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05.09.10

Microsoft’s and Gates’ Tax Evasion College Tours

Posted in America, Bill Gates, Finance, Microsoft at 9:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Washington and Microsoft

Summary: Bill Gates Sr., CEO of the Gates Foundation Jeff Raikes, and Melinda French Gates travel to US colleges in order to paddle agenda

LAST MONTH we covered Gates’ college tour (lobbying) in the United States [1, 2]. This post will not explore this any further because publicity of it only plays into the hands of Microsoft and Gates, which are still inseparable. Instead, this post is going to focus on the Gates Foundation‘s convoy, which seems to have been dispatched to some more colleges in order to influence tomorrow’s leaders.

Last week we wrote about Bill Gates Sr. lobbying in Washington regarding tax (which Bill Gates -- just like Microsoft -- is not paying). This is interesting because Bill Gates Sr. has worked very closely with the Gates Foundation. Jeff Reifman writes about the subject in his personal blog and in the Seattle P-I we find that Bill Gates Sr. has gotten his own ‘college tour’ going.

William Gates Sr. will speak at the University of Washington’s graduation ceremony on June 12 at Husky Stadium.

Reifman has some justifiable new rants about Microsoft’s refusal to pay tax as everyone should.

This does not affect only the United States. In Europe too Microsoft is exploiting weak laws to establish a tax haven in Ireland [1, 2, 3, 4].

Here is what the Irish press writes about it right now, commending Microsoft rather than reprimanding it for bad faith and unacceptable behaviour.

MICROSOFT Ireland Operations Ltd made pre-tax profits of€809.4 million last year and paid €88.99m in corporation tax to the Exchequer.

As we pointed out many times before, the “magic” of the Gates Foundation (among other factors) is that it rids Gates from that ‘nuisance’ called “paying tax”. The ultra-rich people have made themselves a nice loophole that they take advantage of.

But anyway, the college tour of Bill Gates Sr. is not an isolated new case. Jeff Raikes, the current CEO of the Gates Foundation, is also traveling to US colleges [1, 2, 3] where he preaches his agenda. Much to the Foundation’s chagrin, his talk is covered by their friends at the Seattle Times, among other publications [1, 2, 3]. Melinda Gates too is having her own college tour (after her husband’s). Here it is before:

Melinda French Gates, co-chairwoman and trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and 1982 Ursuline alumna, will speak.

…And after [1, 2, 3]. Here it is less to do with agenda and more to do with personal promotion that leads to exquisite PR (rarely does the press show a picture of the whole Gates family).

The Gates dynasty is rather nasty once one actually descends below the PR thicket. Self servitude and self glorification is what it’s all about as we constantly provide new evidence. More information will be posted tomorrow.

“Gates has created a huge blood-buying operation that only cares about money, not about people.”

AIDS organisation manager, December 2009 (New York Times)

Attempts to Push Mono Into Awn

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 8:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

White head monkey

Summary: A popular Mono-free “dock” application for GNU/Linux faces attempts to put C# applets in it

THE following Mono alert is not news, but it came up earlier today in IRC.

Docky is already a Mono intrusion vector, but it turns out that Awn too is at risk because of Mono enthusiasts (an Awn developer in this case).

“MONO guys still spreading their poison in GNOME,” claims Frodo, “guess you guys aren’t awake yet…”

“Mono poison in GNOME [is] kinda not surprising any more,” says Oiaohm.

IRC Proceedings: May 9th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 8:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Suffers Another Blow, Delay, Downtime, and Antitrust Lawsuit

Posted in Antitrust, Courtroom, Deception, Hardware, Microsoft at 8:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bye, Halo

Summary: Bungie’s goodbye, “Game Room” setbacks, Datel’s lawsuit against Microsoft, and a general lesson about Microsoft’s treatment of its so-called ‘partners’

Xbox — just like many of Microsoft’s product lines (except Office and Windows) — is about illusion and rarely about reality. In reality, Xbox 360 is one of the worst-selling consoles in modern days and Microsoft has already lost billions of dollars on it. But wait. It gets worse.

Microsoft is known for its legal (or illegal) aggression and here is a new example of Microsoft shutting down a product/project using legal threats:

In other news that’s sure to excite hardcore PC gamers, MechWarrior 4 has finally been re-released by fan community MekTek.net. MekTek.net received permission to air the out of print game for free some time ago from developers Smith & Tinker, who licensed the MechWarrior rights from Microsoft, but Microsoft had initially stymied the project with legal threats.

As we showed back in April, Microsoft is said to be shunning companies that ‘dare’ to support platforms like GNU/Linux (platforms other than Microsoft’s). It’s a form of retaliation that’s intended to suppress cross-platform computer games. Microsoft is totally obsessed with total control, as we shall illustrate again later on.

“Bye” from Bungie and “Halo”

Microsoft has had many problems with gaming companies. FASA Interactive, a former Microsoft partner, says that Microsoft “destroys” partners; Bungie knows that very well [1, 2] and for quite some time now Bungie has complained about what Microsoft’s culture did to harm creativity. Bungie was very unhappy, despite the relative success of Halo.

“Bungie jumps from Microsoft to Activision,” says The Independent.

While Activision Blizzard look set to lose one set of award winning developers in the shape of Infinity Ward following recent troubles, they appear to be gaining another having signed an exclusive 10-year publishing deal with Bungie Studios.

“Bungie severs ties with Microsoft, signs big Activision deal,” claims Microsoft Nick and IDG worries about Halo. One of its writers asks: “What’s Next for Halo?”

Two of the biggest names in video games, Activision and Bungie, announced an exclusive 10-year development deal last week, stunning Halo fans and leaving Microsoft’s golden video game franchise at a crossroads.

This is also covered in [1, 2] (among other places/Web sites that we omit as there are too many) and Microsoft’s booster Brier Dudley talks to Bungie’s chief in order to paint a positive picture (for Microsoft, of course). It is worth mentioning those technical Halo problems which we mentioned in recent weeks because they are said to be resolved (long overdue).

“Game Room” Delayed, Layoffs Named

In other Xbox news we have:

i. New Microsoft Game Room Games Delayed Until ‘Further Notice’

Microsoft’s Game Room hasn’t had the smoothest rollout — first a lot of users reported having problems even loading it up when it launched in late March, then we learned the regular schedule of weekly new game releases wouldn’t kick in until late April. Now we’re at late April…and it looks like we’re going to keep waiting a little longer. Xbox Live European editor Dan Maher has tweeted that new Game Room games have been delayed for the time being.

ii. Microsoft: Game Room Updates Delayed Till Further Notice

Microsoft’s Europe Xbox Live editor, Daniel Maher, announced via Twitter today that any further Game Room updates have been delayed “until further notice” without any reason for the delay. Later in the day Major Nelson also tweeted that they are working on bringing additional Game Room titles “as soon as possible” but didn’t provide any further information on the delays.

It turns out that layoffs are part of the problem. Here is an interview with Krome Studios about Game Room. Microsoft too suffered a wave of layoffs and right now it sends many more jobs abroad. It turns out that not much entrepreneurship has emerged in Seattle following Microsoft’s layoffs. Microsoft doesn’t care about Seattle where it avoids paying tax.

Datel

As we noted at the top, Microsoft is ruthless when it comes to companies that support Microsoft. The egocentricity of Microsoft led to a desire for a monopoly on hardware (typical thing for Apple).

Datel’s antitrust complaint against Microsoft is going ahead, further contributing to legal trouble that Microsoft already has. Coverage about Datel includes:

Datel Given Green Light In Xbox 360 Antitrust Lawsuit

A UK-based maker of Xbox 360 accessories has been given permission to go ahead with an anti-trust lawsuit Microsoft after the software maker decided to stop supporting third-party accessories for its games console.

The Federal Court of California, presided over by Judge Elizabeth D. Laporte, said Datel Design & Development had every right to pursue the anti-trust charges it has filed against Microsoft, but asked it to amend one of its claims which accuses Microsoft off monopolising the Xbox Live market.

We have already covered this case last week [1, 2] and previously in:

Yes, this is how Microsoft treats ‘partners’ like Datel. Why is anyone supporting or augmenting Microsoft products in the first place? rPath, please pay attention.

The Wrong rPath to Microsoft

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Servers, Windows at 7:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

rPath to War DVD

Summary: rPath does a disservice to itself and to many others by assisting the company which openly attacks GNU/Linux, on which rPath’s business is based

WE are generally supportive of rPath, which we sometimes view as the company which Novell is 'ripping off' (there are others too) to take some of its businessAstrum style’.

Well, rPath appears to have lost sight of the importance of independence as it now serves a non-Free platform to which users — not just rPath — have no access and no permission. To quote the press release:

rPath, an innovator in automating system deployment and maintenance, today announced that it will support the Microsoft Windows operating system with a new solution for automated deployment of applications built using the Microsoft .NET Framework. This announcement extends the reach of rPath’s next-generation system automation solutions beyond the enterprise Linux market.

The GNU/Linux market is growing fast (in terms of installed units, not necessarily money alone). Why waste time and effort making the company which actively attacks GNU/Linux even stronger? rPath might be acting to serve its own interests here, but bloggers like Dana Gardner [1, 2] neglect to say that this has a downside. They treat Microsoft like it’s just another company and probably forget its relationship to GNU/Linux, which is rPath’s core business.

“Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

Microsoft Vice President Quits, AOL and Glam Poisoned

Posted in Antitrust, HP, Microsoft, Patents at 6:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gentle sinking

Summary: As executives continue to jump the Microsoft ship, other companies absorb these executives, the latest examples being AOL, HP, Juniper, ProtonMedia, and Glam

THE departure of many Microsoft vice presidents continues at a rapid pace. The latest Vice President to jump ship is one who was mentioned in this antitrust exhibit where Bill Gates says he wants to maximise “patented stuff” (yes, Gates is among the early engineers of the software patents assault on competition and he also personally engaged in patent extortion). The Vice President in question is described as “Former Technology Assistant to Bill Gates” and he is picked up by AOL to serve as CTO (Yahoo! has the same problem).

According to sources close to the situation, AOL has hired Alex Gounares (pictured here) as its chief technology officer.

Gounare’s departure was announced internally at Microsoft today, where he is corporate vice president of Advertising Research and Development and CTO for the software giant’s Online Services division.

This was also covered in:

Later on we will show that something similar has just happened at HP (top Microsoft executive appointed to serve a high position over there, and it’s worth a separate long post) but before we get to that, here is another company to watch out for because of its new chief (whose departure from Microsoft and subsequent activities we covered in [1, 2]):

This convictive coverage of ours is not discriminatory by the way. It is important to remember that nobody is born a Microsoft employee; it is their own choice and it’s a red flag in their career record.

In other news, a top Microsoft executive (Stephen Elop) sort of writes in Forbes about “Leaving Juniper For Microsoft” (another one here).

He joined the company in January 2008 from Juniper Networks, where he was chief operating officer. He spoke with Forbes National Editor Quentin Hardy about a key deciding factor in joining Microsoft.

Juniper has been stuffed with Microsoft executives [1, 2, 3] since Elop joined Microsoft.

Here is a new press release titled “Microsoft’s Sam Batterman Joins ProtonMedia’s Executive Advisory Board”. It says:

Prior to joining Microsoft, Sam worked at Merck & Co., Inc. for eight years.

Although it’s not the focus of this Web site (Merck is about patents and marketing more than about technology), Merck has “corruption” written all over it (patchily covered in [1, 2, 3, 4]), so Sam Batterman merely moved from one monovalent company into another. Again we stress: nobody is born a Microsoft employee. And as readers often remind us, when a former Microsoft employee joins another company this typically leads to assimilation and/or destruction. That’s why it’s so important. HR and PR are critical.

Links 9/5/2010: KDE Updates, LinuxCon 2010 Preview

Posted in News Roundup at 4:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Geekbox

      Taking a break from Mumbuntu blog posts. I mentioned this on the latest epsiode of the Ubuntu Podcast that we released yesterday. I see Fab from Linux Outlaws has blogged about his geekbox.

    • Sony VAIO VPCEC1M1E/WI review

      Three hotkeys are fitted on the chassis, just above the keyboard. The Assist button helps you diagnose and solve any issues you may have with the laptop, while the Web button lets you boot up a secondary, Linux-based operating system for browsing the web without starting up Windows 7.

  • Server

    • London Stock Exchange creates virtual Turquoise access ahead of Linux big-bang

      An “ultra-fast” link between the datacentres of the London Stock Exchange and Turquoise has gone live, gearing the dark pool trading venue for a big-bang Linux migration.

      Traders with hosted systems at the LSE are now able to access Turquoise on the free fast link, ahead of Turquoise’s migration to the Millennium Exchange platform, which is Linux and Sun Solaris Unix-based, with Oracle databases. Turquoise currently runs on the Java-based Tradexpress platform from supplier Cinnober.

    • State of Linux in the Indian enterprise

      Today large ERP implementations are running on enterprise Linux. ERP applications by their nature are mission-critical as enterprises depend on ERP applications for their business models. Many enterprises right from Verizon, Hilti, Banco Pastor, YPF globally to Indian Express, Carnation, Great Offshore, Hikal and Sheela Foam in India run their SAP, Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft etc. on Linux.

    • ARM dips toe into server chip design

      According to Drew, the website for the ARM Linux Internet Platform is “running on a Marvell-based very small cluster of chips”.

      “We switched it in about six months ago — it’s going OK,” Drew said. “It’s one of these things where you don’t know what you don’t know until you try it.”

      The trial is giving ARM an idea of the performance, power management and cooling implications of running a website off the company’s low-powered architecture, Drew added. He noted that “a lot more” had to be done on creating a LAMP (Linux Apache MySql Perl/PHP/Python) open-source software stack for the architecture.

    • CloudLinux Partners with R1Soft
    • CloudLinux Announces Compatibility With R1Soft, The Leading Backup Software For Linux Servers In The Cloud
  • Kernel Space

    • Benchmark of Windows 7 vs Ubuntu comparision may be flawed under uneven environments

      The benchmarks may be flawed due to the following assumptions which is not ideal setup for Ubuntu

      Reasons

      1. Compiz is enabled by default in Ubuntu, whereas the games in Windows disable Aero to gain that extra FPS. I doubt if the games in Ubuntu disable compiz before running

      2. Biggest flaw is cpufrequency is controlled by Ubuntu to run as ondemand instead of utilizing full processor power. The ideal Ubuntu Setup would be to run all the cores with cpufrequency governor performance. Windows 7 by default runs in full gear and kudos to it. But that does not answer this question, why the benchmarks were done when running ondemand governor in Ubuntu Lucid?

      How do I assume cpufrequency has something to do with performance, well I will try to prove it ( though you may try for yourself by changing cpufrequency to run with different performance governors and check simple benchmarks)

    • Kernel Development Statistics for 2.6.34 and Beyond

      As of this writing, the current kernel prepatch is 2.6.34-rc6. A couple more prepatches are most likely due before the final release, but the number of changes to be found there should be small. In other words, 2.6.34 is close to its final form, so it makes sense to take a look at what has gone into this development cycle. In a few ways, 2.6.34 is an unusual kernel…

    • Latest Datalight Flash File System Brings 20 Millisecond Mount Times to Linux Through Kernel Versions 2.6.33

      Datalight announced support for Linux version 2.6.33 with its flash file system. The software offers improved mount times and faster writes over standard Linux flash file systems such as UBIFS, YAFFS, and JFFS2.

    • LinuxCon keynote speakers announced
    • LinuxCon 2010 keynotes announced
  • Instructionals

  • Games

    • Pay What You Like, Say Indie Game Makers

      A group of independent game developers are selling the “Humble Indie Bundle” until Tuesday, May 11, allowing buyers to set their own price on the five-game package. The bundle includes World of Goo, Gish, Lugaru HD, Aquaria and Penumbra Overture. All games are available for Windows, Mac or Linux, and are DRM-free.

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • KDEPIM on Mobile – What’s going on?

      Anyone following the commits in the kde svn repo will notice that there has been some action on the mobile front in KDE PIM over the last few months.

      [...]

      This project is the result of a collaboration of KDAB, (my employer) with Intevation, crypto specialists G10Code, and interaction specialists Apliki known to KDE for recent usability testing work on KMail icons.

    • Kraft helps small businesses manage their work

      German developer Klaas Freitag says Kraft is aimed at small companies, driven by a boss and maybe a few people. He started working on the software in 2005 after having worked on similar applications for many years. He says, “The KDE platform under C++ is the most effective platform to build native GUI applications I have ever worked with, and KDE has a strong, friendly, open, and helpful community that’s fun to work in.”

    • Konsole’s user interface changes

      Konsole is the app that probably almost every KDE developer uses on a daily basis, but there hasn’t been much development on the user interface front during the last releases. The two brave souls Robert Knight and Kurt Hindenburg are busy triaging and fixing bugs. So to say Konsole is more maintained than developed due to a simple lack of manpower. Nonetheless some recent changes may be worth blogging about.

    • Plasma Media Center Status report and introduction

      On startup, you are presented with a big upper part which contains icons for the available media modes, right now: local music, local pictures and local video. The bottom part is covered by a thin panel which holds an exit button (do not ever touch this or god will kill a ladybug and you will cry in shame!) Also, this panel shows you small icons for modes that are currently active in the background. Clicking on these will fast forward you to that mode.

  • Distributions

    • More Community Classes, Please

      Not sure how to run a class? The Fedora wiki has a few suggestions. Classes are a good way to provide a question and answer session on everything from how to file bug reports, to explaining how to package software or do testing.

    • PCLinuxOS 2010.1 KDE Edition addresses bugs
    • Ubuntu

      • Free Getting Started with Ubuntu Manual Helps Out Linux Rookies
      • First 24 Hours with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx

        Last word is ubuntu 10.04 is refined product with three year LTS support from ubuntu its seems a great option for home and even Enterprise. Its neatly packaged and is amazingly fast you also have the standard compiz 3D Desktop affects which adds the glamour and the standard administration and configuration options which are fairly easy to use. Overall undoubtly the best Linux desktop ever.

      • Ubuntu 10.10 Will Not Have GNOME-Shell
      • Variants

        • Ultimate Edition 2.6 Is Based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS

          Ubuntu 10.04 LTS has just been released and, with it, the big number of distros based on it start pouring in. Ultimate Edition is an Ubuntu-based release that aims to be, well, ultimate, packing in as much functionality and apps as possible. Ultimate Edition 2.6 bundles proprietary drivers, to get things running out of the box, and plenty of packages for the power users. If you like flashy themes, as many Compiz effects as your graphics card can handle and having everything plus the kitchen sink pre-installed, then this is the Linux distribution for you.

        • Easy Peasy 1.6

          My overall impression of Easy Peasy has been very good. It installed quickly and easily on a very old netbook, it left me about 1 GB of free space out of a 4 GB disk, and it seemed to work flawlessly. The combination of EasyPeasy and the original EeePC reminded me of what netbooks were really all about when they first appeared. While 1 GB of space is not a lot, it would be easy enough to put a 4, 8, 16 or whatever GB card in the SD slot for your own documents, files, photos and such. If you still have one of these laying around somewhere, it might pay you to dig it out, load a very nice modern Linux distribution on it, and use it as a very small, very light, very portable netbook.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • QNAP Security’s new Network Video Recorder models to take the forefront at IFSEC 2010

      QNAP Security, a world class manufacturer of Linux-embedded, stand-alone Network Video Recorder (NVR) solutions is pleased to announce its participation at IFSEC 2010.

    • Broadband users urged to protect Wi-Fi connections

      According to various reports in the media, there has been a rise in the number of Wi-Fi-cracking kits being sold online in China, which include USB adapters, a Linux operating system, password-breaking software and a detailed instruction booklet.

    • Nokia

      • Nokia`s shift to services from hardware

        January 2010 — Opens a version of its software store for its flagship N900 model which runs the Linux operating system. The Linux Maemo operating system is seen as key in its rivalry with the iPhone.

        February – Says to merge its Linux Maemo software platform, used in its flagship N900 phone, with Intel’s Moblin which is also based on Linux open-sourced software.

    • Android

      • Goggles turns Android into pocket translator

        The mobile application for Android got updated today with the ability to snap a picture of some words and instantly translate them into the language of the owner.

      • Google: Android 2.1 is catching up

        It’s not too surprising that Android 2.0 and 2.0.1 numbers have begun to shrink, especially considering the fact that Motorola recently released the 2.1 update for it’s popular Droid (also known in Europe as the Motorola Milestone) devices – one of the few phones to include the 2.0.x branch of Android. By comparison, the first smartphone to use Android, the T-Mobile G1, will not officially run versions later than 1.6 for technical reasons. Although Google says that it simply doesn’t have enough internal memory, unofficial releases of Android 2.1 are available online.

      • Android running on iPhone 3G

        Wang said that next up is audio support: “We’ve already laid the groundwork for audio support on the 3G and gotten it working in our homemade bootloader, so support for audio in Linux/Android will be coming in a few days.”

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Where is the Linux ‘smartbook’?

        But first, let’s try to define the smartbook. By some definitions it is simply a Netbook that runs Linux and uses processors based on a design from U.K.-based ARM, as opposed to Windows software and Intel chips, respectively. By another definition, it is all of the above but also an always-on, always-connected device, just like a smartphone. The latter definition is the one we’ll use here because it’s the original definition as provided by Qualcomm–a major smartbook player–and the closest match to most first-generation smartbooks. (Another definition includes tablets but we’ll leave that out of this discussion.)

        Indeed, smartbooks remain a murky product category because no major device maker has announced one yet in the U.S.–at least as defined above. And on Wednesday, Ian Drew, the chief marketing officer at ARM, expressed dismay at the lack of products, according to a report from ZDNet UK. That report cites, among other reasons for the delays, the current lack of Adobe Flash optimization for smartbook operating systems.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Calling all geeks workshop

    Drupal is a free and open source content management system written in PHP and distributed under the GNU General Public License. It’s used as a back-end system for many different types of websites, ranging from small personal blogs to large corporate and political sites, such as whitehouse.gov. It is also used for knowledge management and business collaboration.

  • GNU

    • Emacs 23.2 released

      The Emacs 23.2 release is out.

    • GNU Smalltalk 3.2 released

      Main features of the new release include downloading of remote packages (for projects hosted on smalltalk.gnu.org), a new browser based on GTK+, a callgraph profiler and incremental garbage collection. This version can also run the Iliad web framework (http://www.iliadproject.org/).

    • glibc 2.12
  • Open Access/Content

    • Universities, Congress push Open Access Research law

      For the last several years, the US’ National Institutes of Health has implemented a Congressionally mandated open access policy. Within a year of the publication of any work that’s derived from NIH funding, the papers have to be sent to the NIH in digital form so that they can be made available online for anyone to examine. Although there have been sporadic attempts to reverse the policy, it has been considered so successful that the US Office of Science and Technology Policy requested public input on an extension of the rules to all federally funded research. Now, a consortium of US research institutions is putting its weight behind an effort to turn the potential OSTP policy into law.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • HTML5 apps

      Right now nobody’s interested in a mobile solution that does not contain the words “iPhone” and “app” and that is not submitted to a closed environment where it competes with approximately 2,437 similar mobile solutions.

      Compared to the current crop of mobile clients and developers, lemmings marching off a cliff follow a solid, sensible strategy. Startling them out of this obsession requires nothing short of a new buzzword.

      Therefore I’d like to re-brand standards-based mobile websites and applications, definitely including W3C Widgets, as “HTML5 apps.” People outside our little technical circle are already aware of the existence of HTML5, and I don’t think it needs much of an effort to elevate it to full buzzwordiness.

    • [HTML5 Video Player Demo Powered By Ogg Theora]

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Americans ‘bombarded’ with cancer sources: report

      “The American people — even before they are born — are bombarded continually with myriad combinations of these dangerous exposures,” they wrote in a letter to President Barack Obama at top of the report.

      “The panel urges you most strongly to use the power of your office to remove the carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water, and air that needlessly increase healthcare costs, cripple our nation’s productivity, and devastate American lives.”

      A White House spokesman indicated he had not yet seen the report and the National Cancer Institute declined comment.

  • Environment

    • Web tool tracks Gulf oil spill effects

      A web tool originally set up to keep track of political violence in Kenya is being used to monitor the fallout from oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico.

  • Finance

    • New regulations likely as stock dive probed

      But more than a day after a nearly 1,000-point drop in the Dow, the government had not publicly pinpointed the reasons.

    • 296 ‘funked up’ stocks — trades canceled

      After one of the most wild days on Wall Street, Nasdaq canceled trades of 296 stocks whose prices fluctuated the most.

      At around 2:45 p.m. ET on Thursday, trades of a number of stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange were slowed for about a minute due to excessive volatility. During that short time, those stocks were opened up to electronic markets like the Nasdaq.

    • NYSE, Nasdaq Play Blame Game

      The finger-pointing continued Friday between the Nasdaq Stock Market and the New York Stock Exchange in the wake of Thursday’s 1,000-point intraday stock market plunge — despite calls from both sides for a stop to all blame-finding.

    • The Feds vs. Goldman

      What Paulson jammed into Abacus was mortgages lent to borrowers with low credit ratings, and mortgages from states like Florida, Arizona, Nevada and California that had recently seen wild home-price spikes. In metaphorical terms, Paulson was choosing, as sexual partners for future visitors to the Goldman bordello, a gang of IV drug users, Haitians and hemophiliacs, then buying life-insurance policies on the whole orgy. Goldman then turned around and sold this poisonous stuff to its customers as good, healthy investments.

      Where Goldman broke the rules, according to the SEC, was in failing to disclose to its customers – in particular a German bank called IKB and a Dutch bank called ABN-AMRO – the full nature of Paulson’s involvement with the deal. Neither investor knew that the portfolio they were buying into had essentially been put together by a financial arsonist who was rooting for it all to blow up.

    • Our view on the world economy: Greek debt crisis offers preview of what awaits U.S.

      The situation is particularly acute in Greece, where massive debts have forced the government to propose widely unpopular cuts in salaries, bonuses and pensions coupled with significant tax hikes. Interest rates have soared, and deadly riots have broken out in Athens.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • N.Y. Courts Tackle Electronic Defamation

      Blogs and personal web pages, such as on MySpace and Facebook, provide a broad stage to spread potentially defamatory statements. Thus, care must be taken when posting content on social media. Postings can take just seconds to compose and frequently little thought is given to what is being stated and its consequences, especially where such communication may reach an audience of millions, virtually instantaneously.

    • No, I don’t want to store my data on your site

      Flickr. Diigo. Evernote.

      Everybody wants me to work on my machine but then synchronize my data to their site for safekeeping and social functions. I can understand this for situations where I want others to see my photos or my links, but what happens when I have ten or twenty of these services, all of which have separate interfaces, separate logins, separate passwords, and separate liklihoods to still be around in 5 years?

    • Media groups voice concern over Fifa restrictions

      The South African media’s concerns about Fifa restrictions on coverage of the World Cup have gone unheeded by the soccer world body for two years, veteran newsman Raymond Louw said on Friday.

      Media groups Avusa, the Independent Group and Media 24 are now trying to “engage in a constructive way” with Fifa, through their lawyers, over the terms and conditions for accreditation.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • FCC Reclaims Powers Over Internet Access Companies

      Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski claimed power to regulate companies that provide Internet access, opening a fight with cable and telephone companies and sparking opposition from Republicans.

    • Digital Restriction Management = bye bye Pippi Longstocking

      First of all I will continue to boycot DRM’ed devices. The main motive for Digital Restriction Management promotion is financial. If we do not give them money, they will have to stop to threat us like that. I am a customers, not a prisoner. Secondly I will continue to explain people why they should not give money to people who want to control their data.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Google Asks Judge to Declare RapidShare Search Links Legal

      The company was sued by independent record label Blue Destiny Records last year, which claimed that Google — along with Microsoft’s (NASD: MSFT) Bing — was violating copyrights by linking to unauthorized content hosted on RapidShare.

    • Google Lawsuit: Our Links Don’t Violate Copyright
    • ACTA

      • Google attorney slams ACTA copyright treaty

        An attorney for Google slammed a controversial intellectual property treaty on Friday, saying it has “metastasized” from a proposal to address border security and counterfeit goods to an international legal framework sweeping in copyright and the Internet.

        The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, is “something that has grown in the shadows, Gollum-like,” without public scrutiny, Daphne Keller, a senior policy counsel in Mountain View, Calif., said at a conference at Stanford University.

        Both the Obama administration and the Bush administration had rejected requests from civil libertarians and technologists for the text of ACTA, with the White House last year even indicating that disclosure would do “damage to the national security.” After pressure from the European Parliament, however, negotiators released the draft text two weeks ago.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – ISS – Virtual ISS (1/4/2001)


Quote of the Day: Apple and Microsoft

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Quote at 3:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“We have to let go of the notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose.”

Steve Jobs

[relevant to Apple's recent help to Microsoft's monopoly, parent ventures, and fight against software freedom]

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