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03.31.10

Links 31/3/2010: Linux 2.6.34 RC3, Netrunner Announced

Posted in News Roundup at 6:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux – A supercharged development environment

    Linux has come a long way from being just a geek’s operating system. But there is no doubt that Linux is still the best operating system for geeks and developers. The effect of Linux as a development environment has not just been limited to Linux, but has spread on all systems including embedded devices. Projects like Firefox, FileZilla, Qt and SuperTux were originally created on Linux and then made their way to different platforms.

  • Sony Deletes Feature On PS3′s; You Don’t Own What You Thought You Bought

    It used to be when you bought a product, you owned it. Simple, right? And once you owned it, you could do what you want with it? But, lately, thanks to digital products and an always connected world, many companies have changed things around — so the products you thought you owned, you actually rent.

  • Chelsea School Uses Ubuntu To Create VMampache

    I have an awesome story that I would like to share, it involves Ampache, Ubuntu, Chelsea School, and the use of FOSS in education.

  • Server

    • Oracle’s Linux Server Slant

      Based on Oracle’s recent actions, it seems the company is hell-bent on driving as many of its potential customers as possible away from the UNIX offerings it acquired from Sun and into the arms of Red Hat and other enterprise Linux vendors.

    • A Sys Admin’s Guide to the Server OS of Your Dreams

      What’s startlingly clear from this little exercise though is how dismally Apple’s operating systems match up to this list of ideals. Quite simply, OS X Server doesn’t tick any of these boxes at all. If Linux is the closest thing to a dream OS, then OS X is without doubt an OS nightmare. Think, being chased by monsters, your teeth falling out and finding yourself naked in public all rolled into one.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.34-rc3

      Ok, so -rc2 was messy, no question about it. I’m too much of a softie to hold back some peoples work, so my hard-line -rc1 didn’t work out the way I wanted. But _next_ time! For sure this time.

      Anyway, from a messy -rc2 we now have a -rc3 that should be in much better shape. Regressions fixed, and the ShortLog is short enough to be worth posting to lkml (-rc1 never is, and -rc2 seldom is. It’s not like -rc2′s are generally wondeful, this time around wasn’t _that_ much different).

    • Coming Soon: X Server 1.8

      According to the release plans, the release of X Server 1.8 should take place, and while in reality it will likely not be released today, its release is coming soon. When this release does arrive, it will add a new set of features to the X.Org stack and a number of other minor improvements and bug-fixes.

  • Applications

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat update supports the latest server chips

        LEADING LINUX VENDOR Red Hat has released Enterprise Linux version 5.5 and it is capable of running the latest Intel and AMD server processors.

        RHEL 5.5 comes out just as Intel has announced its launch of the Xeon 7500 line based on its Nehalem EX architecture, and it has support for users wanting to run Linux workloads with cool stuff like virtualisation, cloud deployments and high-performance computing.

      • Red Hat optimises Linux for new multi-core Intel and AMD chips

        Open source enterprise software company Red Hat has updated its flagship operating system, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), to take full advantage of the latest spoils from the heated microprocessor battle between Advanced Micro Devices and Intel. RHEL version 5.5, released this week, has been reconfigured for Intel’s just-released eight-core Nehalem-EX and AMD’s almost-as-recently released 12-core “Magny-Cours” Opteron 6100 Series processors, said Tim Burke, Red Hat vice president for platform engineering. The software also supports the IBM eight-core Power7 processors, released in February.

        “This is a great time for the next version of RHEL to hit the market,” said Pund-IT analyst Charles King. This latest round in the continued proliferation of cores within AMD, IBM and Intel processors represents an “inflection point” for the industry, one that could spur a lot of data centre server consolidation, through the use of virtualisation, he said.

    • Ubuntu

      • OMG! Interviews: Chris Johnston from the Ubuntu Beginners Team

        Chris started using Ubuntu on his server back in 2007 with Ubuntu Server 7.10. After realising the awesomeness of Ubuntu, he began using it on his desktop and laptop in 2008 with the Hardy Heron. Last year he was awarded Ubuntu Membership status for his continued work in the Ubuntu Beginners Team, Ubuntu Classroom and his LoCo in Florida.

      • Variants

        • Trisquel 3.5 and Truly Free Software

          WHAT price do you put on a principle?

          Some people put their principles before their lives, dragging the whole of the human race along with them to a better place.

        • Announcing Netrunner!

          This is something that’s been cooking for a while now and we are finally ready to serve it up to a hungry world!

          Highlights

          Here’s the bullet points:

          * Based on Ubuntu
          * GNOME
          * Includes Wine by default
          * No Mono
          * Some QT/KDE apps by default
          * More you, less them

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Zotac MAG HD-ND01 Nettop review

      Price: £229
      Tech Specs
      OS Tested: Ubuntu 9.10, Moblin 2.1, Fedora 12

      [...]

      We found the Zotac MAG HD-ND01 a real pleasure to use for everyday tasks. It dealt with fully fledged 32-bit distros like Fedora 12 and Ubuntu 9.10 wonderfully, thanks to its dual-core Atom processor. And its Ion-powered graphics will really hit the spot with videophiles looking for a slimline media unit.

    • Phones

      • Linux phone ships with RF-enabled keyfob panic button

        Italian start-up Synaps Technology announced a Linux-based feature-phone that ships with an RF-connected keyfob panic button for GPS-enabled security response. The Petra phone is equipped with an ARM9 processor clocked at 266Mhz, and offers a 2GB SD card, GSM tri-band cellular service, a 2-megapixel camera, and a highly sensitive uBlox Neo 5G GPS receiver.

      • Android

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Cool portable linux music studio

        If you like ubuntu and like making digital music you should definitely take a look at Indamixx’s Transmission.

      • ASUS Confirms Tablet Plans

        Although it hasn’t been confirmed, one device is expected to be Windows-based while the other is either Android or Chrome.

      • Linux on Netbooks Reloads With Ubuntu-based Jolicloud

        Jolicloud plans to release an SDK to help port apps to its platform, but since apps are in HTML5, any developer writing HTML5 apps won’t need to make a “port,” per se, said Krim.

        For now, Jolicloud is a free product. Krim said the company is looking at different ways to monetize the software and/or services but for now, “we want to provide a compelling user experience before charging people.”

Free Software/Open Source

  • What if all software was open source? A code to unlock the desktop

    What if all software was open source? Anybody would then be able to add custom features to Microsoft Word, Adobe Photoshop, Apple iTunes or any other program. A University of Washington project may make this possible.

    “Microsoft and Apple aren’t going to open up all their stuff. But they all create programs that put pixels on the screen. And if we can modify those pixels, then we can change the program’s apparent behavior,” said James Fogarty, a UW assistant professor of computer science and engineering.

    [...]

    “It dramatically lowers the threshold to getting new innovation into existing, complex programs,” Fogarty said.

    Research has been funded by the Hacherl Endowed Graduate Fellowship in the UW Department of Computer Science & Engineering, a fellowship from the Seattle chapter of the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists, and Intel.

  • The Palmetto Open Source Software Conference is coming

    Registration opened last week for the Palmetto Open Source Software Conference (POSSCON,) the premier free and open source software confence in Columbia, South Carolina. It’s a great way to both educate and involve yourself, or your organization, in free and open software and technology.

  • Mozilla

    • Five questions about building community with Chris Blizzard of Mozilla

      Our role in the market is to act on their behalf and make their lives better, both through strong positive product improvements, but also sometimes by standing up and saying that something is wrong. Our market share (30% of all traffic to Wikipedia comes through Firefox!) gives us a lot of leverage in that space to make choices in the market or drive other browser vendors to make the web better as well. It’s a virtuous cycle.

    • a ten year old dream realized

      Ten years ago next month, I moved to California to work on Mozilla full time and one of my first discoveries was a metal worker building giant metal dinosaur sculptures. I suggested to folks at Mozilla, back then, that we get one. Today, thanks to the efforts of Tiffney Mortensen, we finally have one.

    • Early Build of Firefox Mobile (Fennec) Sneaks Out [VIDEO]

      MartinSchirr put together a few videos of Fennec on his Milestone (Droid) to show how things are progressing.

    • What your web browser says about you
  • Databases

  • CMS

  • BSD

    • Geek Of The Week: Bill Joy

      After finishing his Bachelors Degree from the University of Michigan, and his Masters Degree from UC Berkeley, Joy wrote the original BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) UNIX operating system. Many modern operating systems are based on BSD, including NetBSD, OpenBSD, DragonFly, Ultrix, and Mac OS X. In addition to BSD, he also wrote VI (Visual text editor), NFS (Network File System), and Csh (C shell). Yes… you read that correctly… Bill Joy wrote the VI editor and the C shell!!! Any UNIX-guru is more than familiar with these programs. They are still widely-used today.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU

    • The Software Freedom Law Show

      Bradley and Karen discuss the obligations and details of serving on a Board of Directors of a not-for-profit organization. Following that, they briefly discuss The Open Source Business Conference and LibrePlanet conference.

  • Releases

    • OpenSSL 1.0.0 arrives

      After a beta phase lasting exactly a year, the final version of OpenSSL 1.0.0 is here. The source code is now available to download and the list of changes from the previous version 0.9.8(n) is extensive. Version 1.0.0 includes several new features and enhancements, including support for the Whirlpool free hash algorithm, an alternative to the MD5 and SHA-1 algorithms, which have been under scrutiny due to the existence of simplified collision attacks.

    • Shishi 0.0.43 (release candidate for 1.0.0)

      Shishi is an implementation of the Kerberos 5 network authentication system. Shishi can be used to authenticate users in distributed systems. Shishi is part of a GNU system.

    • GCC 4.5.0 Status Report (2010-03-31), trunk is frozen

      We have reached the zero P1 GCC 4.5 regressions required for a release candidate build of GCC 4.5.0. To allow this state to prevail the trunk is frozen for non-documentation changes starting April 2nd (use your timezone for your advantage). A release candidate will not be built before the end of Easter.

  • Government

    • A landmark decision of the Italian Constitutional Court: granting preference to free software is lawful

      In short, according to the Court, favoring Free Software does not infringe freedom of competition, since software freedom is a general legal feature, and not a technological aspect connected to a specific product or brand. This ruling demonstrates the weakness of the arguments of those who, until now, have opposed the adoption of rules aimed at promoting and favoring Free Software arguing that they conflict with the principle of “technological neutrality”.

  • Schools

    • What’s your school project? An alternative to Microsoft Windows!

      The final year of all Italian High Schools (18/19 years age students) ends with a formal State Exam. Depending on which category of school they attend, all students are tested in a different group of subjects and the final vote also depends on personal projects prepared for each subject. This year, among all the final year students in Italy there are two who are preparing a project that is as unusual (at least for Italy) as interesting.

      [...]

      The final year of all Italian High Schools (18/19 years age students) ends with a formal State Exam. Depending on which category of school they attend, all students are tested in a different group of subjects and the final vote also depends on personal projects prepared for each subject. This year, among all the final year students in Italy there are two who are preparing a project that is as unusual (at least for Italy) as interesting.

    • CH: School IT agency recommends switching to open source

      The Swiss agency for IT in education, SFIB, is recommending that all schools switch to open source software. The IT agency is developing support offerings for schools that are using free and open source software.

      The IT agency for Swiss schools, SFIB (Schweizerischen Fachstelle für Informationstechnologien im Bildungswesen) on 1 March posted several documents on its web site, recommending schools to start moving to free and open source software and to stop purchasing or renewing proprietary software licences.

  • Licensing

    • The GPLv3 in Plain English – The Parts Microsoft Worries About

      Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Batman! What the fsck does that say? Here’s my plain English translation:

      If you (or one of your partners) provide software licensed under GPLv3, and agree not to sue anyone — the agreement not to sue (and the use of patents that are in the software) will apply to all future recipients of that software.

      Any patent agreement which attempts to nullify any rights given to you or others in the GPLv3 is invalid. This includes paying a partner distribute the software for you and agreeing not to sue them.

  • Openness

    • Go Ahead, Play with Your Food

      Open-source recipes

      After a day of shopping and a night of stirring, seasoning, tasting and waiting, you’ve created a food symphony — a perfect meal and a killer recipe. Now, thanks to open-source recipe sharing, you can make your recipe public for chefs everywhere to recreate.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Document Freedom Day: Passion and politics

      Incidentally, an Italian court ruled yesterday that public authorities in Italy’s Piedmont region can legally maintain a preference for Free Software in their purchasing decisions. The court considered that such a requirement refers to a characteristic of the software, rather than to a specific product or technology.

      This should give a further boost to public bodies that want to use Free Software and Open Standards. It should also remove an obstacle for those that are interested, but haven’t yet made the jump.

      In this context, Document Freedom Day is a day of hope. It shows that people around the world are passionate about Open Standards, Free Software, and the freedom to use technology as they wish. Governments in Europe and elsewhere should take note.

    • Document Freedom Day – March 31st, 2010

      Today (March 31st) is Document Freedom Day, and I encourage everyone to talk about Document Freedom with all of your friends, and even your enemies.

      In 1973 I worked for Aetna Life and Casualty, at that time the “largest commercial user of IBM equipment in the Free World”. We did not know what the government was using, and we did not know what the Russians were using, but other than that, Aetna was the largest.

      [...]

      One day I was finding out where a series of magnetic tapes were located for a project that I was working on and I typed the tape numbers into the mainframe. Eventually I was finished, and curious, I typed in the tape number “000001”. The machine came back:

      TAPE NOT LOCATED

      I typed in “000002”.

      TAPE NOT LOCATED

      Being persistent (some people unkindly say I am “stubborn”), I typed in “000003”:

      TAPE NUMBER 000003 IS LOCATED AT IDAHO SALT MINE, 500 FT, 7-TRACK, 128 BITS PER INCH, RETENTION PERIOD 999999, DATASET NAME: INCORPORATIONPAPERS

      Astonished at this, I went to my boss and said “Tom, how in the world are we ever going to read this magnetic tape in the future?” Tom looked at me wisely and said, “No problem. If we ever have to read that tape we have a seven-track tape drive wrapped in bubble-wrap at the salt mine too.”

    • Freedom! (Document-wise)

      So of course this is all hinting at ODF (OpenDocument Format), which has a specification (v.1.1) and a process for updating the specification when needed. I believe the specification itself has its issues — it really is difficult to specify syntax and semantics with rigor — but it gets the job done and, most importantly, is written in good faith and available for everyone to implement on a royalty-free basis. The latter is important because we want to play by the rules but also need to enable current and future implementations of tools that use the document format without restrictions.

    • Send me attachments I can read, use open standards!

      When you attach a file to an email, please make sure that your correspondent will be able to read your files correctly. It is a basic principle of courtesy. And there is an easy way to make this possible: use open standards. If you do so, your correspondent will have the possibility to choose which program he or she wants. Open standards guarantee sustainability and interoperability for your data, making sure you will be able to access them in the future, even with another software, on another platform or operating system.

    • Why I’m rejecting your email attachment

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today launched a campaign calling on all computer users to start politely rejecting email attachments sent in secret and proprietary formats: for freedom and the good of the web!

      The campaign is in support of Document Freedom Day and the OpenDocument format. OpenDocument is an ISO standard that allows anyone to create software that supports it, without fear of patent claims or licensing issues. Documents, spreadsheets and presentations sent in Microsoft Word or Excel native formats, or documents created in Apple’s iWorks, are proprietary and incompatible with freedom and an accessible web.

    • Created with Free Software! A button to spread the word
    • Document Freedom Day 2010

Leftovers

  • NYTimes Has To Apologize, Pay $114k For Mentioning Singapore Had Father/Son Prime Ministers?

    According to other reports, the NY Times also paid $114,000 to the father and son (and to a lawyer representing both). Either way, this whole thing is very odd. Why would a reporter for a respectable publication ever agree not to give an opinion on something? And why would the NY Times’ cave for merely stating that having a father and son both as prime minister’s represents something of a dynasty?

  • 9 Teenagers Are Charged After Classmate’s Suicide

    The prosecutor brought charges Monday against nine teenagers, saying their taunting and physical threats were beyond the pale and led the freshman, Phoebe Prince, to hang herself from a stairwell in January.

  • April Fool’s Day Pranks for Geeks
  • Security

    • Senate panel passes Cybersecurity Act with revised “kill switch” language

      Last April, Sen. Jay Rockefeller [D, WV] (pictured at right), the Chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, introduced the Cybersecurity Act of 2009 to his committee. The goal of the bill was to develop a public-private plan for strengthening national security in the case of internet-based attacks. But it stalled almost immediately because of a controversial provision that would have give the President unilateral authority to declare a cybersecurity emergency and then shut down or limit access to parts of the internet without any oversight or explanation.

    • Fingerprint system ‘stigmatises pupils’

      Schools are denying pupils their civil liberties by fingerprinting them without seeking the consent of their parents, teachers warned yesterday.

      Around 80 secondary schools have introduced a new method of scanning the thumbs of pupils as part of a biometric system to replace swipe cards for registration, library book borrowing and cashless catering for school meals. The use of fingerprinting comes despite fears – acknowledged by the Information Commissioners’ Office – that some parents believe the practice leads to children being “treated like criminals”.

    • Barnet Council admits loss of 9,000 secondary school pupils data

      PERSONAL details of 9,000 school pupils has been stolen from the home of a Barnet Council worker, it has been revealed.

      Twenty unauthorised and unencrypted CDs and memory sticks with details including names, date of birth, addresses, phone numbers and school attainment were taken from the house a fortnight ago.

    • Video Surveillance deployed inside London Public Bathrooms

      You can imagine my surprise after I paid my 50pence to use the public bathroom, walked in and found myself staring at not just one but three ceiling mounted video surveillance cameras. I had to get real close to their enclosures to convince myself that I wasn’t seeing things. Not only was it really there, but it was a Pan-Tilt-Zoom model with a microphone to top it off. Must get some great noises coming from there. It has also been reported that London officials are now installing cameras with speakers to allow them to talk as well as see and listen. Perhaps its just me, but I had absolutely no idea that this was legal anywhere, let alone in downtown London, UK. Sure I knew that London has more cameras per square mile than any other country on the planet, but in bathrooms?! How are they getting away with that one? It is appalling!

    • DNA misdirection from our former PM

      The second issue is that the former Prime Minister implies that those opposed to an expansion of the DNA database are somehow letting ‘murderers, rapists and those who commit violent assault’ get away with their crimes. Yet, as a staunch opponent of the retention of DNA from those who are later proven innocent, I can say without any doubt that I am not opposed to DNA being collected from those three groups of ne’er do wells.

    • A disgraceful judgement

      Earlier this month we highlighted the tragic case of Jim Railton – the auctioneer from Alnwick who had been arrested for putting a 19th Century wooden cabinet containing birds eggs up for sale at his auction house.

      Jim is a parish councillor and a law-abiding man who, because of this ridiculous episode, has now had his DNA added to the national database and gained a criminal record.

    • The Disappearing Blood Stain

      John Thompson spent 18 years in a Louisiana prison, 14 of them in a windowless, six-by-nine-foot death row cell. According to a federal appeals court, “There were multiple mentally deranged prisoners near him who would yell and scream at all hours and throw human waste at the guards.” Thompson, whose execution was scheduled half a dozen times, was a few weeks away from death by lethal injection when his life was saved by a bloody scrap of cloth.

    • Break TrueCrypt hard drive encryption quickly

      The latest version of Passware Kit Forensic has become the first commercially available software to break TrueCrypt hard drive encryption without applying a time-consuming brute-force attack. It was also the first product to decrypt BitLocker drives.

    • Report: Malware capital of the world is Shaoxing, China
    • Weak passwords stored in browsers make hackers happy

      Nearly a quarter of people (23 per cent) polled in a survey by Symantec use their browser to keep tabs on their passwords.

      A survey of 400 surfers by Symantec also found that 60 per cent fail to change their passwords regularly. Further violating the ‘passwords should be treated like toothbrushes’ maxim (changed frequently and not shared), the pollsters also found that a quarter of people have given their passwords to their spouse, while one in 10 people have given their password to a ‘friend’.

    • Eyes turn to “value for money” London 2012

      London is “on budget and on time”, according to organisers, but the cost is about three times the original estimate. The economic downturn scuppered its private and public partnership plans for two of the park’s biggest projects, the Olympic Village and media centre, forcing the taxpayer to step in.

      Experts say the security budget of 600 million pounds, the same as Vancouver, is hopelessly optimistic given that Britain will be a much bigger target for potential attackers after its support of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

  • Environment

    • The iPad, internet, climate change link in the spotlight

      To be clear we are not picking on Apple, we are not ‘dissing’ the iPad, but maybe someone can come up with an app that calculates the carbon footprint of using different web sites based on their location and energy deals. Apple is the master of promotion, and while we marvel at the sleek unpolluted design of the iPad, we need to think about where this is all leading and how like all good surfers we can make sure our environment stays clean and green.

  • Finance

    • Could Bloomberg Lawsuit Mean Death to Zombie Banks?

      Bloomberg, which has done some of the best reporting on the financial crisis, is also leading the charge on the fight for transparency at the Federal Reserve and in the financial sector. While many policymakers and reporters were focusing their attention on the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) bailout bill passed by Congress, Bloomberg was one of the first to notice that the TARP program was small change compared to the estimated $2-3 trillion flowing out the back door of the Federal Reserve to prop up the financial system in the early months of the crisis.

    • Prosecuting Financial Crimes: Will Anyone Bunk with Bernie?

      Kaptur is authoring a bill, H.R. 3995 the “Financial Crisis of 2008 Criminal Investigation and Prosecution Act of 2009,” that gives the FBI 1,000 more agents and forensic experts and tells them to get cracking.

    • Ex-contender for top IBM job pleads guilty on securities charges

      The insider trading scheme revolves around Raj Rajaratnam, the founder and managing director of Galleon Management, formerly a $7bn New York hedge fund that was unwound last year in the wake of the scandal, and Danielle Chiesi, an employee at New Castle Funds, formerly the equity hedge fund group of Bear Stearns.

    • Bank security guru: Sue your bank for refund

      Noted banking security expert Ross Anderson was forced to threaten action in the small claims court before his bank agreed to refund a disputed transaction.

    • There’s wealth and then there’s wealth.
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • PR Firm Behind Propaganda Videos Wins Stimulus Contract

      President Obama’s push for electronic medical records [1] has faced resistance from those who question whether health information technology systems can protect patient privacy.

      So last week, the U.S Department of Health and Human Services hired a public relations firm to try to win consumer trust.

    • Coverage Now for Sick Children? Check Fine Print

      Just days after President Obama signed the new health care law, insurance companies are already arguing that, at least for now, they do not have to provide one of the benefits that the president calls a centerpiece of the law: coverage for certain children with pre-existing conditions.

    • Toxic Sludge Taints the White House

      Unfortunately for the Obamas, and for the entire nation, once the story hit the news, it became politicized. While the issue was initially raised as a comment on the safety of using sewage sludge as fertilizer – an issue that has no political party – the right soon grabbed a hold of the story as a way to make fun of the Obamas. Some on the left fiercely defended the Obamas in return. But the Obamas are not the villains in this story; they are the victims. They are among many other Americans whose yards and gardens are contaminated with sewage sludge without their knowledge and who, as a result, are exposed to toxic contaminants in the soil. And lead is just a fraction of the overall problem.

    • John Boehner “Hell No You Can’t” Video Mashup Making Waves

      The original “Yes We Can” video set to music Obama’s campaign speech featuring the phrase, “Yes We Can.” In the new mashup, Boehner repeatedly interrupts Obama’s “Yes We Can” speech with his harsh yell of “Hell no you can’t!” The soothing and melodic guitar in the piece only serves to make Boehner’s yell sound harsher. The mashup video has gotten over 445,000 views in the last six days, and prompted an opinion piece from the conservative media outlet FoxNews.com which said Republicans are close to “destroying their brand” and desperately need a new, more positive marketing spin, or else “the Republicans will be in the wilderness for a very long time.”

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Government goes to war with Google over net censorship

      The Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, has launched a stinging attack on Google and its credibility in response to the search giant’s campaign against the government’s internet filtering policy.

    • Are you being watched online?

      Many broadband users wonder whether their broadband provider is monitoring and recording their online activity. We get the facts.

    • Do You Need Absolute Privacy?

      You would think that the owner of every single WordPress site out there would want as many visitors as possible, but you’d be wrong. Not everyone needs Sunday Morning SEO.
      There are plenty of reasons why you would want to keep a blog as private as possible. Perhaps you’re using it as an project site in conjunction with the awesome P2 theme and you only want the project members seeing the posts and responding or perhaps you have just set up a site for you newly born and you want to share those early updates with just your family.

    • Tech coalition pushes rewrite of online privacy law

      That law, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, or ECPA, is notoriously convoluted and difficult even for judges to follow. The coalition hopes to simplify the wording while requiring police to obtain a search warrant to access private communications and the locations of mobile devices–which is not always the case today.

    • FTC alerted to Buzz

      A GROUP of lawmakers have written to the US Federal Trade Commission and asked it to have a look into Google Buzz.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Million pound Usenet indexer found guilty

      Newzbin was a members-only website and had turnover of more than £1m in 2009. It provided members with a search engine for Usenet groups. Precise terms of the judgement are still to be decided, but the site is unlikely to continue in its current form.

    • ‘Smallville’ producers claim Warner Bros. self-dealing cost them millions

      The frequency of vertical integration lawsuits has slowed in recent years, thanks to increased studio efforts to negotiate at arms length and new deal language that has kept many disputes in private arbitration rather than public litigation.

    • James Cameron: Innovation trumps digital piracy

      Oscar-winning director James Cameron says the key to combating digital piracy in the movie industry is to use technology to create an experience that is unmatched anywhere other than the theater.

    • House Bans File Sharing By Government Employees

      The House has passed a bill that would prevent government employees from using peer-to-peer file-sharing software either in the office or when accessing government networks remotely from home.

    • IFPI and BPI goons get brought up short

      THE CROWN PROSECUTION SERVICE has dropped a legal case against a seventeen year old boy accused of illegally distributing copyrighted material.

      The boy in question, Matthew Wyatt, was seventeen when he was accused of sharing three albums and one single and arrested at home in front of his parents despite a lack of evidence.

    • Extortion-Like Mass Automated Copyright Lawsuits Come To The US: 20,000 Filed, 30,000 More On The Way

      Uh oh. It appears that a group of independent filmmakers don’t seem to recognize the kind of backlash they can receive for going to war against file sharers. It appears that a company, ridiculously named the US Copyright Group, has signed up a bunch of independent filmmakers, with the unofficial backing of Independent Film & Television Alliance, to follow in the footsteps of the disastrous European automated copyright infringement threat letter campaign, and have already gone after 20,000 alleged file sharers with another 30,000 about to follow. Five specific lawsuits have been filed, listing the 20,000 IP addresses accused of infringement.

    • Warner Bros. Recruits Students to Spy on Pirates

      Warner Bros Entertainment UK is recruiting tech-savvy students to help the company with their anti-piracy efforts. During the 12 month internship the students will have to maintain accounts at private BitTorrent sites, develop link-scanning bots, make trap purchases and perform various other anti-piracy tasks.

    • Who Is That Masked Chocolate Candy? Zorro Slashes M&Ms Over Trademark

      You may have seen the news that Zorro Productions is suing Mars, the makers of M&M’s, over a trademark infringement claim, concerning an M&Ms commercial that apparently involves some sort of Zorro costume. But wait a second… just like Sherlock Holmes, it appears that at least some of Zorro should be in the public domain by now. Pamela Chestek writes in to give her very thorough analysis of this particular case, noting that, in some ways, it may be setting up some future lawsuits concerning the difference between trademark and copyright in characters.

    • The Economics Of The Music Industry: A Band Has To Work Hard To Get Its Part

      These days, a lot of that money is up for grabs — and the record labels are upset that they’re not getting more of it. Instead, it may be going to others, such as Apple or an ISP or someone else entirely. But, really, it’s up for grabs — and that’s why we see a lot of smart musicians figuring out how to take advantage and get their share.

    • OK Go and the Old Media Model

      This presages the direction a lot of creators and artists will start to take as they leave the copyright-mired Old Media Dinosaurs behind.

    • Google Sued For Using The Term ‘Gadgets’; Tiny Company Afraid People Will Think They Support Google
    • Digital Economy Bill

      • The Digital Economy Bill: A taxation on salt

        MPs have the opportunity now to take the Digital Economy Bill in wash-up and do just what a wash-up implies: clean it out. If they don’t, and if lobbies like BPI get their way, we’re in for a satyagraha.

      • Lib Dems to fight Digital Economy Bill over ‘wash-up’

        The Liberal Democrats will try to block the Digital Economy Bill from being fast-tracked into law before the election.

        On Tuesday afternoon, the party’s chief whip Paul Burstow tweeted that he had told the government the Liberal Democrats will not support the bill as it is drafted because there is “not enough time for MPs to examine it in detail”.

        The bill is expected to be become part of ‘wash-up’, a brief period at the end of a sitting parliament when outstanding legislation becomes the subject of back-room deals between the main two parties, the Conservatives and Labour.

      • 7 days to stop the Bill!

        ORG and 38 Degrees are pushing to get national advertising placed just before the debate on Tuesday next week: when Parliament will, in effect, allow the Bill to be passed into ‘wash up’ without proper democratic scrutiny, denying us a national discussion about the rights and wrongs of this Bill.

Clip of the Day

SourceCode Season 1: Episode 2 (2004)


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