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07.04.10

IRC Proceedings: July 4th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

Eye on Apple: Class Action, ITC Probe, More Flaws Found

Posted in Apple, Courtroom, Patents at 5:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Tough week for Apple; examples of news items below

Disgruntled fanbois sought for iPhone 4 Apple prosecution (more on this class action posted days ago)

A California law firm is trolling for iPhone 4 owners frustrated by flaws in their recently purchased Cupertinian handsets.

iPhone 4 Cost Apple $188, Says iSuppli (made cheaply, but branded well and marketed with billions of dollars for artificial hype)

Each device costs about $187.51 to produce, with the new “retina display” being the most expensive component. iSuppli believes it to be manufactured by LG at a cost about $28.50 per unit.

Leak shows Apple’s spin on iPhone 4 flaws

According to documents leaked to Boy Genius Report, AppleCare representatives are being given a strong company line to deliver to unhappy iPhone 4 owners who complain about reception issues.

Nokia makes merry with iPhone death-grip

Nokia jibes at Apple over Iphone 4 issues

FINNISH PHONE MAKER Nokia has decided to shame Apple by publishing a blog post in which is discusses how best to hold a mobile phone.

The post follows complaints that holding an Iphone can reduce call signals and network reception, something that has prompted Steve Jobs to suggest that users try holding their Iphones the ‘right’ way.

US trade panel to investigate S3 complaint against Apple

The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) has launched a formal investigation into four patent complaints filed against Apple by computer graphics hardware maker S3 Graphics, which asked the agency to block Apple from importing the iPhone, iPad and other products into the U.S.

US investigation might impact Iphone 4

APPLE IS UNDER INVESTIGATION by the US International Trade Commission (ITC) regarding alleged patent infringements of image processing hardware and related software for its phones, which could include the Iphone 4.

Another problem turns up for the Iphone 4

FRUIT LOGO TOYMAKER Apple’s Iphone for right-handed people seems to have yet another flaw.

Apparently coming up with a phone that disconnects you from your provider when you use it in your left hand is not enough. It seems that Apple’s geniuses forgot to test the Imovie software.

Some IPhone 4 Cameras Have Yellowing Problem

Some iPhone 4 owners have reported color oddities with photos they’ve taken with the camera on the back of the newly released phone. The iPhone’s 5-megapixel camera will take crisp daylight and brightly lit indoor photos that show colors accurately, but then have issues correctly capturing images in low light with, or without, the LED flash.

Links 4/7/2010: Netrunner 2 Reviewed, MeeGo 1.1, Android Rooting

Posted in News Roundup at 5:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux at HP: A Decade of Leadership

    While at the HP Technology Forum 2010, a particular breakout session stood out in that it was all about Linux. In fact, I’ve stolen the title of the presentation and made it the name of this article. Bdale Garbee, a very comprehensive and impressive individual (also the HP Open Source & Linux Chief Technologist), gave a talk on the basics of Linux and HP’s involvement in it.

    He outlined the community development model (in his words: “no one company in charge; a range of contributors with varied interests, abilities, and motivations”) and the freedom of choice (“users have flexibility in how they acquire support for open source technology; any user can become a developer or pay someone to develop or support… on their behalf; if ‘upstream’ ever behaves unacceptably, developers have the power to ‘fork’”). He said that, to profit while maintaining the openness of open source, HP needs to add unique value that customers want to pay for.

  • Competion between Google Chrome OS and Microsoft Windows Heats Up

    There has been no official announcement from Dell or Google about a deal but “talks” are underway. If an agreement is reached Dell would be the third manufacturer to build a future netbook with Chrome OS. The other computer manufacturers that plan on releasing netbooks or other computers with Chrome OS are Acer and HP.

  • Linux Professional Institute Certification Exams Exceed 250,000 Worldwide
  • A year from today Microsoft will lack a majority market share.

    In the past twelve months Windows market share went from 88.09% to 83.11%. The Windows XP product, which continues to hold the largest market share went from 69.74% to 49.95% of the total desktop operating system market share. The trend is showing as people divest from older Microsoft technologies, they do not “upgrade” to Windows Vista or Windows 7.

    The next 12 months will bring a new breed of tablets and notebooks which will run Ubuntu on ARM. These will sell like hot cakes so that people can watch Google’s youtube and play games of Facebook. The desktop is over, even in the corporate sector.

  • Desktop

    • Cory Doctorow: What I Do

      Operating system: I’m using Ubuntu, a version of the free and open GNU/Linux operating system that is designed to be easy to use and maintain for non-techy people. I was once a Unix sysadmin, but it has been a long time, and I wouldn’t hire me to do it today. Ubuntu Just Works. I recently had cause to install Windows XP on an old ThinkPad and found that it was about a hundred times more complicated than getting Ubuntu running. When I transitioned to Ubuntu from the MacOS, I had a week or two’s worth of disorientation, similar to what happened after we renovated the kitchen and changed where we kept everything. Then the OS just disappeared, and it has stayed disappeared, breaking in ways that are neither more severe nor more frequent than any other OS I’ve ever used.

  • Server

    • Blowing The Doors Off HPC Speed-up Numbers

      My interest in benchmarking has a practical side for HPC. As everyone is well aware, the Linux HPC ecosystem changes rapidly with updated kernels (drivers), libraries (MPI), and applications. Early on, I would ask myself this questions, “What influence do these updates have on performance?” It is naive to think that all updates always lead to better performance. In order to quantitatively measure these changes, I put together what I called the Beowulf Performance Suite. My intention was not to create a benchmark, but rather a way to measure the effects of change.

    • Stayin’ alive: Ten years of Linux on the mainframe

      It would be hard to find two technologies that would seem to be more diametrically opposed in the data center than the IBM mainframe and the open source Linux operating system. But the combination of the two, which then-IBM president and now IBM chairman and CEO Sam Palmisano championed (or more precisely, gets credit for championing within Big Blue regardless of whose idea it may have been), saved the System z mainframe business.

  • Ballnux

    • Samsung Galaxy S does video out via 3.5 mm headset jack
    • HTC Wildfire review

      But of course, the humdrum reality is that ’tis just an Android 2.1 replacement for the entry-level Tattoo — same 528MHz Qualcomm MSM7225 processor, 3.2-inch 320 x 240 capacitive LCD touchscreen instead of 2.8-inch resistive, 384MB RAM instead of 256MB, and a 5-megapixel camera instead of 3.2 (although quality matters more, obviously). So can this affordable handset provide enough bang for the buck to satisfy Europeans and Asians? Can the aging processor keep Sense UI well oiled? All will be revealed after the break.

  • Graphics Stack

  • Instructionals

    • Weekend Project: Spring Clean your Photo Collection

      Back in May, we provided a step-by-step guide to sorting out and shoring up a digital audio library. As several readers noted, audio collections aren’t the only media stores that can get out of control. Your digital photos may also be an unsorted mess, split up over several directories (or even machines), with inconsistent file names, duplicates, and a host of other problems. This weekend, why not sift through the clutter and get the whole collection in top shape before the camera comes home with a full memory card from the next big cookout?

    • How to remove hidden Virtual CD (VCD) partitions on your Western Digital external disks
  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

  • Distributions

    • Netrunner 2 – Blacklight – A new release!

      The switch to KDE (4.4) came as a surprise to me. I was very happy with the Gnome offering of Netrunner and thought it was an excellent grounding for future versions. I’ve never been a fan of KDE, whilst many users rave about the DE, Ive often said that I don’t feel in control with it, it feels plastic and is far too Vistaesque for my liking. Maybe I subconsciously yearn for an XP type DE or maybe it goes back further to Workbench 1.3, but my DE of choice has always been Gnome with a top+bottom taskbar and the more traditional menus. It’s worth noting that whilst the taskbar and desktop are obviously KDE, the menu systems have a very Gnome look to them. Is this an intention by the devs to please both KDE and Gnome users? Maybe, although I don’t keep ontop of the latest KDE releases so I’ll stand corrected if its the default setting for the new version.

      With that in mind though the distro is excellent, speedy and simple to install (thanks to its Ubuntu origins) with very little fuss “out of the box”. As I remarked previously, theres very little to find fault in Netrunner, although I still stand by the original comment that the name of this distro undersells its true potential. When I was informed of this new release by email, I instantly thought of a net kiosk distro (since Ive looked at many distro’s since the original review) Of course Netrunner is far from being a net kiosk package (although it will play very nicely on a netbook or limited spec machine) and also think the title since “Netrunner” implies something more net/cloud orientated, which compared to say Peppermint, its not. Netrunner has menu links to Twitter and other online services, but instead of providing these services through Prism, they merely open up a new instance of Firefox (if one is not open, or simply open in a tab). One has to ask the question, are they really needed? and if so could these shortcuts not simply be in a favorites menu within Firefox, rather than taking a desktop submenu up? – Only you can be the judge of that.

      [...]

      would ever notice it’s absence from Netrunner – unless of course they were fans of Gbrainy! ;) in which case they will be devastated! What the removal of the Mono packages does do is free up space to include more popular products and that can only be a good thing.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Review: $99 TonidoPlug Linux Home Server, NAS

      The TonidoPlug falls into a relatively new category of “wall-wart” form factor computers. They are generally defined as being cheap, low on power consumption (in the single watts range) and fanless. Most plug computers, as they are also called, are based off of the Marvell SheevaPlug reference design. The difference between the TonidoPlug competitors like the Ctera CloudPlug, PogoPlug and Globalscale GuruPlug comes down to the bundled software and services. While they all essentially run on the same hardware, each has its own set of pre-installed applications in addition to services (some are paid) that do things like facilitate file and media sharing from outside the home network.

    • PanDigital Novel Rooted, What Next?
    • Nokia/MeeGo

      • MeeGo 1.1 for Handsets released
      • Nokia rejects Google Android

        The posting from Anssi Vanjoki also stated that, “I am committed, perhaps even obsessed, with getting Nokia back to being number one in high-end devices. Achieving this will require performance and efforts over and above the norm. This is a role I’ve personally been preparing for over the last 20 years. We have all the assets — including R&D and product development – at our disposal under one roof – to produce killer smartphones and market-changing mobile computers.” End of Quote

    • Android

      • Nokia: the fight begins now, Symbian^4 N-Series device later

        He specifically namedrops Ricky Cadden — who yesterday shut down Symbian-Guru because he’d lost faith with the company — and clearly considers grassroots support like that an important aspect of how Nokia’s success will be judged.

      • Full Page NYT Ad Shows Droid X: “Hold the Phone Any Way You Like it”

        Apparently, the phone is designed in a way that allows the user to decide how to hold it. Just another example of Android’s freedom of choice.

      • Apple Has ZERO Idea What Android Is

        So let’s get this straight. According to Apple, Droid, Nokia, and RIM are all examples of phone categories. In referencing Android devices as Droids, Apple’s PR department is showing a severe lack of understanding for the world of smartphones that they are claiming to be so authoritative in. Clearly having been sucked into Verizon’s Droid Does campaign (pretty impressive on Verizon’s part, if I might say so myself), Apple clearly doesn’t “get” that Android is a platform that resides on over 60 devices worldwide.

      • DROID X Pre-sale Restarts at Best Buy, Won’t Guarantee Availability

        When we broke the news that Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile had stopped their Droid X pre-sale after hitting their alloted inventory number in just 5 days, we didn’t expect them to restart it. Well, guess what? They have…sort of.

      • Microsoft’s past – the future to Android’s iPhone victory

        The desktop market was won by Microsoft in large part because of its appeal to the broadest segment of the developer population — cue the Steve Ballmer fight song, complete with sweat stains and manic enthusiasm.

        In mobile, Microsoft is AWOL because it has failed to attract developers in meaningful numbers. Instead, Apple and now Google claim the biggest share of mobile developer mindshare.

        Why? Well, because of money, of course.

      • Sony Ericsson X10 mini Unboxing

        When we broke the news that Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile had stopped their Droid X pre-sale after hitting their alloted inventory number in just 5 days, we didn’t expect them to restart it. Well, guess what? They have…sort of.

      • openSUSE Build Service on Android

        Release fast, release early. That is what I am trying this time so don’t get too excited. I only added one feature. Yes one.

      • Cyanogen Mod 6 Coming to Handful of Phones

        According to a June 23rd Tweet by cyanogen, his infamous ROM v.6 is targeting the Nexus One (which seems to be his favorite since its release), the Verizon Droid, the HTC Dream, Magic, and Desire, as well as the HTC EVO4G by Sprint. He later tweeted the Hero would get some love too.

      • nook v1.4 firmware gets rooted
      • Updated Dell Streak Root Method Released

        Paul O’Brien, the genius behind MoDaCo, has just released an updated “superboot” rooting method for the dell streak. According to Paul, this root method differs a little from what we’re used to seeing, but still gets the job done for those who want superuser access on Dell Streak handsets.

      • Android 2.2 Slated for Motorola Droid July 13, Droid X for August

        Verizon Wireless will begin upgrading its first Motorola Droid to the new OS by July 13, said the Brighthand blog, which noted “unofficial but stable versions of this ROM have already appeared on the Web.” Droidforums.net said the Motorola Droid X will receive Android 2.2 over the air in August. Android 2.2 features significant speed improvements over Android 2.1, as well as new enterprise capabilities for Microsoft Exchange and Gmail, WiFi hotspot enablement and tethering, and a cloud-to-device messaging API.

      • Research: Android’s Big Lead Over Apple In Free Apps

        The latest numbers from mobile app store monitor Distimo show major differences in apps’ prices in Google’s Android Market and Apple’s App Store. While the majority of apps on the Android Market are free, only about a quarter on the App Store are. Advantage Android or advantage App Store? Debatable. Consumers might prefer free apps, but developers want a marketplace where it’s commonplace to charge.

      • Google Music, Android 3.0 To Launch Together This Year

        Two of the most anticipated projects in development at Google should be rolled out in a coordinated fashion rather soon. Android product manager Gaurav Jain indicated in a recent interview that Google Music and Android 3.0 will come out together in time for the holidays.

      • Android 3.0 rumors take off
      • Google scotches Android rumours

        We reported at the start of June that Intel reckons it’ll have the latest version on Android on its Moorestone smartphone. The timing means that will probably be Gingerbread, whether Google calls that Android 2.3 or 3.0.

      • Watching Netflix on Android is Only a Matter of Time

        A job listing for an “Android Video Playback Expert” under Partner Product Development has been spotted on the Netflix job listing page (via BGR > Nerdcast).

        Under the description of the position, Netflix says it’s looking for “a great engineer to help us build Instant Streaming client implementations on Android devices.”

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

  • Business

    • Hadoop goes ‘open core’ with Cloudera Enterprise

      Cloudera – the commercial Hadoop outfit – has unveiled its first for-pay product: Cloudera Enterprise, an augmented version of the open source distributed data crunching platform designed specifically for production environments.

  • Open Data

    • Data science democratized

      I am not a data scientist. Nor am I a programmer. I’ve got an inclination toward technology, but my core skill set very much resides in the humanities domain.

      I offer this biographical sketch up front because I think I have a lot in common with the people who work around and near tech spaces: academics, business users, entertainment professionals, editors, writers, producers, etc. The interesting thing about data science — and the reason why I’m glad Mike Loukides wrote “What is data science?” — is that vast stores of data have relevance to all sorts of folks, including people like me who lack a pure technical pedigree.

    • The potential of Healthcare.gov

      The Department of Health and Human Services continues its rapid roll-out of new data initiatives that bring ordinary Americans digitally into the heart of the health care system. Today, HHS announced the latest in these open government projects, which collectively provide excellent examples of the goals behind opening up data–not data for data’s sake, but data as a tool people can use to get more involved in policy, have an impact on civic life, and hopefully make their own lives better along the way.

  • Programming

    • Mercurial 1.6 released

      The two most important new features of this release are:

      * pushable bookmarks. This lets you synchronize bookmarks between repositories using push and pull.

      * a powerful new revision query language.

Leftovers

  • 26% of U.S. don’t know who we declared independence from: Marist poll

    How dumb are we?

    Apparently, pretty dumb.

    At least according to a new Marist poll, which says 26% of people in this country don’t know that the U.S. declared its independence from Great Britain.

  • Arlington police investigate threats over pledge vote

    Police launched the investigation as school officials blasted what they said were incorrect reports by Fox News that the School Committee had banned the pledge in Arlington schools.

    [...]

    School Committee members said they would look into enacting a pledge policy this summer, and on Tuesday, Arlington High principal Charles Skidmore told the Globe he would lead the pledge in the school’s auditorium every morning for students who wished to say it. Harrington said he still wants the pledge broadcast into each classroom.

  • Schwarzenegger Cuts California State Workers’ Pay to Minimum Wage

    A California appeals court Friday upheld Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s decision to reduce some state workers’ pay to the federal minimum wage until a budget is passed, but the official in charge of paychecks said he won’t comply with the order.

  • ARM chief calls for low-drain wireless

    THE POWER DRAWN by wireless links is far too high and the industry has a “duty” to cut it, ARM president Tudor Brown has warned.

  • Showjumpers conned by fake IBM playboy

    Members of Britain’s show-jumping set lost tens of thousands of pounds to a playboy who infiltrated their society parties masquerading as the son of one of IBM’s founders, a court heard.

  • ACLU lawsuit alleges unlawful delays in processing unemployment appeals

    The ACLU of Indiana filed a lawsuit in Indianapolis alleging the State delays in processing unemployment appeals is contrary to federal law. Under federal law, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development is required to issue at least 60% of decisions on unemployment appeals within 30 days of the date of an appeal request, and at least 80% of decisions within 45 days of the date of an appeal request.

  • Foxconn Unveils Latest Suicide Prevention Gambit

    Foxconn, the Taiwanese assembler of iPhones and other gadgets for many major electronics companies, has signed an agreement to turn over management of dorms used to house workers at massive factory campuses in Shenzhen, China, to two Chinese firms, it said Sunday.

  • BBC

  • Science

    • Comet-bomb interceptor makes low pass above Atlantic

      A NASA space probe famous for bombing a comet five years ago made a final “flyby” past Earth last night, changing its orbit around the Sun with the aid of the planet’s gravity. The renamed “EPOXI” craft (formerly “Deep Impact”) swooped low just 19,000 miles above the South Atlantic at 11pm UK time last night.

    • Goce satellite views Earth’s gravity in high definition
    • FAA says OK to flying car as light sport aircraft

      The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted the Terrafugia Transition, a flying car (and a roadable airplane) the classification of Light Sport Aircraft, even though it is a little heavier than required.

    • A Very Scary Light Show: Exploding H-Bombs In Space

      Since we’re coming up on the Fourth of July, and towns everywhere are preparing their better-than-ever fireworks spectaculars, we would like to offer this humbling bit of history. Back in the summer of 1962, the U.S. blew up a hydrogen bomb in outer space, some 250 miles above the Pacific Ocean

  • Security/Aggression

    • ATM security flaws could be a jackpot for hackers

      A security expert has identified flaws in the design of some automated teller machines that make them vulnerable to hackers, who could make the ubiquitous cash dispensers spit out their cash holdings.

    • Oklahoma police tase an 86-year-old bedridden grandmother

      When Lonnie Tinsley’s 86-year-old bedridden grandmother refused to take her medicine, he called emergency services in El Reno, Oklahoma and requested a medical technician. Instead, a dozen armed officers arrived at the scene.

    • London cops enforce imaginary law against brave, principled teenaged photographer

      Two police officers stopped a teenaged freelance photographer from taking pictures of police cadets marching in an Armed Forces Day in London. The officers claimed (incorrectly) that it was against the law to photograph minors without parental consent. Then they pushed him down a set of stairs and detained him. The photographer recorded the incident, including the officers claiming that they didn’t need any law to detain him.

    • Police Blackout

      Law enforcement agencies in Northern Virginia say you have no right to know what they’re doing.

    • The Romford Incident

      This would be the mandatory angry blog post about my harassment in Romford yesterday. I was told by the police I was breaching the terrorism act, public order act, various misc copyright and child protection laws and otherwise being an “Agitator”.

      The incident started when I took an image (not a very good one it seems :p) of a Police Cadet unit forming up to take part in an Armed Forces Day parade. I was quickly and aggressively stopped by one of their adult officers asking me who I worked for. I responded that I was a freelance and upon being told I needed parental permission to photograph them, I explained this was a public event in a public place and that I didn’t for editorial use.

    • Gun Shy

      On Monday the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment applies to states and cities as well as the federal government. Judging from their objections, the four dissenters were still reeling from the Court’s landmark 2008 decision recognizing that the amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms.

    • Former British PM Blair, who helped launch Iraq war, honored with peace medal, cash prize

      Former prime minister Tony Blair has been named as the 2010 winner of US award the Liberty Medal for his “commitment to conflict resolution”, his office said Thursday.

    • Toy soldiers run afoul of RI school’s weapons ban

      But the hat ran afoul of the district’s no-weapons policy because the toy soldiers were carrying tiny weapons.

    • FBI: Spies Hid Secret Messages on Public Websites

      Moscow communicated with a ring of alleged spies in America by encoding instructions in otherwise innocent-looking images on public websites. It’s a process called steganography. And it’s one of a slew of high-tech and time-tested methods that the deep-cover agents and their Russian handlers used to pass information — from private Wi-Fi networks to buried paper bags.

    • G20 Timeline: Saturday
    • G20 police used imaginary law to jail harass demonstrators and jailed protestors in dangerous and abusive “detention center”

      Now the Toronto police have admitted that the law used to harass and search many of those demonstrators wasn’t a real law, just something that they made up.

    • G20 reporters file complaints to Ont. police watchdog

      Four journalists have filed complaints with Ontario’s police watchdog, with allegations that police physically assaulted or threatened to sexually assault the females when they were arrested during the Toronto G20 summit.

    • Caught in the storm, penned in at Queen Street

      Lisan Jutras was on the streets of Toronto this weekend taking in the events and watching the many demonstrations. In the end, she was one of the citizens held at Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue on Sunday night, only to be released just before 10 p.m. Lisan works at The Globe and Mail and although she wasn’t accredited for the summits or on assignment, globeandmail.com was using some of her tweets in our live coverage.

    • Russian spy ring needed some serious IT help

      The Russian ring charged this week with spying on the United States faced some of the common security problems that plague many companies — misconfigured wireless networks, users writing passwords on slips of paper and laptop help desk issues that take months to resolve.

    • IT insider admits stealing info for 2,000 bank employees

      A former IT worker for the Bank of New York has admitted to stealing personal information of 2,000 employees and using it to steal more than $1m from charity bank accounts, city prosecutors said.

    • Misconfigured Cisco gear could lead to Wi-Fi breach

      Users of a popular Cisco Systems wireless access point may be setting themselves up for trouble if they leave a WPA wireless migration feature enabled, according to researchers at Core Security Technologies.

    • New York hospital loses data on 130,000 via FedEx

      New York’s Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center is notifying patients that their personal information may have been compromised after seven CDs full of unencrypted data were FedExed by a hospital contractor and then lost in transit.

  • Environment

    • Greenpeace and WWF call on UNESCO to help protect Lake Baikal

      At the same time the Baikalsk Pulp and Paper mill will dump millions of cubic meters of industrial wastewaters into Lake Baikal. This will certainly increase the negative impact on the lake: the contaminated area on the bottom of the southern Baikal that has developed since the mill was put into operation, has reached 130 square kilometers and will certainly keep growing if the mill is re-launched.

    • United Nations warned that corruption is undermining grants to stop logging

      A revolutionary scheme backed by the World Bank to pay poor countries billions of dollars a year to stop felling trees is the best way to stop logging and save the planet from climate change, according to wealthy countries and conservationists, yet documents seen by the Observer show the plan is actually leading to corruption and possibly more logging.

    • How MIT Could Help With A Different Approach to the BP Gulf Crisis

      Then, open source all of their thinking. Have them put their ideas on the web as they evolve. Get anyone involved who wants to try to help solve the problem. MIT has long been a leader in using the web for education – most recently with MIT Open Courseware. MIT and BP already have a longstanding relationship – let’s take it up a level.

    • BP denies Hayward to resign over oil spill

      BP denied on Monday that its chief executive Tony Hayward was set to resign over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill which is costing the embattled British energy group about four million dollars an hour.

    • Web campaign vows to blast BP with vuvuzelas

      Dissatisfied with what he sees as tepid effort on behalf of oil giant BP to stop the flow of petroleum from an exploded well in the Gulf of Mexico, a New York-based video producer named Adam Quirk has started raising money for a stunt designed to irritate its executives.

    • BP, Coast Guard Sued for Burning Endangered Sea Turtles

      Two environmental groups have announced plans to file suit to prevent BP from burning alive endangered sea turtles in the cleanup of the Gulf Coast. In a widely circulated video, Gulf Coast boat captain Mike Ellis says BP has prevented rescuers from saving turtles trapped in the middle of controlled burns.

    • Deal struck to save turtles from Gulf oil burns

      Environmental groups, BP (BP.N) (BP.L) and the U.S. Coast Guard reached tentative agreement on Friday on measures to prevent sea turtles from being incinerated alive in controlled burns of spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico.

    • US fines BP subsidiary $5.2 million for ‘false reporting’

      The error was caught by an auditor for the Southern Ute Tribe, who first notified BP America and then reported it to federal officials.

      “It is simply unacceptable for companies to repeatedly misreport production, particularly when it interferes with the auditing process,” said BOEM Director Michael Bromwich in a statement.

    • A Climate-Neutral China

      If we want to anticipate the future of cities, we should look to China. China is urbanizing at a rate unprecedented in history. Between now and 2030, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, Chinese cities are expected to add more than 350 million people, swelling to a total urban population of more than a billion. By then, China will have more than 220 cities with populations of more than a million (by comparison, Europe today has only 35 cities with one million+ inhabitants), and 24 emerging megacities with more than five million inhabitants.

    • G20 meeting: a well-oiled machine

      They don’t know it yet, but the politicians who sat in last week’s G20 meeting and decided to backslide on their commitments to tackle climate change are no longer the most important voices on the planet. It’s the people who were outside that meeting calling for an energy revolution. It’s the people who have a better idea about what our world can look like, run by energy sources that don’t spill, burn, explode, poison, or destroy. Those are the voices we need to listen to, those are the investment paths we need to follow.

    • Blimps for Freight on the Way!

      The government’s former chief scientific adviser, Professor Sir David King, now director of the Smith School of Enterprise and Environment at the University of Oxford, told a conference that massive helium balloons – or blimps – would replace aircraft as a key part of the global trade network as a way of cutting global warming emissions.

    • Dirty energy soils politics in the Czech Republic

      In January, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) brought new optimism to the post UN Climate Summit blues – by stepping into the debate about the Czech Republic’s largest coal-fired power plant, Prunerov, owned by the energy company ČEZ.

    • Baby brown pelicans
    • Today in oil: all that is wrong with politics

      Second example: you’ve probably heard about the oil dispersants that BP has been using in the Gulf, in the vague hope of breaking up the oil and have it, well, disperse more easily (not that the oil goes away, it’s just less visible and less of a PR nightmare for BP). It turns out the company that makes these has just hired top lobbyists in Washington, DC:

      Illinois-based Nalco Co., manufacturer of dispersant Corexit 9500, recently hired Ramola Musante to run the company’s Washington lobbying effort. Musante previously worked at both EPA and the Department of Energy. Nalco also recruited Ogilvy Government Relations, whose lobbyists include Drew Maloney, past assistant to former House Majority Whip Tom Delay (R-Texas).

    • Climategate was ‘a game-changer’ in science reporting, say climatologists

      Science has been changed forever by the so-called “climategate” saga, leading researchers have said ahead of publication of an inquiry into the affair – and mostly it has been changed for the better.

      This Wednesday sees the publication of the Muir Russell report into the conduct of scientists from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU), whose emails caused a furore in November after they were hacked into and published online.

  • Finance

    • SEC will impose fiduciary standard on brokers: Barney Frank

      The overhaul of the U.S. financial system took a big step toward becoming law Wednesday evening when the House passed reform legislation 237-192. As a result, it’s also looking more likely that brokers may soon be held to the same standard of care as investment advisers.

    • MSNBC’s Ratigan: Stock market an ‘obviously corrupt’ fraud

      Ratigan concluded that it’s time to create an “alternative investment structure” that would allow people to invest their money without putting it “into the obviously corrupt stock market in this country.”

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Privacy watchdogs: Silence isn’t cookie consent

      Advertisers are wrong to say that websites can comply with a new law governing internet cookies by relying on a user’s cookie settings, Europe’s privacy watchdogs have said. The Article 29 Working Party has published its interpretation of the new law.

      Prior consent is required, according to the privacy watchdogs. However, consent can be given to advertising networks covering thousands of websites and need not be given to every individual site, the regulators said.

    • Citizenship Should Remain a Birthright

      In 1848, the discovery of gold brought hordes of prospectors to California. In 1889, millions of acres of free land set off a rush of settlers into Oklahoma. Today, we are told, the chance to get U.S. citizenship for their unborn children is rapidly filling the country with illegal immigrants.

    • Google Says Search Engine Partially Blocked in China

      Google Inc. said some Web search features have been partially blocked in China as the company awaits a decision from the country’s government on whether it can keep providing Internet services there.

    • Google Tweaks Its China Strategy In Attempt To Keep Its Site Up

      Google, which has been redirecting Google China visitors to its search page in Hong Kong for three months now in order to avoid censoring its results, is trying a new strategy. The company says it can no longer automatically redirect Google.cn users to Google.com.hk lest its commercial website license won’t be renewed.

    • Google’s New Plan for China
    • Turkish group opens court case over Google services

      A Turkish Internet rights group opened a court case on Monday to end what it says are illegal restrictions on Google services, the latest step in a debate over Internet freedom in Turkey.

      Turkey has clashed with Google before and closed down Google’s (GOOG.O) video sharing platform YouTube in 2008 for videos it said insulted the country’s revered founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

    • Pakistan Bans More Web Sites on Religious Grounds

      Pakistan has blocked 17 Web sites and is closely monitoring seven other sites and search engines for content considered offensive and blasphemous, according to a spokesman of the country’s telecommunications regulator, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA).

    • Scroogle’s future in doubt

      The site used an obscure Google search page, originally designed for the IE 6 side bar, which had remained unchanged until this year.

      [...]

      Both ixquick and Yauba tout themselves as alternatives that respect privacy. Of the two, ixquick seems to have less Web2.0rhea.

    • Senator Conroy says “I’m not into opting into child porn”

      The hypocrisy is breathtaking. After listening to two years of unambiguous opposition to the Internet filter proposal, Senator Conroy invariably falls back on the paedophile defence. Shame on you Sir, shame on you.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • How ASCAP jumped the shark

      The music rights group sent out a political mailing to its members, demonizing “free culture” groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Creative Commons, Public Knowledge and “public companies with deep pockets,” by which I guess it meant Google.

      As with most political mailings this one took some liberties with the truth. saying its perceived enemies were “mobilizing to promote ‘copyleft’ in order to undermine our ‘copyright.’”

      As Wired notes, the mailing went out just as the government was trying to shift focus on copyright policy, acknowledging fair use, drawing praise from both sides.

    • ASCAP Members Pissed Off At ASCAP’s Attack On Creative Commons

      Last week, we posted about how ASCAP was attacking EFF, Public Knowledge and (most bizarre of all) Creative Commons, as part of its fundraising drive. As we pointed out, this showed ASCAP’s true colors. For an organization that presents itself as trying to supports artists’ rights, it’s downright ridiculous to attack a group like Creative Commons that only looks to give musicians more choices in what they do with their own rights. In following some of the reaction to the article, I saw a tweet from musician Eric Young, where he publicly declared plans to quit ASCAP over this fundraising appeal:

      #FUCKASCAP #iQuit … this is the 1st public anncmnt of my resignation from ASCAP. this is bullshit.

      That left me wondering how other ASCAP members were feeling about this, and thankfully, Slashdot points us to a blog post on the Mind the Gap blog that discusses this issue (towards the end). In the comments, though, a number of ASCAP members express their displeasure with the organization.

    • EFF Argues Against Mass Copyright Infringement Lawsuits in Wednesday Hearing

      The stakes are high for anyone identified in USCG’s slipshod cases. USCG’s strategy appears to be to threaten a judgment of up to $150,000 per downloaded movie — the maximum penalty allowable by law in copyright suits and a very unlikely judgment in cases arising from a single, noncommercial infringement — in order to pressure the alleged infringers to settle quickly for $1,500 – $2,500 per person. Earlier this month, EFF, the ACLU, and Public Citizen filed an amicus brief in three of these cases, outlining how the lawsuits flout the legal safeguards that protect individuals’ rights.

    • Independence day for newspapers

      Paton told me he was looking at having to spend $25 million just to get the company’s technology up to date. Hold on. We took to the white board and brainstormed how one could publish a paper today using Google Docs, Flickr, and WordPress. Paton, as is his habit, took my bull(shit) by the horns and ran with it. His staff found other, better free tools to do everything (even advertising). He printed one test edition of a paper to prove it could be done. Then he decreed that all his dailies would do this on one day, on July 4. More important, he used this as a means to get the staffs to think differently about their relationships with their communities, to act differently in how they made journalism. And they did it. Theyr’e not dealing in some theoretical future of news talked about by consultants and professors. [cough] They are building it.

    • Copyrights

      • Digital legislation a threat to creative industry

        Doctoral research into media education and media literacy at the University of Leicester has highlighted how increased legislative control on use of digital content could stifle future creativity.

      • Administration Went From Supporting Copyright Exceptions For The Blind… To Working To Block Them

        For a long time now, there’s been an effort underway to craft important copyright exceptions for the visually impaired, which would do things like give them the right to convert a written work into an audio work through text-to-speech software. While it seems like this should be allowed (after all, isn’t reading a book out loud legal under copyright law?) some have claimed that such text-to-speech efforts violate copyright law. There are some other areas, too, where copyright law makes life more difficult for the blind. To deal with this WIPO has been discussing a treaty that would create some copyright exceptions for these specific cases. Not surprisingly, the entertainment industry came out very strongly against helping the blind with such a treaty, as they fear any effort to add more exceptions to copyright law, even if it means the blind are more likely to consume their products.

      • Film Academy targets GoDaddy in massive cybersquatting lawsuit

        The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is known to be quite litigious in protecting its Oscar rights. But dare we say it has outdone itself this time with a whopping 134-page lawsuit against domain registration giant GoDaddy.com and its subsidiaries for trafficking in unauthorized trademarks.

      • Viacom v. YouTube: The Principle of Least Cost Avoidance

        There’s no question of the infringing activity or its scale. The only question in the case is whether YouTube, as the provider of a platform for uploading and hosting video content, shares any of the liability of those among its users who uploaded Viacom content (including clips from Comedy Central and other television programming) without permission.

      • Copyright best practices for communications scholars
      • File sharer beats ‘Hurt Locker’ makers to punch
      • Fox News under fire for use of unauthorized footage

        The cable news network is battling Kenneth Stadt, who owns the rights to the Madoff video. In early 2009, Stadt gave Fox News an exclusive license to his footage for 45 days in return for $10,000. The network later re-upped for another 45 days in return for $50,000 more. According to the complaint, the term then expired, but Fox allegedly kept using the footage anyway.

      • Balanced Copyright for Canada Board and Funding Revealed

        After several weeks of delays, the Balanced Copyright for Canada site revealed its funding and advisory board late on Tuesday night, hours before the Canada Day holiday. The primary source of funding is not a surprise – as I suggested in my first post on the site – this is a Canadian Recording Industry Association production. As the public questions about the site mounted, the regular response was that this was an effort of “employees, unions, artists and creators” and that the all-Canadian Advisory Board would be announced soon. The fact that the site was really a CRIA attempt to create “grassroots” support for C-32 was not acknowledged.

      • Infringement is not stealing

        A friend of mine, and respected colleague, has written a piece over on LinuxToday that bears mentioning: Editor’s Note: Copying is Stealing. Though I agree with the spirit of the piece, I have to take issue with the conflation of stealing and copying.

        I really hate it when people conflate copying with stealing.

        I see my work plagiarized or copied on other sites all the time. Sometimes it’s automated by spammers, occasionally it’s deliberately copied by other authors thinking they can pad their own work or build their own blog with other people’s content. It annoys me to no end. It’s copyright infringement, and I will go after people who do it — but it is not stealing.

      • Supreme Court Rules File-Sharer’s Identity Handed To Movie Companies

        After two appeals, a file-sharing case in Norway with important privacy implications has gone all the way to the Supreme Court. The whole process has been shrouded in secrecy, with the results of each stage kept from the public. Now the final decision has been made available and for both file-sharers and privacy advocates alike, the result is unwelcome.

    • ACTA

      • Questions For ACTA Negotiators

        Sean Flynn from the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at American University, sent over the list of questions that he and a group of others concerned about ACTA are planning to ask the ACTA negotiators today in a meeting in Switzerland, where the latest round of ACTA negotiations are under way. The meeting is set to take place at 7pm Swiss time, which should be about 10am this morning California time.

      • The ACTA casino must be closed.
      • EXCLUSIVE: Pictures of the ACTA negotiations

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk 24 March 2009 – Split Routing (2009)


Happy Independence Day

Posted in Site News, Videos at 1:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A word (or video) of appreciation to freedom and independence – “Torch of Freedom”


Direct link

“And I cherish the feeling of freedom each time. [...] We often forget to appreciate something until we lose it. It’s a fact of life. We tend to take a lot of things for granted. We take a lot of people for granted.”

J. Angelo Racoma

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