporate news sites (like Condé Nasty), trying to pretend that Microsoft is secure, that Microsoft is pursuing security, and that FOSS and Android security or privacy are inherently poor



  30. Despite SCOTUS Ruling, Microsoft Still Extorts Companies and Product Buyers Using FAT Software Patents, Latest Victim is Canon

    Canon and Microsoft sign a patent deal which relates to patents on FAT file systems and impacts some of Canon's products, potentially Linux products as well (Canon makes drivers for Linux but does not develop products with Android or GNU/Linux just yet)


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