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06.17.10

Links 17/6/2010: Parted Magic 4.11, Haiku R1 Alpha

Posted in News Roundup at 6:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 10 great illustrations of Linux humor
  • Desktop

    • That Linux Attitude…

      I might be very passionate about Mandriva Linux, granted. After all, not experiencing a single virus attack for over a year of heavy internet surfing WITHOUT an antivirus can be very motivating. The BEAUTY of the system itself contributes, too. Seeing that a computer can be used safely, simply, and even artistically by people who where formerly paralyzed by fear is what makes me tell others about Linux.

      I want to tell the world : “No more blue screens! No more panic! No more sluggish performance after a while!” That is how I see Linux: as a friendly community, as people who care for others and want to help computer users in need.

      [...]

      So, people should really think about this before starting their trip to TUX Land…Please remember that turning against Windows users or novice Linux users antagonizes the very spirit of Free Software: the COMMUNITY is the POWER OF TUX.

  • Kernel Space

    • Talking About Kernel Mode-Setting
    • Graphics Stack

      • [ANNOUNCE] xorg-server 1.8.99.901

        The X.org X server version 1.9 RC1 (1.8.99.901) is now available. While not including huge amounts of new functionality, this release has seen a number of longstanding development itches cleaned up with the goal of making the code cleaner and easier to understand.

      • AMD Catalyst 10.6 For Linux Brings Changes

        Catalyst 10.6 for Linux offers up RHEL 5.5 production support, official support for OpenGL 3.3 and OpenGL 4.0, and 2D performance enhancements. AMD was quick to support OpenGL 4.0 on their AMD Radeon HD 5000 series “Evergreen” hardware via their proprietary driver, but now with Catalyst 10.6 that support is officially there. The older R600/700 ASICs only support up through OpenGL 3.3. There is not, however, any early OpenCL 1.1 support in this month’s driver.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDE Visits FOSS Nigeria Conference 2010

        In 2010 the FOSS Nigeria Conference took place for the second time and, like last year, KDE attended the conference with two speakers. There was however a change in the visiting KDE team: Frederik Gladhorn joined Adriaan de Groot to take the place of Jonathan Riddell who could not make it this year. The venue for the conference was in Kano at the well-regarded Mambayya House, the Center for Democratic Research of the Bayero University. The conference date was moved from March to April, which meant that the weather presented a different face — hot followed by rain instead of the harmattan.

      • Flameworthy LinuxTag Notes

        So KDE has created a very open culture which results in innovation, experimentation and new technology. The user experience, while more of a focus than in the KDE 3.x times, imho still ain’t what it needs to be, might never be the way we currently work. At least, the finishing touch is boring and hard to do in such an open meritocracy.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Using Gnome Shell – Day 3

        I noted on a previous day that you need to ALT+TAB between windows, like any other regular system. The downside to this is that it is the only way to view open windows on a current desktop, where as with any other OS you can view at least which windows are open by glancing at your taskbar/panel.

  • Distributions

    • [Sabayon] Release Name Shuffling (CoreCD/SpinBase/CoreCDX)

      The upstream maintainers of Anaconda have drastically cut back the functionality of the Anaconda installer with respect to console-based text installation.

    • Reviews

      • Zenwalk 6.4 GNOME Screenshots

        Zenwalk is a Slackware-based distribution and this release, Zenwalk 6.4 GNOME, features the Linux kernel 2.6.33.4 and GNOME 2.28.2. This latest version of the GNOME desktop environment brings several improvements of its own to the distro. Other things that have changed in Zenwalk 6.4 GNOME include; new artwork, Gnome-disk-utility is added, Gnome-system-tools added, faster shutdown, bugs have been fixed, and more. View the release announcement for details and a list of packages included.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Bulls in Charge
      • Fedora

        • Fedora 13 Boasts Many Leading-Edge Enhancements

          Red Hat’s Fedora 13 open-source software can serve in a full gamut of Linux roles, as long as users are prepared to upgrade their systems about once a year.

        • SELF 2010 trip report.

          One of the hardest parts of being FPL and attending a conference is getting a trip report done while you try to catch up to everything you missed while you were gone! But better late than never, here’s my report from this past weekend’s Southeast LinuxFest (SELF).

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 197

        In this issue we cover – Welcome New Ubuntu Members, Kubuntu Council Elections, Ubuntu sparc and ia64 ports, Ubuntu Stats, LoCo-Directory Meeting Feature, Ubuntu 10.04 Release Party at Kanchipuram, Sunday Special: Ubuntu Hour, Día del usuario Ubuntu ROCKED!!!, LinuxTag 2010 Ubuntu Berlin Barbeque, Instructors Confirmed for Ubuntu User Day on July 10th, Reviewing 2000 patches, “Is Linux Secure?” at Southeast LinuxFest, In The Press, In The Blogosphere, Ubuntu In Business, Wine 1.2 Release Candidate 3 Is Out Now, EtherPad: web-based collaborative editor, Canonical Rolling Out Ubuntu Advantage for Enterprise Linux OS, Linaro Tools and Infrastructure Sprint, Severed Fifth Part Two Begins, Featured Podcasts, Upcoming Meetings and Events, Updates and Security, and much much more!

      • Would Mark Shuttleworth use Gentoo had he not founded Ubuntu?

        While Ubuntu lost the “just works on your notebook” unique selling point a while ago (thanks to freedesktop et. al.), we could convince Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth to sign our Gentoo slogan “It’s all about choice” — so maybe in a year from now, you might see USE flags in Ubuntu as well. Don’t believe it? Here’s proof.

      • easy to use Lucid-themed conky bar now even easier to use!

        Many of you loved the look of the look of the bar but found the hacking needed to get it to fit your screensize a bit off-putting. Thankfully the developer, Veoduendes, has addressed that issue with the launch of a new configuration wizard which makes using the bar a total breeze.

      • Operation Cleansweep making progress… (updated)
      • Interview mit Ubuntus Mäzen
      • Flavours and Variants

        • Have a Mint

          All in all I’d say the Mint experience was pretty much a wash; there were some things that I didn’t need to do on Mint that I’d have had to do in Ubuntu, and other things I needed to fix in Mint that aren’t broken in Ubuntu. But, and this is the key, I got a good working installation to start with, whereas Ubuntu didn’t give me that this time around. So on that basis alone, I’m sticking with Mint for a while.

        • Spotlight on Linux: Linux Mint 9

          The best thing about Linux Mint is its out of the box capabilities. Nothing says ease-of-use like having browser and multimedia plugins and codecs already included and ready to use. Nothing is appreciated more either, by a lot of users. There is a large community of friendly and helpful users surrounding the Mint project, so be sure to drop by the forums. This version comes with GNOME 2.30, but other desktop versions follow soon after initial release. Any way you look at it, Linux Mint is one of the best distributions available today from any project, no matter the size.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • PocketBook 301+ Comfort review

      The PocketBook 301+ is actually a recent update of the original model released in 2007, itself based on a popular eReader design that’s been sold by various companies. Ukrainian in origin, the original 301 was a variant on the Netronix EB-600 eReader and essentially offered the same basic spec as a very wide range of other eReaders – around seven or eight of them in total. The 301+ improves the specification in several ways, though the quality of the E Ink screen and a sizable increase in internal storage capacity (up to 512MB from 256MB) are two of the key areas here. It features second-generation Vizplex E Ink electronic paper (the same tech as adopted by Sony for its 505 among others), and boasts a resolution of 600×800 pixels on its 6-inch screen. It can cater for 16 shades of grey – which, like its size, is essentially the standard for eReaders at the moment.

    • Android

      • The Flavor of Android’s Open Apps

        It started when I heard that National Public Radio (NPR) had an Android app last week. Actually, I’m sure they had the app earlier than that, but it was the news that this application was being open sourced by NPR that brought it to my attention.

        While I have been grooving on my new phone, I haven’t been downloading things willy-nilly yet, because my current lack of travel plans means that I’m in the home office a lot and therefore don’t need a fully stocked mobile platform yet.

      • Sony Ericsson Shakira to be called X8

        A few days ago I added a news article outlining that Sony Ericsson where to produce a middle sized x10 that would be larger than an x10 mini and smaller than an x10.

      • AT&T CEO: Not Worried About Verizon’s Android Position

        AT&T Inc. (T) Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said he isn’t losing any sleep over Verizon Wireless’s strong current position with Android phones, adding that things will change dramatically over the next six months.

      • Logitech Confirms Companion Box to be Called “Revue”

        Logitech took to their blog today to confirm the “Revue” as their companion box for Google TV. Rather than forking out hundreds or thousands for a new television, Logitech’s add-on peripheral is designed to complement any current HD set. So how did they come up with the name?

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Ubuntu Netbook Edition (Remix) not just for netbooks?

        Ubuntu Netbook Edition (formally netbook remix) is a collection of applications that make Ubuntu more usable on smaller screens. But you don’t have to be running a netbook to benefit. This article looks at how to use the best netbook remix features in a standard Ubuntu 10.04 install.

    • Tablets

      • Hobbyist kit turns BeagleBoard into a tablet

        Open source electronics firm Liquidware has released a kit for attaching a 4.4-inch Liquidware BeagleTouch OLED touchscreen to a BeagleBoard to construct a Linux-based, tablet device. The Beagle Embedded Starter Kit also incorporates a BeagleJuice battery module and a 4GB SD card.

      • Linux on a Touchscreen? Try Jolicloud

        Here is a list of Touchscreen drivers that Jolicloud supports. It is a pretty impressive list, and includes some names that are near and dear to many Mobilitysite reader’s’ hearts. For example, the iPaq H3600 and several versions of the long lamented Jornada could find new lives with Jolicloud.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The one kind of open source, and the other kind

    Consider Linux: early on, it was bashed on quality, security usability, being “only for techies,” and held at arm’s length by the corporate world in general. Yet today it has matured to the point there probably isn’t a big corporation on the face of the earth that doesn’t use Linux in one way or another. Similarly, Lucene reached a tipping point three or four years ago with the introduction of Solr as a full-featured enterprise search server based on Lucene. At that point, still as a community project, it became competitive technically with commercial alternatives. An open source project in this state feeds on itself. More people use it, more people want to enhance it and a juggernaut is created.

  • Symbian faces ‘Titanic’ task to go open source – Funambol

    Nokia’s bid to transform its Symbian mobile operating system into a purely open-source platform has been a huge task, and one that could cost it the smartphone race, warned mobile synchronisation firm Funambol on Wednesday.

  • Impressions – Haiku R1 Alpha 2 – With Screenshots

    Haiku is an exciting new adventure. I love the idea of new Open Source and Free operating systems making their appearance. As a desktop OS there is work to be done as far as the user interface goes. How long before we have a stable final release? I don’t know, it has been in development for the better part of nine years, and development seems to have sped up recently with two major releases less than a year apart.

  • 10 Best Free Alternatives to Microsoft Office

    # Open Office (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux): Open Office is a great solution for those who are looking for a free open source alternative to the Microsoft family. The suite offers a great open source alternative to the Microsoft family of products. The suite has word processing, a database program, a spreadsheet application and a layout program to create most documents.

    # KOffice (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux): There are eight packages in this suite, including a spreadsheet, presentation software, project planning and image editing. It is fast, functional and open source.

  • What Would a More Open Twitter Look Like?

    It might look something like the idea proposed by Dave Winer, inventor of the RSS standard. He’s written often about the idea of “a decentralized Twitter” and how he’d like to see someone develop a Twitter app based on open-source standards, which he compared to the Apache open-source server software that lies behind a majority of the websites on the Internet. More recently, he’s talked about how developers of Twitter clients — whether they be apps, or services such as WordPress (see disclosure below) or Tumblr — could build an “emergency broadcast system” that would function even when Twitter is down.

  • Mozilla

    • Your Firefox in the cloud: Firefox Sync and Firefox Home

      Firefox enables hundreds of millions of people all over the world to each have a Web experience that’s unique. They can make Firefox look and feel the way they want with Add-ons and Personas. And more importantly, Firefox becomes their trusted guide to the Web. It intelligently searches browsing history and bookmarks to help people get to their favorite sites with minimum effort using the “Awesome Bar”. Tabbed browsing allows people to efficiently work with multiple sites at the same time while Password Manager and automatic form fill help them quickly get things done.

  • SaaS

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • “Life of Brian” Played Out In Community

      One of the frustrations of being a software freedom advocate is how many of the attacks that are made on me come from people who most observers would consider to be “fighting for the same side”. My recent call for volunteers to work on revamping the Open Source Initiative (OSI) is a case in point. Of the public comments I’ve read, the majority berate me for daring to be positive about OSI rather than castigating it in favor of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) as they themselves do. (Fortunately the private e-mails are much more encouraging). But it’s not just a tension between OSI and FSF. For example, in one forum where I mentioned my membership card for the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) had arrived, one reply asked if I would also be joining the FSF. Software freedom arouses extreme passions among its adherents.

    • FSF to host GNU social architecture meeting

      Tomorrow at its Boston offices the Free Software Foundation will host the first in a series of GNU social architecture meetings. Confirmed attendees include several GNU social developers, OAuth developer Blaine Cook and Evan Prodromou from StatusNet.

    • GNU social: next steps
  • Project Releases

    • OpenGeo Suite Enterprise Edition 2.0 Launches

      The Suite, which includes a robust geospatial development environment, is also the first to include PostGIS, a powerful spatially enabled database built on top of PostgreSQL, to eliminate lengthy implementation processes.

  • Open Data

  • WebM

    • FFMPEG Now Includes VP8/WebM

      This package is a part of many distros and will give users of GNU/Linux easy access to produce, edit, and decode video better. Use of this format on Youtube should establish it solidly.

    • FFmpeg 0.6 Has Support for VP8, WebM, HTML5

      Dubbed “Works with HTML5,” the brand-new release of FFmpeg brings lots of highly anticipated features. Announced last evening, June 15th, FFmpeg 0.6 improves the support for HTML5 video, has a better Vorbis decoder, and faster Theora and H.264 decoders. The most important feature of this release is the support for Google’s VP8 codec. Moreover, the matroska demuxer has been updated to support the WebM container.

    • Opera 10.6 Beta released
    • Opera 10.6 beta adds WebM video support

      Norway-based browser maker Opera today released a new beta of its Opera 10.browser which it says is 50% faster than its predecessor.

Leftovers

  • Twins fight academic penalties over Facebook remarks about professor

    Identical twin brothers reprimanded by the University of Calgary for making disparaging comments about a professor on their Facebook page want a judge to overturn the penalties.

    Keith and Steven Pridgen, 20, were placed on probation more than two years ago for statements made starting in November 2007 on a Facebook page entitled “I no longer fear Hell, I took a course with Aruna Mitra.”

    Both were initially ordered to write a letter of apology, but the condition was removed when they refused to do so.

  • Fifa acts after ‘ambush marketing’ by Dutch brewery

    Stewards ejected 36 Dutch supporters from Monday’s match between the Netherlands and Denmark midway through the second half in Johannesburg.

  • Internet addicts stage jail-break from rehab centre

    The 14 addicts, aged between 15 and 22, tied their instructor to his bed before making a bid for freedom from the treatment centre in Huai’an, in the eastern Jiangsu province, according to reports in China’s state media.

  • Journalism

    • To save journalism, save the net
    • Behind The Atlantic’s Brand Reinvention

      The Atlantic, a 153-year-old magazine, suffered from a protracted decline in revenues and rising costs starting in the 1960s. A dramatic multi-platform overhaul of the brand starting in 2007 has put it back on track to profitability. In his keynote address today at the FOLIO: Show, Atlantic Media president Justin Smith said The Atlantic is projected to have a profitable fourth quarter and a “multi-million dollar” profit in 2011.

    • UK And U.S. See Heaviest Newspaper Circulation Declines

      UK newspapers have suffered the most dramatic circulation declines of any country outside America since 2007, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Security: How the Federal Government Could Change Your Internet Privacy
    • Further thoughts on Gary McKinnon

      But it was my liberal inclination asserting itself having dismantled the central elements of the “Free Gary” campaign. I do not want to see Mr McKinnon extradited and I feel desperately sympathetic for his predicament.

    • Identity Documents Bill Committee issues call for evidence
    • Airports with body scanners
    • Italy To Install Body Scanners In All Airports, Train Stations

      Interior minister Roberto Maroni said Monday the Italian government planned to install body scanners, which were tested in three major airports, in all airports and train stations nationwide.

    • Body Scanners government consultation
    • Pilley hunt CCTV camera was broken

      A CCTV camera that could have captured the last known movements of missing Edinburgh woman Suzanne Pilley was not working properly and was missing a windscreen wiper, it was revealed yesterday.

    • DNA sample ‘problems’ at North Yorkshire Police

      The storage of forensic evidence at police stations in North Yorkshire has been criticised by inspectors.

      There were problems with the handling of DNA and other samples at custody suites, said a report by the chief inspectors of constabulary and prisons.

    • More Cyberwar Hype: Gov’t Fear Mongering To Get More Control Over The Network

      And then there’s NPR. It recently ran a whole long article about cyberwar that repeatedly suggests that the way to deal with this is to solve the “attribution problem” so that everyone online can be identified. Privacy? Anonymity? Not important, because of this threat — even though no one can provide any proof actually exists. The NPR piece uses Mike McConnell as a key source, highlighting (as everyone does) his former public service positions: former director of the National Security Agency and later the director of national intelligence. What NPR leaves out? Oh, that McConnell is now a Vice President at defense contracting giant Booz Allen Hamilton — a firm that recently scored contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars around this whole bogus cyber war threat.

    • “There’s No Transparency, and I Find that Inexcusable”

      Meet the 82-year-old ex-cop, World War II vet, and private eye who’s challenging one of the largest police departments in the country.

      [...]

      Beltrante asked me to lunch (disclosure: his treat) last month after seeing a column I wrote on the striking lack of transparency among Northern Virginia’s three largest police departments. He wanted to discuss his new organization, the Virginia Citizens Coalition for Police Accountability (VCCPA), which he says he started in order to fight what he calls the “decades of corruption and secrecy at the police department here in Fairfax County.”

    • Who Owns Public Crime Data?
    • 420,000 scam emails sent every hour

      More than 420,000 scam emails are sent every hour in the UK according to a report by CPP which estimates that Brits were targeted by 3.7 billion phishing emails in the last 12 months alone. A quarter of us admit to falling victim to e-fraudsters, with the average victim losing over GBP285 each.

    • Utah prisoner faces death by firing squad

      Should the execution go ahead, it will be the first in Utah for over a decade and only the third time since the death penalty was restored in 1976 that a firing squad has been used. Both previous firing squads – the execution of Gary Gilmore in 1977 and that of John Taylor in 1996 – were used in Utah.

  • Environment

    • US Congress to tell BP boss: you broke rules, cut costs and it ended in disaster

      BP is being accused by a US congressional committee of ignoring warnings, violating its own industry guidelines, and choosing risky procedures in the hope of cutting costs and saving time in the days leading up to the catastrophic explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

    • More Dirty Details From My BP Mole

      Oh, wait. Not nothing: “They’ve brought in prostitutes.” No one knows who the “they” that brought in the pack of hookers is, but the gals have definitely arrived, and you can buy time with one for $200. It only took someone a whole month even to figure out that it would be lucrative to sell sex to guys earning 44 hours of overtime a week and living in camps and converted 18-wheelers.

    • Who’s Liable for the Gulf Oil Spill? You Are.
    • Imperial Oil
    • BP AdWords cashectomy

      Jump now to BP. According to news accounts everywhere, BP is right now trying to influence public discussion of its wild well spewing oil in the Gulf of Mexico by purchasing Google AdWords like “oil spill, ” for which the multinational oil company was recently paying Google $1.48, according to NPR. Web sites about the accident, news from the region, environmental or energy policy, or about oiled-up sea birds should notice BP ads appearing on their pages.

    • The Oil Spill the World Forgot

      For example, Royal Dutch Shell’s drilling operations have been spilling oil into the Niger Delta in Nigeria since 1958. Because Nigeria is an impoverished nation and oil revenues fund a majority of government operations, Shell and other companies have been able to drill and pollute without serious oversight for all these years. It is estimated that 13 million barrels of oil have spilled into the delta, making life even more difficult for the region’s destitute residents. Shell blames the constant spills on attacks from “rebels,” who are in fact minority ethnic groups who feel they have been exploited and displaced by foreign oil companies. But Shell would never consider pulling out of the region or finding ways to avoid ethnic strife. Instead, Shell has proceeded with business as usual, and spilled a record 14,000 tons of crude oil into the delta last year.

    • Food prices to rise by up to 40% over next decade, UN report warns

      Food prices are set to rise as much as 40% over the coming decade amid growing demand from emerging markets and for biofuel production, according to a United Nations report today which warns of rising hunger and food insecurity.

    • Solar plane set for night flight

      A solar-powered plane is getting ready to hit the skies once again – this time, at night.

      It will be the first ever manned night flight on a plane propelled exclusively by solar energy.

  • Finance

    • Europe

      • Debt-ridden Greece gets vote of confidence from China

        Greece’s debt-ridden economy has received unexpected endorsement from China as the two countries announced multibillion euro accords to boost cooperation in fields as diverse as shipping, tourism and telecommunications.

      • Britain to expand central bank’s powers

        Britain’s Treasury chief announced an overhaul of his country’s financial regulatory system Wednesday, one which dissolves the country’s finance watchdog and hands broad new powers to its central bank.

      • Troubled Spain hastens labor reforms

        Spain embarked on shaking up its economy Wednesday with labor market reforms designed to encourage companies to hire, enacting long-awaited structural changes as it struggles to reassure markets and investors who are worried over its public finances and pushing Spanish borrowing costs to new highs.

      • EU leaders to call for European, global bank levy

        European Union leaders are set to back a European levy on banks to help pay the costs of future collapses, according to a draft text seen by the Associated Press that will be made public after a Thursday summit.

    • US

      • After “Financial Reform”
      • Negotiators in Congress to Discuss Rule for Brokers

        Will stock and insurance brokers be required to put their clients’ interests before their own?

      • Fannie and Freddie Told to Delist From Stock Exchange

        The mortgage finance giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were ordered to delist from York Stock Exchange by the federal agency that oversees the two companies.

      • Grand jury indicts mortgage co. chief in TARP case

        A federal grand jury has indicted the head of what was once among the largest privately held mortgage lending companies for allegedly scheming to steal more than half a billion dollars from the $700 billion financial bailout.

      • Bank of America workers across US sue for overtime

        Workers for Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), one of the nation’s largest employers, have sued the company for allegedly failing to pay overtime and other wages.

      • Do You Like to Whip It?

        The good news is, we have made huge gains in recent days! We helped organize a press conference with Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz on the issue that got huge press. Listen to the audio here. Then three regional Federal Reserve presidents came out in support of the Lincoln derivatives language going up against Big Ben Bernanke, who is against. Plus, Banking Chair Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut) has moved from being opposed to saying that Senator Lincoln is “on the right track.” Take a look at our ever-changing whip list and make a call today to a committee member in your state or to Banking Committee Chair Dodd, or House Finance Committee Chair Barney Frank (D-Mass).

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Razing Arizona

      Because communicating a message to voters requires money, it is well established that direct restrictions on campaign spending violate the First Amendment. Arizona’s Citizens Clean Elections Act therefore seeks to restrict campaign spending indirectly.

    • Will the Department of Education Crack Down on For-Profit Colleges?

      Naturally, the response of the Career College Association (CCA), a lobbying group and trade organization of over 1,500 for-profit colleges, has been aggressive. The CCA has even thrown together an astroturf organization of career college students, the “Students for Academic Choice.” The industry’s efforts seem to be paying off, and some analysts believe that the gainful employment regulations will be watered down or shelved.

    • Old “News” About Untapped Afghan Minerals

      One could take the story at face value and believe that this was actually, for once, a positive development in an increasingly unpopular and seemingly unnecessary war, but then “the real news” about the news came out. On the same day, after doing a bit of his own research, Paul Jay, CEO and Senior Editor of The Real News Network revealed that indeed, because “news” is supposed to be about a new development, this wasn’t news at all, but merely well-timed strategic propaganda on the part of the U.S. government.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Jon Stewart on Obama’s broken civil liberties promises

      Here’s Jon Stewart doing eight minutes on the promises that Barack Obama has broken on civil liberties since he took office — from arresting whistleblowers to maintaining the suspension of habeas corpus to continuing warrantless wiretaps to sustaining extraordinary rendition to authorizing the execution of American citizens without trial outside of combat zones.

    • Toolkit: A Look at the Gear That Experts Use to Spy on Spies

      When companies like Archer Daniels Midland and Liberty Mutual Insurance are worried that someone is bugging their boardrooms or tapping their phone lines, they call Kevin Murray. He heads one of the most sophisticated surveillance-detection firms this side of the FBI.

    • The Government Now Wants ISPs To Link Your Online History With Your Passport

      Last week we were duly shocked by the discovery that the government is looking into a proposal to make ISPs retain a log of every website you ever visit. Now it’s coming out that they may want ISPs to link that information to other personal data like your passport number.

      Ben Grubb over at ZDNet broke the original story, and yesterday followed it up with a deeper insight into the proposed scheme. While the government is denying it would capture individual browsing histories, unnamed sources from ISPs are saying that the original data set sent to ISPs from the government said that they’d require allied personal information, including passport numbers.

    • Fixing the CDA 230 Subsidy While Preserving Online Anonymity

      Anonymous online speech can be powerful and beneficial. You are free to leave anonymous or pseudonymous comments on this site, which encourages free discussion of political issues. Protesters in Iran can spread ideas, corporate whistleblowers can speak out, and the government is deterred from at least one form of intrusion into personal life. On a personal level, you can explore your identity, research controversial causes or issues, or just vent frustration. All of these are good things and worthy of preservation.

    • Terror data handover seriously flawed

      The European Union has redrafted its agreement with the US Treasury which requires Europe’s financial institutions to transfer details of global financial transactions to the US. The revised Draft Agreement is to be put to the European Parliament in July for approval, despite a text containing significant privacy defects and obvious areas of drafting in need of urgent attention.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Does a couch violate Humphrey Bogart’s rights?

      The plaintiff says it has been paid millions of dollars in licensing fees for the use of the “Bogart” name in connection with the Thomasville “Bogart” furniture line. Having another “Bogart” on the market is threatening. The plaintiff wants an injunction and $1 million in damages for the alleged, um, bogarting of the actor’s name and likeness.

    • Langdell Still Claims Control Over The Word Edge; Sues EA For Mirror’s Edge

      Not surprisingly, they play up Langdell’s position, and leave out the abandonment of the trademark, the lack of any likelihood of confusion and other pertinent details along those lines. Trademark law, despite Langdell’s apparent belief, does not give a company full control over a word, especially if they’re not using it. No one is confusing Mirror’s Edge with Langdell’s ancient games.

    • ‘Hurt Locker’ producers drop First Amendment bomb on Iraq War vet
    • Censorship

      • Warner Pulls the Plug on ‘We Con the World’

        Warner Brothers of course, are the second half of the business entity Time-Warner, which also owns as part of its conglomeration of businesses CNN. In 2009, CNN tried to claim a copyright violation over the video shot by an individual of the Tea Partiers grilling then CNN “reporter” Susan Roesgen, until the guys at Founding Bloggers fought for their clip to be restored at YouTube.

        And that’s what a lot of this is all about: by claiming copyright violations real or imagined, Warners and other entities can get clips pulled from the Internet’s largest host of videos for several weeks or months. These videos frequently wind up on smaller sites of course (such as the aforementioned Eyeblast), and those who initiate claims against them often lose their battles, if the video makers are prepared to fight back. But by then, much of the news value of these sorts of clips has dissipated.

      • Rapidshare Countersues Perfect 10 For Being A ‘Copyright Troll’ Who Only ‘Shakes Down’ Others

        Now it looks like Rapidshare has struck back. Eric Goldman points out that Rapidshare has countersued Perfect 10, directly claiming that the company is a “copyright troll.” They don’t mince words:

        Perfect 10 Is A Copyright Troll that Does Not Operate A Real Business

        Perfect 10 is a copyright troll that does not operate a real business and instead seeks to foster the spread of infringing copies of works that it owns over the Internet in order to entrap and shakedown websites and services where copies of its images may randomly end up.

        Perfect 10 does not have the employees or attributes of a legitimate business. Today, Perfect 10 is essentially a paralegal service masquerading as a porn company. It is run by its founder, Norm Zada, out of his Beverly Hills home with the help of full and part time employees who are paid primarily to troll the Internet looking for (but not removing) allegedly infringing copies of Perfect 10 images for use in existing or potential future litigation and to draft declarations and other papers.

        Perfect 10 is so litigious that Judge Matz of the Central District of California, before whom a number of Perfect 10 cases had been consolidated, has made it clear to Perfect 10 that it should not file any more lawsuits, which is why it filed this suit in the Southern District of California even though this district has no connection to the parties or the underlying claims.

      • The Viacom Kerfuffle

        A couple of days ago John Green of Vlogbrothers posted a video about Viacom, YouTube, Spike.com’s video channel, and Jonathan Coulton. In it he discussed the Viacom YouTube suit and used my “Flickr” video to illustrate something. Watch the video for a complete explanation, but in a nutshell he was pointing out that Viacom was serving up my “Flickr” video with ads on while at the same time suing YouTube for serving up Viacom content with ads on YouTube. He encouraged people to email Viacom asking them where my proceeds from the ad revenue were, said proceeds being either $37 or $13,000 depending on how you do the math.

      • Is Forcing IsoHunt To Block Search Terms A First Amendment Violation?

        Given similar rulings, and the judge’s comments so far in the IsoHunt case, I find it quite unlikely that the company has any chance of getting out from under the injunction issued against it.

    • Copyrights

      • US Government Told Piracy Losses Are Exaggerated

        At a hearing yesterday, several experts told the US International Trade Commission that many of the estimates of piracy losses touted by the entertainment industries were inflated or misleading. Others claimed that current enforcement methods aren’t working and suggested they try something else.

      • Director Sam Bozzo On BitTorrent and the Movie Industry

        Last month an early cut of the unreleased movie Hackers Wanted found its way to BitTorrent. As the director’s cut of the movie also leaked out last night, TorrentFreak caught up with director Sam Bozzo who through the prism of 15 years in movie making gives his opinion on how leaks, BitTorrent and file-sharing affects the industry.

      • For Staunch Copyright Defenders, Big Singers From Big Labels Seem To Copy From Others A Lot…
      • Could Collection Societies Help Up-And-Coming Artists With A 20/80 Distribution System?

        It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of music collection societies in general. I tend to think that once they get the right to collect they begin to abuse that power in ways that actually harm musicians and songwriters more than help them. That’s because once they’re given a right to demand payments, they continually look to expand that right: covering more areas and increasing the amount they can demand.

        [...]

        I’m still not totally convinced that this would work, and I’m also not convinced that the collection society setup is even worth saving at all. But if such societies are going to be around (and it’s almost certain they’re not going anywhere), then we might as well look at ways to make them actually help more musicians, rather than simply propping up the top of the top, while holding back new comers.

      • Industry Minister defends the Canadian DMCA

        The latest episode of the TVOntario Search Engine podcast is an interview with Industry Minister Tony Clement, the Canadian minister who co-introduced the punishing new Canadian copyright law that contains even harsher restrictions against breaking “digital locks” than the US DMCA, a 12-year-old trainwreck of a law. Host Jesse Brown really does a good job here, getting Clement to squirm over the question of turning Canadians into crooks for breaking the locks on their own property.

      • ISP Attempt To Block File-Sharing Ends in Epic Failure

        In response to the country’s “3 strikes” Hadopi legislation, last week a French ISP began offering a service to block file-sharing on customer connections for ‘just’ 2 euros per month. It didn’t take long for awful vulnerabilities in the system to be found which breached not only the privacy of subscribers, but exposed them to new security threats.

    • ACTA

      • FSF says: Take a stand with us for freedom, against ACTA
      • Support a firm, simple declaration against ACTA

        # ACTA must respect sharing and cooperation: it must do nothing that would hinder the unremunerated noncommercial making, copying, giving, lending, owning, using, transporting, importing or exporting of any objects or works.

        # ACTA must not weasel about what is commercial: no labeling of any noncommercial activities as somehow commercial-like or treating them as if they were commercial.

      • Red Letter Day for ACTA in EU: Let’s Use It
      • ACTA restricts developing economies, India tells WTO

        A secret trade agreement designed to harmonise some countries’ intellectual property laws could destabilise existing international agreements and harm the economic prospects of developing countries, India has said.

        The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is a secret IP treaty being negotiated by the US, Japan, the European Commission and others outside of the normal international trade bodies the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

Clip of the Day

Richard Spiers – CLUG Talk 30 September 2008 – GStreamer (2008)


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