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Links 26/7/2010: Jim Zemlin Interview, GNOME-LiMo Partnership

Posted in News Roundup at 12:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Kernel Space

    • Interview with Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin

      1) What one big opportunity, outside of technology, has the best chance of being solved the open source way? (i.e., collaboration, transparency, meritocracy, rapid prototyping, community)

      Better government. I think most people would find the attributes of open source–collaboration, transparency, meritocracy, etc.–would be a breath of fresh air in government. The Sunlight Foundation is working on this. I am on the board of Open Source for America, and there are many other organizations working on this.

  • GNOME Desktop

    • GNOME Foundation and LiMo Foundation announce partnership

      Under the terms of the partnership, the LiMo Foundation will join the GNOME Foundation’s Advisory Board and the GNOME Foundation will become an Industry Liaison Partner for the LiMo Foundation. Morgan Gillis, Executive Director of the LiMo Foundation, said, “This close alignment between LiMo and GNOME provides important support for this commitment and will take in an expanding ecosystem of products and services developed by GNOME developers in conjunction with the members of LiMo Foundation.”

  • Distributions

    • Embracing the Web

      This is a huge head start toward a free web. I think what’s missing is a client platform which catalyzes the development and use of FLOSS web applications.

Free Software/Open Source


  • Big Game Studio Mocks Indie Developer For Saying He Wants To Connect With Fans

    The first, found via Karl Bode, is a story about how Mark Rein, a VP from Epic Games, the large video game developer behind Gears of War among other games, audibly scoffs at Cliff Harris of the one-man shop Positech Games (whom we’ve written about before, concerning his plans to “compete with pirates.”) Harris was on stage discussing how indie developers, like himself, had an easier time “forming personal relationships with gamers.” Apparently, Rein loudly announced that forming a personal relationship with “a small number of gamers” was a “waste of time.” Harris shot back on his blog, pointing out that (a) whatever he’s doing is working for him, because he’s been happily making games (and a living) for 13 years and seems to have a devoted fanbase and (b) Mark Rein is a jerk for acting the way he did.

  • Judge Throws Out $4,000 Fine For Picking Up Free Air-Conditioner
  • In Politics, Sometimes The Facts Don’t Matter

    New research suggests that misinformed people rarely change their minds when presented with the facts — and often become even more attached to their beliefs. The finding raises questions about a key principle of a strong democracy: that a well-informed electorate is best.

  • Science

    • SpaceShipTwo Makes First Flight With Crew Aboard

      SpaceShipTwo staged a dress rehearsal for its glide flight and flew with a crew for the first time.

      Anticipation mounted yesterday as word spread that SpaceShipTwo, attached to its mother ship Eve, departed the Mojave Air and Space Port. Many, including us, were anxious to hear whether the first glide flight of the spacecraft also known as VSS Enterprise would happen, especially since we knew a chase plane followed SpaceShipTwo into the sky.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

    • Natural environment: an invitation to shape the nature of England

      Our natural environment underpins our economic prosperity, our health and our wellbeing. As a result, protecting the environment and enhancing biodiversity is one of Defra’s top 3 priorities, as outlined in the Department’s Structural Reform Plan.

    • BP buys up Gulf scientists for legal defense, roiling academic community

      For the last few weeks, BP has been offering signing bonuses and lucrative pay to prominent scientists from public universities around the Gulf Coast to aid its defense against spill litigation.

      BP PLC attempted to hire the entire marine sciences department at one Alabama university, according to scientists involved in discussions with the company’s lawyers. The university declined because of confidentiality restrictions that the company sought on any research.

  • Finance

    • Training crucial to labor market

      This recession has caused a generational restructuring of America’s labor market.

      Many job skills in high demand 20 years ago just aren’t today, and some of the fastest-growing careers now weren’t even conceivable then. That’s why this administration is refocusing job-training efforts to give workers the skills they’ll need to compete successfully in a 21st century labor market.

    • Industries Find Surging Profits in Deeper Cuts

      But despite that drought, Harley’s profits are rising — soaring, in fact. Last week, Harley reported a $71 million profit in the second quarter, more than triple what it earned a year ago.

      This seeming contradiction — falling sales and rising profits — is one reason the mood on Wall Street is so much more buoyant than in households, where pessimism runs deep and joblessness shows few signs of easing.

      Many companies are focusing on cost-cutting to keep profits growing, but the benefits are mostly going to shareholders instead of the broader economy, as management conserves cash rather than bolstering hiring and production. Harley, for example, has announced plans to cut 1,400 to 1,600 more jobs by the end of next year. That is on top of 2,000 job cuts last year — more than a fifth of its work force.

    • Credit Score Is the Tyrant in Lending

      The other day, a mortgage broker named Deb Killian called me, more or less out of the blue. Ms. Killian has been in the business since 1994. She and her husband run Charter Oak Lending Group, a small firm based in Danbury, Conn., that they founded in 1996. She is a member of the board of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers. By her estimate, she has closed more than 3,500 loans during her career.

    • Netroots Nation 2010: LIVE Streaming Video, Full Conference Schedule
    • Some Thoughts on the Bush Tax “Cuts” Expiration

      I am winging my way home from Canada, flying over Minnesota into Wisconsin. I am catching up with some reading, but I had to comment on all the Sturm und Drang about the expiration of the Bush Tax “cuts.”

    • Financial regulatory overhaul’s winners and losers
    • Warren’s Candidacy Raises a Partisan Debate

      Instead, Ms. Warren’s supporters want President Obama to nominate her as the first head of a new consumer financial protection bureau created by the legislation he signed into law last week. They say that Ms. Warren, who conceived the idea and helped shepherd its passage into law, is the only acceptable choice to finish the project.

    • Spending Can Be Cut

      When times are hard financially, families frequently let their credit card balance expand. But they also slash expenses to meet their new financial situation. They stop going out for dinner, for instance, or take their vacation locally instead of abroad. They might even downsize their house.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • New bill renews Internet privacy fight

      American businesses weren’t very happy about a privacy bill that Rep. Rick Boucher announced in May. The Interactive Advertising Bureau, for instance, said the Virginia Democrat’s draft legislation would have “major” effects on legitimate business practices.

    • New Wikileaks to Old Channels

      What is most interesting is why Wikileaks – a Web 2.0 User Generated Content site if there ever was one – chose Mainstream media as its organ of publication and dissemination rather than just getting it out there on the Web. If there is one thing this proves, it is that the role of the Olde Media is far from redundant. The deep throating may now be very 2.0, but the reporting is an interesting combination of Old Hacks drinking from New bottles.


      As to the actual incidents themselves, there will no doubt be a lot of hand wringing from the self-declared sensitive types, but the more prosaic truth about these facts is that this sort of thing was ever thus (Allied exploits in WW2 do not make them out as angels at all, and just ask the average British tankie about US “friendly fire” in the Gulf Wars), its just its all come out in the open this time (A process that started in the Crimea, by the way).

    • What if there are no secrets?

      Is no secret safe?

      That’s the moral to the Wikileaks war log story: you never know what might be leaked. Of course, that itself is nothing new: Whenever we reveal information to even one person, we risk it being spread. The ethic of confidentiality (and privacy) rests with the recipient of that information.

      So what’s new now? There are more means to get information since it is pooled and digital. There are more means to share information; Daniel Ellsberg had to go through media to spread his Pentagon Papers while Wikileak chose to go through media so they could add value (perspective and attention) but didn’t have to. And there are new means to stay anonymous in the process.

    • Performance Rights Group Takes Down YouTube Video Of Auschwitz Survivor Dancing To ‘I Will Survive’ At Aushwitz
  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Ruling on DMCA could allow breaking DRM for fair use

      A new court ruling on Friday could set a legal precedent that allows bypassing digital rights management (DRM) for fair use purposes. New Orleans circuit Judge Emilio Garza found that GE hadn’t violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by using hacked security dongles to repair uninterruptible power supplies from MGE UPS Systems as the goal itself was legal. While a jury fined GE $4.6 million for breaking copyright and misusing trade secrets, Judge Garza determined the DMCA hadn’t been broken, as using hacked items by itself didn’t constitute violating protection at the same time.

    • FCC Takes Beating Over Closed Door Net Neutrality Meeting

      The FCC, which proudly and repeatedly proclaims they embrace “transparency,” is taking considerable heat this week for meeting behind closed doors with the largest carriers to hash out a deal on network neutrality.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • WIPO Sees First Real Progress In 10 Years On Text For Protection Of Folklore

      A group of experts mandated by the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee on on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (IGC) met from 19-23 July to discuss possible text for an eventual international legal instrument on the protection of traditional cultural expressions and expressions of folklore.

    • Trademark And Domain Names… Two Very Different Rulings From One Judge
    • Human Rights Groups to Challenge Special 301

      On Tuesday July 20, a group of public interest organizations, represented by Sean Flynn, Associate Director of PIJIP, will file a complaint alleging that U.S. trade policy in the Obama Administration reduces access to medicines in low and middle income nations, and therefore violates international human rights obligations. The complaint will be filed with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, Anand Grover. A press conference announcing the complaint will be held at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna.

    • Copyrights

      • File Sharing Is Not Pollution, And You Don’t Need An ISP ‘Tax’ To Deal With It
      • BitTorrent Admins Charged in $1.25bn Movie Piracy Case

        Following the country’s first ever raid on a BitTorrent site in 2009, Russian authorities have now begun a criminal investigation into the operators of Interfilm.ru. Run by a married couple, the site is now at the center of copyright infringement claim which runs to a staggering $1.25 billion. Reports suggest that the investigation has also traced some of the site’s top users.

      • Tell-All Author Riffs on Music Industry in Crisis; Part 1

        In the end, the former Rolling Stone senior editor chose Bronfman over Jobs for Fortune’s Fool: Edgar Bronfman Jr., Warner Music and an Industry in Crisis, in no small part due to the intense motivation exhibited by the heir to the multibillion dollar Seagram throne to transform his family’s liquor-derived empire into an entertainment company.

        Why, when he could have spent his life playing tennis, did Bronfman persevere? And why does he continue to believe in the value of recorded music, despite having shown the poor timing to invest in the major-label system not long before Napster introduced the world to file sharing, causing the financial worth of recorded music to decline?

      • Guns N’ Roses Uploader Laughs Last

        The convicted Guns N’ Roses uploader, Kevin Cogill, isn’t the anti-piracy pitchman the Recording Industry Association of America was hoping for.

        A year ago Wednesday, the 29-year-old Los Angeles man was sentenced to two months’ home confinement and a year of probation for uploading nine unreleased tracks of Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy to his music site. Federal prosecutors initially sought six months of prison, but Cogill got no time after agreeing to do an RIAA public service announcement that would scare future file sharers straight.

      • Nintendo Doesn’t Want To Criminalize Obsessed Fans
      • Music chief: preventing file-sharing is a “waste of time”

        A leading music industry figure has labelled attempts to thwart internet file-sharing as a “waste of time”.

      • Publisher Sued For Reposting Article Based On His Own Research

        Copyright enforcement outfit Righthaven has filed some questionable lawsuits in the past, but really outdid itself in a case against Anthony Curtis, publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor.

      • Westminster eForum: Peter Jenner on digital content consumers

        Next up at the Westminster eForum is Peter Jenner, emeritus president of the IMMF – a manager and “recovering economist”. He says he’s going to look at copyright more from an economist’s point of view, too, getting away from the law.

      • Contemplating Copyright

        UN1TE Dance Company‘s choreographers feel free to use whatever music they like in their classes. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy when you put videos from those classes online.

      • Boy oh (Tommy)Boy – 80% of you make music that is “crap”?
      • Attention movie pirates: New round of lawsuits coming
      • Willy Wizard takes Harry Potter copyright fight to America

        The estate filed a similar lawsuit last year in England against Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, the UK publisher of the Harry Potter franchise. Now in a statement, Jacobs estate trustee Paul Allen says the estate is contemplating legal action in key territories worldwide and the “USA being the world’s largest market for Potter books means that our first overseas action is brought here in America.”

    • ACTA

      • Pirate Party storms out of uber-secret ACTA negotiations

        The level of secrecy shrouding the EU’s ACTA negotiations reached new heights earlier this week, with the news that Pirate Party MEP Christian Engstrom felt compelled to abandon a meeting with ACTA negotiators in the European Parliament after he was forbidden from sharing information with the public.

      • If Negotiators Still Don’t Want To Release ACTA, It’ll Still Get Leaked

        So, we now know for certain that the ACTA negotiators’ promise of “transparency” over negotiations was an outright lie. They fought it every step of the way, falsely claiming that if the draft were public, some members would leave the table. It was only after a pretty massive smack down from the EU Parliament and the fact that the draft was already leaked that negotiators finally agreed to release a draft that left out lots of pertinent information.

      • Could Bolivia Opt-Out Of Berne And WIPO And Forge A New Path On Copyright?

        They don’t allow countries to experiment with different types of copyright law to see if they work better. That, of course, is one reason why ACTA is so troubling. However, before ACTA there were other such international agreements, such as WIPO and, most famously, the Berne Convention.

      • ACTA Coming Down to Fight Between U.S. and Europe

        With yesterday’s leak of the full ACTA text (updated to include the recent round of talks in Lucerne) the simmering fight between the U.S. and the E.U. on ACTA is now being played out in the open. During the first two years of negotations, both sides were at pains to indicate that there was no consensus on transparency and the treaty would not change their domestic rules. Over the past four months, the dynamic on both transparency and substance has changed.

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