EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

05.13.10

Links 13/5/2010: Finnish Schools Use Free Software; Bordeaux 2.0.4 for Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 5:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • At Work with Linux

    At MITRE we use Linux extensively because our customers and partners use it. The MITRE office is essentially OS agnostic; we don’t care what they use, as long as it’s the right tool for the job. So far Linux, specifically Redhat Linux, has proven itself fit for the tasks it is called upon to perform.

  • Air Force may suffer collateral damage from PS3 firmware update

    When Sony issued a recent PlayStation 3 update removing the device’s ability to install alternate operating systems like Linux, it did so to protect copyrighted content—but several research projects suffered collateral damage.

    The Air Force is one example. The Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, New York picked up 336 PS3 systems in 2009 and built itself a 53 teraFLOP processing cluster. Once completed as a proof of concept, Air Force researchers then scaled up by a factor of six and went in search of 2,200 more consoles (later scaled back to 1,700). The $663,000 contract was awarded on January 6, 2010, to a small company called Fixstars that could provide 1,700 160GB PS3 systems to the government.

  • Desktop

    • A US Army Federal Employee’s Linux Workspace

      It is time once again for our $100.00 (USD) Coolest Linux Workspace Contest. Today’s entry comes from Brian, a Federal employee with the United States Army, and working in a network evaluation lab. According to him, “left unattended and with no adult supervision, I tend to build really neat stuff at little or no cost to the taxpayer.” You can know more him about through his blog.

    • My First Linux Distribution

      I was starting to build a internet cafe. Thinking about how to make a internet cafe with low budget. Operating system with licence is too expensive. So i googling internet. And i found a sistem operation called “pclinux3d” i think this is a linux operating system. (i didn’t know “linux distribution”). I didn’t get satisfied with this operating system, so i googling, and after 4 month. I know what’s the meaning of “linux distribution” and “open source”.

      That distro is community remaster for internet cafe in my country (indonesia). Based on PCLinuxOS. Because i want to know how to build a distro. I try to download pclinuxos, ubuntu, mandriva.

      [...]

      PCLinuxOS is rock solid distros for me for now…, i don’t know if some people feel different.

      But Linux is good.

    • FI: Over a hundred schools using open source

      More than a hundred schools across Finland are using open source for all of their desktop PCs, according to Opinsys, an open source services provider.

      The company assists ninety schools in 28 municipalities with the maintenance of PCs and laptops running Ubuntu Linux. Tens of other schools are managing similar PCs themselves, according to Mikko Soikkeli, the company’s sales director.

      The costs per Linux PC or laptop, including maintenance, is about 282 Euro per year, according to a presentation last month by one of the schools using Ubuntu. “This infrastructure is easy to extend, it is secure, reliable and easy to use”, according to Allen Schneitz, a teacher at the Kasaviori School. “The system allows utilisation of second hand computers that are four to five years old.”

      A second case study on Linux based PCs in schools, by Risto Rönnberg for the city of Jyväskylä, puts the cost at 153 Euro per PC per year.

    • Hey, Consumer Reports!

      I agree. My folks get Consumer Reports, and the magazine is quite good about finding tech-savvy people to evaluate tech products, and then to distill that knowledge down to advice non-tech people can use to make buying decisions. (As in their reviews of antivirus software.) But not to even mention the Linux option is an implicit endorsement of one of most monopolistic, most consumer-abusive megacorporations on the planet. Would they print their annual automobile issue with only reviews of GM cars?

      It seems to me that Consumer Reports would be just the outfit to do a comparative review of the top dozen Linux distros, from the standpoint of an everyday (non-techie) computer user. But probably this is too much of a “niche” market for them. Or could it be that they don’t know how to critique products that are given away for free?

    • What Do You Use?

      It has become rather apparent that people are desiring the ability to run software designed for Windows or OSX on Linux. This is double-edged sword. This will of course give Linux an even more expanded library of applications, and applications with which people are familiar. The other side of this is that it does not give developers a reason to write native software for Linux. If we continue on the road toward Windows or OSX compatibility, will it help or hurt Linux?

    • Opinion: Competition vs cohesion

      I want competition amongst my desktop apps. I want Firefox and Chrome developers battling each other to make their browsers better. I want AbiWord to push forward with a fast and light word processor, making the OpenOffice.org folks realise that they have to do something about the bloat. I want a choice of music players, text editors, and why not, even calculators. This competition makes the Linux desktop better for everybody.

  • Server/HPC

    • Intel’s Single-chip Cluster Computer (SSC)

      There is even a modified version of Linux available. By the way, a separate Linux kernel runs on each core. It cannot run across the whole processor because it does not support cache coherency.

    • The Ethernet Cluster

      When the first Linux clusters were constructed Ethernet was one of the few choices for an interconnect. Of course there were more expensive and custom ways to connect computers, but Ethernet was the first network technology supported by Linux. Ethernet was also the most ubiquitous network, which also made it the cheapest.

    • Get ready for 7Gbps wireless networking
  • Audiocasts

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.34 (Part 4) – Architecture and Virtualisation

      On Sunday, Linus Torvalds released the seventh pre-release version of Linux 2.6.34. The release announcement indicates that he expects it to be the last release candidate, suggesting that the next kernel version from the main development tree is likely to see the light of day late this or early next week. It is not, however, uncommon for Torvalds to slip out another version despite pronouncements to the contrary, pushing back the final kernel release by several days.

    • How to Become Linus Torvalds

      Linus *still* has no formal power, no mechanism whereby he can enforce his decisions about the kernel. It’s still the case that the “only control” he has is that he knows the code “better than anybody else”, and that if he does “a bad job”, someone else can do it themselves – that is, fork the code.

      Linux has avoided that fate because Linus has developed what amounts to a new way of managing large-scale projects involving huge numbers of geographically-dispersed contributors. Although the final decisions rest with him, he takes them in consultation with a wide range of coders. He is constantly involved in discussions on key mailing lists that allow important issues to be raised by anyone. Ultimately, then, he leads in part by being able to sense what the collective will of the Linux development community is on particular issues, and by not straying too far from it.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • FVWM for fun & productivity

      Job done. Much nicer combination, plus because the right Windows key is so close to the arrows, if I’m being lazy I can swap screens one-handed.

      I’m also making heavy use of GNU Screen, another of my long-established favourite applications. I may post something about its configuration at some point..

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Being KDE

        In March, we announced a set of labels for use by people creating KDE software, to demonstrate their association with KDE. We chose three options: Powered by KDE, Built on the KDE Platform and Part of the KDE Family and asked for artwork for badges and banners to illustrate these terms.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Gnome Shell Might Add Real Multiple Desktops

        The idea is to have custom folders for each desktop. Right now, the desktop is located at /home/your_username/Desktop and this would provide a new folder for each virtual desktop so that you can fully work on a project on a given Desktop – including all the files related to your project / task.

      • Future GNOME: What to Expect in GNOME 3.0

        The release of GNOME 3.0, the popular desktop’s first major release in eight years, promises to be the major free software event in autumn 2010. Where is GNOME now? What can we expect of GNOME 3.0? Of GNOME 3 as a series of releases?

        When I asked Stormy Peters, the executive director of the GNOME Foundation, where to go for answers, she directed me to Vincent Untz. A director of the GNOME Foundation and one of the senior members of the GNOME Release Team, Untz is better positioned than almost anyone to offer an overview of the project from both a general and a technical perspective.

      • GNOME Amazon Referral Fees April 2010
  • Distributions

    • Best Newbie Linux Distro

      I’ve taken a look at Debian, Mandriva and Fedora. (I might have tried Suse too, but the LiveCD has never worked on my computer.) After first trying a LiveCD, I installed all three distros and gave them a good try-0ut.

      The core Linux philosophy is Free, as in Freedom, but I’m also interested in Free, as in Beer, so I took a look at how each distribution handled multimedia- Flash and MP3′s in particular.

    • Gentoo just makes sense!

      I am not giving up on the other distributions and will continue to evaluate their progress but Gentoo has earned its place on my system, at least for now.

    • Fedora

      • Fedora 13 gives off plain vibe, but offers power and stability under the hood

        The differences between Linux distributions these days are often so minute, there seems little reason to even review them anymore.

        After all, one distro running GNOME 2.30 or KDE 4.4 is going to look very much like any other distro running the same interfaces. The interfaces will be nearly identical — all that remains different are underlying administration tools and a few variant choices on the apps that are included.

        That was the conundrum recently faced when turning to review the latest beta of Fedora 13: it looked so much like other GNOME 2.30-interfaced distros I have seen lately, the initial thought was “what’s the diff?”

        Such an attitude is, for the most part, not fair to the developers of the Fedora Project, who have put together a darn fine distribution that reads as rock-solid and very user-friendly.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Has Plans For Btrfs In 2011, 2012

        One of the meetings held this week during the Ubuntu Developer Summit for the Ubuntu 10.10 planning in Belgium was about Btrfs. During this session the developers discussed adding Btrfs support to GRUB2, whether or not Btrfs encryption is possible initially, an option to enable the Btrfs zlib compression, and other details.

      • The Ubuntu Support and Learning Center

        The website is designed to be very user friendly and minimalistic so the reader isn’t distracted from the main content and we should work closely with the Canonical training department and design team researchers so we can figure out exactly what users are having difficulty with and what questions they ask frequently.

      • I lightened up my Ubuntu Lucid desktop appearance

        Ubuntu was famous for being brown, even though it was probably half-orange for most of its storied existence. Mark Shuttleworth and Co. mostly blew that notion out of the water in Lucid Lynx (10.04 LTS), which is purplish and dark.

      • Perfect Purple
      • Nautilus-Elementary With Zeitgeist Brings Semantic file browsing to Ubuntu [Screencast]

        For those that don’t know much about Zeitgeist it, in essence, and to paraphrase the Zeitgeist framework launchpad blurb, ‘logs users activity, events and files and establishes relationships between these items based on usage.’ It then allows for other applications to use this data in meaningful ways – Such as with the GNOME Activity Journal.

      • Testing Out Ubuntu’s Unity Desktop

        For those wanting to test out the Ubuntu Unity desktop right now as we have done, you can add the ppa:canonical-dx-team/une Launchpad PPA to your Ubuntu system and then install the unity package.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx review
      • [VIDEO] Maverick Meerkat UDS Keynote Address by Mark Shuttleworth

        Mark Shuttleworth’s keynote address at the Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat UDS summit.

      • Instant-on Ubuntu

        For some time now Ubuntu chief Mark Shuttleworth has been pushing developers to speed up boot times in the Linux operating system. Now he has revealed Unity, a new interface that is aimed at netbooks users. He’s also announced Ubuntu Light, a fast, light, version of Ubuntu that will offer almost instant-on boot times.

      • The Performance Of Ubuntu KVM Virtualization

        The Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) has been in the mainline Linux kernel since Linux 2.6.20 in early 2007 and over time it has become one of the most widely used virtualization platforms on Linux. Ubuntu uses KVM, Fedora uses KVM, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux has even switched from Xen to preferring KVM, among others. While occasionally we deliver new KVM virtualization benchmarks, we decided to investigate how the performance of KVM virtualization has changed — if at all — over the past two years for better or worse.

      • Variants

        • Canonical’s Red Headed Stepchildren

          Who Are These Red Headed Step Children?
          Before I go any further with this column, let’s take a quick look at each Ubuntu derivative and then I’ll talk about what’s wrong with them and what Canonical needs to do to fix this mess.

          Officially Supported
          Kubuntu – Kubuntu uses the KDE desktop environment instead of GNOME. It also leans heavily on KDE’s desktop applications rather than Ubuntu’s GNOME applications.

          EduBuntu – Edubuntu is essentially Ubuntu for parents, teachers, kids and schools. Edubuntu features educational games, math applications, text editors and a bunch of other applications focused on learning.

          Ubuntu Server Edition – You want this version of Ubuntu if you’re going to be running a server.

        • Peppermint OS One

          If the name “Peppermint OS” reminds you of Linux Mint, it’s no accident. Kendall Weaver, one of the Peppermint OS developers, is also the maintainer for the Linux Mint Fluxbox and LXDE editions.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Myths Debunked: Why It Isn’t So Tough To Switch To Open Source

    Debunking Myth #1: There Is No Documentation. In the case of OpenOffice, there is in fact substantial free documentation for the suite, and there are free tutorials. You can find documentation for specific versions here. You can also find many free OpenOffice books here. You can also find many useful Flash tutorials here.

    Debunking Myth #2: There Is No Support. OpenOffice has a very large community of users, and the Community Support option can be sufficient for many users, but it’s not the only option. Inexpensive consultants offer support for OpenOffice, and there are inexpensive third-party solutions for paid support. OpenLogic is just one of the available providers.

  • The Graduate’s Guide To Finding Work In Open Source

    Try entering PHP or Drupal, for a start.If you have skills with open source programming languages, showcase them on Elance for freelance work. While you’re at it, put a citation up for your open source skills on RentACoder.

  • Evaluate Open Source Software

    Open Source software selection starts with the creation of a short-list of open source packages, and the very next step is the evaluation of all candidates.

  • Think laterally

    Open source created a bi-directional flow in which the market itself could make greater intellectual contributions than any of the original principals. Moreover, this could often be accomplished without any particular capital partner. Whereas piracy was seen as the scourge of the private property publisher, ubiquitous distribution was a necessary prerequisite for open source participation.

  • Continuous integration, can it work for software localisation?

    At Translate.org.za we want to keep delivering the best FOSS localisation tools. To do that we’ve started using Continuous Integration (CI) in the development of Pootle, Virtaal and the Translate Toolkit. We’re using a tool called Hudson to manage our CI process.

  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla detects insecure plugins for IE, Chrome, Safari

      Mozilla has introduced a service that checks plugins for the Internet Explorer, Chrome, Opera, and Safari browsers to make sure they don’t contain known bugs or security vulnerabilities.

      The page builds off a feature rolled out last year that checked only for out-of-date plugins for Firefox. At the moment, the service offers limited coverage for Internet Explorer extensions, but Mozilla says it plans to offer full coverage eventually.

    • Mozilla Wish List.

      As long as I can remember I had been using the Netscape web browser which evolved to Mozilla and now Firefox. I still use Firefox and have grown so comfortable with it that I don’t really desire to move onto anything else. Needless to say, Mozilla’s products are not perfect and there is always room for additional features and what I believe to be necessities in order to function in today’s world of computing.

    • Mozilla CEO John Lilly stepping down
    • Firefox 4: fast, powerful, and empowering

      Today, I presented an early product plan for Firefox 4 to the Mozilla community (live, over the web!) to share our vision for the next version of Firefox, and what projects are underway to realize it. Then I invited everyone to get involved by joining our engineering or product development efforts.

      [...]

      If you have Firefox or a modern web browser that supports fully open HTML video, you can watch the presentation.

    • Mozilla and the Shuttleworth Foundation seek fellowship applicants

      Mozilla Drumbeat and the Shuttleworth Foundation have announced a joint fellowship focused on ‘education for the open web’. According to a post on the Commonspace blog by Mark Surman, executive director of the Mozilla Foundation and former open philanthropy fellow at the Shuttleworth Foundation, the aim of the fellowship “is to find someone with solid, scalable and fresh ideas on how open learning and the open web intertwine.”

  • SaaS

  • Databases

    • PostgreSQL 9.0 is Serious Competition

      PostgreSQL supports Solaris, Linux and Windows with binary installations. You may also download the source code and compile it on any platform with which you’re working.

      Do I think PostgreSQL is ready to go head to head with MySQL? Yes. Do I think that PostgreSQL has a chance to unseat MySQL as the “World’s Most Popular Open Source Database Software?” Not for a second. I do think, however, that PostgreSQL will begin to raise corporate eyebrows and gain some enterprise adoption with its new, long-awaited feature set.

    • Top 10 MySQL GUI Tools

      Many third parties create rich applications to facilitate database management, database development and database administration. Here are ten outstanding graphical interfaces for MySQL.

  • OpenOffice.org

    • Small Business Software: OpenOffice.org vs. Google Docs

      First, why do we narrow down the options to only OpenOffice.org or Google Docs? They’re not the only competing solutions to MS Office. For online office suites you’ll find more full-featured competitors like Zoho, and desktop users can choose Apple’s iWork suite or many others. However, Google Docs and OpenOffice.org (OO.org) are the entrenched players here.

    • OpenOffice.org Still Kicking

      But OpenOffice.org isn’t going anywhere. If anything, I suspect it’s going to be getting some extra attention from Oracle and may be getting closer to Microsoft Office. It’s going to be a few more years before Web office suites take over entirely, anyway. Applications rarely just up and “die,” it takes a while for users to change habits.

    • OASIS Board of Directors elections: Vote for Charles-H. Schulz.
  • Business

    • Pentaho, Backed by Channel, Delivers Record 1Q Results

      Pentaho, the open source business intelligence company, generated record results in 1Q 2010, according to VP of Marketing Joe McGonnell. Pentaho attributes much of its performance to a growing channel partner program. Here’s a closer look at Pentaho’s momentum.

Leftovers

  • Would you buy a ticket to go to a restaurant?

    Instead of reservations, a restaurant in Chicago proposes buying tickets as if you’re going to a movie or the theater

  • Forbes new tool tracks advertisers’ corporate reputation

    That’s how Bruce Rogers, chief brand officer for Forbes, says the magazine is thinking these days. Even though circulation has remained relatively stable, Forbes sees an opportunity in thinking beyond selling advertising and diving into broader service areas for clients.

  • Indian outsourcing firm looks to prison for data entry work

    An Indian outsourcing firm is to run one of its data handling centres in a local prison as part of a new public/private partnership.

    Radiant Info Systems has come to a deal with the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh to hire 200 inmates of a state jail to work on data entry, and the processing and transmitting of information.

  • Science

    • Perhaps You’ll Visit Space In Your Lifetime, After All

      Space Adventures is going to use an Armadillo Technologies rocket to launch amateur astronauts 62 miles into the sky. Nothing new, except that they will do it for half the price of Virgin Galactic’s ticket, and in a real rocket!

  • Security/Aggression

    • If the government wants a ‘big society’, it needs to lift restrictions on people

      This is the second of a series of articles looking at the challenges the new government faces. Alan Cox is a Linux software developer and is a member of ORG’s Advisory Council

      [...]

      A big society means thinking about how the law works. It means passing laws that punish those who do offend, not nanny state laws removing the ability of the public to contribute to society for fear they might be naughty. It means creating a functioning creative market that reflects the world we live in and encourages creative output rather than channeling it into a tiny number of established mega-corporations who act as door keepers. Above all it means trust not restraint. It means trusting that most people will do the right thing, and trusting that the police and justice system will do their job with the rest.

    • My tweet was silly, but the police reaction was absurd

      The reason for the arrest was a tweet I had posted on the social network Twitter, which was deemed to constitute a bomb threat against Robin Hood airport in Doncaster: “Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!” You may say, and I certainly realise now, it was ill-advised. But it was clearly frustration, caused by heavy snowfall grounding flights and potentially scuppering my own flight a week later. Like having a bad day at work and stating that you could murder your boss, I didn’t even think about whether it would be taken seriously.

    • A welcome site…

      As our friends at Privacy International have noted, it will be very interesting to see the ‘how’.

    • Photographer stopped under anti-terror laws may sue police

      A photographer is to launch a legal complaint after being stopped and searched by police on suspicion of being a terrorist while he took pictures of London’s skyline.

    • They say “more police” – they mean “more CCTV”

      West is adamant that ‘more surveillance’ is needed and has ordered an “immediate review” to target the use of CCTV across the borough. But she’s not alone. The other day Boris Johnson showed Michael Bloomberg London’s unparalleled CCTV network and Wandsworth councils camera’s continued to bring home the bacon.

    • Microphones on street corners – just in case
    • Personal cellphone data end up for sale at Mexico flea market

      The government had asked everyone to register their phones, but many refused, citing fears of spying or other misuse of the data. It turns out they were right.

    • In Scunthorpe, the tail is wagging the alcoholic dog

      As always, it’s “for the children” – the supposedly unarguable assertion which, once made, destroys all opposition.

      And weren’t these nannyists listening to the recent debate on ID Cards per se, which showed that we are overwhelmingly against them?

    • The 9/14 Presidency

      If you believe the president’s Republican critics, Barack Obama takes a law enforcement approach to terrorism. His FBI came under fire for reading Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian national who nearly blew up an airplane on Christmas, his constitutional rights. His attorney general was blasted for wanting to give 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed a criminal trial in lower Manhattan. Republican Sen. Scott Brown rode to his historic upset victory in Massachusetts in part due to this slogan: “In dealing with terrorists, our tax dollars should pay for weapons to stop them, not lawyers to defend them.” Every sign suggests the GOP will make terrorism a wedge issue in the 2010 midterm elections. “As I’ve watched the events of the last few days,” former vice president Dick Cheney said shortly after the Abdulmutallab attack, “it is clear once again that President Obama is trying to pretend we are not at war.”

    • Do We Really Want To Criminalize Bad Jokes?
    • (en) US, Police brutality at May Day march in Chicago

      The police in Chicago have a long history of attacking protesters without warning or provocation.

    • MI5 faces allegations over torture of British man in Bangladesh

      The Security service is facing fresh accusations of involvement in the abuse of terrorism suspects after a British man was detained in Bangladesh and allegedly tortured while being questioned about his activities and associates in both countries.

  • Environment

    • Domtar: Print those e-mails to your heart’s content

      Domtar Corp. is getting frustrated with those “think before you print” messages at the bottom of so many e-mails.

      Now the paper giant is planning a North American ad campaign to urge computer users to hit the print button – often.

    • Obama biggest recipient of BP cash

      While the BP oil geyser pumps millions of gallons of petroleum into the Gulf of Mexico, President Barack Obama and members of Congress may have to answer for the millions in campaign contributions they’ve taken from the oil and gas giant over the years.

    • Oil spill: US failing to tighten ecological oversight, say activists

      The Obama administration waived environmental reviews for 26 new offshore drilling projects even as the BP oil disaster spewed hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, environmental activists said today.

    • Back to Petroleum

      A decade ago, the company then known as British Petroleum launched a multimillion dollar advertising campaign to rebrand itself as the greenest of oil giants. Since then, it has gone only by the initials “BP” and has popularized a new slogan: “Beyond Petroleum.” The campaign launched with a $200 million public relations and advertising budget and a new logo featuring the now-ubiquitous green-and-yellow sunburst. Ten years later, the company still spends big on advertising, dropping $76 million on radio and TV ads touting its image in the United States just last year.

    • Emperor Hickel: The Man Who Invented Alaska … and Sarah Palin

      Thirty years ago, Hickel realized that his arctic dreams lay in Alaska’s vast reserves of gas, oil, coal and lumber. But extracting and shipping those resources required removing a large obstacle: the land’s ownership by Indians and Natives.

      [...]

      Today, most of the Native Alaskan corporate land of the Prince William Sound is owned by people who don’t live in Alaska. The remaining Natives are now tenants of the land their ancestors have lived on for 3,000 years.

      Native leader Gail Evanoff told me, that was the plan from Day One. “They set it up for us to fail. They put it in a form they could take away.”

  • Finance

    • Morgan Stanley Investigation: Feds Looking Into Firm’s Mortgage Deals

      Fears of a growing investigation of Wall Street banks sent Morgan Stanley’s stock falling Wednesday even as the company said it knew nothing about a reported inquiry into its mortgage securities trading.

      The Wall Street Journal reported that federal prosecutors are investigating whether Morgan Stanley misled investors about its role in a pair of $200 million derivatives whose performance was tied to mortgage-backed securities. The newspaper said Morgan Stanley sometimes bet against the success of the derivatives, which were underwritten and marketed to investors by Citigroup Inc. and UBS AG.

    • The Real Misery Index April 2010: Underemployment Woes Lead To Two-Tier Economy

      The unemployment crisis continues to stymie a full economic recovery, with ripple effects from credit card delinquencies and rising food stamp participation indicating new hardships for millions of Americans, according to the latest update of Huffington Post’s Real Misery Index.

    • US home repossessions hit all-time high

      The number of US homes being repossessed hit an all-time high last month, but is set to start falling, says the body that tracks the figures.

      Banks took control of 92,432 properties in April, up 1% from March, and a 45% rise from a year earlier, said RealtyTrac.

      [...]

      A total of 333,837 new repossession filings were made in April, one for every 387 homes in the US.

    • Dylan Ratigan Coins the Phrase “Bankster Party”

      Dylan Ratigan (MSNBC) is the host of the only honest business show on cable. He doesn’t spend his day talking only about the ups and the downs of the stock market and encouraging people to “buy, buy, buy!” Instead, Ratigan covers real issues, like how the financial crisis is affecting average Americans, and what the chances are for real reform in Congress.

    • A Victory for the People!

      The Center for Media and Democracy’s Wall Street Bailout Tally shows that since 2008, the U.S. government has flooded Wall Street banks and financial institutions with $4.7 trillion dollars in taxpayer money, mostly in the form of loans from the Federal Reserve. The Fed has never told us which firms got these loans and what type of collateral American taxpayers got in return. This will now be revealed. We will also get an accounting of the Fed’s “stealth” bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    • Treasury Bailout Records Fail To Include Key Details, Says Watchdog

      The Treasury Department is lax about keeping records of its negotiations with bailed-out banks, including undocumented conversations in which billions of taxpayer dollars are at stake, a new watchdog report says.

      Treasury fails to keep meeting minutes or notes from phone calls with banks that received money from its $700 billion financial bailout, says the report from Neil Barofsky, the Special Inspector General for the bailout fund.

    • Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley may eventually escape proprietary trading ban

      Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley may ultimately avoid a ban on bank proprietary trading under the Wall Street overhaul.

    • Goldman Sachs’ moral obligation to Wall Street

      Meanwhile, Proxy Democracy, which helps investors keep track of the actions of institutional shareholders, reports that both AFSCME’s employee pension plan and CalPERs voted in favor of the measure.

    • Round I to the Banks, More to Come

      The Senate resumes debate today on the Wall Street reform bill, having late last Thursday rejected probably the most important measure proposed to reduce Wall Street power, strengthen financial stability and fortify our democracy: breaking up the banks.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • NPR Erases Domestic Terrorism

      National Public Radio (NPR) broadcast a story on May 9 by Dina Temple-Raston titled Terrorism in the U.S. Takes on a U.K. Pattern that started out with the following flawed premise:

      “For years, the U.S. seemed largely immune to homegrown terrorism, but experts think the recent attack [in Times Square] is more proof that has changed.”

      Raston then proceeded to discuss “home grown terrorists” only in the context of Pakistani-Americans, Afghan-Americans, South Asian Americans and others originally from outside the country who became citizens and then somehow became “radicalized.”

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Judge Rules That Filmmaker Must Give Footage to Chevron

      A federal judge in Manhattan on Thursday granted a petition by Chevron to issue a subpoena for hundreds of hours of footage from a documentary about the pollution of the Amazon rainforests of Ecuador and the oil company’s involvement.

    • German court orders wireless passwords for all

      Users can be fined if a third party takes advantage of an open connection

    • Houlihan Smith’s Phony Invocation of Trademark Law Fails to Keep Criticism off the Web

      It’s an old story, sad to say. Bank waltzes into court, represented by a big firm, decrying damage to its interests and demanding immediate relief, but giving no notice to the other side, and walks out with TRO issued by a credulous local judge, no questions asked. Happily, a recent case involving an investment bank that got a TRO against a message board host, in violation of section 230 immunity, has a happier ending, because the bank ended up before a federal judge who understood the technical details better than the bank’s own lawyers.

    • Four Nerds and a Cry to Arms Against Facebook

      They gave themselves 39 days to raise $10,000, using an online site, Kickstarter, that helps creative people find support.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Net Neutrality Battle Gets Silly… Astroturfers, Sock Puppets, Student Projects, Overwritten Word Docs… Oh My

      Either way, as we predicted, the whole thing is becoming a political food fight being manhandled by lobbyists and special interests, with little regard for the deeper, important, underlying issues. Even when moves are being made by people outside of the beltway, it’s being dissected for the driving forces behind it, rather than what actually makes sense. What comes out in the end is going to be shaped by those lobbyists and special interests. And that’s my big fear with all of this. The end result isn’t going to have anything to do with actually looking at what’s best for the internet or the American people, but who can game the system better and turn this into a hotter political football.

    • Lessons From The US’s First Broadband Plan… In 1808

      But both Downes and the FCC seem to skip over the larger issue of speed. The real problem in the US is not that we’re so far behind on adoption rates — but in what kind of broadband most people can use today. With some exceptions, it’s slow. Especially compared to some other countries. And, yes, there are some issues involving population density and the ability to build out a faster network, but if the government is going to get involved, why not focus on the metric that matters: which would be the bandwidth of the network, rather than making sure that the guy living at the end of a dirt road in the middle of nowhere can get his broadband access.

  • DRM

    • Digital Right Management and/or Technical Protection Measures Cause Climate Change

      The biggest problem with Digital Rights Management and/or Technical Protection Measures is that the biggest proponents of such schemes don’t understand the technology. For that reason I’m going to try to explain it in simple terms, that a non-programmer can understand.

      [...]

      The more complex the DRM/TPM system, the more processing power is required. The Windows Vista DRM sub-system mentioned above was far more complex, and required far more processing power. And of course the more processing power required for a system to work, the more electrical power is required. For all of the examples we are going to assume that each command uses ONE unit of power. This is for illustrative purposes only – different computer processors require differing amounts of power to do the same thing, and at different speeds. This is a simplified explanation.

    • Adobe messes with Flash DRM

      SOFTWARE HOUSE Adobe has been tinkering with the digital restrictions management (DRM) for its Flash software.

      Dubbed Flash Access 2.0, the changes will mean that content providers can control what types of output devices can display the content.

      According to the Adobe blog, it is enabling HDCP and broadcast control flags for Flash content.

    • EA Sports Online Pass: Buy new or pay $10 to play online
    • Rockstar Using ‘Pirated’ Copy Of Max Payne 2 On Steam To Remove DRM?

      Apparently, in examining the code with a hex editor, someone discovered that the official Steam release is ascii tagged by the Scene release group Myth (which hasn’t been around for many, many years). No one’s quite sure what happened exactly, but the obvious suggestion is that Rockstar chose the easy way out in trying to remove the CD check DRM in the game to put it on Steam, and just found a cracked version online.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Kaleidescape Introduces Expensive And Almost Pointless Blu-ray Jukebox… And Hollywood Still Thinks It’s Illegal

      Kaleidescape has now come out with a new product that actually adds the ability to store Blu-ray discs as well — which might be a surprise given last summer’s ruling. However, in response to the ruling, Kaleidescape added one “feature” which it hopes will satisfy Hollywood lawyers: to play back a movie, you now have to put the original disc into the player. Yes, you read that right. This is a device designed to rip and store your DVDs — and the only way you can play them back is to go ahead and put the actual DVD into the player to prove that you have it. In other words, it takes away the whole idea of the convenience behind the product.

    • Hollywood Gets Injunction To Disconnect The Pirate Bay

      Last month it became apparent that several Hollywood movie studios had threatened to take legal action against the owner of ISP CyberBunker, the current bandwidth provider for The Pirate Bay. Now, according to fresh information from a reliable source, the studios have come good on their threats.

    • Why a binding treaty for the visually impaired at WIPO?
    • Copyrights

      • Copyright for Creativity declaration launched

        ORG has joined the initiative Copyright for Creativity. We believe that it is time for a discussion in the European institutions on how to ensure that copyright fully supports innovation, creativity, competition, and the public interest. The launch of the Declaration for Europe on 5 May marks the start of this discussion. The press release and a video of the launch in Brussels follow.

      • First-Sale Copyright Cases Headed for 9th Circuit

        AutoDesk sued Timothy Vernor for copyright infringement after the Seattle man tried to auction off four packages of Autodesk software on eBay. The software company argued that its license agreement doesn’t allow for reselling. Like Augusto, Vernor prevailed on summary judgment in the lower court.

      • ‘Hurt Locker’ producers about to sue an army of pirates

        The war against movie piracy is getting downright explosive. We’ve learned that the producers of the Oscar-winning “The Hurt Locker” are preparing a massive lawsuit against thousands of individuals who pirated the film online. The case could be filed as soon as tomorrow.

        Voltage Pictures, the banner behind the best picture winner, has signed up with the U.S. Copyright Group, the Washington D.C.-based venture that, as we first reported in March, has begun a litigation campaign targeting tens of thousands of BitTorrent users.

      • RIAA Wins Again: Judge Says LimeWire Induced Copyright Infringement

        This is hardly a surprise, given earlier rulings on various file sharing systems, but a court has ruled in favor of the RIAA and against Limewire, saying that Limewire “engaged in unfair competition, and induced copyright infringement.”

      • Court Grants RIAA Summary Judgment Motions vs. Limewire
      • Lichtenstein’s Estate has Changed Its Mind!!!

        The good people at The Estate of Roy Lichtenstein have decided that they’re ok with us using our album cover image. The power of the internet and collective thought has won!!!

      • EU must break down national copyright barriers, says Commissioner

        Piracy has created the single market in music and films that EU legislators have failed to build, European Commission Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes has said.

        Kroes told a business leaders’ convention in Brussels that pirates had done what single market regulations could not and established the borderless distribution of audio visual material over the internet. She said that the EU nations must work together to create a legal single market in digital goods.

      • Can You Copyright Blank Forms Used To File Papers With The SEC… And Then Block Selling The Filled Out Forms?
    • ACTA

      • ACTA Draft Release Was Apparently A One Time Deal: Now We’re Back To Secrecy

        After about a year or so of very public questions over the incredible level of secrecy of ACTA (including the patently ridiculous claim that details couldn’t be revealed for national security reasons), including a complete smackdown by the EU Parliament concerning the whole ACTA process, the negotiators finally (and very reluctantly) released the latest draft in April. Of course, by then, the full document had already leaked. Still, the officially released document left out some of the key parts that were in the leaked draft. Funny how that works.

    • Digital Economy Bill

      • Will Nick Clegg push to repeal the Digital Economy Act?

        For ORG supporters, there is a lot that we can hope for from the new administration.

        * We can hopefully assume that talk of a repeal of the Human Rights Act is now shelved.
        * ID cards and their database should be scrapped
        * The DNA database should be restricted or scrapped
        * Promises of a Data Freedom Act are welcome

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – FOFE – Experimental Aircraft (1/11/2001)


Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

2 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    May 14, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Gravatar

    http://www.charlescurley.com/blog/archives/2010/05/06/consumer_reports_on_computer_security/

    Consumer Reports is beyond worthless for any tech advice whatsoever. Some of the reviews have looked stacked as if to avoid even mentioning non-MS products, because they’re win. The blog entry above talks about spam, but CR fails to deal with spam at the source: Microsoft.

What Else is New


  1. Links 21/11/2014: Problems at Debian, Jolla Tablet

    Links for the day



  2. Links 18/11/2014: Linux 3.18 RC 5, New DigiKam

    Links for the day



  3. Special Report: Many Criminal Charges Against EPO Vice-President Željko Topić

    The abuses of Željko Topić, who has gained notoriety in his home country, are rapidly becoming public knowledge across all of Europe



  4. Links 16/11/2014: Xfdesktop 4.10.3, GNU Hello 2.10

    Links for the day



  5. Microsoft is Going Into the Anti-Whistleblowing Business, Dodges Criticism Over 19-Year Bug Door in Windows

    With Aorato acquisition Microsoft helps protect the criminals (from whistleblowers) and with lies about .NET Microsoft distracts from a bug that has facilitated remote access into Windows (by those in the know) for nearly two decades



  6. Reaffirming Microsoft's Long-Known Hostility Towards Net Neutrality, Microsoft Crashed Juniper

    Steve Ballmer is ranting against net neutrality and Juniper's business is in trouble after a lot of executives from Microsoft took over most top positions there



  7. Another Massive Step Towards Elimination of Software Patents as Even CAFC Rules Against Them

    After SCOTUS gets involved in the Ultramercial case, the CAFC finally decides to actually serve justice rather than dogma



  8. The GOP's Patent Reform Plan Not Effective Enough to Stop Massive Patent Trolls Like Microsoft/Nokia

    The corporations-serving GOP says that it wants a patent reform, but another reminder is needed of the futility of the suggested changes



  9. How the EPO's Executive Branch (Battistelli and Topić) Banned Scrutiny and Created Authoritarian Model of Control: Part X

    A look at highly dubious moves by EPO President Battistelli and his right-hand man Topić, whose abuses are becoming hard to oversee or even report



  10. Links 15/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1 Release Candidate, Popcorn Time 0.3.5

    Links for the day



  11. IRC Proceedings: October 26th, 2014 – November 8th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  12. The Terrible Joke Which is Microsoft 'Loving' Linux: Nightmares With UEFI 'Secure' Boot (i.e. Windows Monopoly Imposed) Continue to Affect GNU/Linux Users

    A reminder of Microsoft's sheer hostility towards GNU/Linux and long-reaching sabotage of GNU/Linux installations



  13. Patent Lawyers Worry About Section 101 in 'Alice' (and Other Patent News)

    A quick roundup of news of interest regarding software patents



  14. Will Write for FUD (Against FOSS)

    Black Duck rears its ugly head again, serving to show that it is in the business of changing perceptions and not in the information or analysis business



  15. Debunking Several Days of Never-Ending Lies About Microsoft and .NET

    .NET is not "Open Source", it cannot be forked (there remains patent threat), Visual Studio is still completely proprietary and it is expected to come to other platforms only because Windows has lost its dominance and Microsoft wants to perpetually control APIs (with software patents) and hence reign over developers



  16. Links 14/11/2014: LibreOffice 4.3.4, Ads Now in Firefox

    Links for the day



  17. Links 14/11/2014: GNOME 3.14.2, PulseAudio 6.0

    Links for the day



  18. Microsoft Windows is Still Designed as a Paradise of Back Doors, Intrusion, Wiretaps, and Interception

    At many levels -- from communication to storage and encryption -- Windows is designed for the very opposite of security



  19. Forget the FUD About Bash and OpenSSL, Microsoft Windows Blamed for Massive Credit Cards Heist

    Home Depot learns its lesson from a Microsoft Windows disaster, but it stays with proprietary software rather than move to software that is actively audited by many people and is inherently better maintained (Free/libre software)



  20. Windows 'Update' and NSA Back Doors, Including a 19-Year Bug Door in Microsoft Windows

    The back doors-enabled Microsoft Windows is being revealed and portrayed as the Swiss cheese that it really is after massive holes are discovered (mostly to be buried by a .NET propaganda blitz)



  21. Revealed: Microsoft is Trying to Corrupt the UK in Order to Eliminate Its OpenDocument Format-Oriented Standards Policy

    Microsoft interference with Britain's preference for ODF is now confirmed, thanks to a valuable news report from Computer Weekly; OOXML lock-in is being unleashed by Microsoft on Android users



  22. Links 13/11/2014: Ubuntu MATE 14.04.1 LTS, New KDE Plasma

    Links for the day



  23. .NET is NOT "Open Source", But Microsoft's Minions Shamelessly Openwash It Right Now

    The openwashing of .NET continues with yet another publicity stunt that is intended to lock in developers



  24. Links 11/11/2014: GNOME Trademark Dispute Settled, Mozilla Embraces Tor

    Links for the day



  25. Patent Reform Subversion After Republican (GOP) 'Win' in US Senate

    The Grand Corporations Party, or the political party which serves large businesses that are funding it, continues to just focus on a mirage of a 'reform' rather than tackle the real issues where culprits include very large businesses such as Microsoft and Apple



  26. Microsoft-Armed Patent Troll MOSAID (Now Conversant) Wants to Sweep up More Patents for Litigation

    Reports about patent trolls and scope of patents serve to show what the foes of Free software are up to right now



  27. When Courts in the US Attack the Right to Reuse APIs

    Challenging the clueless ruling from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the United States (very pro-software patents and anti-computer science), notable programmers write to the highest court



  28. Links 10/11/2014: 2015 GNU/Linux Forecasts, Debian Shakeup

    Links for the day



  29. Links 7/11/2014: War Thunder on GNU/Linux, KaOS ISO 2014.11

    Links for the day



  30. Links 6/11/2014: Ubuntu Tablet Confirmed, Compiz 0.9.12 Released

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts