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06.14.10

Links 14/6/2010: OSI Wants Input

Posted in News Roundup at 3:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Not using desktop Linux? You’re wasting your money

      And that’s not the only place where desktop Linux makes sense. If you get right down to it, there are many instances where the only requirements of the desktop are to act as a portal to a Web-based application and possibly run an email client. With the push toward Web-based internal apps, there’s little reason to require Windows at all. Heck, there’s almost no requirement for a desktop or the ability to run anything other than a compatible browser.

    • Microsoft sells software like its 1984

      The software store I describe is not science fiction. This is reality for Apple “App Store” for Ipad/Iphone, the “Ubuntu Software Center” for Canonical’s Linux-based desktop operating system, the Google “Android Market” for Android Linux-based phones, and Palm “PreWare” for WebOS Linux-based phones.

      Ladies and Gentelmen, the platform-delivered software store is how distributed in the 21st century. Unfortunately for Microsoft, no such thing exists for Windows.

    • NanoNote
  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Volume Shadow Copy For Linux?

      “I was asked to manage a number of Linux servers at work. I would like to use volume snapshots to improve my backup scripts and keep recent copies of data around for quick restore. I normally manage Windows servers and on those I would just use Microsoft’s Volume Shadow Copy for this. I tried Linux LVM snapshots, but most of the servers I manage run regular partitions with ext3 file systems, so LVM snapshots will not work. I found some versioning file systems out there like ext3cow and Tux3. Those look interesting, but I need something I can use on my existing ext3 file systems. I also found the R1Soft Hot Copy command-line utility, but it does not yet support my older 2.4 Linux servers. What are you using to make snapshots on Linux?”

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDE SC 4.5.0 – Beta 2 – Another Quick Look

        Obviously, the move from beta 1 to beta 2 won’t bring any new features, however, as I continue to use the KDE SC 4.5 betas, I’m continuing to discover the small improvements that aren’t obvious at first blush. Whilst there aren’t a huge number of new features in this release, 4.5 is bringing a level of polish that will serve as a solid foundation for the next steps in the evolution of the KDE desktop.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Next Gedit release will have a plugin for Collaborative Editing

        We have already talked about a web-based collaborative editing tool today, Etherpad. So, after that I started looking for some native linux applications which do the same thing and came across Gobby and a new collaboration plugin for Gedit. We can talk about Gobby sometime later, I am more interested to tell you about this new plugin in Gedit .

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Comparison: Best 2010 Linux desktop for begginers

        There you have it, a close comparison between these three fabulous Linux distros, resulting in very evenly matched scores. I personally love all three, each having its own character, strengths, but also weaknesses. Having said so, looking strictly for which one offers the smoothest and most intuitive experience, I would probably have to say that Linux Mint 9 is the winner in my opinion.

        Hopefully this comparison will help you make your choice based on your own needs and taste. I am pretty sure any of the choices is a sure winner.

      • Pardus 2009.2 review

        Recommendations – Pardus 2009.2 is a light-weight desktop distribution. Light-weight because it does not support disk encryption, boot-loader password protection, and LVM and RAID. If those are features you can live without, then Pardus is worth at least a try. It is just like Linux Mint, but with fewer applications in its repository.

        What I’m looking forward to in the next release is for the network interface and the graphical firewall manager to be configured out of the box. I’ll also love to see 3D desktop configuration as a step in Kaptan.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS Gnome 2010 on ACER ASPIRE 4730ZG

        My friend ask to me to install linux to his notebook. And i install it with pclinuxos 2010 my custom remastered. The notebook is Acer Aspire 4730 ZG. This is the specification of Acer Aspire 4730 ZG (look at this pic).

    • Fedora

      • Can Fedora be the new Ubuntu?

        Fedora Linux has found its way back into my heart. It will work alongside Ubuntu as my top two Linux distributions. We’ll see just how they place (1 or 2) with the next iteration.

        Bravo Fedora Linux. I tip my hat to you.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Meet Shotwell – The F-Spot Replacement For Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat”

        Finally! The much discussed about F-Spot vs Shotwell battle is over. The new default image organizer app for Ubuntu Maverick 10.10 is going to be Shotwell. This is a much needed change and F-Spot was simply not enough. Most of the times when I tried F-Spot, it just keeps crashing on me. Shotwell on a other hand feels a lot more solid and is better integrated with GNOME desktop. Shotwell is also completely devoid of Mono.

      • Ubuntu Replaces F-Spot With Shotwell

        “Finally! The much discussed about F-Spot vs. Shotwell battle is over. The new default image organizer app for Ubuntu Maverick 10.10 is going to be Shotwell. This is a much-needed change; F-Spot was simply not enough. Most of the times when I tried F-Spot, it just keeps crashing on me. Shotwell on the other hand feels a lot more solid and is better integrated with the GNOME desktop. Shotwell is also completely devoid of Mono.”

      • Shotwell – The Future of Linux Photo Management Software
      • Ubuntu Making Moves

        Word on the street is F-Spot is out and Shotwell is in for the next release of Ubuntu.

        It’s always been obvious to me that the so-called “best-of-breed” Mono apps were anything but, and it’s nice to see that Team Apologista spin isn’t getting the job done any longer.

        It’s always struck me as seventeen kinds of absurd that a simple note-taking application can justify bringing in a huge run-time framework – and the after-the-fact rationaliztion of adding more Mono apps “since we’ve already paid the price” was a PR dance worthy of Team Apologista’s Redmond Puppet Masters.

        Of course, Mono infestation is not purely an Ubuntu problem – GNOME has deep shame staining its hands in this matter as well – but because Team Apologista has targeted Ubuntu so hard, it’s significant -and encouraging – to see their efforts fail.

      • Improve Software Quality

        Today I and some hundred others on LinuxTag in Berlin attended a keynote by Mark Shuttleworth, the “head dreamer” of the ubuntu Linux distribution.

      • Proposed Ubuntu 10.10 installer changes will make installation faster, friendly, intelligent
      • Cardapio menu applet gets web search and preferences

        Our favourite alternative to the main Ubuntu menu applet has received an update today which makes it easier to configure settings and also includes a new plugin to perform Google searches right from your desktop!

      • Meritocracy vs. Democracy

        The definition for ‘Informed’ is: “To supply (oneself) with knowledge of a matter or subject.” How do you do this without coming to a consensus with the community? I don’t care who makes the decisions in the end, but to be informed you must listen to the community. And to “fix” a problem you must first understand the problem and know the best solution, the users must not still have a problem, otherwise it’s not a proper solution and the “decisionmaker” was not “informed.”

        Mark Shuttleworth doesn’t make good decisions. As for Jono, the community manager job is NOT to make excuses for bad decisions, it is to represent the community (just as we in the U.S. elect each person to represent us, this is democracy, and this is how good software is developed.)

      • Mark Shuttleworth’s business concept is flawed

        Last week an old discussion flared up once again when TildeHash published “Meritocracy vs. Democracy”, a long lament for.. the position of a few buttons!

      • Ubuntu a Work in Progress

        I didn’t get to see Jono Bacon’s post Ubuntu: meritocracy not democracy until today. Shame I missed it, I like reading this stuff.

        [...]

        Of course scale that up to 12 million users and you suddenly see why some people want to start having democracy or at least hierarchy. Users can’t reasonable expect to be listened to, even though their input is vital to drag Ubuntu out of the programmer paradise and into the mainstream.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android

      • Motorola’s 2GHz Android Phone Means Business

        Motorola’s turning up the heat on the smartphone market — and this time, it’s not only casual consumers the company’s eyeing.

      • Motorola’s Milestone XT720: Is This The Next Droid?

        Motorola’s poppin’ out Android phones Kate Gosselin-style this month. Just days after announcing its new Motorola Flipout, Moto has taken the wraps off the Milestone XT720, dubbed as “one of the most powerful phones” in the company’s current Android lineup.

      • Battleship of an Android phone sets Sprint sales record

        According to a statement from Sprint, Friday sales of the HTC EVO 4G topped the single day sales of any other phone in the company’s history — though the company didn’t give exact numbers. The previous record was held by both the Samsung Instinct and the Palm Pre.

      • Touchless Gesture Control Coming to Android Devices

        Looking to put a little more “Minority Report” in your life? Or maybe you’re just tired of smudging the screen on your Android device? eyeSight Mobile Technologies may have the answer: Touchless gesture control.

      • It’s time to make gestures at your Android smartphone

        Eyesight develops natural user interfaces for mobile phones. Its gesture technology allows Android devices to use the device’s built-in camera, advanced real-time image processing and machine vision algorithms to track the user’s hand motions and convert them into commands.

      • China, Taiwan Agree on Android, Ophone, WiMax, TD-LTE, More

        It’s official. China and Taiwan have signed an agreement to promote a number of telecommunications technologies, including Google’s Android mobile software and networking technologies for wireless cities.

      • Google’s Android may win backing from China and Taiwan
      • Mobile Payments Startup Boku Launches In-App Billing Library For Android

        Fresh off an announcement of a strategic investment from VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, mobile payments platform Boku is taking its mobile strategy one step further by launching an in-app mobile billing library for Android.

      • The Apple-Google Mobile Battle Continues As Other Platforms Sit and Watch

        Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch may currently be the most popular mobile browsing devices in North America, but handsets using Google’s Android operating system are quickly eroding Apple’s lead. Over the past year, Android browser share on mobiles has increased 12.2 percent and is now used by one in five mobile web users in North America, according to Quantcast, a San Francisco-based web analytics firm. While browsing is down on nearly all other platforms, Apple’s drop is the steepest, down 8.1 percent in the last 12 months. But Android’s gain can really only take a bite out of Apple as everyone else is essentially sitting on the sidelines.

    • Sub-notebooks

Free Software/Open Source

  • OSI and FSF Ideals

    • Your Chance To Change OSI

      When I said recently that we still need the Open Source Initiative (OSI), it started a flood of comment. There’s no doubt that we need OSI – but we need a better OSI. The one we have now is just too small to be effective and too mired in past successes; a renaissance is needed. You can help.

      Yesterday and Today

      OSI was formed in 1998 to solve a pressing problem. The founders embraced the ideals of software freedom, but saw that businesses – being non-persons – lacked any way to embrace a philosophical principle. To advance software freedom, it needed to be pragmatically “projected” onto the surface of the computer industry of 1998, creating rules that could be followed without demanding ideological “purity”. The result was a focus on a certain kind of advocacy, plus an enormously valuable effort to analyse, categorise and selectively endorse copyright licenses. OSI was the pragmatic projection of software freedom onto the computer industry of 1998.

    • Open Source? Free Software? What we need is Open Projects

      Most of these questions are well understood within the free software community itself. But we generally communicate it poorly by focusing the discussion on license technicalities. I guess this is because we’re so used to working in this open manner that we take the it as a given. But users, especially in the public administration only see the licensing side of things because that is the only aspect we talk about and have definitions for.

      A good exception for this is the Apache Software Foundation that has a well-defined set of rules that projects must follow before they can be adopted under the ASF umbrella. Maybe FSF and OSI should also publish some understandable guidelines and definitions for project openness?

    • Opinion: Binary firmware and your freedom

      I suggest that instead of these scapegoat tactics and acting as if they solve any real issue, efforts should be focused on encouraging manufacturers to publish open specifications for their chips and open the source code for their firmware, whether it lives inside the hardware or gets loaded by the kernel. And let’s commend those manufacturers that allow their binary firmware to be conveniently distributed with the Linux kernel instead of punishing them by blacklisting their devices. That could be a first step toward improved communication with hardware manufacturers, which in turn might make truly free firmware more likely in the future.

  • Business

    • Why there are no billion-dollar open source companies

      This is a suggestion that has come up before (Dave Neary’s post from 2008 springs to mind). As he stated: “Free software doesn’t get developed like proprietary software, why should the free software industry look like the proprietary software industry?”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • More than 6,500 comment on coalition policies online
    • Evening Standard almost in profit after going free

      It seemed barely credible that London’s evening paper would succeed as a giveaway. But the power of old-fashioned print advertising revenue has moved it to the brink of profitability

    • How does “public service” work for media and culture in the 21st century?

      With digital technology and internet distribution, we are all producers. The outputs of our diverse cultural institutions are converging in the digital domain. Public funding policy needs to be reformed and converged to match.

    • Should the U.S. support Internet freedom through technology?
    • How Open Web Developers Are Trying to Make Social Media Better for You, the User

      Last week, a new open protocol called OExchange was released with the aim of simplifying sharing. Right out of the door, it had names like Google, Microsoft, and LinkedIn signed on. WebProNews spoke with Google’s Open Web advocate, Chris Messina about how the protocol could benefit businesses and site owners.

    • Abundance Obsoletes Peer Review, so Drop It

      Recently, I had the pleasure of finally meeting Cameron Neylon, probably the leading – and certainly most articulate – exponent of open science. Talking with him about peer review helped crystallise something that I have been trying to articulate: why peer review should go.

      [...]

      For me what’s particularly interesting is the fact that peer review is unnecessary for the same reason that copyright and patents are unnecessary nowadays: because the Internet liberates creativity massively and provides a means for bringing that flood to a wider audience without the need for official gatekeepers to bless and control it.

    • Free Wi-Fi is Just a Small Part of Starbucks’ Plan: Free Access to Paid Content Coming Fall 2010

      Starting July 1st, Starbucks will finally begin to offer free and unrestricted Internet access over Wi-Fi in its stores. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz made this announced at Wired’s Disruptive by Design conference today. With this, Starbucks finally joins the ranks of neighborhood coffee stores all over the world that have long offered free and easy access to Wi-Fi. By Fall 2010, Starbucks also plans to give Internet users in its stores free access to paid sites, including the Wall Street Journal.

    • Open Data

      • Launch of it.ckan.net for open data in Italy!

        The following guest post is by Stefano Costa and Federico Morando. Stefano Costa is a researcher at the University of Siena and Coordinator of the OKF’s Working Group on Open Data in Archaeology. Federico Morando is Managing Director & Research Fellow at the NEXA Center for Internet & Society and a member of the Working Group on EU Open Data.

    • Open Access/Content

      • Peer review provides £209,976,000 public subsidy to commercial publishers

        The Open University’s Martin Weller looks at the Peer Review Survey 2009′s numbers on free participation by UK academics in the peer review process for commercial science journals and concludes that 10.4m hours spent on this amounts to a £209,976,000 subsidy from publicly funded universities to private, for-profit journals, who then charge small fortunes to the same institutions for access to the journals.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Unix in the UK: Mission critical!

    Hewlett-Packard has blades on the brain for both “industry standard” and “mission critical” servers, but IT managers in the United Kingdom seem to be more worried about the cost of their mission critical platforms, generally Unix boxes, according to a report released by Coleman Parkes Research.

  • Hey, Remember The Searchbag?
  • Mind Over Mass Media

    NEW forms of media have always caused moral panics: the printing press, newspapers, paperbacks and television were all once denounced as threats to their consumers’ brainpower and moral fiber.

  • Science

    • Arctic microbes ‘could survive on Mars’

      Canadian boffins say they have discovered a strange form of microbe living in remote Arctic springs which would, if taken to some parts of Mars, be able to survive there.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Face-to-face passport interviews catch only eight fraudsters

      A multi-million pound scheme to tackle passport fraud has been branded a failure after it was revealed that only eight people have been caught as a result of the project.

    • Gary McKinnon and Flat Earth News

      My interest in the Gary McKinnon extradition case was based on a sense of mismatch.

      The case as routinely portrayed in the media did not seem to relate to the case as set out in the relevant legal judgments.

      Moreover, the discussion of the case in the media rarely, if ever, referred to the case as it would appear to someone who had read the judgments.

    • U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan

      The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.

    • Geopolitics in the raw

      I have been wondering for a while just what we — the west in general — are doing in Afghanistan.

      Iraq was pretty obvious: oil. (Don’t listen to the mouth, watch the hands.) It wasn’t anything as crude as grabbing the oil — stealing around ten billion tons of anything is pretty much impossible — but about exerting control over the manner in which it is sold in order to maintain a competitive advantage (a choke-hold on energy supplies) over economic competitors such as Germany and China. That was the core vision of the Project for the New American Century think tank in the late 1990s, and those folks later formed the top tier of the previous administration.

    • Tequila botnet auto-destructs

      A botnet targeting Mexican surfers has been dismantled just weeks after it first appeared, apparently by the cybercrook who established it rather than by any action by the federales or ISPs.

    • ‘Shady’ porn site practices put visitors at risk
    • South African Bill to block all porn
    • Somali militants threaten World Cup TV viewers

      Somali militants have threatened football fans they will be publicly flogged – or worse – if they are caught watching the World Cup on TV.

    • Will the cloud have its own Deepwater Horizon disaster?

      A new Pew Internet survey of 900 Internet experts leads with a headline finding that will surprise few: the experts largely agree that, by 2020, we’ll all be computing in the cloud. But an even more interesting notion is buried in one corner of the report, and it’s an idea that came up in two of the three cloud interviews I did in the wake of Wired/Ars Smart Salon. This notion is that, at some point, there will be a massive data breach—a kind of cloud version of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, but pouring critical data out into the open instead of oil—and that this breach will cause everyone from private industry to government regulators to rethink what cloud computing can and cannot do.

  • Environment

  • Finance

    • Lighting Africa: Outstanding Products and Distribution Issues

      When the World Bank and International Finance Corporation started the Lighting Africa program in 2007, it was estimated that Africans spent $17 billion (€12.5 billion) a year on lighting sources such as kerosene lamps that are inefficient, polluting and hazardous, and that 250 million people in sub-Saharan Africa had no access to power.

    • A lobbying tempest engulfs financial overhaul

      Congress’ final tinkering with Wall Street overhaul this month offers lobbyists a last-ditch shot to reshape the package on behalf of clients with billions at stake.

      Even as the legislation gets tougher on banks by the week, agents of influence are hardly strangers on Capitol Hill. Many once worked for the lawmakers they’re lobbying.

    • Key FinReg Components Under Threat

      Mike Konczal (who I had the pleasure of meeting at the America’s Future Now conference) has written a report outlining his dream scenario for the Wall Street reform conference committee, coming up with the best of both the House and Senate bills. He has four topic headings:

      Making Resolution Authority Credible
      Getting Our Banks Capitalized
      Bringing Derivatives Into the Sunlight
      Audit the Fed

    • US banks set to lose swaps desks

      Banks are likely to lose a key lobbying battle in the US over whether they will be forced to spin off their lucrative swaps desks, according to people familiar with financial reform negotiations in Congress.

    • Don’t Forget The Kanjorski Amendment

      A great deal of discretion would remain with the regulators, and of course this is a potential danger. But the heightened public awareness of the idea that “bailouts are bad” at least increases the chances that management and directors would be replaced in a failing megabank. Whether creditors would face any losses remains a more open question – but at least the Kanjorski amendment, if applied properly, would put that possibility firmly on the table.

      Brown-Kaufman was turned back on the Senate floor, but the Kanjorski amendment is an integral part of the financial reform bill that passed the House. And Congressman Paul Kanjorski is a formidable member of the House conference delegation.

    • Dealmakers or dealbreakers face financial overhaul

      They are the sticking points that would gum up the Wall Street overhaul.

      From big banks’ exotic trades to the plastic in people’s wallets, it only take a few of the most contentious issues to upend a careful political equilibrium as lawmakers try to blend House and Senate bills into a single rewrite of banking regulations.

    • Recipes for Ruin, in the Gulf or on Wall Street

      For the financial crisis, it has become clear that many chief executives and corporate directors were not aware of the risks taken by their trading desks and partners. Recent accusations against Goldman Sachs suggest the potential for conflicts of interest among banks, investors, hedge funds and rating agencies. And it is clear that regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission, an agency staffed primarily with lawyers, are not well positioned to monitor the arcane trading strategies that helped produce the crisis.

    • Goldman’s Stonewall Is Bad Business

      Goldman Sachs (GS) has always had a reputation for being above the fray, aloof from the concerns of mere mortals. This reputation has served the bank splendidly as it fends off the pleas, hearings, and subpoenas of federal regulators. To the experienced (or simply jaded), it appeared that the 141-year-old Wall Street stalwart is just, well, being Goldman.

    • BP’s Mess, and Wall Street’s

      Just because you can do something, does that mean you should? It’s a question that might have saved us a lot of pain in recent months if both Goldman Sachs and British Petroleum had asked it of themselves during the last decade.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Freeview Allowed To Use DRM To Curtail Online Piracy

      Ofcom is allowing the BBC to operate its Freeview HD multiplex in such a way that only TV receivers and set-top boxes with built-in digital rights management (DRM) can see programmes’ electronic programme guide (EPG) data.

    • Shame on Ofcom, Double Shame on the BBC

      Rather interestingly, this “consultation” closed almost as soon as it opened: it was hard to resist the impression that it was being railroaded through. Fortunately, due in part to the prompt actions of Computerworld UK readers in submitting critical responses, Ofcom was forced to extend the consultation period, and then carry out a completely new consultation.

      [..]

      If the decision is not overturned (which seems unlikely), it will give the content industry control over what people can do with the content they watch on the BBC. Shame on Oftel – and double shame on the BBC for betraying in this way the audience that has faithfully funded it for all these years.

    • Ofcom agrees to allow the BBC to hobble HD receivers

      Ofcom have today dealt a serious blow to UK consumers and licence-payers by allowing the BBC to impose DRM for HD broadcasts.

    • Finland mulls legalizing use of unsecured Wi-Fi

      When it comes to the unauthorized use of open Wi-Fi networks, the Finnish government may say: If you can’t beat them, join them.

  • Copyrights

    • The Economics of Copyright

      One of the problems with the debate around copyright is that it is often fuelled more by feelings than facts. What is sorely lacking is a hard-nosed look at key areas like the economics of copyright. Enter “The Economics of Copyright and Digitisation: A Report on the Literature and the Need for Further Research” [.pdf].

      As you can tell from the rather tentative title, this is just a first step, but it is an important one, and the UK’s Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property Policy (SABIP) is to be congratulated on commissioning it. This is exactly the kind of thing that it should be doing – not simply taking political positions, but establishing the basis for rational debate before then moving on to the framing of appropriate legislation.

    • Music industry lobbyist calls for death penalty for piracy

      Here’s Fran Nevrkla, Chairman and CEO of Phonographic Performance Ltd, a UK music industry association, addressing the group’s AGM.

    • New District law group tackles movie file sharing

      The US Copyright Group, a District-based venture backed by attorneys from Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver, has sued in federal court at least 14,000 John Doe plaintiffs who allegedly downloaded independent movies from the peer-to-peer file-sharing site BitTorrent. The scope of the litigation, which if successful could generate upward of $20 million even if settled out of court, is expected to expand as action is taken on behalf of more film producers against additional groups of defendants.

    • The World’s 5 Largest Public BitTorrent Trackers

      In the fall of last year The Pirate Bay took its tracker offline. Luckily, for the stability of the BitTorrent ecosystem several new trackers emerged to take its place. Time for us to provide an overview of the largest public BitTorrent trackers currently around.

    • RIAA wants LimeWire shut down over ‘rampant illegal conduct’
    • Video explains Canada’s DMCA
    • What Happened to my Creative Commons License?

      I don’t blame Google so much as I blame the Neanderthal book publishers who are breathing down Google’s neck. Or perhaps it’s Google’s wallet. Google will probably get to this kind of fine tuning eventually, but at the moment they are dealing with folks insisting on locking books up for fear non-payers will read them. But if you have a paper copy of the book, or go to the copyright page online, you’ll see that the book’s copyrighted by the editors, but it says right on the same page that the individual essays are licensed under a Creative Commons license, Attribution, NonCommercial, NoDerivs 2.5. That means that everyone in the world is free to read my essay, for starters. It also means they are free in a noncommercial context to copy and redistribute it with attribution, as long as they reproduce it accurately and without changing anything or adding anything. That is my intent. But ironically, I can’t even reproduce it for you here unless I want to type it all out by hand, because it won’t let me even see all the pages, let alone copy them. I’m mentioning it because it’s my hope that Google Books, and other such services, will make a note and tell the computers to look for Creative Commons licenses, and loosen up.

      [...]

      I don’t think the process would work as well for a less, shall we say, inspiring case. Volunteers responded because they seriously cared about the outcome, not because they found learning to do legal research fascinating. I have gotten a lot of email about enjoying the learning, actually, but I also know that SCO was an inspiration. For some, watching an attack on Linux is like watching someone kick Dorothy’s dog, Toto: people get mad and want to do something about it. You don’t get the same response in all cases or by paying people. There isn’t enough money in the world to pay me for the amount of work I donated to Groklaw, the nights without sleep, the anxiety, or the jerks I had to deal with sometimes, if I may speak plainly.

    • Accused of file-sharing? The EFF can point you to help

      If you’re one of the 14,000+ US citizens targeted by the US Copyright Group for allegedly sharing movies with BitTorrent, a letter has already arrived or will do so shortly. That letter will contain a polite request: pay us around $1,500 within the next few weeks or run of the risk of a federal copyright lawsuit, where lawyers will demand the maximum $150,000 penalty.

    • Film Director: File Sharing Only Hurts Bad Or Mediocre Films

      TorrentFreak asked independent film director Sam Bozzo to comment on his experiences having his two most recent films leaked to BitTorrent. The stories in both cases were different. The first film, Blue Gold: World Water Wars was released normally, and then leaked online. The second, his documentary Hackers Wanted was shelved after internal disputes — but has now leaked to BitTorrent. Originally it was an old cut that was leaked, but now Bozzo’s “directors’ cut” has been leaked, and Bozzo seems fine with it. In fact, he claims that if you make a good film, having it leaked to BitTorrent can only help. It’s only bad if your film isn’t very good:

      In a nutshell, I believe the only films that are hurt by torrent sharing are mediocre and bad films. In contrast, the good films of any genre only benefit from file-sharing. Due to this, I feel the current file-sharing trend is a catalyst for a true evolution in filmmaking…

    • ACTA/Digital Economy Bill

      • WD12 on ACTA: 150 signatures to go, time to call!

        Only two weeks of plenary in Strasbourg are left for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to have a chance to sign Written Declaration 12 (WD12) on ACTA. 150 signatures are still missing, mostly from Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, and Poland. Every EU citizen is encouraged to call Strasbourg offices of non-signatories MEPs until thursday, 12:00, to urge them to sign WD12.

      • Eastern Europe – land of digital freedom?

        Now, the Baltic sea neighbors Finland and Estonia have declared Internet access to be a legal right. So I’ve been wondering… What are the chances of Southeast European countries, for once, not being late to the show but actually leading the race? What do I mean by that? First of all, Croatia and its neighbours would be wise to take advantage of the situation. While the UK, for example, is being mired down with a disastrous “Digital Economy Act”, perhaps our country and maybe even our neighbors could go the other way.

Clip of the Day

Adrian Bridgett – Troubleshooting Tools (2006)


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    Links for the day



  6. Apple and Microsoft Are Proprietary Software Companies and the Media Should Stop Openwashing Them

    New examples where proprietary software giants are characterised as FOSS-embracing and FOSS-friendly by gullible or dishonest 'journalists'



  7. Bloomberg's Microsoft Propaganda

    Bloomberg delivers 'damage control' and PR ahead of the layoffs announcement; Microsoft uses Nokia to hide it and Bloomberg helps Microsoft by radically modifying headlines



  8. Frequency of Browser Back Doors in Microsoft Windows is Doubling

    The vulnerabilities which Microsoft tells the NSA about (before these are patched) are significantly growing in terms of their numbers



  9. FUD Entities Entering the FOSS World

    Symantec enters the AllSeen Alliance and Sonatype is once again trying to claim great insecurity in FOSS due to software licensing



  10. Groklaw Back in the Wake of ODF in the UK?





  11. Links 26/7/2014: New Wine, Chromebooks Strong Sales

    Links for the day



  12. Links 25/7/2014: GOG With GNU/Linux, Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS

    Links for the day



  13. Links 24/7/2014: Oracle Linux 7; Fedora Delays

    Links for the day



  14. Valerie Strauss Explains Why Gates Foundation's Lobbying for 'Common Core' (Privatisation) is a Swindle That Makes Microsoft Richer

    Continued criticism of the Gates Foundation's lobbying and masquerading, with more journalists brave enough to highlight the corruption



  15. USPTO Officially Sets New Guidelines to Limit Scope of Software Patents in the United States

    Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom



  16. UK Government Adopts OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Already Attacks the Government Over It, Showing Absolutely No Commitment to Open Standards

    Only "Microsoft as the standard" is the 'standard' Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office's judgment reveals



  17. Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

    Another quick look at Microsoft's horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia



  18. Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

    Links for the day



  19. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  20. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  21. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  22. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  23. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  24. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  25. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  26. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert



  27. OpenSUSE 'Community' is Crumbling, AttachMSFT Killed SUSE's Potential (Except as Microsoft Tax)

    Not much too see in the land of SUSE and Attachmate, or formerly the company known as Novell



  28. Links 18/7/2014: Slackware Turns 21, Spotify Switches to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  29. Links 16/7/2014: Manjaro 0.8.10 Third Update, SIA Migrates to Red Hat

    Links for the day



  30. Microsoft's Latest Round of Massive/Bulk/Large-scale Layoffs

    Microsoft boosters are preparing 'damage control' pieces ahead of massive layoffs at Microsoft


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