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Links 21/3/2010: LXDE in Google Summer of Code, CrunchBang Moves to Debian

Posted in News Roundup at 5:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Editor’s Note: All This Great Technology Just to Reinvent Television

    But I think the real goal is not to enable us little birds to do great things like we can do with our standalone Linux apps, like create professional-quality music, photographs, publishing, drawings, programming, make movies, and what-have-you. We’re not supposed to do anything but open our little beaks and consume whatever they see fit to serve us. Which is such a waste when we have all this great technology at our fingertips. No thanks, I’ll keep my Linux Shopsmith.

  • Flipping out with Linux.

    The next thing that I wanted to do is copy the video to my computer. This is where I was concerned. As you know I use Linux and according to the Flip web site (here) this little beast only supports windows and MacOS. Not one to shirk at a challenge I decided to plug it in to my Linux (Gentoo) and see what would happen.

    I am sorry to say that it was not a challenge at all. The Flip was instantly recognized by my computer and I could browse its memory at will. Apart from the programs to install the windows and MacOS software the videos were stored in the same directory format as normal digital cameras. I simply navigated to where the videos were stored and double clicked on a video to play it directly from the camera.

  • Kernel Space

    • Studying kernel bugs
    • NVIDIA Releases OpenGL 3.3 Linux Driver

      Well, that didn’t take long. Just earlier this month the Khronos Group unveiled the OpenGL 4.0 specification that brought many long-awaited changed to this open graphics API. On the same day this industry consortium also released the OpenGL 3.3 specification, which aims to bring back as much of the OpenGL 4.0 functionality to graphics cards that only support OGL3. OpenGL 4.0 is designed for graphics cards that are meant for DirectX 11.0, which basically means AMD’s Radeon HD 5000 series and NVIDIA’s forthcoming GeForce 400 series. OpenGL 3.x on the other-hand is compatible with DirectX 10.0 grade hardware, such as the Radeon HD 4000 series and GeForce 200 series. For those with a newer NVIDIA graphics card, you can now run OpenGL 3.3 applications or games as they have just released a supported driver.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • LXDE accepted for Google Summer of Code

      LXDE Foundation has been accepted as a mentoring organisation for the Google Summer of Code.

    • Is Wikipedia’s “Deletionism” Out of Control?

      Guarding against inaccurate content, spam, biased material, and unverifiable entries is admirable. The relentless pursuit of deleting content because someone unfamiliar with a topic decides that it’s not “notable” enough is not. The fact that this continues to be a problem even for a project like dwm demonstrates that Wikipedia is still not working well. While the site certainly provides a valuable resource, some portion of its community is ensuring that it is not as valuable as it could be.

    • KDE at Solutions Linux 2010

      This week was the week of Solutions Linux 2010. A 3-day exhibition held in Paris, gathering companies, LUG and other associations. As always, KDE France was here.

  • Distributions

    • [notice] ArchBang website is now online!

      Wow! Can you believe it? ArchBang website? Really? Thanks to Will and Mike it was possible so fast! A Big thanks to loki for the artwork!

    • Simply GNU/Linux 5.0 : An unsung son of ALT Linux

      ALT Linux ( ALT implies ALT Linux Team ) is one of those undiscovered and non-famous Linux distribution from Russia which lacks the “Pomp, glamour and glory” like other mainstream distributions partly because the development team of ALT Linux love to work in shadows and do not consider it important to publically project and advertise their work and also because people outside Russia are not either aware of or interested in what this distribution is about. But this does not undermine the work this team is doing , they are quitely and persistently working on a project which stands proudly on its work. This is a Russian spirit of all times !

    • Fedora

      • Our Top 10 Reasons To Use Fedora

        1) Fedora offers the freedom of changing, replacing, modifying each component in the system;
        without the concern of the system stability being affected.

        2) Fedora has High quality support in the form of User forums, IRCs, Wikis and Official guides.

        3) Fedora can be carried on CD or a jumpdrive to use Live on any computer.

        4) Fedora provides a set of graphical tools for building a customized, updated Fedora “Spin”.

    • Debian Family

      • Easy (and amazing) Debian for the N900.

        Using the N900 has been an incredible experience. In the two weeks that I’ve had it I feel I’ve barely scratched the surface of what it can do. Though it clearly trumps my N86 in so many way I’m not sure if the N900 could replace because (1) it’s not the type of device you can whip out of a pocket and quickly interact with, and (2) the only available option for a compatible 3G network in Canada has been a colossal disappointment. More on that next week.

      • CrunchBang Linux 10 “Alpha 1″ Released, Ditches Ubuntu

        Philip Newborough has announced the development release (Alpha 1) version of CrunchBang Linux 10 code-named “Statler” just moments after the release of Ubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx” Beta 1. For the first time ever, the distro is being built using Debian sources, instead of Ubuntu.

      • Ubuntu

        • Nerd alert: first Lucid Lynx Ubuntu beta fun

          Between Canonical’s web-based syncing service Ubuntu One – unveiled last year – the coming U1 music store, and the new Me Menu, Lucid Lynx is looking less like the stoic Linux desktops of yesteryear and more like like, well, what everyday consumers want in an operating system.

        • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Beta 1 Out for Testing

          What’s new in Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Beta 1? Well, as everybody already knows… Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Beta 1 has a brand-new look, composed of two new themes (Ambiance and Radiance), one is dark and the other one is light. Click the link above to access a very nice article we created last week, to showcase the new themes, logos, font, boot splash and boot prompt. However, after installing the proprietary Nvidia video drivers, the boot splash screen has been changed to what you see below…

        • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx beta1 Screenshots tour
        • Ubuntu 10.04 beta 1 is looking good, less brown

          Canonical has announced the availability of the first Ubuntu 10.04 beta release. The new version of Ubuntu, codenamed Lucid Lynx, is scheduled to arrive in April. It will be a long-term support (LTS) release, which means that updates will be available for three years on the desktop and five years on servers.

          Although the Ubuntu developers have largely focused on boosting stability for this release, they have also added a number of noteworthy new features and applications. One of the most visible changes is the introduction of a new theme—a change that is part of a broader rebranding initiative that aims to update Ubuntu’s visual identity.

        • Lucid Lynx Review: New features since Ubuntu 9.10

          Alpha 3 of Kubuntu features the new KDE SC 4.4. For more information about new features in Kubuntu, see https://wiki.kubuntu.org/LucidLynx/Alpha3/Kubuntu.

        • The new Ubuntu Linux’s five best features

          The forthcoming version of Ubuntu Linux, Lucid Lynx, has just gone beta, and it’s going to be the most important Ubuntu release in years. I say that not just because it brings numerous important changes to this most popular of Linux distributions, but because Ubuntu 10.04 is the next LTS (Long Term Support) edition and, as such, is going to be supported for paying desktop customers for three years and for corporate server users for five years. In other words, this is the edition that’s going to make or break Ubuntu’s parent company Canonical’s business future.

        • Ubuntu: three little buttons cause a great deal of angst

          The forthcoming Ubuntu release, Lucid Lynx, has a lot of good things going for it but one little change is causing a great deal of angst among users. That change is the switching of the window buttons that enable one to close, maximise or minimise a window from the right to the left.

        • Is the Scrollbar Going Away?
        • Democratic, Meritocratic, or Dictatorship?

          Martin Owens makes a comment that Ubuntu is not really a meritocracy. Is that true? Is Ubuntu really democratic? Really meritocratic? Actually a dictatorship (as Mark Shuttleworth’s “SABDFL” title implies)? Does it matter? Which is better for Ubuntu in the long run.

          I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with being a dictatorship, as long as the leader is good. The Linux kernel is a reasonable example. OS X might be, too, depending on your stance on Free Software.

        • Why Mark Shuttleworth is right – Ubuntu is not a democracy and nor should it be
        • Open Source is Not a Democracy
        • Free Software is a democracy, NOT!

          If too many people start doing that, Mark Shuttleworth has two options. Either he creates the perfect distribution for Mark Shuttleworth or he starts asking himself the right questions. A customer lost take twice the effort to reel in than a new one. He’s making money with that, I suppose. I’m not. I only got my vanity to consider..

        • All Done With Ubuntu
        • Ubuntu Music Store (coming soon!)

          If you have been playing around much with the Alpha releases of Ubuntu Lucid Lynx you may have noticed something special that was announced some time ago is actually coming to fruition. Announced soon after the release of 9.10, the Ubuntu Music Store is a new addition to the Ubuntu Linux desktop and promises to extend the capabilities of the Linux desktop further than it has ever been.

        • Ubuntu Dropbox

          Download the Dropbox Linux client that suits your machine (either 32-bit or 64-bit)
          Extract the contents of the downloaded archive to your home folder for easy access
          Create a Dropbox account if you don’t already have one

        • Variants

          • Lubuntu 10.04 Beta 1 Released; Visual overview

            Lubuntu beta 1 sees many improvements since the last Alpha release including a beta version of default file manager PCManFM, a new Plymouth theme and the addition of some new applications.

          • Xubuntu 10.04 (Lucid) Beta 1 Screenshots Tour

            The default theme (well, actually style) in Xubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Beta 1 is Albastross and the icons are Xubuntu Elementary (you can see these throughout all the screenshots in this post)…

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android

      • Motorola Roi video demo

        MOTOROLA’S LATEST Roi Android handset gets captured on film by the INQUIRER in an exclusive walk through. The Roi is the world’s first 8-megapixel Google OS powered mobile, which is capable of HD video capture that can also be displayed directly on an HD TV via its built in HDMI port.

      • Gesture Search now available for Android 1.6

        Since we launched Gesture Search on Android Market two weeks ago, I’ve seen quite a bit of feedback. For example, some of you have requested Gesture Search for earlier versions of Android, as well as access to it outside the US.

      • Android Market Push Threatens BlackBerry and iPhone

        Android will, at some point, move past the iPhone and into second place. It will take a large number of different handsets to accomplish this, so it’s safe to say that no single Android smartphone will be a legitimate “iPhone killer.”

      • Google Maps for Android Gets Improved User Interface

        Google has released version 4.1 of Google Maps for Android, adding a constantly-updated map wallpaper, tweaking the way search results are displayed and adding a new Latitude widget for tracking your friends.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • SOS Pupils Get 150 Laptops

        The One Laptop per Child (OLPC) programme was launched in late 2008 with the aim of providing all primary school children in Rwanda with the important learning tool.

    • Tablets

      • Marvell announces $99 Moby Tablet to Revolutionize Education

        According to this press release, Marvell is announcing the $99 Moby Tablet for Education. You’ve seen my video of Marvell’s 4.3″ Tablet prototype shown at CES based on the Marvell Armada 600 processor. The Moby tablet is based on the same Armada 600 platform but comes with a larger screen (probably 10″).

Free Software/Open Source

  • GParted is such sweet software

    What are some good practices for managing a successful project? “You need to keep an open mind while carefully listening to what others have to say,” advises Curtis Gedak. “Keeping your cool and remaining patient is also essential to understanding a perspective that might differ from your own. And remember to recognize the contributions of individuals, and to provide credit for accomplishments where credit is due.” Those words of wisdom – and some pretty useful software – have propelled the project Gedak manages, GParted, to a spot on the weekly Tops Downloads list on SourceForge.net. GParted’s latest release came out last week.

  • Ten ways our world is becoming more Shareable

    7. Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). FOSS and the Internet have a symbiotic relationship. The Internet would not have been possible without FOSS. And the growth of FOSS relies on the Internet to power its peer production and distribution model. Over 270 million people use the Firefox browser. Half of the world’s Web sites, about 112 million, run on Apache Server. A quarter million websites, including this one, run on Drupal, a leading open source content management system.

  • Why Open Source and Operations Matter in Cloud Computing

    Earlier this week, IBM announced a cloud computing program offering development and test services for companies and governments. That doesn’t sound like much, yet on closer inspection it’s a flagstone in the march toward a comprehensive cloud offering at Big Blue. It also demonstrates how operational efficiency is a competitive weapon in our service economy. Let me explain.

  • Open source makes another move on Wall Street

    Open source has made its third big move on Wall Street with Bloomberg’s decision to open source its proprietary stock identifiers alongside NYSE-Euronext data streams.

    I say third because Marketcetera’s open source trading platform, under the GPL, has been gold for almost a year. A SaaS version of Marketcetera for portfolio management was also released last year. (They must be working hard there — their latest blog post is dated November.)

  • Comcast Rolls Out Open Source Tech for IPv6

    What will it take to get Americans to use IPv6 (define)?

    For one thing, it will require broadband providers like Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) to help users be fully enabled on IPv6 while still being able to access IPv4 content. That’s where the new open source Address Family Transition Router (AFTR) software comes into play.

  • Ex-MySQL Chief Marten Mickos Lands New CEO Job

    Mickos is staying in the open-source world but jumping on a newer computing trend — cloud computing. Eucalyptus makes an open-source software platform for building private clouds, or data centers in which workloads can be moved around across different systems to maximize efficiency.

    The company’s software is used as the cloud platform for the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud, a software package that includes Ubuntu’s open-source operating system. It is also designed to work smoothly with Amazon Web Services and other public cloud services.

  • Open season

    Mozilla. Red Hat. MySQL. The list of companies that have built lasting and successful businesses around open-source software is not a long one.

    It’s early days still, but Lucid Imagination Inc. CEO Eric Gries may just have a shot at adding the name of his tiny startup, which offers open-source search software to business customers, to that list.

  • GIMP 2.8 development still under control

    A while back I announced the creation of a schedule for GIMP 2.8 development. I’ve made sure to keep this schedule up to date, and after a bunch of initial adjustments such as postponing some feature and adding others, the schedule has now stabilized a bit. The estimated date for a release candidate is still in December 2010. Tracking progress with a schedule really helps you to feel in control of development. The 2.4 development cycle which I were around in the end of, and the 2.6 development cycle which I were fully part of, were more chaotic with no commitment to a delivery date. This is perfectly fine for many, but I prefer structured development.

  • Audiocasts

  • OSBC

  • Browsers

    • The hunt for the Fastest Browser on Earth – Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari and Internet Explorer fight it out
    • Google Launches 3D Graphics Driver Project for Chrome

      Google has launched a new project for Chrome that will let the browser run a wider range of 3D graphics content without downloading additional drivers.

      The open-source project, called ANGLE (Almost Native Graphics Layer Engine), seeks to let Chromium run WebGL content on Windows computers, wrote product manager Henry Bridge on the Chromium blog.

    • Google Gets Into The 3D Driver Game

      To help out the adoption of WebGL, the Khronos-backed API originally started by Mozilla that seeks to let web developers tap into modern graphics processors via the web-browser natively, has caused Google to get into the graphics driver game. WebGL binds to OpenGL ES 2.0, and with the Microsoft graphics drivers being more DirectX-optimized rather than OpenGL, Google’s playing to Microsoft. Google wants more users to be able to use WebGL, particularly when running the Chrome browser, so they have just announced the Almost Native Graphics Layer Engine. The objective of ANGLE is to just take the subset of the OpenGL ES API exposed by WebGL and to translate those extensions into their DirectX 9.0c equivalents.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla ditches support for aged SeaMonkey 1.0

        Mozilla has dropped support for version 1.0 of its four-year-old internet app suite, SeaMonkey.

        The open source browser maker pushed out a second iteration of SeaMonkey last autumn, so 1.0′s demise was all but inevitable.

        Mozilla confirmed yesterday that its modern-day take on Netscape Communicator had moved on significantly enough since it first released the tool in January 2006 for its project developers to discontinue support for SeaMonkey 1.0.

      • Firefox 3.7 Alpha 3 Released

        A Mozilla developer preview of Gecko 1.9.3 has been released. The release comes in the form of a nightly build of Firefox 3.7 alpha 3. The new build introduces several new features including an experimental Direct 2D for the Windows builds of Firefox, JavaScript api improvements, stability and security improvements as well as additional fixes for multi-process plugins.

  • Oracle

    • Reviewed: OpenOffice.org 3.2

      There’s a new version of Linux’s grandest office suite, but is it a major step forward or just another humdrum release with little to show? And most importantly, does it finally get the startup time down to an acceptable level? Read on for all the gory details…

      Office suites lack glamour. They’re perfunctory, practical and prosaic. They remind us of real work, mundane chores and things that need to be done. But that’s also why they’re essential and why OpenOffice.org is a vital part of the free software ecosystem, whether it innovates or not.

      OOo 3.2 is a step in the right direction. Firstly, it’s a lot faster. Version 3.2 of Writer launched more than 50% quicker than 3.1 in our tests, down to 3.4 seconds from around 7 with a fresh reboot. That alone makes a big difference, but the UI also seems to be more responsive. We used Writer exclusively over the last couple of weeks, and there’s an almost imperceptible improvement in the on-screen typing latency, which can really help if you create a lot of words.


      Our verdict: Still the best, most comprehensive office suite available on Linux. 8/10

  • CMS

    • Ryan Szrama, From The Commerce Guys, On Drupal-Based E-Commerce

      The annual DrupalCon conference is coming up, April 19th to 21st at San Francisco’s Moscone Center. Drupal, of course, is the increasingly popular open source content management system founded by Dries Buytaert, and OStatic itself runs on the platform. There will be many movers and shakers from the Drupal world at the conference, including representatives from The Commerce Guys, which helps companies and organizations deliver useful Drupal-based e-commerce sites and solutions.

      In advance of the conference, we caught up with Ryan Szrama, a developer with The Commerce Guys, and the original developer of Ubercart, an open source e-commerce package. Here are some of his thoughts on where Drupal-based commerce is headed.

  • Government

    • Berners-Lee says rate countries by data sharing

      Berners-Lee promotes data.gov.uk, the UK’s government data portal which launched in January. It aims to get developers interested in creating applications to make better use of the information collected by the government.

  • Standards/Consortia


  • Thailand: Blood symbolically spilled at protests

    Photographs by Newley Purnell of “red shirt” protestors in Thailand as they gather human blood and store it in large bottles, to pour on the ground in front of the prime minister’s residence in a shocking gesture of condemnation.

  • “Rebuilding Haiti” — the Sweatshop Hoax

    The jobs the Haitians will get are only temporary, in any case. Haitian workers have been through all this before.

  • Winning the war on cancer? US death rates show broad decline

    President Nixon declared war on cancer in 1971 and, since then, the National Cancer Institute (part of the NIH) has funded research on prevention, surveillance, and treatments. But, despite the effort, progress has been elusive, leading to press reports in Newsweek, Fortune, and The New York Times suggesting that, at best, cancer is fighting us to a draw. But a new analysis of death rates, performed by staff at the American Cancer Society, indicates that cancer death rates peaked around 1990, and have been declining broadly since. As a result, they’re now below where they started in 1970.

  • Science

    • LHC boffins crank beams to 3.5 TeV redline

      Big news from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) overnight. The titanic proton-punisher has once again smashed all records to achieve the most powerful particle beams ever generated by the human race, at energies of 3.5 Tera-electron-volts – the maximum redline power at which the mighty machine can currently be safely run.

  • Security

    • As Iraq war enters final act, US readies for exodus of men and machines

      A total of 31m items will be packed and stacked, including 43,000 military vehicles, 600-odd helicopters, 120,000 containers and 34,000 tonnes of ammunition. Shipping out is estimated to take 240,000 truckloads and 119 shipping freighters.

      The withdrawal will leave only 50,000 US troops in Iraq by 30 August, none of them in combat roles, and reduce the number of bases from 290 to fewer than 10. Even with the remaining US presence, the withdrawal will probably be perceived, in Iraq and elsewhere, as the final act of the war.

    • Blowback On the Border: The Purpose of the Terror War System

      The Terror War is not an event, or a campaign, or even a crusade; it is a system. Its purpose is not to eliminate “terrorism” (however this infinitely elastic term is defined) but to perpetuate itself, to do what it does: make war. This system can be immensely rewarding, in many different ways, for those who operate or assist it, whether in government, media, academia, or business. This too is a self-sustaining dynamic, a feedback loop that gives money, power and attention to those who serve the system; this elevated position then allows them to accrue even more money, power and attention, until in the end — as we can plainly see today — any alternative voices and viewpoints are relegated to the margins. They are “unserious.” They are unimportant. They are not allowed to penetrate or alter the operations of the system.

    • Peter Watts found guilty

      Early terse reports are that the jury has returned a guilty verdict for Dr Peter Watts, a science fiction writer who was beaten at the US-Canada border when he got out of his car to ask why it was being searched, then charged with assault. Peter faces up to two years in prison. I’ve emailed him for comment and I hope that he’s appealing.

  • Environment

    • Bluefin tuna fails to make UN’s list of protected fish

      Japan, Canada and scores of developing nations opposed the measure on the grounds that ban would devastate fishing economies

    • Ten sites named in £4bn UK marine energy project

      Crown estate and Scottish government name 10 wave and tide power installations around Orkney islands and Pentland Firth

    • Plan to ban items from bins to boost recycling

      Tonight, Hilary Benn, the environment secretary, said the ban would have both financial and environmental benefits. It would cut greenhouse gas emissions from landfill sites and from manufacturing new products such as cans and bottles from virgin materials.

    • Ad industry OKs climate porn

      The UK advertising industry has bravely decided it can continue to accept millions of pounds from the state to create alarming climate advertisements, despite inaccuracies and a storm of complaints from parents. The principled decision, from the admen’s self-regulatory body the ASA, follows 939 complaints about the UK energy ministry DECC’s “Drowning Dog” prime time TV and cinema ad (aka “Bedtime Story”) , which cost £6m, and four related posters.

  • Finance

    • Coming Soon: Take Photo Of Check, Deposit It in Bank

      Picture this: Soon, consumers will be depositing paper checks straight into their bank account by taking a couple of photos with a smartphone.

    • Madoff geeks charged for writing book-cooking code

      A federal grand jury has indicted two computer programmers on fraud and conspiracy charges for developing programs used by Bernard Madoff to cook the books in his billion-dollar ponzi scheme.

    • Lehman whistleblower lost his job weeks after raising alarm

      • Auditor Ernst & Young blamed for taking ‘virtually no action’
      • Bank accused of laying off Matthew Lee in retaliation

    • Celebrating Sen. Ted Kaufman, Accidental Leader

      But, far from biding his time, Kaufman has emerged as one of the Senate’s fiercest critics of Wall Street and a champion of the need to push for a serious rebooting of our financial system.

    • Judge rejects SEC’s decision to ease curb on investment bankers, analysts

      A federal judge rejected a decision this week by the Securities and Exchange Commission to relax one of several provisions put in place after the dot-com bubble to prevent collusion between investment bankers and analysts at Wall Street firms.

    • Bernanke Asked by Towns on Friedman’s Goldman Stake

      A House committee requested that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke turn over documents related to Stephen Friedman’s purchase of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. shares while he was on the boards of both the Wall Street firm and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

      Friedman bought more than $1 million of Goldman Sachs stock “without notifying the Federal Reserve,” said Representative Edolphus Towns, chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, in a statement today. “This raises serious questions about transparency, fairness and the appearance of a cozy relationship between Wall Street and the government.”

    • US ECON: Economists at Goldman Sachs say if enacted,.

      Economists at Goldman Sachs say if enacted, the health
      reform package released in Congress yesterday should have little fiscal effect over the next 2-years, followed by modest restraint from 2012 to 2014.

    • Michael Lewis Slams Bonuses, Fuld, Hails Regulation: Interview

      The loner with a glass eye, a medical degree and Asperger’s who makes millions betting against the subprime mortgage-bond market is just one of the unlikely heroes in Michael Lewis’s “The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine.

    • Michael Lewis’s THE BIG SHORT, visiting the econopocalypse through the lens of LIAR’S POKER

      Lewis is a gifted chronicler and debunker and demystifier of the world of finance. Twenty-odd years ago, in Liar’s Poker, he revealed the crucial story behind the junk bond debacle, turning it into something human-scale for those of us who don’t live and die by the pink sheets.

    • Wall Street Paints a Target on Main Street’s Back

      As if looting Main Street of its savings, pensions, and that precious thing called trust weren’t enough, now Wall Street paints a target on our backs.

      The unease begins with the title of the lead story in The New York Times: “Banks bet Greece defaults on debt they helped hide.” [Read here.]

      Uh-oh, my instinct for survival alerts me: Sounds like double-dealing, an invitation to retaliation. I hope American banks aren’t involved. I read on and my fears of double-dealing and American involvement are soon confirmed: Banks — including notably the American mega-bank Goldman Sachs — that for the past decade helped Greece mask its spiraling debt with creative refinancing may now be pushing Greece “closer to the brink” by betting it will default. How? With credit default swaps, the instruments that “nearly toppled” AIG, the mega-insurance company. Why oh why, I wonder, aren’t these ruinous ‘instruments’ outlawed or at least very tightly regulated? Straining to keep its prose grey, the Times writes that these swaps “effectively let banks and hedge funds wager on the financial equivalent of a four-alarm fire.” Effectively? By now my hair effectively catches fire. The story goes on, “If Greece reneges on its debts, traders who own these swaps stand to profit.”

    • Goldman Sachs Sued for Not Divulging Internal Madoff Ban to Client

      A Bernard Madoff victim who lost $15 million is suing Goldman Sachs for allegedly failing to tell him in 2004 that he should pull his money out of the Madoff Fund.

    • What would Goldman Lobbyists Hate About the Financial Reform Bill?

      Ok, so a crowd-sourcing request. There’s a lot of coverage on the new Chris Dodd financial reform bill, and most of it is trying to find good things to say about the bill. Trying very hard in fact, with varying degrees of success.

    • Rajat K. Gupta Will Not Stand for Re-Election to the Goldman Sachs Board of Directors
    • Goldman Sachs’s Blankfein Got $9.8 Million for 2009

      He received $862,000 in 2009, reflecting his decision to forgo a bonus for 2008, when the firm converted to a bank holding company and accepted $10 billion in government rescue funds.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Marking World Water Day, March 22, 2010

      World Water Day 2010 is Monday, March 22nd. It is no surprise that corporations have attempted to co-opt this event. One example of greenwashing that SourceWatch has targeted is the Starbucks-run “www.worldwaterday.net,” which many environmentally-minded individuals may mistake for the official UN World Water Day website. Since SourceWatch first identified the misleading page, www.worldwaterday.net now routes viewers to www.waterday.org, where the Starbucks connection is not apparent. (A cached version of the original page’s privacy agreement can still be viewed here).

    • Texas Spins History, Again

      * Replaced the word “capitalism” with “free-market system.”


      * Demanded that McCarthyism be defended, because there were some actual communists who were discovered;

      * Deleted founding father Thomas Jefferson “from a list of figures whose writings inspired revolutions in the late 18th century and 19th century,” and replaced him with conservative religious figures St. Thomas Aquinas and John Calvin, and also made changes that called into question the U.S. tradition of the “separation of church and state,” despite efforts of the Framers of the Constitution to ensure that no religious oaths were required by the Constitution among other protections from religious persecution or preferential treatment via the government.

    • Dennis Kucinich Will Vote ‘Yes’ on Health Care

      It’s unclear how close this brings Democrats to having the votes they need, but it appears they’re close. And, perhaps as importantly, it shows that Obama’s personal push has yielded results.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • FBI using Facebook in fight against crime

      Agents taught how to extract information from social networking sites in US government document obtained by advocacy group

    • Mafia don suspect tracked down via Facebook

      Italian police successfully used Facebook to track down a Mafia suspect.

    • Apple, Facebook Get Into Geolocation

      Location services, like Foursquare and Gowalla, are a hot trend among some mobile device users, and are usually based on a check-in model. When you get to a restaurant, party, concert or museum you can choose to broadcast your location, using your smartphone’s GPS capabilities, to other network users as well as to your Twitter or Facebook feeds.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Valve dishes DRM dirt

      We reported last week that Ubisoft’s latest anti-piracy measures caused a barrage of complaints. It was revealed that the system forced gamers to login via the publisher’s website in order to play and required users to have a constant Internet connection.

      On behalf of Valve and 99.9 per cent of the gaming industry, Newell said he thought that DRM, in its current form, is restrictive and a damaging customer experience.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Historian warns against copyright-fight heavy hitting

      Copyright-dependent industries risk alienating the public and undermining intellectual property laws with their unregulated and aggressive tactics, according to an historian who has studied nearly 400 years of piracy and intellectual property law.

  • Digital Economy Bill

    • Let’s kill the Digital Economy Bill

      THE PEOPLE have the chance to rise up and crush the Digital Economy Bill before the UK Government grovels before the entertainment cartels.

      Thanks to people power society 38 Degrees and the Open Rights Group, Internet users who object to the threat of disconnection can write to their MPs and prevent the Government from rushing the bill through.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Scottish Parliamentarian Patrick Harvey 04 (2004)

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A Single Comment

  1. uberVU - social comments said,

    March 22, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by News4Android: From Blogs: Links 21/3/2010: LXDE in Google Summer of Code, CrunchBang Moves …: MOTOROLA’S LATEST Roi An… http://bit.ly/a5T8Cg #android…

What Else is New

  1. The Sun King Delusion: The Views of Techrights Are Just a Mirror of EPO Staff Unions

    Tackling some emerging spin we have seen coming from Battistelli's private letters -- spin which strives to project the views of Techrights onto staff unions and why it's very hypocritical a form of spin

  2. Links /11/2015: Webconverger 33.1, Netrunner 17 Released

    Links for the day

  3. United They Stand: FFPE-EPO Supports Suspended Staff Representatives From SUEPO

    An obscure union from the Dutch side of things at the EPO is expressing support for the suspended colleagues from SUEPO (more German than Dutch)

  4. Censoring WIPR Article About Censorship by EPO

    A testament to how terrified journalists have become when it comes to EPO coverage, to the point of deleting entire paragraphs

  5. Censorship at the EPO Escalates: Now We Have Threats to Sue Publishers

    Having already blocked Techrights, the EPO's management proceeds to further suppressions of speech, impeding its staff's access to independently-distributed information (neither ordinary staff nor management)

  6. Response to Bogus Accusations That EPO Staff Protests Are Really an Attempt to Derail UPC

    Common myths about staff protests in the European Patent Office (EPO) debunked, with some additional background and general perspective on recent events, the unitary patent (UPC) and so on

  7. New Heise Article Makes It Clear That 'Nazi'-Themed Accusations Against the Suspended Board Judge Were Insufficiently Substantiated

    The personal attacks on a judge who was illegally suspended (a so-called 'house ban') increasingly look like the management's own campaign of defamation, mostly intended to marginalise and punish a judge who spoke about serious charges against VP4 (Željko Topić)

  8. Links 24/11/2015: Asus Chromebit CS10, Second Linux 4.4 RC

    Links for the day

  9. European Central Bank Staff Committee Adds to Growing Pressure on Abusive EPO Management

    The staff representatives of the European Central Bank E-mail their colleagues -- with European Central Bank managers' approval -- regarding the European Patent Office and its attacks on staff unions

  10. Gross Violation of Workers' Rights in EPO: Denial of Christmas Vacation/Leave for Slower Workers

    A look at an E-mail from within the EPO which shows how Christmas is used to squeeze staff, urging them to work even faster (despite speed gains) or lose their Christmas leave

  11. The Bogus Narrative Floated by EPO Management: Our Judges and Examiners Are Armed and Violent

    A look at the union-busting and protest-crushing moves from high-level EPO managers, who are trying to convince politicians that they do so in an effort to stop terrorists and neo-Nazis

  12. Support SUEPO or End Up Like They and Some of the Boards Did

    SUEPO, the fast-growing staff union of the EPO, increasingly needs the support and protection offered by action and participation from staff

  13. NRC Handelsblad (Dutch Evening Newspaper) Speaks About EPO's Refusal to Accept Court Orders From The Hague

    Article explains the depths of the issues inside the EPO and the unacceptable immunity that management at the EPO continues to exploit, shaming or discrediting the very notion of the rule of law in Europe

  14. HeBS Digital and Black Duck Press Releases Treated Like Articles, Used to Muddy the FOSS Waters

    Free/Open Source software (FOSS) is under attack again, and it's the proprietary software lobby that's responsible for that

  15. EPO President Battistelli Now Intimidates Even National Delegations

    Report about an embarrassing incident implicating Benoît Battistelli and some angry comments cast over the witch-hunting of a judge, using all sorts of questionable tactics

  16. A Look at the Latest Gross Deletionism at the EPO's 'Media Partner', French Newspaper Les Échos

    The EPO's bogus 'journal of record, which Team Battistelli likes to cite in order to bolster its warped version of events at the EPO while maintaining a close secret relationship with the publisher, keeps censoring its own reporters (spiked paragraphs, silently self-censored or censored after publications)

  17. Rumour About Efforts to Dismiss a Board Judge by Intimidating Boards of Appeal

    Comment found online accuses the Administrative Council of pressuring, by threats, Directorate-General 3 to dismiss a judge who is silently accused (with selective 'leaks' to the media, reportedly orchestrated by EPO managers) but not even proven guilty

  18. President Battistelli Now Pressures/Threatens Politicians Who 'Dare' to Complain About Abuses and Unacceptable Conditions at the EPO

    Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’, a French politician, unleashes an angry letter from Benoît Battistelli and reveals just to what lengths the EPO's Team Battistelli is willing to go in order to crush political backlash

  19. EPO: It's Like a Family Business - Part IV

    Some more background information about Elodie Bergot and Gilles Requena, who are married whilst also sharing positions of power at the EPO (and also strong connections/ties with the EPO's President, Mr. Battistelli); Rumours afloat at the EPO -- some with ever-increasing circulation too -- are worth noting

  20. Translation of Thomas Magenheim-Hörmann's Article in the German Media, Urging European Politicians to Intervene in EPO Chaos and Lawlessness

    Frankfurt-based media presents an opinion piece written by a Munich-based economic correspondent, Thomas Magenheim-Hörmann

  21. German Press Says Broken EPO Lets President Severely Punish Staff Not Even Guilty of Any Wrongdoing

    Juve publishes an article which attempts to be 'balanced' (meaning it believes everything that EPO officials say) but at the same time reveals unacceptable practices that go in inside the EPO

  22. German Media Reveals That Out-of-Control EPO Management is Even Threatening and Abusing Lawyers Now

    The EPO's longstanding fight against justice escalates to an unprecedented war on lawyers themselves; “After this latest move,” says a German newspaper, “even lawyers are starting to feel threatened by the Office.”

  23. Washington Post Only Entertains Debate About Patent Trolls (But Not Patent Scope) Whilst US Lawyers Trick the System to Patent Software

    The Bezos-owned Washington Post continues to help those who wish to eliminate patent trolls (which bother Amazon amongst other large conglomerates) but remains void of any coverage about patent scope, including software patents that patent lawyers work so hard to defend

  24. It Pays (Off) to 'Bribe' the Media: Watch How Les Échos Covers EPO Matters and Self-Censors

    French newspaper Les Échos is self-censoring yet again and it is framing the EPO scandals as the fault of employees, not the fault of abusive managers who are working with Les Échos as a so-called 'media partner' (the EPO management is French-dominated)

  25. 'Leaked' PDF Shows How EPO Management Tried to Crush Judge Who 'Dared' to Criticise EPO Management

    The EPO's management continues to chill potential critics and is now making an example of a board's judge, despite having no such authority over him

  26. Links 21/11/2015: Community Appreciation Day, Jolla's Problems

    Links for the day

  27. EPO: It's Like a Family Business - Part III

    A look at how the EPO's management (Željko Topić in particular) defended the unprecedented promotion of Ms Bergot (wife of the president's close assistant), even in the face of outcry from EPO staffwarning

  28. In an Effort to Counter EPO Staff Narrative (After ~2,000 of Staff Protest) EPO Management Portrays Staff as Violent But Provides No Evidence

    The EPO's management has a poor record on accuracy and truth and the latest staff-shaming tactics serve to reinforce that track record

  29. Gross Aggression by EPO Management Shows the Urgent Need to Remove Immunity From EPO

    The increasingly militant approach of EPO management (with counterterrorism staff added to interrogate EPO staff) serves to show an organisation gone truly bonkers

  30. Patents Roundup: Alice Decision Still Upsets Patent Lawyers, Microsoft AstroTurf Group Lobbies on FRAND, Google and Red Hat Recalled

    The reaction of patent profiteers to scope/boundary restrictions, the FRAND lobby by Microsoft's longtime front group, FRAND matters in Korea (affecting Android), Google's response to patent threats, and Red Hat still keeping quiet about its patent agreement with Microsoft


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