07.26.10

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Links 26/7/2010: Linux Mint 10 Called “Julia”, OliverPad Runs Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 7:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • Five Pictures of OSCON

      It’s my favorite conference, I think. I love the smaller, more focused events too, but OSCON is a gathering of the tribes and we need one of those.

  • BSD

    • Running ZFS With CAM-based ATA On FreeBSD 8.1

      In these benchmarks we compared the performance of the traditional ATA infrastructure in FreeBSD/PC-BSD 8.1 to that of the new CAM-based ATA infrastructure when using ZFS. The tests included LZMA compression, Gzip compression, Compile Bench, PostMark, and the Threaded I/O Tester.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • ‘Business will overcome its opposition to Creative Commons or perish’

      Joi Ito wants to revolutionise the internet. His vision is of a world unperturbed by a complicated, costly and outdated copyright system, where everybody can collaborate and share content on the web as they wish.

      He doesn’t want to get rid of copyright, he just wants you to be able to adapt it to your needs. He wants to build a sharing economy.

  • Open Data

  • Standards/Consortia

    • ODF Documents
    • How To Judge Your Vendor’s Support for a Standard

      For people who adopt software, trying to judge the value of so-called “standards support” in a product can be an incredibly frustrating experience. Standards implementations often fail to live up to their promises and, worse, it can be very hard to tell in advance of installing and running the software whether or not the “standards support” it supposedly provides is actually going to meet your needs.

    • Taking webm for a Spin

      I first blogged about webm the day Google released it. It has taken some time but now I have full support for webm in my preferred Linux desktop distro (Fedora 13). I’ve been doing some testing and I have to say I’m impressed.

Leftovers

  • 3 Staffers With McInnis Campaign Resign

    Three people working with the Scott McInnis for Colorado governor campaign have resigned their positions. This comes as McInnis, a Republican, has been battling plagiarism allegations.

  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

    • CCTV turning schools into ‘prisons’

      Researchers found the widespread use of CCTV, ID cards, electronic registration systems, fob-controlled gates and fingerprint technology as schools attempt to crackdown on troublemakers.

      Staff at one comprehensive patrolled corridors and playgrounds with radios to make sure children behaved at lunchtimes, while teachers at a private school used technology to spy on children’s computer and internet use.

    • Bar owner defends toilet CCTV move

      THE owners of a new bar have defended their decision to install a CCTV camera in the men’s toilets.

    • ‘Sneaky’ Wandsworth Council makes million on station CCTV

      More than 21,000 fines of between £60 and £120 were issued for motoring offences such as stopping to drop off family and friends.

    • Mother arrested after ‘stealing ball’

      Lorretta Cole says she was trying to teach her neighbour’s children a lesson after she claims the ball repeatedly landed on her property and even damaged her car.

    • Police forces under pressure over Europe evidence demands

      The Government has until the end of the month to decide whether to opt out of the scheme – which would give authorities in any country in the whole of the EU the power to order our police to produce evidence, or even interrogate or launch surveillance of suspects without their knowledge.

    • WSCC laptop containing information on children stolen from home of employee

      West Sussex County Council has been described as showing ‘poor regard’ to the importance of protecting children’s personal information after an unencrypted laptop containing information about children was stolen from the home of one of its employees.

  • Environment

    • Does BP Have an ACE Up Its Sleeve on Climate Education?

      In May, PRWatch reported on a controverisal new group, “Balanced Education for Everyone” (BEE), that is trying to stop public schools from teaching kids about climate change science. BEE argues that teaching climate change is too scary for kids and “unnecessary.” But BEE’s efforts also raised other questions, like what are kids learning about climate change in school, anyway, and who is influencing it?

      [...]

      Connecting the Dots: Hushed Relationships Between ACE and BP

      ACE was founded with an initial donation of $2.675 million in “private funding,” the source of which is undisclosed on ACE’s Web site. However, a September 30, 2009 article about an ACE school presentation says all of money to start ACE came from one person: Michael Haas, the group’s founder. A second article posted on Grist.com in July 2009 confirms this. So why is ACE so cagey about reporting this on its website?

    • BP admits it ‘Photoshopped’ official images as oil spill ‘cut and paste’ row escalates
    • Unsafe From Any Gulf

      The Los Angeles Times reported last week that, “worst-case estimates place the total oil spilled in the gulf at about 126 million gallons over two months. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates the country disgorges that much hydrocarbon pollution to the air in 10 days.”

    • Environmental & Health Effects of Oil Dispersants a Mystery to BP and the Government

      U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson questions BP’s widespread application of oil dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico, as does everyone else. According to Jackson, the government is “uncharted waters” with the use of dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico. “The amount of dispersant being used at the surface is unprecedented,” Jackson says. BP is also applying the chemicals in the sub-sea environment. In addition, dispersant is stopping oil from collecting on water surface, where it can be more easily controlled.

    • Governors Declare Day of Prayer for Gulf Spill

      Leaders of the Gulf Coast states have designated Sunday a day of prayer for the regions affected by the oil spill that has sent millions of gallons of crude gushing into the Gulf of Mexico for the last 66 days.

    • Coast Guard Photos Show Spill Workers Without Protective Gear

      There’s something missing in the Coast Guard’s latest PR photos of oil spill cleanup workers: protective gear.

    • Gulf Seafood Gets Chemically Tested for Oil, Not Dispersant

      NOAA, the FDA and the Gulf states have been rigorously testing Gulf seafood for oil—doing smell tests with teams of human sniffers, and performing chemical tests for the harmful polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, found naturally in crude oil.

    • Giant oil skimmer ‘A Whale’ deemed a bust for Gulf of Mexico spill

      The oil is too dispersed to take advantage of the converted Taiwanese supertanker’s enormous capacity, said Bob Grantham, a spokesman for shipowner TMT.

      He said BP’s use of chemical dispersants prevented A Whale, billed as the world’s largest skimmer, from collecting a “significant amount” of oil during a week of testing that ended Friday.

    • Chemical Agriculture Group Says, Shut Up and Eat Your Pesticides

      Rachel Carson ignited the debate over pesticide safety a generation ago. Its latest phase began today (July 15).

      Chemical farming interests have taken aim at Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) influential “Shopper’s Guide To Pesticides In Produce,” a popular consumer tool introduced more than a decade ago that has helped drive expansion of organic produce sales at the expense conventionally grown, pesticide-contaminated fruits and vegetables.

  • Finance

    • Why we must reduce military spending (Reps. Barney Frank and Ron Paul)

      As members of opposing political parties, we disagree on a number of important issues. But we must not allow honest disagreement over some issues interfere with our ability to work together when we do agree.

    • Help Us With the Bankster Scorecard
    • Wall St. Reform Passes! Reformers Celebrate Rare Victory Over Entrenched Special Interest

      AFR’s 250 consumer, labor, business, housing and grassroots groups, along with dozens of academics and think tanks, came together in an unprecedented effort to pool their expertise on complex financial matters to provide a counterweight to the big money lobbying onslaught and technical expertise of Wall Street.

    • Taxpayers Owed Big Bucks Under the Bailout, Little Help for Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

      These numbers are much higher than what is reported in the media because CMD’s Wall Street Bailout Cost Table takes into account all 35 government programs, not just the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) managed by the U.S. Treasury Department. Still unpaid: $568 billion in TARP money and $1.4 trillion in Federal Reserve loans and investments.

    • The Evolving Nature of the Corporation

      What is a corporation? In the aftermath of the financial crisis, the nature of the corporation has been the subject of considerable debate. While this is a very complex topic, two major points of view seem to be emerging, which we can use to book-end the different ends of a spectrum, with many hybrid positions in-between.

      [...]

      At the other of the spectrum, is the view of the corporation as an organization that will use all lawful means for its single-minded objective of generating profit and wealth. As we have seen with the financial crisis, that single-minded focus on wealth can degenerate into a behavior dominated by greed, where a relatively small number of people will do whatever they can to earn large sums of money without worrying about the impact of their actions on the larger society.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Chez Sludge: Complaint Filed Regarding Francesca Vietor’s Threat To the Guardian

      The “Chez Sludge” scandal in San Francisco, involving the city giving away free toxic sewage sludge as “organic Biosolids compost” for gardeners, took another turn on July 13, 2010. The Food Rights Network filed a formal letter of complaint with the California Bar Association, asking the professional society for California lawyers to investigate Chris Desser, attorney for Francesca Vietor, in Vietor’s threat of libel against the UK Guardian newspaper.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Wikileaks: No Substitute for Transparency

      I’ve been disagreeing with a lot of people about transparency recently, and even though it’s kind of going out of fashion on the edge of my community, I’m still going to stand up for the principle. Transparency, real and true, is a good thing for many reasons. It’s not magic fairy pixie dust that makes the world a wonderful place, and anyone who sold it as such needs to do their historical homework. What is does it complex, important, but not sexy enough for many activists.

      What a lot of people commenting on the debate about government transparency don’t get is that it’s not just about the information. Action always has an inherent politics to it; publishing data about itself is as much about telling government how it’s supposed to behave as it is about the data. Even if you’re wildly juking the stats, you’re at least communicating to yourself how different things should be. The action involved in transparency is the action of telling on yourself. No matter how subverted, two things remain true: you know that you should be doing better, and you’re going to accidentally expose incidental truths.

    • Data retention: Got nothing to hide?

      It recently came to light (thanks to some good reporting) that the Government has been fishing around with ISPs for their support on a new and radical data retention policy. This would legally oblige telcos to retain large amounts of data about their customers’ communications activities in case law enforcement needed them at some point in the future.

    • Paedophilia used as an excuse to snoop on internet users – again

      Members of the European Parliament are being asked to sign a written declaration that will, ostensibly, “set up a European early warning system for paedophiles and sex offenders”. In reality, it will extend the Data Retention Directive to search engines.

  • Copyrights

    • $27 million claimed; $500 awarded

      A claim arguing both copyright infringement and moral rights infringement looked for $27 million in damages. (Plus, amongst other things, the goods and services tax on the monetary awards.) By the end, the Honourable Mr. Justice Russell of the Federal Court of Canada determined that the defendants’ copyright misdemeanor was confined to posting the plaintiff’s work on their website, without his consent. Justice Russell did not conceal his opinion of the plaintiff’s conduct; “The evidence adduced concerning infringement of copyright suggests that the Plaintiff’s claims are disproportionate and opportunistic.”

    • Tech News Sites Tout Misleading BitTorrent Piracy Study

      A new study has been making the rounds, concluding that only 0.3% of all files available on BitTorrent are confirmed to be ‘legal’. The results of the study were promoted by anti-piracy outfit AFACT and have been picked up by several news outlets, including Ars Technica and ZDNet, who all failed to see that the report is bogus.

      [...]

      Unfortunately, the results of these type of studies are pushed by anti-piracy outfits and taken for granted by outsiders, even by respected news outlets on the Internet such as Ars Technica and ZDNet. In this case their reporters were completely taken in by the report.

      Just a few minutes into reading the study we were shaking our heads here at the TorrentFreak headquarters. Mistake after mistake is made in the report and conclusions are drawn based on painfully inaccurate data and methodologies. We’ll lay out the most critical errors below, which represent just the tip of the iceberg.

    • ACTA

      • ACTA leaks – but secret squirrel stays secret

        Just who is the bad apple at the ACTA negotiations, excluding the public and forcing discussions between the parties to be held in secret?

        Not us, says the EU, which has come in for some stick of late – not least from Pirate Party MEP Christian Engstroem – for its refusal to allow MEPs to disseminate anything from the talks back to their voters. Rather, the blame should be laid at the door of just one of the parties to the talks, but the official line is that they are staying schtum on just which.

    • Digital Economy

Clip of the Day

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DecorWhat Else is New


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